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Old 04-05-2015, 08:34 PM   #1
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Fiberglass wall rebuild - need advice

I have a 97 Class C with fiberglass sides Rebuild the bunk of the cab earlier this winter and am tearing into the rest of the water damage now.

I have started destruction on the walls from the inside out. I have leaned that they are put together this way.



The inside plywood delaminated & fell apart. Styrofoam is fairly saturated and the innermost particle board that was glued to the fiberglass turned to mush.

I am down to fiberglass and a thin layer of glued particle board.





I keep finding wet styrofoam the farther I go and I am getting frustrated. I am now tempted to open it up from the outside and start cutting it away from there. It is getting very hard to access from the inside.






Questions:

How important is it to have a layer of wood directly attached to the fiberglass siding (filon)? Can it be glued to new foamboard or does it need a wood backer?

Has anyone ever pulled the filon away on the outside without taking it clear off (maybe attached at the roofline)?

Any other suggestions?
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Old 04-05-2015, 10:19 PM   #2
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Filon comes in a roll and is affixed to the wood to make a flat wall. It is done laying material flat on the floor and weight upon it to ensure glue adhesion. The styrene is then glued to the wood. You want to ensure the filon, wood, and styrene will not separate under vibration and stress.
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Old 04-06-2015, 10:46 AM   #3
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Doggy Daddy is probably right in the way the wall was constructed initially.

What does the outside look like now, is it flat or rippled.

I worked at a truck plant back about 15 years ago for a summer. They made insulated refrigerated boxes that were built onto a truck chassis. Their procedure was to build the metal frame of a wall, attach the fiberglass suing adhesive to the outside and plywood to the inside using self-tapping screws to the wall. They would then put each panel into a large press and then inject Styrofoam into each void. In this case the panel with fiberglass face down was on a perfectly flat surface and large flat panels pressing down using hydraulic cylinders pressing against the plywood. This prevented the panels from bulging.

In either case, if your fiberglass is flat on the outside you should be able to attach plywood or Styrofoam to it HOWEVER you will have to make sure the outside is flat. You may have to create a flat surface on the outside pressing against the fiberglass while working on the inside. Flat wood would probably be more forgiving and maintain a flat surface.
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:48 AM   #4
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There is 1 small ripple where the steel framework was at. When the wood got saturated, it pushed outward on the fiberglass since it couldn't expand inward any. Otherwise, it is pretty good.

The only way to put a solid piece of wood on the inside would be to pull the fiberglass from the camper body and slide it in behind. I am not sure if I am willing to do that much effort at this time.

Would gluing the filon to rigid foamboard and then plywood on the inside be enough? The steel support braces in the way make everything a lot more complicated. And, the layer of particle board that is cemented to the filon is nearly impossible to completely remove.
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Old 04-10-2015, 08:15 AM   #5
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Sounds like you don't have a lot of options. If you can't completely remove the particle board attached to the filon how will you be able to glue the Styrofoam to it. Will it hold. You may have to make a flat wall on the out side pressing against the filon so you can press hold the foam on the inside while it dries. This may help keep it flat.
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Old 04-10-2015, 05:39 PM   #6
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I don't thing one can do it. From what i see and read the whole wall needs to be rebuilt including the outside. The maker had specialized presses for the fiberglass so how you are going to accomplish that is unknown to me. From what you say everything but the steel braces and the fiberglass is shot so all has to be new.
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:10 PM   #7
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If I could not buy a filon coated panel I would be inclined to either hand laminate or vacuum bag a layer of fiberglass cloth over sheet plywood to build a new wall panel. Paint the fiberglass when done to protect the resin from UV degradation. YMMV
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Old 04-11-2015, 06:30 AM   #8
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I would cover it all up, rebuild as it is and sell it
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Old 04-12-2015, 04:38 PM   #9
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You might try coating another sheet of fiberglass heavily with resin and then adhering it to the inside of the filon, this would give the exterior wall additional strength, it would conform to the filon much more easily than a rigid sheet if 1/4 plywood. Then follow up with the block foam sheet. It probably won't be worth the expense and time it will take if you try to do a factory duplication repair.
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynadave View Post
You might try coating another sheet of fiberglass heavily with resin and then adhering it to the inside of the filon, this would give the exterior wall additional strength, it would conform to the filon much more easily than a rigid sheet if 1/4 plywood. Then follow up with the block foam sheet. It probably won't be worth the expense and time it will take if you try to do a factory duplication repair.
This is looking like the most likely scenario. Passenger side wall has been completely stripped down to exterior layer of filon and steel framework.

Menards sells 4x8 fiberglass panels that would make a great layer to replace the outermost layer of wood that rotted away. Then foamboard, then 1/4 plywood for interior wall. I'll post pics when I tear into this.

The exterior filon still has a thin layer of wood chips infused with glue that is nearly impossible to completely remove. It appears to be harder than the filon material itself, so the scraper blade tried to dig into the filon instead of just separating the 2 layers. Not sure exactly what I am going to do yet.

Drink a beer and ponder I suppose....
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Old 04-16-2015, 03:09 PM   #11
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Resources

http://www.cranecomposites.com/rv/sidewall.html
http://www.cranecomposites.com/pdf/65137.pdf

I would call them and describe the current condition of your walls.
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Old 04-17-2015, 05:07 AM   #12
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you can get filon and other stuff here.

6663 - Fiberglass Siding Cut To Length - Price: $23.00 - Factory RV Surplus - 1611 W Bristol St, Elkhart, IN 46514 (800) 325-1461 (574) 262-3327
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