What type of paint to paint on fiberglass camper? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-30-2019, 01:08 PM   #1
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Name: KoyD
Trailer: SCAMP 13
North Carolina
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What type of paint to paint on fiberglass camper?

Hello to all Fiberglass Camper owner, I have this Scamp camper that have alot of scratches and faded old gel coat, that need a good paint job. The top of the camper is very faded and some crack here and there. I fill the small crack with marine Tex putty. Now I want to paint the whole camper, but I don't want to spent a lot of money on paint that is out of my budget. I have look up some fiberglass marine paint, but they are very expensive to do the whole camper. I thought of buying "Rustoleum" enamel oil-base to paint the camper? I google "what is a good paint to paint on fiberglass and it give me "oil-base" paint. Anyone have any advice or have paint their camper ? Thank you.
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Old 01-30-2019, 01:23 PM   #2
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
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I find a good scrub and polish can do wonders to a weathered FG trailer. Mine is 42 years old, polished it last fall. When you paint one, you are signing up for repainting it again and again. As far as cost, the polish I used cost about the same as one quart of paint.

As far as paint, its been discussed many times before. I do my searches via google, something like paint recommendations site:www.fiberglassrv.com

First Road Trip 1977 Trillium by wrk101, on Flickr
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Old 01-30-2019, 04:28 PM   #3
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Name: KoyD
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Hello ,Bill -That is a very nice looking camper for a 42 yrs. old. Very nice polish and shine. I will try to figure out what to do with the painting. Thank you for the advice- Bill
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Old 01-30-2019, 04:42 PM   #4
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I went with Interlux Brightside on our '79 Boler. I couldn't be happier with the outcome. Click image for larger version

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Old 01-31-2019, 01:16 PM   #5
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Name: Bruce
Trailer: 2017 Escape 19
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Fiberglass Paint

I had my boat professionally painted 17 years ago with an Interlux two-part Polyurethane Marine paint over a high build primer. Other than “dock rash” the boat still looks great, nice and shiny with no fading, and with no waxing. Both one part poly like Brightside and two part poly like Perfection can be carefully applied by owners with good results. There are many brands, but Interlux who is now owned by Sikkens I believe, is probably the most popular with DIYers. DuPont Imron and Awlgrip are other popular coatings. But I agree that if you can salvage the original gel coat with polish, it’s a lot less expensive and sort of befits a classic trailer. Just depends on the condition and the depth of your bank account. Good Luck!
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Old 01-31-2019, 01:37 PM   #6
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Name: jackie
Trailer: fiber stream
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Question for thrifty Bill

I also have a 42 yo trailer. I'm looking to clean & polish the FG exterior. The gel coat is dull & 'dusty.' What do you use to clean & polish your trailer?
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Old 01-31-2019, 02:07 PM   #7
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Name: Ed
Trailer: Casita 17 ft SD
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Painting a FB Trailer

I would use the ZEP (Lowe's) heavy duty floor wax stripper with the cleaning pad to strip off all the dirt, old wax, and all else, down to the fiber glass. You may have to use a 600 wet sand paper to take out some rough spots. This process will give you a clean dull white look. Wash all the residue off with the ZEP dirt and grease removal product designed for that and then use the ZEP heavy duty floor wax. Six coats will have that thing shining like it's a brand new trailer. This worked very nicely on my Casita.
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Old 01-31-2019, 07:27 PM   #8
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Name: Jean
Trailer: Escape 5
North Carolina
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On this same subject, a question

I would like to have an artist friend paint a logo on my trailer. Would acrylic paint work? I could also have her art work applied as a vinyl wrap in a small area. Any thoughts?
Jean
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:12 PM   #9
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Name: Michael
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You MAY be able to salvage the exterior with cleaning and polishing, depending on its condition and your determination, although it likely will require a repeat performance on a regular basis.
If you decide to repaint and intend t keep your unit I recommend you don't "cheap-out" on the paint.
Prep for painting is 90% of the work involved. You don't want to repeat that process because you used cheap paint!
Good paint more than pays for itself over time. It will last and it will look good.
Do it once, do it right and be done with it.
Unless you know what you're doing, hire an experienced spray painter to paint it in a paint booth. The quality of the application always shows who laid the paint.
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:41 AM   #10
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Name: Bob
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Decal instead of painted logo

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Old 02-06-2019, 12:16 PM   #11
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Name: Tony
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCBOY View Post
Hello to all Fiberglass Camper owner, I have this Scamp camper that have alot of scratches and faded old gel coat, that need a good paint job. The top of the camper is very faded and some crack here and there. I fill the small crack with marine Tex putty. Now I want to paint the whole camper, but I don't want to spent a lot of money on paint that is out of my budget. I have look up some fiberglass marine paint, but they are very expensive to do the whole camper. I thought of buying "Rustoleum" enamel oil-base to paint the camper? I google "what is a good paint to paint on fiberglass and it give me "oil-base" paint. Anyone have any advice or have paint their camper ? Thank you.

Others have said it - once you start with paint you'll be using it thereafter. IMHO, that's a formula for more work and expense than you may ultimately be willing to bargain for. There is a simpler solution that starts with understanding what you are dealing with. Here's an excellent primer by a guy who knows what he's talking about:

Gel coat on most FG campers is sufficiently thick to withstand multiple power tool polishing sessions. I purchased a quality random orbital sander to significantly cut the labor time. Regardless, polishing will take time but the results will be impressive.

Remember that in painting the amount of prep work will pretty much dictate the final outcome. The time needed to do a really good prep job will likely be a big percentage of the time it would take to do a power tool polish job.

I had the best results using a foam polishing pad on my 6" random orbital sander with Meguiar's Ultimate Compound, a product that quickly produced visibly superior results that I got using other rubbing/polishing compounds. To keep the compound working well I used a spray bottle of water with a little dish washing liquid in it to keep the camper surface damp while polishing. That method helped speed up the entire process. The oxidation comes off rapidly. The Meguiar's compound breaks down into finer and finer polishing particles as you use it which makes getting to a uniformly shiny finish much quicker and easier than having to progressively go to finer grades of wet sanding disks.


An upshot of using this method (and helping to justify the purchase of the RO sander) is it doubles as a perfect system for keeping the tow vehicles and cars looking beautiful as well.

Here's an excellent thread that addresses how to bring back the shiny look to your weathered shell without jeopardizing it's "future."


http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...oat-85671.html

Hope this helps...
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Old 02-06-2019, 12:21 PM   #12
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Name: T
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Originally Posted by Weavery View Post
I would like to have an artist friend paint a logo on my trailer. Would acrylic paint work? I could also have her art work applied as a vinyl wrap in a small area. Any thoughts?
Jean
Our method for one color over paint is a vinyl die-cut, which is a bit of a misnomer, as the vinyl is cut on a special plotter. Cheaper than a wrap, and almost any sign company can design and make it, and also install if you desire.

They can be done as multiple colors as well, as long as the colors don't need to be fades or gradient changes.
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Old 02-06-2019, 12:33 PM   #13
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Paint or wax

Two part epoxy is the way to go if you are going to paint. I recommend professional application as applying it can be tricky oh, and you have a limited window to a apply it before it starts curing on you.

Before I did that I would try to use a abrasive cleaner and then a good wax. My boat yard shared with me how they bring old faded Joker back to life. The use Aqua buff 1000 or Aqua buff 2000 water based cleaner applied with a wool Bonnet on a circular buffer, spritzing water on the surface to keep the cleaner workable. Remove the cleaner with a terry cloth bonnet and then apply 3M high performance marine wax with a rag and either wipe off the towel or buff off with Terry bonnet. I have achieved fantastic results with this system. It is important to note that you need to wash your vehicle with a soap that will not strip the wax off. I recommend orpine car / boat wash
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Old 02-06-2019, 12:35 PM   #14
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Trailer: Bigfoot 21 ft (21RB25)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCBOY View Post
Hello to all Fiberglass Camper owner, I have this Scamp camper that have alot of scratches and faded old gel coat, that need a good paint job. The top of the camper is very faded and some crack here and there. I fill the small crack with marine Tex putty. Now I want to paint the whole camper, but I don't want to spent a lot of money on paint that is out of my budget. I have look up some fiberglass marine paint, but they are very expensive to do the whole camper. I thought of buying "Rustoleum" enamel oil-base to paint the camper? I google "what is a good paint to paint on fiberglass and it give me "oil-base" paint. Anyone have any advice or have paint their camper ? Thank you.
If you choose to paint then any two part paint system will work. Yes, it is not cheap but as users will confirm it lasts if applied properly. Stay away from anything else. It is harder later to try and remove the cheap stuff and
when ready to sell your glass trailer it will reduce the selling price.
A good buff , more work, will work well but a lot of effort and it does not get rid of the deep scratches. I would bite the bullet and get a good two part paint job.
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Old 02-06-2019, 12:35 PM   #15
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Name: T
Trailer: Designing and building
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We were going to go down the acrylic enamel path, but here in coastal South Florida those paints have an exposed life of two years at best.

A local paint distributor suggested Interlux 990 over Intertuf 262 primer, and with two years of full exposure it is really "as new" with respect to gloss, cleanability, and damage resistance. This is the stuff they use on cruise ship topsides. It's not a paint you'd want to wet sand and buff, but for us it made the trailer bright shiny white.

This paint system works well with regular HVLP equipment. You do need to use a half face respirator with the correct cartridges, as the paint is not good to breathe.

As for experience? This is the first project I've ever sprayed with an HVLP gun. Prior to this I've use brushes or rattle cans. it's worth learning the techniques, because then you won't be afraid to paint anything that you need.
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:09 PM   #16
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Name: Cory
Trailer: 1982 Scamp 13
Montana
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I agree that refinishing is better than painting but on my 82 Scamp someone had attempted to paint it previously so I went the paint direction. I was making it better but not to the level of the beautiful work on some of these old trailers. I did the necessary prep and then used Rustolium Marine Topside. The rock chips are visible in the front but so far looks great for 5 years or use and outdoor storage. Not too expensive and levels well when rolled on.
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:18 PM   #17
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Name: T
Trailer: Designing and building
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I'm reading a lot of very valid advice about how to bring your scamp back to life. One thing I'm not seeing much of is advice on practicing. Get a sheet of shower liner from one of the big box stores, damaged and discounted is fine. It should be fiberglass with gel coat over it, just like your trailer. Practice with the method you're going to use, and experiment with various levels of reducer/thinner, which can make all the difference as to how the paint flows out and self levels when applied.
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:36 PM   #18
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Name: Brandon
Trailer: Shopping/custom
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Clean coatings

I’ve worked with over a hundred coating designers, CTO’s in roofing. My specialty was ‘self cleaning’ surfaces. Polyurethane and acrylic are durable, according to quality of prep before painting

Polyurethanes like the Interlux might be found in water based or polyurethane acrylic blends, which are less toxic and easy to apply

Because glass or fiber reinforcement of fiberglass prevents a lot of flex, I would probably choose a hard acrylic closer to plexiglass, which is inexpensive. It’s called methyl methacrylate on the MSDS. Davlin 3800 is one example, but most coating companies have a version. The 3800 is what San Francisco puts on the cable car roofs. Because it’s the top candy glaze, manufacturers tend to put a lot of titanium dioxide pigment in it, which gives it good ‘hide’ and make it highly tintable, to any color. Good hide means you need less material. It’s all pigment and resin. Bright white is the most reflective. Gray and beige tend to look cleaner because that’s the color of dirt.

Nutech NXT coolcoat polyurethane is another good one.

The Cool Roof Rating Council has test sites where coatings soil. If you sort 3-Year Solar Reflectance, descending, and compare it with initial solar reflectance. You get an idea of what stays clean and good looking. There are low cost options in every region

https://coolroofs.org/directory

For any penetrations or joints, use a highly flexible strong thck sealer like polyurethane.
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Old 02-06-2019, 02:46 PM   #19
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Trailer: BigFoot
Colorado
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Paint is last resort

I thought of painting my 1990 Bigfoot when I bought it. It was dull and 'chalky'. I got talked into an electric buffer and 3M Marine Restorer and Wax.

A year and a half later I can wash it back to a shine. Takes a little work, but it's great to polish the 'gel coat' of the fiberglass instead of adding anything like paint to the top. This product leaves a wax finish. I went and waxed on top of that with Turtle Wax as well.


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Old 02-06-2019, 02:47 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiyiyi View Post
I also have a 42 yo trailer. I'm looking to clean & polish the FG exterior. The gel coat is dull & 'dusty.' What do you use to clean & polish your trailer?
I used bar keepers friend (can find at Walmart or wherever) and a green scrub pad (bought a pile of them). Rinsed down with water. Has to be clean before you put the Zep on it.
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