Fiberglass Help - Fiberglass RV
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Old 07-26-2016, 08:38 PM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Matt
Trailer: Ventura
British Columbia
Posts: 4
Fiberglass Help

Hi all,

I'm restoring a Ventura which has wooden interior framing fiberglassed to the outer shell. It is just adhered to the shell, not encased in fiberglass. Once I replace the rotted pieces of framing, I'd like to again adhere the wood to the shell the same way. I have little to no idea how fiber glass works. No matter which RV shop or hardware store I talk to, they tell me to encase the wood in fiberglass by surrounding it in cloth and applying the resin/hardener. I'm not doing this.

Can someone please tell me how to simply adhere the framing to the shell using fiberglass? This is what I think I can do:

Add resin/hardener to the shell where I want the piece of wood
Add a strip of cloth on top
Press the piece of wood onto it
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Old 07-26-2016, 09:25 PM   #2
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Name: Patricia
Trailer: 1975 Ventura
Posts: 351
This may help

I am just at the same point and yesterday I posted a message to D. White who is quite a fiberglass expert, about that wood inside the trailer issue (with pictures). If you see a thread pop up on the new list on the right hand side of the forums pages called "You can repair fiberglass", have a look. There is a lot of good information on there but because that one thing is unique to our trailers, I think, I had never seen it addressed before. If the thread comes up, it may just mean that he has responded to my post and it will be useful for you as well. That said, of course, you can always search for his thread post a message to him too.
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Old 07-26-2016, 09:45 PM   #3
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Name: Ray
Trailer: 2017 Scamp 16 Deluxe
Posts: 677
Fiberglass Help

You might look at some of the composite/fiberglass tutorials (Hints for homebuilders) on the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) web site.

In the above link, there are a variety of video tutorials on various kinds of materials and layup techniques/hints.

For bonding your wooden framing to the fiberglass shell, repairs in recessed areas, tight corners, and/or overhead repairs, the section on Homemade PrePreg (in a plastic bag of all things ) might be of some interest and help?

Good luck! 😊


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Old 07-30-2016, 05:06 AM   #4
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Name: Ray
Trailer: 2017 Scamp 16 Deluxe
Posts: 677
BTW - For anyone so inclined, they actually teach free hands-on composite/foam+fiberglass workshops at the annual EAA Airventure air show that is going on this week.


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Old 07-30-2016, 09:29 AM   #5
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Name: David
Trailer: 1998 Casita 17 SD
Posts: 748
the interior framing on the ventura is 1x2 strapping . Its mostly there to attach the paneling to. You could use construction adhesive like LePage PL Premium but clean the fiberglass well before using it. Using fiberglass resin as glue would also work but its pretty thin and does not fill in gaps well without cloth or matt. One other option is Gorilla Glue but wet both surfaces first as this will cause the glue to foam up and fill the gap but will take a few hours to dry. Sorry don't remember what I did on mine .
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Old 07-30-2016, 11:50 AM   #6
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Name: Clif
Trailer: 08 Weiscraft Little Joe 14 Subaru Outback 2.5i CVT
Posts: 744
You might contact these folks and tell them what you are trying to do;

Epoxy by the Leading Epoxy Manufacturer | WEST SYSTEM Epoxy

I'm sure the interior walls you are trying to attack the wood to are fiberglass mat which is pretty rough. Epoxy resin will give you excellent adhesiveness, even if you have some gaps.

Good luck on your project.
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Old 07-30-2016, 12:03 PM   #7
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Name: Patricia
Trailer: 1975 Ventura
Posts: 351
Sorry, Mike

Wow, I just went back and reread your original post and realized that I was off base with my reply. I am working on the belly band of my Ventura and it reflected that current obsession.
You would do well to follow the advice of Dudley (the Ventura master) or The minimalist.
I am starting to replace my framing too and think I am going with the PL. It is less smelly. I used it to adhere the upper level of my flooring and it is really solid.
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Old 07-30-2016, 01:35 PM   #8
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Name: Kelly
Trailer: Trails West
Posts: 2,968
The construction adhesives will be the most affordable option for securing the wood to the shell. However if you do need a lot of strength you can thicken epoxy and it will easily take care of the issue of filling any irregular gaps.

You can thicken epoxy and use that as a glue for attaching wood to the shell. That is how I normally attach my wood blocking in the shell. But we normally have epoxy on hand and buy it in larger sizes and dispense it with a pump. Not something most people have on hand in their workshop spaces so you won't see a lot of forum members suggesting this method of attaching wood blocking to the shell.

I typically use the wood flour as my thickners as it is a very affordable filler although heavier than micro balloons which also make a good thickner. When using it on a vertical surface make the mixture thick enough that it does not readily fall off your stir stick, cookie dough stiff

You can start with a thick version of epoxy resin if you wish although I typically don't since I use the same large container of resin for other projects where I don't want thick resin. I choose my hardener type according to if I need a fast cure, medium or slow. Part of the choice is to do with the weather, in hot weather I gravitate towards the slow cure. I do mix up smaller volumes of it as the mass of material generates its own heat which will accelerate the cure time.

A hot glue gun is handy for tacking the wood in place while the epoxy mix cures. Just run some along the outside edges here and there. The goal of the hot glue is just that it is a temporary way of clamping the board in position otherwise gravity takes over and slipping can happen. Overhead work requires bracing it from underneath.
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