Another paint job - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-15-2008, 10:04 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1982 13 ft Burro
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I tackled painting my Burro last week. Kind of a mixed bag - I spent a lot of time on prep, sanding and sanding and sanding and sanding.

One fun thing I did with the prep was take off the "fins" on the side of the Burro. I dunno if there's a better word than that - the narrow ridge that accents the bulge for the tail lights. I never liked those, they didn't match the other lines on the trailer. Well, 30 seconds with an angle grinder took them right off... and left a 1-inch gash in the side of the trailer. Easy to patch from the inside, however, then fill in with fiberglass gel from the outside. Took a fair amount of sanding to get it smooth, but I was pleased with the end result.


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I was feeling really good about the prep as I began to paint.

However, I ran into problems with the primer (Interlux) - it went on way too thick and orange peeled and showed lines. Another three days of sanding didn't fix all the damage. I wish I would have skipped primer completely, in retrospect. Thinning it out by about half would have helped, but this is my first paint job and thinning a high-cover primer seemed counterintuitive.

I top coated with Brightside. That stuff rocks. It covered a fair amount of the damage the primer caused. I really didn't tip much - just rolled gently over the lines a few times as the paint dried. The only problems I ran into was when I ran out of foam rollers and tried to re-use a partly dried one. That was a mistake. If I were to offer a tip - it would be to thin, thin, thin. I was using mineral spirits on series of hot days. It evaporated so fast that it would go from too thin to too thick in about 10 minutes. What worked was just pouring a splash of thinner in my painting pan and rolling a little on. If it was too thin, wait five minutes and try again. Better too thin than too thick, though.

I did three coats, sanded between the first two. I would rate the finished product a 5 or a 6 out of 10. If it weren't for the primer problems, I'd think it would rate a 7 or 8. It looks good from 20 feet, decent up to 5, you can see the flaws closer than that.


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A day after the final coat, we took it up a four wheel drive road to one of our favorite camping sites. The paint held up well - even though the bikes swung on the rack and busted out one of the back windows.

I'm satisfied even though I'd hoped for better. It was a lot of work, but it needed to be done and my total cost was about $200.

Oh, one other note. With two coats of primer and three top coats, I ended up using maybe a third of a gallon each of primer and Brightside. I could have gotten away with two quarts of each, although there's not much cost savings there. If I get motivated later in the summer, I may put another coat or two on, since I've got plenty of extra paint.

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Old 06-16-2008, 01:46 AM   #2
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Sure looks good to me!
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Old 06-16-2008, 06:08 AM   #3
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Andy, It looks great, I have a 1982 Burro. I have been tempted to paint something other than standard white, but seeing yours, I may stick with original. I I kinda like the fins being gone. I had not even considered removing mine, now you never know. I am far away from paint, but it is nice to see that someday I will get there.

I also noticed the LED taillights, I have been searching for replacements. Where did you get yours, and any idea how much?

Mike
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:31 AM   #4
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Andy, I think it looks great! Are you up to painting a Casita? I pay good! And I can have it down there in a matter of a few hours..... From your pic's, it looks like all your hard work paid off! Looks Great! Robin
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:46 AM   #5
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Wow.. looking Good!! now come and paint my 5er!! LOL
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Old 06-16-2008, 06:06 PM   #6
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Make that TWO Casitas. I'll be there in an hour and a half, you ready?!

Paula
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Old 06-16-2008, 07:21 PM   #7
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I'm not sorry I painted it, just ticked off about the primer. I could have done the job in a weekend with less prep work, and that may be the best way to go.

I found the tail lights at http://www.etruckpart.com. I don't see the same ones there - mine had like 60 diodes and those have 17. It's been a couple years, though, modern LED's may be brighter. I think the 17-LED, 7-inchers are cheaper, FWIW.

One other funny thing I found while painting - the regular old incandescent signals were MUCH brighter once I cleaned the dirt and dust off the inside of the lenses.
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:50 PM   #8
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My lens' are clean but dont match. Over the years someone cheaped out and replaced one, looks stupid because they are so different. I will check these lights out, thanks for the link. Seeing everyone else is dropping it to get painted, I don't want to be left out. I will not be there in an hour and a half, but maybe in a day and a half. I will try and learn from you primer experience.

Thanks

Mike

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I'm not sorry I painted it, just ticked off about the primer. I could have done the job in a weekend with less prep work, and that may be the best way to go.

I found the tail lights at http://www.etruckpart.com. I don't see the same ones there - mine had like 60 diodes and those have 17. It's been a couple years, though, modern LED's may be brighter. I think the 17-LED, 7-inchers are cheaper, FWIW.

One other funny thing I found while painting - the regular old incandescent signals were MUCH brighter once I cleaned the dirt and dust off the inside of the lenses.
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