Fiberglass RV

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-   -   Drilling hole in fiberglass (https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f55/drilling-hole-in-fiberglass-89327.html)

Lyndaleen 06-08-2019 03:25 PM

Drilling hole in fiberglass
 
How do you mount something like a rock guard when the only thing to screw into is fiberglass? If I drill a hole in the fiberglass and bolt a bracket, what kind of drill bit? Or, is it better to use something like gorilla glue to glue a bracket to mount the rock guard?

Jim Bennett 06-08-2019 03:41 PM

Rivets will do the job nice. Just use large washers on them.

Casita Greg 06-08-2019 03:43 PM

I wouldn't trust any type of glue or adhesive to hold something like that. As for drilling holes, any appropriately sized standard twist drill bit will make a hole in fiberglass. If you do, you want to be sure to seal the rivet, screw, or other fastener with a good grade of marine sealant. Just squeeze a dab right into the hole before you attach your fasteners.

A lot of people have an aversion to making new holes in their trailers, but if done right, they are fine. If you take a walk around your trailer I'm sure you'll see about a hundred holes already existing. Windows, doors, hatches, vents, drains, propane gas piping, gazillions of rivets, fans, air conditioning units, etc. If you're not worried about them, why worry about a few more holes...

Lyndaleen 06-08-2019 04:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Bennett (Post 744732)
Rivets will do the job nice. Just use large washers on them.

I hadn't thought about the washers; good advice. Thanks

Lyndaleen 06-08-2019 04:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Casita Greg (Post 744733)
I wouldn't trust any type of glue or adhesive to hold something like that. As for drilling holes, any appropriately sized standard twist drill bit will make a hole in fiberglass. If you do, you want to be sure to seal the rivet, screw, or other fastener with a good grade of marine sealant. Just squeeze a dab right into the hole before you attach your fasteners.

A lot of people have an aversion to making new holes in their trailers, but if done right, they are fine. If you take a walk around your trailer I'm sure you'll see about a hundred holes already existing. Windows, doors, hatches, vents, drains, propane gas piping, gazillions of rivets, fans, air conditioning units, etc. If you're not worried about them, why worry about a few more holes...

Great advice! I forgot about marine supplies, like the sealant, being appropriate for fixes. And, I hadn't even realized the windows were holes; my shame. Thanks!

Glenn Baglo 06-08-2019 04:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lyndaleen (Post 744739)
I hadn't thought about the washers; good advice. Thanks


You'll find packages of rivet washers next to the rivets.

Lyndaleen 06-08-2019 05:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo (Post 744745)
You'll find packages of rivet washers next to the rivets.


Oh, thank you!! I'm new to all of this. Right now, my focus is on legalities, safety, and strength of all my additions. THEN, I might consider cosmetics.

k corbin 06-08-2019 08:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lyndaleen (Post 744756)
Oh, thank you!! I'm new to all of this. Right now, my focus is on legalities, safety, and strength of all my additions. THEN, I might consider cosmetics.

In my opinion all additions and modifications should have the consideration of making them have a neat, tidy and attractive appearance. To do anything less is going to be bringing down the value of the value of the trailer as well as your self esteem boost that comes with doing excellent all around work.


In other words cosmetics are important and should not be last on the list of considerations, they are simply part of the whole package of making, modifying and fixing.

panhead_mike 06-09-2019 04:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo (Post 744745)
You'll find packages of rivet washers next to the rivets.


Use stainless steel to prevent rust stains.

Lyndaleen 06-09-2019 06:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by panhead_mike (Post 744859)
Use stainless steel to prevent rust stains.

Good advice!

Raspy 06-09-2019 09:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lyndaleen (Post 744756)
THEN, I might consider cosmetics.

Trouble is, cosmetics are what you see when done, and you can't change it afterward. Any project needs to be done carefully and thought through before starting. A little care goes a long way in making the final product pleasing.

It's so satisfying to upgrade the trailer and then go on a trip where you have time to enjoy it. I get a lot of pleasure out of much simpler things when camping.

Captleemo 06-10-2019 02:00 AM

Heres a link on Amazon to what they call exploding head rivets that spread out more than regular rivets. Not sure if they have differant colors. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 The rivet kit that can be ordered from Little House Customs also includes some of those "exploding head" type rivtets.

Bing M. 06-10-2019 02:55 PM

Amazons exploding rivets come in 13 different colors. Great tip! :ola

Friz 06-15-2019 12:29 PM

Driling in FG
 
If your trailer has the "rat fur" on the other side, the drill bit will catch on the threads and pull out a lot of thread, making an unsightly streak on the other side.

Once the bit is just about through, stick a wire through the small hole in the center. Go to the other side and use a rotating punch tool to cut a hole in the carpet where the wire is sticking through. Then finish drilling the hole from the inside.

Instead of using washers for backup, a small wood strip can work, if you have several screws in a row.

XBeatzX 06-15-2019 01:58 PM

I'm sure many will disagree, but the advancements with adhesives and high bond tapes the last few years has been remarkable. 3M's VHB, 4950 and similar will hold stronger in many cases than the actual fiberglass it is attached too. There are many RV'ers rolling around and reporting on various forums with full Solar Panels attached on the rood with the stuff. And that's probably the most the extreme use, since those panels are constantly getting updraft wind pressure and full sun exposure. I would have no problems using the stuff on a rock shield since all that wind will be blasting directly on the front. But it all comes down to how well you prep the surface.

Yellowjacket 06-15-2019 02:58 PM

Adhesive to mount things to fiberglass
 
I would use a good brand of epoxy and no rigid fasteners like screws or rivets. The reason being that if a serious impact happens it won't wreck your fiberglass substrate, but the adhesive is likely to tear free without doing too much damage. I'd rather have the attachment fail than the hull. Just a thought.

McKannick 06-15-2019 07:21 PM

Riveting into fiberglass
 
You may want to search good ol' youtube for how to rivet into fiberglass. Here's one to get you started: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kccZ92x4bMA

McKannick 06-15-2019 07:34 PM

Riveting into fiberglass
 
This post might be repeated, cus the 'moderator' had to inspect the video link I put in previously about using special rivets when dealing with fiberglass. So, let's do it the hard way and just have you search youtube for 'how to rivet into fiberglass' and you'll find the usual bunch of vids to do what you need to do.

ARVZ 06-15-2019 10:20 PM

Backing plates like washers distribute the stress of the load on the fastener to a larger total area of fiberglass, hopefully enough to prevent fastener pull-through.


Fender washers are available in sizes from 1/2" to 1 1/2" Outside Diameter with any hole size you need. A fastener store should have a good selection. A bendable piece of sheet metal, or polyethylene sheet, or plywood can also be used to back up several bolts or rivets.



Choose your metals carefully, since common hardware store fasteners and trailer parts can end up corroding each other; here is a chart: https://www.engineersedge.com/galvanic_capatability.htm


If you really need a lot more strength to support a load on the shell or repair stripped holes, or dampen vibration, you can always add more laminations of fiberglass to beef up the area. This can include encasing a plywood backing plate in fiberglass to keep it in place and keep water out of it.

egfasdsdsz 06-16-2019 09:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by panhead_mike (Post 744859)
Use stainless steel to prevent rust stains.

All the rivets in my Casita are aluminum, including those installed in the factory. I would certainly stay away from carbon steel or galvanized rivets. Also the tech at Casita advised me not to use screws as they can cause the fiberglass to crack. Dow silicone (RTV) is an excellent sealant and can be found at any hardware store.


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