Gelcoat / fiberglass cracks - Fiberglass RV
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Old 05-01-2021, 06:08 AM   #1
Ced
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Name: Cedrick
Trailer: Trillium 1300
Quebec
Posts: 2
Gelcoat / fiberglass cracks

Hello,

I have problem finding how to repair that kind of cracks on my 1980 trillium 1300 around the door (see pictures) .

I found that my bolt frame in the front were not tightened, so probably causing a stress on the fiberglass around the door making cracks in the gelcoat. So now I did replace the front bolt and tighten them carefully.

What is the best way to repair and eliminate the cracks around the 4 corners of the door. On the the 2 firsts pictures you will see the cracks there is an infiltration of water there.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Sorry for my English, I'm French Click image for larger version

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Old 05-01-2021, 09:54 AM   #2
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Trailer: 1978 Earlton Ontario boler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ced View Post
Hello,

I have problem finding how to repair that kind of cracks on my 1980 trillium 1300 around the door (see pictures) .

I found that my bolt frame in the front were not tightened, so probably causing a stress on the fiberglass around the door making cracks in the gelcoat. So now I did replace the front bolt and tighten them carefully.

What is the best way to repair and eliminate the cracks around the 4 corners of the door. On the the 2 firsts pictures you will see the cracks there is an infiltration of water there.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Sorry for my English, I'm French Attachment 140637Attachment 140638Attachment 140639Attachment 140640
We had to fix our cracks. The marine places sell gelcoat kits that you can use. They come with three bottles so you can colour match the gelcoat on the trailer. The cracks need to be opened up on gelcoat surface area a bit for repair to work. If fiberglass is damaged they have other products to repair it before adding gelcoat on top. We hired a boat repair specialist to teach me how to repair the boler. Worked great, feel free to ask for any helpful questions.
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Old 05-01-2021, 10:36 AM   #3
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I’m thinking the top cracks, which (based on the reported water infiltration) likely go into the structural fiberglass, should have a fiberglass patch on the inside in addition to gelcoat touch-up on the outside.
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Old 05-01-2021, 08:14 PM   #4
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Trailer: Trail Cruiser
Alberta
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Hi Cedrick, I would have to agree with jon. Surface cracks in the gelcoat are easy to fix. If you have water leaks, the cracks may go all the way through the fiberglass. If so you may have to apply a fiberglass patch on the inside to repair the leaks and ensure the panel is structurally sound.
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Old 05-02-2021, 06:02 AM   #5
Ced
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Name: Cedrick
Trailer: Trillium 1300
Quebec
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Thank you everyone for your answer.

For now I did put flextra in the cracks that leak in to prevent infiltration before I repair it.

What is the best way to remove the insolite in the in the interior so I can add some fiberglass?

Thanks
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Old 05-02-2021, 01:34 PM   #6
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fiberglass cracks

You could have leaks at rivets, we did some rivet changes to fix our trailer.

Ours had a fiberglassed connection from outer shell to the plywood floor sitting on top of the fiberglass shell floor. That had let go causing extra leaks, cracks and made the door look like it had sagged out at the bottom.

We lifted side wall up and back in for proper alignment securing the fiberglass outer shell to the plywood at the base of the door frame with 3" stainless #8 screws (predrilled holes) and added brackets to the base of metal work on each side of door opening connected to the shell and wood floor to hold it all in place as the wall was out and down. Then re-riveted the counter inside to brakets with new stainless screws and door side boot to wall fixing those rivets as they had pulled away with new screws in brackets to wood work. Did add a couple of more brackets as well. One rivet had actually pulled through the wall on the stove side and the hole was covered over before we got the trailer.

Fixed the sagging hinges on door for alignment as well now the door fits the curve of the wall and door seal is much improved.

Have heard of others with a cracked frame below door but our frame was fine. Turned out our cracks did not go through leak was door alignment and leaking rivets due to wall sagging out and down.

Hope this is of some help.

P.S. we are only using Stanley closed end marine rivets to replace any rivet that leak as they are water proof. Forgot that our awning trim also leaked at rivets.
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Old 05-02-2021, 02:44 PM   #7
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Cedrick,

It appears that the rivets in your aluminum drip cap are sealed, but double check those and also check whether the top edge of the drip cap contacting the trailer body is watertight. You can do a garden hose water spray test to check this.

Also you can apply waterproof sealant between the rubber seal and the top and side edges of the door frame. Then do more garden hose water spray testing.

-John
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Old 05-12-2021, 01:30 PM   #8
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Name: Josh
Trailer: 74, 13' Boler
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I bought the gelcoat match and patch kit and didn't find it worth the money. It come with 2 tiny tubes of uncoloured gelcoat and a bunch of tubes of different colours and a tiny tube of catalyst. My personal experience is that you are better off to buy a tub of unwaxed, raw colour gelcoat, and a bottle of white and a bottle of yellow pigment. Sometimes a brown can be useful but the raw product already has a brown colour naturally.


Watch Andy with boatworks today on his you tube channel, he has a 3 part video on colour matching gelcoat. It's not that hard if you go slow. You'll need lots of white, and a tiny drop of yellow. I also find my girlfriend's eyes are better at judging the colour.



You may want to mix in gelcoat wax or you can spray it with PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) after it starts to gel. This makes it easier to sand.


Basically you will gouge out the cracks in a V shape with a dremmel, clean them with acetone, and apply enough gelcoat to fill the groove. The hard part for me is sanding the repair area, without sanding the area around it. Our Boler is 45 years old and underneath the tarnished layer of gelcoat is a very white base. If you sand too much you end up with a white area around the colour matched one you just made.



A word about catalyst is you need to figure out what ratio works best for your climate. All the videos are specific to Florida and boats. Hot and humid. In Calgary I find a higher ratio than the 2% they recommend works better. Most of the mixing tables only go down to 18 degrees celcius. ha ha ha That's a heat wave here. 3% works better in my massive 2 months of experience.
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