The fiberglass of your RV is important to the condition of your RV. Nobody wants to go traveling in an RV with dents, and holes in it, which is why keeping the exterior in top condition is a priority. Many motorhome enthusiasts don’t realize that they can fix most of the exterior themselves. How to repair RV fiberglass exterior damage is an essential thing to know. It can help you to save a lot of money on repairs.
How to Repair Your RV Fiberglass
To get started on repairing your fiberglass, you’ll need some materials. If you already have a toolset, then you just need the repairing components, if not, we’ve got you covered. Buying the tools is a one-time investment, as they’ll be useful later on. Investing in a toolset is necessary for future repairs of the RV, so it’s a good idea to buy them beforehand.
The materials that you’ll need for the repair are resin, fiberglass fabric, resin catalyst, hardener kit, foam insulation, and an adhesive filler. Buy the number of supplies according to the damage on your trailer. The tools that you’ll need are a drill, a knife, glue brushes, mixing pots, a mixing stick, and an application syringe. For safety purposes, getting hard gloves, eye gear, and a helmet is advised in case of unforeseen circumstances, as you’re fixing your RV.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of collecting all of the necessary stuff, then you can buy dedicated fiberglass repair toolkits. You can find them in many hardware stores, so they’re relatively easy to come by. The only drawback with the all-in-one toolkit is that these kits are much pricier as compared to the individual items that you can buy.
Step-By-Step Guide to Repairing Your Fiberglass
Frankly speaking, repairing RV fiberglass exterior damage is much easier than you think. You just have to know a few details before you start, and it’s smooth sailing from there. Once you get the hang of fixing the fiberglass once, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a handyman when it comes to repairs.
Suiting Up, and Getting Started
Fiberglass is a hard thing to get rid of if it gets stuck anywhere near your body. Make sure to wear protective gear before starting. Once you’re ready, inspect what the damage entails. The damage can be a fracture or delamination, so make sure you know what you’re dealing with. You’ll also have to look around the damaged part to make sure there isn’t some other underlying problem because of the damage to the fiberglass.
Removing the Damage, and Dirt
You’ll have to remove the damaged parts with the knife to get a good look. Make sure to remove the fiberglass that is unrepairable. Leave the part of the area that’s relatively unaffected as that’s the part we’ll be dealing with. If it’s just a cracked layer, you’ll just have to sand the fiberglass. You’ll need to keep sanding until the gel coat is visible, and the actual glass is apparent as well.
The next step is to clean the surface with acetone, so there’s no dirt, grease, or oil. Your RV is exposed to many contaminating elements, and during the repair process, it’s crucial to get them removed for the new fiberglass. Get the acetone applied on the whole surface rigorously, so no spec of dirt is left on the surface. If the surface isn’t cleaned effectively, then the fiberglass that you’ll attach won’t stick to the surface.
Attach the patch
After removing the junk, and cleaning the surface, you’ll have to attach the patch materials to the damaged area. Match the patch with the damaged area, and make sure to attach it according to its dimensions. You have to mix the resin with hardener within a mixing pot following the directions of the manufacturers.
Applying the resin
Once your batch of resin is mixed, apply the whole thing to the repair area. Apply a whole film of resin over the desired area. Put the fiberglass on the resin, and use a brush to help spread the resin all over the fiberglass. Take your time applying the resin, and check if you need to add another layer of resin to make it stick more. Keep adding the fiberglass to the repair patches until the whole area looks presentable.
When the cracked area is hardened, all you need to do to finish the job is to sand the area. Sanding the fiberglass area will smoothen the surface, and make the fiberglass look better. Curing is dependent on the material that you’re using, so follow the instructions from the manufacturer. You can add a lot of variety when it comes to colors when it comes to fiberglass, so once the layer is set, you can experiment with your heart’s content.
Inspect the whole area, and see if there is any other work done. The whole process takes a while, but you’ll be glad you repaired part of your RV yourself.
Repairing tour RV fiberglass is a bit time-consuming, but it’s all worth it in the end. Buying the materials, and following the instructions laid out in the document will get you acquainted with fiberglass repairs in no time, and you’ll be able to fix all kinds of exterior damage to your RV. You’ll have free reign to do whatever you want to your trailer in terms of customization, letting you freely customize your trailer to be however you want.
Repairing your motorhome gives you a lot of bragging rights, as well as the satisfaction of looking at your RV, and thinking that you’re the reason it’s in top condition, what else could you need?