Bashed in front of Scamp - ideas to cover window hole? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-15-2016, 01:57 PM   #15
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Name: Holly
Trailer: Scamp 13'
Posts: 6

Thanks Kai, for your detailed information. I just had to patch a fist sized hole (the ball of the hitch went through the front of the camper) and it turned out pretty good - not really noticeable unless you're really looking.

So, this has me wondering about the window hole. The guy at the Scamp store advised I just cut my own plexiglass with a jigsaw because it'll be hard to get it just right anyway and he said I'd have to trim their. So, I did that (and cutting that stuff ISN'T easy since it melts and sticks back together behind the sawblade), but there's no way it'll fit back into the old rubber and won't be a good fit in a new gasket either.

Has anyone removed the old rubber and fiberglassed a new window in place? Basically taping it in like Kai did , then building a fiberglass window frame? I could use thinner, more bendable plexiglass or make a smaller window with the thick plexiglass. Thoughts?

Has anyone done this? The shell did pop out really nicely. Just a little bend in the aluminum at the front.
Thanks again everyone for your suggestions. I'll try to post pics.

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Old 06-15-2016, 02:03 PM   #16
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Name: Holly
Trailer: Scamp 13'
Posts: 6
Click image for larger version

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The bottom one is from today after I patched the hole in the fiberglass. I added support to the bunks so the would work properly: Click image for larger version

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Sent from my iPhone using Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-15-2016, 04:17 PM   #17
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Kai in Seattle's Avatar
Name: Kathleen
Trailer: Amerigo FG-16 1973 "Peanut"
Posts: 1,754
Very welcome, always hope it helps...

Looks like what you've done so far is to add some extra support.

Wishing you the best on the window area; what the heck, if it doesn't work out you can always remove it and try again, or think of a new thing to do. No matter what we've done, we always have more than one idea by the time we're sitting back looking at the finished project...and thinking, gosh, next time...we could... was sad to read about it; a shame, the kind of thing many of us have had
to deal with, a sudden mishap and there you are, in a pickle for a while.

Semper ubi sub ubi.
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Old 06-15-2016, 04:56 PM   #18
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 24,540
I'd suggest you keep an eye on any leaks that may form right at the belly band. The two halves are fiberglassed together right there. It's possible that area has now been compromised.
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 06-15-2016, 11:52 PM   #19
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
Posts: 1,559
Lessons I learned from the fiberglass repair experts in my marine focused neighborhood. That is their business, that is all they do and they have been doing it for years.

When I had a large opening to fill they were too busy to help but gave me good advice on how to do it myself. I used Mas brand epoxy for my repair job. But for the cloth filler to building up the area inside the opening I used a diagonal weave fiberglass cloth that is much stronger and thicker than the single ply weaves you will find at the Home Center and hardware stores. You can order it by the yard from various sources. I got mine from a company called Fiberlay as they are in my local area. The outer most layers of cloth can be the thinner type. You will also want to purchase some special nylon fabric, one brand name for that material is some smooth texture "peel ply". Peel ply gives you a surface over the top of your fiberglass cloth that is easy to run a squeege over allowing you to easily and quickly smooth out all the layers and remove any excess resin. It is very magical stuff, I would not want to do the kind of repair you have without using that product. After the resin is cured you can simply peel off the peel ply, hence the name.

You prepare your opening by putting a bevel on the both inside and outside edges of the fiberglass. The bevel helps the fiberglass bond into a smooth transition and it helps to prevent cracking along the edges of the filled area. Of course the surface must be cleaned.

if you are going to fill in a large opening that has some curve to it one thing that will help the job go easier is to create a removable backing plate. However that can be difficult if you have a surface that curves in more than one direction. You coat the surface of the backing plate with mold release so that the resin does not stick to it. The plate needs to fit snug and gap free against the wall. I just used some nylon screws and nuts through holes to hold my plate to the wall. Afterwards I drilled out those screws and removed the backer plate before adding a layer of fiberglass cloth and resin to that side of the project.

Begin by cutting the thicker fiberglass cloth panels the size of to fill inside of the opening. Then also cut a wider panel(s) that will extend past the edges of the hole, those can be thinner fiberglass material. You can use several of those wider layers making the first one against the wall several inches wider and then progressively smaller so that you have a smooth transition instead of a bulky edge. Cut your peel ply about 4 or 5 inches wider all around the edges of your largest layer of fiberglass.

Cover your work table with some disposable plastic sheeting. Lay the peel ply down, next put on the layer of fiberglass cloth that is farthest away from the wall, spread some resin, add the next in layer, more resin and so forth. Then with your partner pick up the edges of the peel ply and take your layer cake over to the wall and place it in position. The peel ply surface will let you squeege across all those layers with very little mess and friction. Work with the squeege until your patch is looking just lovely and smoothly secured in place. Leave the peel ply in place, it is easy to remove after the patch has cured.

After that part of the job has cured then remove the backer panel and work on the other side of the trailer adding more cloth and resin. Use another piece of peel ply for that work as well. By building up the layers in this manner you will be sanding down through resin and fiberglass to achieve a smooth final surface.

If you need to build up any surface irregularity you can create an easy to sand filler by thickening epoxy with micro balloons.

Boat fiberglass repair experts would never use Bondo as a filler because it is hygroscopic meaning that Bondo will absorb moisture even after it is cured. Thickened epoxy creates a better bond to fiberglass and does not absorb moisture after it cures.
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:08 AM   #20
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Keaner's Avatar
Name: Joe
Trailer: 1973 13' Boler
Posts: 180
Originally Posted by HollyB View Post
So, my trailer came unhitched thanks to someone "helping" me hitch it up, and it ran up under my jeep bashing in the front and breaking the window. We popped the front back out, but it'll never be the same and a window won't likely fit well. Any suggestions to permanently cover/fill in and strengthen the hole? I also have to come up with a way to make the bunk bed usable again since it's now been weakened. Suggestions? I'm just sick and sad this happened, but trying to make the best of it.
FiberglassIng is a skill that can easily be learned by anyone since it's so forgiving. Make a mistake? Sand it and do it again. A ton of good info on YouTube and in this forum.

I've glassed large holes, the key is good backer board. I used 1/8" door skin veneer. It's stiff but contours to the shell. Put it on the inside and screw it in place. Fill the hole with layers of fiberglass mat and filler.

You can do this!
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:54 PM   #21
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
Posts: 1,559
bending plywood

Note about bending plywood for the non woodworkers. Thin pywood will flex but it will flex easier in one direction that the other. So test the plywood to see which way you will want to cut it if you are making a backer plate to go on a curved surface.
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Old 06-20-2016, 02:32 PM   #22
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Name: Holly
Trailer: Scamp 13'
Posts: 6
Thank you for all that detailed information! I really appreciate it.
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Old 06-20-2016, 03:07 PM   #23
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21
Oswego, NY
Posts: 1,508
Another useful material for backing (or finished cabinets) is bending plywood. Rather than stacking the plies in opposite directions as in standard plywood, the plays all go the same way making it very flexible (in one direction). Not inexpensive, but great for curved surfaces.
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:07 PM   #24
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Name: Anne
Trailer: 2014 Parkliner 2016 Honda Pilot
North Carolina
Posts: 144
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
I'd suggest you keep an eye on any leaks that may form right at the belly band. The two halves are fiberglassed together right there. It's possible that area has now been compromised.
Excellent advice! That's what happened to our Scamp when it was hit by a tree limb. The PO made repairs to the belly band, but the real damage was to the fiberglass that seals the two halves. It was a very easy fix, once I opened up the rat fur behind the belly band (and read the fiberglass link above.) Don't let those leaks get started! Fixing from the outside just won't hold water .
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Old 06-23-2016, 04:40 PM   #25
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Name: Roy
Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
Posts: 4,957
You might want to look up the thread on replacing boler windows by Kevin ("B" I think). He did some youtube videos on the window and gasket.
Just note that Kevin used the new gasket backwards (outside in) because he felt it looked better.

Your issues may not be as bad as you think.

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