Removing oxidation

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Pat

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My motorhome - painted fiberglass - has oxidation over about 50% of it, especially the roof.  Additionally, the usually streaky stains are running down the side.  I need to get it cleaned up. 

1.  I heard there's some kind of liquid that professionals are using to clean and return shine quickly.

2.  Would Softscrub damage the paint and/or clearcoat finish?

It's not a job I want to undertake myself, if it's going to require a lot of scrubbing and polishing. 

Has anybody heard of Xzilon?  Opinions?  I know someone whose new 45' Essex came with it inside and out.

--pat
 

Ron from Big D

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Do not use anything with an abrasive in it.  It will kill the clearcoat finish.

I would recommend "Oxygone" sold by any "Dry wash n Guard" dealers.  Use it and then coat with Dry Wash.

 

John From Detroit

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I"m not where I can remember the name but one thing to consider with a fiberglass RV is that many boats are fiberglass, and the Marine dealers have cleaners and polishes that 1: Do not damage the finish and 2: Stand up to salt water very well... I mean, there are basically 4 kinds of "Rough service" for vehicle finishes

1: Tree sap (Clay bars work well here to remove them per Auto.com)
2: Salt water (And what has more salt water than the ocean)
3: Acid rain (Happens everywhere now days)
4: Birdie, Birdie in the sky, Dropped some white stuff  ..... all over my vehicle

 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Pat,
Are you saying your RV has full body paint, including the roof?  That would be unusual, to say the least! Are you sure the roof is not EDPM rubber or one of the newer vinyl-coated rubbers?  Or if it is fiberglass, I cannot imagine it being painted.

If the sidewalls are fully painted, they would usually be clear-coated as well and a clear-coated finish usually doesn't oxidize. Could this be an older rig that was painted before the days of base coat + clear coat finishes?  If so, regular automotive oxidation removing polishes should work on it. Might mean a lot of rubbing, though.

If the sides are fiberglass with the color right in the gel coat, then a boat-type oxidation removing polish is the answer. They are available at marine dealers but you can usually find regular duty boat polishes at Walmarts and such.  Again, there will be a lot of rubbing.
 

Ron from Big D

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RV Roamer said:
Pat,
Are you saying your RV has full body paint, including the roof?? ?That would be unusual, to say the least! Are you sure the roof is not EDPM rubber or one of the newer vinyl-coated rubbers?? Or if it is fiberglass, I cannot imagine it being painted.

If the sidewalls are fully painted, they would usually be clear-coated as well and a clear-coated finish usually doesn't oxidize. Could this be an older rig that was painted before the days of base coat + clear coat finishes?? If so, regular automotive oxidation removing polishes should work on it. Might mean a lot of rubbing, though.

If the sides are fiberglass with the color right in the gel coat, then a boat-type oxidation removing polish is the answer. They are available at marine dealers but you can usually find regular duty boat polishes at Walmarts and such.? Again, there will be a lot of rubbing.

Gary:  Oxygone does not take a lot of rubbing.

 

Pat

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Avoiding that part about "lots of rubbing" is my focus here.  I was hoping for something like lawn fertilizer that I can attach to a hose nozzle and spray over the thing, rinse, and it shines like new.  <g> 

My 2001 Chinook Destiny is a single fiberglass mold - roof and all.  (Sort of like a WW2 army tank, only white.)  The roof is badly oxidized.  The sides are painted with clearcoated grey stripes, and I think any dullness on the sides is mostly the oxidation washing down from the roof.  Like somebody pointed out, who cares what the roof looks like, but it does get on clothing when I'm crawling around up there, and it does wash down a bit.  The MH is a van cutaway chassis, so some of the van parts around the front are also oxidizing.  There are some white sort of narrow fenders around the wheel wells that are dull. 

Major spotting is probably acid rain and dust, and there are dozens of little black dots on the roof.  My little roof is very busy.  Three vents, air conditioner, solar panel, satellite dish, batwing. 

Which reminds me, are these air conditioners all alike?  I need to perform the normal cleaning on mine and need to figure out how to get the cover off the a/c to check for nests, etc.  Normally the manuals just say "do it" without telling exactly where the screws or clamps are to remove the cover.

--pat
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Pat,
The point I was trying to make is that the product needed to remove oxidation from fiberglass is [usually] different than the product that cleans up oxidation on painted surfaces.  However, the Oxygone that Ron mentioned claims to do it all, so I'd give that a shot.

http://www.waterless-wash.com/oxygone.htm
 

Woody

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Gary,

The only mention I saw on the listed site for Oxygone about removing oxidation from fiberglas gelcoat was in one of the testimonials that claimed fantastic results on a gelcoated fiberglas boat. None of the company literature refers to it, just painted surfaces.
I quit believing in "miracle products" a long time ago, but maybe this stuff does work.
Intending to try it out,  I clicked their order screen but it wouldn't come up. Not sure what is wrong there.

Woody
 

Pat

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The website is a little scary. ?It sounds like that guy on TV who raves about everything, and I've tried some of those products from the Sold on TV stores. ?All have failed miserably. ?One thing I don't see much of at the link is mention of cleaning fiberglass, which I have. ?

Also, I wonder if Dri Wash n Guard is as easy as Oxygone and as effective and long lasting as Xzilon, which I've heard Newmar uses on the Essex.

That said, I'm going to try Oxygone on the roof.  What the heck.


--pat


 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The only mention I saw on the listed site for Oxygone about removing oxidation from fiberglas gelcoat was in one of the testimonials that claimed fantastic results on a gelcoated fiberglas boat.

I noted that too. However, the manufacturer saw fit to post that testiminial on his official site, which makes it at least a semi-official claim.

Perhaps I was too subtle when I said "the Holy Grail is found".  ;)  A product that removes oxidized fibergalss without rubbing is almost too good to be true, but soon Pat will be able to give us the real skinny.
 

Pat

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Gary:  You mentioned something in passing that I didn't realize.  You're saying that fiberglass oxidizes?  Only?  Not metal or paint or clearcoat? 

I think the white powder from my roof is washing down the sides of my motorhome.  The top foot or so is dull.  Somebody said why bother to clean the roof, but I think keeping the powder away from the rest of the surface makes sense. 

--pat
 

Woody

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I'm sure Gary will reply also, but any coating that has pigment in it will oxidize. Clear coat is just what it says, clear. There are no colorants in it. Paint has pigment, as do most lacquers. Fiberglas has a thick gelcoat covering that can oxidize also. IMO, gelcoat is the worst coating to remove oxidation from.
I believe most new motorhomes are now painted and covered with one or two clear coats.

Woody
 

Ned

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It was Star Brite, and it took some rubbing.  There is no magic cleaner for fiberglass other than paint :)
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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You're saying that fiberglass oxidizes?  Only?  Not metal or paint or clearcoat? 

Not "only" fiberglass.  Paints oxidize and so do metals, some worse or more quickly than others.  For example, the color red is notorious for oxidizing.  Most modern finsihes have some anti-oxidation ingredients or coatings, e.g. shiny aluminum has been clear-coated to prevent oxidation (dulling) and modern automotive finishes are clear coated as well.

Starbright does indeed make one of the more effective cleaners for oxidized fiberglass.  Since I have never tried Oxygone, I can't compare.
 

Pat

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Today I wiped off some of the white powder (and dirt) from a spot or two on my roof, and the fiberglass still shines pretty well.  I'm going to wait till a few days before I leave here to clean thoroughly, because it seems that stuff falling off the trees and rain dripping from them is making quite a mess up there. 

If Lorna stops in to see this lovely place before I leave around the 29th of September, I will get some Dry Wash n Guard.

--pat
 

arveeguy

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Check out my recent post on restoring a fiberglass roof. I think you will find that the top (or most of it, except where the paint and clear coat are extended beyond the roof radius) is just gel coat. You don't want to take anything abrasive to it becasue gel coat is thin and you will (might, can) go right through it.
 

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