NEED IDEAS ON OUTSIDE OF MOTOR HOME.

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JIGGS

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2006
Posts
255
Location
new castle pa.
I HAVE AN 89 PACE ARROW. ONE OUTSIDE PANELL ON EACH SIDE IS STARTING TO BUBBLE. HAS ANYONE EVER TRY TO FIX IT OR HEARD OF A WAY TO FIX IT. IT'S NOT REAL BAD YET BUT WITH MY LUCK IT WILL BE A BIG PROBLEM IF I LEAVE IT GO.
THANKS JIGGS
P.S. I DON'T KNOW IF THIS MEANS ANYTHING BUT THIS MH. SPENT MANY YEARS IN FLORIDA.
 

Bob Zambenini

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Posts
270
Location
Orange County California
JIGGS said:
I HAVE AN 89 PACE ARROW. ONE OUTSIDE PANELL ON EACH SIDE IS STARTING TO BUBBLE. HAS ANYONE EVER TRY TO FIX IT OR HEARD OF A WAY TO FIX IT. IT'S NOT REAL BAD YET BUT WITH MY LUCK IT WILL BE A BIG PROBLEM IF I LEAVE IT GO.
THANKS JIGGS
P.S. I DON'T KNOW IF THIS MEANS ANYTHING BUT THIS MH. SPENT MANY YEARS IN FLORIDA.

I had a 1990 Fleetwood and that is not all that unusual, especially given the age now and where it has been.

Fleetwood had problems with the fiberglass in that time period. I know some had more serious problems and were able to get them reskinned by Fleetwood.

Mmine  was not bad and once I talked to an RV body shop manager and he said just keep it sealed  and it probably would not be any  more of a problem. He was right as I had it 9 years.

So be sure you don't have any leaks from the roof and if  there are any cracks visible just seal them up.

To fix it now, the cost would probably be far more than the rig is worth.

Bob
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,329
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
As Bob says, check all the roof and window seams for leaks and re-caulk any that are at all doubtful.  The factory cauling on a 1989 rig has no doubt dried out and cracked in any number of places.

When you say "bubbling", I assume you mean delamination of the skin, which is generally a single large, slightly raised section rather than multiple small bubbles. Delamination has two possible casues: (1) failure of the glue which bonds the skin to the playwood substrate or (2) water leaking into the plywood substrate, causing it to soften/rot and allowing the skin to separate.  #1 is mostly a cosmetic problem while #2 is a serious matter that will continue to get worse until the leaks are found and repaired.

You can fix delamination by cutting an opening in the skin and injecting new glue. In some cases you can drill small shallow holes and use a glue syringe to inject glue. More dramatic but in some ways easier, you can cut out most of the raised section by making a shallow cut thru the skin. Then force glue under the remaining edges and glue the back of the removed piece and re-assemble. The difficult problem is in devising ways to clamp the raised area down frmly while the glue dries. One method is to simply screw it down tightly with washer-head screws or sheet metal screws with large washers.  Once glued, remove any temporary clamping screws and fill holes & seams with fiberglass gel coat repair. It's available in most marine stores or online. Sometime s in auto parts stores too.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,329
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
I would start looking at the 3M adhesives catalog, focusing on the stuff they use to bond fiberglass body panels on cars, e.g. 3M #8115. Regular fiberglass resin is a possibility too - it is an epoxy that will flow into gaps and crevices nicely.

Something like Liquid Nails would be ok as an adhesive, but I think it is probably too thick to inject or spread between existing plies of material. Need something that flows a bit more easily.

If you can separate the two pieces by enough, e.g. cut the skin out completely, then most any waterproof contact cement will work. Spread it on both pieces, wait the time specified in the directions, then press together. That's the easiest, but it requires that the plies be fully separated first.
 
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