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Old 08-01-2014, 01:17 PM   #57
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I have no idea what you may find under that skin, but I know what's under the filon on my 1984 Gulfstream Classic, as I have spent several months (off and on) repairing and replacing large areas of skin. It has the filon, then a layer of thin plywood, which is glued to the (steel) frame members and the white foam between them. The plywood is very expensive at RV stores, but I found that it is basically the same as the cheap door skin you can buy at any lumber yard, so that is what I used. There is a special type of contact cement in rattle cans or bulk that is necessary to use, and I wouldn't cut corners on that cost. The stuff is magic, and nothing else will work as well. I found that if you have a small leak getting behind the sheeting, you will find much more rotted wood than you want to find. I patched mine all up, and eliminated all the seams I could by grinding out and fiberglassing them to make one solid sheet, top to bottom. See pictures.
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Old 08-01-2014, 01:55 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Irish View Post
I have no idea what you may find under that skin, but I know what's under the filon on my 1984 Gulfstream Classic, as I have spent several months (off and on) repairing and replacing large areas of skin. It has the filon, then a layer of thin plywood, which is glued to the (steel) frame members and the white foam between them. The plywood is very expensive at RV stores, but I found that it is basically the same as the cheap door skin you can buy at any lumber yard, so that is what I used. There is a special type of contact cement in rattle cans or bulk that is necessary to use, and I wouldn't cut corners on that cost. The stuff is magic, and nothing else will work as well. I found that if you have a small leak getting behind the sheeting, you will find much more rotted wood than you want to find. I patched mine all up, and eliminated all the seams I could by grinding out and fiberglassing them to make one solid sheet, top to bottom. See pictures.
You and I are gluttons for punishment I think.

It looks like you're going to be successful though in your endeavors. A couple questions:

1) How thick is the wood you are using? Our RV uses 1/4" laminated to the aluminum.

2) How are you attaching the wood to the steel framing?

3) What brand of adhesive are you using for the filon? I found 5 gallon buckets of the stuff for sale at the same website that sells the filon. I can actually get filon 102" wide by whatever length I need and make one giant panel if I wanted. Not sure how I'd handle it though.

4) How confident are you that your contact adhesive will hold? I've heard some people have had trouble with it holding more than a year or so.

I think reskinning this old beast is the only way to go. I think Filon would be better than aluminum if there is an electrolysis going on... or galvanic corrosion... or acid from the wood rot... or chemicals from pressure treated luan. Just worried whether or not I can get it to stick properly for the long haul...

-cheers
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Old 08-02-2014, 06:24 AM   #59
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It's easy to get the filon (or alum.) to stick to the luan reliably but another story getting the luan stuck to the foam and steel. You might consider using 2 coats of cement, with a coat on each side at minimum.

Also, we used to use a screw or 2 (strategically placed) to hold and locate panels in place. You need to choose where those are installed wisely (around window frames, along the belt line, under lights, etc.), or remove them prior to installing the filon/alum. Very helpful in locating panels prior to gluing? Then, you can use longer screws with the glue in place to help locate the panel as you install it. Obviously, a mistake at this point is a disaster. You aren't going to move it once that glue touches.

Another tip, we used to use broom handles strategically placed to keep surfaces apart while they were being located? Once happy with the panel placement the broomstick is pulled out (easy, because there's no glue on it), letting the surfaces contact each other.

NOBODY looks forward to doing this job. You guys are to be commended for getting into it.... Best of luck!
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:29 AM   #60
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It's easy to get the filon (or alum.) to stick to the luan reliably but another story getting the luan stuck to the foam and steel. You might consider using 2 coats of cement, with a coat on each side at minimum.

Also, we used to use a screw or 2 (strategically placed) to hold and locate panels in place. You need to choose where those are installed wisely (around window frames, along the belt line, under lights, etc.), or remove them prior to installing the filon/alum. Very helpful in locating panels prior to gluing? Then, you can use longer screws with the glue in place to help locate the panel as you install it. Obviously, a mistake at this point is a disaster. You aren't going to move it once that glue touches.

Another tip, we used to use broom handles strategically placed to keep surfaces apart while they were being located? Once happy with the panel placement the broomstick is pulled out (easy, because there's no glue on it), letting the surfaces contact each other.

NOBODY looks forward to doing this job. You guys are to be commended for getting into it.... Best of luck!
I'm not even sure that my panels are glued to the frame... which is aluminum. I think this might actually be the hung wall construction I've read about... but won't know until I tear into it. And I'm still not sure I want to go that route. There are tons of rivets under the vinyl trim? Maybe it's glued and riveted.
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:41 AM   #61
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Yup, glued, riveted, AND screwed!

That's why I like the HR product. It stays together!

Unfortunately, they stumbled a couple of years. The '93 I had was fine, as well as the 97 I have now. -Al
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Old 08-02-2014, 01:49 PM   #62
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Yup, glued, riveted, AND screwed!

That's why I like the HR product. It stays together!

Unfortunately, they stumbled a couple of years. The '93 I had was fine, as well as the 97 I have now. -Al
Is the contact adhesive used for gluing the luan to the filon good for gluing the luan to the aluminum frame?

Wonder what THIS STUFF is like?

-cheers
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Old 08-02-2014, 03:50 PM   #63
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Sure. Where you get into trouble is when it contacts foam, and there's foam within/in between all of that alum framework.
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Old 08-02-2014, 04:01 PM   #64
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Check with the folks who laminate counter tops.

They use different types of contact cement and they use paper plastic or something to keep them from touching.

You may be able to get a hf tarp bigger than the side so you can cut out the groments.

Place that on the coach then hang skin and via some long screws used for alignment get everything perfect.

Then peel the tarp out slowly and tap it down.

Air bubbles will be issue...

Maybe the cabinet folks could hang it for you for decent money?
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:05 AM   #65
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Mostly good advice on this forum! Just have short time, so here's a couple points...are you sure it's 1/4" ply, or could it be the thin stuff mine has on it? Mine is a fraction under 3/16, if I remember correctly, so door skin is a perfect match. There is one glue for the foam to wood, and another for the wood to filon. DON'T use the wrong one on the foam or it will melt and go away! :-) You definitely need to spray glue on both surfaces, and I used 2 coats on each in some areas. The wood to foam glue also holds the wood to the frame members, but I used a few stainless steel countersunk head (small) screws through the wood into the steel in areas where it was rusted badly, and anywhere I thought needed a little extra help. I don't have the glue info here, but will get it for you tonight and send it to this forum tomorrow. I bought mine from a supplier in Milwaukee Oregon. It's expensive, but beats the heck out of hardware store junk. Don't try to use regular contact cement. The tarp idea might work pretty good for large area work. I had a piece about 3' by 5' that was ready to put in place, and I got it a little out of line. It had just barely touched the wood on one end, and I could not pull it back off. Had to actually tear the filon to save the rest of the sheet it was stuck so firmly!I had a little trouble in a couple of areas getting the glue to bond the filon to the wood, and I think it was just my lack of experience, and maybe some temperature problems when I installed it. It generally holds VERY well.
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:15 AM   #66
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OK, here's the info on the glue that I promised two days ago The brand name is Helmitin. One is called Helmiprene 1685 Contact Adhesive, "Fast Drying, High Heat Resistance, Excelent Strength". The other is Helmiprene 1616 General Purpose & EPS Adhesive, "Fast Drying, Long Open Time, High Tack". Hope this info helps you. I bought mine in rattle cans, but for a major re-sheeting I think I would go with the large containers and use a spray paint gun to apply.
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:24 PM   #67
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We used to use a quality short knap roller. Works great. The stuff does get tacky, so a junk roller will unravel itself. WAY less mess than spraying, not to mention you can just throw everything away when you're done - without having a nasty spray gun to clean!
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:38 PM   #68
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Good point ahicks! That does make a lot less mess, and probably better coverage, also. I think that's partly why I had a couple spots bulge, because I didn't get the glue evenly spread. I think, also, that I had some moisture left trapped in the foam, and when the weather got hot it turned to steamy condensation on the back side of the filon, keeping the glue from adhering properly.
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:16 AM   #69
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Smile Thank You!

Thank You all for the welcoming message.
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:16 PM   #70
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I'm not sure... but my exterior panels do not appear to be glued to the frame at all? I took the trim off around the refrigerator access panel where the panels seem to be in good condition, and the panels are not stuck to the aluminum frame, and there doesn't appear to have ever been any glue there.

It looks like there is aluminum glued to luan to create an exterior panel... and then that panel is riveted to the aluminum studs on the outside of the rv... no glue. The studs do not have foam in between them either, but rather fiberglass insulation. Then on the inside of the studs, the interior panels appear to be glued to a 1/2" foam board, and then that foam board is glued to the inside of the studs/perlins.

This is not how I imagined it would be, but might make replacing the exterior panels much easier if we get the opportunity to do that someday. I guess I won't know for sure exactly how it's built until I decide to pull off a panel... I'm not to the point where I'm ready to do that yet...

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