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Old 04-07-2018, 12:06 PM   #41
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I am more than willing to pay more for a boat that is built using mat or cloth techniques - my Wenonah kevlar canoe was handcrafted.

I also think it is important to remember that a boat faces far different forces than a fiberglass trailer does.
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Old 04-07-2018, 12:58 PM   #42
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I am happy as long as the strength of the trailer makes it preform well for many years as an RV. I think there is a fine line in wall thickness and I hope they have it right.
If I back into something do I want that area damaged due to thin but adequate fibreglass or do I want less damage with thick fibreglass, but the forces transferred and damage done in areas unknown throughout the trailer.
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Old 04-07-2018, 01:25 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Several of the manufacturers used the spray method and the other used a combination of hand layed fiberglass cloth with a small amount of chopped material .
I am not an expert on FG but the boats appeared to be built to a higher standard then the shower stalls .
Yes, items that want a balance between strength and weight use a combination of matt plus either cloths or woven roving or a host of more exotic fabrics.

Quality items have a layup schedule, so much matt plus so much roving etc. The result is a product that is very consistent and stronger than it would be with a resin rich matt only layup.


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I find this a bit ironic since a couple of your comments in the http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f1...ng-9135-2.html thread contributed to me asking the question in the first place. In that 2016 thread you said:

- Mike
Yes, it was that quote from Jim quoting Reace that resulted in my surprise. An emphatic "No, we don't use chopper guns contradicts what the video shows.

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There's absolutely nothing wrong with using a chopper vs mat. It's a quality trailer. Having said that, I would like to see the shell a bit thicker. Of course, there are tradeoffs in terms of cost and weight.
First of all, chopped strand and matt are pretty similar, one and the same. There are two issues; one, chopped strand is resin rich. That means that the product is not as light and strong as it could be. For a shower stall, who cares. Secondly, for a quality trailer, with a premium price, I would think that it is a consideration.

A chopper gun paid for my university, I used to go though two 45 gal. drums at a time. It has its place but when used the way ETI uses it, in thin applications it does cause problems. Using roving really isn't that much more labor intensive. It goes on in wide pieces and is wet out with the chopper gun spraying resin only. 3 position trigger; one, air only; two, resin only; three, chopped strand and resin. Want to get the crew to get out of the way, one blast of air only and they start moving very quickly.

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Old 04-07-2018, 01:33 PM   #44
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Wow, they put quite a bit of attention to detail in their product and watching this video has cemented my decision to buy an Escape 19 as soon as I get Blue paid off.
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Old 04-07-2018, 01:33 PM   #45
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Yes, it was that quote from Jim quoting Reace that resulted in my surprise. An emphatic "No, we don't use chopper guns contradicts what the video shows.
Hope you don't mean Jim Me, cause I have never said that. Reace in fact showed me their setup a couple years back just after they got into the new shop. Maybe I am losing my mind?

You probably realized, but a good job with a chopper gun uses a roller after spraying to compact the fibres and reduce air pockets in the resin.

I carry a piece I cut out in the trailer, and should have shown you. It will not flex very much at all. Comparing this glass layup to that used in the 76 Trillium I rebuilt, it is many times stronger (never really did an actual test though. )
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Old 04-07-2018, 01:53 PM   #46
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It looks like the plywood floor is stuck directly to the bottom fiberglass. I thought there was spacing underneath for water leaks and such, looks like it just around the perimeter.
The space was always just around the perimeter at the ends, where the curved areas are visible from the outside. Those lowered areas both provide drainage, and hide the frame somewhat. The exception is the loft of the 5.0TA, which doesn't have space but does have a panel of foam insulation on top of the fiberglass.
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Old 04-07-2018, 01:59 PM   #47
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A lot of a assumptions being made here based on what the video shows. I'm sure there is a lot that the video doesn't show. It's called editing. Otherwise it would take two weeks to watch.
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Old 04-07-2018, 02:40 PM   #48
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To fill in the blanks...

Early on, we did hand-lay the trailers with woven matt. Yes, a strong lay-up, however the shells are built thicker now to compensate. There have been no secrets that we have been building the trailers with a chopper gun since about mid 2005. (Hopefully there is no misleading information about this, but if so please let me know so I can address it.)

There are definitely many different methods and procedures for fiberglassing, each with their pros and cons. We have chosen the chopper gun method with reinforcement where necessary as it is cost effective, efficient and proven. Yes, there is always the opportunity for the odd thin spot, but this is pretty rare.

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Old 04-07-2018, 02:55 PM   #49
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A lot of a assumptions being made here based on what the video shows. I'm sure there is a lot that the video doesn't show. It's called editing. Otherwise it would take two weeks to watch.
My guess this refers to the chopper-gun-only assumption, which turns out to be correct.

A good point, although it would be strange to make a video showing so much detail of the fiberglass production process with the chopper gun, and to never show anyone laying in mat or cloth in the mould. Cloth is shown in the process of bonding the upper and lower shells together (it is visible, although it wasn't shown being laid in) and when adding the wood reinforcing/mounting strips.
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Old 04-07-2018, 02:59 PM   #50
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Thanks Reace for clearing up yet another topic of speculation.
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Old 04-07-2018, 03:06 PM   #51
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My guess this refers to the chopper-gun-only assumption, which turns out to be correct.
I'm sure of one thing. We're not done speculating yet.
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Old 04-07-2018, 03:06 PM   #52
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I appreciate the opportunity to see inside the process, especially the parts which were not part of the factory tour because it would not be safe or practical to have members of the public in fiberglass shop.

There were some minor surprises for me. For an example, there are two propane hoses connected under the floor to tees in the distribution line. Hose? I would have expected copper tubing to any appliance, but there must be two supplied with hose.

Almost all of the trailers shown (other than the 5.0TA's, of course) are getting the front storage box - that one is not a surprise.

I have heard that buyers are no longer allowed to select a custom sink with the faucet in the sink deck, and the answer appears to be as I assumed: the faucet is installed before the sink, which is easier because the sink is not in the way and the counter cutout for the sink is available for access. This makes a lot of sense to me.

If anyone has ever wondered how they get all that wiring in place through cabinets, now you have your answer: wires, then (at least some of the) cabinets. This makes perfect sense, but shows why later modifications (of any RV or other vehicle) can be so difficult: modifying is very different from building. "Stick-built" trailers routinely have interior cabinets and even furniture added to the floor before the walls are installed... replacing anything large with access only through the door and windows can be a nightmare.

I think it's amusing that even the screwdriver being used as an alignment tool (when placing the upper and lower sections together while in their moulds) is a Robertson.

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Very interesting, my next one will be that red color before they paint it white....
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Old 04-07-2018, 03:14 PM   #53
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I was very happy to see squares and levels being used in a number of places throughout the construction process. I'd bet there aren't any squares or levels within 50 miles of Elkhart
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Old 04-07-2018, 03:17 PM   #54
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I was very happy to see squares and levels being used in a number of places throughout the construction process. I'd bet there aren't any squares or levels within 50 miles of Elkhart
Did you notice the flash of the laser level when worker is applying decals?
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Old 04-07-2018, 04:00 PM   #55
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Did you notice the flash of the laser level when worker is applying decals?
I did. I used to design high end laser levels so it caught my eye and made me smile.
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Old 04-07-2018, 04:10 PM   #56
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Hope you don't mean Jim Me, cause I have never said that. Reace in fact showed me their setup a couple years back just after they got into the new shop. Maybe I am losing my mind?

You probably realized, but a good job with a chopper gun uses a roller after spraying to compact the fibres and reduce air pockets in the resin.

I carry a piece I cut out in the trailer, and should have shown you. It will not flex very much at all. Comparing this glass layup to that used in the 76 Trillium I rebuilt, it is many times stronger (never really did an actual test though. )
Nope, read post post #35 wrong, it was addressed to you but it was Alf quoting an emphatic No to Reaces answer about using a chopper gun.

Yes, I do realize that chopped strand is rolled out and that removes air but a chopped strand layup is heavier and weaker than layups with cloth or roving.

I've drilled many holes with a hole saw in f.g. Even a canoe shell, made usually with a layer of matt and roving has a shell thickness of about 1/8". ETI shells vary and this has caused problems. The other day when I drilled holes for my door handle mod, the important side was just thick enough to be OK. But its barely 1/16" thick. The other side, I'm holding my breath.

But my original point is that there was an indication in the past that a chopper gun layup only wasn't used and the video contradicted that. Personally I think that a premium trailer would use a premium layup, not the same as the bottom rung brands.

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Old 04-07-2018, 04:34 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Those lowered areas both provide drainage, and hide the frame somewhat. The exception is the loft of the 5.0TA, which doesn't have space but does have a panel of foam insulation on top of the fiberglass.
Brian, the loft on the 5.0TA does have the lowered front and side, see pics.
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Old 04-07-2018, 04:45 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by davidmurphy02 View Post
I was very happy to see squares and levels being used in a number of places throughout the construction process. I'd bet there aren't any squares or levels within 50 miles of Elkhart
Well said.

I thought the craftsmanship shown in the video was impressive. Especially if one is trying to balance quality AND cost. Hats off to Reace and Tammy and all the dedicated ETI workers.

Can you imagine what commitment it took to build this company from scratch?
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Old 04-07-2018, 05:09 PM   #59
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Brian, the loft on the 5.0TA does have the lowered front and side, see pics.
Yes, I realized that, but thanks for the illustration.

The exception of the 5.0TA loft is not from having the lowered areas, but from having the flooring directly on the fiberglass.

There was a comment about the lack of space between the fiberglass and the plywood in the flat areas, which is generally true: the plywood is bonded directly to the bottom of the moulded fiberglass shell in those flat areas. I was noting the exception that even in the flat area of the loft of the 5.0TA, there is a layer of foam which doesn't exist in the other flat areas. That's good, because the bed is directly on the loft floor, unlike beds in other trailer layouts.
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Old 04-07-2018, 06:41 PM   #60
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thanks

Thanks for posting always nice to see how things go together .
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