Backsplash...yes or no? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-17-2014, 10:14 PM   #1
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Backsplash...yes or no?

Hi all! Has anyone modified the backsplash area? I've got a 13' Burro so we're not talking about a large area. Did you use a special adhesive to stick to the fiberglass? What did you install....tile? Any regrets? Thanks!
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:40 PM   #2
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A backsplash may or may not be a good idea. If you cook bacon, fatty hamburgers, or stuff that splatter a lot of grease, a backspash might be a good idea. On the Burro I would use contact paper so I could replace it.
Since we don't cook spattering stuff we've had no need for a larger than the 3" backsplash that's already in our Scamp. The rat fur at least seems to be clean after 8 years and about 500 nights.
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:46 PM   #3
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Thanks Bryan......contact paper might be a whole lit easier!
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:30 AM   #4
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I used glass tiles they sell at HD it comes on a 12" x 12" mesh and they sell a peel off sticky backing to a backing board I cut to fit the space on my ParkLiner....then added the grout, sealed it and added trim. I love the look, but also don't cook a lot ...anything greasy I would cook outside. Could get a piece of stainless steel!
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:57 AM   #5
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I'm with Deryk - greasy cooking outside. Even though your Burro doesn't have rat fur like a Scamp, there are plenty of other soft surfaces that will pick up odors in such a small space.

If you are just looking for something to catch splatters, I vote for the contact paper idea. If I were buying a used trailer, I am thinking I would prefer the fiberglass walls in original condition.

OTOH, if this is more about appearance and making the trailer "your own," then go for it! Have you done a google search on this site for "backsplash"? I have seen some creative ideas in old posts, and many include details about what materials, adhesives, etc., they used. Especially with the 13'ers, I would be conscious of how much weight you are adding with any mod - we are the backpackers of the RV universe!

We love looking at custom work here, so let us see what you come up with!
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:03 AM   #6
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before and after
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:58 AM   #7
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Back Splash definitely!

I added a stainless steel back splash. Just unscrewed all the stainless steel bolts holding on the furniture and screwed them back together. Cost me about $50 total and the metal shop cut it to fit for me. It keeps the camper clean and I think it looks great.
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:28 AM   #8
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I added a stainless steel back splash. Just unscrewed all the stainless steel bolts holding on the furniture and screwed them back together. Cost me about $50 total and the metal shop cut it to fit for me. It keeps the camper clean and I think it looks great.
The difficulty is that the OP has a Burro, which is a double-hull design. The furniture is molded into the inner shell - no bolts or rivets. The only way to add a backsplash would be to adhere it to the smooth fiberglass. I'm thinking that with most adhesives, that would be difficult to undo. And there's less reason to do it in the first place, except for appearance, since smooth fiberglass is pretty cleanable already.

For a Scamp or similar single-hull design, your approach is very workable - and I agree, it looks great!
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:55 AM   #9
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The difficulty is that the OP has a Burro, which is a double-hull design. The furniture is molded into the inner shell - no bolts or rivets. The only way to add a backsplash would be to adhere it to the smooth fiberglass. I'm thinking that with most adhesives, that would be difficult to undo. And there's less reason to do it in the first place, except for appearance, since smooth fiberglass is pretty cleanable already.

For a Scamp or similar single-hull design, your approach is very workable - and I agree, it looks great!

Oops, missed the part about the Burro and its double-hull design. If it were me I would still do the back splash. I found that cleaning the fiberglass always meant that I was scrubbing at the gel coat, which is highly toxic. I have successfully covered up all the fiber glass in my kitchen. You are right, the double hull design does make any change pretty permanent. If it were me I would tab in some supports and then attach either a stainless steel or plastic back splash to the supports. Gluing tile to the fiberglass seems like a very committing technique, especially on a surface that bends, flexes, and vibrates.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:35 PM   #10
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I found that cleaning the fiberglass always meant that I was scrubbing at the gel coat, which is highly toxic.
Just wondering, since I had never heard that the gel coat, once cured, was particularly hazardous under ordinary scrubbing using fiberglass-friendly cleaning products… What about all the people, myself included, who scrub their fiberglass tub/shower enclosures regularly?

Also wondering, since it sounds like you have had some experience in this, whether certain kinds of food messes are especially difficult to remove from fiberglass gelcoat, assuming it is in good condition. We do our cooking outside, so it hasn't been an issue, but I'm curious.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:46 PM   #11
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Interesting thread. The reason I want to do a backsplash is because I bought a IKEA magnetic kitchen utility bar that I want to attach behind the cooktop. I was going to JD Weld it so I didn't have to make screw holes. But then I figured that the weld stuff probably wouldn't stick to fiberglass.

It's 16" long. If I put contact paper on the area, I'm thinking the Weld stuff would work???
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:53 PM   #12
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If it were me I would tab in some supports...
I've read that phrase "tab in" before on other posts, but I'm not sure what it means… could you explain to a newbie?
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:56 PM   #13
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Yes, what does it mean?
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:04 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Just wondering, since I had never heard that the gel coat, once cured, was particularly hazardous under ordinary scrubbing using fiberglass-friendly cleaning products… What about all the people, myself included, who scrub their fiberglass tub/shower enclosures regularly?

Also wondering, since it sounds like you have had some experience in this, whether certain kinds of food messes are especially difficult to remove from fiberglass gelcoat, assuming it is in good condition. We do our cooking outside, so it hasn't been an issue, but I'm curious.
I am not sure I have any particular information on the toxicity of gel coat. I am sure it is fine... Ever painted with gel coat? It was the most toxic smelling stuff I have ever worked with. Maybe the toxins are stabilized once it is cured, but any dust caused by scrubbing or cleaning is not going to be good for you. Wiping down your shower or bathroom is not going to be issue.



I would say anything is hard to get off of gel coat. Gel coat is somewhat permeable to water, especially after it has been scrubbed at for years. Therefore it can get stained, which results in more scrubbing. My trailer is probably a lot older than yours. All my gel coat is oxidized to some extent.
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:08 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Lfoxmont View Post
Interesting thread. The reason I want to do a backsplash is because I bought a IKEA magnetic kitchen utility bar that I want to attach behind the cooktop. I was going to JD Weld it so I didn't have to make screw holes. But then I figured that the weld stuff probably wouldn't stick to fiberglass.

It's 16" long. If I put contact paper on the area, I'm thinking the Weld stuff would work???
I think I have seen pictures where others have done exactly what you are wanting to do, but I don't know how they attached it. I don't think contact paper would help, though, because the contact paper itself doesn't adhere very strongly - easy-on, easy-off, that's the point. It's only meant to hold itself, not something else.

If you don't get a specific response on this thread, there are a couple of things you might try. One is to do a google search on this site for "IKEA kitchen bar" and see if anything comes up. If that doesn't help, you might start a new thread with the specific question about attaching an IKEA magnetic kitchen bar - might be more likely to catch the attention of someone who has done it already.

Good luck!
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:15 PM   #16
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My knife bar is attached with double-sided foam tape. The two screws are only there for cosmetic reasons.
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:35 PM   #17
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My knife bar is attached with double-sided foam tape. The two screws are only there for cosmetic reasons.
3M VHB tape. Some guy on here actually used it to attach his awning. May be a little more permanent then you are looking for.... but at least it won't come off.

Tabbing in a support means gluing (epoxy) a wooden support onto the fiberglass and then attaching something to the support. For strength the support can be glassed over with some fiberglass cloth.
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Old 06-18-2014, 02:18 PM   #18
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Tabbing in a support means gluing (epoxy) a wooden support onto the fiberglass and then attaching something to the support. For strength the support can be glassed over with some fiberglass cloth.
Got it… thanks for the explanation. I did assist once in the lay-up of a fiberglass (kevlar, actually) C-2 canoe. I'm in no hurry to do any fiberglass work again… I know what you mean about the nasty fumes associated with uncured resin!
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:44 PM   #19
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Just got home from HD and Lowes........asked but no one knew what 3M VHL tape was. What type of tape is it? Also, neither store had Red Max Pro or Zep......can anyone recommend another brand?
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:44 PM   #20
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Sorry....VHB tape....
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