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Old 12-11-2012, 01:27 PM   #1
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Any idea as to what type of plastic was used on reefer scoop and wheel wells?

I removed my refer scoop and, naturally, it has many cracks and holes. Also, the wheel wells are cracked. Any idea what kind of plastic was used for these? They look like they are made out of the same material.
Main question-any easy fix for these holes and cracks? Since they are not visible, I am not that concerned with appearance; and I am not very handy
I bought bondo fiberglass repair kit but a friend says he thinks it will eat through the plastic. Ideas? I read the plastic shavings in acetone thread and am not up for that kind of project. Thanks!
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:33 PM   #2
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Instead of repairing, how about using the old ones as molds and making new ones using fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin. It is actually a really simple process plus will learn a new skill that might come in handy sometime in the future.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by sarasafari View Post
I removed my refer scoop and, naturally, it has many cracks and holes. Also, the wheel wells are cracked. Any idea what kind of plastic was used for these? They look like they are made out of the same material.
Main question-any easy fix for these holes and cracks? Since they are not visible, I am not that concerned with appearance; and I am not very handy
I bought bondo fiberglass repair kit but a friend says he thinks it will eat through the plastic. Ideas? I read the plastic shavings in acetone thread and am not up for that kind of project. Thanks!
The reefer scoop also vents the burner, a source of carbon monoxide.

It's far better to replace it with a fiberglass scoop, that will out last the trailer.

That scoop is not that expensive.

Also, the current wheel well covers, both inside and out, are very reasonable.

Shipping however, is a different matter.

Andy
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarasafari View Post
I removed my refer scoop and, naturally, it has many cracks and holes. Also, the wheel wells are cracked. Any idea what kind of plastic was used for these? They look like they are made out of the same material.
Main question-any easy fix for these holes and cracks? Since they are not visible, I am not that concerned with appearance; and I am not very handy
I bought bondo fiberglass repair kit but a friend says he thinks it will eat through the plastic. Ideas? I read the plastic shavings in acetone thread and am not up for that kind of project. Thanks!
A lot will depend on the extent of the holes and cracks....photo's would help.

That said I have had good luck repairing composite materials with a mixture of marine epoxy and wood flour,(fine sawdust).
Worked very well re-securing the shower door frame to the wall.



Bob
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:49 AM   #5
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You can identify the plastics with a burn test. Polyethylene smells like a burning candle and has a yellow flame. ABS has a styrene smell and black smoke. Polypropylene has a very mild characteristic odor, PVC has a green flame and a violent acidic odor. Heating a paper clip in a propane torch flame and contacting the part will melt into a thermal plastic, but not a thermal set, like fiberglass. Recent thermoplastic parts have a recycle code molded into them, to tell what they are. PP= polypropylene, PE= polyethylene, PS= polystyrene, PVC, PET = polyethylene teraphalate. etc. It is difficult to get a good bond to PE or PP. Welding is your answer for these two materials.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:04 AM   #6
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Andy are the refer scoops still available for the older vintage Airstreams? It is my understanding they are not? Thanks!

Bob
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:52 AM   #7
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I fixed the refrig.vent (and lots of other plastic parts) on my 68 TW with West System epoxy and fiberglass cloth. The epoxy resin is used by boat builders and composite airplane builders. It will do a better job on plastics than polyester resin, (more flexible and adheres better). You can get the West Epoxy at any marine supply or aircraft supply company. It will be a lot cheaper than buying and shipping on a new one.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:13 AM   #8
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" Andy are the refer scoops still available for the older vintage Airstreams? It is my understanding they are not? Thanks!

Bob "



afaik, the factory does not, but Inland Andy does....
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:27 AM   #9
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Andy are the refer scoops still available for the older vintage Airstreams? It is my understanding they are not? Thanks!

Bob
They are no longer available from Airstream.

We have them made with fiberglass.

Andy
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:53 AM   #10
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Just my 2 cents: I have a 64. The refer scoop is almost certainly made of fiberglass. Same as the end caps though the inside part of the endcap cabinet is thermoform. The wheel wells are theromoform plastic, probably.

For the scoop, I would suggest a fiberglass kit. They have small ones at Lowes and HD now. The resin should help glue yours back together (mine is cracked at the rivets as well, but haven't wanted to take it down yet). For the wheel wells, I had great luck with the multi -cement in plumbing department for thermoform plastic. There is a cement there that allows you to join= pvc to abs, and cpvc. I found that it does chemically react with the theroform to bond it. If you could find some other thin pvc sheets they may allow you to reinforce the patch. Look for parts that have a thin flange that you can cut the material off of - possibly even shower panels or something. Test it with the solvent glue first to make sure the patch disolves a little first. Your best patches will chemically bond, not something like a glue or epoxy that has a physical bond.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:58 AM   #11
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Just my 2 cents: I have a 64. The refer scoop is almost certainly made of fiberglass. Same as the end caps though the inside part of the endcap cabinet is thermoform. The wheel wells are theromoform plastic, probably.

For the scoop, I would suggest a fiberglass kit. They have small ones at Lowes and HD now. The resin should help glue yours back together (mine is cracked at the rivets as well, but haven't wanted to take it down yet). For the wheel wells, I had great luck with the multi -cement in plumbing department for thermoform plastic. There is a cement there that allows you to join= pvc to abs, and cpvc. I found that it does chemically react with the theroform to bond it. If you could find some other thin pvc sheets they may allow you to reinforce the patch. Look for parts that have a thin flange that you can cut the material off of - possibly even shower panels or something. Test it with the solvent glue first to make sure the patch disolves a little first. Your best patches will chemically bond, not something like a glue or epoxy that has a physical bond.
Unortunately, Airstream never made the scoops out of fiberglass.

They did use a plastic that becomes very brittle in time.

Andy
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:53 PM   #12
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Instead of repairing, how about using the old ones as molds and making new ones using fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin. It is actually a really simple process plus will learn a new skill that might come in handy sometime in the future.
That is actually a very interesting idea. I'm looking into the products that I would need. Thanks!
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:56 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 68 TWind View Post
I fixed the refrig.vent (and lots of other plastic parts) on my 68 TW with West System epoxy and fiberglass cloth. The epoxy resin is used by boat builders and composite airplane builders. It will do a better job on plastics than polyester resin, (more flexible and adheres better). You can get the West Epoxy at any marine supply or aircraft supply company. It will be a lot cheaper than buying and shipping on a new one.
Thanks for the info. I will probably repair using this method, or use my existing scoop to mold a new one. Is there any trick to mixing the resin and the hardener?
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:06 PM   #14
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Andy are the refer scoops still available for the older vintage Airstreams? It is my understanding they are not? Thanks!

Bob
Vintage Trailer Supply has them.
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