Help! - Fiberglass Patch - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-04-2013, 01:40 AM   #1
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Name: Peter
Trailer: Trillium Jubilee 15'-0
British Columbia
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Help! - Fiberglass Patch

Can anyone point me to an instructional video ( or offer advice ) that will help me to patch the hole in my trailer that was left when I removed the furnace vent - see attached photo.

I've been to the local fibreglass shop and they really helped me out with supplies, mat resin etc. I've kind of got a feel for taping something smooth over the hole on the exterior to act as a 'form' to lay the resin and mat against from the inside and build it up in 4 or 5 layers.

What is a mystery to me though is what you do with the 'Gel Coat' on the outside. What is Gel Coat - is it just a type of paint that goes over the patch once it's sanded smooth outside? How do you blend it in to the surrounding surface without having a ridge somewhere ? How do you match the colour ?

Thanks for any forthcoming help !
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Trillium - Furnace Vent Openeing .jpg  
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:56 AM   #2
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"Real" gelcoat cures in a non oxygen environment on the inside of a form. Normally you would do the gelcoat first and then put the resin, matt, etc on top of it.

When you are all done with your repair you will use a small amount of bondo, sand it smooth, and touch it up with the finish product of your choice.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:05 AM   #3
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You can get gelcoat color matched, might be worth asking the same shop. If so, and they do the work, I might have them do that part of it, after you do the repair. They'll have more experience in getting it to blend in.

If not, I would get paint color matched, mask off a square to paint, and hope for the best.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:10 AM   #4
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Peter
I would just get a piece of 3/16" aluminum plate and cut it to match the old vent then use the same mounting holes. Leave it with the mill finish or paint the patch to match trailer. A lot less issues and problems.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:18 AM   #5
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Name: bob
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do like i did and mount an outside light there. My furnace vent hole was just a little big, about 1/4"or so, for the light I was using so I made an adapter plate from 1/8" aluminum. I used a 12 volt light, and it's been real handy having it there.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:26 AM   #6
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I second the aluminum plate idea.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:51 AM   #7
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+1 for light, aluminum plate or other access door. You could get an access door and wire in an external outlet for something useful.

Round Electrical Hatch 21-481-2-A

If you want to learn about fiberglass go to Youtube. There are lots of instructional videos there, including gelcoat.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:13 AM   #8
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Fiberglass is easy to work with, but Ive not gotten to be able to not be able to tell work was done in that spot stage yet. Sometimes its better to let a pro do it and they can match the colour and it wont be visible. Or add a hatch to camoflage the hole.

deryk
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deryk View Post
...... colour .......
Are you going Canadian on us?
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:42 AM   #10
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I took out the furnace and just insulated the hole and put the old vent back on

Ron
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:09 AM   #11
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There is certainly a lot of good options. This what is so great about this Forum .
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:45 AM   #12
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Peter, as others have suggested putting a dummy cover on it may be your best option. Matching up the gelcoat colour can be a challenge unless you are planning on repainting the whole trailer as can be doing a nice smooth job without damaging a bigger area than you had planned to. If you are not comfortable doing body work on your trailer another option is if you are anywhere near Escape Trailers in Chilliwack is to contact them. They may be able to help you with it or point you in the direction of someone who is good at fiberglass repair. Escape does a lot of trailer repairs/fixes of all kinds for owners of all makes of fiberglass trailers and compared to other big RV repair shops their prices are very reasonable. Not to mention they know a lot about Trillium's having sold one of the models for awhile.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:44 AM   #13
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About +5 for putting a cover plate on it and calling it a day.

I'm a great believer in DIY but I also have a ton on fg experience and without sounding really negative and for a whole bunch of reasons that I won't get into, put a cover plate on it
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RRJR View Post
I took out the furnace and just insulated the hole and put the old vent back on

Ron
Times.....how many?

You'll never be able to "hide" the repair, so much better in my opinion to just put the original cover back in place over some insulation.

Another consideration is that someone down the road-even possibly you- may want to put a furnace in again.

Francesca
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