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Old 08-21-2006, 10:27 PM   #1
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Question Fixing fiberglass

Has anyone had to repair some fiberglass on these campers? I have to small place to repair and I'm concerned because I don't know how to replicate the fiber looking surface. It would be so much easier if the fiberglass surface was sanded smooth. How does one make a repair and match the OEM fiberglass surface?
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Old 08-21-2006, 10:37 PM   #2
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8317SS,

Isn't that a new trailer?
Could you share a photo of the bad area?
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Old 08-22-2006, 07:08 AM   #3
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It's a 2006 model that we purchased last year. It's been a great camper and we have no complaints. My fiberglass damage occured when negociating a very tight campground where someone had left an extra car parked overhanging in the street. Several people came to help "direct" me past the car. I missed the car by no more than 1/2 inch, but couldn't see the other side of the camper (due to the turn I was in). I received the "all clear" and as I pulled forward, the rear or the camper swung and clipped a tree. The result is a hole in the fiberglass 10 inches long and about 6 inches high. So it's not something that Forest River is going to fix under warranty (and I'm not going to send it to Indiana on my own dime) and since I don't have any faith that the local dealer can fix it like new, I'm looking at other options.

I have found a fiberglass repair man that will fix it, but he can't match the fiber look from the factory. I was just wondering if anyone else had run up against this and had a solution. Thanks again.
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Old 08-22-2006, 07:24 AM   #4
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I don't think anyone will perfectly match the factory look, but may come close.
One thing to think about is covering the area (after the repair) with another graphics decal that is large enough to hide it.
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Old 08-22-2006, 07:56 AM   #5
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That's what I was thinking, but I thought it was worth a question. The graphic idea is a good one. I'd love to see a before and after pic. You can send to rphowell@southern.edu. Thanks.
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Old 08-22-2006, 07:28 PM   #6
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8317SS,
I sent a photo file over to ya. Check it out.
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:03 PM   #7
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8317SS,

Call this a wild guess but, after looking at my 827 FLS, I have come to suspect that the "fiber looking surface" is fiberglass "chop" with gel coat sprayed over it. Do a web search for "fiberglass chop" for further explanation. A possible resolution to your problem might be to search for a fiberglass repair or parts manufacturing shop that has a chop gun with which to spray the damaged area and let them take a look at the area you need to have repaired. Matching the color of the gel coat is fairly simple, like getting a custom color paint based on the color of a sample you provide.

Additional information: I got interested in the subject after writing the above and did a bit of research. Below you will find several links to the makers of Filon, which is used in the sidewalls of RVs. Guess what? The composition is random chopped fiberglass roving in a polyester resin mix. Bingo!! It seems to be sold as rolls of very thin sheeting (1-1.5 mm,) and is possibly then laminated to a backer board by the RV manufacturer or it’s supplier. (Sidewall delamination, which we have all heard of, would then be the result of insufficient adhesive, or the improper kind of adhesive, between the Filon and the backer board.)

http://www.kemlite.com/
http://www.kemlite.com/filon_frp/fil..._sidewalls.cfm
http://www.kemlite.com/pdf/6279_fil_tech.pdf

A little research of you own might resolve you problem, assuming that you want an invisible repair. I’m sure Forest River can tell you the color of the gel coat (if you can get in touch with them J) and Kemlite might provide repair information. I am assuming that the backer board is not damaged.


Good luck and the best of result with your project.
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Old 09-06-2006, 10:46 PM   #8
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8317SS,

These appear to be Kemlite issued instructions for the repair of Filon. I’ve found them on a number of sites while searching for “Filon repair.”Note that it is possible to order a video from Kemlite.

http://www.vancouver.hm/Filon%20Repair.pdf

Armed with this information, it might be possible to talk a local body shop into doing the work. If you want to try to do it yourself I would strongly recommend buying a sheet of luan and doing a lot of practicing to make sure you can achieve the results you want.

Again, good luck!
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Old 09-07-2006, 07:08 AM   #9
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Wow! Thanks for the info. Very handy. Unfortunately I have almost already completed the repairs. I did it with a fiberglass resin and body filler. The result is a solid repair, but a smooth surface. I'm fixing that by adding a vinyl graphic that matches the stock ones on the camper. I am saving this information for future use those and appreicate you sharing.
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