Fiberglass Repair - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-02-2002, 10:35 AM   #1
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Fiberglass Repair

The old owner of my Surfside must have hit a tree. maybe even Charle's tree, I'm not sure. Now the problem is I have a large area that has been siliconed. no leaks yet, but it looks rather tacky. There are also stress cracks around the door hinges and corners of the windows. Now the question. How do I learn to repair this myself? I also want to move some inlet and drain holes so it's will end up being an all over job. Vo-tec or how to books? what?
Thanks
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Old 10-02-2002, 10:40 AM   #2
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Boat dealers

Jan, do you live near a boat dealer? Look it up in the yellow pages and give them a call. Ask if they know a good "glass" man ... the boat dealer might even have someone.

Boat dealers are entering their "quiet" time of the year ... so you'll find them more than willing to talk with you.

Also, log onto to West Marine's website ... don't have it handy. They have a bunch of books, materials to do the job.

Remember, your fiberglass trailer is more like a boat than a traditional stick-built trailer.

We have a lot in common with boats.
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Old 10-02-2002, 11:31 AM   #3
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Fiberglass Repair

When I bought my '89, it had several deer lease repairs. One of which appeared to have been a rather large gaping hole on the front curb side. They got a good solid mend, but appearance was definitely not one of their priorities. I have made some calls to some boat repair places and, like Charles said, they are more responsive during the off season. Also checked around and got the names of some good 'glass' people. If you don't have many boat places around you, you can look under 'fiberglass' in the yellow pages. Another good source is from people who do anitque auto repairs, spa repairs, etc.

Having laid the ground work to have it repaired, I decided to try and see what I could do with it first. I've always heard that fiberglass repair isn't 'rocket science,' and being one with more curiousity than good sense, I decided to try it. Well, I'm here to tell you, it ain't rocket science, but it darn sure is an art form! I have gotten it pretty smooth (fiberglass and shape is good), but the gel coat and I aren't on such good terms right now. :bh You can try it, but honestly, I would get some estimates first. Unless you are an experienced glasser (or don't care how it looks - like underneath) it will probably be cheaper, faster, and better to have it done.

All that being said, I have done some research and have a couple of web sites that might be of help.

http://www.valsparcomposites.com/repair/gc...crepairlist.htm

http://home.earthlink.net/~shymu/index.html

West Marine is: www.westmarine.com
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Old 10-02-2002, 07:18 PM   #4
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getting started

Thanks for the directions. Those are all excellent ideas. I'm sure I will have to try at least one spot. I was hoping it was like icing a cake. But then I'm not very good at that. maybe making a pie?
I may get them to paint it. maybe with black on the lower part and yellow on top to match the Escape. :wub That would look good.
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Old 03-04-2003, 05:27 PM   #5
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fiberglass repair

Thomas & Janifer
:o Heck it is not so hard, unless you want to make it look perfect and I am not perfect so I had to try it. I got a fiberglass kit from Home Depot or you can get them from an autoparts store then follow directions. You need to clean all of the bad stuff (dirt, silcone, broken fiberglass, etc.) I used zip disk grinder to polish the area, then you can use a paint brush to apply the resin, then lay the fiberglass cloth over the hole or crack and stick it down with some more resin. After you have built up the area sand down the rough areas and smouth on some autobody putty. After it gets hard sand it all smooth (this is the hard part you may need to add more putty and sand more.) I painted mine, I was able to find an spray paint at Home Depot that was almost a perfect match. It would probably be better to use gellcoat, but I was told it was very hard to get it to match.
I will agree with the others that the boat guys would maybe do better job and maybe they are getting hungery in the off season, but as for me I had more time than money and it is really not that hard.
Heck if you can ice a cake you can spread on body putty.

Thanks for reading hope it helps. :r

Gary J

love my bigfoot:ola
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Old 03-06-2003, 08:22 AM   #6
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Thanks Gary, I'm going to give it a try, if I ever see temps above the 40 mark. I think thats 40F. got to remember to put that F in.
You just painted yours back the white, Gary? Did you take any before and after pictures? or add strips?
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Old 03-06-2003, 08:55 AM   #7
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fiberglass repair

Thomas & Janifer:wave
Heck some of our days are warmer than yours, expect 50 or so today, and of course some are colder we had it around zero last week.:red
Of course I didn't take any before pictures that would have been using my head for something besides a hat rack and my better half told me I should, but I am not smart enough yet (been married 42 years) to know that she is always right.
Yes I just painted it. I found some paint at Home Depot that matched very good.
Isn't the object of a repair to be so you can not see it? Every one told me that the jellcoat would be very hard to match for someone with little experience. I think that I will try it someday. Never too old to learn something new. The broken places were not in the stripes, but my better half could have handled that, she's good.:wave

Gary J
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Old 03-06-2003, 09:07 AM   #8
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So you didnt paint it a nice off the wall color like....yellow. :lol
or one to match the tow vehicle? maybe you did, cause it's white too. hadn't thought of that. :laugh
I don't know if my TT has been painted before or not. the finish is dull, but I, being the experienced fiberglasser I'm not, can't tell paint from gel coat. They need a test. I know I could take it to a repair place, but I'm afraid with all the holes I'll have to fix and the spider cracks, I could have bought a new one for what they would charge. maybe I could use some paint remover in a small little spot and see what happens. :o
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Old 03-06-2003, 03:37 PM   #9
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Glass with T & J

Probably one of the best resources for glass work is from the Guegon Brother's Company in Bay City Michigan. If you have a West Marine Store near you or through the web. purchase the Guegon's "West Systems fiberglass repair manual". This was the best $3.00 I have ever spent. Might be dating myself with that price. The manual walks you through every item you have mentioned, and describes in detail what you should see and do.

Please remember;

Temperature must stay above 40F till product cures, cold weather slows curing time altogeather.

Cleanliness, not enough can be said about cleaning the surface before any resin is applied.

Time, allow adequate time for any step of the project. If you thnk it will take an hour allow two without interruption(s). When you are stopped at any point by outside influences best to start again with the first step you have just iniated to provide satisfactory results.

Reaction, not just the resin curing, each of us is different in the way we react physically to chemistry. Wear rubber or latex gloves when handling resins and curing agents. If using solvents in cleaning, a respirator with chemical cartridge is best, and when sanding use the painter's dust cup respirator as a minimum. Fine glass particles are a short term mess in your eyes hair and lungs, suit up.

Keep your powder dry, Fx.
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Old 03-06-2003, 06:33 PM   #10
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Hi Janifer

I am glassing the large holes in my Surfside right now (where the fridge vents were) I am using a sheet of waxed melamine that has been waxed for backing, then several layreys of 6 oz cloth, then I will fill fair and sand it.
If the area has had silicone on it you need to be very sure to clean and sand it to ensure that the new glass resin and fibers will adhere. Do you have to fix it from the inside or out?
Oh yeah don't worry I will send you the liner material soon.

tony
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Old 03-07-2003, 10:59 AM   #11
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the cabinet is coming out, I'll be able to fix from both sides. As the melamine is waxed that means it comes off after cure, right?

When I go out and sit in her, she feels so good, I start thinking, maybe I shouldn't mess with her, but I really think she and I will both be happier in the long run, I hope.
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