New Fantastic Fan going in... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-03-2012, 04:06 PM   #1
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New Fantastic Fan going in...

OK, got the old vent off, got the new one in place on top of my custom machined spacers. But I think I'm going to try my hand at fiberglass repair rather that just rely on caulks and sealants to fill the old holes since the old vent was misaligned badly with the rest of the trailer, so I now have gaps as well as holes.

I'll get some pics up....
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:12 PM   #2
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For the holes I have used a two part marine epoxy , that you can get at Home Depot, lowes etc. I'm sure. Works very well for small voids like the holes. Make sure you still use the Butyl tape under the new fan install.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:30 PM   #3
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In these first two pics you can see just how drunk the guy at the factory was when he put the original vent in. Drove me crazy every time I looked at that crooked vent! I'm thinking of adding a strip of fiberglass around that to help fill in the hole and just add strength. Don't want cracks starting there. You can see the white plastic spacer(s) I had machined to perfectly match the Fantastic fan.






Here we have the both spacers and the Fantastic fan in place for a final fitting/placement before starting the fiberglass repair/strengthening.



Very pleased to see the solar panels seem like they are going to fit beautifully up there and will barely be noticeable walking around the trailer.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:34 PM   #4
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For the holes I have used a two part marine epoxy , that you can get at Home Depot, lowes etc. I'm sure. Works very well for small voids like the holes. Make sure you still use the Butyl tape under the new fan install.
I got this stuff, made by Bondo. And some glass mat. I may drill out the holes enough to fit some bits of matt in them, and then a layer of mat around the edges.

Bondo Fiberglass Resin, 1-Pt.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:52 PM   #5
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That looks like it may just do the job, are you thinking about laying the mat on the inside ?
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:04 PM   #6
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Yep, on the inside, just need to find a good way to keep it up there while curing.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:30 AM   #7
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Dylan, I don't know what you can use maybe just a piece of cardboard, it would probably have to be something you don't mind leaving there as it will bond to the fiberglass I'm sure.
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:08 PM   #8
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I'm wondering what types of plastic sheet won't bond to the resin. So I use cardboard, but put a layer between to prevent sticking.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:20 PM   #9
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I'm wondering what types of plastic sheet won't bond to the resin. So I use cardboard, but put a layer between to prevent sticking.
If you clamp it with wax paper, it shouldn't stick. I just did some glassing last week and the wax paper came right off after I removed the clamps.
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Old 07-04-2012, 07:01 PM   #10
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If you clamp it with wax paper, it shouldn't stick. I just did some glassing last week and the wax paper came right off after I removed the clamps.
Perfect! Thanks!
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:48 PM   #11
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So I ended up using clear plastic packing tape underneath and just dripping in resin. A few larger holes I filled with resin mixed with little bits of fiberglass cloth, seems to have worked.
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:51 PM   #12
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Dylan, That's great hope it does work out for you, I'm sure the fiberglass thread that Dave did helped some too. He had some nice tips. You will have to post some pics as you go along.
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:59 PM   #13
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OK, here are the latest pics. It's all worked out and in place. I still need to caulk/seal it all up and put in the final hardware. Found the 4" stainless bolts I've been looking for yesterday.

Fantastic fan in it's final fitting. MUCH straighter than the factory fan.



I'm using metal to reinforce the edges around the fan. Stiffens things up, takes the stress off the fiberglass at the bolts, helps take the sag out of the roof.



Another corner brace.



Corner brace and over the braces on the rear side of the fan is a 1/8" thick aluminium bar that goes across the entire middle part of the roof. This really helps reduce the roof sag!



And this is the corner where the roof sag is worst and where the added aluminium bar really works it's magic. There are two bolts through the roof and the bar, this is where the sag is mostly taken out.




Here is the Fantastic Fan in it's final configuration. I haven't sealed it up and bolted it with it's final (stainless) hardware. But it all fits great. I will be replacing the plastic border with wood moldings. There are wood molding on the escape hatch and I'll be replacing that too so they have matching molding stained to match the Brazilian Cherry Allure flooring.



Another view, you can see how much "lift" my custom risers give. The knob is at least 1/2" above the ceiling level, no more bumped head like I got constantly with the factory fan switches. Actually, I think I'll be spending a lot of time standing under this fan. The only place in the trailer I can stand up straight and stretch!



Here you can see the bolts that pull the aluminum roof brace snug up the the roof. Bye bye sagging, bendable roof!!!! Well, there's still a sag, but it's minimal and you don't notice it from inside or outside even unless you'll looking for it.


For a fan/vent replacement this was horribly complex and expensive, but I'm VERY pleased with it. The added roof strength will give peace of mind and it's SO much prettier! Not to mention the fan works SO much better than that grotty old factory fan.
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Old 07-07-2012, 07:01 PM   #14
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Dylan, That's great hope it does work out for you, I'm sure the fiberglass thread that Dave did helped some too. He had some nice tips. You will have to post some pics as you go along.
That is a very helpful thread!! That thread and the experience filling these holes has inspired me to try to use fiber glass in a few places (firstly around my hot water heater door) that I was just planning putting painted wood.
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