cracks around door hinge 2017 Scamp - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-15-2019, 04:31 PM   #1
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cracks around door hinge 2017 Scamp

We noticed some cracks beside the bottom door hinge on our 2017 13' scamp this weekend while we had it out. Was wondering if its an issue and how would I go about getting this fixed if it is an issue.


Thanks,
Scott
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Old 12-15-2019, 04:51 PM   #2
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Those are called spider cracks. They are not structural, only affecting the thin gelcoat layer. They're caused by flexing of the fiberglass, since the gelcoat layer is relatively brittle.

My eleven year old Scamp has several, including near the hinges. Once they happen, they don't seem to spread, so I don't worry about them. I try to keep a good coat of wax on the trailer to protect them from... I don't know... Maybe water or dirt getting into the cracks?

They can be repaired using a gelcoat restoration kit. You'll get more, so I don't see the point. In the end my trailer is not a garage queen.
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Old 12-15-2019, 07:17 PM   #3
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I've been reading some posts here that talk about a product called Capt. Tolley's creeping crack cure. I bought a bottle to have, and plan on testing it out when it gets warmer.
Edit:This product is used for other types of cracks, see entry below by k corbin.
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Old 12-15-2019, 11:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by lisantica View Post
I've been reading some posts here that talk about a product called Capt. Tolley's creeping crack cure. I bought a bottle to have, and plan on testing it out when it gets warmer.
Captain Tolley's is a great product. However it is not meant for this type of crack. What it is used for is that it is thin enough to creep into a seam or small void that is creating a leak. An example of such is a small leak in a window gasket or perhaps a very small leak around the head of a rivet or screw. It is thin enough to flow into those little voids where it then sets up. Basically it is a very thin acrylic caulk rather than the thick caulk that comes out of tubes.


What is used for spider crack treatment would be one of the small gel coat repair kits that you can purchase at stores such as West Marine. Those kits are essentially a filler that can be squeeged into those spider cracks to form a permanent fill in the fine hair lines. But of course for the best results on gel coat repair kits you need to follow the instructions from the company that makes the product.
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Old 12-16-2019, 05:55 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
Captain Tolley's is a great product. However it is not meant for this type of crack.
Thank you for the information, I was going to use it improperly.
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Old 12-16-2019, 10:38 AM   #6
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Not a Scamp owner here, but I have to wonder if there shouldn't be something between the metal part and the fiberglass?
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Old 12-17-2019, 04:17 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by lisantica View Post
Thank you for the information, I was going to use it improperly.
Years ago I came here looking for a way to seal the hairline cracks in the gelcoat of my new trailer. My concern was not cosmetic but moisture freezing during our Vermont winters causing further damage. Captain Tolley's was recommended for that purpose. Ten years later, the cracks have not gotten worse.

If you try it, have a rag handy. It's very runny.

West Marine says this:

Product Overview

Excellent for sealing hairline cracks in gelcoat.

This penetrating copolymer sealant is formulated to be so thin that by using capillary action it can find its way inside fine cracks and set to a clear, flexible seal. Use on wood, rubber, glass, metals, fiberglass, Lexan, ceramic and concrete.




http://www.westmarine.com/buy/captai...t-2-oz--243990
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Old 12-17-2019, 07:49 PM   #8
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Thanks for your reply, we saw the cracks and got a little freaked out. We keep ours under a cover, but I wouldn’t call her a garage queen either. We’ll probably watch them to make sure they’re not getting worse, but again, thanks for the reply.
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Old 12-17-2019, 11:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Raz View Post
Years ago I came here looking for a way to seal the hairline cracks in the gelcoat of my new trailer. My concern was not cosmetic but moisture freezing during our Vermont winters causing further damage. Captain Tolley's was recommended for that purpose. Ten years later, the cracks have not gotten worse.

If you try it, have a rag handy. It's very runny.

West Marine says this:

Product Overview

Excellent for sealing hairline cracks in gelcoat.

This penetrating copolymer sealant is formulated to be so thin that by using capillary action it can find its way inside fine cracks and set to a clear, flexible seal. Use on wood, rubber, glass, metals, fiberglass, Lexan, ceramic and concrete.




http://www.westmarine.com/buy/captai...t-2-oz--243990
It will go into the cracks but it won't look all that nice as far as a nicely finished surface repair goes. You will still be looking at the hairline cracks in the fiberglass as well a visible evidence of that acrlyic caulk on the surface of the fiberglass. Captain Tolley's dries clear meaning you will still be looking at those spider cracks instead of fixing them so that they are no longer visible.

So I will stand by my opinion that Captain Tolley's is not the right product to use for fixing those spider cracks. They can be filled and it can look very nice when done but Captain Tolley's can't achieve that kind of repair. Do the job right and you will only have to do it once.
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Old 12-18-2019, 03:59 AM   #10
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I've only done it once and that was 10 years ago. So far so good. To quote Donna D.
"Opinions are like belly buttons, we all have one"
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Old 12-21-2019, 11:43 AM   #11
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I had a lot of spider cracks on our ‘07 Scamp 16, including the usual ones around door. But I had some additional cracks because this particular Scamp had actually exploded when PO filled it with propane & tried to ignite heater. Yeah. Locals believed a terrorist attack was occurring. Total reno/restore. I bought the gel coat fix-it kit from Bass Pro, found on-the-shelf, cost about $40. Worked great. It’s a tricky process around curved surfaces (i.e., the whole trailer) but it can be done. IMHO, after owning/fixing 4 Scamps & Casitas, leave those cracks alone and keep a good coat of wax on the gel coat surface. Every FGRV and boat has them. Think of these spider cracks as well-earned crow’s feet. BTW, our ‘07 Scamp looks and feels like new, after being declared a total loss. These things are amazing. Love our camper.
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:22 AM   #12
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The assessment that the gelcoat cracks are a teletale sign of flexing is probably correct. Therefore, the core problem is an inadequate strength frame to support the shell exposed to the loads of your application. Nearly all stock trailer frames will only support operations on improved roads. Your unit has exceeded that, causing the cracks and more internal damage you cannot see. Solutions are to restrict operations to improved roads or replace the frame (and probably the axle and suspension) with a stronger one.
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Old 01-03-2020, 06:49 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Stephen_Albers View Post
Nearly all stock trailer frames will only support operations on improved roads. Your unit has exceeded that.
Gotcha, limit travel on interstates in Indiana check
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Old 01-03-2020, 06:51 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Doc.Kev View Post
Think of these spider cracks as well-earned crow’s feet. BTW, our ‘07 Scamp looks and feels like new, after being declared a total loss. These things are amazing.
Copy that....thanks!
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Old 01-03-2020, 09:09 AM   #15
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Unfortunately, there is another issue with frames: corrosion deterioration over time. Like a car rusting out, without regular preventive maintenance, frames get weaker as time passes and will ultimately fail. Stress testing a used frame is essential to avoid unexpected failure in normal service.
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Old 01-03-2020, 09:36 AM   #16
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Funny really... Scamps are so strong they can explode and keep on ticking... Scamps are so weak they might break in half after a few years and can never be driven off smooth pavement...

The reality, of course, is somewhere in between.

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Old 01-03-2020, 10:19 AM   #17
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Actually, frames can last indefinitely for intended use if serviced with internal and external rust inhibitors. Annually would be an appropriate service schedule for permanent asset protection.
Intended use is more than just paved highways. Any improved road should be okay. As an example, forest service roads are unimproved and require 4WD to operate on.
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Old 01-23-2020, 11:02 PM   #18
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I used to build and rebuild GTP cars in the 70's and 80's. To me, these don't look like a spot for checking or spider cracks, mainly because they radiate from a hole use to attach a hinge. So I'd call them potential stress cracks. As such, the first thing to do is inspect the inside of the panel and verify that the glass is not damaged on the inside.

We have a 2013 Scamp, and I am not impressed with the chopper and hand lay work on their glass. I'm also not impressed with their selection of reinforcement materials (often scrap osb or pressboard). But their gelcoat work seems solid.

That said, if your cracks do show up on the inside of the panel, you'll need to do a proper repair, and that means new resin, glass, and backer.
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Old 01-23-2020, 11:35 PM   #19
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I has some small hairline cracks in the gel coat on my Casita
I went to West Marine and they recommended Captain Tolleys
It didn’t make the cracks disappear but it did stop them from spreading
I cleaned the area and applied Captain Tolleys with a model paint brush
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Old 01-24-2020, 08:35 AM   #20
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Back to post #1. The issue with the older hinges is the contour of the trailer does not match the contour of the hinge mounting plate. Tightening of the bolts alone can cause the gelcoat cracking because there is usually a gap between the hinge face and the trailer before tightening the bolts. I discovered this after replacing a lot of rusty hinge bolts and chasing leaks over the years. Scamp used no sealant under their hinges, at a minimum you should place butyl tape under the hinge face. To fix it right you could file the hinge face to match the trailer contour. Scamp did a good job on building up the thickness of the glass around the door frames so without further inspection I consider this type of cracking as purely a cosmetic issue but you may want to check your hinge to trailer fit and apply some type of sealant under the hinge face. Just my opinion, YMMV.
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