Removing paint from Bigfoot 17 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 10-11-2015, 05:13 PM   #1
Junior Member
Name: John
Trailer: Bigfoot B17 1991
British Columbia
Posts: 24
Removing paint from Bigfoot 17

I have tried searching this forum but sorry it get's boggling looking for this topic. I'm sure it must be common so I do appologise to those who have treaded before me..
We just purchased a 1993 Bigfoot 17 and over all is pretty good shape. The decals are peeling off and the finish is dull. It looks like someone had it painted, possibly in a body shop?
It looks like the original colour was a creamish white and now it is white white.

Next spring I want to restore it to it's original glory. So my question:
Is it possible to strip the enamale overcoat and re do the original finish?

Thank you , John

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Old 10-11-2015, 05:22 PM   #2
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Name: Ian
Trailer: 1974 Boler 1300 - 2014 Escape 19'
Posts: 1,242
The original finish is fiberglass gel coat, not paint. If the gel coat has been painted you can remove it with a citrus based paint stripper. Test an area first, don't let the stripper remain on the surface for a long time and rinse VERY well when you are finished as any residue can cause problems in the future.

Ian & Joan
1974 Boler "Buttercup" / 2014 Escape 19'
Camping Treasures - Key Chains & More
The Complete Guide to 13′ Boler Fiberglass Trailers
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:01 AM   #3
Junior Member
Name: John
Trailer: Bigfoot B17 1991
British Columbia
Posts: 24
Thanks Ian, yes I'm aware of the gel coat and therefore seeking advise from this site as it would seem this was a common issue with fiberglass rigs.

I will look into citrus based strippers,

I guess I would start up on the roof where any misshaps will not show.

The worst of it is the paint is starting to peel off around the window mouldings. They must have masked it off around the windows and trim. I think the decals, however, where replaced.
The person I bought it from claimed the person before him said he had it painted so it would match his truck.
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:35 AM   #4
Senior Member
Name: Jack L
Trailer: Bigfoot B-17 CB
Posts: 1,015
Welcome to the forum John.
My limited experience with paint removers on gel coat involved boats and I want to caution you that using the wrong product can damage the gel coat so be very careful. You might do a considerable amount of work and discover that the trailer as painted because the gel coat was in poor shape before it was painted. Restoring damaged gel coat could be a major project. All things considered, a good prep and re paint might be your best option.

Ian G. has painted his trailer and it looks fabulous. I'm sure his advise on paint strippers is correct. I hope you find good restorable gel coat under the paint.
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Old 10-14-2015, 06:45 PM   #5
Junior Member
Name: John
Trailer: Bigfoot B17 1991
British Columbia
Posts: 24
Thanks Jack.
Because the guy said he believed the reason for the paint job was strickly for athstetics ( matching his truckk) I have a good feeling the original gel coat is still in good shape. You can see some of it on one corner where the paint is rubbed off. It is that cream colour common to that era of Bigfoots.

My brother has restored an older Boler and did a great job so I'll get his help once I see if the paint can come off without issue. He was not sure about what to use and recommended this site which he found lots of great advise about fiberglass rigs. I've been digging around and learning a lot. Cheers
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Old 10-14-2015, 07:16 PM   #6
Senior Member
Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
Posts: 1,036
If you have money to burn you might talk to someone who does soda blasting. This is course grade baking soda. They blast all kinds of surfaces.

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