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Old 11-12-2012, 02:54 PM   #1
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1977 31' Excella 500
Zavalla , Texas
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Attempting Repair of Shower Pan

I may be about to embark on a repair attempt of the shower pan on my 1977 Excella 500. The pan is in pretty sorry shape and I am on the borderline of buying a new pan from Andy at Inland RV for $425 instead. He has it in stock and he is local to me.

But I think that I'd rather have a stainless steel pan custom made instead. As such, I might attempt a temporary repair for now. Or if it comes out well enough, maybe it will be used for a longer period as there are quite a few other projects I would put ahead of this if I have a reasonably working shower.

The thing that moved this towards the top of the to-do list was coming across a refinishing kit at Home Depot today. It is the "Magic Tub & Tile Refinishing Kit" and states it is a "high gloss, two-part epoxy" and the reviews on the home depot site are generally excellent. Most people seem thrilled with the results and then there are some reviews where I am guessing the people didn't prep right and had poor results.

It says it works on "bathtubs, sinks, showers, ceramic tile, porcelain, laminate, fiberglass, metal"

Now, taking out the current shower pan, I'm of the impression that it is some sort of PVC, not fiberglass as I previously thought. It sure is thin and flimsy. The replacement pans that Andy has are fiberglass.

My plan would be to substantially beef up this pan and repair the existing cracks using fiberglass. I am going to have to do some further research on this before proceeding since it now appears it won't be a fiberglass on fiberglass repair. I have previously done a lot of research on making repairs to cracked bumper covers for cars and may reflect on that info a bit more before proceeding.

In the meantime, I am going to start this thread by adding some photos of the current condition of the pan. Feel free to jump in with any advice and suggestions... I certainly would appreciate the help!

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Old 11-12-2012, 03:07 PM   #2
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1966 24' Tradewind
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Hmmm. As huge as your project is going to be, I would consider the "Time is Money Trade-Off Paradigm."
Send Inland Andy $425.00 and get on with your life.
Ask him for the "Frequent Buyer" discount.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:18 PM   #3
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1977 31' Excella 500
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Yes, I'm really going back and forth on the time vs money question right now. It won't be a simple project, that's for sure. But if I'm going to send $425, I might as well spend what it would take to have a stainless pan made. I may just go quick and dirty on this as a temp repair and forget about even trying to make it look good.

In the meantime, here is another photo of the bottom of the pan. The piece sitting next to it looks like it may have been glued to the bottom previously. If I do the repair, I would likely glue this back in place and maybe seal it in with fiberglass.

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Old 11-12-2012, 03:27 PM   #4
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That is the "slope board," and as far as I know it was never glued to the shower bottom.
It was there to provide a rigid, properly sloped, self-draining base for the way-to-flimsy shower bottom.
I would definitely keep it, even if you decide to buy the fiberglass shower bottom from Inland Andy.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:51 PM   #5
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Anyone know what it might cost to have a stainless pan fabricated?
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:46 PM   #6
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Well, I started digging into this to get some experience. This is based on the techniques that I learned for repairing car bumpers and I think it will work well. I've never done this before, however, so this documentation is not intended to show "expert" techniques. This is just my attempt based on memory from months-ago research on the net.

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This first pic shows how I stabilized the corner crack with some wood. The last thing I want to have happen is this thing to get out of alignment during the repair process. If I were to do this again, I'd probably try to span the open corner with wood to hold it so the front/back of the crack were accessible.

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This shows the grinding out of the crack to provide some meat in filler material going through front to back. Funny thing was that as I started to grind it down, the heat seemed to fuse the crack back together again!

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I think they call this a "rivet" technique, which is fitting for an Airstream! Could be wrong about that. But anyway, filler is supposed to go through the holes and in the crack, and on the surface (I need to sand/grind down some of that material) to fuse it all together. It is best to fuse front/back together at the same time but I prob won't be able to do that since I have that wood block in the way. My current thinking is to repair the crack as best as possible to stabilize it and then go back and reinforce after that.
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:35 PM   #7
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How is the pan holding up with your repairs? Did you end up replacing it?

I have also come across a similar problem recently with my shower. The previous owner had a wood cutting board in the bottom to "disperse water and weight" (sketchy) and because I haven't had to use the shower, only recently was I brave enough to look under the wood to assess the damage. I'm researching solutions before I remove it but I'm just curious, if there are cracks in the bottom... do you think water has leaked through? In your situation, was water leaking out of the cracks/holes in the PVC? I'm really worried about a larger rot/water damage issue in the bottom of the trailer at this point. I love your idea of a stainless steel replacement though. May look into that.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:00 PM   #8
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How is the pan holding up with your repairs? Did you end up replacing it?

I have also come across a similar problem recently with my shower. The previous owner had a wood cutting board in the bottom to "disperse water and weight" (sketchy) and because I haven't had to use the shower, only recently was I brave enough to look under the wood to assess the damage. I'm researching solutions before I remove it but I'm just curious, if there are cracks in the bottom... do you think water has leaked through? In your situation, was water leaking out of the cracks/holes in the PVC? I'm really worried about a larger rot/water damage issue in the bottom of the trailer at this point. I love your idea of a stainless steel replacement though. May look into that.
There is a fiberglass Gel coated replacement available.

Andy
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:28 PM   #9
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Yes I know - I would recommend buying it from someone with friendly employees and who doesn't mind answering simple questions about it. :-(
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:25 AM   #10
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The motorcycle guys use some stuff called PlastiFix to fix cracked motorcycle fairings. It is a powder and a liquid. There are you-tube videos showing how the stuff is used.

Repair Broken Street Bike Fairing


Motorcycle Fairing Repair Using PlastiFix - Sportbike Fairing Repairs Made Easy - YouTube

Perry
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:58 AM   #11
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Yes I know - I would recommend buying it from someone with friendly employees and who doesn't mind answering simple questions about it. :-(
Most companies train customer service employees to answer standard questions.

When it comes to technical questions, that's an entirely different story.

And, add to that the liability issues, especially in California, that changes the entire story for regular customer service advice.

Attend a liability trial in California, and you will learn a lesson very quickly as to how to get in trouble, by trying to be helpful.

Been there, done that.

And
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