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Old 04-24-2017, 11:52 PM   #1
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Question roof / UV / 303 H20 soluble / Meguiars M5001/ hiring someone

Hi all

I'm working very full time, and super busy. Very short on free time. (so "just do it yourself" isn't a great answer)

I just washed our 4 month old 21' 2017, but it is currently uncovered, (it will get covered sometime this year with a shade sail I will put up) and i'm keen to give it some UV protection….

I just got a cost estimate from a guy who does RV maintenance / washing / waxing of $300 to wash it, buff the sides, then wax the sides, to apply 303 on the plastic bits on the roof. About 6 hours total. (no wax on the roof, as that is quite difficult. Waxing the roof adds $150.)

5 Questions:

one) How often should I re-apply 303 Protectant to the plastics, to avoid yellowing? I believe it is water soluble, so wouldn't it sort of wash off pretty quickly? Even with morning dew…. (?)

two) How important is waxing the roof? Both myself and every RV waxing person I have spoken with is concerned with the difficulty in waxing the roof. I don't have scaffolding….. that would be a pain to organize. Don't have a vehicle big enough to carry scaffolding. Don't have time to get scaffolding...

three)This guy said he would normally use Meguiars M5001 Marine/RV One Step Cleaner Wax normally…. As the Escape is 4 months old, I'm told that either Marine grade paste wax or liquified carnauba wax would be best. A 100% wax solution is best… one without cleaners in it, as it is pretty darned clean now (I just cleaned it) Thoughts? Supposedly it is non abrasive…… and it does get good reviews, overall, on Amazon….

four) I was told that they should buff first, to remove surface contaminants, then wax. Is this true?

five) I know I should be more concerned about the plastics yellowing than the fiberglass at this point…. but …. how much real world UV protection would a wax such as Meguiars M5001 offer? I know it says "UV protection" but…. does anyone know how effective it could actually be?

Thanks for any and all info.

John
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Old 04-25-2017, 12:01 AM   #2
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John you shouldn't have any need to buff a trailer that is the age yours is. Buffing also risks damage if done incorrectly, and sounds like someone is padding the bill. I'd also move on from anyone who wasn't going to do the roof.
Our 19 is getting semi annual wash wax this week and we use Meguiars Premium Marine wax so can't speak to the other one, but this product is fantastic.
The Meguiars will last about 18 months but I apply it every 6. 303 on plastic will not last that long. I'd reapply it every three months.
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Old 04-25-2017, 12:07 AM   #3
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John you shouldn't have any need to buff a trailer that is the age yours is. Buffing also risks damage if done incorrectly, and sounds like someone is padding the bill. I'd also move on from anyone who wasn't going to do the roof.
Our 19 is getting semi annual wash wax this week and we use Meguiars Premium Marine wax so can't speak to the other one, but this product is fantastic.
The Meguiars will last about 18 months but I apply it every 6. 303 on plastic will not last that long. I'd reapply it every three months.
Thanks Greg..... i've spoken with a couple guys... the *other* guy who suggested buffing (he knew the age) also suggested Mop and Glo for the roof (!) using a mop, and i thought that was very very very odd. I wont be using him.

Good to know buffing is not needed. This makes sense to me... it looks pretty rockin' right now, just cleaned, and 4 months old!

so the roof being waxed is key, eh? Just for longevity? Is it worth the extra $150 to get the roof waxed? I guess it is....

john
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Old 04-25-2017, 12:22 AM   #4
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Just me personally I'd do the roof before I did the sides, I'm waxing for longevity not appearance. It is nice to have it shiny though.
Mop n glo hmmmm
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Old 04-25-2017, 12:26 AM   #5
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I agree with Greg about the 303. It doesn't last long, and should be reapplied at least 3 or 4 times a year. I use it on the tires as well.

As for a wax, you'll get as many differing opinions on that as there are brands of wax. I prefer a polish specifically made for fiberglass gelcoat, such as Starbrite, but any quality product would work.

I don't really get the idea that waxing the roof is difficult. I simply use an extension ladder with a cut pool noodle wrapped around the upper rails to prevent scratching the trailer. I'm only 5'10" tall and have no problem reaching the center of the roof doing it that way. A scaffold might be easier but its not really necessary. The whole roof can be waxed/polished in about 30-40 minutes.

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Old 04-25-2017, 12:42 AM   #6
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John , you have my deepest sympathy . After a long 6 months of winter , I love getting outside in the warm spring air (40's & 50's) and feeling the sun again . I just finished washing and applying two coats of polish to my trailer , yes even the roof and enjoyed every minute of the adventure .
You can't buy that sense of accomplishment from anyone else.
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Old 04-25-2017, 01:30 AM   #7
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John , you have my deepest sympathy . After a long 6 months of winter , I love getting outside in the warm spring air (40's & 50's) and feeling the sun again . I just finished washing and applying two coats of polish to my trailer , yes even the roof and enjoyed every minute of the adventure .
You can't buy that sense of accomplishment from anyone else.
No need for sympathy here Steve....

My work is something I truly love... it is very satisfying... I daresay more satisfying than waxing our trailer.

many work projects going on all at once...

plus spending quality time with our daughter, and with my wife...

I'm just trying to get the trailer protected, quickly.

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Old 04-25-2017, 01:33 AM   #8
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I agree with Greg about the 303. It doesn't last long, and should be reapplied at least 3 or 4 times a year. I use it on the tires as well.

As for a wax, you'll get as many differing opinions on that as there are brands of wax. I prefer a polish specifically made for fiberglass gelcoat, such as Starbrite, but any quality product would work.

I don't really get the idea that waxing the roof is difficult. I simply use an extension ladder with a cut pool noodle wrapped around the upper rails to prevent scratching the trailer. I'm only 5'10" tall and have no problem reaching the center of the roof doing it that way. A scaffold might be easier but its not really necessary. The whole roof can be waxed/polished in about 30-40 minutes.

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thanks for the thoughts

I would be really hesitant to lean a ladder against the awning....

I used my tall A ladder next to the escape.... but was afraid to lean over the trailer, as then i'm pushing the A ladder away from me.... i dont want to fall..

Does anyone have any thoughts about not putting any forces onto the awning?

thanks.
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Old 04-25-2017, 02:15 AM   #9
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Yes, the ladder does lean against the awning, but it's padded, and not a lot of force. Since the ladder is almost vertical, most of the pressure is downward, not forward. I've had no problems doing it that way. It's how I wash the roof as well.

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Old 04-25-2017, 07:30 AM   #10
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I clean my roof twice a year and wax it once. The sides get cleaned as needed with a spray wax for finish. 303 once per year on the roof items. I use a 10' step ladder and can reach the middle from each side.
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Old 04-25-2017, 07:33 AM   #11
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A non professional opinion...

The combination wax/cleaner product would be faster and cheaper when paying someone then using separate products, I'd think the wax part of it would not last as long as straight wax. Nor would it clean as well as straight cleaner.

The combination product would clean the surface better then just wax or polish.

Separate cleaner, buffed on, then either wax or polish would give the best results, of course it'll cost you twice as much as it's twice the work.

Do you need it "cleaned" at 4 months old?, probably not, I didn't.

You do get the best result when using a buffer. For us non pros that do it ourselves, a random orbital would be the preferred type.

From my experimenting I found the shine of a good Carnauba wax exceeds that of a polish (Starbrite). Polish outlasts the wax, based on water beading off. I waxed half the truck hood and half the nose of the trailer, the other side got polish. The difference was most noticeable on the truck hood.
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Old 04-25-2017, 07:39 AM   #12
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I clean my roof twice a year and wax it once. The sides get cleaned as needed with a spray wax for finish. 303 once per year on the roof items. I use a 10' step ladder and can reach the middle from each side.
Hi: cpaharley2008... A 6' ladder is 5 feet to tall for me. I've tried all combos of ladders with pool noodles for protectors and still can't reach the middle of the roof. I just use the Blue Coral Wax/Wash and a long handle mop to reach. My DW won't allow me up there with out supervision. If I fall...she might be able to catch me on the second bounce!!! Alf
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Old 04-25-2017, 07:54 AM   #13
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Alf, this ladder is the senior model, it has a platform and grab handles at the top, very stable but very heavy.
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Old 04-25-2017, 07:58 AM   #14
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I've known Jim (CPAharley2008) since 2013 and he's on his 3rd Escape, so have to take his longevity comments with a grain of salt! I've used Meguiar's Polishing Compound to remove black streaks & it does a great job. I've used both Meguiar's Flagship Permium Marine Wax and Starbrite Premium Marine Polish & found the Starbrite holds up much better. Black streaks returned much quicker with the Meguar's. So with the effort to clean and wax, I'll stick with Starbrite until I find something better. With full sun where I park my Escape, I tend to clean & wax often.
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Old 04-25-2017, 08:25 AM   #15
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LA's Totally Awesome from the dollar store worked great on the those black streaks, spray and wipe. With the new awning style windows, there are far fewer black streaks.
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Old 04-25-2017, 08:32 AM   #16
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Some folks use 303 everywhere on the trailer for its UV protection. The advantage for the roof is that it can be sprayed on and just wiped dry. But it does have to be done on a regular basis.
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Old 04-25-2017, 09:12 AM   #17
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A non professional opinion...

The combination wax/cleaner product would be faster and cheaper when paying someone then using separate products, I'd think the wax part of it would not last as long as straight wax. Nor would it clean as well as straight cleaner.

The combination product would clean the surface better then just wax or polish.

Separate cleaner, buffed on, then either wax or polish would give the best results, of course it'll cost you twice as much as it's twice the work.

Do you need it "cleaned" at 4 months old?, probably not, I didn't.

You do get the best result when using a buffer. For us non pros that do it ourselves, a random orbital would be the preferred type.

From my experimenting I found the shine of a good Carnauba wax exceeds that of a polish (Starbrite). Polish outlasts the wax, based on water beading off. I waxed half the truck hood and half the nose of the trailer, the other side got polish. The difference was most noticeable on the truck hood.
You can also put on a base coat of synthetic cleaner wax and then top coat it with a straight carnauba wax for shine.
A little more work but it holds up and looks better than one coat of cleaner wax only . IMHO

I live a simple ,mundane life so it takes little to entertain me.
Plus waxing my trailer is a form of enjoyment that I can afford .
I'm saving up for a new can of wax and hopefully I'll reach my goal by September when I need to winterize.

Best Wishes
Steve D
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Old 04-25-2017, 10:36 AM   #18
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How often should I re-apply 303 Protectant to the plastics, to avoid yellowing? I believe it is water soluble, so wouldn't it sort of wash off pretty quickly? Even with morning dew…. (?)
Wondering about 303 water soluable, rain, dew dilemma too? Does rain, dew wash it off?
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Old 04-25-2017, 10:47 AM   #19
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Wondering about 303 water soluable, rain, dew dilemma too? Does rain, dew wash it off?
According to the manufacturer, 303 actually penetrates into the surface of materials like plastic and fiberglass. A materials chemist would probably be able to explain if this is true or not.

My own experience had been that it has prevented UV deterioration on the things I have used it on. It also helped restore color and some shine to a used kevlar canoe we bought that had been left with one side in the sun so long the color had faded significantly.
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Old 04-25-2017, 11:21 AM   #20
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BTS (Bow to Stern) is another product that can be applied everywhere. I have had good luck with it. Tires to roof.
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