Belly band help needed - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-23-2015, 12:00 PM   #1
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Name: Claire
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Belly band help needed

Hi, I am wondering if there is anyone in the Victoria, BC area who has done a belly band removal and would be willing to assist/direct in the removal of one on a 4500 Trillium. I have read many of the posts, but do not feel confident to do it on my own. Cannot afford to pay someone else. Believe I have all required tools.
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:19 PM   #2
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Claire, I assume that you plan to do more then remove the belly band. I am guessing that you plan to fill the seam between the top and bottom half's of your 4500. Do you have a leak that you are fixing?

I have done this job twice now:
My First Belly Band Thread
My Second Belly Band Thread

While it is time consuming, and kinda itchy. It is not too difficult. A bunny suit, and a steady hand with a grinder is all that is required. I would love to help, but we are a thousand km, and one WAY expensive ferry, apart.

This coming summer I plan to do another one. As well as finish the two I already done, (sand, bondo, sand, paint). Would it help if I posted videos of the process?

Judging by the fact that you door window opens, I am assuming that you have a 1978 Trillium 4500. Exactly like the one in My Second Belly Band Thread.
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:36 PM   #3
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Name: Claire
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Hi David, I have read and reread you threads and am just feeling very nervous. I have worked in wood, but not fiberglass. I redid the three back windows last summer, and re-caulked the front windows and the belly band as well as replacing the black rubber in the belly band. In the process I discovered that many of the screws in the belly band are just sitting there as the wood is rotten. I know that it needs to be done properly before it does leak. And yes I do plan on refilling the seam. My husband has done some fiberglass work, but that was back in high school. I may just have to get brave and do it, or find someone to barter with.
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Old 03-23-2015, 11:02 PM   #4
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Well, as my neighbor says, "You can't wreck fibreglass. If you grind off too much, put more on. If you put on too much, grind some off."

If you are good with fit and finish, I am sure you can do it.
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Old 03-24-2015, 12:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Claire View Post
I may just have to get brave and do it
YES, you do! The first time is the most nerve wracking thing ever (I suggest starting with something small, rather than tackling a large job at first), but after that you'll realize it's really super easy, and like David said very difficult to truly mess up - you can always add more or grind it away
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:00 AM   #6
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Claire,

David has provided some excellent pix of the grinding and prep process.

For the actual fiberglass repair process, you might find some of the
composite/fiberglass tutorials (Hints for homebuilders) on the EAA
(Experimental Aircraft Association) website useful?
http://www.eaavideo.org/channel.aspx?ch=ch_hints_composite

In the above link, there are a variety of video tutorials on various
kinds of materials and layup techniques/hints.

For repairs in recessed areas, tight corners, and/or overhead repairs,
the section on Homemade PrePreg (in a plastic bag of all things )
might be of some interest?
http://bcove.me/s6bztad7

There are a couple of older threads on fiberglass repair that you might
also find useful:
You Can Repair Fiberglass
You Can Repair Fiberglass
and
Fiberglass repair
Fiberglass repair

I hope the videos and older fiberglass repair threads give you a little
better comfort level!

Good luck with your repairs!

Ray
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:43 AM   #7
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Claire,

It really is not tough. You just have to learn the simple process, and have at it. I would advise to try to not take too much though, as it will make the process easier, but if you should (and I did in a couple spots), it can be repaired.

Here is my post on doing it. I put about 10 hours in to doing it.
1976 Trillium 1300 Remodel - For Caitlin
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