Making a Mold - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-19-2010, 06:29 PM   #1
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I was just wondering if anyone knows if it is possib;e to make an entire mold of my trailer, without destroying it. I have a 72 compact jr. very basic design and single wall construction. but n ot sure if you can pull a mold from it and still keep it intact and usable
I have no clue and would not be the one doing it but might know an manufacure that would do it if it wouldnt destory mine
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:56 PM   #2
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All this is something that is very costly and labor intensive and toxic so do extensive research B 4 you make your decision.

The molds are reverse molds meaning that they have a mold where they shoot the clear coat on the inside then add the fiberglass and then extract from the mold.
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For you to make a mold you would have to do the exact opposite by taking your camper apart then waxing up the outside of the camper then shooting it with clear coat then fiberglass then building a ridged wood frame to the outside of the mold then more fiber glassing and when all is done, you extract the original camper part out of the mold. You now have a mold where you do everything over again this time making your new camper part.

Most of these campers are fiber glassed using a chop gun where the epoxy and fiberglass strands are shot/mixed from the gun and the gun chops the fiberglass as it is shot and then you roll the fiberglass and epoxy to get saturation of the epoxy and the air bubbles out.

You might want to visit a boat builder or take a tour through a camper factory to get a first hand look at what it will take.

My experience: I had a friend in Germany that manufactured FiberFab sports cars using the molds and chop gun process and I was in his 2 person factory many times.
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:20 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply Darwin, I would not do this myself but might have a manufacture that is interested in doing another compact jr type project for condo dwelers that need to par them in the garage. this person thinks they would be a wonderfull design for that and if he can do it for the price point he wants, would be verry nice. will keep you poseted. just not sure if I want to offerup my little home awayfrom home for the molding proces. I know the people he says would do the molds for him and they are a verry reputable truck cap maker. nothing will happen till this fall so we will see.
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Old 07-20-2010, 04:59 AM   #4
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Thanks for your reply Darwin, I would not do this myself but might have a manufacture that is interested in doing another compact jr type project for condo dwelers that need to par them in the garage. this person thinks they would be a wonderfull design for that and if he can do it for the price point he wants, would be verry nice. will keep you poseted. just not sure if I want to offerup my little home awayfrom home for the molding proces. I know the people he says would do the molds for him and they are a verry reputable truck cap maker. nothing will happen till this fall so we will see.
Please keep in mind the intellectual property rights of the original designer/builder. Before you consider creating a copy of someone else's work, check to insure you can do it legally, especially if you plan to sell the result of your efforts. Somewhere, the original design exists, either in plans or old molds. Perhaps you can track down the owners of the design, enquire if the original molds are available and proceed with a proper business plan.

My 2 cents worth.
Barrie
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:35 AM   #5
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Making molds from existing trailers is exactly what Scamp did after the fire. Don't know if the trailers were useful afterward and they probably didn't care. But as Barrie mentioned, Scamp owned all the rights.
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:06 AM   #6
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I was curious about the same type of question one day. Thread Here
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Old 07-20-2010, 02:58 PM   #7
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Thanks so far for all the advice. as for the legale issue, I have no clue. I have tried to find out what happend to Hunter Structures who made them in Chatsworth Cal. but to no avail. they seem to have just vanished after 1973 or 74. the next step I would imagine is to find a local paper there and run an add looking for someone still in the area that worked there and see if they have any info. if anyone knows what happend to them please let me know. I think it would be a wonderfull thing to see someone make the compact jr or the hunter trailers again. than man interested in it wants to sell to condo dwellers that want to keep it in the garage. this modle is pefect and cant think of anythigs else that fits so weel in a garage uther than the mighty lite and who knows what happend to them either. why do all the great ideas seem to fade away

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Old 07-20-2010, 03:05 PM   #8
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If there's no luck gaining legal permission to proceed, there are several other "orphan" brands of pop-top molded trailers to consider:
Complete list of Compact style trailers with pictures
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Old 07-20-2010, 04:36 PM   #9
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On the technical question of can you take molds from your trailer: yes, but that will be maybe only half the work - there are loads of little details that would need to be sorted out, like modifying one of the molds where the joint between the halves occurs.

You would need to take your trailer off its chassis and completely strip it of all its outside fittings - windows, door, lights, pop-top, etc, etc - so that the holes can be temporarily filled in and edges extended (the fiberglass when being molded needs to extend beyond all the edges and then get cut off). It would probably be easier to scrap your trailer shell after the molds have been taken from it, and then have the first new trailer shell for yourself, rather than to try to restore your current shell.

In practice, people take molds off other peoples' fiberglass products - it ain't right, but it happens. If the "other people" haven't been in business for 20-30 years, then it really isn't an issue. It's a bit like picking up something that's been lying on the side of the road for a year - technically it's still theft, but who would object?

Andrew
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