uncured gelcoat inside closet - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-10-2015, 02:00 PM   #1
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Name: Danny
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Kentucky
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uncured gelcoat inside closet

I have a problem with uncured gelcoat on the inside of my new Scamp's closet wall. It feels dry to the touch but it sticks and leaves a white residue on anything placed inside the closet against the fiberglass gelcoat wall. The folks at Scamp advised me to wipe it down with acetone but that appears to have made it worse, they offered to repaint it but that's a 2000 mile round trip. I'm thinking about painting it with polyurethane to seal it. Has anyone experienced this problem? If so, what was the cure?
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:27 AM   #2
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I have a problem with uncured gelcoat on the inside of my new Scamp's closet wall. It feels dry to the touch but it sticks and leaves a white residue on anything placed inside the closet against the fiberglass gelcoat wall. The folks at Scamp advised me to wipe it down with acetone but that appears to have made it worse, they offered to repaint it but that's a 2000 mile round trip. I'm thinking about painting it with polyurethane to seal it. Has anyone experienced this problem? If so, what was the cure?
nonono - don't introduce another chemical into this mess!! The only options you do have are removal (yes, acetone is the ticket, and lots of it), or to cover it up (maybe, roll on a coat of properly catalyzed Polyester resin), understanding that it likely won't stick forever due to the wax in the original gelcoat
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:09 AM   #3
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nonono - don't introduce another chemical into this mess!! The only options you do have are removal (yes, acetone is the ticket, and lots of it), or to cover it up (maybe, roll on a coat of properly catalyzed Polyester resin), understanding that it likely won't stick forever due to the wax in the original gelcoat
Eva,
Thanks for the valuable feedback, I am very concerned about making it worse by trying to fix it. Someone on another site recommended waxing the inside of the closet gelcoat walls to prevent them from bonding to the stored items. My experience with acetone makes me leery of sticking half my body into that small space and using lots of it. I'm unfamiliar with the term catalyzed polyester resin, what would be a product brand name I could look for? I'm beginning to think covering it with rat fur might be a good option but wonder if an adhesive would hold to the uncured gelcoat. The folks at Scamp seem unfamiliar with this problem and judging from the light response to this post it must be a rare condition.
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:28 AM   #4
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Polyester (which is what your gelcoat is mostly made of) comes in liquid form. To make it set up hard, a catalyst is added, most commonly MEKP. You can buy it in most hardware stores etc (or online, like MEKP Liquid Hardener) Its nasty stuff, so wear protective gear when handling it, and DO NOT get it in your eyes!!!)
If for some reason, too little MEKP is added during manufacture, or the batch was not stirred properly, or a cold snap hit it before it cured, then it will stay soft, which is what appears to have happened in your case.
Yes, waxing it is an option, but would be a viable remedy only until the cubby warms up, melting it all.
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:30 AM   #5
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The professional's cures for uncured gel coat are:

1) Enclose the area and apply as much heat as possible without starting a fire. Heat sources might be a fan heater or, better still, a radiant heater. These may heat the gelcoat up to the temperature where it will cure itself, but there are no guarantees - if the uncured area really has no catalyst (rather then just being poorly mixed before application, which is more likely), heat alone won't cure it.

2) Overpaint it with a really 'hot mix' - a gel coat with a very high level of catalyst that will cure quickly and will 'kick' the uncured gelcoat into curing. I've seen this done (successfully) but it is a bit of a 'last chance' method and maybe not suited to an amateur.

The heat method is pretty simple and is worth a try as the easiest solution of all.
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:00 PM   #6
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...
If for some reason, too little MEKP is added during manufacture, or the batch was not stirred properly, or a cold snap hit it before it cured, then it will stay soft, which is what appears to have happened in your case.
...
In that case its a warrantee issue and time for Evelands to give you a new trailer. They can take the old one back and fix it or use it for parts.

It is now on my checklist for when I pickup my Scamp next month.. even though its 1,100 miles away, they will not sell me one with this flaw.
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:01 PM   #7
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Eva and Andrew,
Thanks for the additional helpful information. I will try the radiant heater under careful observation. That would be an easy fix if it works and shouldn't make the problem worse than it is.
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:33 PM   #8
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In that case its a warrantee issue and time for Evelands to give you a new trailer. They can take the old one back and fix it or use it for parts.

It is now on my checklist for when I pickup my Scamp next month.. even though its 1,100 miles away, they will not sell me one with this flaw.
Gordon,
You can't tell there's a problem when you inspect it. The surface feels dry to the touch and doesn't rub off. In my case if we stuff sleeping bags or folding chairs in the closet and leave them for a few days they will stick slightly to the wall leaving a white coating on the surface of the object. The white can be removed easily with a little acetone on a rag. It's a pain in the rear but not a serious problem. The folks at Scamp have been good to work with and are willing to repaint it but I can do that if need be. I'm currently looking for a simpler easier fix. You're going to love your new Scamp. They build a great product but nothing is perfect and if the problem is minor I don't mind fixing it myself.
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:36 PM   #9
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Why don't you tell Scamp that you want to take it to a local boat shop for painting and ask them to pick up the tab.
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:53 PM   #10
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...
You can't tell there's a problem when you inspect it. The surface feels dry to the touch and doesn't rub off. In my case if we stuff sleeping bags or folding chairs in the closet and leave them for a few days they will stick slightly to the wall leaving a white coating on the surface of the object. ...
I plan to camp a few days within a few miles of Evelands so I will do just that and see what happens. If its a problem I will make the short drive back. I too think I will be happy but the more I investigate, the more concerns I have about a possible decline in quality control.
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:54 PM   #11
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I had to threaten Scamp to get them to fix a problem with our 5r and then when he agreed to do it, he then only paid a portion of the fix because he said my certified welder charged to much.

I suggest you send a letter to the Good Sam Club and ask them for assistance. They help owners with problems and normally resolve the issues.
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Old 08-13-2015, 04:31 PM   #12
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You might try coating it with saran wrap to make an air-tight seal for a while. Some gel costs require that to seal; I ran across this problem recently re-gelling my rowboat. It worked well to harden it up. And it's the cheapest thing to try to start to solve the problem
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:20 PM   #13
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Are you and the manufacturer sure that it is gelcoat? The reason that I ask is that (on boats and maybe trailers) there is a female mold that has the gelcoat applied to it. Then the fiberglass and resin over that, and finally paint on the inside surface.
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:25 PM   #14
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Colleen,
I'll give that a try. If press and seal will stick I'll just leave it in place. I tried the heater suggestion keeping the inside of the closet at 110F all day, let it cool down overnight and repacked with some nylon bags the next morning, they were stuck by the afternoon. That might not have been hot enough or long enough but there was no improvement. I would prefer to avoid the hassle of cleaning and repainting if possible. I may ask the folks at Scamp for enough rat fur and adhesive to cover the gelcoat sides.
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