Belly Band - Lil Bigfoot - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-09-2010, 07:57 PM   #15
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One more think Mike,

Where do you plan on finding a replacement belly band?

Thanks,
Carl
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Old 06-13-2010, 10:28 PM   #16
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Raya,

Thanks for the tips RE silicon. I've read enough posts on this forum to know better than to even utter the 'other' s-word.

I spent about 40 hours of prep work, sanding, filling (ad nauseam) and finally put my second coat of paint on last weekend. I've used butyl only so far on my refurbished windows and roof vent. I'll take your advice here and only use butyl on the belly band as well Thanks for the reminder. I thought that maybe a syringe and a steady hand would just fill up the holes on the wood 'inner' for the screws to seat. Again, I'm sure butyl will be enough. Cheers .

Carl,

For the belly band, I hadn't planned on replacing it. I don't even know where a person would go, but I think that 'U' trim (aluminum) is common to the RV industry. The trick, however, would be getting it bent to fit our egg.

I've got mine hanging up right now with plans to just sand with 200 grit, and tremclad white gloss. If they made marine enamel in a spray can I'd use that, but I just don't want to get the gun out again for a small bit of trim.

To answer your other question:

"...the top shell fits over the bottom, resulting in no possiblity of water leak from the seal itself (except if the fiberglass were damaged)? And, the only possibility of a leak is from the screws with which the band is attached to the trailer? If that is right, you just made my day."

On my trailer the top shell does sit over the bottom. In fact, from the outside you can see an extruded 'band' about 3" high. This extrusion is to accommodate the bottom half of the trailer. I would agree with you - the only way for water to get in would be through the screw holes or damaged glass. As Raya mentioned, a fresh run of butyl behind the band should suffice.

Glad you didn't go to the extra work....I don't know about you, but resin and glass aren't my idea of a good time. I had to redo the floor and re-tab all of my cabinet 'mounts' - that was enough for me .

Does your trailer have the same 'U' band being used for your awning? I haven't decided if I'm going to put that back or buy a roll-out unit.

Oh - another thing I did (personal choice of course) was drill out the rivits on the bumper and remove it. I was never crazy about the rear molded bumper on the Bigfoot. I'm still a Boler lover deep down. I was hesitant to take it off, thinking there may be a nasty steel apparatus below it serving as the support, but the box on the back is really just a faux bumper. When I did my body work, I filled all of the holes and I'm going to keep it nice and clean. I may have a tubular steel one fabricated and powder coated down the road. To me the organic shape of the unit was hampered by this big rectangular box. I've got some 7" LED bus lights from 'Autolumination' that will look pretty slick on the back (compliments to Robert Johans at TEP - he's done some amazing work).

Mike
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Old 06-14-2010, 03:19 AM   #17
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Quote:
I thought that maybe a syringe and a steady hand would just fill up the holes on the wood 'inner' for the screws to seat.
Mike,

Okay, glad you haven't picked up the silicone cartridge

I don't have time to read back through the thread now, but I'm wondering about that bit I quoted above. I think you had asked about sealing, including a belly band, but I don't remember a part about filling holes in wood. I am still not totally clear on how the Bigfoot belly band works. Also, are you talking about removing it and putting sealant behind it? Or ?

If you are filling holes in wood, then thickened epoxy might be the way to go --- I just can't say for sure because I can't visualize exactly what you are doing.

I just don't want to steer you wrong (which is why I was asking questions earlier). Butyl is great, and is what I would recommend to bed things like vents and windows, but I'm still not clear on the belly band situation (except I know you don't want to use silicone )

Raya
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:02 PM   #18
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Hi Raya,

I'll try to make this one short - I can get a little long-winded.

The top half of the Lil BF sits over the bottom and 'caps' it by about 3". The belly band on our trailer is a 'U' or 'C' -shaped band that is screwed through the 2 fiberglass halves which overlap, and into a wood strip inside the trailer.

All of the screws that go through the belly band are then covered by a cosmetic strip that tucks into the band.

In my mind, running butyl behind the belly band (between it and the trailer exterior), and putting the cosmetic strip back in, should prevent any water from getting inside.

Here's a detail of the LBF belly band area:


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Old 06-14-2010, 09:04 PM   #19
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Ah so! Now I see what you mean - thanks.

Not that this is directly applicable, but I wonder if the upper and lower halves are also fiberglassed together on the inside, perhaps behind the wood (I would think so).

So okay, I agree that butyl tape or a good caulk behind the band is a good plan.

If the holes into the wood were a bit wallowed out - but not really rotten - then I think I would fill them with thickened epoxy and then re-pre-drill before putting the screws back in.

One could even then potentially drill and tap for machine screws (not all the way through; just into the epoxy), but that is probably overkill.

Thanks again for the explanation and sketch.

Raya
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:53 PM   #20
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Mike,

Yes, I have he same U band for the awning and haven't quite decided what I am going to do. I'll have the decide fairly soon because as soon as I have the floor installed, I'll be moving to exterior prep work for painting. I plan on asking around boat shops in the area to see if I can find someone that is willing to allow me to do the prep and have them paint. I really want the prep done correctly, and I want to save money as well. And, of course, I want to find someone who is experienced with working with 2 part Interlux.

Please tell me how you tabbed for your cabinet mounts. A detached cabinet over the sink is what sent me down the road to an entire renovation. From what I could tell, this cabinet was secured to a piece of wood that was simply glued to the fiberglass. Did you tab-in the wood to the fiberglass? I'm sure that is the way to go, but would love some tips on doing this kind of work on the inside roof. I'm thinking that gravity makes this a bit interesting. I have these visions of attempting to keep the wood in place and keeping the glass cloth in place while resin is dripping all over the place.

Thanks,
Carl
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:51 PM   #21
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Quote:
I wonder if the upper and lower halves are also fiberglassed together on the inside, perhaps behind the wood (I would think so).

Raya
Hi again, Raya -

My two halves weren't fiberglassed together. They just line up one over the other. Actually when I removed my belly band the first time the top half dropped about 1/8" - a bit of a pain to line up the holes again. I replaced the wood 'inner' band, so all of my holes are fresh. Good call on filling them though if worn a bit. I think I"ll just be butyl-ing and/or a good caulk as you say.

Carl:

When I went to remove my uppers, the PO had put long carriage bolts through the cabinets and out through the roof. He finished the job off with a nice 'bee-hive' of caulk, a good 3" high - one in each of the four corners on the roof. I had always wondered what the heck those were .

I realized by the end of my demo that the wood cabinet supports, like yours, were just glued to the inside of the fiberglass - what the ! Some almost fell off when I took the cabinets off. So when I stripped the walls down, I traced around these with a Sharpie, and sanded a good 6" around them to remove the pink glue. I cut new wood while replacing the belly band inner. Again, these had to be cut every few inches in some spots almost all the way through (I still don't know what carpenters call this) but it allowed the wood to follow the contours of the trailer. I rubber cemented all my wood in first to keep it in place, and then just used strips of fiberglass to tab over the wood, attaching it to the trailer wall. It wasn't the neatest of jobs, but it'll stay. That's all covered by the hull liner fabric, which, by the way, covers over contours very well. It has some give to it as it's fibrous. Imagine the consistency of an SOS pad - lots of give in terms of stretching and following odd shapes.

Sounds like you've got things all in line for your trailer!

Mike
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:25 PM   #22
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Mike,

Thanks for the additional info - satisfied my curiosity

Quote:
I cut new wood while replacing the belly band inner. Again, these had to be cut every few inches in some spots almost all the way through (I still don't know what carpenters call this)
It sounds like you cut kerfs into the wood (the partial cuts to allow it to bed).

Carl, on the two-part paint, just a note: The Interlux two-part LPU, called "Perfection," was developed by them with "do-it-yourselfers" in mind, and they envisioned that those folks would be rolling and tipping, not spraying. So most professional boatyards will probably be using something like Awlgrip or Alexseal, or maybe Sterling if they are using a two-part LPU. Not that one couldn't spray Perfection, but I don't think many would do.

You may also run into Imron, or Awlcraft - these are also two part paints, but slightly different (softer, which means they are easier to repair and buff out; OTOH, Awgrip, et al, form a hard "shell" that is more scuff resistant and (even) more maintenance free than Imron types (but harder to buff out, etc.) Either are good, just slightly different.

Raya
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:37 AM   #23
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Trailer: 1988 Lil Bigfoot (13ft)
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I just bought a 1988 Lil bigfoot and wanted to say that your posts have been tremendously helpful with the repairs I have had to do on it so far. My trailer was missing the outside trim around the belly band and was really starting to panic that I would not be able to find something to replace it. As luck would have it I was shopping at Camping World and found a trim (black) that fits perfectly!!! I’m not sure what the original looks like but I wanted to share with everyone this option for replacing the trim. You can go to campingworld.com and search “insert trim” and it will come up. I bought a roll and can tell you that it fits perfect; it will just take a little time to work it in the slot. It comes in 1 inch wide by 25 ft or 100 ft rolls in black and also comes in white if you want to be different.

Happy camping!
Mary
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:08 AM   #24
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This stuff Mary? Search - insert trim - Camping World
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:00 PM   #25
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Thank you Mary! Good to hear from a fellow Lil Bigfoot owner. I'll be posting quite a few pictures soon as I am about to begin my major renovation.

Carl
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Old 04-22-2017, 11:51 PM   #26
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Name: Leonard
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Bigfoot belly band

I know this is an old post, but I have questions that I hope someone can answer. I have a 1987 Bigfoot F20 5th wheel. The screws that hold the belly band on are so rusted that I am going to have to drill them out. Thas rv is new to me and I am starting to do a complete remodel, inside and out. The band has leaked for some time as the wood strip is delaminated in places and rotted away in others. Has anyone had any experience with removing the band, sealing the holes and putiing a new band on. I know that all the wood on the inside will have to be replaced. Is this a reasonable idea, or am I better just fiberglassing over the area. Thanks
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Old 10-24-2017, 11:09 PM   #27
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Just glass it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cassel01 View Post
I know this is an old post, but I have questions that I hope someone can answer. I have a 1987 Bigfoot F20 5th wheel. The screws that hold the belly band on are so rusted that I am going to have to drill them out. Thas rv is new to me and I am starting to do a complete remodel, inside and out. The band has leaked for some time as the wood strip is delaminated in places and rotted away in others. Has anyone had any experience with removing the band, sealing the holes and putiing a new band on. I know that all the wood on the inside will have to be replaced. Is this a reasonable idea, or am I better just fiberglassing over the area. Thanks
Hey, what did you end up doing? I'm thinking I'll just fiberglass the belly band on the inside of my Lil Bigfoot. I'm already itchy from glassing in a new subfloor, so why not? I'll probably do 6" sections at a time so that the top doesn't drop when the screw are removed and I'll probably tape over the holes on the outside to minimize drips.
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Old 10-25-2017, 03:17 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by MattyB View Post
Hey, what did you end up doing? I'm thinking I'll just fiberglass the belly band on the inside of my Lil Bigfoot. I'm already itchy from glassing in a new subfloor, so why not? I'll probably do 6" sections at a time so that the top doesn't drop when the screw are removed and I'll probably tape over the holes on the outside to minimize drips.
Hi Matt, IMHO you're going to take a lot of excess time and effort doing 6" pieces. Pull a few screws and do the four corners with 2-3' long glass strips. That should be more than enough to keep the everything in place. Doesn't take much to keep things from moving in a static mode.
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