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Old 05-12-2009, 06:07 PM   #1
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Gelcoat vs. Filon

I am looking at an 04 Excel. It appears to be in really nice condition, about the only negative I can see is the exterior is chalky and the decals are peeling. The decals don't faze me, I'll take em off and paint them on, but I know nothing about filon. Another post talks about buffing it back up and getting satisfactory results. But is filon a deal breaker? Is it that much worse than gelcoat?

Thanks in advance,
Bikeman
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Old 05-12-2009, 07:28 PM   #2
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http://www.cranecomposites.com/RV/GIII.asp is the mfr page for Filon, it is simply a brand of gelcoated panel lots of RV manufacturere use.

My experience with Filon sidewalls is when they chalk up you can buff them and get at least some shine back, however the two I had to deal with (one 5 yr old at the time, the other 10 yr old) needed TLC for a couple of years to keep their shine. After buffing the oxidation off, I'd recommend a good gelcoat polish (I use Gel-Gloss)

I wold not consider it a deal-breaker unless the walls are delaminating, which is a whole other can of worms (http://www.google.com/search?q=delam...h=www.irv2.com is a search of Irv2.com and http://forum.doityourself.com/all-tr...eperating.html is more info on delamination, in case you want to know what to look for.

Good luck!
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Old 05-12-2009, 07:30 PM   #3
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Filon can come with gelcoast surface as well. Here is link to Crane Composites a major manufacturer of panels formerly used in the RV industry. They were the company that had several class action lawsuits for delamination and were blamed by ALFA for their demise. There ad is only good to learn a little about RV surfaces, not their product.

http://www.cranecomposites.com/PDFs/65117_fil_lit.pdf
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Old 05-12-2009, 07:33 PM   #4
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Looks like we posted at almost the same time. Well, what he said!
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Old 05-12-2009, 09:08 PM   #5
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Thanks for the informative replies. I will go see the unit tomorrow well prepared. Will let you know what it looks like when I get back.

Thanks!
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:51 PM   #6
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I have had good success removing oxidation from fiber glass finish such as Gelcoat on boats and RVs with 3M cleaner/polish that you can purchase in the boating sectiuon at Walmart. I have used just hand buffing and machine buffing depending on how bad the surface is oxidized. Putting a coat of 303 Aerospace liquid polish on it after cleaning will protect it from futher UV damage.
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Old 05-13-2009, 06:26 AM   #7
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Our 2000 5th has filon exterior, and the boat has gel coat. The boat cleans up much nicer. But the trailer still looks good, just has fibers in the finish coat.

Gel coat looks better, thats all.
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:13 PM   #8
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I have had Filon on two rigs. One of them I had for about 7 years. After 5 years or so the fibreglass threads started showing bad and would mildew no matter what I put on for a finish. I would have to periodically wash the finish with a strong detergent to remove any wax residue, then wash it down with a rather strong bleach solution. Then, I would repolish and wax. I would sure opt for gelcoat any day.
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiverBob View Post
I have had Filon on two rigs. One of them I had for about 7 years. After 5 years or so the fibreglass threads started showing bad and would mildew no matter what I put on for a finish. I would have to periodically wash the finish with a strong detergent to remove any wax residue, then wash it down with a rather strong bleach solution. Then, I would repolish and wax. I would sure opt for gelcoat any day.
Bob

Man, your not suppose to sand the finish down to expose the fibers!!

If you keep a good coat of wax on, I think you will not get mildew?!?!

Agree that gel coat is preferred, but filon should not be a deal breaker.
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:49 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by gearman View Post
Man, your not suppose to sand the finish down to expose the fibers!!
If you keep a good coat of wax on, I think you will not get mildew?!?!
Agree that gel coat is preferred, but filon should not be a deal breaker.
Sand the finish???? DUH. Who said that????

Note that I said no matter what I put on it, they still mildewed. This included paste boat wax. Nothing would stop except bleach. I have the same thing on the entry door of my fiver - - hate it. When I have some time, this door is going to be painted.

Course, if everything were perfect, I might have too much time on my hands.
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Old 06-29-2009, 09:25 PM   #11
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I am starting to see hairline cracks in the filron on the sides of our Arctic Fox. The cracks are along to top and by the steps. It is a 2003 with over 40K miles towing. I am not sure if this is a problem or not.
Tom
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Old 03-19-2015, 09:21 PM   #12
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is Kemlite G-III any better?

I just purchased a 2008 Winnebago Access 31c and I'm wondering what I can do to preserve the healthy finish it has right now. The documentation says it has the Kemlite G-III sidewall material. Is Kemlite a type of Filon and is the G-III product any better than the original FRP product? (the one involved in the class-action action)? I've always been a believer in regular paste waxing to keep my vehicles looking like new, does the RV surface require any special products?

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Old 03-20-2015, 07:47 AM   #13
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You might want to check with Peterson Industries about the 04 Excel. I don't think they have ever used Filon for the exterior. We have owned 3 of them, a 97, an 00 and our current one. I know our new one is gel coated fiberglass and I think the previous ones were also.
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Old 03-20-2015, 08:00 AM   #14
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On my last two Filon surfaced tt's I use Gel-Gloss. It's both a cleaner and a wax. They also sell a heavy-duty formula that has a UV protector. I use that on the decal areas. If a person doesn't wax their decals within 3-4 years, one can expect the edges to start peeling and some fading. A 1/2 gallon jug will last me at least 3-4 years.
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