fixing a hole - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-17-2011, 11:13 PM   #1
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Boler
Alberta
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fixing a hole

Whats up?

I'm sanding down the Boler, prepping for a new coat of paint. (Planning to roll on a few coats of high gloss enamel after primer.. really looking forward to saying goodbye to this spray painted mustardy mess).. But as you can see this trailer must have hit a tree or something back in it's day and some previous owner did a sloppy job patching up the damage.

The crack was filled and painted over a couple time and seems to be some kind of silicone based product.. it bubbles out quite a bit and I'd like to get remove it and repair to a smooth surface. In other words repair it properly so it looks nice again.

Hoping for some advice on how to go about doing this, and what product might work best for this purpose. Grateful for any help. Thanks!!

D
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:02 AM   #2
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A few days ago i got interested in this and googled "fiberglass crack repair" and watched all the youtube videos for hours and i learned a lot about the subject.
Hope this helps.
Joe

http://www.google.com/search?source=...berglass+crack
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Old 06-18-2011, 08:58 AM   #3
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If silicone was used ANYWHERE on the trailer, you're really going to have to prep well. Silicone and paint don't play well together. Fish eye in the finish paint is typical. There are primers to seal silicone before final paint.
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Old 06-18-2011, 08:01 PM   #4
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Fixing a large hole

Dave

From the picture I get the sense that the damage is structural and not just cosmetic. Having spent many years in the boat business, allow me to pass along how I would approach this problem

The first thing I would do would be to gain access to the inside of the affected area. A close examination might reveal that there are splits and tears in the glass surface. Finding this to be true, I would start by doing a repair on the inside. It is possible that this was done at the time the damage was incurred and a poor job of finishing done. I somehow doubt this however for anyone who took the time and effort to do a fibreglass repair would certainly have done a better job of finishing.

What is needed here is a new layer of glass over the entire crack. The new layer should extend a couple of inches on each side in order to provide the strength. To do this on the outside would create a very large finishing job. I would approach it from the inside simply to minimize the body work needed.

I would go to the inside of the unit and start by grinding the surfaces adjacent to the cracks for a distance of about three inches on each side. Using polyester resin and fibreglass mat, I would apply two layers over all the cracks. This would provide the strength needed for exterior finishing as well as make the surfaces watertight. There are some very good forums on fibreglass repairs available.

After the repair has been done on the inside, I would then do the cosmetic surfacing. Start by removing all the silicone or other sealants, grind and sand the areas which need to be filled and start applying body fillers to the crack. With repeated sanding and re-filling, the surface can be completely faired and made ready for paint.

If the examination of the interior surfaces shows that there is no structural damage, you can do the job solely on the outside. The above paragraph outlines the steps to be taken for this.

Bill Reilly
Picton, Ontario
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Old 06-19-2011, 04:45 PM   #5
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Name: Dave
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thank you all for some excellent advice. bill, i like your work from the inside strategy, will need to roll up the sleeves, remove the silicone to see just how bad the crack is. hope i dont make matters worse but it shouldn't be too expensive a fix and will improve the look of of the trailer considerably. will try to take some pics once the weather improves and i can get goin. cheers
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:21 PM   #6
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Bill Reilly
Good to hear from someone who first hand knows about fiberglass repair and it also confirms what i watched on the videos to do the repair from the inside and then cosmetic on the outside.
Joe
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Old 07-04-2011, 08:43 PM   #7
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Question

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Originally Posted by Bill Reilly View Post
Dave

From the picture I get the sense that the damage is structural and not just cosmetic. Having spent many years in the boat business, allow me to pass along how I would approach this problem

The first thing I would do would be to gain access to the inside of the affected area. A close examination might reveal that there are splits and tears in the glass surface. Finding this to be true, I would start by doing a repair on the inside. It is possible that this was done at the time the damage was incurred and a poor job of finishing done. I somehow doubt this however for anyone who took the time and effort to do a fibreglass repair would certainly have done a better job of finishing.

What is needed here is a new layer of glass over the entire crack. The new layer should extend a couple of inches on each side in order to provide the strength. To do this on the outside would create a very large finishing job. I would approach it from the inside simply to minimize the body work needed.

I would go to the inside of the unit and start by grinding the surfaces adjacent to the cracks for a distance of about three inches on each side. Using polyester resin and fibreglass mat, I would apply two layers over all the cracks. This would provide the strength needed for exterior finishing as well as make the surfaces watertight. There are some very good forums on fibreglass repairs available.

After the repair has been done on the inside, I would then do the cosmetic surfacing. Start by removing all the silicone or other sealants, grind and sand the areas which need to be filled and start applying body fillers to the crack. With repeated sanding and re-filling, the surface can be completely faired and made ready for paint.

If the examination of the interior surfaces shows that there is no structural damage, you can do the job solely on the outside. The above paragraph outlines the steps to be taken for this.

Bill Reilly
Picton, Ontario
Hi Bill, coming to you for more advice.. I've finished sanding the whole trailer and cant procrastinate any further on this repair..

I'm going to begin removing all that silicone.. but like you said, this is definitely structural. I've looked, and without ripping out the front bench seat (bunk bottom), I cant access the cracks from the inside. I've watched youtube vids on this repair method and it looks so easy.. but I want to avoid this because the prev owner has also used expanding foam all over the place in there and its going to be a real mess to pull that piece out to gain access.

is there a way to do the fiberglass mat/resin approach from the outside, without it bubbling out? i want a clean surface. not feeling optimistic this can be done...

thanks for any info you can provide
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:00 AM   #8
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best FG hole patch?

Picked up a 1 inch hole in the fiberglass, down low on the front - probably a rock bounced from the road surface. What's the best/easiest FG patch kit: Permatex, Bondo, or ???
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:08 AM   #9
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There are a few different ways to fix this..... A fiberglass patch from the backside is probably the best but if you don't want to go thru that for such a small hole "Marine-Tex" is a very good option..... just be sure to get the "White and not the Gray" color.
Joe

http://www.jamestowndistributors.com...rine_tex_epoxy
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:29 AM   #10
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temp. fix

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Originally Posted by jack maloney View Post
Picked up a 1 inch hole in the fiberglass, down low on the front - probably a rock bounced from the road surface. What's the best/easiest FG patch kit: Permatex, Bondo, or ???
if you need a temp fix until you can get it repaired i have used great stuff expanding foam in some rock hole just to keep water and bugs out for a temp fix. it comes out easy when you get ready to patch. thanks
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:31 AM   #11
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Hi Bill, coming to you for more advice.. I've finished sanding the whole trailer and cant procrastinate any further on this repair..

I'm going to begin removing all that silicone.. but like you said, this is definitely structural. I've looked, and without ripping out the front bench seat (bunk bottom), I cant access the cracks from the inside. I've watched youtube vids on this repair method and it looks so easy.. but I want to avoid this because the prev owner has also used expanding foam all over the place in there and its going to be a real mess to pull that piece out to gain access.

is there a way to do the fiberglass mat/resin approach from the outside, without it bubbling out? i want a clean surface. not feeling optimistic this can be done...

thanks for any info you can provide
If you *did* do it from the outside, it would have to be so thin that it wouldn't be structural anymore. If you do it thick enough to be structural, it would look 'lumpy'.
How much of it can you get to working inside the bench and by peeling up the ensolite?
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:24 PM   #12
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If you *did* do it from the outside, it would have to be so thin that it wouldn't be structural anymore. If you do it thick enough to be structural, it would look 'lumpy'.
How much of it can you get to working inside the bench and by peeling up the ensolite?
Hmm, that was what I thought - suppose I'll have to yank the bench out and do it right. Otherwise it will bug me to no end. Could be a mess, ah well it'll be worth it.
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Old 07-05-2011, 02:45 PM   #13
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Or you could do it lumpy consistently all the way across the front and then put on spray bed liner stuff over it. That stuff is lumpy anyway. And it may help to prevent damage from flying rocks after you do all that work. Thinking out loud here...
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Old 07-05-2011, 03:48 PM   #14
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That's really not a bad idea, Donna. Brilliant actually.. it's a cheat but a practical one, and if I'm using the liner, which I should be doing anyway, it won't matter how perfect the patch work is.

Any idea what I could use as a border, or trim, for the area using the spray liner?

Might use this approach, although after watching all these vids I'm sort of eager to try the Bondo too. Descisions!
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