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Old 11-19-2023, 04:06 PM   #1
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Damaged fiberglass when replacing stove vent

I am in the process of replacing the stove vent because the old one had deteriorated in the sun. In the process of removing the adhesive around the vent I damaged the fiberglass (see photo). I have some questions:

1. How do I fix the damage? I have no experience working with fiberglass, but I knew I'd get some sooner or later.

2. Does all of the old sealant need to come off? That is, will new sealant stick to the old sealant?

3. If all of the old sealant should come off, is there a solvent that will help? Alcohol doesn't seem to do much.

4. Any other recommendations for doing this?


Thanks all.
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Old 11-19-2023, 04:17 PM   #2
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Don't ever dig at the gelcoat and never use metal scrapping tools. Don't know if it will work for your application, but I captured this from over on the CasitaForum as a recommended product.
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Old 11-19-2023, 04:54 PM   #3
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Well that's annoying.

1. It's an easy repair because of it's size and location. More forgiving and less visible than if it was in the middle of an area by itself. See if you can find a boat yard that will sell/give you a teaspoon of white gelcoat and 3 drops of MEK. If so, I'll walk you through it.

2. ETI sealants seem to be a mixed bag. Some appear to be silicone based and silicone doesn't stick well to silicone. There are specific products to cleanup silicone residue but a bit of acetone on a scrubbie works OK. OTOH, a product like Dicor seems to stick to itself quite well and doesn't need as much prep.

3. Is the chip of gelcoat that came off with the caulking salvagable? Might be a possibility of gluing it and the other loose piece back in place. You could try dry fitting them and see how it looks.

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Old 11-19-2023, 05:52 PM   #4
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When I replaced my vent

Easily, the most time consuming work was removing the old sealant. It was not silicone, but a more robust type...maybe Dicor? I used a plastic putty knife....maybe 1-1/2" or so wide. I may have used acetone or some other solvent for some softening and cleaning. I use naptha (lighter fluid) a lot as a mild, safe solvent.
My new vent was bedded in butyl tape, an excellent sealing material.
I always come back to it suggesting this, but Marine-Tex, a 2 part white epoxy can likely do a pretty good color match and fine repair to your gelcoat owies.
See the recent fiberglass repair post.....tons of suggestions are in there.

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...ass-25523.html

vent posts:
https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...ver-19088.html
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Old 11-19-2023, 10:36 PM   #5
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I've replaced that vent as well as rear taillights. ETI used Proflex in both. I used a hairdryer or heat gun to soften, then acetone to clean off residue. Maybe the new vent will cover to boo boo.
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Old 11-20-2023, 12:02 AM   #6
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re that gelcoat chip, you might give this stuff a try. https://www.catalinadirect.com/shop-...e-paste-95-04/

clean the area first (heatgun with a plastic scraper then acetone to remove any old proflex sealant, remove any loose chips around the edges, mix and apply this, smooth it on then let it cure, and wet sand with increasingly fine grade papers til its smooth, polish
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Old 11-20-2023, 05:52 AM   #7
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When Reace and Tammy owned ETI (2014 applies), Reace told me all the sealant around the outside of windows and vents was Proflex. All the comments as to how to remove it are correct. Unlike silicon bases sealants, Proflex will stick to itself. If it were me, however, I would remove most of the old Proflex not for adhesion reasons but for final appearance.
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Old 11-20-2023, 07:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
I am in the process of replacing the stove vent because the old one had deteriorated in the sun. In the process of removing the adhesive around the vent I damaged the fiberglass (see photo). I have some questions:

1. How do I fix the damage? I have no experience working with fiberglass, but I knew I'd get some sooner or later.

2. Does all of the old sealant need to come off? That is, will new sealant stick to the old sealant?

3. If all of the old sealant should come off, is there a solvent that will help? Alcohol doesn't seem to do much.

4. Any other recommendations for doing this?


Thanks all.
1) I can't help you there but Ron in BC is the man for gelcoat repair.

2) I believe mine was sealed with Proflex RV. Our trailers are of a similar age so yours may be sealed with it too. I've found that heat helps with removal. I did mine on a very hot day in direct sun so it was not too difficult scraping most of it off. Otherwise, a heat gun works wonders.

3) Acetone easily took off the rest of the sealant.

4) I replaced mine this past summer. My experience may be of help.
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Old 11-20-2023, 09:19 AM   #9
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Thanks all for the help. I should have consulted the Escape Forum before beginning this job, then I would have known to avoid using metal tools. Instead I watched a YouTube video of a woman removing the stove vent in her trailer. After a few minutes it became apparent that she had never done it before, either. Pfft! What good is that? These videos should be curated imo.
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Old 11-20-2023, 02:04 PM   #10
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Heat on fiberglass gelcoat is good up to a point. Iíve managed to mess up and soften the gelcoat. So yep use it; just be judicious.
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Old 11-20-2023, 03:53 PM   #11
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Anytime I want to find an old thread here I go to Google and say something like "hood vent replacement escape forum". Here's one of several that popped up:
https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...all-12909.html
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Old 11-20-2023, 05:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
Thanks all for the help. I should have consulted the Escape Forum before beginning this job, then I would have known to avoid using metal tools. Instead I watched a YouTube video of a woman removing the stove vent in her trailer. After a few minutes it became apparent that she had never done it before, either. Pfft! What good is that? These videos should be curated imo.
I hate youtube videos obviously done by folks that don't know anything about the subject.

But I use a box cutter blade, held with my fingers, to get in and under to progressively slice the caulking. I also use it or a sharp chisel to get most of the remaining cauk off. Held at an almost dead flat angle there's not much danger of doing any damage.

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Old 11-20-2023, 06:52 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by brroberts View Post
Heat on fiberglass gelcoat is good up to a point. I’ve managed to mess up and soften the gelcoat. So yep use it; just be judicious.
Well you had better luck than I did. I stood up a f.g. fender for my car on edge for a few weeks. It was still green and slightly flexible. By the time I went to use it there was a slight deformity and it had cured.

I put a heat lamp inches away from and made it very hot, but to no avail. Unlike thermoplastics thermosetting resins don't become flexible with heat. I can still see the slight irregularity and it still bugs me.

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Old 11-20-2023, 09:15 PM   #14
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Ron not sure the resin. This was 1985 Vinodo built Ron Holland designed Omega 34 sailboat that would point amazingly high.
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