Best way to secure wood to fiberglass - Fiberglass RV

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Old 04-25-2007, 10:16 AM   #1
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ent]As I am getting the site of the front bunks prepared in the Trillium 4500 I would like to mount some plywood strips along the door side wall and I might possibly need to replace some wood under the window as well. What is the best and strongest way to attach this. It looks like the wood along the driver side wall and front portion of the trailer was originally attached with fiberglass resin. Are there any construction adhesives that would wotk as well?

Another question I have was about the condition of the floor in that area. When I tore out the bench and 2nd sink/ cabinet/ wall there remained a giant glob of fiberglass resin on the floor. I chipped quite a bit of it up to see the condition of the floor underneath which was not bad, (although a few mosit areas towards the periphery). But there is too much resin to get it all up so wondering if I should level the floor in this area or just put a new piece of plywood overtop. My only concern is the frame bolts (which appear to have surface rust but seem solid) I want to make sure there is access to them if they should need to be switched out. Any advice is greatly appreciated
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:49 AM   #2
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Old 04-25-2007, 12:34 PM   #3
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I've used the Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive (in tubes for the caulk gun) from the local big-box home store with fairly good success. If you browse the reconstruction of my old PlayPac (link is in my signature) - that's what I used to hold the various wood framing elements to the shell. Although it'll handle SOME weight almost immediately - it actually takes a few days (minimum) to reach full strength. I learned that when I went off to an egg meet in the PlayPac only a day after installing a table support rail. Got stuck doing some last minute repairs on-site.

Anyway - if you look at the PlayPac pics - the upper (overhead) storage bins are largely supported by construction adhesive. No screws or bolts through the walls.

I'm in the middle of trying to refit an old bike-hauler trailer (fiberglass shell) similarly and I'm using the same approach.

Fiberglass/resin should be nice and solid too - but I went the construction adhesive direction basically because it's faster and easier.

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Old 04-25-2007, 12:45 PM   #4
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This looks a lot like one of the issues raised in Anyone "X-Ray" a Fiberstream?, Or just take one apart?. In my post in that topic, I mentioned my choice of LePage PL 700 construction adhesive... there are many types.
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Old 04-25-2007, 02:53 PM   #5
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In the 4500, the wood around the windows is held in place by the sandwich made by the plywood,the window frames and the fiberglass trailer shell.
In this case the trailer shell is the "Meat" and the wood and window frames are the "Bread"

When I replacd the wood in mine I just pulled the windows out,pulled back the ensolite rubber and what was left of the plywood came right out.

Using the old wood to reproduce the angle needed and cutting the wood to length I then just glued it to the ensolite on the inside and also to the inside of the shell where it goes.
I used a 3M adhesive and it worked great to hold it in place until I could fasten everything.

Then I re-installed the window using butyl rubber sealant and used stainless steel screws to attach the window to the new wood thru the shell.

It is strong enough now to hang and sleep on if you wanted to,oh wait you do want to!

As for attaching to fresh spots,I am the guy who asked that question in the thread Brian sited and I have not decided yet what I will do.

I know I would feel a lot safer bolting thru the shell and into wood than just glueing anything either above my head or for sleeping but I can certainly accept that there are safe ways to approach it with or without fiberglass and resin as part of it.

I am still trying to decide.

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Old 04-25-2007, 03:42 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone

I peeled off a small portion of the ensolite which revealed the wood underneath to be in fine condition. Suprisingly I have no leaks from my front window, and I wonder if the reason is because I don't have the bunk design, and therefore the added weight pulling down on the window frame, especially at the bottom.

Ed, I am wondering if this looks similar to the piece of wood in Trill 4500's with the bunks, It looks like a piece 1" plywood cut with a 45 degree bevel at the bottom portion, it only measures about 3.5 inches wide and extends slightly longer than the entire length of the bottom of the window. (see pic below)

Any ideas how much weight that top bunk is meant to hold?
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Old 04-25-2007, 04:39 PM   #7
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Yes that is what mine looked like except that mine was rotted from water and had to be replaced from that.
I don't think it was from the weight of the bunk thhough.
It looked like it had been in the "Bench Mode" mostly and there is little pressure on it like that.

Someone had replaced the front window guard and used caulk and drywall screws which caused water to run inside and rust the screws and rot the wood.

The bottom of the front window was the worst wood in my 4500 and of course that is the one that could be asked to carry the most weight.

I seem to remember a sticker warning of a 150lb maximum on the top bunk but that seems somewhat optimistic to me.

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Old 04-25-2007, 09:34 PM   #8
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I was wondering which design provides more stability. The Trillium top bunk design using a long piano hinge connected directly from the plywood of the bunk to the wood underneath the window. Or if attaching a small strip of wood to that the wood underneath the window (as in the bolers and the scamps... might be more stable as the plywood would rest upon that instead and the stress would be more off the hinge?

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