Treatment of slightly oxidized fiberglass - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-10-2018, 09:36 AM   #1
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Treatment of slightly oxidized fiberglass

I recently bought a 2007 Casita and a 1993 Bigfoot 15B17G. While each is in largely excellent condition, each of them needs a bit of work to bring the outside surfaces back to the kind of shine I'd like them to have. I have some Meguiar's cleaner wax and Meguiar's Carnuba Wax that I am prone to try but I see that Meguiar's also has marine products including a "Restoration system".

I'd appreciate hearing about the experiences of anyone else who has underaken this task. Thanks very much in advance.
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:45 AM   #2
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I use the Meguiars marine products...it sounds like you would need their One Step compound and polish...they have several diff marine(fiberglass) restoration products that will serve you well...goto Amazon and look for their Flagship Marine Wax and scroll down thru their products and find what sounds proper for your situation............
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:38 AM   #3
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http://www.meguiars.com/en/marine/pr...n-removal-kit/





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Old 07-10-2018, 12:12 PM   #4
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I'll second Meguiar's. Mine was a little further along, so I opted for the 3-step Marine Fiberglass Restoration Kit.

The wax is much more durable than run-of-the-mill automotive waxes. They only lasted 2-3 months uncovered in our high altitude Arizona sun. Meguiar's Flagship Marine Wax lasts 6-8 months and still beads water on the roof.
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Old 07-10-2018, 03:16 PM   #5
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We just finished our Bigfoot last week. Used the Barkeepers Friend in powder and spray and then used a sealer, Was purchased at Canadian Tire, Very happy with the results.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:50 PM   #6
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I used the 3 step Meguiar's Fiberglass Oxidation Removal Kit on a 2006 Casita with some oxidation on the roof and upper exterior side walls. While it did restore the gloss to the 2006 Casita, it did not look like a new off the showroom floor finish. Oxidation Remover, Polish, and Wax. 3 separate applications of product. It was labor intensive, but I was very satisfied with the end result. I would do this again given similar circumstances.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:43 AM   #7
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3M Marine Restorer and Wax. And then more Wax.

3M Marine Restorer and Wax. And then more Wax. I applied this stuff with a Makita power buffer. It's work, but it nourishes the fiberglass. Nice gloss.
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Old 07-29-2018, 04:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
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3M Marine Restorer and Wax. And then more Wax. I applied this stuff with a Makita power buffer. It's work, but it nourishes the fiberglass. Nice gloss.
I worked on my Bigfootís exterior last weekend and want to thank Nik for his post. After reading it, I opted for Maguire. I didnít get the restoration kit as I wanted their more powerful oxidizing product. So I bought each product separately. I added their finishing polish for an extra shine. After seeing Nikís picture, I borrowed a power buffer and purchase several pads. Made life easier, and Iím pleased with the results. Even splurged on a new belly band.
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Old 07-29-2018, 07:09 PM   #9
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Used Meguire's M4965 Marine System

We just finished our 13' Scamp today using the Meguire's M4965 3 part system for Marine and fiberglass. It was a LOT of work. It took me alone about 10 hours total.

First off, I did WAY too much research on this...

Second big thing I did is purchas the Harbor Freight Dual Action polisher and and Hex Logic Pads. I tried the Harbor Freight pads, but they fell apart after a while. Of course it could have been me putting too much pressure at first. Watch some You Tube videos on how to use a DA Polisher, and how much pressure to use. I used about 5-10 lbs after I learned more about it.

Third: I removed the spare tire in the back, and also the AC cover. I did not need to remove the AC cover, its just that I wanted to clean that up too (did not use Meguires).

Third thing - using the tools and product:
The first step (Meguire #49 - Remover) took the longest - by far. I would estimate this was 1/2 my total time. The first coat is the one that removes the oxidation and scratches (to some extent). I worked around the decals by hand, as I was afraid the polisher would rip the decals off. I also worked around the windows and bottom by hand, as I did not want to rip up my pads. I could definitely see a bit more shine after this step.

I also bought a bag of terry cloth towels at Harbor Freight, and I wiped down the camper after each step.

The second step (Meguire #45 - Polish) went faster. I used the same precautions around the windows and decals. I saw more shine after this step when compared to the first. I think this is the step that gives the high shine.

The third step (Meguire #56 - Wax) took about as long as the second step. I saw that some people did this wax step by hand. I did use the DA Polisher with ~5 lbs of pressure, and also did more by hand on this steps than the others.

All in all, it is definitely better! I would probably do it again. It shines in the sunlight more, which is what I was after. After all that, I was thinking it would look almost brand new, but it doesn't. It feels like it is 1/2 way to what it must have looked like when it was brand new. Perhaps the sun damage was too much, or....I just don't know what I'm doing Anyway, I am happy it is looking much better now. We are buying a canopy tent ($100) to cover the camper so we do not get any tree droppings on the nice work (we park it under a tree when not in use).

Good luck !!

Harbor Freight Polisher


Hex Logic Pads


Meguires
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Old 07-29-2018, 08:43 PM   #10
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Buffing

Thank you, Jane. And you're welcome.

I find the 3M product with a wool bonnet cuts through the oxidized, chalky surface very well in one pass. It leaves behind a glossy surface with minor residue. It's supposed to also leave a coat of wax. My second pass (very light with almost no pressure) with a clean bonnet buffed it out a little more and cleaned up any remaining material.

3M calls that done, but I took one more step and applied turtle wax by hand followed by buffing with the clean bonnet and by hand with towels.

That job was done one year ago and the trailer has lived outside in Portland, OR and then in Denver, CO. So it's been soaked and baked.

I just checked: Once I brush off a thin layer of road dust the fiberglass surface is still glossy, at least on the vertical walls. I may wax again at the end of the summer. It certainly doesn't need any oxidization removed at this time, but I have not checked the roof.

Note: The two bonnets are different. The first is for cutting and is made with wool strands, like woolen string. The second, buffing bonnet is a softer, fuzzy woolen bonnet. A car paint store guy set me straight on the different bonnets.
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Old 07-30-2018, 12:16 PM   #11
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@ Mr. John-Thanks for the HF Buffer referral. Think Iíll get one.

This did take me a couple of full weekends. The first weekend was spent cleaning moss off my rig (bad owner ...). This is the first time moss has grown on my trailer. I have learned my lesson & will forthright be ever vigilant against moss.

Went to West Marine for the oxidation restorer & wax products. I specifically asked about Meguires, which they recommended; but they also felt that 3M products are of equal quality.

There is an Auto Detail supply shop around the corner from me & they sold me pads & adopters for the buffer & pads.

I took an extra day at the end of this process to add a 4th, optional step of applying a finishing polish. This gave the gel a nice shine.

PS: Hanging from ladders & greasing up my elbows just doesnít offer the thrills of yesteryear. Next year Iíll be paying someone to do the hard stuff.

Just Sayín
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Old 07-30-2018, 08:18 PM   #12
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At the end of this, I was thinking there should be a camper detail service (like car detail service) so I don’t have to be on all these ladders while leaning over the top .
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Old 07-30-2018, 08:59 PM   #13
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light oxidation can easily be taken care of with a marine cleaner-wax one step ... half the oxidation is probably the old wax that needs buffing off and replenishing.
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Old 07-31-2018, 12:24 PM   #14
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Boat detailers for camper?

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...there should be a camper detail service (like car detail service) ...
Would a boat detail professional be an alternative to DIY? Meaning, are the finishes on our campers the same as on a boat?

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Old 07-31-2018, 12:42 PM   #15
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yes, our fiberglass campers have a gelcoat, same as most all fiberglass boats.
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Old 07-31-2018, 12:45 PM   #16
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At the end of this, I was thinking there should be a camper detail service (like car detail service) so I donít have to be on all these ladders while leaning over the top .

Yes, where I live there does exist mobile detail services for travel trailers.

People who repair boats will know how to clean and polish a fiberglass trailer.

I know of two companies that specialize in fiberglass repair and restoration. Both have ďclean areasĒ to cut down on outside debris during repair & restoration. One is prohibitively expensive, the other merely expensive.

Plus, I know employees at my trailer service company willing to make extra money on weekends. All you need is $$$.

One problem with that new outside gleam: you realize all those other imperfections needing attention. So itís new hardware for the rock-guard, new covers or paint on the cubby doors ...

My particular preoccupation is my Bigfootís decals. They need attention, but Bigfoot doesnít carry replacements for older trailers. Even if they did, Iím unsure if itís even possible to swap out the old decals so exactly as to avoid ďghostsĒ.
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Old 07-31-2018, 01:13 PM   #17
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Imperfections

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Originally Posted by Jane P. View Post
Yes, where I live there does exist mobile detail services for travel trailers.

People who repair boats will know how to clean and polish a fiberglass trailer.

I know of two companies that specialize in fiberglass repair and restoration. Both have ďclean areasĒ to cut down on outside debris during repair & restoration. One is prohibitively expensive, the other merely expensive.

Plus, I know employees at my trailer service company willing to make extra money on weekends. All you need is $$$.

One problem with that new outside gleam: you realize all those other imperfections needing attention. So itís new hardware for the rock-guard, new covers or paint on the cubby doors ...

My particular preoccupation is my Bigfootís decals. They need attention, but Bigfoot doesnít carry replacements for older trailers. Even if they did, Iím unsure if itís even possible to swap out the old decals so exactly as to avoid ďghostsĒ.

Seeing all the imperfections after this waxing.... good point!!

As for decals..I wonder if someone could paint the decals/colors or if the paint would just fade and chip and look even worse...
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