Question About Tabbing Cabinets - Fiberglass RV

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Old 10-12-2011, 09:17 AM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Tom
Trailer: 1978 Scamp
Posts: 15
Question About Tabbing Cabinets

Iím considering tabbing the cabinets of my Scamp to the interior walls and I have a question about filling the holes that are in the shell from where the cabinets were originally riveted to the shell.

Iíve bought a few books and have watched some on line videos about fiberglass repair and part of the repair process, for repairing fiberglass ďdamageĒ, is to cut away the damaged area and then scarf the area around the damage at a 12/1 ratio. So fiberglass with a .25Ē wall thickness will be scarfed 3Ē out from the repair area. After scarfing the area layers of cloth, resin and mat are built up until the thickness of the wall is reached.

My question is: does this (scarfing and fiberglass material buildup) apply to the rivet holes in the shell or can these holes be filled with an epoxy and then sanded smooth?

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Old 10-12-2011, 11:45 AM   #2
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Name: Paul
Trailer: 13' Boler 1977
Posts: 124
in my opinion, (which is that of a non professional fiberglass repairer)

the rivet holes are soo small that they don't need actual fiberglass cloth on them, ......

the cloth adds support and strength to large holes of joining and repairing cracks......

i had filled a few holes, .....i just drilled the outside of the hole slightly larger to remove any loose material and to "indent" the hole slightly so i could add more filler...

and then i just used bondo to fill it in, ....i put tape on the back side so it wouldn't go right through the hole and just filled the hole with that, ...

then sanded it down to the same level as the surounding fiberglass, ....

the holes are small enough that they shouldn't need and fiber matting, but if you have a larger hole, you could use a small piece.............

just my non professional $0.02

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Old 10-12-2011, 06:19 PM   #3
Jeff Richardson's Avatar
Name: Jeff
Trailer: 1977 13-foot Scamp
Posts: 71
Here is what West System recommends for filling holes in fiberglass boats:

WEST SYSTEM | Projects | Fiberglass Boat Repair & Restoration - Repairing machined holes in fiberglass

They make epoxy products for the marine industry.

I have several holes to fill in my 1977 Scamp and plan on following their advice.

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Old 10-13-2011, 08:20 AM   #4
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 19
Posts: 178
Red face

In the marine world we stay away from Bondo as it tends to fail when it get wet. The West Epoxy System is very good and some other products to look at at are Marine-Tex, and Red Hand-a product of International Paints.

I agree with the comment that with little holes all that is needed is to fill then. Tape on the back side is a good way to keep the filler from going through the hole and making a mess on the interior.

Good luck with your project
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:21 PM   #5
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Name: Jeff
Trailer: 1977 13-foot Scamp
Posts: 71
My thinking is if it is good enough for marine use it should be good for our fiberglass trailers.

In fact, I'm treating my Scamp as if it is an ocean going vessel. Up here in Washington state it is damp most of the year. Every original steel fastener that I have had to cut off is getting replaced with stainless steel. All new fasteners will be stainless as well.

I am also going to install marine stainless steel cabin LED dome lights under my cabinets.

I am always looking for something to use from the marine or pleasure boat industry on my trailer. They have some neat stuff that I'm sure will stand up to extreme weather conditions.

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Old 10-14-2011, 06:26 PM   #6
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Trailer: 84 16 ft Scamp
Posts: 725
Also from Washington.

I found on our 84 Scamp that most of the original rivets were just a tiny bit loose. They didn't leak much, but you could run your finger over the area around many rivets and see the shine on your finger tip. I contemplated doing what the original poster suggested, but in the interim I punched out all the original rivets, drilled the holes out to 17/64 inch and installed 1/4 x 20 screws, washers and nuts. To seal the screws, I made rubber washers by cutting slices about 3/16 inch wide from a length 1/4 inch rubber fuel hose on a band saw.

All hardware is stainless obtained from Home Depot. The stack-up is screw, washer, rubber washer. This assembly is inserted into the hole. Another washer and nut goes on the inside and the hardware is tightened down to compress the rubber washer.. I did this three years ago and have completely forgotten about tabbing the cabinets and filling the holes.

We had a rainy day a week ago with several showers. I checked the nuts on the inside in preparation for a trip we are planning. No signs of weeping and all nuts were still tight.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:14 PM   #7
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Name: Tom
Trailer: 1978 Scamp
Posts: 15
Thanks for the replies.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:20 PM   #8
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 25,065
If you're tabbing, I'm going to assume (and we know what that means), the interior wall coverings have been either stripped out or removed around every hole. I would put fiberglass cloth and resin over every hole on the inside, fill the holes on the exterior. Then tab. That should make the trailer water tight.

Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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