Restoring Fiberglass - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-24-2014, 02:44 PM   #1
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Name: Dale
Trailer: Allegro
California
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Restoring Fiberglass

Hi,Mr.Zee here(my username).Im new to this forum and just realized Ispent some time asking for help,but put my topic in the wrong spot,whoops.Anyway can someone help me,cause I want to restore the fiberglss on my 27 yr old Allegro.It has deep cracking,andbad oxidation.Is there a product to restore the dry fiberglass back to close to original,or do I have to prep and apply new gelcoat?Sure would appreciate some advice.Thanks,Mr.Zee

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Old 03-24-2014, 03:07 PM   #2
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Name: Francesca Knowles
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
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Not too many actual fiberglass restoration experts here- mostly hobbyists devoted to a certain "type" of trailer.

For a more technical question like yours:

I've gotten my best advice per fiberglass restoration from boatbuilders. I'm lucky enough to live in an area with lots of those, but online forums on that subject are also a wealth of information. And there are TONS of Youtube videos on the subject!
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Old 03-24-2014, 03:24 PM   #3
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Francisca,Thanks for advice.I live in the California north bay delta,and will take your advice seriously.Mr.Zee

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Old 03-24-2014, 04:14 PM   #4
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Check with a large boat repair dealership. Me, I would clean the ox off, fill the cracks and put on a good paint job.
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:34 PM   #5
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I'm far from being an expert but if in your situation I would consider painting as an option. Gelcoat with pigment, white or otherwise, is a cost effective way of achieving a finish but there are other ways to obtain one, some even better in my opinion. Coach House motorhomes for example are all molded fiberglass but receive a painted finish over the gelcoat. They're probably the best quality fiberglass and finish work that I've seen. Gelcoat is really a painted finish in a way, it's just applied during the mold process. This essentially skips a step making it less expensive to produce.
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Old 03-25-2014, 03:28 AM   #6
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Interesting comment on gelcoat and paint. I can see what you are saying about the gel being cheaper for production. I've never owned anything fiberglassed that was painted. The first thing that comes to mind is a Corvette, they are painted right ?
My dune buggy is a red gel coat finish, 20+ years old and has had, well.... an expirienced off road life. She's a bit sun faded and has a few scrapes here and there but the overall finish is good and has held up fine.
I'm sure a painted fiberglass trailer would hold up for many years of road use. Everything in life has pluses and minuses .
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:14 AM   #7
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Original gelcoat is one of the significant advantages of molded fiberglass construction. As mentioned, on many products, such as dune buggies and boats, a wide variety of very complex and durable finished can be created that become a part of the finished surface. The fact that it can be created in the mold at lower cost than painting afterwards is merely a plus to the technique. Just imagine trying to create any of the metalflake finishes with a spray gun.

For trailers, boats. and a wide range of recreational vehicles I can't imagine a better and more durable coating. If some on knows of such please mention it by name.
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:50 AM   #8
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I am not an expert but I have coated several dull fiberglass trailers with PoliGlow with great success. PoliGlow was developed for sailboats. It is not a wax. It is clear coat that effectively seals the surface and produces a shine that has been measured to exceed 5 times that of the best waxes. Easy to apply just wipe on it may take 2 or 3 coats. No buffing required. I bought the product at MyBoatStore.com - Proven boat care, finishing, waxing, and maintenance products..
Chuck
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:56 AM   #9
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Check out Tap Plastics.
They have stores all over. At least one in the Bay Area.
Also go their web site. tapplastics.com
Click Fiberglass, then click Gel Coats and watch the 2 videos on how to do refinishing.
Sounds like what you need.
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
Interesting comment on gelcoat and paint. I can see what you are saying about the gel being cheaper for production. I've never owned anything fiberglassed that was painted. The first thing that comes to mind is a Corvette, they are painted right ?
My dune buggy is a red gel coat finish, 20+ years old and has had, well.... an expirienced off road life. She's a bit sun faded and has a few scrapes here and there but the overall finish is good and has held up fine.
I'm sure a painted fiberglass trailer would hold up for many years of road use. Everything in life has pluses and minuses .
Another example of painted fiberglass is a camper shell. The Leer shell on my pickup has a painted finish to match the truck and has held up better than the finish on my trailer despite being older and left out in the sun much longer.
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:37 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by stev View Post
Check out Tap Plastics.
They have stores all over. At least one in the Bay Area.
Also go their web site. tapplastics.com
Click Fiberglass, then click Gel Coats and watch the 2 videos on how to do refinishing.
Sounds like what you need.
Nice videos on the Tap Plastics site. Thanks for pointing them out.
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