Question about fiberglass bodywork... - Fiberglass RV

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Old 09-30-2010, 04:24 PM   #1
Name: ronny
Trailer: 74 boler
British Columbia
Posts: 53
Question about fiberglass bodywork...

hi guys

For those that have done their own prep on the body for paint i have a few questions...

1. I'm doing a complete color change, should i be removing the gelcoat? On certain areas I have already done, It's grey underneath I'm guessing its the primer??

2. On my trailer, the whole very bottom of the trailer is like "teeth" almost the whole way around it...dont know if that made sense but there are chips/slits in the body right at the bottom all over the do you fix that?? Filler? Good ol bondo lol?

3. I'm going to eventually be taking it into a bodyman but want to do as much as i can before hand to save time and money, any help would be awesome, cant find anything on the web regarding bodywork on firberglass trailers

4. Should this whole trailer be sanded down, being that it is a color change? Should the gelcoat be completely removed?

5. What do you guys do about those damn spider cracks??


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Old 09-30-2010, 05:28 PM   #2
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Roy in TO's Avatar
Name: Roy
Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
Posts: 4,852
Originally Posted by thenoob View Post
cant find anything on the web regarding bodywork on firberglass trailers
Let me give you a huge hint, almost everything you would want or need to know has been posted on this site at one time or another. Many have spent countless hours spreading their knowledge for people just like you over the years.
Not only do they tell you how to do it here, but they also tell you where to look for tools, materials and additional information. Believe it or not, there are even pictures.

Happy reading. Remember, is your friend.

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Old 11-15-2010, 08:15 PM   #3
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Name: Carl
Trailer: Tote N Tarry '73
Posts: 5
Hi "noob"!

Some simple answers to a simple project: First, the gel-coat does not need to be removed - only sanded. 400 grit, (wet) followed by 600 is sufficient. The "grey" you're seeing could be primer - if the finish is paint - rather than gel-coat, but I doubt it. It's probably only the fiberglass/resin layup that was applied to the gel-coat in the mold. A quick test would be to wipe a small section with a cloth dampened with acetone. If it is paint, the finish will come off. If it is gel-coat, it will have no effect, unless saturated for quite some time. Only sand the area/s to be painted. The type of paint to be used on gel-coat is different than on metal, but any good body and paint shop will know how to paint a gel-coat finish. The "spider" cracks are fractures in the surface of the gel-coat and can be caused by excessive exposure to heat, by impact with another object, or a combination due to too-thin application of gel-coat in the manufacturing process. The gel-coat is sprayed in the mold first, followed by layup of f'glass cloth and mat, or chopper-gun sprayup.

Hope this helps, noob. I'm new to this site and am having trouble navigating, so thought you may be too. I'm sure, when you find them, others will have more info than I have offered. But, it really is simple. I'm presently sanding my "Lil Tote" (73) in preparation for painting.

Good Luck! Carl
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