Small chips in the shell... - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-27-2009, 02:41 PM   #1
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Small chips in the shell...

On our trip back to TX from Chilliwack, we had to traverse several non-paved roads. As a result, there was a fair amount of small rocks and gravel that spewed up from the tug wheel onto the trailer - even when going reasonably slow. There appear to be numerous small chips in the fg shell particularly the areas directly above where the rock guards are installed.

My question is: Do I need to do anything to fix/plug/fill them &/or put some sealant over them. If so, is it an easy DIY process or should I have a fg professional deal with it? If DIY, what should I use to fix them & how should I fix them? Thanks in advance for any feedback.


I guess I should check the trailer's wheel wells & underbelly for any damage from rocks thrown by the trailer's tires as well. I should probably also check under the rock guards to ensure they did their job as well.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:50 PM   #2
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Re: Small chips in the shell...

Hello,

Just an opinion here, and I haven't seen your chips, but it is likely primarily a cosmetic issue. Not a pleasant one, but you do not likely have to seal the chips. The outer white coating on a fiberglass boat, FGR trailer or structure is a pigmented (white, in your case) gelcoat layer. It is a smooth, hard & decorative layer but is typically a bit brittle. There are cosmetic remedies, none of them easy to color match for the DYI. West Marine (Google them for their online catalog & there's a store in Austin) will have boating gelcoat colorants, repair materials, etc. I've dealt with this issue with my sailboat and tend to hide damage with vaarious techniques. The chips will not allow water to penetrate, and as I said, they're a cosmetic issue. You could deal with them by cover them with some protective film or material to hide them and prevent further gelcoat damage. That's one technique. There are others, but more involved and do not prevent future damage. You could contact Escape for a small container of gelcoat, but be advised it's an involved process to work with it.

Summary: Chips are cosmetic concern, hide and protect is quickest.

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Old 10-28-2009, 08:24 PM   #3
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Re: Small chips in the shell...

Thanks for the reply, Habberdabber. So far I've only noticed very small chips that aren't really visible unless you're up close and looking at them at the right angle. However, there are lots of them. In any event, I was most concerned with whether or not leaving them alone could lead to later issues (e.g. cracking, water penetration, etc). If it is in fact just a cosmetic concern as you surmise, then it's still a bummer but one I can easily live with and I will likely leave it alone. Lord knows my body has plenty of scars I picked up through the years so why shouldn't Grasshopper.
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:59 PM   #4
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Re: Small chips in the shell...

Hi: Texscapees... If you need to call a chip a chip by any other name it's "patina". I would think a good polish with Meguires and they will fill with the wax and just buff carefully to a good shine. Worked for me...YMMV tho. Alf
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:25 PM   #5
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Re: Small chips in the shell...

What's done is done and hope it's not too bad. Have you seen Paul's great solution for dings... he made out of diamond plate. Too cool! Maybe something you'd want to consider so the chips don't continue to accumulate.

See Paul's post and pictures on the second page: http://escapeforum.org/index.php?topic=871.15
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:08 AM   #6
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Re: Small chips in the shell...

I had the same problem, getting chips as high as the rubber seam around the trailer middle. I ended up getting Line-x put on the front corners of the trailer. Works perfectly. I think you could now hit it with a hammer.
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:33 AM   #7
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Re: Small chips in the shell...

Yep, the chips are higher than the typical rockguards (such as Paul fabricated) - all the way up to the belly as well. Could you post a pic of what it looks like on your Escape? I'm assuming you had a Line-X dealer put it on for you. Also, approx what did it cost?
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:29 AM   #8
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Re: Small chips in the shell...

Dirk, do you think I could just do the line-x and skip the rock protection thingis all-together? Maybe have Reace do it before I pick Cafe Egg up next year?
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:17 PM   #9
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Re: Small chips in the shell...

Brad & Shay
I've attempted to fill gelcoat cracks and chips on one of my older FG canoes, it was a waste of time (much) and money (little), the color wasn't even close. Maybe doing white would be different but I'd suggest a boat repair shop if you want them filled correctly, as long as they can match the color.
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:30 PM   #10
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Re: Small chips in the shell...

Here's the link to Dirk's blog with photo of Line-X


http://web.me.com/mosquitodirk/Site/...fications.html

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