How to remove glue residue from ensolite? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:59 PM   #1
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Name: Clark & 9ah
Trailer: Trillium
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How to remove glue residue from ensolite?

Here is a closeup of the red glue residue that extends beyond the rubber door gasket onto the ensolite. It is brittle and hard like lacquer. Can this unsightly mess be removed without damaging the ensolite? We have tried GooGone and GelGloss, Charlie's Soap and Orange paste cleaner. Has anyone experience with this problem?

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Old 01-25-2013, 06:58 PM   #2
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Name: Eddie
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It might be rust from the metal clips in the trim band. Try Barkeepers Friend, Y-10 or some other cleaner with oxalic acid. Just a guess.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:09 PM   #3
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Thanks, Eddie

We tried ZUD, which has oxalic acid. It didn't faze the glue. Don't think the red is rust. Looks like something that was applied with an applicator. Afraid to try a cleaner or solvent that may dissolve the vinyl cover on the ensolite. We do appreciate your suggestion though!

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Old 01-25-2013, 07:30 PM   #4
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Why do you think it is glue residue? Is it sticky. If not - you could paint it. If it is sticky you could do a test in with a little solvent on a Q-tip.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:54 PM   #5
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Don't let something like this drive you nutz. If you're like me and can't remove every single spot of residue, you won't be happy. So... if you can't make it COMPLETELY go away... make it obvious! Cathy has the right idea. Paint it.. then maybe stencil around the area? Cowboy boots? Or balloons, or vine ivy? Whatever "theme" you like. Because I absolutely know, if it remains kinda hidden... it WILL drive you nutz. And it shouldn't... this is a trailer for making memories... not an anxiety box. YMMV
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:19 PM   #6
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Name: Linda
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I was thinking paint too. I think it would look fine to paint a 2-3" straight border following the shape of the door in a striking color that goes with your interior. Use frog tape--the curve is a little challenging, but just takes a little patience. First use a good stain-blocking primer like Kinseer or Kilz.
Keep us posted on what you end up doing.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:37 PM   #7
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Get yourself an eraser wheel for your drill and it will take it right off. Just don't exceed the rpm's. I just took off two large decals and two stripes off my Scamp fifth wheel and it only took a few minutes. I got mine on Amazon
AES Industries 4" Smart Eraser Pad with Drill Adaptor Arbor [Made In USA] : : Home Improvement

or they have them at your local auto parts store. Good luck.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:32 AM   #8
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I think you would burn up the ensolite with one of those wheels. If it's not gobbed on and sticky, I vote for painting it, also. If it's real adhesive on there, I don't think you're removing it without hurting the ensolite.
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:51 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the suggestions!

Wow! Thanks to everyone for the help. You seem to know me pretty well, Donna, and I don't want something minor like this to drive me nuts. Too bad we see it every time we go through the doorway. I don't know about painting over it... We are into a subdued color scheme, more zen-like and calming. Balloons and such are not for us, but we have seen photos of some amazing and fun vintage trailers! We do appreciate the creativity.

The rubber eraser wheel sounds interesting, Phil. I was able to scrape and flick the stuff off of an adjacent area with just my fingernails. Wherever there is red glue sneaking out onto the gelcoat, I can scrape it easily with those fingernails.

The red stuff is very brittle. Someone used the same goop inside the seat storage compartments to stick something down. It is seriously flaking off, which indicates we could abrade off the rest, then paint the fiberglass. The vinyl face on the ensolite may withstand abrading to some degree if we are careful. We'll test a small area. Thanks for the hint.

I will test with solvent using a Q-tip too. If none of these things work, it looks like vinyl paint may be the final solution. Now to match the color... or choose one that coordinates.

Thanks, all!
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:42 PM   #10
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Try to find an inconspicious spot and try wd-40 and a stiff tooth brush. work it a little let it soak and work it again.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:27 PM   #11
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Trust me to begin with a totally irrelevant question:

It's interesting to me that your ensolite looks white rather than the "cream" color in my Trillium- or is that just a trick of the light?

Per the glue line:
It's such a closeup shot I can't really tell for sure, but is it possible that someone prior to you replaced the original door gasket/trim with one that's a bit narrower? I ask because the band of color looks so uniform it might be residue of the glue used on the original band.

In any case, an option you might consider is to mask/cover that band-o'-brown with another piece of stick-on black rubber weatherstripping just wide enough to cover and snugged up to the existing least it would LOOK like it was just part of the whole!

Examples of what I'm talking about at this link

Propane Facts vs. Fiction:. Click here
Tow Limit Calculator: Click here
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:09 AM   #12
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What else we've tried

Tom at told us that acetone would remove the old contact cement, but it doesn't. The best I have been able to do is remove the heaviest areas with a round-tip palette knife and my fingernails. The residue and discoloration beneath will not budge with acetone, denatured alcohol or heptane. I have yet to give the WD-40 a try.

Our ensolite is cream in color, Francesca. It is likely that the door gasket was replaced with a smaller profile or that it has shrunk back to reveal the glue. I had considered covering it with another rubber segment, but may use vinyl paint first. We have screw holes in the ensolite around the windows that need filling and painting, but I am starting the new upholstery this weekend, so the vinyl repair is now farther down the list.

Thanks for the suggestions!
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:26 AM   #13
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I'd try an environmentally safe paint remover. Put it on an out of the way spot to make sure it doesn't harm the ensolite.
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Old 03-25-2021, 10:10 PM   #14
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Name: Ash
Trailer: Trillium 1300 1975
British Columbia, Canada
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Ensolite cream paint match?

Jumping on this thread, as I have the exact same situation in my Trillium '75 1300 and would like to paint over it. Has anyone come across a paint that matches the cream colour of the ensolite? I'm thinking of using a sponge to match the texture the way people have done when filling in seam gaps with caulk.
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Old 03-25-2021, 11:18 PM   #15
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Trailer: Escape 21 - Felicity
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I'd use ice. It won't hurt anything any may make the residue more brittle and break off. Might need dry ice - use gloves when handling that.
Charlie Y

Don't drill holes, try custom storage you design:
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