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Old 11-14-2015, 01:28 PM   #1
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Fiberglass repair?

Can someone please help me with guidance on repairing this crack myself. It is on my 2000 Rexhall Aerbus.

Thanks

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Old 11-14-2015, 02:13 PM   #2
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The only thing I could think of is go to your local hardware store and get a kit that contains fiberglass resin/hardener and a roll of fiberglass tape. You put a coat of the resin/hardener on the repair area, then put down a layer of the tape, then more resin, then more tape if necessary. One layer is easier to sand to feather in to make it look better but two would be stronger. Prepare surface first by cleaning and lightly sanding to rough up the repair area. You need to really saturate the tape so it sands nicely. Good luck!
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Old 11-14-2015, 02:19 PM   #3
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To many variables to access the repair with that picture. How about one a little further a way to tell where it is at? Also, what quality of a repair do you want?

Here is what I would do. First of all, any where there is a crack even in the gelcoat it needs to be repaired if you want it like new. Rigidity of the structure needs to be determined. If there is access to the back I would grind the back with a coarse DA disc and lay a new supporting layer of mat or cloth with resin, again, depending on strength needed.

Then I would grind out all damaged areas on the front side feather edging out to good material. Depending on the damage I would lay some mat and resin to build up the base and and add strength. If more build is needed I would fill with long or short strand fiberglass filler (kitty hair) keeping the surface a bit lower than the expected finish height. A skim coat of body filler blocked out to provide the finished base. A couple of layers each sanded if I want perfection. Urethane primer, sand, maybe prime again. Then either paint the whole panel or blend using a single or two stage catalyzed paint depending on the quality of the existing paint. Maybe color sand and buff, all depends. Either way, I could shave in the reflection of the paint

Maybe more than you planned on doing. It all depends on what quality repair you want. If I was to get carried away I would even spray a coat of new gelcoat.

For a cheap repair, grind it out, plaster it with kitty hair, sand, and paint it to your satisfaction. If you go that route, please don't ask me, "How's it look? I did it myself."

Good luck with the project and have fun if you do it yourself!
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Old 11-14-2015, 02:46 PM   #4
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Thanks Sofakleez and CFO.

Sounds like what I used to do back in the day with surfboards and fiberglass rockets.. Can't access from the backside to easily. Was not sure if I was proceeding in the right way.

Great info guys, now I can get started.

Thanks again
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Old 11-14-2015, 06:18 PM   #5
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Wondering how far around the corner that crack goes?

Look at the link below. It shows how I repaired a hole in my front cap.

RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Repairing a hole in the front cap

I agree you need to get a repair on the back surface before beginning to repair the outside surface. Perhaps you could use the same method I used in the link above (and is what is done with a boat hull when you can't get access to the inside).

I'm not sure I mentioned in the thread in the link, but once you cut out the damaged area, you can grind the backside by mounting a sanding disc backwards on your electric drill. You will need to grind/bevel about 1.5 inches around the opening on the back side before applying the repair from the inside.

If you don't want to do it yourself, then find a good boat repair guy.

Let us know when you get it repaired.

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Old 11-14-2015, 06:30 PM   #6
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FWIW I would also go to a boat shop for resin. Much better materials are available than the hardware store stuff. You might also look into getting a bit of heavy cloth instead of mat. It will give you a stronger lamination.
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Old 11-14-2015, 09:27 PM   #7
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Here is a shot of it going around the corner.

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Old 11-14-2015, 09:33 PM   #8
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Thank you Fred Cooper and nothermark, nothermark, I appreciate the suggestion of going to a boat shop. I will do that.

Fred Cooper Thanks for that link, I will check it out in the morning. On the inside is a mirror strip that I would have to remove. I am sure my wife would not mind. It looks kinda of gaudy!

Thanks again
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Old 11-14-2015, 09:50 PM   #9
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Looks like you were rear ended by a wall or tree.

Your repair will be poor if nothing is done to the other side.

If the rear cap cannot be removed can the back wall be opened?

You need to place something in back to build it up then the front is just some bondo and finish.

Seek out boat repair places as the hull of a boat is under more stress and those folks have access to proper materials and methods for blind spot repairs.

They may do something similar to drywall repair where they could cut out the center cracked area and use it to access behind the panel to build up a sub-panel or supporting structure then re attaching the cut out parts and finishing.

Many options...
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Old 11-15-2015, 10:46 AM   #10
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Thanks TQ60,

I bought the motor home about 2 months ago. I had a mechanic check it out. Did not think to have someone check the exterior of the coach. Found another place that has a small repair also.

Thanks everyone for the great advice.
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Old 11-15-2015, 09:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
FWIW I would also go to a boat shop for resin. ....

This is a very common and relatively easy "crazing" repair on boats.

It's easy to do, if you have worked with repairing gelcote before, (it's not the same process as fiberglass matting or layup).

However the BEST reason to go to a boat shop for this repair is that they can match the gelcote color, compensating for existing UV fade that has already occurred.

It's just a matter of cleaning and prepping the existing cracks, filling in with new gelcote, then sanding and polishing. A proper repair would have to be pointed out to notice.
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Old 11-16-2015, 05:58 AM   #12
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Cool, Thanks BeachDude.

I work close to the beach I will check out a couple boat shops.
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