3rd Incarnation, Middle Age Remodel - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-26-2009, 05:34 PM   #15
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Chapter three... step by step Fan_Tastic fan pop top install.

In the pop top roof flipped upside down draw cut out for vent, note the wings in our cut out will be cut latter, this latter cut is to remove whats left of the corrugation entirely after the square for the main hole is drawn out. Removing the last of the corrugation allows us to blend in the final contours of the roof for the fan install in that spot.


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I cut fiberglass with a 4" grinder with a metal blade to cut straight lines, the cuts are smooth this way, remember I am using a face shield and a respirator, in an open area, I have Kenna holding the vacuum nozzle just ahead of the cut sucking the dust up as the blade does its work. In this pic you can see the drawn outline of the next step to remove now the last of what is left of the center corrugation after the square hole is cut out for the vent.


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Then we measure and draw out the backing piece out of F.R.P. (fiberglass reinforced board), We will cut only the square for the vent in this piece because the wing cut outs are to be backed by the F.R.P. board, not left open like the center.

The F.R.P is acting as a back stop for the flat pieces of stock to be inserted latter to fill in the depression left where these wing like cut outs are...when the backing gets bonded in place.

The stock from the square center cut for the vent will become the stock to cut the repair filler pieces from.


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Old 10-26-2009, 11:36 PM   #16
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Chapter 4 Fan-Tastic fan install.

Before bonding the F.R.P. backing to the inside of the pop top with the now large hole in it, you must insert the retaining collar into the large hole for it, then bond this square collar to the fiberglass. This is where a good bond product comes in handy, if this were styrene or s.m.c. plastic "sheet molding compound" that was used to mold this part a straight resin would not work so well. A bonding product is made to do this job.

Stop for a moment and read...

Tip...The dimensions of the hole in the fiberglass pop top roof will always be perfect, if when measureing the hole to cut you always use this piece to draw the hole needed in the top to cut out.

Explanation of terms: There is differences in bonds, glues, fillers, and plastic welds in the plastics industry, when WE say "bonds" I mean a substance that bonds "two" dissimilar plastics together through its own chemical properties, acting as mediator...<span style="color:#0000ff">"a bond is a go between"...it lends its linking molecules like a chemical bridge, to other materials, linking them by attaching its molecules to dissimilar plastics in a flexible manner.</span>

Other terms, like "glue" use different mechanics in the way they work.

Going on with the project...

Place the epoxy bond on the collar and 1/2 along the edge of the fiberglass hole, place a board on top and press flat into the hole until set up., flip it around and use another batch of bond around the edges until flush filling any gaps you may have level with the top of the roof surface.

See pic bellow to show a fill operation using bond of a collar gap.

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Next step is to reinforce the area and close up the hole left at the sides when removing the corrugations to make the area flat, an F.R.P. panel with a square hole in it bonded directly to the fiberglass roof will serve this purpose.


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F.R.P. panel before cut outs.

Measure the square cut out for the F.R.P. panel to go over the square flared pre-installed bonded to the fiberglass roof collar, when bonded in place the F.R.P. panel should be flush with the collar not over covering it.


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Pattern to be cut note cut and no cut areas.

We use Loctite as a general bond allot, it has a broad range of applications...not just plastic...After using a vacuum attached belt sander to rough up the glossy textured side of the ready to place F.R.P. pattern.


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Tip... The roughing up of the fiberglass is best explained this way....Take the sander and sant the tops of the orange peel texture flat...just the tops of that texture...get that far and your done.

We clean that sanded side with Acetone.

Then mix Loctite up, we apply the chemical bond to the cleaned fiberglass on the roughed up side and inside the pop top contact area, place F.R.P. panel into roof, bond in place, using a liberal amount of bond, a trowel made of scrap F.R.P. with teeth at 1/8 spacing apart spreads the bond so when pressed together it will not ooze out.

Press evenly and firmly until set.


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F.R.P. reinforcement, backing in place, inside view and bonded.

Tip*** Make sure no excess bond is where flat stock needs to be put as filler, if there is, it will increase the thickness of the filled area requiring more sanding.

To be continued chapter 5.

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Old 10-27-2009, 10:38 AM   #17
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Chapter 5, How to repair those holes left from the Fan-Tastic fan install?

Now that the fan install collar is bonded into the roof, and the F.R.P. reinforcement/backing panel that slips over the collar "without touching it" is bonded into place turn the roof over to the topside.

When done the next thing appears, will be two depressions "puddles" where the cut outs were for the removed corrugations. To my knowledge Astro manufacturing were the only ones of these trailers that did this, I have not seen it on the other variations to this body design. If you have another brand like a Campster this step is not needed but you might like to see how its done, its a basic hole repair also how I re-size hatches in technique.

Since we have the original pieces of cut corrugation were going to use this as a pattern, using the flat square cut out as stock draw the pattern and cut out the two flat plugs...When cut out they should fit smartly into their parent holes, if not I use the bench sander as a grinder on its side with the vacuum running and sand tiny bits off until the right fit occurs.


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Old removed corrugations used a patterns
for needed flat plugs to fill depressions.


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After trimming, flat plug fits smartly in place.

Once we have the plugs made to fit then sand the contact side flat, "non gel-coat side" smooth, with no texture on it, when done the plug is ready to bond.

Stop a moment and please read below...

The Metal Tape Trick

Tip...We like to build a simple press where clamps cannot be used...Also I need to explain a trick that always works. I always have a roll of Metal Duct Repair Tape around, the Nashua brand tape is a good brand 3" wide. When you peel the paper strip off the metal tape keep it, the paper is useful for repairs...While the metal tape part is useful for holding small projects in place while setting, it molds well holding firmly any shape.

The paper peeled strip of this tape has a waxy side that never sticks to the metal tape very well and is the side that touches the adhesive, the other side of the paper strip is not waxy, if it touches the adhesive it sticks permanently.

We use the waxy side allot, facing it towards the work, while being pressed firmly results in making the epoxy bond over run that oozes out of a pressed piece smooched flat, when it sets in 10 min (for 5 min epoxy) the tape can be pulled back easily with little to no sticking to the work itself. The now bonded piece with its flattened unified surface is now easily sand-able in a day.

The Simple Screw Press "where high force is needed"

We do have many clamps of all kinds, but on a repairs where you are behind a flat fiberglass wall where C clamps will not really work and you are doing a plug, or "fill" or a fiberglass repair needing pressure or extreme pressure on your project this works well.

Take two scrap flat wood pieces "I like ply" then put them on both sides of the work to be done running drywall screws thru the wood, thru the hull into the wood on the other side...This makes a fiberglass sandwich, make sure under the wood there is a non stick surface like the "paper tape idea" outlined above on both sides next to the work...wax paper works too, only not as well...also will butcher paper using the wax side. (yes I know they sell the plastic)
"The small hole left by the screw on a larger repair is easily handled."

Magnetic press "where low force is needed"

The other favorite press is two welders project magnets, and two scrap ply pieces with the no stick paper under it."or the plastic available from supply stores"
Pop a magnet on both sides holding the wood in place using the magnets force as the press.

[color=#000000]Now on with it...Using the screw press method.

Place the perfectly shaped plug into the hole with the epoxy in place there too...Next place the wood pieces to both side of the work, placing waxy paper next to the work waxy side facing the liquid bond on both sides of the work.

Run needed screws thru the top wood into the fiberglass work and thru the other side into the other bottom piece of wood drawing the two wood pieces together making a vise.

Using the 5 min epoxy wait 10 minuets. Then disassemble...


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Equal amounts then mixed together inside the depression
to receive the plug piece.


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Note screw holes, note overrun smooched flat?
This is now ready to sand.


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Ready for belt planning and orbital sanding.
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:41 PM   #18
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Harry, You are the professor!

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Old 10-27-2009, 10:37 PM   #19
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Chapter 6...Spiffing it up and adding the wood square spacer?

O.K. the roof is now reinforced, the mating adapting collar is now epoxied in, and the corrugations that were cut out leaving gaps where we did not want them are gone...Whats next.

Filling a hole is one thing, making it blend in and look nice on a large surface quite another.

Look closely where we did our repair to the corrugation gaps by using a backing and plug technique, on close inspection you will see that the plug is about 1/16th of an inch higher than the rest of the surface, this is caused my the layer of bond adhering the plug to the backing...This is a problem as it will require allot of bondo or fairing compound to bring the larger surface flush again with these repairs...


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On close inspection you will see that the plug is about 1/16th of an inch higher than the rest of the surface.

So bringing the two smaller sections down to the correct height with the rest of the roof seems to be the way to go...

Its easy. Wait 24 hours.

Bonding products do not sand well sooner.

We plane the uneven surface with our belt sander using 80 grit belts, the suction from the running vacuum attached to the belt sander pulls all the fiberglass dust in, when sanding move evenly and deliberately back and forth at about 50% belt speed so as to not heat up the work...The repair plugs will sand off their excess heights gel-coats first down to the surface of the rest of the roof exposing resin and fiberglass.


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After belt sander removes excess on plug making
the area level with the rest of the surface.
__________________________________________________ _____________
Note***"Latter, in the finishing process, we resin coat the exposed fibers, sand, fill, prime and top coat this area, when done no trace will remain of this repair."
__________________________________________________ ______________
Excess "loctite bond" smooched out also goes away with this sanding, what is left after sanding is a uniform flush surface with no gaps.

Next a oak wood square ring is made, this square collar makes up the needed 1" gap so the Fan-Tastic fan rests on it as designed when installed in a double hull trailer.

This oak wood spacer will serve as another way to strengthen the roof because we will bond it to the roof with epoxy, it provides another water barrier with its epoxy seal which we call the primary water barrier because any water entering must bridge this barrier first.

This solid oak square spacer functions as a seat for the fans weight to settle on or nest on. Into this ring, "not into the roof" are stainless steel screws, under the lip of the mating surface of the plastic fan body is butyl sealant or a rubber gasket which poses no problem for rain water because it is a raised deck.

If the primary water seal failed the next barrier in line to water penetration into the trailer would be the inside plastic collar we epoxied in place earlier, its raised edges facing the weather will stop water penetration there, this seal we call the secondary water seal.

We could have a go at the numerous ways to build a wood square, myself I do not like butt joints, what we did was take four 1/4" thick correctly wide and long wood planks and alternating at the corners over laid them so they interconnected there.

We used Gorilla Glue which is a water proof urethane glue, set up the pieces and using wood clamps set it all up under pressure, in 24 hours we sanded all the ooz off.

Then we placed the square into position, we made sure the fan mounted the collar with room on the inside side square for the whole works to settle in tight and precise.

****DO THIS***We then drew an outside square to mark the precise placement of this wood ring...

We then took the fan out, placed loctite bond on the wood ring mating surface of the wood ring clamping it all around in place using the square we drew to place the ring exactly where it was before.

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Wood ring bonding being clamped in place.
"Note appropriate gaps in the interior dimensions
for the collar to function with the fan top."

This last picture shows the wood ring bonded to the roof with the fan placed in it, there is no sag, now the real work begins to make this look good too.

For the curious I want to address the looks of a wood ring...The trick is we will coat the hard wood with an epoxy resin, then prime coat it, then top coat it, the fact its a hard wood will not be known when all is done...Kenna and myself will cover this in the body work chapters and the coatings chapters that will come under "body work" as another topic.

This concludes the section on Fan-Tastic fan modification.

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Modification complete.

Happy Camping Safe Trails.

Harry & Kenna
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:00 PM   #20
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Vent Modification...Adding a side range hood vent flat cover to a curved hull.

This is chapter 1 the introduction to our side vent modification discussion.

Synopsis...
The project featured is to add a flat side vent cover outside for the power exhaust range hood over the galley stove, the exit for the vent is exactly where we do not want it, it exits right on the arc or curve of the trailer hull, the point transitioning the main roof horizontal plane to the vertical plane of the outside side supporting trailer wall.

This discussion is about eliminating the curved hull issue by molding in a structured platform for the vent cover to rest on while not looking awful doing it.

Our problem...
We have had a power vent fan for years over our stove, the correct outside flat vent cover would stick out at the very top, its straight vent face thrusting straight up as the curved surface of the trailer hull behind it gently departed backwards away from the cover creating a greater and greater gap looking really tacky...It took allot of silicone goop to fill that space...
We did mean tacky.


What you will get by reading this...
Following this modification within this "Astro Middle Age Re-model" topic you will share what we do when faced with the issue regarding the topic of molding another feature to an existing curved hull to create a functional flat plane on it while still being symmetrical in looks...We used this construction technique to create flat platforms on top of curved roofs for R.V. A/C systems, or adding cargo doors, or placing windows onto slightly curved surfaces in our business too.

This to us has been an important skill learned for working with curved fiberglass surfaces.

Below is a teaser pic of what we are discussing...

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This is the sculpted, resin fiber reinforced adaption to
our curved hull that is featured step by step in this Vent Modification
thread.


The issues faced...
Adapting anything to a curved surface can be difficult enough, but on a 39 year old trailer that is currently using a sculpted silicon rubber seal that intermittently leaked every 5 years or so was going to be fun!!! The gel-coat was powdering heavily from years of the desert sun, we were definitely going to the resin layer before we were done. We braced ourselves mentally to modify this Astro the 3rd time...

While it has been our 17+ year companion, the lure and siren call of a fiberglass 5th wheel had our ears this year, then the economy hit...

Our lite Astro trailer, full of squat troll like personality would be our boxy orphan companion camper another decade. Again it will with fancy sleek behemoths next to it on both sides get another life to confuse and confound successful retirees 10 years ahead of us wanting to know "What the ---- is it?"

We wanted to share with the so many boxy cousins now found on F.B.R.V. our Astros story declaring it was going to be new again. The money saved for the down payment of the dream 5th wheel would rebuild with no money owed to any banker this Astro. Not to mention save me from extreme boredom while I got fixed too, I needed a surgery.

In the very beginning of this Astro modification thread we stated our intentions to eliminate screws penetrating the hull which might lead to leaks in the future.

Using a reinforced resin molded block that screws could use too "bite into it" but never penetrate the hull itself seemed the right plan for us regarding this vent issue, the project idea stayed within the strategy of making an attractive molded extension of the hull eliminating any seam in common with the roof behind the future flat vent cover. This would guard against any pathway for water to shed from the roof to inside the vent system or allow screw threads to penetrate the interior hull.

This introduction page is the beginning of this modification topic, chapters will be used as we are allowed 5 pictures per posting...Writing fast as we can you may see this topic stop while the rest of it is composed.

Just follow the chapter numbers until it ends.

Happy Camping, Safe Trails.

Kenna & Harry
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Old 10-31-2009, 03:43 PM   #21
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Vent Modification...Adding a side range hood exhaust vent flat cover outside to a curved hull continued.

This is chapter 2 the beginning to our side vent modification discussion.

There are items you will need to have on hand, like the metal tape discussed in "Fan-Tastic fan modification," We use Nashua 324A cold weather tape, two flat vent-line covers from the R.V.Store which are plastic, see below.



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Standard vent cover with lockable door
damper and plastic duct built on rear.

Why two covers? One cover is sacrificed becoming the molded platform for the other removable cover.


From N.A.P.A. Auto you need the unwoven fiberglass matte N.A.P.A. #765-1288, Resin N.A.P.A. #765-1285
An extra tube of liquid hardener N.A.P.A. #765-1294.
You may want on hand the resin in jelly form N.A.P.A. #765-1241. (Optional)
Buy the box of disposable Derma-Lite nitrile gloves N.A.P.A. #6609. (a must)
Also a polypropylene flexible flat scrapper N.A.P.A. #15510.
A gallon of Acetone N.A.P.A. #7651577
G.E. 100% silicone...
One caulking gun cartridge. (black)
Do not forget lots and lots of shop towels...tough paper shop towels.
Sanding sponges...medium and fine.
Some scrap F.R.P. (or stiff paper board)
Interlux Watertite epoxy filler or similar product Kit #YAV135 See below link.

http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userp...te+Epoxy+Filler

As far as tools go a 4 or 4 1/2" hand side grinder with metal cut off wheels, a Shop Vac with a paper bag in it AND a H.E.P.A. pleated filter. (Lowes/Homedepot)

(see Fan-Tastic fan remodel post before this post on vacuums and sander equipment)

A variable speed belt sander with vacuum hose attachment.
A non repeating random orbital sander with vacuum attachment.
Sanding disks 40-80 grit 100-200 grit.
Sanding belts 40-60 grit.
Caulking gun.
Screws 1/2-3/4"

On the subject of screws...
Their are many kinds more than what the hardware store has. These fiberglass trailers need a design specific fastner... do not mess around with generic fasteners unless you know it is for fiberglass...Screws that are alleged be used on fiberglass to sell them are everywhere...I look for fasteners specifically designed for fiberglass work...The guy who will help you at the local hardware store saying "yes these work" most likely does not know the difference.


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It looks the same sorta...


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Now read the difference...
Why talk about something like screws?
We know we're going into detail in these postings; We can show our neat modifications (we think they're neat) in a few pics then leave, but that style of sharing only shows the project can be done...
It will not help anyone to duplicate or build on our mistakes or success...
If common wisdom learned in the attempts to do a project is not passed on in the extra effort to tell the story then errors made will to some degree repeat themselves again.

As wordy as we are being here, we cannot cover every variation you might have, we had replaced our range hood years ago buying the power hood with the light in it because in a tiny trailer cooking anything on a rainy day with two asthmatic adults cooped up was disastrous...Ergo the hood went in fast.

Briefly stated when installing the hood we drew the rear vent hole position for the exhaust outlet using the back of the appliance itself, when mounted temporarily we used the factory installed rear square hole in the unit pushing against the outer hull as the pattern for drawing a position marker square. Warning *"do not cut this yet "*


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Rear view of typical R.V. 12v power vent

When we again remove the exhaust fan unit, the eventual "cut out" square pattern is drawn using the "position square" as a guide by centering the actual plastic rear of the vent cover, that has the 4" long square molded duct on it we draw the new final dimensions of the"cut out".

This places the final "cut out" position exactly where it needs to be mechanically on the curve of the hull.

2nd warning..The hole size to be cut may not be the one drawn first...Its real size is to be the real size of the duct that sticks out behind the vent...Not the exit hole size of the hood!!!!

The reason for this strategy is to get a tight fit needed between the exhaust vent rear duct throat thru the hull itself...this is crucial.


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Plastic rear duct of the "side vent" fits snugly thru hull wall.

Explanation* This method uses three separate pours of resin , layering fiberglass matte in two of them between the pours, the fiberglass matte is to strengthen the molded structure as it builds up, to the correct thickness... More importantly it limits the deep cracking endemic to this kind of pour with this kind of product.

Pouring resin shapes as resin blocks releases allot of heat very rapidly in the mold, the heat accelerates the cure rate making more heat

Slip the duct tightly into the hole bringing the front cover against the hull tightly.

The rear of the vent cover will poke thru the hull into the galley area.

Draw a line around the outside of the vent now, then sand off the gel-coat within that outside square to the resin layer. ( creamy brown color) Stay as much as possible in the box square drawn.

Now do something everyone will tell you not to do
...From the inside silicone the square duct on all 4 sides right where it comes in past the hull. ..Put a thin consistent uninterrupted bead on all 4 sides of the incoming duct. Use the metal tape on the outside to hold it firmly in place 24 hours.

Why do it?
We need that inside seal...When we pour the resin in the first pour it keeps the curing resin from entering the trailer thru the spaces between the hull where the duct penetrates it. By holding back the liquid resin long enough for it to set in the first pour we will fill gaps behind the cover itself up next to the hull (these covers are hollow) filling the tapered arc to flush with the top of the vent face in the first pour to be molded.

This ends chapter 2, the discussion continues in chapter 3.

Happy Camping, Safe Trails.

Kenna & Harry
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Old 11-02-2009, 01:45 PM   #22
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Vent Modification...Adding a side range hood exhaust vent flat cover outside to a curved hull continued.

This is chapter 3 of our side vent modification discussion. "Building a simple Mold"

Now that the rear of the vent face (the outside part of the vent) is flat against the outside hull with the duct behind it inside the trailer being held in place with a continuous silicone bead on all 4 sides of the inside duct sealing it to the hull its time to do the outside front face of the vent.

We silicone the front face with a thin even bead of silicone where ever it touches the fiberglass hull, "this seal will be removed" we want this to hold back resin when poured. Where the face and hull start to separate because of the arc of the hull a different solution will be employed.

What are we doing next?

"We are sealing holes so resin cannot ooze out of them, do this for all vent face screw holes."

Description of how its done.

The screw holes in the vent face from the factory need to be taped closed using the waxy paper from the metal tape roll (discussed in "Fan-Tastic fan modification" earlier) placing a waxy paper patch over the screw holes first hold these paper patches in place, taking another piece of just metal tape place it tightly over the paper patch taping the waxy paper patches over the screw holes sealing them in place, sealing on all sides of the waxy patch with the metal adhesive tape we make a patch which is removable after the resin cures without sticking...

We are sealing holes so resin cannot ooze out of them, do this for all vent face screw holes.

After sealing the screw holes we must now address the gap at the top of the vent face outside the hull, this gap will be handled by a temporary mini patch or another way to say it is a temporary mini retaining wall, this wall is lined with the waxy paper trick... The waxy side always facing the resin.

A simple hand drawing of the side cut away view of the trailers lines shows the gap needed to be closed.


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Side view drawing showing discussed gap to be closed.

On square bodied trailers it easy to get the degree of curve needed for a close match to the body arc needed to make the small side wall pieces fit very tightly...This is done by drawing the arc needed on the cut scrap F.R.P. to be used in the mold, take the scrap to the back corner of the trailer, using the body where its curve can be outlined draw the curve to be cut out on the scrap.



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Drawing the curve on scrap to be used as a sidewall to the mold.[/color]

The next pic shows the future F.R.P. sidewall piece having the curve cut out of it now being lined with the waxy paper towards the poured resin side, We use a razor blade to again cut the arc out of the waxy paper so both F.R.P. wall piece and its covering of waxy paper will snuggle into the hull tightly.


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Shows F.R.P. cutout lined with waxy paper, <span style="color:#ff0000">"waxy side out" being trimmed to cut out arc.</span>

Do this for both sides, tape in place the side pieces to the vent fan face tightly, make a back wall of F.R.P. to go between the two side pieces just made, line this back wall the same way with waxy paper from the roll of metal tape. This is so the mold will release all panels when resin cures.


We attached our mold walls "side+side+back" by tightly taping the whole structure with metal tape, We put long side crews in place on both side sections to suck them in tight, also we silicone to the outside a bead seam on the side wall of the mold to the trailer hull.


We made sure the tape over laps all sealing contact points with the hull, also taping all forming corners...The strategy is to have a sealed mold that will hold resin long enough to harden resin into a desired shape.

IF done correctly, the resin will not enter the trailer because of the silicone bead on the other side of this work done earlier...The side walls must go to a point taller than the height of the roof as must the rear wall extend to that height too.


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Side wall in place; Note screw to holding wall into duct/vent; Note the silicone bead outside as a barrier to hold back resin.

This last pic is to show how this is supposed to work...The pours of resins will be three individual pours...This pic is not to say pour all at once...The next picture is meant as an illustration of the mold only right now.


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Note... The three retaining walls of F.R.P. lined with waxy release paper, re-used from our metal tape roll, this shape only has to be held 15 min...That will be chapter 4.

This ends chapter 3, the discussion continues in chapter 4 of Vent Modification...Adding a side range hood exhaust vent flat cover outside to a curved hull.
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Old 11-02-2009, 08:47 PM   #23
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Vent Modification...Adding a side Range hood exhaust vent flat cover outside to a curved hull continued.

This is chapter 4 of our side vent modification discussion.<span style="color:#ff00ff"> "the messy part"

Doing this in five picture chapters at a time has been interesting, we took many more pictures than space does permits.<span style="color:#000000"> The mold has set up another 12 hours so the bead on the side wall sections has time to set.
__________________________________________________ ______________


Worth mentioning
...This is the time to pour the first batch of resin, the liquid resin technique we will describe in this post here is the one we present because we like it the best, but the
<span style="color:#000000">optional resin jelly 765-1285 could be used in the step before this one as a pre-loaded packing behind the hollow vent face. Backing up a moment when the vent assembly was slid into place, this jelly being much heavier could have worked well filling up the spaces behind it...So...Without going threw all the pain and trouble of sealing the vent into the hull as a liquid tight hollow plastic body to be filled with liquid resin against the hull, we might have move faster in the project with the jelly...but not better we think.

Personally, the liquid resin technique does adhere more tightly to the sanded bared fiberglass when it sets up...The jelly did not appear to have the same adhesion albeit a close second.
__________________________________________________ _______________


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<span style="color:#0000ff"><span style="color:#ff00ff">Level of the 1st pour, in real life leave the whole mold together, this was done just to show levels and take the picture for the benefit of F.B.R.V. members.

The pour person puts on disposable Nitrile Gloves, keep box near, if you make a mess peel gloves off and put new ones on in seconds, have a partner to help with this also the partner operates the thermometer.

In the first pour mix (I like a flexible rubber silicon collapsible bowl) 16 0z. by volume of the N.A.P.A. resin 765-1285 with 30 drops of hardener 765-1294 per 4 oz. of resin.

{16 oz resin divided by 4oz equals 3 X 30 drops of hardener equals 90 drops of hardener per 16 oz of resin.}

At 80 degrees F. below 25% humidity wait 3-4 minuets of an average 10 minuet work time before you pour your resin solution, the temperature of the resin should pick up about 5 degrees before you start, try to not go beyond 20 degree rise in temperature or a consistency much past syrup before you pour. (Use a laser thermometer, see below link for an example.)

<span style="color:#ff8c00">http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=93984

Mix steady and fast without whipping bubbles into the mixture, it will turn from clear to dark, mix until all the mixture is uniformly dark...mix 1-2 minuets.

Pour resin mixture into the pre-built mold praying you did not forget something major...If you leak a little plug it, do not move to fast, be observant inside the trailer and outside the trailer regarding this pour giving attention to its leak zones...Pay attention to the big stuff...Your partner can standby with acetone wipes for resin dribbles or resin run off on the hull...In 15 minuets it will harden...If you're in a cool ambient area, place a can of resin in hot water 105 degrees warming it up to 80 degrees before mixing, when you pour resin in the cold do it under a spot light about 3' away (500 watt halogen) to warm working area in the cool weather, keep light on work area 20 minuets, have a box fan running on low to mix air up in a closed room.

This first pour will come to just under the top of the actual vent rim, another view of the pour with the mold off for your viewing is below, this is to show the amount and progress of the 1st pour only. Do not after this 1st pour of resin remove the mold!!!

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Top view looking across mold towards tongue the mold is open for picture only.


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</span>This is a top view looking down 1st pour.

<span style="color:#000000">When this resin sets firm (in about an hour to two hours) and the temperature of the resin is dropping not increasing, the second pour can begin.

We mix resin the same way as before only this time we pour a little differently, we also will add the fiberglass matte now, cutting two squares of matte the same size as the inside square of the mold top surface looking into the top of the mold.

We do not wait in this 2nd pour for any set up of the mixture this time, rather work immediately after mixing.

Pour 1/3 of the contents into the lower mold on top of the 1st pour, lay the pre-cut fiberglass matte into the resin letting it soak up the resin poured into the bottom. A stick is useful in positioning the matte so it lays flat, do not use fingers, its more problem than its worth.

Pour another 2/3 of the resin into the mold onto the soaked matte.
Wait an hour to set up firm...The purpose of the fiberglass matte layers is to minimize cracking, some may occur, that's alright.


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Pic of fiberglass matte laid into space.

"note the difference in the back mold wall heights in the last two pics this is because we decided to bring the pour up to level with the roof in our pour."

When ready repeat the 2nd pour step...this is the 3rd pour.
This 2nd matte is placed into the mold, soaked the same way, with the rest of the resin poured after it. Let this firm up...If this last pour does not bring up the level of the resin to the level plane of the roof then repeat until it does...If another pour (a 4th) is done do it as a catch up pour without the matte.

After this sets up firm and the top of the poured resin is at the roof level you can disassemble the form exposing the resin chunk, this will set up for 24 hours to be sandable, a couple of days to be safe, it may crack slightly on the top, this is normal.


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Molded feature reveled after mold is disassembled, ready to shape in 2 days.</span>

</span></span></span></span></span></span>This ends chapter 4, the discussion continues in chapter 5 of Side Vent Modification...Adding a side range hood exhaust vent flat cover outside to a curved hull.
Kenna & Harry

<span style="color:#ff00ff"> </span>
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Old 11-02-2009, 09:08 PM   #24
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Harry,

I am a new member and also a new owner of a 1972 Astro; just brought home this past Saturday. When I first looked at it the owner and elderly widowed lady who had in her backyard the last 10 years had a make shift wood top. So I assumed it was a Havasu with damage or compact with damage. The name plates are exactly as yours are and the pop-up top portion is gone. I took the infested wood off in moments after getting it home. It needs a lot of work but the original range, sink and body are in great condition.

I picked it up for $300.00 knowing it needs work. Thanks for all the updates on yours, I will most likely be reducing the length of the dining area; takes to much of the 9 foot length.

Hope I did this right and attached the pictures.

-Debbie
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Old 11-02-2009, 09:46 PM   #25
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Debra,

We are so excited!!!! Another Astro, what a deal!!!!! 300.00.

My wife Kenna is from San Francisco... Hunters point district and Pasifica!!!

We are so Bloody Happy here

Its been lonely here with so many lovely box trailers and no Astro to keep us company.


Our Astro's if you notice have the external corrugations molded into the hull body that strengthens it...

So far I have not seen any of the other box designs that have it.

We are currently remodeling ours now but we have always used a permanent bed set up.

While we are composing these posts as fast as we can the pics needed to post are many more to go and many many are not able to be posted.

Also we have the original flowered cushions complete no damage which we boxed up decades ago in good shape in the attic, the stove parts we have stored too (so you have extra parts) which are [b]discontinued parts and[b] are available, we have the ice box, we went ammonia refrigerator years ago. Extra water tanks as well. You might want them, and much more.

If I have an email, P.M. one I can send the whole picture album too...Presently I am setting up a photo bucket account with the many pictures I cannot post so members can see them and pick thru them.

I can make a mold of the Astro's pop top if needed, or outline and pattern the scissors assembly if you need it since you have the pop top hole and no top...the pop top lift assembly is slightly different too...I also have a pattern for the pop top canvas I have...We are thinking of ordering a new one, this one is still good...zippered windows with screens.

Feel free to "P.M." me. "personal message system"

Happy Camping, Safe Trails.

Kenna and Harry

I hear bagpipes!!!




Quote:
Harry,

I am a new member and also a new owner of a 1972 Astro; just brought home this past Saturday. When I first looked at it the owner and elderly widowed lady who had in her backyard the last 10 years had a make shift wood top. So I assumed it was a Havasu with damage or compact with damage. The name plates are exactly as yours are and the pop-up top portion is gone. I took the infested wood off in moments after getting it home. It needs a lot of work but the original range, sink and body are in great condition.

I picked it up for $300.00 knowing it needs work. Thanks for all the updates on yours, I will most likely be reducing the length of the dining area; takes to much of the 9 foot length.

Hope I did this right and attached the pictures.

-Debbie
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Old 11-02-2009, 10:23 PM   #26
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Quote:
Debra,

We are so excited!!!! Another Astro, what a deal!!!!! 300.00.

My wife Kenna is from San Francisco... Hunters point district and Pasifica!!!

We are so Bloody Happy here

Its been lonely here with so many lovely box trailers and no Astro to keep us company.


Our Astro's if you notice have the external corrugations molded into the hull body that strengthens it...

So far I have not seen any of the other box designs that have it.

We are currently remodeling ours now but we have always used a permanent bed set up.

While we are composing these posts as fast as we can the pics needed to post are many more to go and many many are not able to be posted.

Also we have the original flowered cushions complete no damage which we boxed up decades ago in good shape in the attic, the stove parts we have stored too (so you have extra parts) which are [b]discontinued parts and[b] are available, we have the ice box, we went ammonia refrigerator years ago. Extra water tanks as well. You might want them, and much more.

If I have an email, P.M. one I can send the whole picture album too...Presently I am setting up a photo bucket account with the many pictures I cannot post so members can see them and pick thru them.

I can make a mold of the Astro's pop top if needed, or outline and pattern the scissors assembly if you need it since you have the pop top hole and no top...the pop top lift assembly is slightly different too...I also have a pattern for the pop top canvas I have...We are thinking of ordering a new one, this one is still good...zippered windows with screens.

Feel free to "P.M." me. "personal message system"

Happy Camping, Safe Trails.

Kenna and Harry

I hear bagpipes!!!
Harry,

Thanks so much I would love to know what you have. Right now it need a lot of airing out. Pretty molded on the outside and just to closed in for long. The top is fantastic news. I had a 89 Westfalia and was even thinking of improvising in a similar fashion. Being 5- 6" even just putting a molded skylight on would have worked. Additionally Harry, I was glad it fit in my garage. Storage in the City is quite expensive.



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( first and last name). I just sold my 1975 Montgomery Wards Camping Trailer that I restored and when I went last week to take it of Craigslist the Astro is what I found. Naturally, I ran over and purchased it- just as I was swearing off projects. At any rate, yes when you have time please tell me what you have and attached is a picture of my old rig ( had to share...)

Thank you again,

Debbie

P.S. Tell your wife I live in Daly City, next town from Pacifica.
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Old 11-05-2009, 01:12 PM   #27
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Vent Modification...Adding a side Range hood exhaust vent flat cover outside to a curved hull continued.

This is chapter 5 of our side vent modification discussion.<span style="color:#ff00ff"> "Sand, sand and sand"

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<span style="color:#ff00ff">Coners are sanded down a bit, see "cracks" [at] 2 days cured.</span></span>
<span style="color:#000000"><span style="color:#ff00ff"><span style="color:#000000">
Looking at the picture you can see the cracking we were mentioning earlier in the posting, this is normal for this product, there are resins specifically designed to do this kind of work with a more minimal cracking issues but frankly they are not worth it as the repairs are easy to do...

The intuitive thing to do is to pour resin, the same resin the block is made of into the cracks...It will work...Clean with acetone first then soap and water and rinse, make sure its really dry and go ahead and pour resin into cracks...Use the waxy tape trick with the metal tape backing it up and holding the waxy tape wax side towards the work... Tape it in such a way that the poured resin does not leak out. Let it set 24 hrs before sanding at +75 degrees. Repeat step if needed.

What WE do is fill with loctite 5 min epoxy because we like this better, you do not wait around 24 hrs, its the same cleaning steps, but only two hours to cure.


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<span style="color:#ff00ff">We use loctite 5 min epoxy as a filler because its quick.


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Clean all silicone off the outside used to origionally seal epoxy from leaking out...
<span style="color:#ff0000">DO NOT SAND IT OFF!!!

__________________________________________________ _______________

<span style="color:#ff00ff">***Point of Interest... Sanding silicone off is not a smart idea, the epoxy or urathanes as coatings used in the final coating process will not adhere to areas that were sanded with silicone present...Sanding silicone works it into the resin and makes it un-manageable with these coating products as coatings over this boo boo...IF THIS HAPPENS, then after sanding paint area with resin...Sand lightly with 200 grit paper after its cured with the non repaeating orbital sander using a vacuum set up...THIS then is the new surface to coat over....
NO EXCEPTIONS.



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Get the little imperfections of resin cast around edges of vent cleaned up.
</span>
Starting with the belt sander and 100 grit belt sand the top of the resin block flush with roof...this sander IS attached to a vacuum recovery system described in "Fan-tastic fan remodel chapter" then switch to the Non repeating orbital sander with vacuum attached using 80 grit disks and round all corners making the unit look nice.

When sanded to round corners of our liking, the last thing we do is sand of the 45 degree vent cover completely off...This is to finally make the platform for the second vent cover which will screw on this pre-cast platform now built as an integral part of the hull...We will show the final appearance of this vent remodel in the "hull finishing work" chapter much later on.


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Sand of 45 degree rain hood creating a flat surface.

The concludes the
</span></span></span></span></span></span>Vent Modification...Adding a side Range hood exhaust vent flat cover outside to a curved hull.

Oh yah we done it!!!
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Old 11-05-2009, 10:55 PM   #28
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Refrigerator Vent Modification...Installing a refrigerator roof vent without screws, permanently leak proof & make it changeable in 2 minuets too. "Oh! and its leak proof."
Chapter one...What we are going to do...
We hate screws in the roof on our fiberglass trailer. While the rounded roofs have an advantage shedding water fast, the square tops do not, hail is a joke accumulating and melting causing condensation inside while outside pooling water forms shallow ponds.

The roof mounted vent for an absorption refrigerator is the best way to go, however conventional installs require many screws, these are a real pain and a source of leaks way to often. If not now then later. This adaption we will discuss and show can be used in square fiberglass trailers including the quirky round dome homes that shed water off their bald noggins enviously.

In our very lengthy preamble to this thread turning into quickly the source of callouses on my two typing pinky's we stated...(1) Eliminate all screw penetrations in the roof particularly. and (2) 1st epoxy the refrigerator top exhaust vent system into the trailer roof over its refrigerator compartment from within the shell/hull, then mount a second identical twin vent over the outside of the first ventepoxied into place permanently earlier, this outside identical vent fits snugly "like a glove" one over the other prior epoxied in place.

This is the post that will show the process to do this.
A teaser pic is below showing the vent in place, no screws, water tight in a fiberglass shell.


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This view shows the vent in place, note the flange is not on top of the roof!


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This view shows a view looking up, from inside the refrigerator compartment where the refrigerator slides in, note the bottom flange of the vent is here!


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This is a straight up view, looking from the bottom shelf where the refrigerator weight sits looking up at just where all that nasty heat goes...

<span style="color:#000000">Now you might cheat saying, that "yes the pics explain everything"...<span style="color:#0000ff">to which we answer "huh no they do not".

Material is everything...Be careful what you ask for!

Not all plastics bond to fiberglass well, or work with the same bonds.

<span style="color:#000000">The choice of your plastic vent is very important, some of these guys are polypropylene <span style="color:#ff0000">(stay away) <span style="color:#000000">The epoxy resins will not bond at all with these plastics...S.M.C. (sheet molding compound) is relatively new but a favored production</span></span>
</span></span></span><span style="color:#000000"><span style="color:#0000ff">
<span style="color:#000000">method...or styrene plastics.

On the bottom of plastic made stuff there is a code stamped there by the industry, a triangle with a number or a "iso" number.

Below is a trade paper <span style="color:#0000ff">"one of them" to describe the point for intrepid readers...
</span>
<span style="color:#0000ff">http://www.ftc.gov/os/comments/green...4743-00034.pdf

The point is to be aware not all plastics will bond well...

<span style="color:#000000">Look for vents that are V (vinyl/ polyvinyl chloride) (PVC) or PS (polystyrene) to do this...
Next you ARE GOING TO USE A TWO PART EPOXY BOND.

We always run tests with the bond on the material and see if it peels off...if in doubt test.

<span style="color:#000000">Stuff you will need...
2 bottles of locktite two part epoxy bond (Lowes, or Homedepot)


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<span style="color:#ff00ff">Look for this...

<span style="color:#000000">You will need Acetone.
A Non-repeating orbital sander with vacuum attachment to a vacuum system described and shown in the <span style="color:#0000ff">"Fan_Tastic fan modification" thread before this one.
50 ish grit sanding disks
100 ish grit sanding disks

Nitrile "Derma Lite" disposable gloves.
Polypropylene flat scrapper
2 identical refrigerator vents of appropriate size and material for glue and fiberglass.



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My favorite "Barker" refrigerator roof vent. (try eBay first)

</span></span>(Note see: </span></span></span></span></span></span></span>Vent Modification...Adding a side Range hood exhaust vent flat cover outside to a curved hull ) for stock numbers or sources.
A dremel tool set or the like would be useful..
A side grinder with a 4 1/2" metal cut off wheel.
Organic respirator filter, nose and face protection...no exceptions.
Safety glasses...
Ear protection.
Drill.

Roto-zip saw,(spiral saw) or jig saw with an abrasive blade for plastic.

A good sense of humor, and a willingness to be daring...

This ends Chapter 1...The rest of the discussion will continue in Chapter 2 of
Refrigerator Vent Modification.

Since this writing is in process and this thread is being written as we go keep checking this thread...it will appear.

Happy Camping, Safe Trails.
Harry & Kenna
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