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Old 09-06-2020, 12:25 PM   #1
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Exclamation Ford Econoline Fibreglass Roof Repair *HELP*

Hello,

I have a camper I've rebuilt the motor and now am moving onto the interior build, however the roof is made of a fibreglass shell and is full of pinholes, causing water to leak in everywhere. I had to fully gut the original interior as a result of it being covered in green moss and mold.

I'm wondering does anyone have suggestions how I should patch this up?

I have access to a friends spray gun for gelcoat/topcoat but also am considering doing the matting / resin way and cutting the roof off flipping her upside down and refibreglassing the inside (there's some rotten wood boards attached to the roof fibreglass that needs to be taken out and replaced during same time). I'm considering options, whether to do matting / resin inside, topcoat outside, or just spray a coat of gelcoat inside and toss rubber on the outside, or any other options anyone can suggest?



I'm just a newb when it comes to fibreglass, and I dont know the best course of action to take in regard to this task. It seems a bit daunting and I could use any advice, feedback or suggestions! I appreciate it a lot!!


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Old 09-06-2020, 02:31 PM   #2
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Thumbs up

here is links to the photos (they didnt work in original post for some reason):


Pics:
https://imgur.com/a/1VZvd9k
https://imgur.com/a/HRMh1Pi
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Old 09-06-2020, 03:35 PM   #3
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Vanlife204!

Looks like quite a project you've taken on but it will be very satisfying when it's done!

I agree with the removal and re-fiberglassing. As you have found, the more you "peel the onion" the more issues you will find. For example, the fasteners between the top and van body may be compromised. You still will need new gelcoat on the top.
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Old 09-06-2020, 03:39 PM   #4
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Do you live near any body shops that do fibreglass (like Corvettes)? I'd ask them what they would recommend.
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Old 09-07-2020, 12:25 PM   #5
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Vanlife204!

Looks like quite a project you've taken on but it will be very satisfying when it's done!

I agree with the removal and re-fiberglassing. As you have found, the more you "peel the onion" the more issues you will find. For example, the fasteners between the top and van body may be compromised. You still will need new gelcoat on the top.



Thank you for your comment. Indeed it has been a satisfying project. I took her camping a few weeks ago without an interior build just a mattress, it was very fun.


I just wanted to clarify, do I want to put gelcoat or flowcoat (topcoat) on the outside?
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Old 09-07-2020, 12:27 PM   #6
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Hi yes, autobody shop said it would cost them $1700+ to do, or I could do it myself for $500, he said I could just chop the roof and put down new matting & resin inside. but there would still be the holes exposed from the outside, so I'm wonderring if I should do both sides and how to do the outside because I hear some people just slap down some roofing rubber material on their RV's then paint it white



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Originally Posted by Winterbagoal View Post
Do you live near any body shops that do fibreglass (like Corvettes)? I'd ask them what they would recommend.
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Old 09-07-2020, 12:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Vanlife204 View Post
Hi yes, autobody shop said it would cost them $1700+ to do, or I could do it myself for $500, he said I could just chop the roof and put down new matting & resin inside. but there would still be the holes exposed from the outside, so I'm wonderring if I should do both sides and how to do the outside because I hear some people just slap down some roofing rubber material on their RV's then paint it white
My opinion isn't fully qualified, I'm no expert, but in general, I'd avoid adding anything made of rubber to the roof. It might add some insulation, and might even be resistant to things like bird mess and hail stones, but rubber isn't as forever as some sort of paint, be it flowcoat or gelcoat. If I wanted it to last, I'd do something like clean it up, and paint it white somehow, and then use a varathane product on it for extra strength, but I'm not sure how a varathane product would hold up to sun and rain over time? I guess that would be a gelcoat of sorts? If it was UV resistant it might do well, maybe?
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Old 09-07-2020, 05:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanlife204 View Post
....
I just wanted to clarify, do I want to put gelcoat or flowcoat (topcoat) on the outside?
I've never done this, but there are plenty of people on the internet who have. Here's a link from a gelcoat distributor and here's a forum link discussing whether to use gelcoat or flowcoat. Both the distributor and forum mention using "wax" or sanding aid in the gelcoat, which evidently makes it flowcoat.

If I were to do this I'd contact a gelcoat distributor and pick his/her brain.
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Old 09-08-2020, 05:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Luv2go View Post
I've never done this, but there are plenty of people on the internet who have. Here's a link from a gelcoat distributor and here's a forum link discussing whether to use gelcoat or flowcoat. Both the distributor and forum mention using "wax" or sanding aid in the gelcoat, which evidently makes it flowcoat.

If I were to do this I'd contact a gelcoat distributor and pick his/her brain.

Thank you
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Old 09-08-2020, 05:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Winterbagoal View Post
My opinion isn't fully qualified, I'm no expert, but in general, I'd avoid adding anything made of rubber to the roof. It might add some insulation, and might even be resistant to things like bird mess and hail stones, but rubber isn't as forever as some sort of paint, be it flowcoat or gelcoat. If I wanted it to last, I'd do something like clean it up, and paint it white somehow, and then use a varathane product on it for extra strength, but I'm not sure how a varathane product would hold up to sun and rain over time? I guess that would be a gelcoat of sorts? If it was UV resistant it might do well, maybe?

Thank you
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Old 09-16-2020, 08:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Vanlife204 View Post
Hello,

I have a camper I've rebuilt the motor and now am moving onto the interior build, however the roof is made of a fibreglass shell and is full of pinholes, causing water to leak in everywhere. I had to fully gut the original interior as a result of it being covered in green moss and mold.

I'm wondering does anyone have suggestions how I should patch this up?

I have access to a friends spray gun for gelcoat/topcoat but also am considering doing the matting / resin way and cutting the roof off flipping her upside down and refibreglassing the inside (there's some rotten wood boards attached to the roof fibreglass that needs to be taken out and replaced during same time). I'm considering options, whether to do matting / resin inside, topcoat outside, or just spray a coat of gelcoat inside and toss rubber on the outside, or any other options anyone can suggest?



I'm just a newb when it comes to fibreglass, and I dont know the best course of action to take in regard to this task. It seems a bit daunting and I could use any advice, feedback or suggestions! I appreciate it a lot!!


My choice would be to lay a light mat coat or even a couple layers of veil cloth on the outside. Minimal fairing would be required on the front, rear, and two sides but the top would not have to be that pretty as it is too high to see. Cutting it off and reinstalling it would be a lot of unnecessary work. Fiberglass is very easy to work with.
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