Dolphin project -advice - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-13-2013, 07:41 PM   #1
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Dolphin project -advice

We are so excited! The Dolphin finally comes home from the RV place on Friday. Inaugural trip is the 22nd, so this weekend for fix up projects.

To do this weekend:
- remove bottom plate of door frame and lift part of floor so I can fibreglass a crack from the inside. I have never fibreglassed before, any advise for a newbie? When done do you fill outside flush with epoxy or bondo?
- touch up paint on crack repair.
- wet sand POs paint drips on most of back of trailer. Should final sand be 400 grit? Or higher number?
- BKF and Zep outside
- clean inside, anyone know what to use to get the ensolite white again? It's dingy gray.

Lots more to do, but I doubt that I will get any further than this.

So excited to finally get started.
Sandy
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:20 PM   #2
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My advice, don't rush repairs just because of a planned camp trip, unless it's needed for safety. Your trailer doesn't need to be perfect to enjoy it. Just make sure it's clean (your dirt is cleaner than their dirt) and it's safe to go down the road (you're sharing the highway with others). Everything else is gravy....
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:22 PM   #3
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These should help on the fiberglass, I could tell you manually but it would take a lot of typing and that would mean a lot of typo's:} Ignore the boat heading fiber glassing at least the basics are the same you’re not working on a high performance aircraft. :} http://www.westsystem.com/ss/assets/...aintenance.pdf you can also YouTube it but be very circumspect on the videos. A few things to have on hand lots of nitrile POWDER LESS Gloves, rags, tongue depressors, acid brushes, hot liquid mixing cups with luck someone here can tell you the correct type of fiberglass resin to use. There are several types and not all play well together or will stick to one another. The main types are polyester resin usually needs cobalt napthenate added to speed up curing, Modar (Modified Acrylic Resin) it has additives in it for fire retardation and thermal stability etc. and last Epoxy resins such as DEH52. When mixing resin and catalysts together do not over mix i.e. to long or mix fast. If you do it will introduce air bubbles into the resin and they will be trapped causing it to be brittle and not be a contiguous bond. If you mix it to long it will cure before you get done with repairs so only mix when you have patch pieces and such and everything ready to go ask about pot life where you buy the glass that is the time it is going to be usable after mixing. Caution the container you mix it in must be clean of any residues and they must be able to handle some heat the resin will get very warm while it cures in the cup. We used the paper hot soup cups like you would get from takeout food places and tongue depressors to mix with along with acid brushes to spread it on small repairs such as yours sounds like. Placing a small drill hole at either end of the crack prior to repairing relieves the stress so it won't continue to crack. With out seeing the crack I cannot say how much resin or glass you might need but you mention it is right at the entry door which is a high stress area two fold from people stepping into the trailer and because of the door opening it is carrying the stress across to the other side of the door. If the crack is through and through you will need to glass both sides. Can you take a picture of it or does anyone else here have experience with this area of a Dolphin? With luck this gives you enough information to get started. As for the paint drips it depends on the type of paint and if your going to repaint or clear over the area. I can’t help on the ensolite sorry.

Cypher
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:33 PM   #4
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Hi Donna,
No big rush, the roadworthy part was taken care of at the Rv place, along with the propane and electrical. I think the crack needs to be the first job so it does not get worse. The cleaning shouldn't be too hard, except for the second hand fridge that I bought - ICK! I think I'll need a hazmat outfit for cleaning that. LOL
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:39 PM   #5
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Thanks Cypher, lots of great info, I have been doing some YouTube research and reading up. I will check out your link for sure. I do have a pic of the door crack and will post tomorrow. It is definitely through and through max 1/4 inch wide x 4 or 5 inches long. As for the paint drips I am not sure what kind of paint was used, but I am guessing spray paint. The color match is perfect but just lots of runs. So i am hoping to just sand and polish.
Thanks so much.
Sandy
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:22 AM   #6
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Hey,

I was at work when I answered this so I did not have the ability to do searches there as I do at home. I cannot seem to find out what resin was originally used but on a guess by age I would say polyester which is still available though, as I stated before check on any needed additives for curing. Epoxy will stick to polyester resin and is pretty standard at any boat supply place. Since you state the crack is through and through you will need to glass both sides this would be easier with a vacuum type system repair but that equipment is to expensive for a one time use repair. When you can post the pictures from above and below and side you could do both repairs at the same time with clamps and such depending on the curves involved. The thickness of the shell will dictate how many layers you will need min overlap distance is half inch IE the crack is 1/4 inch wide so first layer is 1 1/4 , 2 1/4 , 3 1/4, 4 1/4 wide and with the stop drills for the crack use 3/16 bit just beyond the end of the crack NOT AT THE END you may catch the edges and make it longer. The length of the first layer is call it 6", 7”, 8", 9"you need to feather out from the crack in guessing the shell is ” to 5/16” so be very careful you do not sand through and remove all paint and such. Then wipe down using denatured alcohol and lint free cloth (DO NOT USE COTTON IT WILL PRODUCE LINT-STRINGS). If the area is flat enough you can do both patches at once you will need flat Aluminum, Plexiglas, Hardwood panels, if your supplier has PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol) film get some to protect the material you use from the glass adhering to it. You will need a small air bubble roller nylon ones work for inexpensive and not much use the better ones are aluminum. If you’re able to get PVA film you can use it on top of your patches after they are laid to help in rolling out the air. Then leave it in place to clamp your blocks down to just make it really over sized you can peel it right off the epoxy resin. You may want to find out what type of glass fabric , mat mold and resin and other materials are available locally before committing to doing the repair yourself. It may be cost prohibitive if you have to order everything in. PM me if you have questions if you were just patching a hole it would be really easy but in my estimation your patching a high strength area so it gets a little complicated to do a repair that will hold up.

Cypher

I did find this http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/national-r-v-holdings-inc-history/ and http://www.fiberglasssite.com/servlet/the-68/Fiberglass-Information,-and-How/Detail
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeansmomSandy View Post
I have never fibreglassed before, any advise for a newbie?
You Can Repair Fiberglass

If you can't find PVA, this article says to use hairspray:
http://www.westsystem.com/ss/mold-re...and-hairspray/

Thanks to Cypherian for pointing out PVA as Poly Vinyl Alcohol rather than Acetate - learnt something new today.
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Roy in TO View Post
You Can Repair Fiberglass

If you can't find PVA, this article says to use hairspray:
WEST SYSTEM - Projects - Mold release, PVA and hairspray

Thanks to Cypherian for pointing out PVA as Poly Vinyl Alcohol rather than Acetate - learnt something new today.
Hey,

No worries I have never heard the hair spray one, though I have used heavily carnauba waxed metal or Plastic items when clamping , and that is what is used when doing hand layups on molds. It was honeywax mold release most any hard car wax will work but NO SILICONE based waxes. The actual layup of most hand molding or patching the layers go resin/glass Teflon ( Called Scrim Cloth) , Bleeder ( Rags can be used) , PVA film down on tacky tape or duct seal or plumbers clay ( think play do on steroids) apply min of 15 Hgs vacuum under the PVA and it sucks all the air out and pulls the extra resin up through the Teflon to be trapped in the bleeder cloth. couple hours later come back break vacuum pull it off and your patch will be flat and no dry spots on your fiberglass cloth . This method allows for minimal sanding. The only draw back on my information is I do not know what is locally available nor do I know anything about Dolphins. So I am making guesses at where the stress points are but a door way is almost always a stress/weak point so just bonding the hole / crack is not going to work. There are other plastics you can use such as PVF Poly Vinyl Fluoride there are more but they are higher end and definitely not locally available unless you have an aircraft repair supply place nearby :} Here http://www.airtechonline.com/?q=node/3 you can see all the fun things to use :} But you would have to find a retailer these guys do not deal direct.

Cypher
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:14 PM   #9
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WOW! Now I am worried. I was just going to buy a kit from Canadian tire, fill it and try to make it look pretty.

Bondo Resin Repair Kit, 1 L | Canadian Tire

I guess I'll need to do more research, and think of a way to reinforce, no point in having it crack again because of stress. I can't find the picture and it is still at the rv place until Friday.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:01 PM   #10
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Cleaning the ensolite is a matter of a bucket, scrub brush and elbow grease. I used a brush like this one http://www.armyproperty.com/images/Brush-02.jpg

There is a product called LA Totally Awsome (comes in spray bottle at dollar store) that works pretty well. Where you can find it locally I'm not sure. That is the cleaner we keep under the sink in our camper.

LA's Totally Awesome Products - All Purpose Cleaner

TSP from paint supply area of hardware or big box store. Or any good general cleanser. Always good to test cleaning solution on ensolite in and inconspicuous spot such as inside closet or under seat storage just to make sure it won't cause any damage.

Key is to scrub with cleanser, wipe off, then use a rinse rag from clean bucket of water, then dry with towel. Scrubbing gets dirt loose but it's rinsing and drying that will remove it.

May find a small toothbrush (manual or electric) or an auto detail brush which is a little larger, longer bristles and stiffer than toothbrush, useful for getting in the nooks and crannies.

I also used some Barkeeprs Friend, a bleaching powder that is mildly abrasive so be gentle and don't over do scrubbing it. But it worked on well on some stains.

I'm with Donna D on don't kill yourself trying to get it perfect for it's first trip.

When it comes to repairs doing it right is more important than doing it quick. Sometimes a little work to make sure it does not get worse (such as drilling tiny hole at ends of a crack) or a patch can be a good first step while you research, consult experienced people, or practice to do the final repair.

Give it a good once over so you don't have to sleep in your fridge cleaning bio hazard suit. Then as time permits work a section at a time to get that section as clean as it will get before moving on to the next section. Sooner or later you will have it spotless.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:11 PM   #11
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Thanks! I did find and purchase both the LA totally awesome and BKF locally. I had heard that the totally awesome would work on the black streaks on my park model aluminium trailer, and it does. I will try them on the ensolite. I was just worried if anything would be too strong. This weekend definitely will be to fix that crack and clean inside. The outside may have to wait, but I definitely need to get the inside clean. Don't want to sleep with other peoples dirt and whatever might be growing in that fridge.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:44 PM   #12
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I don't know if the Dolphin has fiberglass cabinets, counters and closet the way a scamp does but I found Star Bright Fiberglass Color Restorer with PTEF to be a good product for those surfaces after cleaning. Polishes and leaves a wax coating behind. Makes all shiny and pretty :-)

Scamp sells it for use on the outside fiberglass but it was not enough for my old camper so I went with BKF and RedMaxx. Had lots of the Star Bright left over so I tried it on the inside.

Bought mine at local auto parts store for convenience, think it might have even been less expensive there. Here is a link to scamp store so you can see what the bottle looks like.
http://www.scamptrailers.com/parts-store/cleaning-supplies.html
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:51 PM   #13
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Yup, lots of fibreglass inside too. Thanks for the tip, I'll look for that product. I have the original pics from the PO in this thread
Not sure if I should buy this trailer...

Sooooo excited!!!!!
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:04 PM   #14
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Sooooo excited!!!!!
As well you should be! I recall that posting, it is a very nice looking camper. Enjoy, have fun, play hard.
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