RV parts and service near Seattle? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-24-2009, 06:39 PM   #15
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Hi Amy,

If you came away from Fisheries Supply with only three items, well, I'm impressed! That place is like a candy store for me. I like that it still has more of a real working-person's outlook than some of the more... shall we say "franchised" boating stores. And do get one of their catalogs; it's invaluable!

I hate to sound negative, but silicone is just a big ol' no-no. First of all, it doesn't seal all that well (as you are finding out). And second of all, it is a bugger to remove It also leaves behind an extremely hard to get rid of contaminating oil. This makes it very challenging to ever paint over, and even repels future sealants to a certain degree. Just mention it at a body and paint shop, and watch them recoil in horror

Yet for some reason, it seems to be very appealing to consumers ("friendly" clear jello-blox goodness?). Also, I've seen it recommended by store employees a number of time. To my mind there is always a better product to use.

So, I would say that you should remove the caps, the rivets, and the sealant and start over. At least on the leaking ones, and then you can do others as they start to leak. You want to try not to embed the silicone into the gelcoat more (so, no sanding). I would cut it away as much as possible with something like a razor blade (cut the corners off to not gouge) or a plastic razor blade (probably have them at Fisheries) or some homemade tool from a plastic knife or etc. It's not fun. When you get down to the stuff that won't come off that way, you can try "rolling" it off with your hands, and there is some "anti silicone" solvent available (I'm not sure how well it works).

Sometimes you will get lucky and it will peel right off. If so, count your blessings!

Since you are not planning to paint, you'll probably be okay with a bit of the oil left behind (invisible). Then just clean the area well with acetone (or denatured alcohol), and go about your new fastener.

Okay, so now you get to choose which new fastener!

There is the tried and true rivet, either with or without a cap (I prefer no cap, but that's a matter of taste). This has a hole in the middle that you have to dab caulk into.

There are rivets without holes, I believe, although I have not used them.

Then there are machine screws and nuts (essentially "nuts and bolts," but the head is tapered like a screw and will not stick up all big and hexy like a bolt head). This would be my choice if I were using fasteners. You can use acorn nuts on the inside and they will match what you have on the back of the rivet (or, at least, what the Bolers had from the builder). If you choose them, then we can help you with details.

Or you can "tab" the cabinetry to the shell, from the inside, with fiberglass, and forget having any fasteners through the shell. This would be my choice, but considering your experience level, I would probably recommend fasteners, unless you really want to go with this method (in other words, I'm not trying to say "Oh, too hard for little old you"; but I realize this is probably beyond what you are interested in right now).

Raya
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:20 PM   #16
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It seems like I have seen something along the lines of "For the love of Pete, no screws!" on this forum. Is there also a bolt versus screw debate?

I will need help. I think what I am going to need is a list of the exact things I will need to buy and then a step by step of how to fasten them (if I am to include sealant in the process). I did get a video of how to remove rivets with a drill, so I hope we've got that covered.

Being at the very bottom of a learning curve is very humbling.


Edited to add this old thread:

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/index.ph...++screws++caulk


I still don't entirely get what different pieces are recommended and how they go together.


Quote:
Then there are machine screws and nuts (essentially "nuts and bolts," but the head is tapered like a screw and will not stick up all big and hexy like a bolt head). This would be my choice if I were using fasteners. You can use acorn nuts on the inside and they will match what you have on the back of the rivet (or, at least, what the Bolers had from the builder). If you choose them, then we can help you with details.
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:41 PM   #17
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I think some people have the idea that the rivets are there as a "safety break," so that if there is flex in the trailer the rivets will break and not the fiberglass.

In my opinion, this is a fallacy. It's better to have the attachments stronger, not weaker, as that will strengthen the entire (monocoque) shell. Best, to my mind, would be to "tab" the components to the shell, like a fiberglass boat (picture them pounding through the waves).

I believe that rivets were used because they are adequate, and also much cheaper to install (faster and need only one worker), in a factory setting.

Again, this is not to say that rivets don't work, because they do; just that they are not necessary, or even "best" because they are rivets. (Note that other trailers, like the Trillium, do tab their "furniture" to the shell, and you don't see the fiberglass failing due to not having an easy "break point.")
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:50 PM   #18
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Oh, about fasteners. Here is just a quick example of what you could use. There are possible variations, but to give a general idea. (And you can read about these at www.boltdepot.com or www.mcmaster.com

Starting at the top, outside the trailer:

1) A machine screw. I would choose a truss head (wider, like this one) but either way it would have this same basic shape. Stainless steel, either 304 grade (18-8) or 316 (slightly more corrosion resistant). By the way, a machine screw is flat on the bottom, like a "bolt." It's not like a screw that you normally think of, with a pointy end (would definitely not be a good idea!)


Click image for larger version

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Okay, I guess images can't be too small, either. But just try finding large images of fasteners. Not easy! So this one (above) is a phillips head. I would choose a slotted head probably, for looks, but that is totally a matter of choice. If you want to stay authentically Canadian, use a Robertson head (square)


2) Optionally, next would come a washer (maybe not necessary with a truss head). People have used nylon washers here, or maybe rubber, or just caulk with a truss head and no washer.


Click image for larger version

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3) The shell of the trailer.

4) Now you are inside. Optionally, a metal or nylon washer (although they were not used originally).


Click image for larger version

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5) And last, a nut. Either regular, or Cap or Acorn (more expensive, but cuter).

Cap:
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Acorn:
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Voila! One type of option.

Raya
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:01 PM   #19
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Okay, I'm trying to load the images again. Maybe in a new reply will help.

Nope, I still get the same failure message. Anyone else having this problem? (Images were .jpgs of about 10kb, so very small).

Here is the message:

Upload failed. Please ask the administrator to check the settings and permissions.



Donna hit the problem here (in a PM): The images were too small (less than 10k). So I found larger ones and added them above, no problem

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Old 11-24-2009, 08:17 PM   #20
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Okay. Thanks. So, is there any sealant used at any point with this? What size am I to get?

Am I having to do any drilling with this, or once the holes from removing rivets are there can I just use my hands and something to tighten?




Quote:
Oh, about fasteners. Here is just a quick example of what you could use. There are possible variations, but to give a general idea. (And you can read about these at www.boltdepot.com or www.mcmaster.com

Starting at the top, outside the trailer:
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:50 PM   #21
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Hi Amy,

If you choose to use machine screws, here are some thoughts:

1) On the size... I would use something close to the size of the holes. They will be plenty strong, so no need to go huge. Maybe someone who has done it can chime in on the size (I know several people have). When you drill the rivet out, do it very carefully and with the smallest (thinnest) possible drill bit. Just place a thin little bit in the center of the rivet hole on the outside, and start drilling. You aren't trying to drill into the camper, just to separate the "doughnut" ring from the tube part of the rivet, so it drops out into the camper.

2) Head choice: Slotted (like a regular screwdriver), Phillips, Robertson, etc. I would choose slotted, for looks, but any of them would work.

I would choose a truss head, because it will spread the load a bit and you shouldn't need a washer then; but again, it's personal choice. I know some people have used nylon washers. Just that then you've got the UV-hates-plastic issue and also nylon and caulk are not the best of friends (not great adhesion).

So I would use a truss head, slotted, and then either the 4200 or butyl tape under the head.

3) Inside: I would probably not use a washer where it's on fiberglass (there is no washer now). But I would on Ensolite (but note that I would NOT replace the curtain rods with fasteners through the shell - seems silly to me.

I would choose cap nuts, because I like the way they look; but they are more expensive. Also, then you have to have the fasteners close to the right length, as opposed to regular hex nuts, where the fastener can run wild through them.

Coming from a boat background, I might choose 316 stainless; but 304 would be fine too, unless you live right next to the sea.

To put them in and tighten them, I would use two people, and turn the nut on the inside while holding the outer fastener still with a screwdriver. Don't overtighten, as it will be possible to crack the fiberglass. Think of what a small amount of pressure the rivet was probably exerting, and it held for years.

Now, I'm sure others who have replaced their fasteners can chime in with more useful information. I know several people have done this job already and are happy with it.

Raya
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:45 PM   #22
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I prefer the square robertson head screws. There is less risk of slipping out of the slot and gouging the fiberglass with the screwdriver blade.
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Old 11-27-2009, 05:22 PM   #23
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Okay, we replaced all the ceiling rivets with the new screw system today. I hope we did it right. Rain in the forecast, so I guess we'll find out.

I got truss ss machine screws, then a "sealing washer" that the guy and the screw store recommended that is rubber on the bottom and ss on the top. We poked some 3M 4000 into the holes and twirled it around, but since we had the washers we didn't put it under the screw head. I hope this isn't a problem. On the inside, we used a ss washer and acorn nut.

We also got some spreadable marine filler and covered up some holes on the top that might not have been filled in completely, leading to the significant drip coming through the overhead light that's affixed by glue. I think it will have been on there about 24 hours before rain is supposed to come. I hope that is long enough to cure it. I guess the other worry is that it says to use it at 60 degrees or above and it is more like 50 today.
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Old 11-27-2009, 05:39 PM   #24
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Hi Amy,

Sounds like you were busy!

Couple of thoughts:

The washers sound like they could work well. Usually I wouldn't use both a rubber gasket and caulk, but you might be fine with both. My other thought on that is that I would want it to be a soft enough rubber that I could get it to do its "sealing" thing in the amount of torque that I'd feel comfortable applying to the fiberglass.

What sort of "spreadable marine filler?" and one what type of holes? I mean, holes that you already put machine screws through? Or did you have other holes, and how big were they?

I think 3M makes a vinylester filler that might have a name like that, but I guess I'd rather wait to hear exactly what you used and in what way before commenting further.

You know, for this (the holes/filler question) and for questions like the one about your propane hold-down system, a photo or two would be great. Could you post any?

Raya

PS: How did you like the 3M 4000? I haven't used that yet (it's relatively new). And just to be clear, the data that I excerpted the other day was for 3M 4200 because I had thought that's what you were using (just so it's not confusing for you or any late readers).
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Old 11-27-2009, 06:33 PM   #25
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Re: washers. The rubber is pretty soft, unlike the nylon I was going to get and the boat store people told me not to. They said that rubber would work pretty well and would adhere to sealant. The screw store (Tacoma Screw) guy said so as well. Let's hope they're right. I returned the big tube of 4200 and got a small tube of the 4000 because I guess the only difference is that 4000 has UV protectant. The man said 3M is phasing out 4200. I found it kind of drippy, a little thicker than the consistency of Elmer's glue. Messy.

Re: holes. The p-p-o removed an overhead light over the dinette and filled in the holes with either Bondo or a Dyco product (I can't remember off-hand). I mentioned to him that the light under that area was dripping, and he suggested I put another layer over those holes in case they weren't filled well enough. The guy at Fisheries Supply pointed me to this:

http://www.amazon.com/3M-46004-Marine-Prem...r/dp/B0000AZ4YS



Quote:
Hi Amy,

Sounds like you were busy!

Couple of thoughts:

The washers sound like they could work well. Usually I wouldn't use both a rubber gasket and caulk, but you might be fine with both. My other thought on that is that I would want it to be a soft enough rubber that I could get it to do its "sealing" thing in the amount of torque that I'd feel comfortable applying to the fiberglass.

What sort of "spreadable marine filler?" and one what type of holes? I mean, holes that you already put machine screws through? Or did you have other holes, and how big were they?

I think 3M makes a vinylester filler that might have a name like that, but I guess I'd rather wait to hear exactly what you used and in what way before commenting further.

You know, for this (the holes/filler question) and for questions like the one about your propane hold-down system, a photo or two would be great. Could you post any?

Raya

PS: How did you like the 3M 4000? I haven't used that yet (it's relatively new). And just to be clear, the data that I excerpted the other day was for 3M 4200 because I had thought that's what you were using (just so it's not confusing for you or any late readers).
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Old 11-27-2009, 07:04 PM   #26
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That's the filler I was thinking of. If I remember correctly it's a vinylester.

I can't quite envision how you were putting it on over other, previous filler; I think that would take a photo.

Sounds like you're moving right along!

I haven't used the 4000 yet (actually, I typically used Sikaflex 291, which is similar to 4200 but a different brand). I'm interested in how it stands up to UV.

Raya
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:24 PM   #27
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Well, it was basically like spackling partially covered nail holes in a wall. I used a putty knife to spread a somewhat thick (1/8 inch, probably), quarter-sized spot of filler over each spot. After it is all cured, I'll sand it down. Since it's on the roof and the paint up there is far from pristine, I was not worried about having a patchy look as long as it cures my leak. I'm pretty sure a full paint job is in our future.

If this doesn't work, the next thing to investigate is the vent right next to the light. There is no water coming directly down from it, though, so I am hoping this is the right thing to fix.


[quote]
That's the filler I was thinking of. If I remember correctly it's a vinylester.

I can't quite envision how you were putting it on over other, previous filler; I think that would take a photo.
e]
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:51 PM   #28
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Amy,

Is your Boler painted? That sure looks like original gelcoat, at least from the ad photos and colors.

If so, I would not give up on it so easily. Unless it has already been done numerous times (seems doubtful), or is totally crazed, you should be able to buff it up to a lovely shine. And have the original funky orange (of course you could have it painted that color; but a good, two-part paint job is a fair bit of work, and expense).

If you want to try buffing a small section, let me know and I can give you some pointers on a quick way to try a couple of spots.

Raya

PS: If you are going to fill any more spots, I'd recommend first removing the mold-release wax (maybe you did and just didn't mention it).
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