If it's not Fiberglass what is it? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-02-2011, 07:06 PM   #1
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Name: Peter
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If it's not Fiberglass what is it?

The Amerigo doesn't seem to have glass in the Fiberglass. It's almost like molded ABS or other plastic.
Taking apart the door as it's in rough shape. The outer skin is badly cracked but it breaks clean - no evidence of glass fiber. Which leads me to wonder if polyester resin will adhere for repair work.
The door skin is so far gone I might have to make a new one - but other areas just need repairs. They have impact damage which caused the body skin to crush into the foam that's behind it - here too there's no glass.

Anybody familiar with this type of construction?

Peter
in Denver
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:41 AM   #2
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If you dont get an answer....PM to memeber "Raya" here would know.
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Old 01-03-2011, 12:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken C View Post
If you dont get an answer....PM to memeber "Raya" here would know.

Speaking of Raya, where is she? I haven't seen her around since I came back. She always has such good info. A wealth of info.......... Hope all is well with her.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:53 PM   #4
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I took a sample to PlastiCare - probably the best supply shop in Denver - where Heath tok a look at it - he thinks it may well be styrene.
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Old 01-03-2011, 02:22 PM   #5
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If it's a standard RV door, it's possible it could be something other than just fiberglass....
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:01 PM   #6
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what year and model is this? Amerigo made all kinds of stuff. Even aluminum campers, I think!

Regards,

Matt
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:31 PM   #7
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Peter, my 1996 Casita door is foam bonded with thin plastic on both sides. One day the door hold-open yanked out in a very mild wind and I realized how flimsy it is. I don't think trailer manufacturers make their own doors. You might be able to find a replacement. You're welcome to examine my door or take measurements. I'm in Wheat Ridge.
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Old 01-03-2011, 07:41 PM   #8
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It's a '76 FG-16.
I suppose it's possible they bought a door - or had a door made to their spec - but its not flat. It follows the curve of the lower body.
Terry - Thanks! I might take you up on that.
The door is - was - quite flimsy but the body - at least the lower tub - is made of the same stuff.
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Old 01-03-2011, 08:24 PM   #9
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There's a PDF brochure of the FG-16 here that suggests it is fiberglass. My underlines added to an OCR attempt of the file:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/files/Am...Brochure-2.pdf

SAFETY: It has a tubular welded frame and electric brakes as standard equipment. with the integral welded tubular frame firmly secured to the one piece fiberglass understructure the unit has excellent towability to insure peace of mind while driving the low silhouette design, in conjunction with excellent weight distribution over the axle, provides a low center of gravity, giving you the most in safe, all-weather towing.

DURABILITY: The single seam, two-piece unitized fiberglass body gives the owner a weather resistant, durable and rigid unit that features a shell which is easy to repair and nearly maintenance-tree. With the FG-16, you will never need to worry about wood-rot caused by a bad seam in the metal or about rot oxidation in the metal itself; there isn't any metal. And more important, the sound and solid unitized fiberglass body replaces antiquated construction methods relying on screws, glue and staples that have a tendency to loosen in over-the-road use. The exterior of your FG-16 will not scratch, dent or ding, thus retaining its original beauty.


My favorite Line is in the beauty department:

BEAUTY: Both inside and out. the FG-16 is distinctively sleek. From the low line design concept of the stylish unitized fiberglass body...to the unique and exclusive undercarriage.-.and the tinted wIndows with their rounded corners that provide the owner with over 38 square feet of natural light...the FG-16 looks like it's on the go even when standing still. The interior is appointed and designed for discriminate people seeking a unit that offers both practical comfort and contemporary charm.

Be sure to keep those wheels chocked!
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Old 01-03-2011, 08:35 PM   #10
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Indeed!
I read that when I first got it...a nice resource to have...all I can say is there's no glass in that fiberglass -at least not in the door or the body low and behind the wheel well - nor in the belly pan where there's an impact crater.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:57 PM   #11
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A lot of pickup campers were made with thermoformed plastic sheet. Normally a laminate of fairly thick ABS covered with a thinner sheet of Vinyl. Some tip offs that would tell you is the section would get thinner, the further it is drawn down the side wall. The door would probably not show any thinning but the side wall would.

Sometimes they would spray on an additional plastic rigid foam to the inside for stiffening, but not always

Another test would be to take a q-tip with acetone in an inconspicuous place and swab it..
Acetone will attack both ABS and Vinyl, but let it dry and there will be no permanent damage other than finish. (nail polish remover is just acetone with a bit of oil added)
Acetone won't touch fiberglass.

Vinyl is on the outside, ABS on the inside.
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:59 AM   #12
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I've discovered what this was all about. I was puzzled by the seeming lack of "fiberglass" in the shell as it seemed before I removed the interior. There are a few areas with imact damage and the surface material that was breaking off didn't seem like fiberglass that I was familiar with.

The reason for this is that I've never dealt with something that had such a thick layer of gel coat. Seriously- you can measure it with a ruler. The glass mat behind it is good at the stress points ... wheel wells and so forth...but elsewhere it's very thin.

Apparantly this was not uncommon BITD as Gelcoat was less expensive than fiberglass mat/cloth/roving/resin. After all - these things wern't built for some guy 40 years in the future - they were built to sell then and there.

So that's it. Really thick gelcoat.
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:31 PM   #13
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Take one of the broken pieces that you have and put it in a oven at 350 or 400 degrees. if it is styrene or abs it will get soft, if it is polyester or epoxy it will not get soft.

It always seemed strange to me that when glass fiber is used to strengthen plastic resin it is called fiberglass, however when steel is used to strengthen concrete it is called concrete. The steel fibers in concrete act exactly like the glass fibers in the plastic, yet one is named by the reinforcing material ignoring the binding material and the other is named by the binding material ignoring the reinforcing material. Glass fibers are also used to strengthen concrete and that material is not called fiberglass.
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:34 PM   #14
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I thought when steel or other metal was used in concrete, it was called rebar Or is that a particular kind of metal used?
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