Sagging ensolite: help! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-20-2014, 11:34 AM   #1
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Sagging ensolite: help!

I have a 1980 trillium Jubilee. The ensolite is sagging a little here and there. I don't know where to start... It seems soft and I'm worried about tears with younger guests. It's not a smooth surface, slightly bumpy....
1. How do I re glue corners?
2 How do I clean it without damaging, if it's as soft as I think it is?
3 Would painting it give it a durable surface? Which paint if so?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-20-2014, 02:19 PM   #2
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It should be said up front that I have never done this procedure yet. So take what I say with a grain of salt. I have lots of Ensolite to reattach and I have been researching the theory on the the subject. This is what I have found.

To re-attach Ensolite, carefully expose the detached part, so you can get at the whole volume that has separated. This is not easy to do, so take your time and try to shave it as close to the fibreglass, or what ever the Ensolite is glued to, as possible. Try to save as much of the black foam as you can. Then clean the fibreglass, or what ever, till there is no foam, or glue left. Try to get the glue off the separated foam as well.

Now you are ready to glue it back on. The glue for this would be some kind of heat resistant contact cement. 3M makes a spray on product that some are happy with. I am undecided as yet.

Contact cement is applied to both surfaces and let to dry. Then the two surfaces are pressed together and that is it. It is best to make sure the edges go where you want first, then work your way to the middle of a section. Each piece will require a different technique. And since Jubilees have large flat sections, it may be a totally different process.

This is all I know. hopefully others will add to this, or point out my errors.
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:43 AM   #3
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Thanks Dave for a place to start! How do I paint the ensolite?
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:38 AM   #4
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Dave's procedure is pretty much what I do on old Scamps with ensolite issues. If panels of ensolite are removed and not immediately reattached the material tends to shrink, so have everything ready to go when you start your repair. Don't remove it and then try to cover the area several days later because it won't cover the damaged area. Paintable acrylic latex caulk (ALEX) does a great job of filling seam cracks and you can actually repair gaps a few inches wide. Just spread level with the existing ensolite and dab with a damp sponge or paper towel. Once painted it is hardly noticeable. If you need pieces for small repairs usually you can get some from under you kitchen counter but you need to cover the bare area with refletix to prevent condensation.
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:49 AM   #5
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If the problem is just sagging rat fur I cut a TINY (tiny!) hole in the fur and use that self-same 3M spray adhesive, but with the little pipe applicator. That goes in the hole and SPRITCH. Let it stand for a bit so the adhesive can set up. Press the fur back up and all is well.
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:16 AM   #6
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Spraying into the void through a small hole may work with Ensolite as well. Some have used paint-able calk to patch small holes in Ensolite.

As for painting Ensolite, the white stuff is vinyl, so any vinyl compatible paint should work.
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:38 PM   #7
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When contact cementing foam is is usually helpful to coat both surfaces and let it fully dry. It will soak in and you want that to set up. Then coat it again and let it tack off and stick it together.
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:13 PM   #8
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I think Dave outlined the process very well. I can add those plastic disposable putty knifes seem to work fairly well, along with a sharp metal one gently for more stubborn spots. Main thing is keep blade parallel with wall and be gentle, maybe use sort of a side to side slicing motion. Ensolite is a pretty tough surface but pretty easily cut with a sharp putty knife.

Work from closest seam toward area to that is sagging, don't peel up more than you need to in order to get glue to the sagging location. The more that is still attached the less it can shrink. Have not personally had to try this but modest heat such as a blow dryer or work light should make it easier to stretch if you find yourself coming up short.

To Clean LA Awsome spray cleaner works well, spray area, then scrub with a brush, wipe with a rinse rag from a bucket of clean water. Important to rinse well especially if you decide to paint.

Normal usage I would not worry about the surface being tough enough, and it is easy to clean. If by younger guests you mean kids all I can say is kids break, stain and tear things. As others have pointed out a little caulk, dab with a damp sponge to give it a texture close to the ensolite and it's all good. If you younger folk are not trying to carve their initials into the fiberglass or ensolite you can consider that proof that we are not related even distantly.
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Old 05-22-2014, 07:03 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone! I went back and looked...there really are just small areas that feel loose... I'll try the mini holes and spray, then paint!
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Old 05-23-2014, 03:52 PM   #10
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And after further research the ensolite is only barely " soft feeling" ....and I'm not sure what kind of ensolite....it has more texture than other pics I've seen

Thoughts?
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Old 05-23-2014, 04:01 PM   #11
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It doesn't look like the Ensolite I am used to.
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Old 05-24-2014, 07:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
It doesn't look like the Ensolite I am used to.
David, is there anyone I should ask specifically? I'm interested in painting it so I want to make sure I buy the right product!

Thanks,
Bee
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:22 PM   #13
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What I did was use a medical syringe needle and inject glue actually just gorilla glue threw a 16 gage needle and pressed firmly the small puncture holes were not visible! I work at a hospital though and got my syringe from there but any medical supply store would have them !
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:25 PM   #14
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My boler also came painted brown and I used spray paint to cover unfinished areas it did chip tho if it was sprayed to thick ! It was sprayed a chocolate brown it didn't look very nice I would stick with a lighter colour if you haven't done so already
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