Boler exterior cleaning and repairs - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-16-2016, 07:29 PM   #1
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Name: Chris & Sarah
Trailer: Boler
Manitoba
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Boler exterior cleaning and repairs

Our Boler was parked in the PO's yard for 8 years, never having been moved or used at all. Who knows what it did or where it was before that. There is all sorts of tree detritus on the roof and oxidation of the fibreglass in general.

I'm thinking of using a soap/detergent for washing your car, then using (cream) Bar Keeper's Friend, then using that Zep polish stuff. Does that sound about right?

In terms of repairs, I know for sure I need a new roof vent. Should I replace it using butyl putty tape as a seal?

The windows seem to have some sort of black sealer type stuff, which is so dry and brittle that it's chipping off. The driver's side jalousie also leaks a bit. So do I need to pull out the window to fix the leak? Or can I reseal it with FlexSeal (??)

From the inside, both jalousie windows appear to be offset about 1/3"; is this normal? I've attached a pic so you can see what I mean.

Thanks for your help and advice!

Sarah
Attached Thumbnails
driver jalousie before.jpg   interior window.jpg  

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Old 06-16-2016, 07:46 PM   #2
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Only use butyl for sealing any vents, windows ect, never any silicone on FG. Your cleaning ideas are good but before you use the Zep let us know how the gel coat finish looks.
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Old 06-16-2016, 07:48 PM   #3
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500
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I agree with your thoughts for cleaning the FG. I had to use green pad with the barkeepers.

I would use butyl tape both for the side windows and for the vent.

Concerning the interior aluminum molding gap around the jalousie window, this is similar to the gap on my Boler (recently sold my Boler). When you remove the jalousie windows, you will probably find rotten wood strips (1"x3/4") behind the interior aluminum molding. I replaced the rotten wood strips with solid PVC trim strips.
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Old 06-16-2016, 08:12 PM   #4
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Name: Chris & Sarah
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So, John, do you think it's offset like that because of the (potentially) rotten wood?

To use the butyl tape, do I pull the window out and then put the tape on the window itself, or on the frame of the Boler?
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Old 06-16-2016, 08:53 PM   #5
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The offset you see will remain after re-installing the windows. There are two factors to the offset: (1) the aluminum molding doesn't completely cover the portion of the window protruding to the interior, (2) the flat window doesn't conform to the FG body. When you re-install the molding, one option is to mount the molding flush with the interior face of the window frame. This removes the offset, but then there will be a gap between the molding and the ensolite wall.

To your second question, I applied the butyl tape to the backside of the window's exterior mounting flange, not the trailer body. This worked great. Apply tape all the way round, then remove the paper backing.

(Edit: Need to remove window, scrape, clean, polish, clean FG body, apply butyl tape to window, re-install.)
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Old 06-16-2016, 08:56 PM   #6
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Name: Chris & Sarah
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That sounds great, thank you! So when the butyl tape was put on, then the window put back in, did some of the tape squoosh out? Do you let it cure, trim it off, then seal with that flexseal stuff?

Also, I know there are different kinds of butyl tape - did you use butyl tape, butyl putty tape, or something else altogether??
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Old 06-16-2016, 09:10 PM   #7
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Yes. After the window is re-installed, the butyl tape may ooze out around the edges for weeks. Best to trim off excess with a plastic knife or similar. I didn't seal with another product. The butyl will last for decades.

I used "butyl putty tape" (3/4" x 1/8" thick) from Vintage Trailer Supply. This is the right stuff. It stretches like chewing gum instead of breaking.

Edit: I'm not sure why VTS calls it butyl PUTTY tape, its really just standard gray butyl tape with consistency of pre-chewed chewing gum. Its the right stuff.
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Old 06-21-2016, 07:20 AM   #8
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Name: Bobby
Trailer: Casita f/d ,1987 boler voyageur,1988bigfoot5er
Ontario
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I know this sounds brutal, but my Boler sat behind a shed of the PO for 10 years and I never thought the exterior would come back to life.
The gelcoat was so chalked that I was about to give up after using spray 9,
simple green and barkeepers friend.
I considered having it painted at this point.
So I thought , nothing to loose and started with 600 grit wet sandpaper with lots of water then moved to 800 then 1000 then 1500 ant finally 2000.
When it was perfectly clean two coats of Zep and it came out beautiful again.
Do not paint it unless there has been fibre glass repairs or cracks and dents that just won't hide.
I know some will dispute the sandpaper treatment , but it worked for me.
Bobby
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Old 06-21-2016, 07:24 AM   #9
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Name: Chris & Sarah
Trailer: Boler
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Hi Bobby, that sounds very hopeful then, for my little Boler!

I washed it yesterday, and did notice quite a few hairline cracks. Do you think these cracks are just cosmetic, or are they indicative of a bigger problem?
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Old 06-21-2016, 11:38 AM   #10
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Trailer: Casita f/d ,1987 boler voyageur,1988bigfoot5er
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A few hairline cracks are normal.
As long as those cracks are spider cracks then there is nothing to worry about.
Have fun. I will send a pic of my boler and you can see the outcome.
Bobby
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