temporarily attaching to exterior? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-11-2016, 10:05 AM   #1
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Name: Jim
Trailer: Escape 17B
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temporarily attaching to exterior?

I need to attach some things to the exterior of my escape (on the vertical sides).

It only needs to be as strong as duct tape. It will be on for about 1 week in possibly high temps (90+) in full sun. In a previous life I tried different duct tapes on different surfaces (painted wood and aluminum). I found 'Duck' tape left the least residue and Gorilla tape was horrible, left a lot of residue and the adhesive just melts in the heat.

I could use some sort of weak sealant/adhesive (silicone?) as the travel trailer will be stationary and the forces on the adhesive not all that great. Reading old posts here indicate that silicone leaves an unpleasant residue that remains long after the silicone is gone...

Has anyone have ideas on a not-so-strong, not-permanent, and easy-to-clean attachment method to the side of a fiberglass trailer?

Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2016, 10:19 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Jim99 View Post
I need to attach some things to the exterior of my escape (on the vertical sides).

It only needs to be as strong as duct tape. It will be on for about 1 week in possibly high temps (90+) in full sun. In a previous life I tried different duct tapes on different surfaces (painted wood and aluminum). I found 'Duck' tape left the least residue and Gorilla tape was horrible, left a lot of residue and the adhesive just melts in the heat.

I could use some sort of weak sealant/adhesive (silicone?) as the travel trailer will be stationary and the forces on the adhesive not all that great. Reading old posts here indicate that silicone leaves an unpleasant residue that remains long after the silicone is gone...

Has anyone have ideas on a not-so-strong, not-permanent, and easy-to-clean attachment method to the side of a fiberglass trailer?

Thanks!
3M Scotch Tough Duct tape. It has a purple label on the roll. This is a residue free duct tape. Yes it really is residue free and it is very strong. I use it often because it makes a great temporary clamp. Actually it will stay up for a year or more and still be residue free. Works outside in rain and hot sun with no troubles. Trying is believing, this is not your horrid gummy residue left behind Duct tape.

You can buy it at Home Depot, Lowes and quite a few hardware store chains. Cost more than the standard duct tape but is worth it when you don't want to have a mess to clean up after the tape is removed.

Another choice but much more expensive is VHB tape. Wait I know people will tell you it can't be removed easily but that is not at all true. The trick is to leave a little extra long tail to one side and put a piece of other type of tape (packaging tape, duct tape, scotch tape or even a piece of paper) against the sticky side of the end so that it will not stick to the surfaces. Now when you want to remove it just grab onto the tail with pliers and stretch the tape pulling it in line with the tape so it stretches out nice and thin. Don't try and pull up on the tape, keep pulling parallel or it won't release easily.

You know those Command Adhesive hooks that release from surfaces by pulling on the tab? That stuff is actually VHB tape. It is another choice, you can purchase replacement tags of it at the hardware store. It will last outdoors for a temporary application. Same thing, you have to pull the tab parallel rather than pulling up on it.
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Old 08-11-2016, 10:23 AM   #3
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Thanks for the tip! I'll go buy a roll and test it out. I was also thinking of buying '3m command' refill strips, as I know they handle the heat inside the trailer and remove cleanly, albeit at a greatly increased cost/inch compared to tape.
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Old 08-11-2016, 11:03 AM   #4
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You'd probably get more, and better, responses if you actually stated what in particular you are trying to stick to the trailer. Your nebulous query which states "attach some things" doesn't really address what your attachment needs really are. Are you trying to mount an awning? a pin-up of Betty Grable? a LED television?, etc. Better info gets better responses.

And, FWIW, I'd recommend staying away from silicone sealants wherever possible. They don't usually hold well for long, and once they "release," the residual silicone left behind will make it awfully difficult to get anything else to properly adhere in the areas where silicone has ever been previously applied.
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Old 08-11-2016, 11:13 AM   #5
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Suction cups come in all different sizes and ways to attach objects to them.
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Old 08-11-2016, 11:14 AM   #6
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I'm attaching a Napier SUV tent.

I didn't go into details because I an not sure if I am going to attach a raised lip for the tent to attach to... or just (tape?) the tent directly to the trailer exterior.

It will be windy, so I am trying to minimize rubbing against the trailer to avoid scratching the gel coat.

I'm also keen on a wind-tight seal.

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Old 08-11-2016, 01:23 PM   #7
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Suction cups come in all different sizes and ways to attach objects to them.
But they won't get you a face-to-face with Donald Trump


(for those reading this six months from now.. it was a reference to a news story from yesterday)
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:47 PM   #8
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Did you want to be using it for more than one trip?
You can get Flex-a-rail awing from sailrite.com. That creates a railing on the RV. Then you also get from them some sew on Keder that you attach to the fabric, it slips into the awning rail.

But I would suggest instead of directly tying the two pieces together you do it this way. Put the Flex-a-rail onto the RV as shown in this video

Then sew a piece(s) of track to the tent as in this video

Now for the slick trick you sew rope on two edges of a fabric strip as in this video that you use to marry the tent to the trailer. It is much easier to install it by using an intermediary strip of material than trying to directly put the tent onto the trailer. Also in the future if you needed a different tent or awning you can create a custom shaped intermediary piece as an adapter. I suggest you use three pieces to create your intermediary fabric as shorter pieces are easier to slide into the tracks, two for the sides and one for the top. The top piece can lap over and velcro to the side pieces.

It is an investment in funds and labor but it can be quickly set up and taken down without needing to use duct tape. It will also be a lot more secure in the wind.
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Old 08-11-2016, 04:46 PM   #9
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for what its worth WD-40 is a great goo remover.
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Old 08-11-2016, 05:51 PM   #10
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I have found cheap store brand carburetor cleaner takes off all kinds of stuff - I spray it on, rub it in quickly and clean it off quickly.
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Old 08-11-2016, 09:04 PM   #11
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Since I'll only need to use the tent once a year... I think I'll use the 3M duct tape!

Those channels from the boat shop look like they could be useful for a bunch of other projects, though!

Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2016, 09:25 PM   #12
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What about Velcro ?
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Old 08-11-2016, 10:13 PM   #13
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What about Velcro ?
If I use velcro I need to attach/detach to the trailer, and then also sew to the tent.

I do have some velcro lying around so I'll attach some to the trailer and see if it sticks, is easy to remove in a few days, and doesn't leave much residue.

My elbow grease tub has about run dry!
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Old 08-11-2016, 11:33 PM   #14
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I am pretty much anti duct tape and silicone because of the residue they leave, although the duct tape mentioned above might be better. Yes carb cleaner as well as WD40 and Goof Off work well on removing the residue (and tree sap).

I have had great luck with Command Hooks on various projects. I haven't tried them on the exterior to see how the hold up to the elements but I have removed them from my dashboard with no tell tale residue as advertised. They stick better than Velcro (which won't stick to a dashboard at all).

I am thinking about trying a couple of hooks on my roof to secure one corner of a rain fly that has grommets with the poles supporting the other corners.

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2008 Honda Ridgeline
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