Yet another vent re-seal question: compact Junior - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-14-2009, 05:00 PM   #1
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This may very well be a personal prepference question but it may be helpful to learn from others who have already been there and done that and learned the lessons for the next time. I am re-sealing the vent on the roof on my compact junior because it was leaking and I will be resealing all the windows in due course. Screws(5/16 inch) were used to attach the vent(1/8 inch thick) and went through the fiberglass(1/8 inch thick) and into plywood ( 1/4 inch thick). The screws were not very tight and I am not sure they where biting very much. I have also searched the forum, and noticed one fantastic fan installation which involved bolts.

So I am looking for comments would you:
a) use the same length of screw just a size bigger to bite into what ever wood there is?
use bolts and come right through the plywod headliner in the roof of the pop top on the compact junior.
c) would you add a 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch wood spacer.?

d) if you added the spacer would you still use the inside flange and where would you put the flange,

How clean does the fiberglass need to be, after scraped off the old putty. Remove all the leftover film, is there a solvent that takes the remaining film off?

Thanks in advance
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:09 PM   #2
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Kent- I ended up using 3/4" mahogany, as that was what was handy and left over. 1/4' ply will conform to the sag of the roof, while something thicker, say 3/4, will keep the roof from sagging. Also, with something in the neighborhood of 3/4 will give a good bite for screws and you won't have bolts showing. We didn't use the inside flange if I remember correctly, wanted the wood to show. And trimmed the the plastic (maybe it was the inside flange, will hafta to look) till it looked right.
The fiberglass is prob clean enuff, but if you want to be sure, use something like lacquer thinner (mineral spirits are too oily) or acetone for the final wipedown... Larry
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:12 PM   #3
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Kent,
I re-did my window inside woodwork in oak, I did put an F.R.P. square casement around the window cut outs to stiffen the fiberglass wall and the oak over lays that, I used stainless steel screws with a wide flat head to get more even pressure against the window frame. My fantastic fan I put into the pop top.

To stiffen the roof I inlaid cut oak 1" strips into the roof depressions that are molded there, I used clear silicon as an adhesive and pressed up off the floor with poles for 24 hours until it set, this did allot to stiffen the roof and gave me more to work with when I lined the ceiling, I went to a zero roof penetration design in my roof including the pop top wood skirt eliminating all roof penetrations by screws...period.

I think Larry's idea of the rain lip above his windows artful and am trying to find some...stealing his idea is what I am now looking to do.

I will post pics of some of the steps if interested in any of my upgrades...

Happy camping, safe trails.

Harry


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This may very well be a personal prepference question but it may be helpful to learn from others who have already been there and done that and learned the lessons for the next time. I am re-sealing the vent on the roof on my compact junior because it was leaking and I will be resealing all the windows in due course. Screws(5/16 inch) were used to attach the vent(1/8 inch thick) and went through the fiberglass(1/8 inch thick) and into plywood ( 1/4 inch thick). The screws were not very tight and I am not sure they where biting very much. I have also searched the forum, and noticed one fantastic fan installation which involved bolts.

So I am looking for comments would you:
a) use the same length of screw just a size bigger to bite into what ever wood there is?
use bolts and come right through the plywod headliner in the roof of the pop top on the compact junior.
c) would you add a 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch wood spacer.?

d) if you added the spacer would you still use the inside flange and where would you put the flange,

How clean does the fiberglass need to be, after scraped off the old putty. Remove all the leftover film, is there a solvent that takes the takes off?

Thanks in advance
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:33 PM   #4
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Harry, you won't have much corrosion because you live in the desert, but Kent might get enough rain for corrosion to be a problem.

Kent, in the presence of water the stainless steel screws will cause the aluminum window frame to corrode where they touch -- the aluminum is more active than the stainless steel. I know the zinc-plated screws don't look nearly as nice, and they eventually start rusting, but they're much easier to replace than the aluminum frame. The reason the zinc-plated screws rust is that the zinc corrodes before the aluminum -- once the zinc is gone the screw starts rusting.
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:37 PM   #5
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Harry, where did you find the FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic) square casement? I am in the process of redoing my windows and that fiberglass shell is very flexible!
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:45 PM   #6
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Be sure to use acrylic sealer. Silicone is not as long lasting when used on fiberglass.
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
I think Larry's idea of the rain lip above his windows artful and am trying to find some...stealing his idea is what I am now looking to do.

I will post pics of some of the steps if interested in any of my upgrades...

Happy camping, safe trails.

Harry
Harry-- you are are talking about these, correct? My local RV shop ordered them for me, seems like about $7 each overnite.... Also to match the factory one over the back door. (and to prevent rain and/or snow from running down and in the window.) Just took them to the buffer and polished them and then clearcoated them to slow oxidation. Almost all of the holes in them matched the holes in the window frames. Used large headed SS screws (I think they are referred to as trussheads). I don't worry about the conflict of alum vs SS as Eastern WA is a desert. Larry
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:20 PM   #8
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Thanks Larry,

I will try my rv supply, I do not hold out much hope though, they are a young couple who are dense preferring to treat more seriously larger $300.000 dollars custom buses over 10' trailers fiberglass campers. Can you dig up the part number and your supplier? I will call them if needed and dup your order over the phone and ship to me by card.

Harry

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Harry-- you are are talking about these, correct? My local RV shop ordered them for me, seems like about $7 each overnite.... Also to match the factory one over the back door. (and to prevent rain and/or snow from running down and in the window.) Just took them to the buffer and polished them and then clearcoated them to slow oxidation. Almost all of the holes in them matched the holes in the window frames. Used large headed SS screws (I think they are referred to as trussheads). I don't worry about the conflict of alum vs SS as Eastern WA is a desert. Larry
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:27 PM   #9
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Dana,

You are correct, I err on the overkill side and ordered a marine grade screw special. I did the same on the frame bolts too...I should have caught the conflict in the info and made my efforts a little more detailed...thanks for pointing that out.

Harry


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Harry, you won't have much corrosion because you live in the desert, but Kent might get enough rain for corrosion to be a problem.

Kent, in the presence of water the stainless steel screws will cause the aluminum window frame to corrode where they touch -- the aluminum is more active than the stainless steel. I know the zinc-plated screws don't look nearly as nice, and they eventually start rusting, but they're much easier to replace than the aluminum frame. The reason the zinc-plated screws rust is that the zinc corrodes before the aluminum -- once the zinc is gone the screw starts rusting.
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Old 06-15-2009, 02:30 PM   #10
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Dana,

I do not buy pre-made casements in the way you would for a conventional trailers or homes...After reading my post again I can see how you would think I did.

I do a build up process to create a casement out of the hull...I cut my f.r.p. "fiberglass reinforced panel" strips 2' wide, the long measurement at the top of each window extends out from the window cut out by an extra two inches on each side like ears, this is so the 2' sides I also will lay up butt up exactly against it, I rough up with my sander the textured side of the f.r.p. strips, then I use Locktite 5 min epoxy 8 oz. box available from Lowes to bond the strips to the hull.

You must take a wire drill brush around the window cut out and remove any coating around the window cut out making a 2" cleared square box around the window cut out where you will epoxy.

Clean this area with Acetone.

I use a wood strip also cut to size and multiple clamps to hold it into place as a press gluing the roughed up textured side of the f.r.p. strip to the hull first. This thickens the hull by 1/8 inch per layer. If I want a thicker layer I add another 4 strips only this time I will cut the sides long and the top short so the butt is in another location.

This builds any casement I need out of the hull and stiffens the window cut out allowing more bite for the screws into the plastic rather than the wood inside in the final assembly.

Some F.R.P. panel chemistries use S.M.C. plastic in them depending on manufacturers and its like pulling hens teeth to find out which. I use epoxies that are designed to handle multiple plastics on multiple materials because a straight modern epoxy resin for fiberglassing has trouble linking molecules with S.M.C. products.

The other product I use in this process is System Three Silvertip Marine epoxy or GelMagic, its bonds are broad enough to do the work I need with out a lot of knowledge needed about the chemistry regarding various plastics I am bonding.

The window will fit neatly and is way more leak proof than the original design.

I solved the leaks in my refrigerator vent area this way, I cut out the hull to the exact shape of my plastic vent bottom, inserted it from the bottom up into the hole I cut placing epoxy on the mating flange with the roof, "the flange normally reserved for the screws when these vents are placed from the top", once in place and the epoxy hardened I took an identical vent bottom (same model) and placed it over the one I epoxied into the hull like a glove, I hold that one in place with two side screws so no roof penetrations are made...(for looks I cut the flange off the top glove piece since its just the cap not a seal) that vent now can be replaced quickly and never needs sealing, it is permanent, and since the one underneath is its twin its a snug fit, the one underneath never seeing the light of day will last forever.

If you have any other questions pm me and I can send pics of before and afters on the windows.

Happy Camping, Safe trails.

Harry

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Harry, where did you find the FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic) square casement? I am in the process of redoing my windows and that fiberglass shell is very flexible!
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Old 06-15-2009, 05:18 PM   #11
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Thanks for the info Harry!
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