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Old 07-26-2010, 11:58 AM   #1
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Fiberglass gel coating spider scratches

I have a 2002 Itasca 35U. The gel coat looks like i have ran it through the woods! It has thousands of small spider like scratches on it. I have tried everything to remove them. Has this been a problem with Winnebago gel coat.I would hate to spend $10,000 to have a paint job over this. Any ideas?
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:01 PM   #2
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I had the same crazing of the filon on my 2002 and a number of folks with coaches of that vintage have reported same. Mine was especially bad over the windows. On the lower portion of my coach where it had some factory paint (DuPont Imron), there is no such crazing, confirming for me that the 'naked' gelcoat was vulnerable.

We did just recently have our coach painted. What I found in my research before getting the paint job was that no one would guarentee that sanding, priming and painting would cure it for good. It would eventually come back, perhaps not as bad, but it would always be somewhat visible.

My coach was just painted in June. They sanded it well, used a high fill primer on all those spots, and painted it with DuPont basecoat/clear coat. The coach looks spectacular but on some of the darker colors near the top (where the crazing was most severe), I can still see some of it. I know of others who have recently had their rigs painted and have reported the same result....it is much better but can still be seen, especially on the darker colors.

Perhaps someone can provide info. to the contrary, but none of the RV paint shops I spoke to would guarentee that they could completely resolve the problem (short of having Winnebago replace the sidewalls).
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:53 PM   #3
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On my rig's sidewalls, and ONLY on the unpainted fiberglass, I have a number of sections that have the spider scratches which turn very dark. I found nothing in six years of trying all sorts of cleaners, compounds, waxes, etc that would remove the scratches/crazing. Until I resorted to a mixture of 25% bleach and 75% water. It worked.

CAUTION!!! I do not know if this mixture will do long term damage to the fiberglass/gel coat.

I applied the solution with a small sponge, let it sit briefly to bleach out the scratches, then wiped the solution off with a very wet rag, let it dry, then waxed it. Slow process, but it worked. One small section at a time. I was careful not to bleach the decal edges more than I had to, and pay special attention to rinsing them with water.

Alternatively, I just had my rig washed by an RV professional mobile outfit. They used pressure wands and their proprietary solutions. Wow, those remaining scratches came right off. My rig looks like (almost) new. I'll be interested to see if the scratches return on the areas just washed by the pro's.

I contacted Winny a number of years ago about this issue and was disappointed that they would not help, since this seemed to be a defect in the fiberglass sidewalls (both caps are OK). They offered a $20k paint job if I paid for it.

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