painting or joint compound insulite - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-06-2016, 12:39 PM   #1
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Name: Rhonda
Trailer: 1073 Lovebug
Virginia
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painting or joint compound insulite

Hi. I'm Rhonda- I bought a 73 Lovebug. I'm gutting it and on the inside the Insulite (kinda looks like spray styrofoam) is a mess. It's very rough and separating in many places. I was thinking about taking it out and joint compounding the fiberglass or joint comp. over all the insulite and painting. Has anybody done this. I would joint compound all the walls. Any and all suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 02-06-2016, 12:51 PM   #2
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I certainly wouldn't take it out. Fiberglass trailers need insulation of some kind- to control heat, sound, light, and condensation. Ensolite is a spongy closed-cell foam with a top layer of vinyl. Very tough stuff, and very restorable. Clean it thoroughly, re-glue any loose sections, fill seams and gaps/gouges with latex caulk, then prime and paint.

Joint compound usually refers to the stuff used to finish residential drywall. Way too brittle for use in a travel trailer. You need something flexible. Trailers have been described as rolling earthquakes.

Best wishes with your project!
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Old 02-06-2016, 02:32 PM   #3
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Thank you Jon...happy camping
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Old 02-06-2016, 04:04 PM   #4
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Leave the ensolite fill the seams and defects with Arcrylic Latex (ALEX) calking, dab with a wet rag or sponge to match the texture, then paint.
Eddie
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Old 02-06-2016, 04:20 PM   #5
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Thanks Eddie, Happy camping!
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Old 02-06-2016, 05:55 PM   #6
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Is this your trailer?
1973 Love Bug in VA

I can't tell for sure what the wall covering is, but it could be Ensolite. Ensolite is glued on in pieces, so there are seams, and if you press with your thumb it's spongy and dense. Sound about right?

It actually looks to be in pretty good condition from the pictures, anyway. I'm curious why you're wanting to gut the interior…? It's a bigger job that many novices expect, and too often an empty shell goes on the market six months later. Best advice I've heard is to clean thoroughly, make sure the running gear (axle, tires, lights) is in good working order, and use the trailer for at least one season before embarking on any major renovation. Of course, if you're experienced in vintage trailer rehabs, you know what you're up against…
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Old 02-06-2016, 06:29 PM   #7
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Hi Jon, No, that is not my 73 camper but the interior looks exactly like it. I was going to take the ensolite down because it is in bad need of repairs. I think what I will do now is glue the pieces back on with an adhesive, fill in the gaps with acrylic latex caulk and tape and then prime it. The windows are in really bad shape. The cosmetic stuff I can do but I will need help with them. It had been sitting in someone's yard for years, not used. Rhonda
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Old 02-06-2016, 07:06 PM   #8
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Two Love Bugs, and both in Virginia… I guess it's true…

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I'm glad your Love Bug is now getting some. I like your plan. I think I'd do the windows first. You will probably be taking them out and resealing them, which may disturb the Ensolite a bit. The fixed windows (front and back, maybe?) can be replaced relatively inexpensively with new plexiglass and a new gasket. Getting them back in place can be tricky, and some people just have an automotive glass shop do it. The glass windows aren't too difficult to remove, clean up, and reinstall with new butyl tape. You should be able to find some good tutorials on YouTube- just search on "reseal RV window."
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Old 02-06-2016, 07:30 PM   #9
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Yes, it is finally getting the TLC it deserves. Good point on the order of which to do first. I had a Woody Tear Drop before this and went out west and up to Canada two summers. Trying to get this ready for Zion and the Grand Canyon.
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