Does drilling a hole compromise the integrity of fiberglass? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 10-05-2014, 06:26 AM   #1
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Does drilling a hole compromise the integrity of fiberglass?

Though still in the planning stages of purchasing my fiberglass RV, one modification I know I will want is to put a SATV outlet on the outside of the trailer. I would like to have a living room area set up outside under the awning for those nice evenings and watch TV after dark. I am a TV addict, and will be travelling alone, and TV makes for good company for me. My plan is to be able to remove the TV from it's brackets, move it outside on a small table, and plug the cable into the outlet leading outside. I want to make this a simple one minute process. Sounds simple to me.

Does drilling a hole on the exterior wall compromise the strength of the fiberglass? I realize I will have to caulk it well to prevent water leaking inside. But I don't want to risk any cracking in the fiberglass.

Has anyone else installed a SATV outlet on the outside of their trailer?
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Old 10-05-2014, 06:36 AM   #2
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A well caulked hole should not pose a problem. One thing I noticed on my Scamp was anything under the belt line trim does not get that much water. It tends to drip off the edge of the belly band and not run down the lower portion of the body. I installed a 120V WP outlet on mine and have a 12V I am going to do next to it for a my Fantastic Fan. Be carefull, measure twice, cut once.
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Old 10-05-2014, 06:41 AM   #3
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The simple answer to your question is NO it will not compromise anything. A small hole that is properly sealed will not cause any problems.

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Old 10-05-2014, 07:10 AM   #4
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We have an outside antenna on the rear of our trailer. I ran the cable in the access door where the shore power and water hookup are. If not there I would use a rubber grommet in the hole. I have a coffee can full of grommets for such projects.
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Old 10-05-2014, 08:22 AM   #5
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If the manufacturer cutting a hole in the shell for a window or a vent fan does not compromise integrity, a small hole surely won't. Drill away. Just double and triple check where you are drilling. If you drill in the wrong place, it can be repaired, but why go through that hassle.


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Old 06-08-2019, 03:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by CPW View Post
If the manufacturer cutting a hole in the shell for a window or a vent fan does not compromise integrity, a small hole surely won't. Drill away. Just double and triple check where you are drilling. If you drill in the wrong place, it can be repaired, but why go through that hassle.


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Manufacturers cut holes for windows: that is such a common sense answer I'm embarrassed I hadn't realized it.

What kind of drill bit is required? Can the fiberglass hold the weight of a rock guard for the front window? Should I have a wooden board on the inside to hold the guard screws?
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:30 AM   #7
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Maybe not the best example - many fiberglass manufacturers reinforce the area around the windows and other large openings with fiberglass and/or wood. A hole big enough for a window definitely will affect the strength and stiffness of the shell.

A little hold drilled for a cable definitely won't hurt it, though.

Any standard drill bit should do. Maybe bevel/chamfer the edges a bit to reduce the chances of cracking. Use a sharp bit and let it do the work instead of pushing hard. I've read putting a piece of masking tape over it before drilling helps get a cleaner hole as well.

For something the size of a rock guard, I think you'd want either a large number of attachment points or some sort of reinforcement.
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Defenestrator View Post
Maybe not the best example - many fiberglass manufacturers reinforce the area around the windows and other large openings with fiberglass and/or wood.
That truly depends on the SIZE of the window opening or other opening and the particular manufacturer. Not all are that meticulous in their manufacturing practices.

And tape does help prevent chipping when drilling.
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