My Nida-Core Project - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 05-25-2015, 10:41 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by roy vannoy View Post
This Nida-Core product looks like what I am looking for. I need to replace floor in camper. Where did you purchase product and is it expensive? Nice article.
I paid $262 including tax at LBI in Groton, CT. It's half inch material.

The cost for the different thicknesses does not vary much. 1" thick, which would make a very strong floor would be under $300. Given that you have a frame supporting it 1/2" thicknesses might work for you. What thickness plywood was there before? 1/2"? I'd use the same thickness as you had before or if it was 3/4", I'd go for 1/2" and put a 1/4" of foam insulation under the flooring material.

Do a Google search and find someplace close to you that sells it. Shipping might be expensive though if you can't pick it up.

As a floor for an egg camper, you could glass it right to the sides of the shell and that would be a super strong bond, particularly if you glassed both sides. Be sure to apply a "filet" first. The filet adds strength where you need it at the joint and helps bond with the fiberglass tape.

This technique would be totally water proof, and a vinyl floor on top would look great. If you had a water tight door it would float.

This technique is pretty much indestructible, and compared to plywood, the weight savings would be
small but significant for a light weight camper.

You could do a floor in plywood and it would last a long time, but at some point you would find the fiberglass tape would detach from the plywood. Epoxy works better there for bonding. Plywood, particularly marine plywood, while it would work fairly well, would not be the same caliber construction.

I read it's about 15 lbs weight savings per 4x8 sheet compared to marine plywood--he didn't specify thickness, but it is stronger, and really equivalent to the next size thicker and heavier plywood.

I like to build things to last. So the durability appeals to me as well. I would choose this over plywood for a few reasons. First, the impervious bond between fiberglass and fiberglass. Second, the permanency and longevity of the material which I feel couple well with fiberglass campers and boats. I like the material so well, it makes me want to find another old fiberglass boat to restore.

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Old 06-01-2015, 02:26 PM   #16
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I've been busy building my hardtop out in the barn the last few rainy days. The weather is slowing me down.

I have finished most of the E-Box. I still need to work on the front face a bit, install a mount for the electronics, and then prime and paint it.

Here are a few shots of the E-Box after test fitting it. It fits my T-Top frame perfectly. It looks like it belongs there. When painted it will look like it has always been there.

I still have to decide how to finish the front. The plan is plexiglass. However, I have plenty of teak so I may make a teak frame for it. I'm leaning against that. In fact I want to remove all the teak on the boat and replace it with starboard. Once I finish this boat I want the maintenance to be very low. On the other hand the front face won't see much sun, so varnish and bright work may last a long time.

I've started sanding off all the old paint on the bottom. I found three layers in places and, a crappy epoxy repair with no glass. You always want to use a little glass. So I will grind that out and redo it. The trailer is in the way for much of this work, and so I will looking for some poppet stands to do the rest.

It is going slower than expected. Because of the strakes, I will have to hand sand much of it. It would have been easy to just slap another coat of ablative paint on it, but an ultra smooth hard finish will give me an extra knot or two. My goal is 44 knots, (50 mph) on flat water.

I really hate the look of the aluminum plate on the back of the boat. My transom is solid, I may redo that next year for a cleaner look.

I have the trim tab hydraulic pump and controls installed.

The outboard installers left the two drain scuppers full of sealant. It was a PITA to get that out.

Now that the bottom paint is removed, once the rain stops and I can prime and finish installing the Trim Tabs.

My shrink wrap T-Top cover idea would probably have worked very well--it is on there very tight. It did help keep the sun off of me while I rewired the boat--but it will be cut off in the next few days when I test fit the hardtop. The four corners of which need to be trimmed.

I found 7 feet of 1.5" fiberglass tubing. I plan to cut that and use it for grab bars fore and aft on the hardtop. The after one will be perfect for people standing behind the helm.

I didn't quite have enough material for the entire hardtop and wanted to extend it out with a bit of overhang. So I used 2.75" strips of 1.2" birch around the outside to stiffen things up a bit on the edges. I am thinking about adding two stainless steel rails on each side so I can strap things down on top--like a kayak, or to use as a grab bar on each side of the boat for people moving forward. The birch will provide some compressive strength to the hardtop, and the fore and aft ones, will help bond the fore and aft grab bars.

I used a router to round the edges of the wood, and then two boards, a plastic garbage bag split open and many clamps to get a nice finish on the edges. The will need only a little work to make them perfect. The left side shows a mark made by a clamp. The boards were a little thinner than the Nida-Core, so I built that up with a layer of mat and two layers of cloth. Then I wrapped two layers of cloth completely around the wood with about 6-8" of overlap on each side.

One of the aluminum tabs on the T-Top frame is missing. So I'll need to weld on a new one. I'll need all four tabs to bolt down the hardtop and in particular, to secure the two grab bars.

I'll have some final shaping of the corners and bonding the mounts and grab bars to do after the last of the birch is tabbed on. Then I'll be fairing it smooth and ready for paint.

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