How do I clean, polish, wax, paint, and/or gelcoat? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-26-2018, 07:49 PM   #21
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006 "Missing Link"
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Hi Gordon, you posted that comment before. Kind of wonder where it came from and the back story of the writers Scamp. There have many comments posted here and I can't say I remember anyone having the problem he's complaining of. It certainly isn't from UV or my SD would have that problem also as it's sitting uncovered in the 110* desert sun. If I had to venture a guess for his problem with the Zep 1; it would be from something else he applied before the Zep and didn't get it all removed and had a chemical reaction. 2; being it was only on the top, was it covered with a tarp that had a coating on it .
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Old 06-26-2018, 08:03 PM   #22
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500, 1979 Boler 1700
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn.Curt.Wiebe View Post
... New knobs for the stove, which will be pretty much just aesthetic, we never use the stove in the trailer.
Curt in Edmonton
Curt in Edmonton, where did you find the stove knobs?? We've had no luck finding replacements. Please PM me about this. Thanks.
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Old 06-29-2018, 10:18 PM   #23
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Name: Suvi
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn.Curt.Wiebe View Post
We have come from the SAME PLACE!



We bought a 40 year old (1978) Trillium 4500, with some minor fiberglass issues and a very chalky finish. We looked at the possibility of painting, but she who must be obeyed stated that WE (read I) would NOT be doing the work, so it looked like it would be a $5,000 paint job by a professional.



While we were contemplating the expenditure we looked at another Trill 4500 that had been Zepped for years, so we thought about trying that approach first.



Started by cleaning with a good automotive detergent, then the mild abrasive cleaner/polish, followed by MANY (I think we did 6 coats) of the Zep Wet Look floor polish. The trailer looks great - has been holding its shine all summer so far.



Looking forward to our trip to Winterpeg in August, to see what others have done to their trailers. We are still trying to decide about fixing up the innards. So far we have cleaned and painted the stove and trim around the fridge. New knobs for the stove, which will be pretty much just aesthetic, we never use the stove in the trailer.





Curt in Edmonton


Hey curt - can you provide some names of products for mild abrasive polish and good automotive detergent? Iím hoping to spruce Chummy (1968!) up before Winnipeg so Iím not totally embarrassed but I just donít want to screw this up!

Also - hand polish or would it be faster, more efficient to use some kind of palm sander with a budding attachment?

Thanks!

Suvi
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Old 06-30-2018, 12:10 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sooveroo View Post
Hey curt - can you provide some names of products for mild abrasive polish and good automotive detergent? Iím hoping to spruce Chummy (1968!) up before Winnipeg so Iím not totally embarrassed but I just donít want to screw this up!

Also - hand polish or would it be faster, more efficient to use some kind of palm sander with a budding attachment?

Thanks!

Suvi
meguiars car wash to clean, a dollop in a bucket of warm water, use a clean car wash sponge that has a plastic scrubber on one side for bug and crud removal.

first pass, try meguiar's marine cleaner-wax, apply and buff on to a 1 yard area at a time, when its dry, buff it off with a clean rag.

if that doesn't remove enough of the oxidation, next step is meguair's medium-cut cleaner, this is something you'll find at a more pro oriented car parts store, its a professional detailing compound, again, apply and rub into about 1 yard at a time. this isn't a wax, or a polish, so after its all dried, wipe it off, then try the cleaner-wax again. USE FRESH RAGS FOR THE CLEANER WAX.


you can do all this by hand, or you can use an orbital polisher. if you use an orbital, don't use a lot of pressure, keep the orbital moving, and use a new 'bonnet' on it for each step, so you're not mixing up your compounds. apply just small squirts of the stuff, and do small patches, like a foot at a time, overlapping sections. I put a protective bonnet on the foam pad of my orbital thats non-permeable, then put terrycloth bonnets over that. while you can use a fleece bonnet, they haven't done me much good, and tend to hold too much of the compound, then fling it around.
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Old 06-30-2018, 10:26 AM   #25
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Name: Gary
Trailer: Scamp
Mass
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Smile Floor polish instead

Hello,

A while back I was told of a floor polish that will do wonders for brightening up a Scamp. See my blog My Scamp Fiberglass Egg Camper: Shine bright like a diamond

Go to the local home center and get a gallon of ZEP Hi-Gloss floor finish. Clean the camper with a standard car wash fluid, scrub gently with liquid barkeepers friend, and apply several coats of the ZEP.
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Old 06-30-2018, 10:55 AM   #26
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Name: Colin
Trailer: shopping
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Yes painting a last last option. Perhaps not needed.

If you do need to paint it note that expensive two part spray on marine and/or automotive finishes are expensive and difficult to apply. You need specialized equipment and high-end skills to do it.

But you can roll on and "tip out" one part boat finishes, like Petitt EazyPoxy. Roll it on with a paint roller attached to a long handle. Start on the roof and work down as you go. You may need scaffolding or step ladders. After rolling on a good section use a high quality bristle brush to "tip out" the rolled on paint, so it is smooth.
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Old 06-30-2018, 10:58 AM   #27
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Name: Jim
Trailer: Scamp
Idaho
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A different approach to oxidized Scamp

We have an older Scamp that was quite oxidized. After a lot of looking, we finally tried an acrylic product that worked great. It does require you to sand the entire trailer with very fine wet/dry sandpaper to clean off all old finish and discoloring. That is the hardest part. Then, you apply the new coating with the included fabric applicator. It took five coats, which took half a day. The first goat was disappointing. Streaks, irregular finish. The second coating was better. The fifth coat was glassy smooth! The result is fantastic. It looks like a new Scamp now. I cover it in winter with a cloth cover (bought online) and the finish has lasted 5 years so far.

The product is called Poliglo. I bought the kit that includes the cleaner and finish. The cleaner IS important.
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Old 06-30-2018, 12:11 PM   #28
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Name: Curt
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sooveroo View Post
Hey curt - can you provide some names of products for mild abrasive polish and good automotive detergent? Iím hoping to spruce Chummy (1968!) up before Winnipeg so Iím not totally embarrassed but I just donít want to screw this up!

Also - hand polish or would it be faster, more efficient to use some kind of palm sander with a budding attachment?

Thanks!

Suvi
I have to say that FGRV has been a great help in improving TROAL (TRill' Of A Lifetime) over the last few years. There is no better source of opinions, suggestions, or downright experience that I have been able to find anywhere else.

That being said, most of the products that we used on TROAL was stuff that we have collected over the last 40 years of marriage, or inherited from my father-in-law.

We started with Liquid Crystal Ultimate Car Wash liquid in a bucket of water. Household sponge with the scrubber back for the heavier stuff. But this was back in the spring when we got her out of storage.

When we FIRST brought her home she had a thick layer of BLACK mold sludge covering the top. To get this off we used a combination of car wash liquid, bleach, and some Comet Cleanser (NO, not all at the same time - one after the other as required.)

Back to this year - we also have a container of Armor All Car Wash liquid that we would have used, and will when we run out of the Liquid Crystal.

We tried Turtle Wax One Step Color Back Restorative Car Polish, and it helped, but took a few applications.

We also happened to have a can of Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound Heavy Duty Cleaner - this stuff worked wonders. You just have to make sure that you get it all off. More on that later.

Hand rubbing with this stuff worked great. I know the pros would probably use power buffers and be done in 1/4 time, but they know what they are doing - I don't, so I would NOT use power tools for this. Way too much probability that I would wear through the gelcoat. No, thank you very much. That being said, my wife DID go over the trailer with a soft buffing pad on a cheap power buffer between coats of the Zep, just to try to bring out the shine a bit more.

We tried some GelGloss fiberglass polish, it gave a nice finish and we thought that we were done, but then I saw the Zep high gloss stuff at the store and brought that home. One coat of that and we knew we would finish with a few more coats of that.

I started applying the Zep with a cloth, but that made such a mess that I went and picked up a Zep Professional Sprayer spray bottle and a container of Auto Drive Multi-Purpose Applicator Pads with a holder (Canadian Tire here in Canada) - makes it MUCH easier to get a nice, even coat of the Zep, particularly on the vertical trailer walls.

Back to the concern about Zep high gloss floor polish - this is a product that is intended for INDOOR use, so will not last forever outdoors. That just makes sense. So whether it needs to have a couple of new applications each spring, or two or three times a year as some people do, I do NOT know. This is an experiment for me too. What I CAN say is that we didn't do a very good job of making sure that we had gotten all of the rubbing compound off the trailer, and ended up with some awful looking streaks under some of the Zep. The store where I bought the Zep also had large bottles of floor wax STRIPPER - just a few wipes of this stuff took the new Zep off, cleaned up the excess rubbing compound, and we were able to re-Zep the spots that needed it. Pretty easy. If the Zep looks terrible next spring, we may reconsider the paint option, but I expect that it will just take a bit of work each spring to get the trailer ready for the season.

Thus far we have NOT covered it over the winter, and we get pretty bad cold and snow up here in Northern Alberta.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me out by adding their two cents worth into FGRV. Sometimes I think that their opinions may be worth just that - two cents (oh, yeah, we do not have pennies up here in Canada any more ;-) ), and other input seems invaluable!. The great thing is, it ALL helps.

And a special thanks to the moderators for helping to keep things on an even keel, even on the brink of impending war?

And of course, thank you all for the laughs that keep bubbling their way to the surface.

I am SO looking forward to meeting as many of you as I can in Winterpeg in August!


Curt
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Old 06-30-2018, 12:19 PM   #29
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Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
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Stove knobs

Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Michigan View Post
Curt in Edmonton, where did you find the stove knobs?? We've had no luck finding replacements. Please PM me about this. Thanks.
John - I picked up a couple of 2-packs of GrillPro Universal Control Knobs at the local barbecue parts store. CAN$ 4.99 per pack. 3 for the stove - 1 spare. I know that they are also available at Home Depot, etc., but maybe only on a seasonal basis.

GrillPro is a Canadian company, but the knobs are made in China, like everything else today. Finding something similar in the Excited States should be easy. Gas valves for these kinds of products are very standardized.

These units are two piece, so that you can properly align the marking on the stove.

Maybe, now that I am partly retired, I will be able to figure out how to add pics to this forum...
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Old 06-30-2018, 12:30 PM   #30
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Name: Nancy
Trailer: Scamp
Montana
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I have an 1986 Scamp that was pretty needy when I bought it. I checked this forum and used the Zep solution, but, it didn't work well for me. I did use the Barkeepers friend for the initial cleaning so do recommend that. During the first year with Zep, my Scamp looked great. After that year though, I did not take it off completely but did retouches. I could see the difference between where the Zep had been on longer and where I had put new coats on. The aging Zep turned a yellowing color too. I ended up taking if off using stripper--which was not an easy task. I now use Meguiars Marine wax. The Scamp doesn't shine like it did with the Zep, but it looks good (not glossy) and is easier to maintain.
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Old 07-01-2018, 07:07 AM   #31
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Name: El Jefe'
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Washington
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Think Boat

Think boats. Barkeepers friend first, then this. I just used 3M cleaner and wax on my boat and it's night and day. The link below I used on a former boat with a chalky oxidized gelcoat and it cleaned up to a solid finish. Get a buffer and a cloudy day and go to town.


https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-us/all-3m-products/~/3M-Marine-Restorer-and-Wax/?N=5002385+3293242388&rt=rud[/URL]
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Old 07-01-2018, 07:41 PM   #32
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Name: Reino
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We had our Scamp back to Backus for a little adjustment and the guy saw a stain that I was unable to scrub off. He volunteered to buff it out and he did it in about 2 minutes with this.
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Old 07-01-2018, 07:55 PM   #33
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That will get it done
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Old 07-03-2018, 05:03 AM   #34
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Name: Rose
Trailer: 1978 Trillium
Ontario
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I have a 1978 Trillium 1300, and last year I had good results from the high-pressure wash at the car wash, and then using paste wax, buffing afterwards. It does need to be at least cleaned again this year - and probably waxed again. (It is stored outside) Is the pressure washing not really a good idea? or does the gel coat stand up to that?
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:17 AM   #35
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Name: Alex
Trailer: Casita Spirit Deluxe
Florida
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What he said

"I used barkeepers friend, then followed with six coats of PoliGlow. I canít believe the difference !!! Mine is a í99, so she does have some age on her. After I did this, I could legitimately call her Pearl again!"


I did the same on my old Casita and it came out gorgeous! The Poliglow is more$$ than the ZEP but less coats and longer lasting IMHO. Worth it!


PS don't gloss over any dirt or stains unless you want to look at them forever.
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:52 PM   #36
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Name: Donald
Trailer: Bigfoot 5th wheel
Colorado
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1988 Bigfoot

10 years ago, I bought an '88 Bigfoot 5th wheel (21' long) that had been stored in Oregon overlooking the ocean. I spent 5 years buffing, polishing, waxing, etc. These "solutions" never lasted long. About 5 years ago, I used soft rubber wheels to remove the decal striping and took it to a Denver Maaco shop that does fiberglass. For $3,800, they did a flawless job. They used a straight, beige enamel and baked it on. There is no clear coat to peel. 5 years later, it still looks like it just came out of the shop and I store it outdoors in the Colorado sun with no cover.

So, my advice is to shop around. Find a competent, discount paint shop with fiberglass experience and a bay large enough for your trailer. Do prep work to save money. Keep it under $5K. If you want striping and/or decals, there are lots of sites that will sell you the materials for $100-500. The 3M products use special adhesives that eliminate bubbles, so you could apply them yourself (I practiced on my plastic trash cans first and now have very fancy cans). You will then have years of a beautiful trailer that looks like it just came from the factory.
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Old 07-05-2018, 12:01 AM   #37
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Name: steven
Trailer: Bigfoot
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Plasti dip

I gave it a good cleaning with comet cleanser then plasti dip,looks great
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Old 07-05-2018, 12:59 AM   #38
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I gave it a good cleaning with comet cleanser then plasti dip,looks great
did you neutralize or otherwise thoroughly wash off all the chlorine residue from the comet before applying plastidip ? if I was going to do a full paint on a fiberglass, I think I'd wet sand it with 440 and maybe even 600 or 800, using lots of water, then paint it with whatever.

I do wonder what plastidip'd fiberglass is going to look like in 3-4 years. I hope to keep my trailer for 10-20 years, til I'm too old to take it out.
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Old 07-05-2018, 03:13 AM   #39
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Welcome to FGRV Donald. Post a few pics of your TT to show off that paint job, we love pics .
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Old 07-06-2018, 05:27 AM   #40
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best waxing method

my boatyard uses aquabuff 2000, a water bassed 2000 grit (abrasive) cleaner applied with a wool bonnet and then removed with a terry cloth bonnet. It will gleam after one application. then to keep it from oxidizing again apply 3M high performance marine wax every six months by simply smearing it on with a rag and rubbing it off with a towel. have not had to use a cleaner in four years.

Cleaner/wax all in one products do not wook as well as two paert applications.

I also use the 3M wax on my Tundra and after two years it still shines like new.

Finally , dirt will literally rinse off!!!
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