DIY fiberglass repair? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Maintenance, Winterizing and Routine Care
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-27-2015, 10:19 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Allendale, New Jersey
Trailer: 19' towed by a 4Runner
Posts: 252
DIY fiberglass repair?

About 2,000 miles into our trip and I have found two chips to the fiberglass that will need to be repaired. Mostly likely from rocks on the road. One is tiny and near the storage access door. The other is a decent chip on the underside near the stairs, about the size of a nickel.

I've searched a little, but can't find a thread. Looking for a DIY style kit. Doesn't need to be perfect. The only time a trailer is new is once it leaves Chilliwack.
__________________

GRINGOandTICA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2015, 10:37 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
techfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Longview, WA, Washington
Trailer: 2013 Escape 15B - 2014 Nissan Frontier SL
Posts: 858
Just finished repairing my box. It needed both fiberglass and gel coat repair. I suspect you do not need fiberglass repair but only gel coat repair. There are many videos on YouTube showing how to do repairs. Several of the best are gel coat repairs to kayaks. You will grind out the area with a Dremel to give the gel coat something to adhere to. You will wipe it down with acetone and then apply a mixture of gel coat and its hardener. You can get a pint of white gel coat from West Marine. The hardest part will be the multiple sandings followed by rubbing compound and polishing. Mine turned out great but I wouldn't do it for a few small chips in the gel coat. Very expensive(about $40 for the gel coat) not counting the very fine grades of sand paper you will need. And very time consuming. Good luck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRINGOandTICA View Post
About 2,000 miles into our trip and I have found two chips to the fiberglass that will need to be repaired. Mostly like from rocks on the road. One is tiny and near the storage access door. The other is a decent chip on the underside near the stairs, about the size of a nickel.

I've searched a little, but can't find a thread. Looking for a DIY style kit. Doesn't need to be perfect. The only time a trailer is new is once it leaves Chilliwack.
__________________

__________________
Tim and Julie
2013 Escape 15B
2014 Nissan Frontier, Previous 2012 Santa Fe
techfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2015, 10:41 PM   #3
Site Team
 
Donna D.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Portland, Oregon
Trailer: 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 6,831
Beauty marks?

I'm a hotrodder. Any old iron that shows up without some sort of road rash, is a trailer queen. But still... I hope you figure this one out to your satisfaction.
__________________
Donna D.
Ten Forward
2014 Escape 5.0TA
Donna D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2015, 10:43 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
gbaglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
Posts: 10,738
Quote:
Originally Posted by GRINGOandTICA View Post
About 2,000 miles into our trip and I have found two chips to the fiberglass that will need to be repaired.
Just think of them as stretch marks, or battle scars.
__________________
2009 Escape 17B "Toad"
2008 Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport
North Vancouver, British Columbia

What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
gbaglo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2015, 11:29 PM   #5
Commercial Member
 
tractors1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21 - "Felicity"
Posts: 2,326
I got the front storage box to take those whacks. The more dings, the better I feel about it!
__________________
Charlie Y

Need custom storage to your design? Don't drill holes!
www.RVWidgetWorks.com
tractors1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2015, 12:02 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Van., British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19
Posts: 3,290
Quote:
Originally Posted by techfan View Post
The hardest part will be the multiple sandings followed by rubbing compound and polishing. .
Some day I'm going to make a Youtube video about cello finishing. sigh

I've been working with f.g. since I was a teenager. Good thing because after I took an ocean going sailboat across Europe and through some 500 locks I had a "few" chips to repair. Actually many dozens.

Briefly, cello finishing is an old fashioned way of getting an instant smooth repair when using gelcoat to repair a chip.

A piece of plastic is cut slightly larger than the chip. Old overhead projector acetate sheets were perfect for that. Stiff poly sheet works well also. Tape is applied across the bottom and the plastic hangs down. A small dap of gelcoat is applied to the chip. With practice you learn to apply the perfect amount. Too little and it will require a second application and too much and it spreads out past the damaged area to the point that it does need sanding.

You put the plastic over the gelcoat and move your finger upwards which removes the air and smooths the repair. Then tape the plastic on. Because of the plastic the repair is glass smooth and shiny and with practice that's all that's needed for a repair. Sometimes a tiny amount of wet sanding can make it perfect if it's in an area where you want perfection.

It works, it's actually very easy to do, honest.

Ron
Ron in BC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2015, 12:59 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Cypherian's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Dover, Delaware
Trailer: Escape 19' 2012 Tacoma 4x4 V6 DBLCB 2011
Posts: 582
DIY Fiberglass Repair

DIY Fiberglass Repair
First off you should fix the chips or at least clean them with MEK or Acetone and then brush some epoxy resin in to prevent water intrusion into the fiberglass. Granted fiberglass does not rust like a non trailer queen steel car , what it does do is crack and bubble when the water that has been driven in freezes if you live in an area that gets below freezing. If you can remember your basic science :} It is a stretch some times for me, water expands when it freezes. I have seen this first hand and repaired it on aircraft and a few boats. TechFan has the right of it for small repairs there are some tricks to reduce the amount of sanding however it adds to the entire process some time and some more costs. To reduce the chance of under filling over fill approx 1/16 of an inch then lay PTFE scrim cloth over the material, Lay Bleeder Cloth over Scrim and then a caul plate (Piece of metal liberally waxed with Honey wax shaped the same as the surface to provide even down force) and finally a layer of PVA or PVC ( Poly vinyl Alcohol / Chloride ) over the whole piece. Now you can either use tacky tap to hold the PVA / PVC and then apply vacuum 18 to 25 HGs MORE VACUUM IS NOT BETTER you will suck all the repair material into the bleeder cloth( BEST WAY is Vacuum) it will pull down tight forcing the caul plate down and excess material will be drawn into the bleeder cloth. You can just use shot bag weights but you must be careful you do not to put so much weight on the repair that causes the surface being repaired to deflect. This works for horizontal surfaces and vertical if you use a vacuum. If you do not have vacuum and have to use weights they work for horizontal, for vertical you can still use the same process but you cannot use a caul plate. You can however, use a squeegee to work the material flat and work out air bubbles. If you do this you should Honey Wax the area from about a half inch out from the repair so any squeeze out will not stick.
The above is a very very basic primer if you wish more specifics ask . See the links below for more help and supplies.
My solution is to have the lower half of the trailer Rhino lined up to the bottom edge of the door and the full wheel well but whatever floats your boat.
As I said if nothing else CLEAN THE CHIPS AND SEAL WITH AN EPOXY RESIN to prevent further damage.
http://www.westsystem.com/ss/assets/HowTo-Publications/Vacuum-Bagging-Techniques.pdf
http://www.westmarine.com/WestAdvisor/DIY-Gelcoat-Repairs
http://www.uscomposites.com/vacuum.html
http://www.netcomposites.com/guide/repair-tooling/79
http://www.amazon.com/Honey-Wax-Release-Paste-oz/dp/B00N268L96
__________________
Veritas Lux Mea
Cypherian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2015, 07:48 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
memobug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: SF Bay Area, California
Trailer: 2009 Escape 19
Posts: 142
GRINGOandTICA do you have a photo of the damaged areas? The advice you're getting here runs the gamut from a basic gelcoat repair to some structural repair advice.

West Marine did sell a small gelcoat repair kit and also a wax filler for even more minor chips. Wax can contaminate future repairs, so it's something to think about.

As an aside, does anyone know : are these trailers laid up with polyester resin and polyester gelcoat?

Regards,

Matt
__________________
Escape 19 - 2009
memobug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2015, 01:06 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Federal Way, Washington
Trailer: 2015 Escape 21/ 09 2015
Posts: 75
Go to a marine supplier such as EVERCOAT Gel Coat Scratch Patch | West Marine . Should work well for you. Good luck!
luckyone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2016, 11:34 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Allendale, New Jersey
Trailer: 19' towed by a 4Runner
Posts: 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by memobug View Post
GRINGOandTICA do you have a photo of the damaged areas? The advice you're getting here runs the gamut from a basic gelcoat repair to some structural repair advice.

West Marine did sell a small gelcoat repair kit and also a wax filler for even more minor chips. Wax can contaminate future repairs, so it's something to think about.

As an aside, does anyone know : are these trailers laid up with polyester resin and polyester gelcoat?

Regards,

Matt
Not that big, about the size of a nickel.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg image.jpg (182.8 KB, 20 views)
__________________

GRINGOandTICA is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:41 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.