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Old 08-19-2012, 11:59 AM   #1
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Exterior Mold? Ruined Gel Coat? Baffled...

I am out of ideas except the obvious....a body shop?

My street side of the coach does not have any of this "growth" as I call it. These pics are all from the curb side exterior. I have tried everything to get this stuff off and the only thing that came close was Meguiars Scratch X, which took about 4 applications to get it even close to invisible. I tried my regular wax #40, with oxidation remover, vinegar, bar keepers friend, ammonia, rubbing compound, you name it, and the stuff just doesnt come off.

Last winter, I noticed it especially along the rear slide, there were two 'strips' where the stuff didn't grow or attach itself....obviously, at one point in time, it was removeable because it looks like when I was cleaning the slide topper, I hit the side of the coach with the pressure washer, which you can see in one picture. I don't know if it's mold, some kind of mineral crystallization, or what, but I don know the coach was double waxed last year in September and this wasn't there. It appeared over the winter months, which I think the sun not hitting that side until afternoon, on the street side, it hits in the morning and burns off any condensation or dew, but the curb side doesn't get sun until the afternoon.

Any ideas on this? Looks like mold or something has eaten into the finish. I have no clue what to do next except talk to RV body folks. Maybe somebody out there knows what this is?

The 'clean' spots are from my Scratch X followed by #40 Wax/Oxidazation Remover......

There is none of this behind the awning arms, nor is it on the striping, or the plastic frig cover, or the bay doors. And, there are two horizontal strips across the bedroom slide about 1/3 way up, 6" apart, that don't have it either....
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:05 PM   #2
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The last few pics. Any help or ideas most appreciated....
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:08 PM   #3
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Barkeepers Friend with a sponge with the scrubbie on it should get that off.
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:10 PM   #4
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Were you driving it last winter or was it parked? It almost looks like some chemical damage.
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davdeb1 View Post
Were you driving it last winter or was it parked? It almost looks like some chemical damage.

Parked all winter, I drove it Christmas Day and then in March...
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger Smith View Post
Barkeepers Friend with a sponge with the scrubbie on it should get that off.
Tried it. Not with a scrubbie sponge though. I forgot, I also tried a clay bar treatment and I tried the compound wax, for heavy heavy oxidization, did nothing. The only thing that comes close is Meguiar's Scratch X did remove about 70% of it, but that took 4 or 5 applications.....impossible stuff.....its almost like its embedded in the oxidization....
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:26 PM   #7
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If you were using the pressure washer on the slide toppers after the waxing, the stuff in the pressure washer may have reacted with the wax. Since nothing is behind the awning rails , it would suggest something was sprayed or splashed on the vehicle, it could've happened the two times you were out. The bay doors, decals, and other cover are not gelcoat.

Just sounds like something corrosive to the gelcoat got sprayed or splashed, and like you feared the only solution may be a body shop.
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:35 PM   #8
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Looks to me like the gel coat has failed. IMHO what you are seeing is the glass layer coming through.
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:36 PM   #9
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I suggest using polishing compound and a random orbital buffer. That will remove the stains along with all oxidation. Gel-coat is 10 times thicker than paint.
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:50 PM   #10
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I remember reading a long posting by a boat guy where he was talking about this very thing. There was some science behind it. Unfortunately I can't find the link.

If I recall, he was saying that the 'mold' looking stuff wasn't mold but a chemical reaction, and had to do with a chemical reaction between the fiberglass and the gelcoat in the presence of moisture and sunshine. Especially salt water moisture.

Can't find the darn article now...maybe you'd have better luck doing a search.
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:56 PM   #11
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It looks like you have cracking or spider webbing in your gel coat that has filled in with dirt and grime during wind and rain and made it more noticeable. You will probably see it on the more weathered areas of the coach. It’s hard to remove because it is lower than the surface. Use a pressure washer to remove as much as possible. Then you could use a sealer/wax of some type on it.

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Old 08-19-2012, 07:09 PM   #12
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I have a similar problem on my 03. Seems like the GEL coat has fractured all over and mildew is growing in the cracks. The only thing I have yet to try is bleach and water. Let us know if you find something that works.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:26 PM   #13
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Kent I had 1999 Itasca about 7 years ago that looked like that. I had it looked at by severial folks that know F/G, they said it was "crazing" small checks in surface of the siding not much you can do about it. That was a while back. A company called Kimlite makes alot of the siding for M/H's, when I talked to them they said "too bad" as far as any warrenty. It doesn't hurt anything just looks bad. I used to wash mine with a cup of bleach in a bucket of soap and water let it sit then rinse about once a month. You might venture a call to Extream Graphics in Texas and talk to them, however a complete repaint is $$$$. Good luck
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
I remember reading a long posting by a boat guy where he was talking about this very thing. There was some science behind it. Unfortunately I can't find the link.

If I recall, he was saying that the 'mold' looking stuff wasn't mold but a chemical reaction, and had to do with a chemical reaction between the fiberglass and the gelcoat in the presence of moisture and sunshine. Especially salt water moisture.

Can't find the darn article now...maybe you'd have better luck doing a search.
This is very interesting, because I believe this side of the motorhome with morning dew lingering due to the sun not hitting it until 1 or 2 in the afternoon....Also, it is about 2 feet from the lawn where the other side is just rock and concrete...... It was last Feb or Mar when I hit the side with the pressure washer and there is a clean spot there. I have not tried pressure washing. So this chemical reaction and another post of this stuff being down in the minor cracks of the gelcoat make the most sense to me so far.....

I have not tried the bleach....that's next.

Thanks!! If you come up on that article let me know!

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