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Old 07-29-2014, 06:00 PM   #1
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How would you Repair This?

My storage compartment doors as per the picture are damaged.
What has happened is the Motor home was driven hard in very wet conditions by the previous owner. What he did not know was water was entering into the foam core of the door. Probably caused by high pressure water coming off the wheels of passing vehicles.

With that said: I tried to determine what was going on and discovered there were no drain holes and the water could not escape. Thus when parked for the winter -40 deg. Water froze and resulted in the damage.
I contacted the builder and they suggested that I drill drain holes in the bottom of the door to allow the water to escape. When I drilled the first hole a lot of water ran out. I decided to drill holes in all the doors and was really surprised the amount of water they held. I was fortunate not to have damage on all the doors but only three.
I have some Ideas about what to do but I would really appreciate your input.
I have dealt with damaged fiberglass on boats,but this damage is different because it is pushed out and I guess I will have to remove material in order to apply a patch.

Your thoughts and Ideas please.
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:03 PM   #2
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Are the Doors Fiber Glass or Aluminum ?
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:07 PM   #3
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If it were me I would take it to a good body shop.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:43 PM   #4
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How would you Repair This?

1. You could remove the doors and take them to a body shop.

2. Sand, use some epoxy behind the damage. Fill the cracks with fiberglass resin. Sand, paint.

3. Locate a RV salvage and see if you could get some used doors.. May have to repaint.





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Old 07-29-2014, 08:12 PM   #5
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My inclination would be to remove the door and remove the hardware. Then I would decide if the glass skin would push flat again or if the core is destroyed. If lucky it is just delaminated and split skin. I'd decide whether to recover the whole thing or just go to a pain line as a parting point. Sand what I was going to replace and cover with a layer of 6 oz glass cloth with epoxy resin and a roller. Use wax paper as a parting barrier and a piece of plywood or similar with a weight to flatten the damaged area while the epoxy set. Roll on a second and maybe third coat lightly sanding in between to fill the weave. Hit it with a high build primer, sand flat and repaint. Drill weep holes in all the doors. ;-)
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:07 PM   #6
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The doors are a foam core fiberglass skin and the only damage is what you see there is no damage on the inside of the door. To remove a door you have to remove all the doors at once as they all seem to hinge on one common track. That would be about twenty ft or so. When I first bought it I thought I would just remove the damaged doors and repair or have just the ones that need repair fixed.
Taking it to a body shop is really not an option as they would charge far too much and you can only put so much into an older unit.
Painting is not a problem as I will be painting the unit myself as I have a lot of experience with that.
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:33 PM   #7
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Here are a some more pictures. I went out and had another look and found out the hinge for the doors include all doors and the unit is 34 ft. So I will not be taking them off. One thing that is good is I can open the doors and have them lay flat on a support and work on them like you would on a table.
All I have to do is figger out what I should do.
Never paid anybody to fix anything before and it won't happen now.
The DW says I'm cheap!
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
My inclination would be to remove the door and remove the hardware. Then I would decide if the glass skin would push flat again or if the core is destroyed. If lucky it is just delaminated and split skin. I'd decide whether to recover the whole thing or just go to a pain line as a parting point. Sand what I was going to replace and cover with a layer of 6 oz glass cloth with epoxy resin and a roller. Use wax paper as a parting barrier and a piece of plywood or similar with a weight to flatten the damaged area while the epoxy set. Roll on a second and maybe third coat lightly sanding in between to fill the weave. Hit it with a high build primer, sand flat and repaint. Drill weep holes in all the doors. ;-)
You are thinking in the same ball park as me. I just find it scary, used to restore cars as a hobby but this is so different.
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:40 PM   #9
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If you are good with fiberglass work, I would suggest cutting a groove the crack line, as the expanded material in that area has to be removed before you can get it to lay flat. If any of it is delaminated, you could force some adhesive behind it and find a way to clamp it tight as it sets. Then you should be able to fill the crack and you are on your way.
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:42 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by PushedAround View Post
If you are good with fiberglass work, I would suggest cutting a groove the crack line, as the expanded material in that area has to be removed before you can get it to lay flat. If any of it is delaminated, you could force some adhesive behind it and find a way to clamp it tight as it sets. Then you should be able to fill the crack and you are on your way.
Makes sense! I wonder what adhesive I could use? I wonder if just a good constructive adhesive would work?
Clamping should be easy as the door is flat on the inside.
The Lord hates a coward so I guess I have to start somewhere.
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PushedAround View Post
If you are good with fiberglass work, I would suggest cutting a groove the crack line, as the expanded material in that area has to be removed before you can get it to lay flat. If any of it is delaminated, you could force some adhesive behind it and find a way to clamp it tight as it sets. Then you should be able to fill the crack and you are on your way.
This is a good start, but you're going to want to do more than just fill the cracks to repair the "skin". You'll want to sand down the damaged area, out from the cracks a few inches, and I don't mean just removing the paint. Dish out around the damage so you can then start laying in new glass over it. I'd think maybe at least three layers of new glass. Once fully set up you can sand smooth, fill any pin holes, prime and paint. This will be much more durable than simply filling the crack.
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:02 AM   #12
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The original panel was probably bagged with polyester or vinylester resin. Neither are particularly good as glue. That is why I would go with epoxy. West, System 3 and probably others make repair kits of epoxy resin - smaller amounts with the metering pumps. I'd be looking for the slow setting versions.

I did a fast look for sizes and found West has switched to pre packaged foil packs for their repair kits. I did find qt size resin on line. You can look around. They also have some video's on making repairs.

FWIW I have gone to wax paper as a barrier to prevent bonding. There are some plastic films that are not supposed to bond to epoxy but at least one changed their formula. Messy to get off! Wax paper is at least sandable.

If the substrate is not damaged then the glass will rebond. The problem is getting a layer over the cracks to seal. Assuming the foam is solid I might start by mixing up a bit of resin, paint it in with a half or one inch chip brush and do the wax paper/plywood/weight sandwich trick while the resin sets. Worst case is it won't bond. Best case is it bonds flat.

If you get the bonds flat then you can do a single layer patch to seal. Going edge to edge and stopping at a paint line vertically makes it less obvious.

If it won't bond then it needs to be opened up to replace the core. Not fun but doable. In that case you will need to build up whatever you cut out to end up flush. If the panel is still stiff all you need is a replacement filler. I might use blue styrofoam with epoxy if I could not get regular laminating foam. Also could consider the yellow isocyanurate insulating foam with the foil peeled. Polyester resin will melt the Styrofoam but the epoxy should not. Try a sample.
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Old 07-30-2014, 01:29 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by narampa View Post
Here are a some more pictures. I went out and had another look and found out the hinge for the doors include all doors and the unit is 34 ft. So I will not be taking them off. One thing that is good is I can open the doors and have them lay flat on a support and work on them like you would on a table.
All I have to do is figger out what I should do.
Never paid anybody to fix anything before and it won't happen now.
The DW says I'm cheap!
I can't tell from your photos what the hinge looks like, but here is a link to a thread about compartment door removal that might help.

Compartment door removal
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Old 07-30-2014, 05:06 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
The original panel was probably bagged with polyester or vinylester resin. Neither are particularly good as glue. That is why I would go with epoxy. West, System 3 and probably others make repair kits of epoxy resin - smaller amounts with the metering pumps. I'd be looking for the slow setting versions.

I did a fast look for sizes and found West has switched to pre packaged foil packs for their repair kits. I did find qt size resin on line. You can look around. They also have some video's on making repairs.

FWIW I have gone to wax paper as a barrier to prevent bonding. There are some plastic films that are not supposed to bond to epoxy but at least one changed their formula. Messy to get off! Wax paper is at least sandable.

If the substrate is not damaged then the glass will rebond. The problem is getting a layer over the cracks to seal. Assuming the foam is solid I might start by mixing up a bit of resin, paint it in with a half or one inch chip brush and do the wax paper/plywood/weight sandwich trick while the resin sets. Worst case is it won't bond. Best case is it bonds flat.

If you get the bonds flat then you can do a single layer patch to seal. Going edge to edge and stopping at a paint line vertically makes it less obvious.

If it won't bond then it needs to be opened up to replace the core. Not fun but doable. In that case you will need to build up whatever you cut out to end up flush. If the panel is still stiff all you need is a replacement filler. I might use blue styrofoam with epoxy if I could not get regular laminating foam. Also could consider the yellow isocyanurate insulating foam with the foil peeled. Polyester resin will melt the Styrofoam but the epoxy should not. Try a sample.

This is absolutely the correct procedure. Great post!
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