Repairing a large hole in fiberglass shell - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-20-2014, 07:45 PM   #1
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Name: Ming
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Repairing a large hole in fiberglass shell

I remember coming across a really great thread that outlined in detail how to repair a huge hole in a fiberglass shell, but I can't seem to find it again. Maybe I'm going crazy and just imagined it? Can anyone point me to that thread, or give us some advice?

We found this video from TAP plastics, but do these same instructions apply for a really large hole in the shell? This are the hole (~20" x 10") we're trying to patch, it was an air vent for the fridge. (In the picture, Jared is cutting away the damaged fiberglass and gel coat boarder). Thanks!!
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:53 PM   #2
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This one has been an inspiration to me:
You Can Repair Fiberglass
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:04 PM   #3
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Yes! This was the one. Thanks!!
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:23 PM   #4
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I also did a series of posts. Much of the same information with a different presentation.
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:03 PM   #5
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Thanks, Peter! I'm feeling amped and prepared to tackle this tomorrow.
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:18 PM   #6
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Ming,
You can do this! I repaired a huge hole in the front of my Burro 13, where the PO had hacked a hold for an AC unit. My neighbor who has done auto body work helped and it came out great. It's messy and stinky. and did I mention it's messy!! The color will not be a match for the outer Gelcoat when you are done. What we did is to find a spray paint the closest match we could find. After overspraying a little (with no masking), we light sanded it to blend it in. After a good wax job, it looks great.

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Old 01-24-2014, 02:59 PM   #7
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Whoa... Repairing that big a section in a fiberglass trailer is more than slapping on some fiberglass. Not to mention the entire issue of painting the area to match afterwards.

My solution would be to get a new matching vent, cut a piece of 1/16" aluminum to the same size and seal both of them back where the original hole was. The vent will always look like it belongs there.

But there is no guarantee what the repair job will look like unless someone is a skilled fiberglass person/painter, (or has a neighbor who is) in which case they wouldn't have posted in the first place.

I can't even begin to count the number of botched up repair jobs I have seen on the sides of FGRV's. Of course all the ones that come out right become You-Tube favs. But who is going to post the ones that don't.

Of course you can always try, and then cover that up with a vent if it doesn't work out.....
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:31 PM   #8
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Thanks for the encouragement, Rick!!! I patched it! Albeit, with a fair amount of frustration, mess, but overall success For the smaller holes where I tried to patch the gel coat, it definitely doesn't match (nor it is smooth in all places), but we plan to paint the shell anyway.

The fiberglass seems structural, solid, and is not *that* bad of a surface. Although it looks rough in the pictures, the fiberglass patch is actually totally smooth. Definitely still needs some sanding, shaping, and a paint job, though.

Do you have any pictures of the body working finishing you did? Would be great to get some more inspiration.

Here's my blog post about it, along with just some pictures. It's not a work of art, and no one is making a YouTube video of it anytime soon. But, it'll keep rain out and prevent the wall from collapsing in on itself, so I'm a happy camper

Repairing Shell Holes: More Glassing, More… Fun. | 8 Legs and a Trailer
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