radial cracking around rivets - Fiberglass RV

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Old 03-07-2014, 03:58 PM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Eddie
Trailer: in the market
British Columbia
Posts: 9
radial cracking around rivets

I just started looking at fiberglass trailers for sale, and I went to see a '75 Boler today that is in pretty good shape. New frame, interior almost completely redone, new appliances....

I have a question about the shape of the fiberglass though. Around a lot of the rivets on the outside, there are small radial cracks. Is this a big repair job, or something to be expected for a trailer this age?

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Old 03-07-2014, 04:14 PM   #2
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Posts: 2,866
Any pictures? Any way to tell if the cracks are surface or into / through the fiberglass?

Gel coat gets less flexible with age faster than the fiberglass so flex or stress that won't harm the fiberglass can cause the surface gel coat to get fine cracks. On the other hand over stress or overloading the rivet can cause the same crack pattern down into the structural fiberglass. That would be more of an issue.

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Old 03-08-2014, 08:15 AM   #3
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Name: Roy
Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
Posts: 4,852
If it is like this, it is pretty normal on an older trailer. The gel coat is not as flexible as the fiberglass. Typically called spider cracks because they look like part of a spiders web.
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Old 03-08-2014, 04:23 PM   #4
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,701
The spider cracks seen in the photo Roy in TO posted a indeed a pretty common sight around rivets on many of the old Bolers that attend our meets here in BC.
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