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Old 03-11-2015, 06:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by norty1 View Post
I have had 2 fiberglass rigs with zero problems. I prefer the durability over metal any day. Do you have any data to support your claim. I don't. Just what I have seen in mine and others.
The only data that I need is what I see with my own eyes, and I've seen enough for me to stay away from the fiberglass. I would rather have a little ding here and there, as to have it to come apart.

We had two fiberglass trailers with problems, one was a 2013 and the other one was a 2014. The 2013 cracked real bad in less than a year, the 2014 started coming apart in three places, front side, back side and on the rear this all took place right around when it was a year old.
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:27 PM   #12
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My last camper, not a Jayco had all kinds of problems with fiberglass. I figured they had it figured out by now.

It got so bad when I towed it in for trade in the side ripped off and insulation went everywhere. Lucky I had some cargo pit tape heh heh. Every vacation I had to go and look for leaks and try to fix them.

Don't get me started on steel wheels lol.
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:35 PM   #13
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gel coat cracks are typically caused by the gel coat itself being either too thick or too brittle...the fiberglass underneath probably isn't cracked but from aesthetics you hate to leave it that way. tt s and 5th wheels as well as motorhomes all have to give and twist so movement can possibly cause this. I work with fiberglass every day and I still bought a fiberglass sided trailer. each to his own but I like them and will keep it up the best I can so it continues to look good.
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:53 PM   #14
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Perhaps they need to start using hand fiberglass lay up and also start popping them out of molds like boats. I have two fiberglass boats one is 35 years old and one is 9 and they have been worked hard, and of course are constantly exposed to water and pounding ..... I realize this is comparing apples to oranges and the cost would be outrageous but just sayin`
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:43 PM   #15
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I think the real problem is, they are adhering the fiberglass panels to metal studs. Metal moves at a different rate than the fiberglass. I assume they are using a urethane adhesive, most likely a moisture cured. These can be touchy at best to use, curing by the moisture in the air. Temperature, humidity etc can all effect the cure time. Once cured the adhesive is somewhat pliable. I can only guess in the field, moisture, heat etc can all have some affect on the panel. I hope to be able to speak with someone when we do the factory tour next month. I've laid up a lot of panels, albeit not fiberglass, and I understand the difficulties in doing so. As others have stated with the movement of the rig that can also affect the bond.

Would be interesting to know how much they build in for warranty issues on fiberglass, bet it's a fair amount of the cost of the upgrade.
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:14 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paintinfool3 View Post
gel coat cracks are typically caused by the gel coat itself being either too thick or too brittle...the fiberglass underneath probably isn't cracked but from aesthetics you hate to leave it that way. tt s and 5th wheels as well as motorhomes all have to give and twist so movement can possibly cause this. I work with fiberglass every day and I still bought a fiberglass sided trailer. each to his own but I like them and will keep it up the best I can so it continues to look good.
I agree. Not that you need my support.

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Originally Posted by VicS1950 View Post
...
Not that anyone asked...

I've noticed some questions about cracks in fiberglass gelcoat panels. To be sure, if the trailer is under warranty then the problems should be brought to the dealership for repair.

For older units, a few minor cracks may be better put on a watch list to determine whether they are stable or degrading.

The gelcoat serves two basic purposes. First it provides UV and damage protection for the structural fiberglass. It also provides a smooth good looking surface for the panels.

The strength of the panels is in the random or woven resin impregnated fiberglass cloth which is not related to the gelcoat. Properly prepped and impregnated fiberglass is of itself waterproof. Minor cracks in the protective gelcoat don't necessarily mean that the panels will let water penetrate the panels.

Hairline cracks in boat deck gelcoat are fairly common. They often occur in areas of stress or places where the gelcoat thickness is a bit heavy. Most of those hairline cracks in older boats are not repaired with no negative consequence.

My point is that on an older trailer it may not be worth the effort to repair minor gelcoat cracks. Watchful monitoring may be all that is necessary. The cracks may be unsightly but are likely not anything to worry about as to structural or water leak problems.

FWIW vic
On white trailers a bit of Tedlar tape can cover smaller cracks to make them less obvious. I find that cutting the tape with scissors using a bit of radius blends better than leaving square corners on the tape. Tedlar tape is used on plastic pipe insulation coverings and other similar applications. It looks decent and lasts next to forever when applied to clean smooth surfaces.

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