Ummm, I did a boo-boo, I need help! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-11-2009, 09:49 PM   #1
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Okay, soooo, I realized that my filter on my a/c was pretty darn dirty, sooo, I was using a screwdriver to take off the cover to clean the filter and I dropped the screw driver "just right"! It put a 1/8 inch slit in the fiberglass that holds the sink, right at the edge before, crap I need to take a pic, but it isn't very big at all, just a nic but it went through the fiberglass. Right in front of the sink. So, my question is, how do I fix it? I have absolutely NO KNOWLEDGE regarding this, so step by step would be helpful. I feel like a total dope and I have damaged my precious baby! Taking a deep breath and hoping you all will help! I almost can't stand to look at it! I feel soooo stupid and really damn dumb! Please, anyone and everyone! Please!
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Old 05-11-2009, 09:55 PM   #2
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You can go to any auto parts store and buy a small fiberglass repair kit.. it will come with everything you need (Except paint and sandpaper) and follow the simple instructions. It has the "goo", cloth and instructions. Basically.. mic chemicals, saturate the cloth, cover the hole, feather, sand and paint.

You may want to find a cup you don't like to mix it in.. don't use foam or paper ones. Plastic can melt and contaminate too.

It does not require a ton of skill or knowledge, just patience and care.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:22 PM   #3
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:28 PM   #4
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
You can go to any auto parts store and buy a small fiberglass repair kit.. it will come with everything you need (Except paint and sandpaper) and follow the simple instructions. It has the "goo", cloth and instructions. Basically.. mic chemicals, saturate the cloth, cover the hole, feather, sand and paint.

You may want to find a cup you don't like to mix it in.. don't use foam or paper ones. Plastic can melt and contaminate too.

It does not require a ton of skill or knowledge, just patience and care.
Okay, but, do I need sand paper (what grain) and paint (what kind), I mean, I really KNOW NOTHING about this! Since it is right in front of the sink, I am worried about minor water damage aka mold. I am going to cover it with some sort of tape for now, but I really know nothing about this. I want to learn, will the "kit" give me more explicit directions?
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:35 PM   #6
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On my Scamp, is the sink/stove hold fiberglass, or is it plastic? When I knock on it, it sounds way different than the fiberglass mold (refrigerater/micro hold) part of the trailer?
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
It put a 1/8 inch slit in the fiberglass that holds the sink, right at the edge before, crap I need to take a pic, but it isn't very big at all, just a nic but it went through the fiberglass. Right in front of the sink. So, my question is, how do I fix it?
Monica,

We have all been there. Doesn't make it feel any better, though... A friend once said that the mark of a good craftsman is knowing how to cover his/her mistakes.

If it is a small nick you probably won't have to use glass cloth. West Marine makes a white fiberglass putty for filling small areas. Or, an automotive Bondo/filler would work - these are dark colored and require much sanding, priming and painting (but not as much as if you use glass cloth).

If you want to have it done by a pro take it to a fiberglass shop - boat builder, surf board maker, check your phonebook. Shouldn't cost much more than a minor body part...

Good luck
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
West Marine makes a white fiberglass putty for filling small areas. Or, an automotive Bondo/filler would work - these are dark colored and require much sanding, priming and painting (but not as much as if you use glass cloth).
I would go with a small tube of Putty or Bondo for the small area of damage you convey. Much, MUCH easier for a novice to deal with. This is how I filled in the screw holes from when the previous owner of my Fiber Stream slapped up extra tail lights on the back when he couldn't make the originals work.
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:59 AM   #9
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Monica,

Are you talking about the cabinet?? They don't use plastic other maybe the new sink they are putting in.

I bought this Gel Coat Scratch Patch - White and used it for a knick in my counter. It worked pretty good. It comes out of the tube thin so I had to put several coats on. I have no clue where I bought it.


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It's made by Fiberglass Evercoat out of Cincinnati, OH
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Old 05-12-2009, 03:04 AM   #10
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Monica,

Ouch... I hate breaking stuff when Im supposed to be fixing it For future, you might want a project blanket that you drape over the nearby surfaces. Even a beach towel helps, and then you can also just gather it up and shake out any detritus when you've finished.

I believe your sink surround should be fiberglass with a gelcoat top layer (the shiny white stuff on top). Now, do you have a hole clear through the surround? Or just through the white gelcoat? Either way, I'd make the repair with gelcoat on top. That way you don't paint, but simply buff the new gelcoat to match the old. Nothing wrong with paint, but you probably dont need to go to paint yet (until its time to paint the whole thing, sometime in the future). White the gelcoat lasts, you might as well repair it with new gelcoat. The real "artists" with it can make a patch you would never be able to find.

If the hole is really large and deep, you may need to reinforce below; I'm picturing more of a deep scratch.

I'm going to give you a link to a step by step, but basically, you prep the area, then you get a gelcoat color match, then you apply the gelcoat (slightly proud) and let it cure, then you sand it flat, with rising grades of sandpaper till its glossy and matches everything around it. Since you'll be into it, you may want to look around to see if there are any other chips you can fix simultaneously.

I would tape plastic around the area to protect nearby surfaces. Think like surgery where only the one area is exposed.

As far as supplies go, you can buy them from someplace like West Marine, or another marine store (online or in person), or perhaps at a body shop. I'm more familiar with the marine stores. Evercoat does have the quick Scratch Patch product that Joy showed. That works if the chip is not too large, and if their white happens to match your white. Then you dojnt need to bother with the mixing, color matching, etc.

If you need to do some color matching, and/or mix up your own product, then there are Evercoat brand kits that come with little bottles of color and with the gelcoat in two parts, base and catalyst. This comes in handy as you can mix up a prospective color and dab it on your counter to see how the color matches, then wipe it right off again (it wont ever harden due to no catalyst. When you've got the color right, you make up a batch with catalyst, and away you go.

Of course if you plan large scale Tool Tossing™ parties, you'll want to get full cans and tubes of the resin and colors, as they are more cost effective.

Along with the colors and resin, you'll want some fine grades of wet/dry sandpaper, say 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500. These are what you'll "buff" your repair with when you've finished. You'll also want a can of acetone, for cleaning prior to the patch, a box of disposable nitrile gloves, some eye protection, and a good, cartridge respirator would be nice too (although you could get away without the respirator if you have a LOT of ventilation, it will come in handy for other tasks). I like to keep a Tyvek suit on hand as well. They are thin and fold down to nothing and you wear them like big, marshmallowey coveralls. I like the ones with a hood. Either get a footie Tyvek, some show covers, or wear old shoes. It may sound like a lot, if you have to buy it all now, but much of it is the basis for a good project/repairs outfit. I put two or three gloves on each hand so that i can just peel them off when I need a clean one, without wrestling with putting new ones on. Note that the good cartridge respirators come in sizes for the face part. I have a pretty normal sized female head, and I wear Small. 3M and Survivair are good brands. Make sure to get the cartridges you need, typically dust and organic vapors (they clip on over each other, or you can get separate dust ones).

Here is a link to West Marine's website. They carry the Evercoat and MAS brand of scratch patch and kits. You may be able to find a nearby store and walk in and see them yourself, if you want to.

www.westmarine.com

And here is a link to a how-to on gelcoat patching. Note that this same skill will serve you for fixing dings and whatnot on the outside of the camper, as long as it's the original gelcoat and has not been painted.

http://www.boatus.com/boattech/casey/02.htm

A couple of notes: Don recommends styrene for cleaning the wound prior to surgery where I mentioned acetone (what Ive used), and I also notice that he recommends a coarser range of paper. Since wet/dry is cheap, and since its helpful to have a supply on hand, I might combine our recommendations a bit. I always start with a paper thats too fine, then figure out how coarse I can go, and then work my way back to fine.

I always like to check a few sources, since they sometimes make something more clear or give me an additional tip, so here is another instructional page:

http://www.fibreglass.com/techgel.htm

And another:

http://www.valsparcomposites.com/repair/gc...crepairlist.jsp

There are some gelcoat repair youtube videos, but I notice you cant play them. And besides, you are probably bursting with information now

Raya
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Old 05-12-2009, 03:32 AM   #11
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There are some gelcoat repair youtube videos, but I notice you cant play them. And besides, you are probably bursting with information now

Raya
Oh, gosh Raya, you have really stepped up here! With all the details you have laid out and the other info from other posters, I am pretty confident. It does seem like a lot when you lay out all the stuff (protective gear and all) that I will need, but I don't want to be one of those that needs someone else to fix every little glitch, so I figure I will use all the tools you have and have suggested. I WANT and NEED to be a do-it-yourselfer, I will NOT be able to afford commercial fixes to my minor problems! I am amazed at what some of you women on here have done (are you the one that fixed your own toilet thingy, really tough project?), and up until now, you know how it is, mostly you have a guy around somewhere. Not while I am on the road though, not unless I pay them for a job I KNOW I can do.

I will be referring back to this and collecting my supplies, I am in Livingston, so I will have to "find" them here, but I will be referring back repeatedly during my first small fix-it, I hope you all will be with me on this...nervous. And Raya, thanks again for reading my need for help in my post...your step by step will prove true. To all others, I will read over them all, so I have all the facts! If we have missed anything, please post it so I am prepared, thanks again! I will be proud to post pics of my first "fix-it", no matter how "small" it seems...LOL!
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Old 05-12-2009, 06:42 AM   #12
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My favorite repair kit for smaller holes is Marine Tex putty. Extremely simple to use, and it's really like putty - no messy gooey stuff.
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Old 05-12-2009, 08:07 AM   #13
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If you have a hole that's very large I think I'd be inclined to use the Marine Tex Putty and then the Gel Coat Scratch Patch over it.

Yes, I'm one to fix the toilet thing whether a fella is around or not. Usually cheaper, faster and easy.
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Old 05-12-2009, 08:24 AM   #14
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Whatever you do, please don't use plain ole automotive bondo. It doesn't flex and soaks up water like a sponge and any "stuff" you put over it will eventually blister. It's only claim to fame is it's easy to work with and that's a good thing as you'll do the work over and over.

I'd be inclined too, to use the Marine Putty and work from under the counter up. The stuff squishes into cracks and although it can be sanded it forms a barrier that's like concrete. So use it judiciously. By going from the bottom up, you won't have the overwork blobbed on the top of the counter. You can use a plastic scrapper to scrap off any smooshed up and that should leave a pretty smooth even surface. Then apply some gel coat scatch patch or something similar.
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