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Old 08-29-2019, 10:17 PM   #1
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Buffing out an older trailer

I recently purchased a 2012 Escape 17B. I know that I will need to wax it as it has not been done in few years but what should I use first to get its color back? I looks a little yellowed to me. With whatever I use will I be able to use a power buffer (Ryobi 18V)?
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Old 08-29-2019, 10:30 PM   #2
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Beat advice is to search fiberglass boat restoration as there are WAY more FG boats than trailers. Watched a few of them and it is eye opening. You will need a cutting compound and then do it by hand or machine. After spending a lot of time with mixed results I finally started with Barkeepers Friend then waxed and polished. Came out good, yet next time would probably use 3M products. As to a machine- from what I saw viewing more than a few Utube videos- an Orbital won't be enough. A Rotary Polisher will generate the speed needed to cut the oxidation. Pros tend to use the DeWalt, yet I found it to be a beast and got a Harbor Freight polisher that allowed me to use one hand on the roof. Good luck.
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Old 08-29-2019, 10:31 PM   #3
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The classics or 1stGen trailers are not bright white, but Colonial White. However, some waxes will yellow. Depends on how much work you want to do. Absolutely read the tiny print on the bottles! The first two require working in small areas and removing while wet. Use in order. The first is to remove badly chaulk areas, the second is a less aggressive and the third a wax. Others will recommend different products. I have no opinion on the orbital polisher...
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Old 08-29-2019, 10:50 PM   #4
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if its full 'marshmallow', I would start with a 'cleaner' compound on a buffing wheel, then hose/sponge all the residue of that off. if its just a little dull, skip this and go straight to the next step...

Now, use a 'polishing' compound with a clean buffer on your polisher to bring the shine up in the original gelcoat which is quite thick. as someone said, the older escapes are a warm white, not neutral/cold white.

once its shiny, I would put a polymer protectant on it, such as ReJex ... this goes on easy, just rub it on, then let it dry, and blam, it will stay shiny and repel dirt and bugs for a year. after this, you'll find you can wash it with just water and a brush, not even need soap unless you get into something nasty.
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Old 08-30-2019, 06:09 AM   #5
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I use Mequiar's Marine products but would have no problem switching to the 3m products as I've always found them to work the best, if you can find them. The roof takes a beating from the sun, I use a medium compound on it and work my way to a sealer/wax. The sides are not as bad, on my lightly oxidized sides I can get away with just a good One-Step cleaner wax or a light compound towards the top. I finish with Starbrite's Marine Polish.

Don't know the buffer you have but if I were to guess, it'd be okay for the lower half of the sides where there is little oxidation, but I'd get something bigger for the uppers and especially the roof if you're going to do that to. Look for a dual action variable speed polisher, I've got a Flex but there are many others. Here's just some of them. Watch the weight.

https://www.supremeten.com/best-dual-action-polisher/
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Old 08-30-2019, 07:21 AM   #6
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Like many with fiberglass campers we use Zep cleaner to clean/strip if needed and then Zep wax to wax the camper. No aggressive buffers are needed.

If you have the time read "Check this out NOT Poliglow...Time will tell.." from the Fiberglass RV forum. It's been an ongoing discussion since July 2010 and is only 900+ posts long. Think of it as reading a novel.

We had a 2003 Bigfoot that had never been cleaned/stripped but had some wax applied. It looked good in a shed, but very dull outside. I cleaned it with Zep and then applied three coats of Zep wax the next day and it looked brand new! A 25' Bigfoot is a monster compared to any Escape camper. Took perhaps a total of five hours max to clean/wax the Bigfoot and NO aggressive buffing.

For those who enjoy waxing and buffing ignore the above. I'd rather camp.

Enjoy,

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Old 08-30-2019, 11:25 AM   #7
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I've come to the conclusion Ten Forward will never get another roof wax, at least by me. I've started investigating the possibility of having a 'clear coat' applied to just the roof.... and maybe the nose section. Traveling the highways seems to just scrub off the wax on the nose! Yes, I do realize clear coat needs attention too. But I can do that with a mop or moho brush. Not looking for a shiny roof, just a clean roof that's fairly easy to maintain and protected from UVs. We'll see....
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Old 08-30-2019, 11:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Not looking for a shiny roof, just a clean roof that's fairly easy to maintain and protected from UVs. We'll see....

Wouldn't the dirt protect the roof from UVs?
That's my theory.
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Old 08-30-2019, 12:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryb67 View Post
...We had a 2003 Bigfoot that had never been cleaned/stripped but had some wax applied. It looked good in a shed, but very dull outside. I cleaned it with Zep and then applied three coats of Zep wax the next day and it looked brand new! A 25' Bigfoot is a monster compared to any Escape camper. Took perhaps a total of five hours max to clean/wax the Bigfoot and NO aggressive buffing.

For those who enjoy waxing and buffing ignore the above. I'd rather camp.

Enjoy,

Perry
Was intrigued by the above and wondered if Zep application first required a clean slate (no oxidation). Went to YouTube and watched a guy using Zep floor wax stripper to remove it on a Class A. He said it was flaking in places and was going back to wax. He said it looked good for a year yet being floor wax he thought that there was a porosity designed into it so it would not be so slippery on a floor. He went on to say he felt that dirt got absorbed into it as a result and he never got all of it out by washing. He also thought it yellowed some and has decided to not apply it again and go back to waxing.
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Old 08-30-2019, 01:11 PM   #10
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I used Poliglow on my first trailer, a 1970 fiberglass. But I'd never use it or Zep on a trailer as new as 2012. It's for when there isn't much shine to the gel coat left. Not just mild oxidation. If you can shine it up with wax, that's the way to go.
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