Big hole in fiberglass- looking for ideas on fix. - Fiberglass RV
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Old 10-13-2016, 04:56 PM   #1
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Name: Andrew
Trailer: '13 Scamp
Alaska
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Big hole in fiberglass- looking for ideas on fix.

Complete interior rebuild on my hands and questioning my fiberglass repair skills on a very large hole on a very round section of my 13' Scamp.

My idea: tape wax paper covered heavy posterboard to try to match the hole shape and lay down the CSM layers as best I can. Thoughts? Any other ideas?

I know the poster board will not be very supportive and that will be big heavy pieces of CSM once saturated, so I'm a bit worried that the layers might not hold their shape as I try to soak layers and work any bubbles out.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 10-13-2016, 04:59 PM   #2
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The hole is about 18" x 30", or the size of a window AC unit : ) Front of trailer below plexi window if not clear from the image
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Old 10-13-2016, 05:11 PM   #3
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Order a window cut out from Scamp then glass it back into the hole. That is what they use for their gravel shields. It should the size of your front window.
Eddie
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Old 10-14-2016, 02:45 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Eddie Longest View Post
Order a window cut out from Scamp then glass it back into the hole. That is what they use for their gravel shields. It should the size of your front window.
Eddie
Terrific idea Eddie what a perfect filler material, the real stuff it was made from.
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Old 10-14-2016, 07:55 AM   #5
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Trailer: 1996 Casita Freedom Deluxe 17 ft
Colorado
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I recently filled in the front AC hole on my 1996 Casita and it wasn't as difficult as I thought. I'm sure the hole is about the same size as yours.

I used some very thin (1/32") fiberglass that I bought from McMaster and covered it with wax paper before taping to the outside. Using three layers of fiberglass mat from Home Depot and Bondo resin, I used my brush to push it against the wax paper. it was a bit drippy and messy but it took the shape of the hole very well. The trick is to completely saturate the mat with resin. It's not going to be perfect on the outside right away. There will be some gaps on the edges. But with some Bondo and a sanding disc on my cordless drill, it was fairly easy to get the patch to where it was undetectable and quite sturdy. It's not really that hard.

Just read this link and do it:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ass-52498.html
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Old 10-14-2016, 08:31 AM   #6
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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I filled in the original front window on my 16' Scamp with the original rock shield that was on the trailer when I got it.
I feathered the edge of the window and then marked the outline on the shield and the cut it to fit. I also feathered the edge of the cutout in a similar manner to window opening.
I backed the edge up with some wax papered strips of plastic and taped the whole thing to the outside. (the feathered edges were on the inside by the way).I then layed up strips of cloth I cut from a length of 6 oz. fiberglass fabric and layed them up filling that feathered area. I used Epoxy since that is what I had, but you can use what you like.
You can get and idea of the result where I filled in the original cutout for the refrigerator (I think)



You can see the front window patched in this picture

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Old 10-14-2016, 10:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie Longest View Post
Order a window cut out from Scamp then glass it back into the hole. That is what they use for their gravel shields. It should the size of your front window.
Eddie
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Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
Terrific idea Eddie what a perfect filler material, the real stuff it was made from.
I have heard that the gravel guards ordered separately are flat, rather than actual window cutouts matching the curvature of the front shell. Can anyone confirm or contradict that?

In this case that's probably even better since the OP's AC hole at the bottom center of the front lower shell is pretty flat.
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Old 10-14-2016, 10:48 AM   #8
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Trailer: 1996 Casita Freedom Deluxe 17 ft
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I have heard that the gravel guards ordered separately are flat, rather than actual window cutouts matching the curvature of the front shell. Can anyone confirm or contradict that?

In this case that's probably even better since the OP's AC hole at the bottom center of the rear lower shell is pretty flat.
There's very places on our trailers that are flat--they're rounded eggs. That's clearly shown on the OP's picture. In my case, the main AC cutout in my older Casita was in the lower passenger side of the front. It curved down and and also around to the side. I did try a flat piece of fiberglass but it was impossible to fasten it on one corner due to the curvatures.
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Old 10-14-2016, 12:43 PM   #9
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Name: Andrew
Trailer: '13 Scamp
Alaska
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Thanks for the replies and ideas. I'm comfortable with the glass repair in general, just seeking a solution to match the egg's roundness.

Unfortunately that section is very round- so round that I cannot get the thinnest acrylic/plexiglass to round out and make a good backer (and my attempt to "mold" it with heat gun was a molten failure). Anyone tried linoleum floor squares on posterboard or a 1x1 ribbing type frame?
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Old 10-14-2016, 01:03 PM   #10
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Or...patch it in smaller sections. With fiberglass you don't have to fill the whole hole at one go. Most rounded areas can be divided up and the patches easily joined one to another with mat and resin as one dries and you move to the next.


Vinyl flooring covered with waxed paper might work very well.


Paul filed a 24 x 36" hole in the side of Peanut--we had some extra panels of fiberglass so he cut one as close as possible and relied on mat, resin, sanding, and bondo-hair plus days of work to get it to fit right--and it did.

Original fridge vent in port side
Inside area for repair
Outside primed after repeated sanding and fairing with bondo-hair
Final appearance of filled vent hole

BEST luck to you, it's a big job, and then suddenly it's done. Kai
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1A 3 Setting it down again after removing it from the frame.jpg   Peanut 10 2015 to 6 2016 028.JPG  

Peanut 10 2015 to 6 2016 041.JPG   Peanut 10 2015 to 6 2016 052.JPG  

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Old 10-14-2016, 01:21 PM   #11
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If this was my project I would take some cloth reinforced vinyl duct tape (Mc Master Carr 7612A95) and tape off an area next to the hole larger than the hole size. Then I would lay up a couple of layers of glass and resin on top of the duct tape. Resin doesn't stick to this tape. When this cures pull the formed shell off the duct tape. Now duct tape the back of this shell and fit it over the hole in your shell. I would put in a few pop rivets to hold in place and tape over all perimeter edges to keep resin from running down your trailer. Once the hole is covered working inside the trailer lay up some glass and resin and cover the hole extending a fair amount larger than the hole. Once that is cured then work on the outside by removing the pop rivets, tape and fiberglass hole cover. You will now have the hole closed with the inner shell. You will have to grind off the gelcoat before laying up the fiberglass cloth and resin. Then laying up some glass and resin cover your new inner shell. Working beyond the original cut out opening. You will now have covered the hole and reinforced the opening working beyond the original cut out opening. Smooth this out with fiberglass filler, sand to shape and then paint or gelcoat.
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Old 10-14-2016, 01:43 PM   #12
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Agree--go at it in small areas, rather than trying to get it perfect in one fell swoop.
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Old 10-14-2016, 03:05 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by stevebaz View Post
If this was my project I would take some cloth reinforced vinyl duct tape (Mc Master Carr 7612A95) and tape off an area next to the hole larger than the hole size. Then I would lay up a couple of layers of glass and resin on top of the duct tape.
I did this same thing to make an exact mold but it was for a FG dune buggy. Put down a number of coats of release wax on the body and resined two layers of matting instead of the glass mat. It popped off easily, left no marks or residue on my car and was a perfect fit for my buddy's repair. The same release wax was used on the inside of mold to make up the repair panel.
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Old 10-20-2016, 07:28 AM   #14
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Thanks for the replies and ideas. I'm comfortable with the glass repair in general, just seeking a solution to match the egg's roundness.
Is there anywhere else on the trailer that has the same curvature?
Use something to protect the finish, then lay a couple of layers of FG over it bigger than the hole you want to fill. Once set, you can do a test fit over the hole and cut to size.
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Old 10-20-2016, 08:01 AM   #15
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One thing I have done in a situation like this was to use a flexible backer. I had a sheet of plastic that was maybe 1/16" thick, fairly stiff, though fairly easy to bend with a bit of force.

Using a grinder, I would first prep the edges of the hole, tapering back from super thing at the edges, and feathering out 2-3". I would also smooth out the backside to remove any bumps that might not let the backer sit flush to the existing shell.

I would then cut out a piece or the backer a bit wider than the hole in each direction. I would then drill a series of holes around the edge of the hole and through the backer, allowing the two pieces to be riveted together. I would also wrap the backer with wax paper, or even wax it real well, before riveting in place. This will give you a solid form to now lay glass against, and will follow the curve of the trailer fairly closely.

For a first layer I would use glass cloth , as it will hold its shape a lot better than using matt. Once this sets, you could then use layers of resin soaked glass matt. As others suggested, this can be done with smaller, more manageable pieces. I would ensure there is about 3 layers of matt over the entire area. I would also use a fibreglass matt roller as you apply the matt. Make sure you overlap to fill the tapered edge on the existing shell.

Once it is built up, you can then drill out the rivets, remove the backer, and patch the holes as you work to further smooth out the surface.
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Old 10-20-2016, 10:38 AM   #16
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Borrego Dave and Roy--


I had long worried about some incident leaving Peanut with a big gash over a non-flat area--these suggestions have eased my sleep! The trailer is symmetrical, so most places would have a corresponding area on the other side--


Thanks!
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Old 10-20-2016, 11:56 AM   #17
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I have used formica as a backer for fiberglass, cover with waxed paper or about three coats of car wax. Its fairly flexable and I know some hardware store sell 2'x4' sections for $5
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Old 10-20-2016, 06:30 PM   #18
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Borrego Dave and Roy--


I had long worried about some incident leaving Peanut with a big gash over a non-flat area--these suggestions have eased my sleep! The trailer is symmetrical, so most places would have a corresponding area on the other side--Thanks!
I do have to add a side note to making that mold. After having everything cut, mixed and a brush full of resin in my hand, it did flash through my mind that I SURE hope this pops off but what are friends for. I'd do it again in a heartbeat, even off the Casita if needed. It sure gives you a perfect repair piece.
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Old 10-21-2016, 06:29 AM   #19
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I do have to add a side note to making that mold. After having everything cut, mixed and a brush full of resin in my hand, it did flash through my mind that I SURE hope this pops off but what are friends for. I'd do it again in a heartbeat, even off the Casita if needed. It sure gives you a perfect repair piece.
Give it 5 coats of Johnson's paste wax. Works terrific as a mold release.
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Old 11-03-2016, 10:53 AM   #20
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Had to remove a big heavy ugly exhaust vent the previous owner installed under the kitchen sink. Think he got it at a salvage yard for greasy spoons. So, to fill a 14 inch round hole in my Burro I followed roughly the exact same steps that Jim did, see Post #15. Worked very well.
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