How to patch small cavities/holes in the fiberglass? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-22-2015, 12:58 AM   #1
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How to patch small cavities/holes in the fiberglass?

I have found few chips and screw holes (See picture attached) in the coach. . How to patch that?
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Old 05-22-2015, 05:54 AM   #2
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I repaired a small (about the size of a quarter) hole in my casita using a fiberglass tub repair kit from slowes or home despot. Was far cheaper than a repair "kit" from the boat folks. Another option is to leave the hole and fill it with a rivet and a snap cap if the hole is small enough.

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Old 05-22-2015, 08:23 AM   #3
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I usually don't repair small holes like that, I hide them by installing a 3" battery compartment vent cover over them. You can plug them with any of the epoxy type puttys, but filling them and making the surrounding area match can be difficult and time & $$$ consuming. The white or ivory cover will look like it belongs there, whereas a repair might not go so well.
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:13 AM   #4
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The hole is easily patched. Clean up the edges of the hole to remove any contaminants, maybe with a knife, small file, or a Dremel tool. Wipe away any dust with something like acetone. Then mix up a bit of filler, like Bondo Glass Reinforced Filler, and force it into the hole. After 30 minutes or so, you can sand it smooth. Take care sanding to just remove the excess filler, and not cut deep into the gelcoat.

To touch up, you can get one of the automotive paint touch up kits to match. If you had a bunch of holes, and other gelcoat damage. A gelcoat repair kit will work great to cover up your patch.

Only with super close inspection would anyone be able to tell a repair was done, and the resulting work will look great. Plus, it will be a way better fix than anything that uses a fastener, or leaves a hole.
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Old 05-22-2015, 11:17 AM   #5
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I'v patched holes like that with bondo fiberglass "hair" and the only suggestion I might make to Jim's wisdom is that I took a pair of my garage scissors and snipped the strands shorter so it was more manageable in a smaller hole. do this before you add hardener obviously. A patch like that will be your easiest and best bet. Besides, Jim always has the best answers IMHO.
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Old 05-22-2015, 12:34 PM   #6
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Thank you. How about that? "Bondo Glazing and Spot Putty, 907C, 4.5-Ounce (128 Gm)" $5 only. http://www.amazon.ca/Bondo-Glazing-S...productDetails
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Old 05-22-2015, 01:20 PM   #7
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This is the stuff I used to fill about 100 holes in my Trillium. It worked great for filling larger patches too. I would use this for your hole, not the putty you linked to.

BONDO® 1 Litre Short Strand Fibreglass Filler | Princess Auto
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Old 05-22-2015, 02:13 PM   #8
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Bondo Glazing and Spot Putty is for filling scratches, imperfections and minor dents, and maybe very small holes (1/8" or less) not for permanently filling larger holes.
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Old 05-23-2015, 08:48 AM   #9
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Be careful using Bondo as it will soak up water and expand right off of the surface. Use some product like Marine Tex, which is an epoxy fille designed for that use. Marine fillers might be a bit more expensive, but they work and you probably won't have problems down with time
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Old 05-23-2015, 08:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captsteve2002 View Post
Be careful using Bondo as it will soak up water and expand right off of the surface. Use some product like Marine Tex, which is an epoxy fille designed for that use. Marine fillers might be a bit more expensive, but they work and you probably won't have problems down with time
You might be thinking of the non fibreglass types of Bondo, because the fibreglass products are waterproof. The make-up of the one I linked to with the stranded glass fibres, is not that much unlike the acrylic fibreglass that is used to build our trailer shells.

From Bondo's site
Quote:
Bondo® Fiberglass Resins and Repair Kits are 100 percent waterproof. Because they do not shrink, they are excellent sealers. Bondo® Fiberglass Resin is sandable in less than 2 hours, are compatible with all paints, and create a strong and long lasting bond.
Link
Fiberglass - Products
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Old 05-23-2015, 09:27 AM   #11
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Hmmmm.... Bondo products have been around for about 50 years and I have never heard of them being "Hydroscopic". If that were a common problem I'd think that it would be better known. I've used their products for almost that long and, at least in the last 20 or so years, have not had any problems like that. (can't say so much about the early stuff, especially when used on metal surfaces)


Most surface separations I have seen can usually be attributed to operator error.
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Old 05-23-2015, 09:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Most surface separations I have seen can usually be attributed to operator error.
But now you have learned proper application techniques, right?
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Old 05-23-2015, 09:49 AM   #13
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No, it's more that the very early Bondo products had a reputation for separating from metal surfaces. I never had a problem with them on fiberglass, nor have I had any issues with surface separation, but I have seen a number of examples that did.


My early bodywork on metal dates from the "Lead Sled" daze.
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