Undisclosed previous wreck damage....help! - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-18-2015, 10:09 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
This is an interesting post Fred as I've bought many rolls of butyl tape from RV suppliers over the years and it's always had the wrinkled paper on it. Never seen the waxed paper form you mention. Where have you picked that up? Sounds like you've used both. What's your pros/cons of each for a sealing difference? Can't say I've ever had a problem after a repair with it though but would like to know your thoughts.
Dave, if you go to a marine supply place you will most likely find what I now consider to be the real Butyl and the one you really want.

The good stuff as I call it, usually has wax paper on it and the butyl itself has a very shiny finish to it and does not looked wrinkled. Its also very very sticky! way more so than the type often sold in RV shops and home hardware type stores. I thought for a long time I was buying the right stuff that was until I found the real stuff. Have not found to date what I now know to be the real stuff in any RV shop. The real stuff also comes in grey, brown & black. In addition to the flat tape you can get it in a round form as well. You will also find a difference in price.

Here is an example of what I find most RV shops sell & what I don't consider to be the good stuff - Hengs Butyl Putty Tape.

Here is an example as to what I believe the real stuff looks like:
Heavy Duty Butyl Tape - Butyl Tape. Zoom in to see the shine of the tape.

Another example of the good Butyl Tape.

Cant say for sure what the actual benefits of one over the other are but my best guess would be that due to the extra stickiness of the real stuff you will get a better seal. Suspect also the real stuff has a higher butyl rubber content and as such is going to remain flexible giving it a more longevity in usage.
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Old 04-18-2015, 10:20 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by HarryHendersons View Post
Does anyone know why the fiberglass in the corner is black?
Your profile does not indicate what year of Bigfoot you have - they have made some changes to design over the years so if you where to update your profile to include the year of the trailer that might help.

A photo of the outside of the trailer in that area might help as well.

I suspect Dave is correct that they may have used a different matting or matted in something on the corners during the building of the trailer as a reinforcement.
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Old 04-18-2015, 10:46 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
This is an interesting post Fred as I've bought many rolls of butyl tape from RV suppliers over the years and it's always had the wrinkled paper on it. Never seen the waxed paper form you mention. Where have you picked that up? Sounds like you've used both. What's your pros/cons of each for a sealing difference? Can't say I've ever had a problem after a repair with it though but would like to know your thoughts.
Butyl putty lasts about 8-12 years, butyl tape lasts over 40 years, the pictures below show the different looks.

Butyl Putty



Butyl Tape
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Old 04-18-2015, 11:33 AM   #18
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Great photo examples of the two Ian!
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Old 04-18-2015, 03:36 PM   #19
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Thanks for the info Carol & Ian. Was just thinking that the marine sourced butyl would probably be a good sealer for folks installing deck hatches in their water tanks, MMMMM. Would be a lot cheaper than a tube of 3M 5200 that will dry up before you ever need it again.
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:35 AM   #20
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For anyone in Calgary, ab Hobo Country RV in the NW sells both types of Butyl.


Lilly The Trilly - 1975 Trillium 1300
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Old 04-19-2015, 04:57 PM   #21
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We found undisclosed leak/wood rot damage too in our newly acquired Bigfoot. Not happy! Just wanted to hook up and go. Good luck to you! Keep us posted!!!
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Old 04-19-2015, 09:41 PM   #22
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Harry, Do you mind posting more pictures of your repairs? I hope it's going well for you. Details would help as we may be entering into a similar repair. Thanks!


Sent from my GT-P5210 using Fiberglass RV mobile app
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:59 PM   #23
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Just found out delamination CAN happen in molded fiberglass trailers...it's not just wood/fiberglass delamination that happens in stick built trailers. Apparently, if the fiberglass has tiny flaws then air can become trapped...in the fiberglass. Then, if water gets inside (through a leak, damage, or non use of the correct Butyl tape) it can go through microscopic channels to fill the voids in the fiberglass that were filled with AIR. Now, if this happens, delamination of the fiberglass occurs. This is in fiberglass only construction, and no I am not talking about wood, or luan delamination. Then if the weather changes...the water expands and contracts causing blisters...or in our case soft spots. These will only get worse unless you grind it down and repair it.
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:37 PM   #24
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"but at least we didn't pay a lot".....really?....

hardly ever hear that from Bigfoot owners....

so if worse comes to worse it sounds like you're going to "break even"

not sure I understand the soft spot thing on the outside

it seems every other day on here we hear from people who have taken a FG trailer "basket case" over thirty years old and strip 'em down to the FG and start again....never heard of any of them complaining about "delamination" of the FG (???)... are you sure that you are not imagining "the worst" here???

and yeah, pictures of the outside would help....especially since the condition did not jump out at you when you first saw the trailer (it is right by the door!)

good luck with the repairs...."what doesn't kill ya makes you stronger"
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Old 04-21-2015, 11:28 PM   #25
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Although, I do greatly appreciate your inference of all of this being just "my imagination". It's not. But thanks. Delamination of FG happens in FG boats...quite often actually.
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Old 04-22-2015, 12:20 AM   #26
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There are some soft spots under the window, near where they repaired that side. They drilled the holes in and tried to fill it with the resin. It seems that they didn't take out the damaged fiberglass but just tried to patch over it. We are going to pull up some more a little lower. I think there is a leak around the belly band, and a leak around the window where it got distorted in the impact. I think we're mainly dealing with some leaking.
You may be right on the leaking. The repair sounds like more of a "git rot" type of fix, commonly used in boats. I've done some myself, effective and expensive but easy.
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Old 04-22-2015, 06:49 AM   #27
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Butyl tape

I found it at the local building supply. It is used to seal between sheet metal roofing. It was 1/2 " so I had to double it. Much to the disbelief of a certain skeptic, someone recently reported buying it at Home Depot. Worth a look. Raz
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:47 AM   #28
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You may be right on the leaking. The repair sounds like more of a "git rot" type of fix, commonly used in boats. I've done some myself, effective and expensive but easy.
Roy are you talking about the injection of epoxy/resin into the fiberglass layer to try to get it to harden back up? Right now it's pretty soft. I had no idea, until looking at boat forums that fiberglass itself could end up with water damage and start softening. It keeps going too, so eventually the rot has to be fixed. What exactly did you use that worked? I can see holes where someone obviously tried injecting the area with resin but it didn't work.
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