Installation of New Awning Rail with 3M VHB Tape? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-21-2014, 08:18 PM   #1
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Installation of New Awning Rail with 3M VHB Tape?

Hi All,

I'm in the midst of my Surfside remodel and I've begun shopping for a bag awning for the trailer. I purchased the camper without an awning rail having been previously installed.

Several times, I've come across threads where folks mention attaching an awning rail with the double-sided tape from 3M's VHB product line. After an extensive Google search and lots of reading, I've only been able to track down installations performed using a combination of the VHB tape and rivets or bolts, despite mentions of "others" attaching awning rails solely with VHB.

Has anyone here performed an awning rail installation using nothing but VHB tape and if so, can you please provide me with a quick report on how it's held up?

Thanks.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:13 PM   #2
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I haven't used it for an awning but I did stick down my solar panel with it. Just fooling around, I stuck two pieces of scrap aluminum together with a couple of inches of tape. I could not pull them apart. (Tape in tension). I could twist them apart (tape in shear) because I had leverage on the short piece of tape.

I would imagine it would hold up the awning just fine.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:44 PM   #3
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I use several different part numbers of industrial grade VHB tapes in my products. Dynamic/cyclic loading while underway and weather effects on the adhesives is too big a risk in my opinion. I'd use the tape but also use at least a few rivets and/or bolted connections for an awning.

Better to discover the awning is loose than to find it missing, or worse - like on the vehicle windshield behind your rig.

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Old 06-21-2014, 10:03 PM   #4
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I use several different part numbers of industrial grade VHB tapes in my products. Dynamic/cyclic loading while underway and weather effects on the adhesives is too big a risk in my opinion. I'd use the tape but also use at least a few rivets and/or bolted connections for an awning.

Better to discover the awning is loose than to find it missing, or worse - like on the vehicle windshield behind your rig.

Charlie Y
Thanks for the input, guys. Charlie, do you have a part number that you think would be best for the application you recommended?
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Old 06-21-2014, 10:59 PM   #5
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I don't have any experience with the fancy tape as mentioned but then again I did have rivet holes already (14) to be exact and was not up to fibreglassing them over and painting etc. If I did not have any holes already in the roof I sure would be tempted to try the tape alone (to avoid drilling any). But like Charlie says weathering and stress will likely take a toll on that tape.
A bit of a tough call really...
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by kellyben View Post
Thanks for the input, guys. Charlie, do you have a part number that you think would be best for the application you recommended?
I would use this as it's closed cell foam:

3M™ VHB™ Tape RP45

Available 2 inch wide here:

Gray Double Sided VHB Tape, Acrylic Foam by 3M PREFERRED CONVERTER - Foam Tape by Zoro Tools Industrial Supplies
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:48 AM   #7
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Well, to some of the questions about weather and heat, the glass installed on the towers in Dubai are held in place by VHB. Talk about hi temps and wind.
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Old 06-22-2014, 07:22 AM   #8
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I also know that the tape needs to be matched to the substrate in order to work as intended (check out the 3m tape site, there are umpteen types). http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/6...nical-data.pdf Someone with scientific understanding might beable to zone in on what should be used on a gelcoat surface.
For myself, I'd be still be concerned in high winds, since the awning will be pulling away from the camper like a sail. Mine is held on with a combo of butyl and rivets, so in higher winds, I just drop my poles shorter and tighten up the ropes. No concern about the awning pulling off.
Now, If I'd seen commercial awning applications using only 3M tape to hold them in place on a building, I'd be more comfortable using it for my trailer awning, IMO.

I suppose you could try it without rivets and it if pulls off, you can add rivets.
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:24 AM   #9
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The ability for all tapes to stick is largely determined by how well the installer follows not only the preparation directions provided by 3m but the follow-on cure time requirements before putting weight on the tape. Many require 72 hours to complete the bonding process.

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Old 06-22-2014, 09:06 AM   #10
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See this thread http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ape-64907.html
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:14 PM   #11
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Pam:

This might be a dumb question, but.......if you use rivets, how do they grip the roof? Does it go right thru the roof and come inside the camper? Do you need special tools to put in rivets? My Burro has a double hull.....does that make a difference? Thanks!
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:54 AM   #12
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Linda; some owners have used "pop" rivets, no need to access the inside of the hull. I've heard it was recommended to use a "peel type" pop rivet as they open up more. That recommendation may have come from Scamp, but I'm not sure.
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:19 PM   #13
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Installation of New Awning Rail with 3M VHB Tape?

I called 3M tech support to ask their recommendation for bonding aluminum channel to fiberglass gel coat. They said to use 5952.

$35 for 45 feet at Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/3M-Heavy-Duty-.../dp/B0016HM7SE


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Old 06-23-2014, 09:36 PM   #14
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I called 3M tech support to ask their recommendation for bonding aluminum channel to fiberglass gel coat. They said to use 5952.

$35 for 45 feet at Amazon. Amazon.com: 3M VHB Heavy Duty Mounting Tape 5952 Black, 3/4 in x 15 yd 45 mil: Industrial & Scientific
Thanks, Denny. Was this particular thickness recommended as well, or did they make any mention of which direction to go as far as that's concerned?
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:03 PM   #15
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Thanks, Denny. Was this particular thickness recommended as well, or did they make any mention of which direction to go as far as that's concerned?

I think that part number only comes in one thickness. They said nothing about direction but really stressed proper surface prep: clean both surfaces thoroughly then wipe down with alcohol just before applying tape.

I was drawn to the tape because I didn't want to risk leaks by putting holes in the roof to mount my solar panel. It turned out to be a lot easier than drilling, bolting and caulking too.


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Old 03-24-2015, 09:09 PM   #16
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Hi Denny,

How has the tape held up so far with your solar panel application? Still considering using it for an awning rail install.

Thanks,

Ben
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Old 03-25-2015, 08:29 AM   #17
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It's been up there a year, 7 or 8,000 miles of towing and ten months of outdoor storage. Still stuck on as good as new.


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Old 03-25-2015, 08:42 AM   #18
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Thanks, Denny. Any thoughts on whether you'd trust the VHB tape with an awning rail holding a 22lb bag awning? I know 3M recommends 4 square inches of tape per pound of load and I'd be around double that with my application.
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Old 03-25-2015, 05:31 PM   #19
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Installation of New Awning Rail with 3M VHB Tape?

I'm an engineer by training and find if you do the math and follow directions things work out. If you are stressing the tape half of 3M's spec and prep the bonding surfaces per 3M's spec you should be fine.

I'd use it for the awning. I also found 3M's tech support to be great. Call them, you will be pleasantly surprised.


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Old 03-26-2015, 07:06 PM   #20
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I installed a Sunbrella bag awning to my 13' Scamp almost a year ago. Used 1" Width 3M VHB Tape 5952 and I think 3 or 4 strategically placed rivets. Don't know the weight of it but the railing has stayed put and I have zippo leaks.
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