Is Florida sunshine on the fiberglass a problem? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 03-27-2023, 10:16 AM   #1
Senior Member
Name: Lisle
Trailer: 2018 Casita Spirit Deiuxe
Posts: 181
Is Florida sunshine on the fiberglass a problem?

Iíve been volunteering at a Florida park this winter. Havenít moved from my full hook up campsite for 5 mos. For the last couple of mons, if I leave the camper closed up when the sun is shining (for instance to run the AC during the hot part of the day), a nasty chemical smell builds up inside which gives me a headache. As long as I keep the windows open, itís fine. If I leave the windows closed and the AC on, once the sun goes down and isnít baking the camper, the smell fades away. I donít think itís the Freon cuz itís a chemical/plastic smell not the musty Freon smell. And it builds up inside with or without the AC running. Could it be the sun is doing something to the fiberglass and releasing chemicals? Could it be dust on the soft blinds? This is a 2018 16í Casita. Thanks for any help with this!
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Old 03-27-2023, 12:08 PM   #2
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Name: Pat
Trailer: thor class a
Posts: 1
Thumbs up Florida Sun and damage

I am a snowbird and have been in Central Florida for winter for 7 years. I wonder if your problem is caused by the heat or the sunshine. It is an interesting question.
I am about to leave a good car in Florida full time while I fly instead of drive back and forth up North.

As I asked on line if I need a sun cover or no cover on my car the answers are all over the chart. Some natives say they never have covered a car. But as I drive around the damage to the car paint in Florida is very obvious. Some paint flakes off, some paint changes colors.

Back to your problem. I am not sure how the sun effects fiberglass. I would contact the service department at a couple of manufacturers and listen to what they say. On my boats up north the paint changed tint and the stick on decals all shrunk and cracked. Our pontoon cover went from red to pink. (Two different covers) It sounds like a cover will not work for you because you need the AC. Perhaps a cover could be modified so the AC still works. Perhaps there is a chemical treatment to be added to the gel coat to help with the sun radiation.

Very interesting question. By the way I plan on buying an expensive cover for my Mini Cooper because paint jobs cost more than covering it up.
Old Wrench
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Old 03-27-2023, 05:48 PM   #3
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Posts: 11,642
Ours does get a slight chemical odor when itís been shut up. Hasnít lessened in the ten years weíve owned it, and I havenít found it bothersome. That said, we donít use it in conditions that require it to be shut up tightly. Thereís always some ventilation.
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Old 03-27-2023, 10:40 PM   #4
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 4,090
Perhaps the wood and carpet inside the Casita is creating a problem?

The worst thing I see in continual sunshine is the plastic parts on vents become brittle and crack.
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Old 03-28-2023, 09:42 AM   #5
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Name: Jonathan
Trailer: Casita
Posts: 141
The sun would be affecting the interior fiberglass if the interior fiberglass were exposed to the sun. I don't think the sun shines out of your 'glass.
The cabinets and such might get a bit more sun there than back up here in MA, but the higher summer sun angle nearer to the tropic of cancer would mean more on the roof, less in through the sides partly negating any increase in intensity. More hours of daily sunlight as one moves further north also offer some compensation for a lower sun angle.
So FL sun vs. MA sun would be less of a factor than any of a number of other possible odor sources.

Freon is relatively odorless, and as it's pressurized it'd leak regardless of the hour of day or solar gain. Your AC would soon cease to operate when the pressure switch tripped open. You didn't mention those issues so I'm claiming freon isn't a source.
On a day off from your work, stop by a boat repair shop and ask to get a sniff of fresh fiberglass resin. See if that matches your 'chemical/plastic' smell.
Jon MB, (the lesser half of Bonnie RB )
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