Best paint, roof fan, axle height - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-25-2006, 05:51 PM   #1
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Trailer: X-treme Lite 160
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Total restoration of 13' Scamp. Was told by Scamp factory that they do not actually paint; the outside is white gelcoat. Will have to do some minor repairs to fiberglass first. The finish if beyond buffing out - it will need painting. What is the best paint--enamel, clearcoat/topcoat, etc.
Is there a roof fan that will fit into the existing roof vent opening (15 3/4" x 22 3/4")?
Does anyone own a 13' Scamp with a AL-KO SF 1586 axle? If so, what is the height measurement at the threshold? I know this will depend on the tire size, but this will get me close in determining how much my axle has settled.

Thanks,
GaryLittle
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Old 02-25-2006, 06:14 PM   #2
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Gary, the 'roof vent' to which you refer is actually an escape hatch and should probably not be replaced by anything other than a replacement escape hatch. You can always cut in another 14x14 hole for a Fantastic Vent or whatever you decide to use.

I have not painted any of my trailers, so I can't offer definative advise there, but those members who have painted rather than re-gelcoated have reported good results with epoxy paints and proper surface prep. Hopefully someone can jump in who has recently painted theirs with first hand info for you.

I have an Al-Ko under my 16', but it's a much heavier axle than what you'd find under a 13'. The hitch height on the new 13' Scamps (according to the Scamp website is 18" at the top of the hitch ball when level. That ought to give you an idea how much yours (depending on the year) has changed from stock. I believe that the late '70s and early '80s trailers may have had a factory hitch height that was somewhat lower, but your '86 should probably have been at that 18" or close.

Roger
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Old 02-26-2006, 08:29 AM   #3
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Gary, the 'roof vent' to which you refer is actually an escape hatch and should probably not be replaced by anything other than a replacement escape hatch. You can always cut in another 14x14 hole for a Fantastic Vent or whatever you decide to use.

I have not painted any of my trailers, so I can't offer definative advise there, but those members who have painted rather than re-gelcoated have reported good results with epoxy paints and proper surface prep. Hopefully someone can jump in who has recently painted theirs with first hand info for you.

I have an Al-Ko under my 16', but it's a much heavier axle than what you'd find under a 13'. The hitch height on the new 13' Scamps (according to the Scamp website is 18" at the top of the hitch ball when level. That ought to give you an idea how much yours (depending on the year) has changed from stock. I believe that the late '70s and early '80s trailers may have had a factory hitch height that was somewhat lower, but your '86 should probably have been at that 18" or close.

Roger
Thanks for the info Roger. I think my axle has settle about 1.5". It seems to pull fine. I think I will leave it alone for now. Do you really need a fan in a unit this small? Is there a condensation problem? Also, what is the perferred way to resal your windows? I have all mine removed and am going to reseal them. Is it ok to use 100% clear silcone after the hulll has been painted?
Thanks,
Gary
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Old 02-26-2006, 08:49 AM   #4
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Epoxy works good as a primer, especially on boats for sealing out water. The problem with it as a finish coat is it deteriorates quickly with sunlight. It's also a little expensive.

A good automotive acrylic enamel is probably the best overall. It covers (color-wise) well, levels out after spraying, is resistant to sagging or running if a fog coat is used. And if it is topped with a compatible clear coat, it will stay clear and shiny for a long time.

If you have a lot of money to spend and want the best, use a 2 or 3 part polyurethane. This is the hard core marine stuff. Most of it is not advisable for amateur application, due both to severe health hazards and difficult application. However there are some that can actually be applied nicely with a brush using a special technique, I've read in a boating magazine some place.

If you want to get by the cheapest and like either white or grey, go to Home Depot and get a gallon of their polyurethane floor enamel. Don't tell them what its for. It's good stuff, has good coverage and thickness buildup when sprayed as an automotive enamel and is tough. It should be strained well and a good enamel reducer added, if and as needed. To get the high gloss of modern automotive finishes it can be topcoated with an automotive clear coat formulated for enamels.

To do any of the above most successfully, you would need a good spray system -- I'm thinking Binks or DeVillbliss, Sata or Asturo for guns and a 4 or 5 hp compressor with pressure regulator and water separator. A dust free environment at 70 - 75 deg F and approx. 50 percent relative humidity such as a certifiable paint booth will give best results. Proper spray gun technique and several recent successful automotive sprayouts under your belt is also highly advised.

For some of us old farm boys, we get along just fine with a little less. Don't ask me how I know this.
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Old 02-26-2006, 11:36 AM   #5
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Good info, Loren.

And yes, Gary, you'll appreciate a fan!

Regarding the windows, silicone is on the list right below the nail gun for window installation. DON'T USE IT! It doesn't seal well to fiberglass, and is almost impossible to remove once used.

Many members report excellent results with butyl tape. I have used butyl caulk with good results as well. I've also used plumber's putty on through-hull installations for water inlets, water heater installations and such, but I think butyl tape is a more elegant solution.

I'm sure that other members will have good ideas too...

Roger
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Old 02-26-2006, 07:32 PM   #6
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When I painted our boler, I used a good quality automotive enamel. Came out pretty good using an hvlp (high volume/low pressure) sprayer. Used a good quality primer as a first coat, and did a lot of sanding.

What did I learn? You can't do too much sanding. Go to a 400 or 600 grit wet/dry and make sure everything is really smooth. The biggest problem is that the paint tends to chip easily from road grit and pebbles. Some sort of stronger covering (like rhino coat, diamond plate, rubber skin) might leave more lasting results. You'd just need this where crud kicks up.

Re windows, I used marine sealant with good results. A little pricey at $12 a tube, but I'm not going to worry about leaks.

One of our first rennovations was the addition of a fantastic fan. Really a great product. Blows in cool air, sucks out cooking smells (and other sometimes nasty odors), is pretty quiet and vibration-free.

Good lck on your projects. You'll appreciate your efforts.
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Old 02-26-2006, 08:07 PM   #7
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Regarding the windows, silicone is on the list right below the nail gun for window installation. DON'T USE IT! It doesn't seal well to fiberglass, and is almost impossible to remove once used.
I fully agree with that observation...I'm wearing out many razor blades trying to remove the silicone sealant the prior owner of my 13' Scamp used ALL OVER in excess. (Even wiped it off his fingers by wiping it on the trailer) The gobs of clear and white silicone around the roof vent still didn't stop it from leaking. What a mess!
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Old 02-26-2006, 08:16 PM   #8
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Add me to the anti-silicone list, for the same reason as Bob (although my predecesor at least didn't wipe the extra off on the trailer!). Another reason is that it will fail at one point and provide a channel for the water to come in at another point, making the leaks hard to fix. There are good places for silicone sealant, but around egg windows and vents are not in the list, in my opinion.
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Old 02-26-2006, 09:22 PM   #9
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Trailer: X-treme Lite 160
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Epoxy works good as a primer, especially on boats for sealing out water. The problem with it as a finish coat is it deteriorates quickly with sunlight. It's also a little expensive.

A good automotive acrylic enamel is probably the best overall. It covers (color-wise) well, levels out after spraying, is resistant to sagging or running if a fog coat is used. And if it is topped with a compatible clear coat, it will stay clear and shiny for a long time.

If you have a lot of money to spend and want the best, use a 2 or 3 part polyurethane. This is the hard core marine stuff. Most of it is not advisable for amateur application, due both to severe health hazards and difficult application. However there are some that can actually be applied nicely with a brush using a special technique, I've read in a boating magazine some place.

If you want to get by the cheapest and like either white or grey, go to Home Depot and get a gallon of their polyurethane floor enamel. Don't tell them what its for. It's good stuff, has good coverage and thickness buildup when sprayed as an automotive enamel and is tough. It should be strained well and a good enamel reducer added, if and as needed. To get the high gloss of modern automotive finishes it can be topcoated with an automotive clear coat formulated for enamels.

To do any of the above most successfully, you would need a good spray system -- I'm thinking Binks or DeVillbliss, Sata or Asturo for guns and a 4 or 5 hp compressor with pressure regulator and water separator. A dust free environment at 70 - 75 deg F and approx. 50 percent relative humidity such as a certifiable paint booth will give best results. Proper spray gun technique and several recent successful automotive sprayouts under your belt is also highly advised.

For some of us old farm boys, we get along just fine with a little less. Don't ask me how I know this.
Thanks for the great information Loren. I'm scared to death now!. "I better get Maaco"
Gary
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Old 02-26-2006, 09:25 PM   #10
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Good info, Loren.

And yes, Gary, you'll appreciate a fan!

Regarding the windows, silicone is on the list right below the nail gun for window installation. DON'T USE IT! It doesn't seal well to fiberglass, and is almost impossible to remove once used.

Many members report excellent results with butyl tape. I have used butyl caulk with good results as well. I've also used plumber's putty on through-hull installations for water inlets, water heater installations and such, but I think butyl tape is a more elegant solution.

I'm sure that other members will have good ideas too...

Roger
Thanks Roger. I had no idea that silicone would not seal well to fiberglass. I will purchase Butyl tape. Do you normally apply it a little wider and then trim the edge?

Thanks,
Gary
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Old 02-26-2006, 09:26 PM   #11
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Trailer: Love Bug / Chevy Astro
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Last year I totally reconditioned my 13' Love Bug. I agree with the statement that you should do alot of prep work before painting. I used a random orbital sander that worked great at removing 2 layers of latex house paint from the trailer. After I thought that I was done sanding, I washed the trailer and rubbed my hand over the surface. I resanded the Bug about 5 times ending with 600 grit wet paper. My efforts were definitely rewarded when my neighbor painted it for me. I bought Interlux Topside paint from Merton's Marine. I spent about $120 on the primer, thinner, and paint. My neighbor, who paints stock cars, said that the paint was very good to work with. I was at the Devils Lake, WI Scamp Camp and got great comments on the paint job.

The owner of Merton's Marine was very helpful in helping me order the correct products and also helped me determine how much to order. I had very little product left over and the prices where great. This is the web-site for the paint that I used.

http://www.mertons.com/Paints/interlux/topside.html

I almost forgot to agree with the silicone ban. Use butyl caulk tape to set your vents and windows.
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Old 02-26-2006, 09:30 PM   #12
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Trailer: X-treme Lite 160
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When I painted our boler, I used a good quality automotive enamel. Came out pretty good using an hvlp (high volume/low pressure) sprayer. Used a good quality primer as a first coat, and did a lot of sanding.

What did I learn? You can't do too much sanding. Go to a 400 or 600 grit wet/dry and make sure everything is really smooth. The biggest problem is that the paint tends to chip easily from road grit and pebbles. Some sort of stronger covering (like rhino coat, diamond plate, rubber skin) might leave more lasting results. You'd just need this where crud kicks up.

Re windows, I used marine sealant with good results. A little pricey at $12 a tube, but I'm not going to worry about leaks.

One of our first rennovations was the addition of a fantastic fan. Really a great product. Blows in cool air, sucks out cooking smells (and other sometimes nasty odors), is pretty quiet and vibration-free.

Good lck on your projects. You'll appreciate your efforts.
Thanks Lance. Did you seal and install your windows before painting or installed them and taped them off before spraying?
Gary
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Old 02-26-2006, 09:35 PM   #13
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Trailer: X-treme Lite 160
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Quote:

Last year I totally reconditioned my 13' Love Bug. I agree with the statement that you should do alot of prep work before painting. I used a random orbital sander that worked great at removing 2 layers of latex house paint from the trailer. After I thought that I was done sanding, I washed the trailer and rubbed my hand over the surface. I resanded the Bug about 5 times ending with 600 grit wet paper. My efforts were definitely rewarded when my neighbor painted it for me. I bought Interlux Topside paint from Merton's Marine. I spent about $120 on the primer, thinner, and paint. My neighbor, who paints stock cars, said that the paint was very good to work with. I was at the Devils Lake, WI Scamp Camp and got great comments on the paint job.

The owner of Merton's Marine was very helpful in helping me order the correct products and also helped me determine how much to order. I had very little product left over and the prices where great. This is the web-site for the paint that I used.

http://www.mertons.com/Paints/interlux/topside.html

I almost forgot to agree with the silicone ban. Use butyl caulk tape to set your vents and windows.
Thanks Bob. I'll check out the paint.
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Old 02-27-2006, 10:52 AM   #14
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Trailer: 84 16 ft Scamp
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Gary, You don't need to be scared to death. But making a "reality check" to consider your resources, abilities, expectations is always a good idea going in to a project, rather than after you are buried by disapointment. So one other factor to consider is what engineers (and I suppose others) call a "worst case analysis".

For example: spent all your available funds for the best epoxy primer and 3-part poly top coat. Find out you are alergic to epoxy, but decide to keep on. Epoxy dries, needs sanding. Sanding causes more alergy problems, but not enough to completely kill you yet. Spray on poly. Poly runs badly. Then it begins to thunder and rain. But the wheels are off the rig and you can't move it. Tarping it won't help because the poly is wet. But you tarp it anyway as a last resort. Poly melts the tarp and begins to set up. Then your alergy really hits and you find the best you can do is dial 911. As the ambulance is arriving, you find yourself in a temporary insanity temper tantrum and toss a lighted match at the poor trailer. While you are recovering in the hospital, the local fire dept. sends you a fine because there was a burn ban at the time.

Is there anything worse that could go wrong? Boy, I'm having fun with this.

Then what you do is break out each potential problem that came up in your brainstorm and come up with a best course of action to follow at that point. What you'll find is that by going through each hazard in this way it pre-conditions your thought process to see problems before they develop and make corrections on-the-fly.

In this case you might have yourself checked for epoxy alergy. You would also check out breathing aparatus for 3-part poly. You may decide to cut back to a less hazardous poly. Etc., etc.. etc.
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