Belly Band Help! '75 Trillium 1300 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-20-2016, 10:05 PM   #1
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Name: Kelly
Trailer: '75 Trillium 1300
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Belly Band Help! '75 Trillium 1300

I did the big window repair last year and now water is gathering under the goucho and appears to be coming in from under the ensolite. I pulled the belly band off the front. (NONE of the rivets were holding it in. Just 5 screws that the PO had put in that we're pretty rotten.) I've never done fiberglass work before but bought the fg cloth and resin today at Lowe's and got to sanding/grinding.
Well I tore thru some of the fiberglass sheet holding the two halves together and the black foam of the ensolite is visible. And there are no metal plates in there for the rivets. I'm guessing the PO already did some work on the belly band a decade or so ago and that's why it looks so ghastly. Is this fixable with the fiberglass cloth or do I need to get it significantly smoother?
Also, I was originally planning to reattach the belly band but if the glass work isn't too tedious, I may try to find an adhesive trim like Randy Bishop did. Water in my Trillium 1300

Upon removing the front belly band:
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After a failed attempt at smoothing it down:
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:14 PM   #2
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tiger hair and reinstall the belly band the insert is available in several colors...

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Old 06-21-2016, 11:36 AM   #3
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Mine had leaked from there as well, pulled up the ensolite from the bottom under the window and did my fiberglassing on the inside, that way I knew all the holes were filled.

I used rivets and a washer on the inside before I filled the hole over on the inside since only three or four were leaking, the whole belly band was not off. I have considered using 3M moulding tape for reattaching the belly band in the future to avoid making more holes in the body.
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Old 06-21-2016, 03:15 PM   #4
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I'm in the US. Should I be able to find the long strand filler at an Auto Parts store?

Removing the ensolite sounds like a nightmare. There are many areas that are still not laying flat after the window removal. But I'm also terrified of messing up this whole project. 😜
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Old 06-21-2016, 11:23 PM   #5
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Filler with "Kitty Hair" is not what you need to use, unless you want to do the glass work on the inside. It's for filling holes that are not under a lot of stress. Your upper and lower cap look separated, so I would either re-reinforce it from the inside with glass mat or roving, not finishing glass. Then fill the outside with filler. Or...if the inside is not accessible, put tape on the lower and upper cap, that the belly band will cover, fill with filler , then grind the filler and gelcote away and create a bevel (10:1 is best but you may not have enough real estate to do that, but do what you can). Use mat and roving, alternating layers and widths until it is proud of the finished surface. Now grind back smooth and even. Fill with surface filler as needed, prime, paint and re=attach you belly band.
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Old 06-22-2016, 03:06 AM   #6
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As long as the top and bottom are still connected, and aligned, you can just put glass down and join the top and bottom and seal up the belly band. I used a grinder to bevel the edges so that there was more surface area for the new glass to connect to the old glass:
My First Belly Band Thread
My Second Belly Band Thread
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullington View Post
Your upper and lower cap look separated, so I would either re-reinforce it from the inside with glass mat or roving, not finishing glass.
I don't think the upper and lower shells are separated. That's how they all look when the belly band is removed, there is a gap between the two. There is a FG layer on the inside that joins the two halves and insures structural integrity.

If I ever do mine, I'll use the mentioned body filler and I'm confident it'll be up to the task.That "long strand" body filler is a very strong stuff, as tough as the shell of the camper IMO. I'd even be confident in using the "short strand" version, which is much easier to work with and also a highly resistant composite.

The only reason to remove the belly band and fill the crack is to make it waterproof (and good looking). Otherwise it could be left with that "crack" uncovered with no structural integrity issue. The original belly band doesn't offer much structural strength itself.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:30 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Carl V View Post
I don't think the upper and lower shells are separated. That's how they all look when the belly band is removed, there is a gap between the two. There is a FG layer on the inside that joins the two halves and insures structural integrity.

If I ever do mine, I'll use the mentioned body filler and I'm confident it'll be up to the task.That "long strand" body filler is a very strong stuff, as tough as the shell of the camper IMO. I'd even be confident in using the "short strand" version, which is much easier to work with and also a highly resistant composite.

The only reason to remove the belly band and fill the crack is to make it waterproof (and good looking). Otherwise it could be left with that "crack" uncovered with no structural integrity issue. The original belly band doesn't offer much structural strength itself.
Bless your heart !
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:00 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bullington View Post
Bless your heart !
I'll take that for what it is.
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Old 06-22-2016, 08:42 PM   #10
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Kelly H,
I've redone (5) Trillium Belly Bands and if you don't plan to paint your camper I think it's best to run tape above and below the crack.. I used Gorilla Brand Duct Tape it's a lot tougher than the cheap stuff and a good bit thicker.. I ran mine about 1/2" above and 1/2" below the crack then used my side grinder to grind down the area's where the metal pieces are located and causing the bulges in the fiberglass then course sand paper on a orbital sander over the entire crack you need to really rough it up to get the filler to stick.. I filled the crack with long strand fiberglass filler (I believe it was long strand but then on some I think it might have been short strand) sanded that down with 80 grit sand paper on my sander, then used bondo body filler over that then sanded that smooth down to 400 grit sand paper ended up smooth as glass..
The Gorilla tape is thick enough as to use as a guide so that you can smooth out the filler to a very thin coat and when your nearly done you can peel it off then feather the edges of the filler.. You may have to remove the tape and replace it as it gets torn up as you work on the crack, but in my experience with it I never had to.. Once done the old belly band will still cover the work you done or you can install the rubber trim as I did on 3 of mine, on one I had to paint the entire camper anyway because it had been painted before and the other I reinstalled the old band..
What will really tell you how much needs to be repaired is how bad the metal has bulged out your camper, on a couple of mine I couldn't get all the bulge out but got 90% of them out, when I installed the trim it had a couple of waves in them but was 10 times better than it was and completely stopped my water leak problem...Hope this helps Randy
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Old 06-22-2016, 08:50 PM   #11
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And don't believe that the belly band has anything to do with holding your camper together because it DON'T it's there to cover the crack only, the two halves are glassed together on the inside and the belly band has nothing to do with holding it together.....
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Old 06-23-2016, 04:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullington View Post
Filler with "Kitty Hair" is not what you need to use, unless you want to do the glass work on the inside. It's for filling holes that are not under a lot of stress. Your upper and lower cap look separated, so I would either re-reinforce it from the inside with glass mat or roving, not finishing glass. Then fill the outside with filler. Or...if the inside is not accessible, put tape on the lower and upper cap, that the belly band will cover, fill with filler , then grind the filler and gelcote away and create a bevel (10:1 is best but you may not have enough real estate to do that, but do what you can). Use mat and roving, alternating layers and widths until it is proud of the finished surface. Now grind back smooth and even. Fill with surface filler as needed, prime, paint and re=attach you belly band.
Kitty Hair is not the same as Tiger hair, which is almost literally bullet proof. My plan was to fill from the outside then reinstall the bellyband we did this with great success on a Trillium project some time ago. The band was coming off in many places and if I recall there was a rotting wooden strip embedded under the bellyband to install the fasteners. I scraped the rotting material out where I could and filled the void with Tiger Hair.
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Old 06-23-2016, 04:50 PM   #13
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My apologies, I evidently was mistaken when I foolishly thought that the original poster was asking for help to do their project correctly.
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Old 06-24-2016, 05:28 PM   #14
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My apologies, I evidently was mistaken when I foolishly thought that the original poster was asking for help to do their project correctly.
I'm sure it was but there surely is more than one way to skin a cat...er kitty...er tiger!
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