Prepping for new ensolite/gymnastics rubber insulation - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-15-2013, 04:07 PM   #1
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Name: Matt
Trailer: 1977 SCAMP
Minnesota
Posts: 15
Prepping for new ensolite/gymnastics rubber insulation

Hello FBRV'ers,

Anybody out there install new ensolite in their trailer? I have a few questions.

1. Isn't it ok to not take a wire wheel to remove all of the brown glue that held on the original ensolite? As long as I chip off the brittle stuff, clean with soap and water, then wipe with solvent - shouldn't that make a nice surface for the new glue? I've seen some pictures of Scamps where the owner removes every last bit of old glue. I don't think I could do this, it gives my anxiety to thin some parts of the shell where it's already thin (I can imagine it's hard to keep the shell thickness uniform throughout during the molding process).

2. Sounds like a lot of people have used the 3m 77 spray adhesive for gluing on the insulation. I've read that Reflectix and 77 glue are not friends in hot weather. I'm tempted to use the 3m 76 hi-tack or maybe the hi-strength 90 spray adhesive for extra longevity. But I'd like to be able to peel away and preserve the ensolite with a heat gun in case we may need to make any future repairs which seems likely (we hit a deer last year). Any insights what is the most appropriate?

3. Solvents for cleaning/prepping: If acetone reacts with the gelcoat and FG resin has anybody considered white gas/Coleman fuel? It seems less volatile but less reactive. We are repainting the exterior with Rustoleum Topside paint (Oyster color!) and I'd like to keep the nice grooves I made with the 60-80 grit sandpaper. Acetone seems to react enough with the gelcoat/bondo/FG to smooth out the micro edges. I can't explain it well but here is an example.

Surface after sanding: }
Sanded surface after wiping with acetone: ]

I ask these questions because I don't want to redo any of this work again in the near future. We bought this 1977 Scamp last year in August, and ohmylanta I don't know if it will be worth restoring it, I'm slow paced and will have ~500-600 hours into it. We are shooting for OEM in appearance.

My advice to future owners: consider saving a little and buy a new one! But only if you can stand the non-jalousie style windows :-).

Thank you.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:17 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by 77ScaabSPG View Post
..........has anybody considered white gas/Coleman fuel? It seems less volatile but less reactive............
I would be very careful with Coleman fuel, which is essentially unleaded gasoline. One spark and you could be badly burned. Mineral spirits is safer and has the same basic solvent capabilities.


gasoline
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:28 PM   #3
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Name: Matt
Trailer: 1977 SCAMP
Minnesota
Posts: 15
solvents and mineral spirits

I think mineral spirits would take too long to evaporate and maybe leave a residue. Yup, multiple extinguishers are nearby. Safety first.

Attached are some 3m datasheets for the spray adhesives they offer. The shear adhesion tests got my attention regarding hot weather.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Super77MultipurposeSprayAdh.pdf (25.8 KB, 5 views)
File Type: pdf HiTack_76_Spray_Adhesive.pdf (24.1 KB, 2 views)
File Type: pdf HiStrength_90_Spray_Adhesive.pdf (51.4 KB, 5 views)
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:40 PM   #4
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Write us from the burn ward.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:00 PM   #5
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Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Vermont
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Hello FBRV'ers,

Anybody out there install new ensolite in their trailer? I have a few questions.

1. Isn't it ok to not take a wire wheel to remove all of the brown glue that held on the original ensolite? As long as I chip off the brittle stuff, clean with soap and water, then wipe with solvent - shouldn't that make a nice surface for the new glue? I've seen some pictures of Scamps where the owner removes every last bit of old glue. I don't think I could do this, it gives my anxiety to thin some parts of the shell where it's already thin (I can imagine it's hard to keep the shell thickness uniform throughout during the molding process).



I used 60 grit on mine as well as a wire wheel. I was very careful to just remove glue with the wheel. Slow and careful


2. Sounds like a lot of people have used the 3m 77 spray adhesive for gluing on the insulation. I've read that Reflectix and 77 glue are not friends in hot weather. I'm tempted to use the 3m 76 hi-tack or maybe the hi-strength 90 spray adhesive for extra longevity. But I'd like to be able to peel away and preserve the ensolite with a heat gun in case we may need to make any future repairs which seems likely (we hit a deer last year). Any insights what is the most appropriate?


I tried the 3m 77 spray and was not happy with the results. Contact cement was recommended but I've yet to try it.


3. Solvents for cleaning/prepping: If acetone reacts with the gelcoat and FG resin has anybody considered white gas/Coleman fuel? It seems less volatile but less reactive. We are repainting the exterior with Rustoleum Topside paint (Oyster color!) and I'd like to keep the nice grooves I made with the 60-80 grit sandpaper. Acetone seems to react enough with the gelcoat/bondo/FG to smooth out the micro edges. I can't explain it well but here is an example.


I've not had any I'll effects on the gel coat from acetone


Surface after sanding: }
Sanded surface after wiping with acetone: ]

I ask these questions because I don't want to redo any of this work again in the near future. We bought this 1977 Scamp last year in August, and ohmylanta I don't know if it will be worth restoring it, I'm slow paced and will have ~500-600 hours into it. We are shooting for OEM in appearance.

My advice to future owners: considering saving a little and buy a new one! But only if you can stand the non-jalousie style windows :-).

Thank you.



good luck with your project and welcome to the forum, Raz


p.s. Remember, we do like pictures
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:59 PM   #6
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Name: Steve and Janna
Trailer: '02 Scamp 13
North Carolina
Posts: 184
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I am currently cutting & fitting closed cell foam (ensolite) in my Scamp and will begin gluing it in place in the coming weeks.

At this point, I do not plan to strip out all traces of the old adhesive. I'm also planning to use contact cement, which I will brush onto the shell and the ensolite.
--- If anyone has had poor results with this sort of approach, I'd appreciate hearing about it.

The foam I am using is 1/2 thick, very light weight, and off white in color. Although it is flexible, it is relatively stiff. I am hoping to cut it into snug fitting panels that will wedge in place. So far my test pieces look promising. I have discovered that if I heat the foam with a heat gun, right up the point of melting it, and then put a bend in it, it holds the bend when it cools. I plan to use this property to my advantage. We'll see.

I'll report back when I have some results to share.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:03 PM   #7
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Name: Cathy
Trailer: 1973 Love Bug '13
Florida
Posts: 400
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Installing ensolite

Matt,

We spent this past weekend working on the installation of our new ensolite - and had to strip out all of the old stuff first. To remove the old glue we used an orbital sander and 60 or 80 grit sand paper to get off the loose stuff. I used a razor blade (the kind that you clean paint off of glass with) and spent allot of time scraping. I think that we even hit it with a wire brush. I even picked at it with my hands. I figured if I could pull it off, I didn't want it under the new insulation. We didn't want to take any chances that our hard work would produce an inferior result so we spent lots of time and effort on getting off that glue. Preparation is key to any successful result.

As for adhesive - we researched and did some tests and decided to go with the 3M 90. So far so good. I went out today to see how things were holding and looks good. We are probably about 15 % done and spent about 4 hours on the actual install. Getting set up was a big part of it. Hoping to finish up this weekend. It is definitely a two man job for us.

I spent lots of energy getting the pieces to butt up nicely - but that is nearly impossible to do for every seam so now I'm wondering if I should have intentionally left small gaps so that the caulk will have a place to grab.

It sounds like we find ourselves in similar situations. I have a post "Love Bug - Love it or Leave it" with some pics. The most recent ones posted today include a shot of the beginning of our ensolite installation.

Best of luck
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:04 AM   #8
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Name: Matt
Trailer: 1977 SCAMP
Minnesota
Posts: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_N_Janna View Post
I am currently cutting & fitting closed cell foam (ensolite) in my Scamp and will begin gluing it in place in the coming weeks.

At this point, I do not plan to strip out all traces of the old adhesive. I'm also planning to use contact cement, which I will brush onto the shell and the ensolite.
--- If anyone has had poor results with this sort of approach, I'd appreciate hearing about it.

The foam I am using is 1/2 thick, very light weight, and off white in color. Although it is flexible, it is relatively stiff. I am hoping to cut it into snug fitting panels that will wedge in place. So far my test pieces look promising. I have discovered that if I heat the foam with a heat gun, right up the point of melting it, and then put a bend in it, it holds the bend when it cools. I plan to use this property to my advantage. We'll see.

I'll report back when I have some results to share.
Are you using polyethylene foam? I so, I wanted to go that route too in the 1/2" size because the price was right. At 1/2", it has a better r-value compared to the more flexible 1/4" gym rubber. Paint doesn't seem to adhere to poly-E very well but if you got yours in off white then that's a bonus! Looking forward to hearing about your results.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:24 AM   #9
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Name: Matt
Trailer: 1977 SCAMP
Minnesota
Posts: 15
Kitty Hair

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat futrell View Post
Matt,

We spent this past weekend working on the installation of our new ensolite - and had to strip out all of the old stuff first. To remove the old glue we used an orbital sander and 60 or 80 grit sand paper to get off the loose stuff. I used a razor blade (the kind that you clean paint off of glass with) and spent allot of time scraping. I think that we even hit it with a wire brush. I even picked at it with my hands. I figured if I could pull it off, I didn't want it under the new insulation. We didn't want to take any chances that our hard work would produce an inferior result so we spent lots of time and effort on getting off that glue. Preparation is key to any successful result.

As for adhesive - we researched and did some tests and decided to go with the 3M 90. So far so good. I went out today to see how things were holding and looks good. We are probably about 15 % done and spent about 4 hours on the actual install. Getting set up was a big part of it. Hoping to finish up this weekend. It is definitely a two man job for us.

I spent lots of energy getting the pieces to butt up nicely - but that is nearly impossible to do for every seam so now I'm wondering if I should have intentionally left small gaps so that the caulk will have a place to grab.

It sounds like we find ourselves in similar situations. I have a post "Love Bug - Love it or Leave it" with some pics. The most recent ones posted today include a shot of the beginning of our ensolite installation.

Best of luck
I've definitely been looking over your thread. Especially the Picasa pics, good to see I'm not the only one who uses a respirator, the neighbors think I'm doing something illegal. It's been good for me to see others being patient restoring these egg gems. I also like to see that you have appeared to remove material from the rivet holes to "recondition" them. Each rivet hole in our scamp had chipping gel coat or had spider cracks surrounding it. Out came the sander and Kitty Hair. I'll have to post some pictures of my situation.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:10 AM   #10
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Trailer: 1984 19' scamp
Kansas
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Originally Posted by 77ScaabSPG View Post
Especially the Picasa pics, good to see I'm not the only one who uses a respirator, the neighbors think I'm doing something illegal.
Heh. I work at nights, and sometimes work on the camper after work. I keep waiting to be called in for cooking meth, crawling out of a lit up camper at 4am, with a respirator…
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:49 PM   #11
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Name: Matt
Trailer: 1977 SCAMP
Minnesota
Posts: 15
pics of 1977 Scamp restoration

Looks like my new steel has started to rust after we washed it. There were parts of the frame that needed to be replaced. Everything near the entrance was pretty weak and was miles away from failing from rust and/or fatigue. We also relocated the axle to a leading configuration.

The bottom half of the shell now has two coats of Rustoleum Top Side paint. I'm planning on 4-6 coats on the bottom half because I can still see a lot of gouging from the sander. On the top half we used citrustrip and didn't have to use the sander to remove old paint. Citrustrip and razorblade worked very well.

The previous owner installed metal bands on top on the roof. There was roofing tar and silver paint that had to be removed. It was a mess. I think the PO wanted to reinforce the roof, it is possible to get a fun warping drum sound when pressure is put in the middle. We were hoping this is normal.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:37 PM   #12
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Name: Matt
Trailer: 1977 SCAMP
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more pics

More pics.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:53 PM   #13
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Name: Matt
Trailer: 1977 SCAMP
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More pics 2

More pics. The original axle had collapsed making it impossible to get the wheels off. You can see how low it once sat. This must have helped fuel economy but our newer Maxxis tires were worn through on the outsides in under 3k miles.
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:47 PM   #14
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Name: Josh
Trailer: Boler 1300
Washington
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Hey thanks for the pics of your frame repair, I am dealing with some similar issues and that gives me some good ideas.

Where did you source your ensolite from?
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