How to Fix Cracks in Hard Shell Pop Up Campersby Don Kress
Hard-shell pop-up campers are constructed of fiberglass resin. This allows the camper to have light weight combined with good structural rigidity. They do, however, crack. Fortunately, fiberglass repair kits are readily available in any automotive parts store; they bond to the fiberglass of your hard shell camper and provide a weatherproof, sturdy repair. The repair can be performed without extending the camper's top.
Clean the area of the crack with the 36-grit sandpaper, making certain to thoroughly gouge the area of the crack with the paper. This allows the fiberglass repair to bite into the fiberglass camper top, reinforcing the repair. In particular, scratch the area right on top of the crack.
Mix the fiberglass repair compound with a small amount of its catalyst on a scrap piece of cardboard. The ideal mixture is 10 percent catalyst to 90 percent repair compound. Mix the catalyst and the repair compound using a paint stick.
Apply the mixture to the crack on the camper shell with the paint stick. You must press the fiberglass fibers down so that they lay against the camper shell and lay into the gouges left by the 36-grit sandpaper. Allow the fiberglass repair to cure for approximately 15 minutes before sanding.
Sand the surface of the fiberglass repair by first using the 36-grit sandpaper to remove the rough edges. Follow this with the 120-grit sandpaper to feather out the edges of the repair and to remove the scratches left by the 36-grit sandpaper. Finally, use the 400-grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface of the repair in preparation for paint.
Paint the repair using the touch-up spray paint that best matches the color of your camper, and then allow it to dry thoroughly before using the camper.
- Avoid breathing the dust from sanding the fiberglass resin, as this will irritate your lungs.
Items you will need
- 36-grit sand paper
- Fiberglass repair kit
- Paint stick
- Scrap cardboard
- 120-grit sand paper
- 400-grit sand paper
- Touch-up spray paint
- "Fiberglass Repair: Polyester or Epoxy"; Zora Aiken; 2008
- "Fiberglass Repair and Construction Handbook"; Jack Wiley; 1988
- "RV Repair and Maintenance Manual: Updated and Expanded"; Bob Livingston; 2002
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