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Old 08-15-2019, 09:14 AM   #1
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Hello All,
I had posted a thread about some damage to our trailer caused by a tire dethreading, I needed the vent cover and electrical outlet cover so have those (had to order more for the vent once I got just the cover).

Now next step is fixing the pretty good size hole it put in the trailer, this is right behind the entrance side back wheel. The fact it is under the trailer will make more difficult to work on plus never done this before but after watching a few videos does not look to difficult. Where yes I would like it to look perfect after I'm finished the fact its underneath makes that something a little less worried about.
My questions is what would you suggest I buy to do this? Can someone guide me to what I need please. Also since its a pretty good size hole plan to glue in a piece of sheet metal for the backing, anyone have another suggestion for that?

Here is picture of hole.
Hole in trailer.jpg

THANKS in advance for all the advice .

Enjoy the journey.

Steve
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:19 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by stratos175 View Post
Hello All,
I had posted a thread about some damage to our trailer caused by a tire dethreading, I needed the vent cover and electrical outlet cover so have those (had to order more for the vent once I got just the cover).

Now next step is fixing the pretty good size hole it put in the trailer, this is right behind the entrance side back wheel. The fact it is under the trailer will make more difficult to work on plus never done this before but after watching a few videos does not look to difficult. Where yes I would like it to look perfect after I'm finished the fact its underneath makes that something a little less worried about.
My questions is what would you suggest I buy to do this? Can someone guide me to what I need please. Also since its a pretty good size hole plan to glue in a piece of sheet metal for the backing, anyone have another suggestion for that?

Here is picture of hole.
Attachment 41110

THANKS in advance for all the advice .

Enjoy the journey.

Steve
No sheet metal needed. Buy some random weave / chopped glass cloth and resin from any boat place and do a google to learn how to do it. Be sure to wear gloves - resin is tough to get off. It really is easier than you think.

https://www.instructables.com/id/Repairing-Fiberglass/

If your not comfortable with doing it yourself, any reputable boat repair shop can knock that out in short time and make it look like it never happened.
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:21 AM   #3
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Some sort or fiberglass mesh, similar to what is used on holes in sheetrock? As far as the finish, you may need to go to a boat repair nearby. Good luck, on edit, Tom beat me to it.
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:32 AM   #4
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Steve, you do know that the hole that will need to be repaired is much larger than what seems to be visible. All the cracked areas will have to be ground down and patched as well.

If you want a gelcoat finish on the repair, I would definitely take it to a boat repair shop. I've done gelcoat finishes before on my boat and it's a lot more work than the fiberglass repair and requires equipment close to what it takes to repaint a car.

Small areas can be done using wax paper but not an area as large as you are doing.
https://www.westmarine.com/WestAdvis...elcoat-Repairs
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File Type: jpg Hole in trailer.jpg (320.3 KB, 13 views)
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:54 AM   #5
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That pic makes me cringe and probably my biggest fear is blowing a tire while towing Ten Forward.

I'm cheap so I'm willing to tackle just about anything. I'd do the repair, to the very best of my ability. THEN apply some spray bed liner material into all the wheel wells. That stuff covers a multitude of sins, looks good and adds protection against rock chips.
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:35 AM   #6
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Believe it or not, you're lucky.

It could have been worse if it was a true hole with no material left. It appears that the surface gelcoat and some sprayed chopped strand have broken away but there remains some other backing material in place. That's good and saves having to create a back surface to work from.

You do have to remove anything that's loose. If a piece is delaminated but still attached on one edge then cut it free. Step 1 is get an intact substrate.

I'd use a layer of mat first with a layer of cloth over it. That's stronger than the original layup. On a larger, more structural layup I'd use woven roving but this doesn't require that. Mat and cloth are easy to work with. Use a second layer if the first layer doesn't build up enough height.

You don't want more than an 1/8" of an inch to gelcoat. You can brush it on in layers and build it up if you have to. Strips of poly, reasonably thick, not dry cleaner bag flimsy, will help hold it in place and give a semi-smooth surface. Unfortunately it's not a flat surface where using that technique can result in an almost perfect finish without any futher work. Gelcoat is sandable so it's easy to get it back to a smooth area with contour sanding and then fine wet and dry sanding and then buffing.

The most important thing to learn is be patient and not try for a finished repair in one go. Take your time, it's a learning experience.

Ron
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:10 PM   #7
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Thanks so far for the feedback.

I look on Amazon and it list lots of different options for what I need to do this, any chance you can guide me to what I need.

BIG THANKS.

Steve
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:46 PM   #8
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I love Amazon. But if I could make one suggestion, don't buy your stuff on Amazon unless you're so far from a store that sells f.g. materials that you have no option. A store that sells resins etc. has folks that can give you valuable advice.

In general, you have a choice of materials:

For both the resin and gelcoat use unwaxed. Waxed resins allow for an air dry situation without the surface staying sticky. You don't want that, you want to be able to put on another layer without having to sand the previous one.

Gelcoat can be thickened. This will help with an application on a vertical surface. It's not absolutely necessary and covering it with poly and working upwards will keep it in place also.

The most important advice that I can give is to take it one step at a time. Don't put on a huge amount of material and end up having to sand or grind it down. By comparison gelcoat is easy to sand down.

Once you're ready to start or have started post a photo or two and I could give you some feedback.

Ron
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Old 08-15-2019, 01:01 PM   #9
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It could have been worse if it was a true hole with no material left. It appears that the surface gelcoat and some sprayed chopped strand have broken away but there remains some other backing material in place. That's good and saves having to create a back surface to work from.
Ron: Is this indeed the case? It appears to me that we are looking up into the "pontoon". This area is hollow so he may not have a back surface to work from.
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Old 08-15-2019, 01:28 PM   #10
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So sorry for the blown tire and damage. Do you have insurance on your camper? Seems like to me the comprehensive portion of your policy would help with this repair. Please let us know what you end up doing. Bill
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Old 08-15-2019, 02:06 PM   #11
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How about for the fiberglass cloth itself? It looks like it comes in different ounces of weave like 4,6, 10oz? What do you suggest.

As far as insurance I keep a high deductible so doubt it would cover this plus really think something I want to try and fix myself.

Big Thanks,

Steve
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Old 08-15-2019, 02:12 PM   #12
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Ron: Is this indeed the case? It appears to me that we are looking up into the "pontoon". This area is hollow so he may not have a back surface to work from.
Good question. I'm taking it that the yellowish and dark area is f.g. not too far from the outer part. If so, and it's about 1/4 to a 1/2" I'd use the slight gap to tuck the first layer of mat and cloth into so that it's behind the outer surface.

But you're right, if the gap is really large then not extending the new material onto it would be the way to go. Hard to tell exactly without a measurement. But I wouldn't worry about the new material contacting the rear yellow and brown area.

I should have mentioned that not trying to do it all in a one-stop operation doesn't mean making the process a really long one. After the first layer "kicks" and is firm the second layer can go on. Depends on the temperature and the mix you use how long that takes. New material onto green unwaxed resin material bonds really well and it doesn't require any sanding to get a good bond. Myron was lucky at Q'site. His abrasion was quite shallow and it was a one-stop fix. But yours is a multi-step one. Again, just take it slow and conservative.

Ron
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