Installing Rat Fur Over Ensolite? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-01-2013, 10:31 PM   #1
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Installing Rat Fur Over Ensolite?

My new (to me) '77 Surfside project is underway, and although I need to finish replacing my rotten floor before I move forward with other tasks, I've been pondering over how to refinish her interior. The ensolite in the camper is in decent shape, but there are some areas where it's fairly rough, especially along the belly band, where a void behind the foam has created opportunities for it to get gouged up over the years. I can't see any reasonable way to repair these areas and match the existing foam, so I'm looking at going over top of it with with another product (perhaps Scamp's rat fur).

I personally prefer the look of of a headliner, but with as much work as the camper needs, I don't have the stomach to pull down all of the ensolite, glue up reflectix and then install headliner over that. Having said that, has anyone on the forum installed a headliner product over the top of ensolite? I've done some looking around on the site, but have not turned up any results as of yet.
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Old 06-01-2013, 11:05 PM   #2
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Not that I have any answer for you, but I think it would be helpful to those who might have answers, if you could post pix.
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Old 06-01-2013, 11:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Not that I have any answer for you, but I think it would be helpful to those who might have answers, if you could post pix.
Hey Glenn. Thanks. Maybe I wasn't all that clear about what I'm considering doing. I am looking at covering all of my ensolite with a headliner product. Just curious if anyone else has done this and how well another product will bond over top of the ensolite.
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Old 06-01-2013, 11:16 PM   #4
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I was just thinking that, with pix, there might be a simpler solution than what you are proposing.
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:28 PM   #5
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I am also curious if someone has done this, because I am considering the same thing. My Ensolite is in decent shape, but I prefer the look and feel of the headliner and also I hope it would add a little more insulation.
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:46 PM   #6
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Just FYI, I ended up bailing on this idea and retaped my seams, then primed over them. I went with a 2" wide textured tape, which was a bit harder to bend into the corners of the egg, but did a much better job of covering the unremovable residue left behind by the original tape. I did this for two reasons. 1. I was concerned about the adhesion of the ensolte on the fiberglass and adding more weight to it with the rat fur, and 2. Cost/time involved in the rat fur install. I'm fairly happy with how this turned out and the ensolite really looks nice with a bright white coat of paint on it. In fact, I'm pleased enough with it that I'm just leaving it in primer and not painting over top of that coat.
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:02 PM   #7
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Let me just say, I like Ensolite.

The outer white layer is vinyl. I can't see any reason why you could not use contact cement to glue rat fur on it, or even foil bubble wrap, then rat fur.

Does rat fur have an R value?
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:41 PM   #8
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The possible issues I imagine are:
1. the vinyl skin may separate from the foam under the weight of the ratskin.
2. The whole thing (3 layers - ensolite, then reflectix, then rat fur) may become too thick and move too much or collapse...
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:43 PM   #9
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Ben, what is this 2" wide textured tape you used? I am having the same dilemma like you had.....
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:45 PM   #10
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I think I would be more worried about the Ensolite separating from the fibreglass. That happens even without extra weight.

Having no experience with rat fur, I have no idea how much it weighs. Is reflectix heaver then its bubble wrap equivalent?
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:12 PM   #11
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I have not seen either product, so I don't know... I thought the ensolite is glued so hard to the fiberglass, ppl here are having hard time removing it...
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:46 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JulianK View Post
I have not seen either product, so I don't know... I thought the ensolite is glued so hard to the fiberglass, ppl here are having hard time removing it...
Yes, when the glue holds, it holds well. The trouble is, when it gets wet, frozen, or old, it tends to let go. I am currently stripping out the Ensolite in a Trillium 1300. I hope to be able to re-install it later. In places that got wet, (for five years) it almost falls off. In places that where it stayed dry, I have to cut it away from the fibreglass.

Age wise, it seems to come away from the corners first. This probably has to do with how it is installed. They coat the fibreglass and the ensolite in contact cement, then when dry they connect the edges first, then work their way in to the bowl of the corner. This means that the last piece attached is under quite a bit of tension. This constant pulling is why the corners fail first. At least that is my theory.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:04 PM   #13
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I have had to remove and replace some rat fur as well as foil insulation on my Scamp when changing out wiring and adding fans etc and I used the 3M 77 Spray Adhesive to do that. Trick is to spray it and let it sit for a about 30 seconds or more before sticking it up on the wall. I know others have mentioned using this product to redo older trailers completely with headliners as well. I did read where someone had it fail badly - within a day or two but they had applied it in extreme hot weather conditions. Pretty sure there is something on the can that address the temps it should be used. Scamp also sells an adhesive on their on line parts store but there is no photo or description. Give their 1-800 number a call and ask the guys in the parts department what it is and if it can be used over the old ensolite.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:06 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
I have no idea how much it weighs.
Rat fur is about the same weight and thickness as craft felt.
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