2013 Casita frame touch up primer/paint - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-17-2018, 08:38 PM   #1
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2013 Casita frame touch up primer/paint

Last winter I installed 1.5 inch rigid foam insulation under the camper from the rear axle back. While under the camper doing the work I noticed minor chips and rust. I touched it up but almost all of the steel frame and cross members are covered with the insulation.


So one of my winter projects this year is to sand/wire brush, touch up prime and paint the slightly rusted steel frame and cross members in front of the axle. So my question is: can I use a rustoleum type spray bomb primer and/or finish gloss paint on the steel without damaging the grey water tank? Not sure if these spray cans are a lacquer base or what but just wondering if any over spray would melt or damage the poly tank?


Also open to other suggestion...thought about just brushing a primer and finish coat or two on but spraying would be so much quicker.


thanks...jon
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Old 11-17-2018, 10:08 PM   #2
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I've painted all sorts of plastics with Rustoleum paint and never had a adverse reaction in the plastic. The most recent was to paint my pump up, garden sprayer that I use for showering while boondocking flat black for solar heat gain. It is a similar type plastic that your grey tank likely is. That was a couple of months ago. It is still fine.
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:08 AM   #3
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My frame was just starting to show some rust. I wire brushed to remove the loose stuff then brushed on rustoleum rusty metal primer followed by two coats of rustoleum satin enamel. I didn't worry about getting some on the fiberglass as it was under the trailer. Once I got started it really didn't take very long but I didn't have much rust. I'm happy with the results. Years later (5?) the frame looks good.
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Old 11-18-2018, 08:48 AM   #4
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I used some sort of "rust converter" after the wire brush. I think if you don't kill it somehow the rust will survive under a primer and resurface. I used a brush, small areas at a time to pace myself. Rustoleum with a brush on top.
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Old 11-18-2018, 02:39 PM   #5
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Frame Paint

I have not pained the frame under my Casita, but I have pained spots on the tongue. Rustoleum Rust Converter is great stuff. In my experience it is much better (lasts longer and does not allow rusting underneath it) than regular Rustoleum.
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Old 11-18-2018, 03:07 PM   #6
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The rust problem is serious, but not where you think. The Casita frame is marginally strong enough for paved road operations when new and inadequate for the stresses of boondocking. But, like all trailers of similar construction, it is RUSTING FROM THE INSIDE OUT which makes it weaker with every passing year, just like economy automobiles. The short-term solution is to drill holes in the frame and spray rust inhibitor into them with a periodic respray. The long-term solution is another frame set up for rust protection. External rust is mostly cosmetic.
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Old 11-19-2018, 08:32 PM   #7
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Look at this broken frame on a older Casita on Youtube.

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Old 11-19-2018, 08:44 PM   #8
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That video is 16 minutes 48 seconds long.
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Old 11-19-2018, 09:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
That video is 16 minutes 48 seconds long.
But it has a happy ending .
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Old 11-19-2018, 09:36 PM   #10
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But it has a happy ending .

I'm just happy you told me.
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Old 11-20-2018, 01:41 AM   #11
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A good example of a frame that rusted from the inside out and then failed in normal use. The liability of operating such a vehicle on public highways could easily bankrupt an owner who cannot produce annual inspection documentation which would discover the deterioration and mandate frame replacement. This manufacturer has since upgraded its frame. But it has done nothing to stop the internal rust.
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Old 11-20-2018, 05:33 AM   #12
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We're talking about a 2013 here. It has many years of life left in the frame.

Yes, 30- and 40-year-old frames fail, especially if they've lived in a humid and/or salty environment. Yes, it usually happens from the inside out. They could, of course, make frames that last longer, but the added cost would push the price of the product out of reach for a chunk of the market.

Liability? A broken frame is very unlikely to result in a loss-of-control situation, just a side-of-the-road breakdown, possibly including some damage to the coach.

When any trailer hits the 20-year mark, regular (annual) inspections of the frame are warranted. Maybe sooner if you do a lot of off-highway travel. Cosmetic touch-up on the outside of the frame is a good opportunity to look for stress fractures, indicating impending failure. I would consider a new frame at 30-40 years routine maintenance, not irresponsible manufacturing.

In the video the shell appears undamaged, and a repair was made to get it towable. If it were mine I would start planning for a full replacement sooner rather than later, but many folks tow on properly repaired frames for years. I didn't watch the entire video to perhaps catch the age of this trailer, but it appears to be in the 20-30 year range.

The sky is not falling.
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Old 11-20-2018, 07:01 AM   #13
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Securing PERMANENT frame rust protection is easy and at almost no cost. Just drill access holes in the frame into which periodic applications of rust inhibitor can be sprayed. The holes are then covered with rubber plugs after the spray. This is what the automotive corrosion protection industry does for cars. One famous company has never had to honor a claim based upon annual applications of rust inhibitor. The frame will not weaken due to rust and will then last indefinitely.
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Old 11-24-2018, 11:51 AM   #14
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Are Casita and other frames hollows? That would seem to be the only way for steel to rust from the inside???
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