exterior paint for Burro - Fiberglass RV

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Old 03-06-2013, 10:27 PM   #1
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Name: jay
Trailer: 10' 1980 Burro
Posts: 8
exterior paint for Burro

So, we are a few weeks away from painting the exterior of Burro. After purchasing, driving home 4000 miles,buying new cushion foam, upholstery, and spending to put new torsion axle and lift on frame, budget is slim..We have decided not to spend the $ for professional fiberglass paint job as it is going to be driven up mountain passes and thru pine trees and will be scratched! But I do want it to look decent and we are going for a high gloss using colors of colorado flag ( light blue, red, yellow)..I have a sprayer and am meticulous enough to make it look good, but am concerned with how well it will stick since I will be spraying it off after camping trips at car wash with pressure hose. My plan is to use a oil based kilz primer after sanding the entirety of exterior after a bit of patch work and acetone. Then spraying it with an oil based gloss exterior house paint or porch paint that will resist scratches and hopefully hold up longer. Then, hand painting accent colors, pinstripes, and repainting burro logo for a little more pop. I am aware that this is not the ideal product to use but I have done projects in the past with a high gloss oil based and was happy with turnout so I'm confident that for what I am going for, that this will look good. I just have never done it on fiberglass. Anyone ever tried this before or have any serious objections on why I should not use this method? I noticed many people have hand painted the entirety of the exterior of their fiberglass eggs, what did you use? Any ideas would be helpful...thanks

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Old 03-06-2013, 10:35 PM   #2
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Roy in TO's Avatar
Name: Roy
Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
Posts: 4,960
Lots of threads posted here, search for interlux
or google < site:fiberglassrv.com "roll and tip" >

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Old 03-07-2013, 05:28 AM   #3
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Bigfoot, Trillium, Scamp 5th Wheel
Spokane Wa. and Las Vegas, Nv.
Posts: 1,312
Some people actually paint their rigs with textured bed liner. Now that will give you a tough finish.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:09 AM   #4
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Name: Cindy
Trailer: 1988 Bigfoot Silver Cloud
Posts: 2,554
Maybe instead of paint, you should just gloss it up. We painted the burro image on our previously-owned Burro and then shined it up. Looked nice.

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Old 03-07-2013, 12:09 PM   #5
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
Posts: 1,542
The burro decals are available here is just one place.
Burro Camper Decals
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:03 PM   #6
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Name: Francesca Knowles
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Jefferson County, Washington State, U.S.A.
Posts: 4,543
The first thing I'd advise is that you buy the very best primer you can afford, preferably one specifically for fiberglass surfaces. I actually think this choice even more critical than the topcoat, as this is the surface to which the finish coat must adhere.(Do make sure it's compatible with whatever topcoat you settle on.)

After that:

The success of every paint job is 95% dependent on the preparation of the surface before application of the topcoat.

Wash the trailer very thoroughly, then sand lightly, taking care not to go through the original gelcoat. That's your base, and presumably still well adhered. Don't use too harsh a grit for this step- 80 grit for example will probably make scratches that will show through the paint. 120 is probably sufficient as all you really want to do is provide "tooth" for the succeeding primer. I prefer wetsanding to dry- much easier to keep rinsing dust away, though the paper is more expensive.

After sanding, wash again, then wipe down every square inch with some kind of pre-paint-prep such as this one. This step's important for removal of whatever traces may remain of wax/silicone/WHATEVER that P.O.'s may have put on the trailer.

This prewipe step should be done immediately before painting to insure no contaminants settle on the trailer before you get the primer on.

Prime and paint according to directions for those products- some may require cure times between coats and/or sanding.


Nearly ALL paints require time to fully "cure" to their ultimate hardness/resistance to scratching so be prepared to treat the trailer with kid gloves for awhile after you paint it!

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Old 03-07-2013, 03:28 PM   #7
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Name: Russ
Trailer: Scamp 16' side dinette, Airstream Safari 19'
Posts: 588
Most house or porch paint won't hold a gloss too long. Automotive finishes seem to buy a few more years before becoming chalky. If you will be dragging the trailer on tree branches you will get lines across the sides. Down here we call it "Baja pen striping". I have thoroughly trashed the sides of my Jeep from desert brush and successfully rubbed it out with compound several times. Really I am only rubbing the clear coat which the factory applied over the color coat. The clear if applied with several coats will allow for the repairs. It also provides gloss and protection for the color coat. Automotive coatings are expensive, but painting a trailer is very labor intensive if all the important prep and steps are followed, so it may be money well spent to use better materials if you are doing the labor anyway.
Make sure you post pictures of your finished project. It's fun to see different ideas.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:26 PM   #8
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
Posts: 7,912
Can't see that house paint will ever make you happy, at least not for long. Marine paints are designed for appliction to fiberglass and will stick. If you use Interlux Briteside you can put the sprayer away and get beautiful results using the above mentioned roll and tip method. Less than $300 for undercoat and paint.

Again, ferget the house paint on fiberglass.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:01 PM   #9
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Name: Reid
Trailer: 1979 Trillium 4500
Posts: 205
NO HOUSE PAINT! You will be very unhappy if you do. Marine or auto paints will last much better and will retain their gloss. I would use an epoxy primer under what ever you do end up using for paint. Good adhesion and is good under most any top coat.Watch cure times and compatibility with dissimilar products.
Best of luck
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:21 PM   #10
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 24,540
Personally, if I was hauling my trailer through the woods on a regular basis and was worried about brush/trees brushing against the side... I'd go with a roll-on bed liner. I think Brady's & Jenny's Boler is steller, look at the bottom pictures for the finished product!: Picasa Web Albums - Brady and Jenny's... - BOLER#

Done with a rolled on Durabak!
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:55 PM   #11
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Name: Derek
Trailer: 1973 boler 13', Earlton On
Posts: 396
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Personally, if I was hauling my trailer through the woods on a regular basis and was worried about brush/trees brushing against the side... I'd go with a roll-on bed liner. I think Brady's & Jenny's Boler is steller, look at the bottom pictures for the finished product!: Picasa Web Albums - Brady and Jenny's... - BOLER#

Done with a rolled on Durabak!
The Bedliner is an interesting option. If you damage a bedliner paint job, how do you fix it? I'm thinking it may be like working with a stucco finish - its almost impossible to repair in a way that looks decent.
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:40 PM   #12
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Name: mike
Trailer: burro
Posts: 13
Exclamation coating for burro

I used durabak 18 smooth lt blue on my 1983 burro.not to bad,read the directions that come with the coating.can be repaired as needed.i used a roller,made the mistake by not getting the roller from the distributor.i went to cotel for my coating.good people to do business with.before you open the can check to be sure it is what you want.smooth or textured,after opening work fast and seal the can by the instructions.my finish is like a matte.my 10ft used 2 gallons of coating and a gallon of exylene for prep and thinning.hope this helps

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burro, paint

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