'80 Bigfoot trailer - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 03-28-2010, 09:31 AM   #15
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Name: Robert
Trailer: Nest Caravans
Posts: 822
Can anyone tell me what the best type of adhesive would be to adhere the fibreglass roof to the ceilings white styrofoam insolation? I'm concerned some adhesives or epoxies may melt the styrofoam. thanks.

Though I find it a little less "satisfying" than the standard product, there is a water-based contact cement available that should not affect the foam. But you could do a small test to see if the standard cement will work as well.

In either case, make sure your surfaces are well prepped and clean.

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Old 03-28-2010, 11:22 AM   #16
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,012
There is also a "PL" caulk type product that's meant for use on foam. The last time I used it was years ago on a house project, so I can't give specifics right now. It was available at a big-box type home improvement place.

On the roof reinforcement, the pre-formed stringers, hull stiffeners, panels, beams and etc. made by Compsys might work well for some applications. "Stringers" in boats are basically strengthening "ribs" that run fore and aft, so they do take moderate curves. Of course you want your curve set properly before you apply them. (And, you can make your own, but these are handy.)


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I've had them come in 4-foot lengths (standard package; many to a box), but I bet you can get them in longer lengths, too. (You can splice short lengths together also.)

They also have a fancier website if you go straight to the home page (they seem to be upgrading or something and maybe have not gotten to all pages?), with slide shows and whatnot (it's also a bit more annoying, depending on how you like websites, I'll warn).



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Old 03-29-2010, 09:47 AM   #17
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Trailer: 17.5 ft and 25 ft FB Bigfoot
Posts: 194
I'll second the PL caulk but note that it is industrial strength and once in place and cured is not meant to come off. If at some time you need to redo I'll be happy it's your project because the foam will only rip off in small chunks.
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Old 03-29-2010, 10:53 PM   #18
Trailer: Bigfoot 17 ft (B17STD)
Posts: 38
I have a similar problem with my Bigfoot, it appears that water leaked in around the roof vent and traveled between the outer fibreglass skin and the foam until it reached the light over the table and damaged the interior wood panel on the ceiling. For anyone wanting to know the construction of my trailer appears to be a very thin fibreglass shell 1/16<sup>th</sup>of an inch thick, then 1” foam and the interior is 1/8 wood panelling. The glue used is that red/pink contact cement like they use to adhere plastic laminate counter tops. The glue works well but is not water proof. The sandwich construction of fibreglass/foam/panelling forms a light weight rigid trailer until the glue fails as it has in mine, once it delaminates it has very little strength.

I was worried that the weight of snow on the trailer roof this winter could cause problems, so I put so temporary supports in the trailer which were 2x4’s from the floor to ceiling, with some wood on the ceiling to spread the support so I didn’t have a point load. I was able to take all the sag out of the roof. The 17 foot big foot has 3 roof panels that run across the roof approximately 4’ by 8’. The easiest one to take down would be the front one the only thing one needs to take down are the upper cabinets the middle and rear sections would require the removal of all the interior walls and upper cabinets.

It would be nice to find a cure without removing the interior. I’m hoping I can find a glue/adhesive that I can inject in between the fibreglass and the foam, or foam and wood that does not react with either the fibreglass or foam, and realize I will have to inject this several feet into to the void. Without removing the panels the glue will also have to work with the residual red/pink contact cement. It also has have a good working time so that I can prop the ceiling in to the correct position before it sets up.

In my case the interior panelling is still attached to the foam so I think that unless I want to rip everything out I will need to patch the paneling in place. It does look like pictures in post 5 and does have damage. For the cosmetic repair of the ceiling, is there some type of full bodied paint that would fill the bits of veneer that will inevitably come off.

My last problem that will also need to be addressed is what is the best way to remove the roofing tar (well dried out) and the case or so of silicone caulking they used in vain to repair the leak.

I`m really open to suggestions.


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