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Old 03-05-2011, 12:05 PM   #1
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crazed gelcoat

I read about some crazing (multiple small... 2-3 mm cracks) in the gelcoat in the forum from about 5 years ago, but nothing since then. I have noticed a large increase in the number of 2-3mm cracks in the gelcoat all along the drivers side of the coach... a hazard of waxing and seeing your coach up close. I wax the coach regularly so I'm hoping I'm somewhat sealing the cracks, but I was wondering what the ramifications and/or solutions are. I'm also wondering if this is a common problem, or if mine is an unusual situation.
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:04 AM   #2
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It is a fairly common problem, especially with dark colors and a good paint job. WRV did not allow the fiberglass to fully cure before painting, then sealed them well. When the sun warms the surface of the coach, the darker colors gather more heat, causing the fiberglass underneath to begin off-gassing, cracking the paint. (Re-catalyzation.)

The comprehensive repair includes stripping the paint off, grinding the surface back down to clean fiberglass, heating the fiberglass surfaces (I forget how long, seems like 10 hours, IIRC), floating the surface of the fiberglass for a smooth finish, priming and repainting.

The Paint Department here in SoCal said that a 40' coach ran about $23,000, including full striping and clearcoat (as of 11/10). May be a bit cheaper now, due to economy.

They said it takes 6 weeks. I suppose it is due to having to heat the surfaces a small section at a time. Seemed like the appropriate temperature was enough to melt other nearby surfaces if not carefully done.
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