Prepping body of trillium 1300 for paint? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-26-2018, 11:43 AM   #1
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Name: andrew
Trailer: 1973 13' Trillium
British Columbia
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Prepping body of trillium 1300 for paint?

Hi! Just got out 1973 trillium back after it fell off out truck/safety chains snapped/ safety pin snapped....anyways all repaired now. We want to get it painted and I am considering prepping the body myself despite never having done it before. How difficult is it? Does someone have a step by step process I could follow as well as what common mistakes to avoid etc?I would be willing to call someone to talk about this as well if that would be easier. I did take it to 2 body shops who wanted $4200 & $5400 for body/paint but could not guarantee it would not "blister" or " spider crack" in less than 2 years! Thanks for any help!
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Old 09-26-2018, 01:04 PM   #2
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A price like that without a warranty seems a sign that you're at the wrong shop. In general, automotive shops seem to have limited experience with fiberglass. Marine shops seem to be more knowledgeable in this realm.

In general, the crucial point seems to be to use a polyester primer. Using like materials is usually a good idea, and prevents spider webbing (which AFAIK is essentially a symptom of poor adhesion). Folks who have primed on this forum seem to have had good luck with "Slick Sand", a high solids polyester primer. I have seen mentions of this here:

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ons-51021.html

and here:

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...-51745-11.html

Make sure you scuff-sand the gelcoat first, for adhesion. After putting on the Slick Sand, you
sand again with a fine grit for smoothness. As far as I have heard, the topcoat can more or less anything: urethane, lacquer, even epoxy, etc, depending on what look you want and your budget, and the durability you require. There seems to have been a lot of innovation in paint chemistry over the last decade, so newer might well be better.

I will be doing this myself in a few months. Good luck, and please let us know how it goes!
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Old 09-26-2018, 11:54 PM   #3
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Name: andrew
Trailer: 1973 13' Trillium
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prepping body for paint

thanks fantasyride for the info. I have been told to be very careful about sanding thru the gelcoat but if I don't, I am not sure how i get rid of of the spider cracking that currently exists? The previous owner also put black stone guard on the front of the trailer and unfortunately we did a 450km trip down a gravel logging road as part of our 7400 km trip to Yellowknife and the stone guard took a beating. I assume I just sand this down in a similar fashion and then reapply it? Have a good night!
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Old 09-28-2018, 11:17 AM   #4
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I’ll be interested in reading any comments on stoneguard/rockerguard repairs..
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Old 09-28-2018, 11:51 AM   #5
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jagbor,

- For spider cracks, first check if there is structural damage to the underlying fiberglass. If so, then reinforce the fiberglass from behind using fiberglass mat soaked in resin after sanding and cleaning with acetone. I used bondo fiberglass mat and bondo resin. Once that is done you can repair the spider cracks if desired by grinding a groove along each crack with a dremel with a arrowhead shaped stone grinder bit. Then clean with acetone, fill with bondo body filler or other similar product and sand smooth. Repeat if necessary to get finished surface.

- For lower front body chipping, I used the same dremel bit to grind the surface of each of the larger chips. This cleans them of debris and loose chips and leaves a grippy surface. Then clean with acetone, fill with bondo filler and sand smooth. I used several coats of herculiner to protect the lower front of the body from future chipping.
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Old 09-28-2018, 11:55 AM   #6
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If I had to do it again, I would have used raptorliner (can be painted over) instead of herculiner.

I agree with concern about sanding too much material off the body. If fiberglass and gelcoat layers are thin, another option is to strip any paint off, then light sanding and cleaning with acetone.
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Old 10-01-2018, 05:38 AM   #7
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Name: andrew
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john: thanks for the info. "reinforce the fibreglass from behind?" meaning remove the ensolite from the inside of the trailer or ?......sorry but I'm a newbie and that seems like a crazy amount of work to do given that the ensolite has been on the trailer for 40+ years. I do not understand how you would get behind the fibreglass?
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Old 10-01-2018, 05:42 AM   #8
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does anyone have or know of a video out there re prepping a Trillium body for paint? I would like to try doing it myself but am deathly afraid of sanding too much fibreglass and or gel coat off? What is too much? Thanks.
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Old 10-01-2018, 07:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagbor View Post
john: thanks for the info. "reinforce the fibreglass from behind?" meaning remove the ensolite from the inside of the trailer or ?......sorry but I'm a newbie and that seems like a crazy amount of work to do given that the ensolite has been on the trailer for 40+ years. I do not understand how you would get behind the fibreglass?
jagbor,

- Yes, IF you have a structural crack that requires reinforcement (post pictures if you want others to weigh in on whether its a structural problem), then layers of fiberglass mat and resin will be needed behind, peeling off ensolite, sanding and cleaning
- To avoid removing too much gelcoat or fiberglass substrate during prep, don't use powerful sanders of grinders. Either hand block sand with 200 grit, or some just use scotch brite pad with water, or a fiberglass compatible stripping chemical.
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Old 10-01-2018, 07:26 AM   #10
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jagbor, you said in your first post that the camper is all repaired now. That tells me there aren't any structural repairs needed(?).

Regarding painting, others have simply scrubbed and waxed the gelcoat. You could try that.
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Old 10-02-2018, 07:35 AM   #11
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Name: andrew
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John: thanks for the info. Yes the structural damage has been repaired by a professional fibreglass guy. The spider cracks are minor and are not structural. So I will follow the instructions as provided via yourself and others. I am not looking for a show quality body/paint job but something that just looks nice cruising down the road! The trailer is cool enough on its own......any paint only enhances that so long as the body doesn't look like rippling waves! Have a great day and thanks for all of your help....very much appreciated!
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Old 10-03-2018, 04:35 AM   #12
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Name: Duane
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Prepping body of trillium 1300 for paint

Hi I would find a book on painting fiberglass cars and or boats and follow and suggestions in those books to guide you. These are written by people with knowledge of the pitfalls you may encounter and any special preparation considerations needed for fiberglass paint jobs. Knowledge is the key here to do the prep work correctly and have your job turn out the best you can . Good luck ,Duane
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Old 10-03-2018, 07:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagbor View Post
does anyone have or know of a video out there re prepping a Trillium body for paint? I would like to try doing it myself but am deathly afraid of sanding too much fibreglass and or gel coat off? What is too much? Thanks.
Don't look brand specific. Instead, search for fiberglass painting, could be a boat, or another brand or whatever. Prepping a boat will be similar to prepping your Trillium.
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