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Old 04-17-2020, 12:11 PM   #1
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Best Polishing Product and Method?

Hi,

All this un-planned spare time has me thinking about projects left behind until now.

The high gloss finish on our 2014 21' is beginning to dull in some places. The sides, all the way around, are still very shiny and bright white, like new. I can see my reflection in the finish. But the sides toward the top, right at the rounded corners and especially in the front, the finish has turned dull. Its still white and somewhat glossy, but it doesn't shine like it did when new and I certainly can't see my reflection (maybe I should call this a good thing!).

I keep the trailer covered with a fabric cover at all times when not in use and I have applied various paste wax products once a year since new, to the entire gelcoat surface of the trailer exterior. I also use a liquid gelcoat protectant called "Bob's Boat Bright" after each wash.

What is the best way to return the portions of the finish that are now dull, to that factory bright white shine? Is my "Bob's ..." contributing to the dulling of the finish?

Thanks in advance for your input!

Fletch Dobbs
San Jose, CA
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Old 04-17-2020, 12:25 PM   #2
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Old 04-17-2020, 12:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PnFSJCA View Post
Hi,

All this un-planned spare time has me thinking about projects left behind until now.

The high gloss finish on our 2014 21' is beginning to dull in some places. The sides, all the way around, are still very shiny and bright white, like new. I can see my reflection in the finish. But the sides toward the top, right at the rounded corners and especially in the front, the finish has turned dull. Its still white and somewhat glossy, but it doesn't shine like it did when new and I certainly can't see my reflection (maybe I should call this a good thing!).

I keep the trailer covered with a fabric cover at all times when not in use and I have applied various paste wax products once a year since new, to the entire gelcoat surface of the trailer exterior. I also use a liquid gelcoat protectant called "Bob's Boat Bright" after each wash.

What is the best way to return the portions of the finish that are now dull, to that factory bright white shine? Is my "Bob's ..." contributing to the dulling of the finish?

Thanks in advance for your input!

Fletch Dobbs
San Jose, CA
Collinite 920 seems to be the best i have used to remove light oxidation and prep the gelcoat for waxing.

https://www.amazon.com/Collinite-Fib.../dp/B008KMHIH8

On my trailer, I follow up with Collinite 845 / 925 for a long lasting wax finish. (same wax - different bottle label)

https://www.amazon.com/Collinite-925.../dp/B01KYJMWR0 / https://www.amazon.com/Collinite-Ins.../dp/B00T70R930

I found out about both of these by going down to the several local boat detailing shops and asking what they use for their yacht clientele.

I use a Porter Cable 7424XP polisher to apply both products using the appropriate Lake Country polishing pads.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002654I46...osi&th=1&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 04-17-2020, 02:24 PM   #4
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My 21 is also a 2014 and I have waxed it 2-3 times a year. Last year I started to remove the oxidation after researching the topic. The best Utube videos out there will be of guys doing boats. The ones dealing with RV's aren't all molded fiberglass. It is an art and while I got generally good results, it was far from perfect.

Found three pros locally with fiberglass experience- and it is an art-to give me quotes. First up was commercial boat builder: $1700. Next an auto detailer referred by a boat dealer: $800. Finally, another Escape owner happened by an RV dealer and saw a mobile detailer working on a Class A. He hired him, I went over to watch and hired him too. Two guys worked a solid 5 hours pretty non-stop. They did only the portion of the roof that rolls up from the sides but not the rest: $400 and they did a fantastic job.

All three use the same 3M oxidation remover. For this age of a trailer, a cleaner wax is not going to cut it(literally). They all use wool pads as well, which is I ever decide to try again will use myself instead of foam. Lastly, the guy I hired finished up with a polish to help maintain the paste wax he used after buffing with the 3M. They all used the DeWalt polisher, which ain't cheap and is a beast, the guys I hired also used the Chicago electric I bought at Harbor Freight.
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Old 04-17-2020, 02:44 PM   #5
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and then there is Glenn's son in law who will do it for beer.............
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Old 04-17-2020, 02:47 PM   #6
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My 21 is also a 2014 and I have waxed it 2-3 times a year. Last year I started to remove the oxidation after researching the topic. The best Utube videos out there will be of guys doing boats. The ones dealing with RV's aren't all molded fiberglass. It is an art and while I got generally good results, it was far from perfect.

Found three pros locally with fiberglass experience- and it is an art-to give me quotes. First up was commercial boat builder: $1700. Next an auto detailer referred by a boat dealer: $800. Finally, another Escape owner happened by an RV dealer and saw a mobile detailer working on a Class A. He hired him, I went over to watch and hired him too. Two guys worked a solid 5 hours pretty non-stop. They did only the portion of the roof that rolls up from the sides but not the rest: $400 and they did a fantastic job.

All three use the same 3M oxidation remover. For this age of a trailer, a cleaner wax is not going to cut it(literally). They all use wool pads as well, which is I ever decide to try again will use myself instead of foam. Lastly, the guy I hired finished up with a polish to help maintain the paste wax he used after buffing with the 3M. They all used the DeWalt polisher, which ain't cheap and is a beast, the guys I hired also used the Chicago electric I bought at Harbor Freight.
I have a Makita 9237CX3 polisher I've had for years but don't use it on the Escape for several reasons.

1. Unless you are very good with one of these polishers, it is fairly easy to burn the finish with it.
2. A polisher that size is hard to get into the nooks and crannies without taking the high spots off too much.
3. A 9" polisher is heavy. It doesn't take long for my arms to start giving out and when they do - that's when the oops start.

From Dewalt DWP849X polisher Amazon review:

Question: I have this machine...what do i need to do to learn how to correct paint to a great finish?

Answer: Go to the junk yard and buy several panels. Use the machine for about 200 hours. (No, I'm not kidding). THEN, you can use it on an actual car. Not saying that you can't use it before then without screwing something up bad, but don't come near my car with it! Seriously, watching Youtube and all is great but do not use this without some practice on things that won't matter if you screw up. Also, learn the difference between things you do with this that you can fix (like with a random orbital) and things you do that you can't fix.
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Old 04-17-2020, 02:51 PM   #7
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Absolutely right- one does need to be careful, which is why I said it is an art. Gel coat is much tougher than clear coat on a car, however you still need to be cautious and take it slow. Some mask off a 2 x 2' area at a time. Also, the pros I hired did have smaller orbitals the were using in the tighter areas.

After getting such great results from these guys I have decided I am going to delegate any future oxidation removal and just do the waxing 2-3 times a year. Finding the right guys is the trick though- the first pro I hired was a very good auto detailer, however did not have experience with fiberglass and the oxidation was still there and I felt it was $400(same price) for a very good wax job. He detailed my SUV to make it right.
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Old 04-17-2020, 03:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
Collinite 920 seems to be the best i have used to remove light oxidation and prep the gelcoat for waxing.

https://www.amazon.com/Collinite-Fib.../dp/B008KMHIH8

On my trailer, I follow up with Collinite 845 / 925 for a long lasting wax finish. (same wax - different bottle label)

https://www.amazon.com/Collinite-925.../dp/B01KYJMWR0 / https://www.amazon.com/Collinite-Ins.../dp/B00T70R930

I found out about both of these by going down to the several local boat detailing shops and asking what they use for their yacht clientele.

I use a Porter Cable 7424XP polisher to apply both products using the appropriate Lake Country polishing pads.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002654I46...osi&th=1&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
After about year Two purchased Shurhold orbital polisher and different pads . Too lazy to dig but I have the manual . I also besides polish got the buff magic for any oxidation .
Polisher has different speeds etc. have to be careful around the graphics and my son in laws like Glenn are too far away . Really helps trailer to shine . Also use Meguiarís premium marine wax . Pat
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Old 04-17-2020, 08:07 PM   #9
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I’ll second the vote on Collinite. Used to work in the marine trades. 920 cleaner followed by 925 wax using a cheap Ryobi 6” polisher and an energetic son to buff it out. It really does buff out easily though. Their paste fleetwax lasts longer but it’s some serious elbow grease to take off. I wash and wax spring and fall and my 2018 looks like new stored without a cover. But I live in Seattle so my biggest problem is moss ;-)
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Old 04-17-2020, 08:17 PM   #10
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Iíll second the vote on Collinite. Used to work in the marine trades. 920 cleaner followed by 925 wax using a cheap Ryobi 6Ē polisher and an energetic son to buff it out. It really does buff out easily though. Their paste fleetwax lasts longer but itís some serious elbow grease to take off. I wash and wax spring and fall and my 2018 looks like new stored without a cover. But I live in Seattle so my biggest problem is moss ;-)
Thanks for reminding me! I've been meaning to try the 885 paste fleetwax on the roof - we get a lot of sun down here and it should hold up a little longer than the 925.
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Old 04-18-2020, 07:24 AM   #11
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Wow, they don't give that 3m Marine Compound away, $42 a qt.


3m is about as good as it gets though.
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Old 04-18-2020, 12:17 PM   #12
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Probably like coffee preferences and makers it’s all a preference.Pat
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Old 04-18-2020, 03:21 PM   #13
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Safety first!

I would like to remind everyone to be safe while tackling waxing and polishing jobs. Falling off a ladder can ruin your whole day, perhaps ruin your life. For the high work, it is much safer to work off a scaffold plank than a ladder.

Oh, and I personally have been very happy with Meguiar’s premium marine wax.
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Old 04-18-2020, 03:44 PM   #14
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Great reminder, Arnie....
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Old 04-18-2020, 07:19 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by arniesea View Post
I would like to remind everyone to be safe while tackling waxing and polishing jobs. Falling off a ladder can ruin your whole day, perhaps ruin your life. For the high work, it is much safer to work off a scaffold plank than a ladder.

Oh, and I personally have been very happy with Meguiarís premium marine wax.
Good Advice Arnie ,about the ladders! Meguiarís Pat
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Old 04-19-2020, 12:51 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by arniesea View Post
I would like to remind everyone to be safe while tackling waxing and polishing jobs. Falling off a ladder can ruin your whole day, perhaps ruin your life. For the high work, it is much safer to work off a scaffold plank than a ladder.

Oh, and I personally have been very happy with Meguiar’s premium marine wax.
Ok, how do you safely get onto your scaffold? And back down? A third ladder? Looks a bit tricky.
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Old 04-19-2020, 01:13 PM   #17
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Ok, how do you safely get onto your scaffold? And back down? A third ladder? Looks a bit tricky.
Note the ladders I use are A-frame ladders with steps on both sides. Also note the far ladder is shimmed under one leg for stability. It is not difficult for me to climb up the other side and swing a leg over to the 350 lb rated scaffold plank. Iím also holding onto the awning while I hand rub out the wax I applied.

I put myself through college in my 40ís painting houses, so Iím used to working off a plank. Others my want to use a third ladder. The main point is, be safe within oneís skill set and ability.
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Old 04-20-2020, 08:32 AM   #18
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I retired from 3M three years ago, after 38 years. I will admit some 3M bias. However, you can go to

https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-us/help-center/

and ask to speak to someone about cleaners and waxes. This would be in the Automotive Aftermarket Division. Talk direct to the expert. Describe you issue and what you want to accomplish and they will give you the best advice. Likely you will not be advised to try products other than what 3M has, but you will get great advice. This also applies to adhesives, VHB, etc.
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Old 11-01-2020, 10:02 AM   #19
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On my 2010 17B I’ve been using Meguiars Flagship premium cleaner wax and follow up with the Flagship Marine wax. I use the cheapo Harbor Freight Chicago Electric polisher and a wool pad. I polish with the polisher and apply the wax by hand. The wax is very easy to apply and buff off. The time consuming part is polishing with the cleaner wax to get the nice shine. I polish/wax once a year and keep the trailer protected with a cover. Here are a couple of pics from our trip to Nehalem bay this year...
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Old 11-01-2020, 11:39 AM   #20
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Read: Check this out NOT Poliglow...Time will tell.. This Fiberglass Forum thread started in 2010 and has 909 posts.

When we purchased our 2003 Bigfoot in 2017 it looked like it had never been cleaned/waxed. I took Zep Stripper and spent perhaps an hour cleaning the entire camper, including the roof. After stripping I rinsed the camper off, dried it with microfiber towels, and applied Zep High Traffic Floor Polish (I believe, the name has changed. We used that gallon to wax the condo's three floors, so the bottle is gone).

I put the floor polish in a spray bottle to spray small areas and used a waxing glove to apply the wax. It took perhaps 15-20 minutes per application and I applied three coatings. As soon as I finished each application, the wax I put on 15-20 minutes earlier was dry, so I could just keep on applying. NO BUFFING IS REQUIRED!

The Bigfoot looked brand new. It was perfectly shiny, and I felt it didn't need Zep Sealer applied. I was amazed at how fast the entire process took.

We sold the camper the next spring. However a year later, after the owner's husband passed away, I sold the camper for her. So two years after application the Bigfoot was still nice and shiny.

We purchased our 5.0 two years ago and have kept it as clean as possible. This upcoming summer (2021) we'll apply Zep Stripper and Zep Floor Polish to our 5.0. We may apply Zep Wet-Look Floor Polish instead of just the Zep Floor Polish.

I've applied many products over the years, including Meguiars products, and will never go back. Our buffer now just sits in a drawer. Zep floor wax/polish works for me and many others as well.

Enjoy,

Perry
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