Love Bug - Love it or leave it - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-26-2012, 01:43 PM   #1
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Love Bug - Love it or leave it

Today we pulled the door into place, it was wider at the bottom before we started working on it but now it is 26" wide from top to bottom. Still can't figure out how to lift it high enough to pull the frame out from under. Any ideas?
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:42 PM   #2
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fiberglass fractures/damage

The first 3 pics are fractures at three corners of the bug. The interior seems to be solid (not cracked), and the fiberglass looks good inside. What to do?

The last picture is the center rear of the shell just under the belly band/seam. How is this repaired? Cut out the old stuff, make a hole and replace with new fiberglass? clean out loose debris and epoxy over it? leave it alone? Maybe this isn't as bad as I fear? Please, you old pros chime in!

Thanks,
Cathy
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:49 PM   #3
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Wow !!! You've got your work cut out for you. I've seen a video on this site showing how to pull the frame out - IIRC the poster is Kevin.

He built a temporary scaffold inside the trailer. It could rest on the ground or on the frame itself. Build it to within a few feet of the ceiling. Use three (or more) jacks between the top of the scaffold and the ceiling to raise the whole shell up a foot or so above the frame. Use plywood, 2x4's or something similar to distribute the weight of the shell across the jacks. For goodness sakes - keep it balanced & have some extra hands standing by.

Once the shell is suspended above the frame build up some short saw horses or maybe cement block piers just high enough that you can run stringers across them between the shell and the frame. The sawhorses will be outboard of the widest part of the frame - including the wheels - so you'll probably need 12' long stringers.

Use the jacks to set the shell down on the stringers. Dismantle the scaffold. Roll the frame out from under.

Reverse the procedure for reassembly.

Disclaimer --- I have never done this!!!
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:04 PM   #4
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Cut out the old stuff ... and replace with new fiberglass?
That's what I would do.

It sounds like you may be taking up the craft of fiberglassing. There are some good online tutorials posted by boaters. Nose around on Google.
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:26 PM   #5
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Fiberglass

Just found this link to a fiberglass tutorial posted by Rogerdat in another thread.

http://www.westsystem.com/ss/assets/...aintenance.pdf
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:31 PM   #6
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Thanks for that scaffolding idea. I hope I can find something simpler but may have to go that route.
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:17 AM   #7
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Cut out the old stuff, make a hole and replace with new fiberglass?
Cathy,

I am no pro, but if the cracks are just in the gel coat, you can sand off the gel coat and paint. I would use a good two part paint. This kind of paint is basically gel coat you can spray.
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:41 PM   #8
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Loss of gelcoat under the belly band appears to me characteristic of the "exfoliation" you see over a void or air pocket between the glass and gelcoat. In my opinion, it's pretty common and actually pretty harmless in the greater scheme of things, the greater scheme in your case being the frame and floor redo. The cracks radiating from a point on the belly band flange are from a stress riser; probably a fastener thru flanges which don't mate precisely. On the % original strength and integrity scale, they're also imo minor annoyances by comparison to what you're already dealing with.

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Old 08-27-2012, 02:55 PM   #9
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Thanks Jack,

I am expecting the worst every time I address a new problem. We are still trying to figure out how to lift the shell to get out the frame. Been thinking about making a rectangular frame of 2x 4 or 6s to fit close to the shell just beneath the belly band. Sandwiching the center most part of the shell between the 2" board and another 2" piece on the inside and putting bolts through the shell to attach the wooden frame to the shell. Allowing me to lift the frame and the attached shell by the corners with jacks. Not sure about the integrity of the belly band, even with the bolts through the shell.

what do you think?
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Old 08-27-2012, 03:10 PM   #10
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Here is a forum member that has provided extensive how-to on fiberglass repair.
You Can Repair Fiberglass

I seem to recall reading that those "spider cracks" in the gel coat can be due to the gel coat getting stiffer and more brittle with age at a different rate than the FG under it. FG can still flex but not the gel coat so the gel coat cracks at a flex point.
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Old 08-27-2012, 03:12 PM   #11
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Thanks Roger, Ill check it out.
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:12 PM   #12
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I don't have experience lifting a trailer shell, Cathy. Retention of shape seems to be a bigger problem than clearance over the frame and hard to achieve that until the frame's pulled out from under.

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Old 08-27-2012, 06:49 PM   #13
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While pondering the trailer lifting problem (we are waiting out some bad weather here in Florida for a few days) I am going to strip the furniture.

Anybody ever used citri-strip?

And, I can't for the life of me figure out the whole ac/dc thing, much less solar. Im looking ahead trying to plan for what is coming next. Can anybody tell me if there is information somewhere about the whole thing, rather than ac here and dc there? Is there one unit that can be installed that can be wired to handle 120 and 12volt and solar or are they all separate?
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:39 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Cat futrell View Post
.............And, I can't for the life of me figure out the whole ac/dc thing, much less solar. Im looking ahead trying to plan for what is coming next. Can anybody tell me if there is information somewhere about the whole thing, rather than ac here and dc there? Is there one unit that can be installed that can be wired to handle 120 and 12volt and solar or are they all separate?
It is really not that complicated and we can help. Basically, you wire it so everything runs off the 12 volt battery. Then wire the AC converter and the solar panel to recharge the battery. Some converters have a built in fuse box, that makes wiring to all the lights and other stuff easier.
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