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Old 06-02-2014, 09:08 PM   #21
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I know a several people have regelcoated trailers. Several lengthy threads on FiberglassRV.

Why not send ETI an email and ask?
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:07 PM   #22
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Could I just say, "trust me, it's gel coat".

But seriously, rather than re-coat with gel coat a far more common solution is to repair surface defects and spray with conventional or two-part paint.

Any boat owner who has had their boat sprayed with a polyurethane finish would never again want to return to a gel coat finish. They resist UV much better, don't stain etc. nearly as easy and stay beautifully "wet look" glossy for an extended time.

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Old 06-02-2014, 10:15 PM   #23
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Now owing an RV with a paint (over gelcoat) finish, as well as two with just gelcoat, I tend to agree with Ron... the paint is a nicer finish. I think the advantage of gelcoat is mostly in manufacturing, where it is easier and avoids filling and sanding the fiberglass surface in preparation for paint.

I now think of gelcoat as first-round finish which can be used permanently, but I probably would not apply again if the trailer is refinished. If paint is applied over top of gelcoat, the gelcoat serves as an already-applied and already-smooth primer/surfacer.
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:22 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Now owing an RV with a paint (over gelcoat) finish, as well as two with just gelcoat, I tend to agree with Ron... the paint is a nicer finish. I think the advantage of gelcoat is mostly in manufacturing, where it is easier and avoids filling and sanding the fiberglass surface in preparation for paint.

I now think of gelcoat as first-round finish which can be used permanently, but I probably would not apply again if the trailer is refinished. If paint is applied over top of gelcoat, the gelcoat serves as an already-applied and already-smooth primer/surfacer.

What kind of paint? And where does one go to have this done? Am I wrong in thinking that applying polyurethane is different than paint? That sounds like it would be a long lasting and less work option than re-waxing.
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:39 PM   #25
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Awlgrip is a polyurethane product used in the marine industry and has the benefits that Ron in BC mentioned. Here's a link to Awlgrip's fiberglass surface prep: Surface Preparation and Priming - Fiberglass/Gelcoat

The Hull Truth website has lots of info on painting over gelcoat (there is a search tool): The Hull Truth - Boating and Fishing Forum

I would consider it if my trailer's gelcoat needed some TLC.
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:11 AM   #26
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If paint is applied over top of gelcoat, the gelcoat serves as an already-applied and already-smooth primer/surfacer.
Indeed it does. A good example is a Kenworth truck cab. One of my university summer jobs was making them. They are painted at the factory to the color required by the purchaser. But when they are molded they are made with a light green gel coat. Still at the fg shop they are sanded to a matt finish and Kenworth then primes them etc. and paints them. Gel coat is easy to sand and makes a very good substrate for paint.

Some polyurethanes are roller and bush appliable and give results on par with a spray job. Youtube is your friend.

At the Moab meet there was a painted 1974 UHaul. Just beautiful, looked like new.

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Old 06-03-2014, 12:22 AM   #27
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So, I can skip the trailer covers and save the money toward the inevitable paint job somewhere down the road. I like that.
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:53 AM   #28
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What kind of paint? And where does one go to have this done?
I don't have enough specfic information on paint for use over fiberglass to be really useful here - our painted RV was painted in the factory - but both fiberglass boats and fiberglass-bodied cars are routinely painted... so there are well-established paint and painting method choices and lots of body shops which do this work.

Some RV service businesses must paint gelcoated fiberglass RVs (since this is a somewhat common mod), but I think I would rather deal with whatever autobody shop the local Corvette and kit car enthusiasts recommend.


Even though I like the paint finish, I wouldn't be in a rush to paint a good gelcoat finish!
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Old 06-03-2014, 02:02 AM   #29
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What kind of paint? And where does one go to have this done? Am I wrong in thinking that applying polyurethane is different than paint? That sounds like it would be a long lasting and less work option than re-waxing.
Almost any type of paint will work but the 2 part paints are harder and longer lasting.

Anyone or any business that paints could spray a trailer but some wouldn't want to because of the size etc. Also, as I mentioned before, the option of using a brush and roller is there for anyone who wants to take a crack at a lower cost paint job.

These are fg car fenders that I painted in my backyard spray booth in 2009 using a 2 part automotive spray paint. They remain unchiped and as shiny as the day I painted them.

I agree with Brian, I wouldn't paint a fg trailer that had gel coat in reasonably good condition even if it required a few spot repairs for chips etc. But if I was rehabing an older trailer where the gel coat was pitted and in poor condition I wouldn't hesitate to paint it.

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