Fiberglass help - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-08-2015, 08:27 PM   #1
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Name: Nadene
Trailer: Keystone
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Fiberglass help

Okay, I know this forum is for small cool fiberglass travel trailers but I am desperate and not sure where to turn.

We bought a travel trailer from a private party and didn't realize it had extensive water damage. Today while traveling from Co to Tx we lost the front part of our fiberglass panel. No insurance of course. We have just become full time RV'rs and this is suppose to be our home and at this point don't know what to do.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:41 PM   #2
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That type of repair will entail a tear down and replacement panel(s). It's not a cheap fix.
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:44 PM   #3
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Any idea what "not cheap" would be?
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:53 PM   #4
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With no pics of the damage I can only visualize in my mind what it looks like. I've had friends that had some panel problems and damage. Some replaced them themselves and some at a RV shop. Don't remember what the costs were but the shop costs were in the thousands. You may want to contact an RV repair shop.
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:00 PM   #5
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Thank you, I can't figure out how to upload a picture.
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VKMama View Post
Thank you, I can't figure out how to upload a picture.
To upload a picture click on the paper clip icon at the top of the reply. Then click on Choose a File and then Upload.... make sure the photo is not to big or it will not upload.
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:55 PM   #7
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Photo of the panel

Here is a photo the panel that got ripped off. Thank you Carol H
Attached Thumbnails
rv panel.jpg  
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Old 07-08-2015, 10:45 PM   #8
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Don't want to beat a dead horse but another reason to go all molded
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:28 PM   #9
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I would suggest taking it to a few RV repair shops and get estimates.
Sorry your first experience with RV fulltiming is such a disaster.
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Old 07-09-2015, 12:50 AM   #10
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Well...

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Originally Posted by VKMama View Post
Here is a photo the panel that got ripped off. Thank you Carol H
First go to a shop, they're going to quote you something astronomical. The wood looks intact and not-compromised. So, after you calm down, go to home depot and buy some Bondo Resin with liquid catalyst (comes with it) and some Bondo Filler with red paste catalyst (comes with it)....rough up the perimeter surface near the damaged area.
Now take no more than a plum- ball size "part" of filler and same amount of resin and mix together, add about 9 drops of liquid catalyst and about a big toothbrush-toothpaste size dollop of red catalyst paste. Mix very well in a plastic bowl (not waxed paper bowl) into a thick red syrup, but work quickly, use a paintbrush and paint it on in a very thin coat, it will harden very fast so make it quick but don't leave drips. Don't feel you have to use it all up if it starts globbing before you get done. Just mix a fresh batch, maybe less at a time.

Let this set up all shiny and hard, then do 2 more coats like this. If you're careful you won't even need much sanding later. Depending on your technique *lumpiness* just hit it with a 240 or finer sand paper until it blends in with the rest of the finish. Sand with ever finer grit until you can't feel a differential between surfaces. Then paint both areas with gloss marine paint, trying to duplicate designs, or maybe removing the stencil from both sides to match things up.

So for about $35 and some sweat and paint you could be all fixed up. Not much to lose in trying since to fix that they'd tear off the whole panel. I believe, based on my limited experiences with this stuff, you can make it all "disappear".
You'd have to hunt down the trim molding later.
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Old 07-12-2015, 06:43 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tote-n-Tarry No.2 View Post
First go to a shop, they're going to quote you something astronomical. The wood looks intact and not-compromised. So, after you calm down, go to home depot and buy some Bondo Resin with liquid catalyst (comes with it) and some Bondo Filler with red paste catalyst (comes with it)....rough up the perimeter surface near the damaged area.
Now take no more than a plum- ball size "part" of filler and same amount of resin and mix together, add about 9 drops of liquid catalyst and about a big toothbrush-toothpaste size dollop of red catalyst paste. Mix very well in a plastic bowl (not waxed paper bowl) into a thick red syrup, but work quickly, use a paintbrush and paint it on in a very thin coat, it will harden very fast so make it quick but don't leave drips. Don't feel you have to use it all up if it starts globbing before you get done. Just mix a fresh batch, maybe less at a time.

Let this set up all shiny and hard, then do 2 more coats like this. If you're careful you won't even need much sanding later. Depending on your technique *lumpiness* just hit it with a 240 or finer sand paper until it blends in with the rest of the finish. Sand with ever finer grit until you can't feel a differential between surfaces. Then paint both areas with gloss marine paint, trying to duplicate designs, or maybe removing the stencil from both sides to match things up.

So for about $35 and some sweat and paint you could be all fixed up. Not much to lose in trying since to fix that they'd tear off the whole panel. I believe, based on my limited experiences with this stuff, you can make it all "disappear".
You'd have to hunt down the trim molding later.

This is extremely poor advice and will not work...don't do it
Fiberglass Dave
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:10 PM   #12
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I agree with Dave. When you enlarge and rotate the photo one can see that a huge section of siding has ripped off. This IS NOT a Bondo repair job and, if it were, it would take several gallons of resin and incredible skill and experience to cover that damage and it will still look like a Disneyesque repair job. If there was insurance, I am sure that it would be called "Totaled".


If you look at the bottom of this thread and click on "Rv & Travel Trailers" you will see a number of groups that have that kind construction in their trailers. I believe that IRV2 is the largest one. Those groups may have more experience with this kind of repairs and a source for repair materials.
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:13 PM   #13
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I do feel bad for the problem you are experiencing but the construction of your trailer is completely different that the trailers we know and love on this forum. Our trailers are made in 2 halves in molds like a fiberglass boat or a Corvette, the two halves are joined around the middle. We repair the fiberglass like fixing a hole in a boat, working from both the inside and outside

The construction of your trailer is a flat panel which sandwiches a fiberglass outer layer, some wood, foam insulation and interior paneling. These slab panels are the cut out and joined together around the edges to make the trailer. Repairing these panels is significantly different than repairing damage to a molded fiberglass trailer.

I would take it to a local RV shop, they would probably be your best resource for this type of repair. I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VKMama View Post
Any idea what "not cheap" would be?
Please do get back to us with what you find out for repairs.
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