Void left from removing appliances—what to do? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 07-24-2021, 03:28 PM   #1
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Name: Courtney
Trailer: 1982 13ft Scamp purchased on May 2nd
Posts: 285
Void left from removing appliances—what to do?

Removed the fridge, furnace, sink, and cooktop from our kitchen. Sink will go back in after I install a countertop, though I may move it to the other side near the bunk area. Removed fresh water tank and am going to replace with smaller fresh water jug directly under the sink. Trying to decide what else I want to put in the remaining area.

I also need to figure out what to do with the three open access points on the exterior of the camper. The spaces are way bigger than I need.

I will need to mount two 3.5” Valterra bayonet flanges to the exterior of that side to use for A/C ducting. Would prefer to rig a way to do this using existing holes.

Considering an outdoor shower hatch, though they’re smaller than these holes, too.

I like the look, but not the cost, of these marine “glove compartment hatches. Wondering if I could fashion my own by sandwiching the FG shell in between a marine hatch (exterior) and a flanged plastic box of sorts (interior—deeper than the purple one I found online) to create an area to stow extension cords, etc.

Is there a way to reduce the sizes of the outdoor holes without diving into FG work?

Thoughts? Ideas?

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Old 07-26-2021, 12:12 AM   #2
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Name: Elliott
Trailer: Bigfoot
Posts: 443
You could probably just use either a sheet of plastic from someplace like TAP plastics to fill in around, or a premade piece of laminated fiberglass-and-plywood. Not sure what the best strategy for sealing that would be - maybe butyl between then proflex or something around the edge. You could use a single piece and rivet to the fiberglass, or use two pieces as a sandwich with the body fiberglass in the middle.
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Old 07-26-2021, 11:40 AM   #3
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1976, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Posts: 6,339
This may not be what you want to hear, but fibreglass work is not so bad. A cheap bunny suit, gloves, some fibreglass mat and some resin and matching paint. As well as some sand paper, a sanding block, maybe a cheap, (less than $40) grinder, some disposable paint brushes and time are all you need.

I find it very therapeutic. Grind it off. If you grind too much, than lay some more down. If you lay too much down, than grind it off... You get the picture.

Seriously, the approach I would use to close a large opening is:
1) Grind the edges of the hole that you are covering from full thickness to paper thin over a distance of 1-½” to 2” from the edge of the hole. Typically from both the outside, and inside.
2) From the inside, screw in a piece of ¼” plywood that is 2” larger than the hole on all sides. It should be covered by a sheet of poly to prevent the fibreglass from sticking to it. Yes, I mean you should screw through the shell, in as many places as required to make the plywood conform to the curvature of the shell. Drill a hole through the fibreglass and plywood that is slightly larger than your screw. Use a large washer under the head of the pan head screw, and a block of wood, on the other side of the shell, to screw into, or use machine screws with large washers on either side of the fibreglass to spread out the force, and a nut instead of a block of wood. Start in the middle of the curve you are trying to follow, on either side of the hole. Drill subsequent holes only after the first two are secure. That way following the curve will be easier.
3) From the outside, glass over the plywood to the same thickness as the shell. The surface area provided by grinding 1-½” to 2” around the hole is what the patch will stick to.
4) When it sets, remove all fasteners and the plywood sheet.
5) Glass the screw holes. I would stuff some resin soaked glass in the holes and flare out the plug around the hole, both inside and outside the trailer.
6) From the inside, glass over the seam and the screw holes, (after sanding down the plug).
7) Sand and Bondo, (an iterative process) the outside of the new patch, till you are happy with how smooth it is.
8) Paint.

OK, not super easy, but you will be glad to have these skills later.
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