Trillium front rock guard - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-20-2016, 05:47 AM   #1
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Trillium front rock guard

I'm in the process of repairing my front rock guard (more on this later).
As you know, it's 3 FG panels in an aluminium frame.
The slots where the FG panels slide in are about 3/8".
The previous owner of my trailer used foam strips and lots of silicone (what else ) in the slots to secure the panels in place. How was it originally? There needs to be a spacer of some sort for the panels to stay flat against the aluminium frame.

Thx
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:25 AM   #2
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In my rock guard, there are round wood sticks pressed into the space, they come loose every now and again and they fall out when I open the guard up. Easy to press back in, I just worry that one day I will lose it on the highway. Sorry, I don't have any pictures at this time.
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:13 AM   #3
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LOL ! I see you're not in a better situation than I am!
Let's see what others will come up with. I think you'll need the fix as much as I do!
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:25 AM   #4
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I have never seen one, so this is just AWAG, but would the rubber-like strip that is used to hold screens in place in aluminum frames work?
Dave & Paula
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David B. View Post
I have never seen one, so this is just AWAG, but would the rubber-like strip that is used to hold screens in place in aluminum frames work?
It would be too thin.
On my trailer, the previous owner used foam "backer rod", which I think wasn't a bad idea, as it is closed cell foam, lightweight, durable and... cheap! But he also put a lot of silicone on top of it, probably to prevent it from sliding off the frame like brendadave's wood sticks.


I might just use the same thing, but I'm curious as to how it was originally.
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Old 05-20-2016, 11:29 AM   #6
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For a bunch of pictures of how two of my rock guards are put together:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ons-68527.html
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Old 05-20-2016, 04:36 PM   #7
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Thanks Dave.
I see in your pictures 2 different designs for the rock guard, and mine is different from both of them.
I can't really see in the pictures what kind of shim - if any - is used to tighten the panels in their channels.

I'll eventually have pictures of my whole rock guard restoration process. I had to repair the panels, one had a large tear and both had corners broken off. Turned out pretty good. I resealed the front window today, including new wood frame, and reinstalled the rock guard framing, no panel yet.
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:36 PM   #8
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Name: Duane
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Hi the rock guard on my '76 Trillium had hard plastic U shaped strips wedged between the FG panel and the frame itself. They were white and had small ridges along the edges that pressed on the sides of the frame. Friction held them in place. I believe they were originals. Duane
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Old 05-21-2016, 06:13 AM   #9
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Ok thanks Duane.

Like some sort of edge trim?



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Old 05-22-2016, 12:35 AM   #10
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Take a look at this video and see how he is framing up a picture. Your answer about how to put tension against the panels is in this video, it is done with spring tension clips. Spring tension clips are also used in situations for securing windows screens into window tracks on homes and that means you can easily find some spring tension clips at your local hardware store in the section with supplies for window screen framing.

The aluminum picture framing system that has a channel built into it. This material method is basically how I will approach making a rock screen for my Campster as it has a professional look to it when completed. Tinted polycarbonate sheet material will be adequate to resist most rock penetration. It will allow light in while both open or closed. But if you want a frosted look for privacy then you can sand the surface of the polycarbonate yourself or purchase it already sanded.

These types of aluminum picture framing extrusions are available in variety of profiles and also come in a natural aluminum finish. They are available from most of the large art supply stores or your local picture frame shops. But you do want to purchase framing that is fairly substantial in strength to hold up to the wind forces while traveling on the highway. For the cross bar(s) in the center you can purchase some aluminum H channel. Aluminum is very easy to work with and can be cut with a carbide blade on a power miter saw or of course with a hack saw if need be. I myself would add in some poyurethane caulking at the corners to decrease the likely hood of the joint pieces coming loose. Polyurethane caulking works as a great strong adhesive bond for aluminum that will take the flexing without separating.

You can then hang your framed panel with aluminum hinges that are screwed or riveted into the frame and onto another extrusion that has been applied to your RV. You will have to decide how you are going to latch it closed and hold it open.

This website article provides an excellent resource for understanding a number of methods used in the joins for making framed parts from aluminum extrusions. Good illustrations and easy to understand text, it makes a decent education for the subject for professional or DIY designers.
joining aluminium
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Old 05-22-2016, 05:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
Your answer about how to put tension against the panels is in this video, it is done with spring tension clips.
Interesting, I'll look into that for sure.

I wonder if such clips would hold in place when used in a rock guard in front of a trailer, with the wind, vibrations, etc, it's nothing like a picture frame just hanging on a wall. I'll look it up anyway and thanks for that.

This is the only issue I really have with my rock guard. Otherwise all the framing is original, in good condition, and since I cleaned and polished it, it looks quite nice. I had to repair and paint the FG panels, and now they look pretty good too.
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:25 AM   #12
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I resealed my front window and reinstalled my rock guard yesterday.
All that's left to do is find a way to secure the FG panels into the frame (thanks for the suggestions here), otherwise this job is done.
Pictures on my 5500 thread (click here), showing the differences between a 5500 rock guard and those in Dave's pictures.
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Old 05-24-2016, 11:35 PM   #13
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This is too late for you Carl.
I was going to suggest the foam used to stop drafts. One side is sticky and it come in varying widths and thicknesses. Like the stuff you put under a cap on a pick up box.

Something like this: Foam Tape | RONA
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:17 AM   #14
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Thanks Roy!

No, it's not too late yet!

I think that foam is "open cell" foam. It would suck water and dirt and eventually veggies would grow in there.

What I'd like to find is some sort of plastic strip, thick enough to fill the gap, and that I could secure in place with a tiny screw or pop rivet. That way I could easily take the panels off again if I have to, in another... 35 years or so!

I like the foam idea because it's compressible, and it pushes the panels tight against the frame so they don't move or vibrate when travelling. Also it would adapt to the thickness of the panels, and mine have varying thickness since my repairs. But unless it's sticky foam or glued in some manner, I think a simple foam strip would eventually fly off.
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Old 05-25-2016, 07:05 AM   #15
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Carl,

I'm currently restoring my Trillium 4500 rock guard. Its disassembled and I'm polishing the aluminum frame parts. The panels did not survive, so I'll be replacing them.

To address your questions re method to hold the panels securely, I am considering closed cell foam weatherstripping tape. I could apply the tape continuously around the back edge of each panel, or I could apply the tape in short pieces, spaced several inches apart. What do you think about these methods?

(PO used strong caulk to hold the panels in snug. It proved difficult to remove the caulk and disassemble the rock guard! )

-John
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Old 05-25-2016, 07:21 AM   #16
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Hi John

Well, I haven't figured out yet what to do with mine, so I'm not in the best position to give you advise on this!
As they say, your guess is as good as mine!

I'd go with continuous tape all around, unless it would make it harder to put the panels back in the frame.
I saw the frame design is different between the 5500 and 4500. On my 5500 sliding the panels back in was a pretty tight fit. The wavy ones on each side have to go in first, and they were not too bad, but I had to "warp" the center one significantly to pop it in. Not sure if a foam strip would have make it harder.

So that weatherstripping foam you're planning to use is closed cell? I will have to look that up again at the hardware store, there are probably different kinds of these foam strips because I just checked on a leftover I had in my shop and it's definitely open cell.

What do you plan to replace your panels with?

Let us know how it turns out!
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:35 AM   #17
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Carl,

Yes, I found closed cell foam weatherstripping tape at HD. Here is an example:

PRODUCT OVERVIEW Model # 02253 Internet # 100353460 Store SKU # 616028
The MD Building Products 3/8 in. x 17 ft. Foam Weather strip Tape is self-adhesive and helps eliminate air and moisture leaks around doors and windows. This closed-cell PVC is dustproof and waterproof.

For the panels, I will probably use:

Celtec Expanded PVC Sheet, Satin Smooth Finish, 6mm Thick, 24" Length x 36" Width, White

Thanks,
John
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Old 05-25-2016, 12:14 PM   #18
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Thanks John, I'll look that up.

That plastic sheet seems a good option at a reasonable price.
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Old 05-26-2016, 07:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl V View Post
I think that foam is "open cell" foam.
As John has mentioned there are closed cell versions. At least you have an idea of what to look for.
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