Material to build internal shelves ... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-28-2013, 06:42 PM   #1
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Material to build internal shelves ...

Hey guys,

I'm looking to (re)build a front shelf in my Trillium. I'm researching what material to use.

Wood would be easy to work with, but would be heavy, thick and subject to moisture issues as it ages.

Fabricating fiberglass requires a mold, and is relatively hard to work with.

Anyone know of rigid, thin, lighterweight, whatproof panels? Some kind of laminate?
I found something like it at HomeDepot, but it had a funny, non smooth texture on one side, and was not rigid enough.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:06 PM   #2
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Fred, have you considered a wire shelf? I use a Home Depot shelf, and cut or bent the wires to the contour of the Scamp. I used aluminum "L angle" held in place by the window screws, and added the "L angle" to a couple of the side shelves. I then laid the wire shelf (turned upside down as to have a lip to hold items in place) over the "L angle" and used wire loom ties and/or zip ties to hold the shelf in place. You may be able to attach a thin material (wood or plastic) to the wire shelf if you desire a more enclosed or finished look.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:07 PM   #3
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Is this an interior shelf? I'd glue it up skin-on-frame with 5mm plywood on the outside. If it has a good coat of finish, I wouldn't worry about water damage inside the trailer, especially off the floor.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:12 PM   #4
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I used thin underlayment material and reinforced it with an L shaped aluminum. This trimmed it and reinforced it at the same time.

Details here.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:12 PM   #5
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Last summer I bought some 1/2" white plastic plywood for an interior boat project. I just used it this past weekend, and it is slick. I don't know if these folks still carry it (Best in cow comfort! Offering cow mat, cow mattresses, horse arena footing, horse stall mats, horse mats, arena fotting, horse matting, equine stall mats, horse floor mats, rubber arena footing, and more), but it would be too far from you anyways. Look around your area, see what comes up. I used white plastic wood for this boat project (a rear seat base). It won't rot or ever delaminate.

Good luck!

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Old 05-28-2013, 07:27 PM   #6
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For my back bumper, I used a 1/2" thick plastic material called Black Marine Board from a company called Interstate Plastics:

BLACK MARINE BOARD SHEET Plastic Sheets

Designed for planking on boats, I figured it would make a long-lasting durable bumper. That company has lots of different materials, including fiberglass sheets, in a huge selection of thicknesses. In addition, they'll cut it to size for you.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by freddo411 View Post
Hey guys,

I'm looking to (re)build a front shelf in my Trillium. I'm researching what material to use..
If you shoot me your address thru my website I'll send a sample of 3/16 thick ABS plastic for you to play with. I make a LOT of shelves and other items out of it.

Charlie Y
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:03 PM   #8
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When I did this in both of my Trills I used a 1/4" Baltic Birch Plywood screwed to clear pine 1x2 framing and it was plenty light and strong.

I really made a small torsion box which are very strong for their weight.

I also then could run wire through the inside to et power around the trailer and I also used the frame to wrap around over the doorway and provided a top plate for the wooden door jamb I created for the bifold screen door I needed too.

The key was the clear pine and baltic birch which are much higher quality,lighter and better looking than cheaper lumber.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:36 PM   #9
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If you're concerned about the weight of wood, you won't want any solid plastic as a horizontal structural panel (shelf) without reinforcement. Any kind of sandwich of a stiff low-density core and thin strong skins would be much better... even plywood with softwood inner plies. A 3/16" thick ABS panel would weigh almost as much as the same area of 3/8" common plywood... and I would expect the wood shelf to be stiffer (although of course the plastic would be waterproof and not need paint or other surface finish).
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:58 AM   #10
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A while back a member suggested obtaining an old tub or shower surround as a source of gel coated fiberglass. He had great success in obtaining some by advertising on Craigs list. There are always folks redoing their bathrooms and are happy to have someone cart the old stuff away.

As I'm sure you are aware the shelves in the Trillium use the window spacer (plywood) as attachment points. On older trailers these have a tendency to rotting. Make sure you have a good foundation.

What ever material you use, please share your finished project. Thanks, Raz
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:00 AM   #11
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If you dont want to use Baltic birch pannel then I would probably use Lexan and paint it. At least with lexan you can heat bend it if necessary.
If you want a fiberglass sheet try McMaster-Carr
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:53 AM   #12
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All: Excellent examples of the varaety and creatively in our little fiberglass camper community.

David B: Looks great, cheap, light, sturdy

Thomas G: Loved your shelf build. Very Light, looks great.

Frank A: The plastic plywood is really interesting. Very, very waterproof.

Terry: Some of my hatches are made of this stuff. Very tough. Too heavy for this application, but probably good for countertops.

Tractor1: Wow, I love your little RV widgets!

Ed Harris: Classic wood construction. I like the idea of hiding wires inside the wood sandwich

Raz: I will post when I'm done. I redid my window frame innards, so I'm good. Good points.

Steve: Love McMasterCarr. OMG the prices!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tractors1 View Post
If you shoot me your address thru my website I'll send a sample of 3/16 thick ABS plastic for you to play with. I make a LOT of shelves and other items out of it.

Charlie Y
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddo411 View Post
Hey guys,

I'm looking to (re)build a front shelf in my Trillium. I'm researching what material to use.

Wood would be easy to work with, but would be heavy, thick and subject to moisture issues as it ages.

Fabricating fiberglass requires a mold, and is relatively hard to work with.

Anyone know of rigid, thin, lighterweight, whatproof panels? Some kind of laminate?
I found something like it at HomeDepot, but it had a funny, non smooth texture on one side, and was not rigid enough.
If it's a "rebuild", do you still have the aluminum framework of the old shelf?

If so, I think that the pebble-finish FRP board you describe from Home Depot would work just fine. It's certainly as strong as the 1/8" plywood originally used, and in my opinion the finish (turned to the view side) would go pretty well with the Ensolite already on the walls.

Francesca
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:44 PM   #14
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I would love to see pickchahs of these shelf projects yall, HA! I am in need of shelves that I can build. Not being a master craftsman er craftswoman. On my last trip out I knew this would be a must have. Thanks.
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