Trillium over the door cracks, need advice - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-20-2011, 07:31 AM   #1
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Trillium over the door cracks, need advice

Yesterday we decide to give the trailer a good wash and wax. While waxing the roof I discovered 3 cracks emanating from under the drip cap. On one of the cracks one side is higher than the other. My thinking is an overzealous fellow with a screw gun is the cause but I may be wrong. My first thought was to remove the drip cap, fill the cracks with epoxy putty and rebed the drip cap using butyl tape and the same screws. My question is if that is enough or do I need to do more to prevent these from reappearing? Thanks, Raz
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:34 AM   #2
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front and side on the third one
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:39 AM   #3
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If these are not intrusive... through the shell and just in the gelcoat, I'd try Captain Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:41 AM   #4
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Thanks Donna but I'm afraid these are in the fiberglass.
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:48 AM   #5
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Sigh, too bad. Then maybe bite the bullet and grind out the cracks (make it worse), fill with fiberglass resin and sand smooth. You can get gelcoat repair stuff too.

And folks wonder why molded fiberglass manufacturers use rivets... this is the reason!
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Old 08-21-2011, 01:39 PM   #6
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I removed the drip cap to find that the cracks were really portions of chipped gelcoat caused by the outward thrust of the screws. I thought there was fiberglass damage but that was not the case. The gelcoat on the curve is quite thick.
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Old 08-21-2011, 01:42 PM   #7
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The curve of the roof is a tough place to get a good seal. The black seen on the butyl tape on the back of the drip cap is mold from water intrusion.
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Old 08-21-2011, 01:44 PM   #8
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I cleaned every thing and filled the holes with PC -11 epoxy putty. I was going to replace the screws with bolts but access to the back of some of the holes was restricted by an internal fiberglass structural member. Donna's right, this would be a good place for rivets. Maybe next time. The original screws will have to do for now. I drilled pilot holes and installed the screws by hand, tightening until the new butyl tape oozed. I used a dull putty knife to trim the excess. Raz
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Old 08-21-2011, 02:11 PM   #9
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Whew Raz, glad it wasn't as severe as you thought. Good job
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:56 AM   #10
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Hi: P. Raz...Nice job!!! When you're done fixin' you will be able to say honestly " It's better than new"!!!
I have a cracked egg to patch and will be lookin' for some form of filler... Where is PC-11 available? Thanks for the pic's too.
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:06 AM   #11
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Hi Alf. I found it at Aubuchon hardware. If your local hardware/home center doesn't have it next time you are south of the border there are numerous Aubuchons in up state N.Y. The nice thing about PC -11 is it can be loaded in a syringe and injected. As to it's durability I can't say. Good luck, Raz
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:14 AM   #12
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It looks like your problem were screws that were tightened to much and caused the gelcoat to pull out. Also if the screw holes are a bit small for the screw size, it puts a lot of stress on the gelcoat, and it will crack like you have experienced. Looks like you did a great repair.
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Old 08-24-2011, 03:17 PM   #13
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Smile Fiberglass repairs

Hmm. I often thought that something a light as the drip cap could just be epoxied onto the gel goat and avoid holes altogether! When I owned a FG sailboat, I epoxied a small handle to the inside of the forward hatch, and it was still there going strong when I sold the boat 30 years later.

I can never understand FG manufacturers. One of their big selling points is the one piece, leak free fiberglass shell, and then they proceed to drill all kinds of holes in the thing. I like the Burro solution with a molded in drip cap.

However, you have already done your repair so my advice is moot. Good luck, it should last a long time.
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:01 PM   #14
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Hi, Raz

Boy, it's just one thing after another, no?

I'm surprised at how thick the gelcoat is at the curve- I always thought the extra thickness was more fiberglass layers for strength at that point!
I'm gonna take a closer look at that area on my '78.

Francesca
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