You Can Repair Fiberglass - Page 19 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-04-2016, 05:54 PM   #253
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Name: Patricia
Trailer: 1975 Ventura
Manitoba
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Dave, I know that there is not a good, or any, bond between the bottom of the plywood and the shell. I was a complete novice at fiberglassing when I did the plywood and did not understand that the advice to use resin underneath the floor meant mat and resin. Far, far from being experienced now, I at least grasp that much (largely due to your thread) and understand how I should have done it.
I am trying to decide if I have the energy now to try to take out the floor and redo it.
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Old 09-04-2016, 06:30 PM   #254
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1980 18' Sunrader Motorhome and 1971 Trails West CampMite Campster
Washington
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Bonding a plywood floor in place on top of the fiberglass bottom of a fully fiberglass shell trailer is an exception to Dave's statement of you don't see thickeners used in fiberglass trailer manufacturing. Perhaps in his work on trailers he has simply not come across this method of floor installation on the makes he has worked on.

For this task of bonding the plywood in place some of the makers of FGRV did thicken resin and they did not put any fiberglass mat in that area, the bonding is done solely with thickened resin. It would have been troweled on with a gap toothed trowel that allowed the thickened resin to spread out evenly under compression. Gap toothed trowels are commonly used when spreading on adhesives for various types of flooring. Bolts were put through the plywood and on through the shell which helped to compress the thickened resin. Of course those bolts also tied the structure to the frame so it was a smart move to put them in at that time where they could perform a dual function. I could tell the bolts were put in at that time on my own trailer because they were well bonded into the resin. No doubt they also weighed that plywood panel down while it was curing.

I found this very application method of thickened resin for bonding down the plywood was used when I took out the rotted plywood section of the floor in my Trails West Campster. You will see other examples of people grinding out rotted plywood and thickened resin elsewhere in the forum. I could tell by the smell generated with the heat of grinding that the thickened material was indeed resin versus being some other type of adhesive. It does look to have been a structural quality of thickening agent although there were no distinctive glass fibers in the mix.

I installed my replacement area of plywood with thickened resin and also some bolts through the frame. I did add weights on top of the panel while it cured to ensure that everything was well bonded by means of compressing the troweled on, thickened resin. The large area, all but a 2 foot square, of the original plywood floor that was not rotted is still perfectly intact and well bonded after 45 years proving that it is a time tested method of application.

I found thickened resin used in another area, on the inside of the belly band join. Again it appeared to have been resin thickened with a structural filler versus wood flour which does have strength for some various task of bonding but is not considered to be a structural filler within the industry. You can read information in more detail about types of thickeners from the sites that sell the products.

In terms of "resin" not being a glue. Epoxy resin is very good bonding glue but the parts adhere best when there is not gap. (I use epoxy resin.) Thickened resins fill gaps but at some compromise to the sheer strength of the bond. But over a wide spread area where it is not really a matter of a lot of sheering motion stressing the bond such as with a floor then a thickened resin is adequate for the purpose if properly applied and given adequate compression to spread the adhesive and hold the pieces firmly together while it cures.
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:09 PM   #255
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
Bonding a plywood floor in place on top of the fiberglass bottom of a fully fiberglass shell trailer is an exception to Dave's statement of you don't see thickeners used in fiberglass trailer manufacturing. Perhaps in his work on trailers he has simply not come across this method of floor installation on the makes he has worked on.

For this task of bonding the plywood in place some of the makers of FGRV did thicken resin and they did not put any fiberglass mat in that area, the bonding is done solely with thickened resin. It would have been troweled on with a gap toothed trowel that allowed the thickened resin to spread out evenly under compression. Gap toothed trowels are commonly used when spreading on adhesives for various types of flooring. Bolts were put through the plywood and on through the shell which helped to compress the thickened resin. Of course those bolts also tied the structure to the frame so it was a smart move to put them in at that time where they could perform a dual function. I could tell the bolts were put in at that time on my own trailer because they were well bonded into the resin. No doubt they also weighed that plywood panel down while it was curing.

I found this very application method of thickened resin for bonding down the plywood was used when I took out the rotted plywood section of the floor in my Trails West Campster. You will see other examples of people grinding out rotted plywood and thickened resin elsewhere in the forum. I could tell by the smell generated with the heat of grinding that the thickened material was indeed resin versus being some other type of adhesive. It does look to have been a structural quality of thickening agent although there were no distinctive glass fibers in the mix.

I installed my replacement area of plywood with thickened resin and also some bolts through the frame. I did add weights on top of the panel while it cured to ensure that everything was well bonded by means of compressing the troweled on, thickened resin. The large area, all but a 2 foot square, of the original plywood floor that was not rotted is still perfectly intact and well bonded after 45 years proving that it is a time tested method of application.

I found thickened resin used in another area, on the inside of the belly band join. Again it appeared to have been resin thickened with a structural filler versus wood flour which does have strength for some various task of bonding but is not considered to be a structural filler within the industry. You can read information in more detail about types of thickeners from the sites that sell the products.

In terms of "resin" not being a glue. Epoxy resin is very good bonding glue but the parts adhere best when there is not gap. (I use epoxy resin.) Thickened resins fill gaps but at some compromise to the sheer strength of the bond. But over a wide spread area where it is not really a matter of a lot of sheering motion stressing the bond such as with a floor then a thickened resin is adequate for the purpose if properly applied and given adequate compression to spread the adhesive and hold the pieces firmly together while it cures.
Patricia Please disregard the above in the interest of simplicity and the ability to fix your own trailer. I would just sand and clean the area where the floor meets the wall and use fiberglass resin and mat (not epoxy and not any thickeners) let it cure and you will find your floor well bonded and ready for flooring of your choice. Statements like the above lead to misinformation for the novice and failures such as yours. If you pm me we can talk by phone if you like but the above is not what you need (and yes I have worked with every kind of resin and thickener made for 40 years) Please don't give up...you can fix this...Fiberglass Dave
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Old 09-04-2016, 10:20 PM   #256
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1980 18' Sunrader Motorhome and 1971 Trails West CampMite Campster
Washington
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Originally Posted by D White View Post
Patricia Please disregard the above in the interest of simplicity and the ability to fix your own trailer. I would just sand and clean the area where the floor meets the wall and use fiberglass resin and mat (not epoxy and not any thickeners) let it cure and you will find your floor well bonded and ready for flooring of your choice. Statements like the above lead to misinformation for the novice and failures such as yours. If you pm me we can talk by phone if you like but the above is not what you need (and yes I have worked with every kind of resin and thickener made for 40 years) Please don't give up...you can fix this...Fiberglass Dave
I do not mind that you say to ignore it, but it is what is done in some of the manufactured trailers for applying plywood floors to the surface of the fiberglass shell and it has been proven to work by the test of time.
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Old 09-04-2016, 10:59 PM   #257
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Name: Patricia
Trailer: 1975 Ventura
Manitoba
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Pics to clarify

The two attached pics show the area in question about 44" square on the level part of the trailer as you go in the door on the day the floor was put down using resin/hardener underneath. Now there are toekicks on the left and right sides of the pictures, glued to the "curbs" and the plywood. The floor is caulked around the perimeter with sikaflex caulk.The bounce is felt most severely from about a foot in from the sides.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_2505.jpg   IMG_2511.jpg  

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Old 09-05-2016, 06:23 AM   #258
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Trailer: Trails West Campster, CampStar, Uhaul, Fiberstream
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
I do not mind that you say to ignore it, but it is what is done in some of the manufactured trailers for applying plywood floors to the surface of the fiberglass shell and it has been proven to work by the test of time.
And I would hope that you would start your own thread to discuss your knowledge about resins and mat and thickeners. But the problem is that the stuff you recommend is not readily available at the box stores and people then take your information and decide to modify it and use regular flour (has happened twice that I know of) or a myriad of other things that they think will work. This thread is about what is readily available and what will work every time, not about stating someone's vast knowledge on products and procedures. Some one like you sent Patricia down the wrong path and now she is discouraged and wishes she hadn't bought her trailer. This thread is TOTALLY designed to prevent that, not to show everyone how much I know or don't know about fiberglass.
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Old 09-05-2016, 06:42 AM   #259
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricia D. View Post
The two attached pics show the area in question about 44" square on the level part of the trailer as you go in the door on the day the floor was put down using resin/hardener underneath. Now there are toekicks on the left and right sides of the pictures, glued to the "curbs" and the plywood. The floor is caulked around the perimeter with sikaflex caulk.The bounce is felt most severely from about a foot in from the sides.
Patricia, don't give up, You can fix this. From these pictures it looks like you just need to remove the added "toe kicks" and all related glues and paints to get down to bare fiberglass again and fiberglass 3 layers of mat into the corners like a 4 inch (or so) "L". This could have an impact on what you use for flooring though. I need more information...did you or someone else remove any other things under that plywood that might be considered support???? Please be sure to wear safety gear when using the sander or grinder!!!!Fiberglass Dave
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:48 AM   #260
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Trailer: 1975 Ventura
Manitoba
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Nothing was removed other than the original wood and I assume any other POs have not removed anything.
I am not one who gives up but, yes, I was getting discouraged by not seeing a solution to this problem and by not making any significant progress with the trailer despite working on it every day. But a new day dawns.
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Old 09-05-2016, 09:16 AM   #261
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp
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Not to disagree with Dave, but on a structural note I would say that in this limited area where the ply is there to make a lower standing surface the act of bonding the bottom and the top to the ply and the sides would stiffen the structure.
If you think of the surfaces as being in tension or compression ans the wood just keeps them a fixed difference apart (along with its stiffness since this is what the plywood is made for with the crossing plies.) I would think that the bonding would be a good idea.
My question would be how was what you removed installed?
If it was bonded then I would redo it the same way.
It it were not bonded then the same thing might well be the answer.
Since the floor is already in place I would leave it and add two 1" aluminum angles underneath and across the floor to stiffen it.
I would also bond the floor in place with fiberglass cloth covering the floor.
I would not personally use mat, but rather cloth since it will lay down and make a smooth surface and since I have Epoxy I would use that, thinned slightly to soak a little into the wood for the coat over the wood.
I would add the cloth (precut and fitted) and use unthinned Epoxy to wet out the cloth.
It will leave a clear fiberglass coat over the top, well bonded to the wood.
I would the lay up some strips to bond the floor to the side kicks.
If you are careful and lay the strips carefully it will require little finishing and the floor itself should be smooth enough to put the flooring over directly.
However the addition of some steel or aluminum angle bolted through the floor with flat head bolts will stiffen up the floor. I would bond the angle to the bottom with a little polyurethane glue/sealant.
The secret is bonding to prevent movement of one part relative to the others.
There is strength and there is stiffness and they are not the same thing.
All of that being said I probably overkill most things I work on so my trailer ended up a little heavier than many others, but I don't worry about it falling apart, either.
After rereading and looking at your pictures I would say that one angle across the middle under the floor would take care of your bounce. The also a piece of wood, bonded and fiberglassed underneath would also do the job. This could be tapered at the ends if you like.
I think a painted steel angle, bonded and bolted would be the trick. 4 bolts one on each end and two spaced in the middle.
Be sure to seal the holes and bond the angle to the fiberglass to prevent movement.
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Old 09-05-2016, 10:42 AM   #262
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Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
Not to disagree with Dave, but on a structural note I would say that in this limited area where the ply is there to make a lower standing surface the act of bonding the bottom and the top to the ply and the sides would stiffen the structure.
If you think of the surfaces as being in tension or compression ans the wood just keeps them a fixed difference apart (along with its stiffness since this is what the plywood is made for with the crossing plies.) I would think that the bonding would be a good idea.
My question would be how was what you removed installed?
If it was bonded then I would redo it the same way.
It it were not bonded then the same thing might well be the answer.
Since the floor is already in place I would leave it and add two 1" aluminum angles underneath and across the floor to stiffen it.
I would also bond the floor in place with fiberglass cloth covering the floor.
I would not personally use mat, but rather cloth since it will lay down and make a smooth surface and since I have Epoxy I would use that, thinned slightly to soak a little into the wood for the coat over the wood.
I would add the cloth (precut and fitted) and use unthinned Epoxy to wet out the cloth.
It will leave a clear fiberglass coat over the top, well bonded to the wood.
I would the lay up some strips to bond the floor to the side kicks.
If you are careful and lay the strips carefully it will require little finishing and the floor itself should be smooth enough to put the flooring over directly.
However the addition of some steel or aluminum angle bolted through the floor with flat head bolts will stiffen up the floor. I would bond the angle to the bottom with a little polyurethane glue/sealant.
The secret is bonding to prevent movement of one part relative to the others.
There is strength and there is stiffness and they are not the same thing.
All of that being said I probably overkill most things I work on so my trailer ended up a little heavier than many others, but I don't worry about it falling apart, either.
After rereading and looking at your pictures I would say that one angle across the middle under the floor would take care of your bounce. The also a piece of wood, bonded and fiberglassed underneath would also do the job. This could be tapered at the ends if you like.
I think a painted steel angle, bonded and bolted would be the trick. 4 bolts one on each end and two spaced in the middle.
Be sure to seal the holes and bond the angle to the fiberglass to prevent movement.
Patricia...Don't do this or anything until I do some research on how your trailer was built. Members who have this trailer could chime in on its construction here, but please pm me with your ideas for a fix.
PLEASE...This thread (me) was asked this question...Start your own thread if you have ideas for Patricia...Don't post them here. It leaves bad information on a much viewed thread that is supposed to give good information doable by anyone...Fiberglass Dave
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Old 09-05-2016, 12:56 PM   #263
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Name: bill
Trailer: 1996 Casita LD
North Carolina
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Fiberglass Dave: I've got a rub mark on the front of my Casita, approximately 1/2 inch high by a little over one inch long.

The prior owner had a wood box on the front of the trailer that looks like it wore a hole through the fiberglass.

Anyway, I have to do something to patch this. I also have a smaller round hole on the front. I see you have recommended JB Weld on small holes. Is there a particular JB Weld product for fiberglass? Or is it just regular stuff. I have repaired holes in plastic fenders on my car with a JB Weld product, came in a cylinder, you cut off a piece then worked the two parts together and applied it like putty.

Its down low on the front of the trailer. I don't think a "perfect" color match is necessary.



[IMG]IMG_5884 by wrk101, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]IMG_5883 by wrk101, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old 09-05-2016, 01:01 PM   #264
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Trailer: 1975 Ventura
Manitoba
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Thank you

Thank you to everyone who has taken an interest in my predicament and has made thoughtful suggestions. I have decided the steps that I am going to take to deal with the flex in the floor but, for today, I am taking today I am going to focus on cutting the birch plywood wall panels so I can feel like I am making some progress.
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Old 09-05-2016, 02:57 PM   #265
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Fiberglass Dave: I've got a rub mark on the front of my Casita, approximately 1/2 inch high by a little over one inch long.

The prior owner had a wood box on the front of the trailer that looks like it wore a hole through the fiberglass.

Anyway, I have to do something to patch this. I also have a smaller round hole on the front. I see you have recommended JB Weld on small holes. Is there a particular JB Weld product for fiberglass? Or is it just regular stuff. I have repaired holes in plastic fenders on my car with a JB Weld product, came in a cylinder, you cut off a piece then worked the two parts together and applied it like putty.

Its down low on the front of the trailer. I don't think a "perfect" color match is necessary.



[IMG]IMG_5884 by wrk101, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]IMG_5883 by wrk101, on Flickr[/IMG]
Howdy
I think JB weld or any of the two part epoxies easily available anywhere is perfectly fine here. Also check the gas tank two part ribbon putty or similar for different colors. One tip would be to knead the putty parts together and apply and then use a razor blade to remove excess and kind of "trowel" it smooth. Great question and good luck. You can do it...Fiberglass Dave
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:27 PM   #266
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Name: bill
Trailer: 1996 Casita LD
North Carolina
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I am looking at using this:

PlasticWeld Epoxy Putty | J-B Weld

Please advise if I have it wrong.
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