Rub marks on front of coach

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Well-known member
Apr 25, 2005
OK - Ive gone and done a STUPID thing.....

We had trouble with our bra digging into the paint on the RV and leaving other marks, so we left it off for a few weeks.

Then, we found that we couldn't get the bugs off the front - they were baked solid on there.

So I got some bug remover from WalMart and tried that.

It suggested to spray and leave for 1 minute before wiping the bugs away - YEAH RIGHT !!

In frustration (wait for it, it's coming)....I used a VERY light scouring tyoe pad to rub the things away.

When I had finished, the coach was sparkling !!

Until - one week later, Im left with "rubbing marks" all over the front of the coach.

These marks are white in colour and vanish for a second or two if I run a wet finger over.

Is there anything I can do to sort this mess out ?

I can see an expensive repair job looming.

NO, NO, NO!!!
Rubbing compound will make matters worse. Maybe what you meant was polishing compound, but even that is too rough. Get a can of good Carnauba wax and rub it in well (out of the sun) with a soft cloth (flannel or chesecloth), then buff it out with a clean, soft cloth. Wait at least 1/2 hour before buffing it out.
Whoa!  Let's not get carried away!

First of all, is the front of Paul's coach fiberglass gel coat or painted?  And are here any decals?  Somewhat different precautions apply.

Painted surfaces can safely be polished with automotive type polishes or, if necessary, the white type of "rubbing compound", available in Walmarts, auto stores, etc.  The white stuff is a very fine grit and won't harm lacquer or acylic enamel finishes when used carefully.

Unpainted gel coat is somewhat tougher stuff and can withstand deeper polishing, though there are limits of course.  I would try a boat polish first - they are designed for gel coat finishes.

Decals usually don't scratch like hat, but if they do, they are pretty much unrepairable. There is nothing below the surface, so no way to polish out scratches.

Paul, for the benefit of others with bug problems, what sort of "light scouring pad" did you use? One of those green things (Scotchbrite) for scouring pots and pans?  About the only thing safe to use for scouring bugs off is one of those nylon mesh covered sponge pads, sometimes sold under the brand name of "Dobie". Those won't scratch the finish and are excellent for removing bugs.  I use a long handle windshield cleaning pole with a squeegee on one side and a mesh sponge of the other. It works great for both windshield and the front fiberglass.

As for the mask/bra had you been taking it off and cleaning it and the front of the coach at least once a month or if you are parked for at a week.  This method will help keep it from scratching the coach and also the paint from fading unevenly.  Is your coach clear coated if not you really have to be careful.
There is, or used to be, a color treated auto wax,  You won't get an exact match but it's close, and will often hide small scratches if properly applied.  If only I could remember it's name  It was "Seen on TV" and may ... hold on.... Found it

Color Wax by Turtle Wax

I can not guarentee it will work, but it's worth a try
You must be thinking of something other than the rubbing compound I am used to using.
It is indeed white and is suitable for rubbing out light scratches. I have used it for removing tree branch scuffs from gel coat, ABS plastics, automotive paint and so forth.
Rubbing compounds come in different abrasion qualities (i.e. more or less grit) and they come in liquid or paste form. The less abrasive ones are called polishing compounds by some, but not all manufacturers. The 3M brand ones - sold as a "fiberglass restorer and wax" and "rubbing compound" - are available at WalMart for a lot less than marine stores sell it.

Paul, when we extended (or retracted) one of our slideouts with two storage bins open (a no-no in our onwers manual), both bins were scratched pretty bad; They looked like they were going to need a new paint job. Before resorting to rubbing or polishing compounds, I took some of the TurtleWax liquid polish that I use for the coach, put some on a rag and gradually rubbed them out. They turned out to be scuff marks rather than scratches per se. This is nothing more than another version of what Karl suggested, although his might be a little more effective.

Gary makes a good point about knowing whether the body is painted or gel coated fiberglass. In the latter case, the color is part of the gel coat (or top layer). Having been around fiberglass boats for a number of years, I'm used to buffing or rubbing out scrratches in gel coat using polishing or rubbing compound, depending on the severity/depth of the scratch.

Also, as Gary points out, decals/stickers are another issue.

Edit: Just re-read Paul's message; He specifically said paint. So Paul, go easy with any rubbing/polishing compound. Try the non-abrasive wax or polish that Karl and I mentioned.
Hi Guys

Thanks for the speedy replies.

Ive been without internet for a few days, so sorry for the late response.

I believe the coach has a gel coat on it.

There is also an "expedition" decal, but that seems to be ok.


Since you previously said it was paint, it's a clear coat not gel coat.

Gel coat is a top resin layer of a fiberglass RV body (or boat hull) and is applied in the mold; It has the colour that appears as the final colour of the unpainted fiberglass. Clear coat on the other hand is applied over paint and the colour you see is the paint itself.

Since you appear to have clear coat, start with the non-abrasive wax or polish method. Rubbing compounds will likely ruin the clear coat unless you're extremely careful.
Say Paul, next time you go after the bugs,  use a dryer sheet, Bounce or any others like that.  Just wet it a little and rub the bugs off.  It really works.

Tom - you are correct - it is a clear coat. I was sat in the library in Lunenberg and couldn't think of the name for what I wanted to type.

Rex - thanks for that - tried it this morning and it worked a treat.


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