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Old 06-01-2012, 01:46 PM   #1
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Restoring Gelcoat Shine

The sun plays havoc with the gelcoat on my camper. Last year, I used Nu-Finish to restore the shine to my front cap....the sunniest side. I also began to notice some streaking on the port side of my camper last year.....the runner up for sunniest side. This year when I washed the camper, this is what the port side looked like.

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And that is after going over the entire camper with a black streak remover and a magic erasure, along with a follow-up car wash solution. The back and starboard side (not as much sun) still look great, but time might even catch up with those sides.

I blame a lot of this on the roof chalking, running down the side during heavy rains when the gutter can't handle the load, then the sun just bakes it in. I started with Nu-Finish again, but had to go over each section 3 or 4 times to do any good. Looking for something a little easier, I found this a Wally World:

Premium Cleaner Wax : Attwood Marine

It still takes 2 times with each section, but this gets rid of the streaks much quicker. Hopefully, my camper won't turn yellow or the gelcoat deteriorate from using this, but I am going to give it a try on that entire side.

Here it is partially done:

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Old 06-01-2012, 01:57 PM   #2
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Have you tried Meguiar's Flagship Premium Marine Wax? I got some from Amazon to try on my TT and really like how easy it goes on and comes off. I tried it on a boat in not so good condition and it worked good on that too. Another bonus is that it smells way better than other products I have tried.
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:15 PM   #3
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Are either those waxes safe on graphics? I'm scared to get wax on mine for fear it will damage them.
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffalohunter View Post
Have you tried Meguiar's Flagship Premium Marine Wax? I got some from Amazon to try on my TT and really like how easy it goes on and comes off. I tried it on a boat in not so good condition and it worked good on that too. Another bonus is that it smells way better than other products I have tried.
I looked through Advance Auto and Walmart, and didn't see that product at either place. This looked about the best of everything that was on the shelves at those 2 places. I might check Meguiar's out the next time I do an Amazon order.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LFugate View Post
Are either those waxes safe on graphics? I'm scared to get wax on mine for fear it will damage them.
The graphics are already getting bad on my 2 sunny sides.
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Old 06-01-2012, 03:38 PM   #5
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Before putting wax on a oxidized surface, that dull oxidized layer should be removed with a fine polishing compound. Unfortunately, this is not a manual job, as one's arms would fall off from fatigue long before the job was done. An air buffer makes quick work of it, but few have air compressors at home, so an electric buffer is the next best thing.
It also must be done in the shade, preferrably on a cool damp day. If the polishing agent and removed oxidized gel coat dries, it makes the job more difficult.
Once polished, the surface will retain a shine for much longer.

Of course, this only works on campers that have the extra gel coat applied. If you can feel the fibreglass strands on the surface, you cannot polish it.

Man, this RVing stuff is a lot of work!
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Old 06-01-2012, 03:55 PM   #6
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Magic erasers can scratch shiny surfaces. I'd be very careful using them on your gelcoat. I tried to use them to remove some black streaks on my wood floor at home and you can see dull spots everywhere I used it. Lesson learned. Now I'll only use it on plastics.
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:44 PM   #7
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Magic eraser is just a marketable term for melamine sponge. They work by 'sanding' the surface stain away - hope that doesn't ruin the magic.

I've seen varying number, but some claim as rough as 1500 grit wet/dry, to as fine as 3600 grit. Very very fine, but they will dull glossy surfaces.

I would never recommend using them in an gloss automotive/marine finish application unless polishing after cleaning was intended. While you are removing very little of the surface you are removing some. The gel coat on my A126 is VERY thin (can see fiber strands).
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