You Can Repair Fiberglass - Page 13 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-31-2016, 12:28 PM   #241
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Name: Miro
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Thanks again, Dave.
The plan is to sand all the patches made buy previous owner. There's lot of other spots to repair before painting, not only the door.
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Old 09-02-2016, 05:28 PM   #242
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This is going to be a great resource. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge Dave!
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Old 09-02-2016, 07:01 PM   #243
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[QUOTE=Tonnie;607010]This is going to be a great resource. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge Dave![/QUOTE


Thank you. Instead of paying my shop or someone else's $120 an hour, I hope anyone can repair their trailer by themselves and get on the road cheaply with the feeling of accomplishment and maybe get camping sooner instead of waiting and saving.
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Old 09-03-2016, 07:35 AM   #244
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Dave,

At some point in the not too distant future, I will need to enlarge or move the vent hole to install a fantastic fan in our 13' Scamp. Your fiberglassing classes will be very helpful!

Thanks!
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Old 09-03-2016, 12:52 PM   #245
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Floor strengthening?

The floor in my trailer was bad enough that I took it out and replaced it with new marine plywood, glued in with resin on the bottom. The floor still has too much bounce for my liking and I am wondering if putting resin on the top surface and letting it soak in and then putting a cover of mat and resin over the whole surface would stiffen the plywood enough to help with the flexing. If that would help, could I also bond a layer of thin and light wood underlayment to the floor to give a smooth surface for the tiles I will be using?
As far as I can see the only other option is to do something to the frame underneath to provide more support.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-03-2016, 01:46 PM   #246
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The floor in my trailer was bad enough that I took it out and replaced it with new marine plywood, glued in with resin on the bottom. The floor still has too much bounce for my liking and I am wondering if putting resin on the top surface and letting it soak in and then putting a cover of mat and resin over the whole surface would stiffen the plywood enough to help with the flexing. If that would help, could I also bond a layer of thin and light wood underlayment to the floor to give a smooth surface for the tiles I will be using?
As far as I can see the only other option is to do something to the frame underneath to provide more support.
Thanks in advance.
A little bounce and some flexing is perfectly OK in a trailer floor. Keeping things lightweight is more important than having it feel super solid like the floor in a house does. It is a different world with different rules and parameters of what works and what does not. I know you are not used to it but it is actually fine for it to be that way, you won't fall through the floor.
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Old 09-04-2016, 07:45 AM   #247
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But as a concept, would it work to stiffen/strengthen the floor?
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Old 09-04-2016, 08:32 AM   #248
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But as a concept, would it work to stiffen/strengthen the floor?
Bad idea
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:19 AM   #249
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Okay then, bounce it is. Bad idea? Granted, but the really bad idea was to buy the **** trailer in the first place.
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Old 09-04-2016, 10:19 AM   #250
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But as a concept, would it work to stiffen/strengthen the floor?
If it is bonded well to the plywood then yeas it would stiffrn the floor.I covered the new 3/4 inch exterior plywood floor when I replaced the floor in my 16' Scamp.
I covered the ply with 6. oz. fiberglass cloth and bonded it with Epoxy resin.
I did top and bottom ans especially the sides. I rounded the edges so that the fiberglass would follow the contour since it really doesn't like to go around sharp corners.
The top of the covering will be in compression ao if it is not thicker and well bonded it won't help much.
The bottom will be in tension and the wood in the middle just keeps the space from changing, adding stiffness.
Also the floors tend to rot out from water on the top and not on the bottom so much.
I covered the ply before I installed it and then bonded it to the shell along the sides with strip of cloth and epoxy.
I was also careful to epoxy and cover all penetrations through the floor because the problems start when the center plies of the wood get moisture in them.
I have has leaks while building and resealing the windows and was just faced with puddles on the top of the fiberglass floor which wipe up easily.
No penetration into the wood.
The Casita and others that sandwich wood between fiberglass shells are a different thing altogether since the fiberglass is NOT bonded to the wood leaving space for the water to sit and soak into the wood and rot.
My floors are monolithic in that the fiberglass is bonded with epoxy all around with no space for the water to get in and sit.
So far I have not seen any floors rot from the bottom, but many places in mine where there were unprotected penetrations and leaks tha kept the floor wet from the top.
If I were you I would lay fabric on the top and bond to the shell and cover the floor and I would spend the extra money on epoxy since it will resist moisture better than the polyester, but others disagree.
The Scamp factory sprays polyester resin on the floor and it does not do the job.
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Old 09-04-2016, 02:50 PM   #251
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Okay then, bounce it is. Bad idea? Granted, but the really bad idea was to buy the **** trailer in the first place.
I have felt your frustration. Without seeing it, I can't understand the problem if you used the same thickness of plywood. I don't agree with you however on the idea of "gluing" the floor in with resin. Resin is not a glue and doesn't work at all as one. It needs mat for strength. I wonder if the resin has broken loose and is contributing to the bounce. It is also worthy of noting that it is extremely hard to step through a plywood floor. I would check the floor for a good glue job and for proper support underneath first. Give it a couple days before throwing in the towel. These campers really are fun when they become campable and you will feel accomplishment when laying in the bed camping and knowing that you fixed that fun piece of gear rather that spending 50K on a new piece of junk that becomes worth half driving it off the lot and spends months on end waiting for the dealer to fix what wasn't done right. Just my humble opinion....Fiberglass Dave
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Old 09-04-2016, 03:15 PM   #252
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The Burro floor is different from the Scamp and others so I could not offer detained comparison with the way I did my Scamp.
In my case I started out to make as light a trailer as possible, but then reality (and wife's wants) struck and it became a case of making it as reliable as possible.
I rewired, redesigned the interior, from the Axle to the roof vent.
part was a complete new floor. This floor was fiberglassed as described above and when I installed it I bedded the floor on the steel with a polyurethane glue to both keep water and bugs out and bond to the steel frame.
That frame was wirebrushed and painted with epoxy zinc rich Rustoeleum paint.
The ply was screwed with self tapping screws at an interval spacing half of the original.
A little epoxy was brushed over the heads to seal the ply there.
I also added steel reinforcement along the edges of the shell and also reworked the front frame to fit in a center front bath,
You have the opportunity to make the Burro your own, but it will be a lot of work and expense.
I have a little more than I paid for the trailer to get it ready for the road and i still have the outside to paint.
One of the best things I did was getting the things AC working so that I could stand to work in it with the heat here in South Alabama.
Here is a picture of the mess I made in the pursuit of the Scamp:
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Old 09-04-2016, 04:54 PM   #253
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Dave, I know that there is not a good, or any, bond between the bottom of the plywood and the shell. I was a complete novice at fiberglassing when I did the plywood and did not understand that the advice to use resin underneath the floor meant mat and resin. Far, far from being experienced now, I at least grasp that much (largely due to your thread) and understand how I should have done it.
I am trying to decide if I have the energy now to try to take out the floor and redo it.
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Old 09-04-2016, 05:30 PM   #254
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Bonding a plywood floor in place on top of the fiberglass bottom of a fully fiberglass shell trailer is an exception to Dave's statement of you don't see thickeners used in fiberglass trailer manufacturing. Perhaps in his work on trailers he has simply not come across this method of floor installation on the makes he has worked on.

For this task of bonding the plywood in place some of the makers of FGRV did thicken resin and they did not put any fiberglass mat in that area, the bonding is done solely with thickened resin. It would have been troweled on with a gap toothed trowel that allowed the thickened resin to spread out evenly under compression. Gap toothed trowels are commonly used when spreading on adhesives for various types of flooring. Bolts were put through the plywood and on through the shell which helped to compress the thickened resin. Of course those bolts also tied the structure to the frame so it was a smart move to put them in at that time where they could perform a dual function. I could tell the bolts were put in at that time on my own trailer because they were well bonded into the resin. No doubt they also weighed that plywood panel down while it was curing.

I found this very application method of thickened resin for bonding down the plywood was used when I took out the rotted plywood section of the floor in my Trails West Campster. You will see other examples of people grinding out rotted plywood and thickened resin elsewhere in the forum. I could tell by the smell generated with the heat of grinding that the thickened material was indeed resin versus being some other type of adhesive. It does look to have been a structural quality of thickening agent although there were no distinctive glass fibers in the mix.

I installed my replacement area of plywood with thickened resin and also some bolts through the frame. I did add weights on top of the panel while it cured to ensure that everything was well bonded by means of compressing the troweled on, thickened resin. The large area, all but a 2 foot square, of the original plywood floor that was not rotted is still perfectly intact and well bonded after 45 years proving that it is a time tested method of application.

I found thickened resin used in another area, on the inside of the belly band join. Again it appeared to have been resin thickened with a structural filler versus wood flour which does have strength for some various task of bonding but is not considered to be a structural filler within the industry. You can read information in more detail about types of thickeners from the sites that sell the products.

In terms of "resin" not being a glue. Epoxy resin is very good bonding glue but the parts adhere best when there is not gap. (I use epoxy resin.) Thickened resins fill gaps but at some compromise to the sheer strength of the bond. But over a wide spread area where it is not really a matter of a lot of sheering motion stressing the bond such as with a floor then a thickened resin is adequate for the purpose if properly applied and given adequate compression to spread the adhesive and hold the pieces firmly together while it cures.
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Old 09-04-2016, 08:09 PM   #255
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Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
Bonding a plywood floor in place on top of the fiberglass bottom of a fully fiberglass shell trailer is an exception to Dave's statement of you don't see thickeners used in fiberglass trailer manufacturing. Perhaps in his work on trailers he has simply not come across this method of floor installation on the makes he has worked on.

For this task of bonding the plywood in place some of the makers of FGRV did thicken resin and they did not put any fiberglass mat in that area, the bonding is done solely with thickened resin. It would have been troweled on with a gap toothed trowel that allowed the thickened resin to spread out evenly under compression. Gap toothed trowels are commonly used when spreading on adhesives for various types of flooring. Bolts were put through the plywood and on through the shell which helped to compress the thickened resin. Of course those bolts also tied the structure to the frame so it was a smart move to put them in at that time where they could perform a dual function. I could tell the bolts were put in at that time on my own trailer because they were well bonded into the resin. No doubt they also weighed that plywood panel down while it was curing.

I found this very application method of thickened resin for bonding down the plywood was used when I took out the rotted plywood section of the floor in my Trails West Campster. You will see other examples of people grinding out rotted plywood and thickened resin elsewhere in the forum. I could tell by the smell generated with the heat of grinding that the thickened material was indeed resin versus being some other type of adhesive. It does look to have been a structural quality of thickening agent although there were no distinctive glass fibers in the mix.

I installed my replacement area of plywood with thickened resin and also some bolts through the frame. I did add weights on top of the panel while it cured to ensure that everything was well bonded by means of compressing the troweled on, thickened resin. The large area, all but a 2 foot square, of the original plywood floor that was not rotted is still perfectly intact and well bonded after 45 years proving that it is a time tested method of application.

I found thickened resin used in another area, on the inside of the belly band join. Again it appeared to have been resin thickened with a structural filler versus wood flour which does have strength for some various task of bonding but is not considered to be a structural filler within the industry. You can read information in more detail about types of thickeners from the sites that sell the products.

In terms of "resin" not being a glue. Epoxy resin is very good bonding glue but the parts adhere best when there is not gap. (I use epoxy resin.) Thickened resins fill gaps but at some compromise to the sheer strength of the bond. But over a wide spread area where it is not really a matter of a lot of sheering motion stressing the bond such as with a floor then a thickened resin is adequate for the purpose if properly applied and given adequate compression to spread the adhesive and hold the pieces firmly together while it cures.
Patricia Please disregard the above in the interest of simplicity and the ability to fix your own trailer. I would just sand and clean the area where the floor meets the wall and use fiberglass resin and mat (not epoxy and not any thickeners) let it cure and you will find your floor well bonded and ready for flooring of your choice. Statements like the above lead to misinformation for the novice and failures such as yours. If you pm me we can talk by phone if you like but the above is not what you need (and yes I have worked with every kind of resin and thickener made for 40 years) Please don't give up...you can fix this...Fiberglass Dave
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:20 PM   #256
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Patricia Please disregard the above in the interest of simplicity and the ability to fix your own trailer. I would just sand and clean the area where the floor meets the wall and use fiberglass resin and mat (not epoxy and not any thickeners) let it cure and you will find your floor well bonded and ready for flooring of your choice. Statements like the above lead to misinformation for the novice and failures such as yours. If you pm me we can talk by phone if you like but the above is not what you need (and yes I have worked with every kind of resin and thickener made for 40 years) Please don't give up...you can fix this...Fiberglass Dave
I do not mind that you say to ignore it, but it is what is done in some of the manufactured trailers for applying plywood floors to the surface of the fiberglass shell and it has been proven to work by the test of time.
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:59 PM   #257
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Pics to clarify

The two attached pics show the area in question about 44" square on the level part of the trailer as you go in the door on the day the floor was put down using resin/hardener underneath. Now there are toekicks on the left and right sides of the pictures, glued to the "curbs" and the plywood. The floor is caulked around the perimeter with sikaflex caulk.The bounce is felt most severely from about a foot in from the sides.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_2505.jpg   IMG_2511.jpg  

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Old 09-05-2016, 05:23 AM   #258
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I do not mind that you say to ignore it, but it is what is done in some of the manufactured trailers for applying plywood floors to the surface of the fiberglass shell and it has been proven to work by the test of time.
And I would hope that you would start your own thread to discuss your knowledge about resins and mat and thickeners. But the problem is that the stuff you recommend is not readily available at the box stores and people then take your information and decide to modify it and use regular flour (has happened twice that I know of) or a myriad of other things that they think will work. This thread is about what is readily available and what will work every time, not about stating someone's vast knowledge on products and procedures. Some one like you sent Patricia down the wrong path and now she is discouraged and wishes she hadn't bought her trailer. This thread is TOTALLY designed to prevent that, not to show everyone how much I know or don't know about fiberglass.
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Old 09-05-2016, 05:42 AM   #259
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The two attached pics show the area in question about 44" square on the level part of the trailer as you go in the door on the day the floor was put down using resin/hardener underneath. Now there are toekicks on the left and right sides of the pictures, glued to the "curbs" and the plywood. The floor is caulked around the perimeter with sikaflex caulk.The bounce is felt most severely from about a foot in from the sides.
Patricia, don't give up, You can fix this. From these pictures it looks like you just need to remove the added "toe kicks" and all related glues and paints to get down to bare fiberglass again and fiberglass 3 layers of mat into the corners like a 4 inch (or so) "L". This could have an impact on what you use for flooring though. I need more information...did you or someone else remove any other things under that plywood that might be considered support???? Please be sure to wear safety gear when using the sander or grinder!!!!Fiberglass Dave
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Old 09-05-2016, 06:48 AM   #260
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Nothing was removed other than the original wood and I assume any other POs have not removed anything.
I am not one who gives up but, yes, I was getting discouraged by not seeing a solution to this problem and by not making any significant progress with the trailer despite working on it every day. But a new day dawns.
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