Vent replacement - 17' '80 Boler - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-26-2011, 01:10 PM   #1
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Name: Clayton
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Vent replacement - 17' '80 Boler

We've done a few small things on our Boler (yet to be named) and a few days ago we decided to tackle the roof vents. It's a pretty basic project and I've seen a few threads about it which gave us the confidence to try it ourselves! We decided to post the work as we do it for others to see and comment on. Any input would be appreciated!

So far we erected a make-shift shelter out of tarp poles and one of the large tarps we used to use while tenting. We've got decent clearance all the way around and can work in a nice dry environment. It started raining as we were putting it up!

Once I got on top, I was surprised to find 32 screws on the old vent! We pulled off the vent cover and inside trim and 32 screws later, we removed the exterior base and a plywood/metal spacer inside.

I used a plastic scraper to get off the old butyl tape. I think it was butyl as it was grey and very sticky. After that I used a metal scraper to get the silicone off which had been painted over. I didn't want to leave any odd lumps or bumps and figured I can touch up the paint later since we won't really be seeing this area anyways.

After a rough cleaning, it was painfully obvious that this was at least the 2nd vent in this location. There are more than 60 holes in the fiberglass, plus a few small cracks and deep chips.

We ran out of time so we cleaned up and sealed it up with some plastic for the day.

We are grabbing some acetone today to clean up the rest of the butyl tape and old silicone. I am considering filling these holes since there are so many of them. Adding a new vent will just create another 20 or 30 and I am sure this will start to get pretty weak.

After watching the fiberglass repair demo at the NorWest Glass Egg meet last week, I am considering going the full matt and resin method to add some strength and plug it all up from the inside. Hopefully it will work well enough to fill the holes.

There is also the liquid product that already has fibers in it and I am thinking that may be my best route. I just can't remember what that is called and can't find it at Home Depot. Can anyone refresh my memory?

We will update as we go!
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Old 09-26-2011, 03:44 PM   #2
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short strand fiberglass, try at a auto parts store
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:56 PM   #3
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Perfect! Thnx Hambone! Home Depot has 26 in stock at my local store! Must have missed it.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by calindor View Post
Perfect! Thnx Hambone! Home Depot has 26 in stock at my local store! Must have missed it.
Post a picture of the container! I think I'm gonna need some of this stuff next spring...
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:02 PM   #5
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Bondo Glass - Short Strand Fiberglass Filler

Link to Home Depot Page: Bondo | Bondo Glass | Home Depot Canada

Link to Home Depot Image: http://www.homedepot.ca/wcsstore/HomeDepotCanada/images/catalog/15741.272C_4.jpg

3M manufacturer's info:
http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3...glXSSDK550P1bl
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:10 PM   #6
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that's the ticket Clayton! Thanks
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:55 PM   #7
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Name: Clayton
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Today I got some time to reinforce the vent area in preparation for installing the new vent.

Material:
Bondo Glass ($15)
Fiberglass cloth ($3)
Acetone (free!)
paint sticks (free!)
plastic scraper ($1)

DON'T forget to use your PPE (personal protective equipment)!
- eye protection
- gloves
- respirator (IMPORTANT! This stuff is an instant headache waiting to happen!)
- headlamp (not PPE, but I like to use these as I never get a shadow in my way like you do when working with a work lamp)


We cleaned up the area around the vent with the acetone (on top and inside) and then mixed the Bondo-glass and hardening agent. It's not like the resin. It's quite thick; thicker than toothpaste and VERY sticky. This was actually a good thing as I was going to be applying it over my head and it wasn't going to drip down on me.
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:11 AM   #8
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I had decided to reinforce the edge with fiberglass cloth. Since it is on the roof I put down some of the filler first so that I could apply the cloth and it would stick.... which it did. I applied some more filler over top of the cloth and spread it and smoothed it with a plastic scraper. There is no way a brush would work with this stuff!

I did two sides of the vent opening with cloth and decided to try the next one without. As you can see from the 2nd photo I put it on a bit lighter. I ended up putting more on but don't have a photo.

As the bondo glass starts to set up you can really start to see the fibers in it. They start sticking together and you can see where the strength will come from.

This won't work for patching screw holes or tiny cracks/gouges like I had hoped it might. It did press up into and through some of the screw holes but I will have to get some body filler for the rest.

I cut out a plywood spacer for the vent already... so next step is installing the vent. I sure am glad this is a project that can be done in small steps whenever a spare hour opens up!
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:24 PM   #9
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Clayton - so happy to see you are putting to use something you learned at the meet!!! .

Re filling the screw holes - Donna D. (or I think it was she) introduced me to a product - here it is called Waterweld by J-B Weld. Works great for patching small screw holes etc. I think I picked it up at Rona or maybe a marine supply store. Really easy to use.
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