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Old 12-06-2019, 06:54 PM   #1
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Fiberglass Thickness

Those of you that have been around for awhile may remember that the thickness of the f.g. shell was discussed a fair amount. And not in a positive way.

So when I drilled a 3 and a half inch hole today I had the opportunity to see a random sample of the shell layup.

Just over three sixteenths of a inch. If I was laying up a shell that`s about exactly what I`d be aiming for. Always nice to check a random sample.

The gel coat thickness is hard to measure, about 20 mils, right about where it should be. Personally I like to spray gel coat on thicker, it makes for easier gel coat repairs but too thick can lead to it`s own problems.

So, at least in this little random sample, quality control is spot on.

Ron
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:22 PM   #2
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Good to know . Pat
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Old 12-07-2019, 01:48 AM   #3
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Good to hear good news, I thought this was going the other way.
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Old 12-07-2019, 09:00 AM   #4
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Never took a measurement but that does look a bit thicker than the fiberglass Iíve cut through on our gen1. Bath window, exterior 12V outlet, spray port, refrigerant lines and conduit for mini-split, range hood discharge (a few early trailers had recirculating hoods)...
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Old 12-07-2019, 09:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Those of you that have been around for awhile may remember that the thickness of the f.g. shell was discussed a fair amount. And not in a positive way.

So when I drilled a 3 and a half inch hole today I had the opportunity to see a random sample of the shell layup.

Just over three sixteenths of a inch. If I was laying up a shell that`s about exactly what I`d be aiming for. Always nice to check a random sample.

The gel coat thickness is hard to measure, about 20 mils, right about where it should be. Personally I like to spray gel coat on thicker, it makes for easier gel coat repairs but too thick can lead to it`s own problems.

So, at least in this little random sample, quality control is spot on.

Ron
3/16" from a 2019. 3/16" from a 2017. Looks like Escape's fiberglass layup is fairly consistent.

Here is a pic Jim Bennett took from 2017.
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Old 12-07-2019, 09:42 AM   #6
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Never took a measurement but that does look a bit thicker than the fiberglass Iíve cut through on our gen1. Bath window, exterior 12V outlet, spray port, refrigerant lines and conduit for mini-split, range hood discharge (a few early trailers had recirculating hoods)...
Hi: rubicon327... IMHO early Escapes were hand laid fiberglass sheets... not chop gun sprayed. Don't know when the change over came in to effect though. Might be the reason for the thickness diff. Alf
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Old 12-07-2019, 11:33 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
3/16" from a 2019. 3/16" from a 2017. Looks like Escape's fiberglass layup is fairly consistent.

Here is a pic Jim Bennett took from 2017.
Here's a photo of a my 2014 cutout. Just over 1/8", pretty much the same.

I don't want to rehash old negatives etc. but quite a bit before you joined there were a series of issues with layup thickness. One random sample doesn't mean that the old issues are now history but it's nice to see that at least one random sample was exactly as it should be.

Ron
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Old 12-07-2019, 11:52 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Here's a photo of a my 2014 cutout. Just over 1/8", pretty much the same.

I don't want to rehash old negatives etc. but quite a bit before you joined there were a series of issues with layup thickness. One random sample doesn't mean that the old issues are now history but it's nice to see that at least one random sample was exactly as it should be.

Ron
You're right in that I am not aware of old issues with the fiberglass layup but it seems to me that Escape has been doing a good job of glassing the trailer shells for a while.

3/16" fiberglass is plenty strong for a travel trailer - anymore than that just adds extra weight. Also, I have yet to see any evidence of voids in the layups.

Escape may have had problems with the layups in the past (?) but there seems to be no indication that those problems exist in the current trailers.
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Old 12-07-2019, 12:06 PM   #9
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I have cut 5 hatches in my 2018 model 19 and the thickness does vary. I did not label the slugs but these 2 are from my lower rectangle hatches and are consistent thickness for each slug.
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Old 12-07-2019, 12:06 PM   #10
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Escape may have had problems with the layups in the past (?) but there seems to be no indication that those problems exist in the current trailers.

Actually, I don't think there were problems with layups, just questions from some searching for any potential fault.
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Old 12-07-2019, 12:48 PM   #11
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Between hand laid fiberglass using continuous mat and gun shot chopped fiberglass is there an inherent difference in the final strength of the fiberglass ?
Does one method require a greater thickness to achieve the identical structural strength ?
I did some work at a plant that produced fiberglass bathtubs and shower stalls . They hand laid the corners / 90 deg bends claiming it was stronger and resulted in less stress cracking of the gel coat .
I realize that proper application of either method would be a major factor in the quality of the finished product .
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Old 12-07-2019, 02:23 PM   #12
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Between hand laid fiberglass using continuous mat and gun shot chopped fiberglass is there an inherent difference in the final strength of the fiberglass ?

Not much. Both are resin and discontinuous strands
Does one method require a greater thickness to achieve the identical structural strength ?

No, both are resin rich layups
I did some work at a plant that produced fiberglass bathtubs and shower stalls . They hand laid the corners / 90 deg bends claiming it was stronger and resulted in less stress cracking of the gel coat .

They likely were adding either woven cloth or woven roving to the area. Continuous strands result in a stronger layup and the resulting layup has a higher glass content than mat and resin. If you subject a mat layup to an impact it will fracture much easier than one with continuous strands.
Ron, who used to buy his resin in 45 gal. drums and now cringes at the smell.
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Old 12-07-2019, 05:28 PM   #13
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With my many cutouts and holes I found that it was a quite consistent in thickness with most being 3/16" and a couple places just a wee bit more.
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