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Old 05-02-2012, 10:49 PM   #1
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Fiberglass roof, a little work and Yeow!

Gents,
I've been wanting to do something to this fiberglass roof since we purchased this rig about a year ago. I was planning on waxing it but, found out quickly that waxing it in it's present stage would make my shoulders fall off. So, out came the heavy hardware. My trusty DeWalt buffer and some cutting/polishing compound.

I'm about 1/2 way done and it's around 4 hours of buffing. But, there was some scraping in that time frame too. Some folks at the factory or some aftermarket installers got silicone sealer all over the front end of that roof like little kids playing with mud. What a pain.

In the pics below, you'll see sections that have been done and some that haven't. It's quite a difference. You'll see reflections of the TV antenna mast and the tubing that the cover over the coach is made of. Cool. Anyway, yep, it's a ton of labor but, in the end, I won't have to touch this roof for quite a while.
Scott




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Old 05-03-2012, 08:35 AM   #2
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Looks great, are you planning on doing anything after the compounding to seal/protect the roof?
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:41 AM   #3
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Looks like you have some delamination lines every four feet down your roof line where the 1/8" luan sheets align.

Are you going to wax after you use the compound?
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoda2405 View Post
Looks great, are you planning on doing anything after the compounding to seal/protect the roof?
Yoda,
Thanks for the nice comments. I appreciate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MntDriver View Post
Looks like you have some delamination lines every four feet down your roof line where the 1/8" luan sheets align.

Are you going to wax after you use the compound?
MntDriver,
Well Sir, if there's any signs of delamination, they're incredibly subtle. In any case, I'm reasonably sure noting can or will be done about them at this time. And to the both of you, yep, I will use a good quality wax on it when all the compounding is done. Sitting under a cover is by far, the best protectant you can ever apply to any surface of any motorhome, bar none. Not all are fortunate to be able to do so. I'm not a fan of cloth covers that you have to go through all the hassle to install and remove each time you want to use your rig.

But, it's better than no cover at all. The sun destroys all. Keeping your rigs from seeing the sun is the best you can do unless you're in them and using them. So, this roof is certainly in good enough shape that this rubbing/polishing will make last another eight years without a doubt, especially since the cover is there to assist. I'm also not a fan of putting surface coatings of any type up there unless it was a rubber roof.
Scott
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:09 AM   #5
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Fire up;

Thanks for the post and the pics. I am on my 3rd Winnebago coach and have done as you are doing with the roof on each one. I also had to deal with all the spilled caulk. I do my roof each year and it requires less time once it gets in shape. As I am getting older it is getting harder to get up on the roof and the coach seams to be getting longer each year. This year when I got up there it doubled in size.

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Old 05-03-2012, 11:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MntDriver View Post
Looks like you have some delamination lines every four feet down your roof line where the 1/8" luan sheets align.
That's not delam lines, it's the reflection of the RV storage garage on the roof.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:33 AM   #7
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Fire up;

Thanks for the post and the pics. I am on my 3rd Winnebago coach and have done as you are doing with the roof on each one. I also had to deal with all the spilled caulk. I do my roof each year and it requires less time once it gets in shape. As I am getting older it is getting harder to get up on the roof and the coach seams to be getting longer each year. This year when I got up there it doubled in size.

Don
Don,
I had to pick myself up off the floor on that one I was laughing so hard. You know, when watching something on TV and the camera pans in on the subject and the scenary in the back ground seems to grow and grow and grow farther away, well that what the end of the motor home was doing was I was working towards the end. That rig kept getting longer and longer. Hmmmmmmmm.

After doing paint work, polishing cars, boats and more for 40 years, this is old stuff for me but, it sure as heck does not get any easier. I too am getting older and a bit less agile. ( A LOT LESS ACTUALLY)
Scott
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:27 PM   #8
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Don and Scott,

You guys got way too much spare time . I got a Porter Cable obital polisher and I always tell myself I will really polish and buff the roof, but a good wash followed by some mop 'n glo or 303 portectant is much easier on my knees.

Scott, that really looks good and I've seen how Don keeps his stuff. So, I may get motivated to try a real wax job this year.
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:31 PM   #9
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Don and Scott,

You guys got way too much spare time . I got a Porter Cable obital polisher and I always tell myself I will really polish and buff the roof, but a good wash followed by some mop 'n glo or 303 portectant is much easier on my knees.

Scott, that really looks good and I've seen how Don keeps his stuff. So, I may get motivated to try a real wax job this year.
smlranger,
Yes Sir, I do have spare time. It only took me about 35-45 years to earn it.

So, if any one's got bad knees and or bad hips or bad anything that will ache and pain a bit while kneeling around on the roof to do this kind of chore, it might not be advised. It's not overly hard, in fact, with the DeWalt buffer, it makes it quite easy. I just do a 2 square foot section at a time then a couple of minute break to straighten the legs and move around a bit and then, do another section and repeat as above. I kept an air hose with nozzle on it up there too so I could blow off all the fuzz that came off the wool buffing pad and the debris that was buffed off the roof. I used that nozzle to fluff up the pad too when it gets caked with compound and oxidation from the roof.

Not the easiest of maintenance on a M/H but, needed and it will be done for at least a year or so, depending on what kind of wax I use to finish things off with.
Scott
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:42 PM   #10
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Nice pictures !Your roof looks great! I have been keeping up with ours by polishing with NUFinish at least once a year. It doesn't shine as much as yours , but it is staying in nice shape. I do use wash and wax atleast twice a year, and it is stored inside when we are home.
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:44 PM   #11
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Now that the roof looks so good..... Next you need to strip & re-seal all the vents, antennas, moldings etc...
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:50 PM   #12
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The roof turned out great but be awful careful when you're up there.
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:57 PM   #13
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Now that the roof looks so good..... Next you need to strip & re-seal all the vents, antennas, moldings etc...
InfinityJim,
Thankyou Sir for your comment but, I looked at and inspected all those vent and pipe and antenna seals and all of them appear to be quiter plyable, elastic and severly stuck to the the roof and to each item. So, removing all what appears to be great seals at this time I think would be kind of a waste. But, believe me, if any portion of them looked as if it/they were pulling away from a good seal, I'd be on it post haste. Thanks for the tip.

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The roof turned out great but be awful careful when you're up there.
Steve,
You betcha partner, if that roof was wet right now, it would be like walking on an ice skating ring with tennis shoes. I'm very carefull when I'm up there. Thanks for the tip.
Scott
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:05 PM   #14
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I use a cleaner then a wax a couple of times a year. It's a lot of work but some real personal satisfaction when I'm done. I've had the best luck with Collinite Auto, Marine and Industrial Wax Products Official Site Collinite products. I've also found it better to use a ladder to reach in 2 to 3 feet cleaning and waxing, then going up on the roof and waxing the center section.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:51 PM   #15
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That's not delam lines, it's the reflection of the RV storage garage on the roof.
Yep..

I saw the first pic and asked 'what is that seam down the middle? DOH! Thats the covers ridge beam!!' LOL

Looks good
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:30 PM   #16
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FIREUP............ A tip to make th chore MUCH easier. Get a bottle of Starbrite Marine Polish with PTFE from a marina or boatyard or online at West Marine. Mix some with your polishing compound to make buffing easier by drastically reducing the buffing wheel "grab". Prevents "burning" too.
A body shop supply company (or auto paint store) will sell you a buffing pad spur wheel to make getting the residue off the wool pad much easier.
I learned these "tips" buffing many boats over the years. Hope it helps you.
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:22 AM   #17
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FIREUP............ A tip to make th chore MUCH easier. Get a bottle of Starbrite Marine Polish with PTFE from a marina or boatyard or online at West Marine. Mix some with your polishing compound to make buffing easier by drastically reducing the buffing wheel "grab". Prevents "burning" too.
A body shop supply company (or auto paint store) will sell you a buffing pad spur wheel to make getting the residue off the wool pad much easier.
I learned these "tips" buffing many boats over the years. Hope it helps you.
KIX,
I think I've used "Starbrite" products before, it's been a while. I'm out of my compound. It's too bad too, because I have a two foot section across the back of the coach is all I have left. What a bummer. I have a "spur" wheel already. I use the tip of an air nozzle because it not only separates all the fibers in the wool pad but, also dries the fibers up from the wet buffing compound and it blows away all the dust and little fiber dust balls too.

I like the spur wheel and use it some times. We decided to go camping for the end of the week and partial weekend so, I'll finish this beast up when I get her back home. I sure want to thank you for you insight and experience here. Buffing and rubbing out paint jobs has been sort of a hobby of mine and although I'm certainly no expert, I kind of got a feel for what's needed. By the way, on this situation, I had/have no burning. I've had it on car paint jobs before so, I know and realize what you're talking about. Thanks again.
Scott
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Old 05-05-2012, 02:54 PM   #18
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Scott, In your sig line......is SDFD San Deigo Fire Department?

Do you recognize the name Lee Vandenburg?
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Old 05-05-2012, 04:26 PM   #19
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Scott, an excellent job! Congrats, as it looks great.

I tried waxing my fiberglass roof last winter (2011) and the overspray on the roof from the full body paint made it feel like fine sand paper. The polishing compound and buffer is the way to go. Maybe next year for mine....

P.S. I bet you just gained about 2 mpg on that baby, slipping through the air.
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:13 PM   #20
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Scott, an excellent job! Congrats, as it looks great.

I tried waxing my fiberglass roof last winter (2011) and the overspray on the roof from the full body paint made it feel like fine sand paper. The polishing compound and buffer is the way to go. Maybe next year for mine....

P.S. I bet you just gained about 2 mpg on that baby, slipping through the air.
Pusherman,
Thank you very much Sir for the nice comments. You are absolutely correct in the fact that a regular wax job will not cut it, so to speak. The oxidation effect is too much for any wax to overcome. Now, catch some high altitude flaque for this but, if you truly have "Over spray" from your coach paint job on that roof, I'd try something before even breaking out the buffer.

I'd try some lacquer thinner. Lacquer thinner does not harm the fiberglass. It will however remove any and all protectant that might be in place. That is no big deal as you would be in the first step towards a new coat of protection anyway. You see, if it is, truly paint, and the lacquer thinner cuts it, that's way easier than trying to burnish it off with a buffer and compound. The buffer/compound will do it but, it will take longer and you'd be on that roof for more time than you'd like to be.

And, again, if it works, (the lacquer thinner) it will be real clean in prep for your buffer and compound. This is just thought so, take it as such.

And boy do I wish I'd have gained some mileage after doing that job, ANY mileage would be severely appreciated but, I think it's still the same old 7-7.5. But, it was a good thought. I sure like the looks of it now. Not that I get up on my roof every ten minutes and look at it but, when I do, that roof is entirely better looking now than it looked even when it left the factory.
Scott
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