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Old 12-17-2012, 10:15 PM   #1
65th Anniversary CLIPPER
masseyfarm's Avatar

1996 36' Clipper Bus
Tub City , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3,287
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Fiberglass Units may also have Corrosion

We read about corrosion all the time, and the grave concern it causes owners of all types of expensive vehicles including RV's.

Those of us with fiberglass units also have to try to protect our units from the natural elements and also those industrial chemicals that are air born and those that are deliberately applied to the roads where winter weather is experienced.

Most vehicles, when manufactured today, come with a sealer applied to the both the exterior finish and the exposed undercarriage and frame area.

These undercoatings and sealers can be easily damaged when repairing or adding equipment and by just the normal use from road rash.

Always try to re-seal any area that has been exposed to the elements with some type of rust prevention product. (there are many brands)

If you have to run your unit during the winter season, wash often and rinse with lots of clean water.

This article was published in one of my truck magazines a while back and is worth the read so one has an understanding of what is happening to your unit 24/7/365.

I guess my message here is, use and enjoy your unit as much as you can, but be aware of the needed maintenance whether it is on the road or parked.

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Old 11-23-2013, 09:42 PM   #2
65th Anniversary CLIPPER
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1996 36' Clipper Bus
Tub City , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3,287
Images: 56
New Technology vs Old and time tested.

This will be of interest to those thinking of buying a new unit with all the latest technologies.

Now that some of these new ideas have had time to mature, they are proving not to be so great after all.

One example in particular is showing up now in the one-piece glued-in windshields, that are used in just about every vehicle application today.

The windshields are mounted, with appropriate adhesive, direct to the metal frame of the vehicle, car, truck, or motorhome. What could go wrong with that??????

Well, water will find its way to the lowest point it can travel, and then what? It enters at any point from the roof seam, mounted equipment, marker lights or the upper windshield that may not have been properly glued and sealed. (The upper windshield seal takes all the stress and generally fails in this area first.) The water then will almost inevitably collect in the lower windshield glued area where it is trapped.

Over time, (not that long depending on climate), this metal mounting area will begin to rust, bubbling and expanding, and results in the huge one piece windshield cracking from the point of stress.

The problem/damage is not recognized by the owner until the windshield is removed and the problem is pointed out by the professionals who all too often are seeing this difficult to repair situation.

If you have a glued in windshield, do not allow any moisture to collect in this area and of course attend to any leaks immediately.

We owners of Airstream Class A units don't have to worry too much about the windshield cracking, as described above, as our windshields are mounted in rubber which is then mounted to the metal frame. However, if moisture is allowed to be trapped withing the rubber at the top and sides of our windshields, metal damage will be possible.

Keep your windshield rubbers sealed at the top and sides and be always on guard against water intrusion.

Just do a GOOGLE search for many examples, but this one applies to a 2007 Class A motorhome that has a glued in windshield in California.

Watch the first video to see the problem as the 2nd video is part of the 9 videos on line of the repair process.

Winnebago RV Windshield Frame Rust Repair 1 - YouTube


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Old 05-22-2016, 10:20 PM   #3
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2005 39' Skydeck
Alameda , California
Join Date: May 2015
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Rusty fiberglass Airstream

Well, despite only having 6000 miles on it in 10 years, my new to me Sky Deck has a LOT of exterior rust. Fortunately a lot of the RV is not able to rust, styrofoam and luan and aluminum and vinyl don't rust, but the Onan genset is not made of any of those materials:

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Nor is the 40 gallon LP tank

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So I got out the scraper and the wire brush attached to the drill and went to work. I got paint from Rust Oleum that says it REFORMS rust

Got almost down to bare metal on the generator and then sprayed it several times in a high wind blowing past the RV. Considering the environment I got it pretty nice. I did end up scraping off the Onan logo, perhaps they can provide me with a replacement. I did find a color that I am pretty happy with, no where near a perfect match for the Onan blue-green color, but in most lighting conditions it doesn't stand out as different. Really it's easier to see the missing metal from all the rust that flaked away.

I am going to get some white paint to do the LP tank when I am next at the RV, but I will need another wire brush as I destroyed this one. All the tank rust has been scraped off however. Going to be nice to have a rust free tank, hope I don't get white everywhere.

I still have the front face of the basement that although it was covered in that undercarriage protectant spray has starting really rusting and all the protectant has flaked off. Should have bought a six pack of this reformer stuff. Hope it works as good as it says. Perhaps I'll read internet review before I buy enough to cover that, might even get a paint roller.

Amazing how easy this RV is to get under compared to my Mercedes Sprinter RV. Even more amazing, this has air suspension that lifts the body even further, and RV Lifts potentially higher yet. Probably don't wanna bet my life on them, I guess I could get stands, but quite a bit of weight, won't use the ones for my car.

2007 LTV Serenity beater 2005 Airstream SkyDeck
Also a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2000 Honda Hybrid Insight, new 2013 Volvo C70 hardtop convertible
And all electric: a 2012 Mitsubishi i-Miev and two 2007 Vectrix VX1 motorcycles, waiting in line for the Model ☰
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