Skinning with sharp angles

Design & Construction of anything that's not a teardrop e.g. Grasshoppers or Sunspots

Skinning with sharp angles

Postby drmoneejd » Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:13 pm

Let begin by saying I am new to tear drop campers and have been reading alot, but can't find many builds that share the same angular shape as mine. I bought this camper in this condition(during a dry spell), with it being almost finished and just needing storage/galley work. Later on during a heavy rain I decided to look inside and found it was leaking a decent amount. I tore the ceiling out and found it had no water stains or mold, so hopefully the wood is fine, and I'm looking at redoing the outside skin. I believe the issue is the way the wood trim would just create puddles of water that would eventually start to seep in. The original build used FRP with wood trim and I'm trying to decide if I can reuse the FRP and just switch to a thinner trim, like aluminum, but I am essentially looking for something that will be waterproof, decent to look at, and fairly cheap. It looks like the actual side and top panels are OSB plywood. Does anyone have any advice or builds that look similar to this setup? Thanks!

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Re: Skinning with sharp angles

Postby tony.latham » Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:19 am

I don't have the magic answer for you.

Challenges with "angled" construction are why I'll argue that a curved teardrop is easier to properly build.

There's a Canadian builder that had a sheet metal shop bend his aluminum. That may be one solution.

I fall in the camp that believes building a camper using OSB should be at least a misdemeanor. So having that stuff is a challenge too. As you know, any water intrusion --including through screw holes––causes swelling that won't go away. You might consider pulling the trim, sanding and fiberglassing with epoxy, (not polyester resin). You'd still need to paint to protect the epoxy from UV deterioration.

:thinking:

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Re: Skinning with sharp angles

Postby drmoneejd » Sun Sep 09, 2018 2:39 pm

Thanks for your suggestion. I'm not super familiar with woods,why is OSB plywood so bad? Is it an inferior product, or just really ugly? Also, when you say fiberglass, I read about some on here that i believe glue canvas on the camper and then use epoxy/paint on top of that, is that fiberglass or something different?
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Re: Skinning with sharp angles

Postby GTS225 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:37 pm

OSB is not an exterior material. That's why it gets wrapped and sided when somebody build a garage and uses it for sheathing or roofing. The glues used to glue the chips together are not water proof, and as Tony said, as it soaks up water, it will swell, and just keep getting worse.
If you're going to go low-cost, get a ply that's intended for exterior use, or at least a decent underlayment. Then proceed to seal it up well, and yes, the fabric/glue, then paint is one good step.

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Re: Skinning with sharp angles

Postby tony.latham » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:11 pm

drmoneejd wrote:Thanks for your suggestion. I'm not super familiar with woods,why is OSB plywood so bad? Is it an inferior product, or just really ugly? Also, when you say fiberglass, I read about some on here that i believe glue canvas on the camper and then use epoxy/paint on top of that, is that fiberglass or something different?


Here’s a YouTube on fiberglassing:

https://youtu.be/hTTNvc4dYZY

T


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Re: Skinning with sharp angles

Postby GuitarPhotog » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:48 pm

Replace the wood trim with properly installed aluminum trim and you won't have further problems. Put butyl tape under all the aluminum trim, screw it down, trim off the excess butyl, and caulk any gaps with a good polyurethane caulk like TremPro 635 or SikaFlex or similar.

Where ever possible, bend the trim at the corners instead of piecing it together, but...

Don't use OSB, it isn't rated for outdoors. The minute it gets damp it will begin to delaminate. I'd just use exterior grade plywood, since you will cover with FRP, and then insulate and panel the interior.

My $0.02 worth

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Re: Skinning with sharp angles

Postby drmoneejd » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:28 pm

Thanks everyone for the information! It sounds like either way I need to replace the OSB with plywood. Then if I want to make it pretty do fiberglass over the whole thing, or if I want to do it cheap and quick then use the FRP with aluminum trim.
If I did go with the aluminum trim, does anyone recommend a place to buy that? I assume it's a strip of aluminum that you bend to your needs? Is it sold at big box stores, or more online RV stores? Also, do you use caulk or silicone to seal the seams/corners of the plywood before you do the trim and tape or fiberglass? This has been really helpful, thanks again.
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Re: Skinning with sharp angles

Postby GuitarPhotog » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:42 pm

drmoneejd wrote:Thanks everyone for the information! It sounds like either way I need to replace the OSB with plywood. Then if I want to make it pretty do fiberglass over the whole thing, or if I want to do it cheap and quick then use the FRP with aluminum trim.
If I did go with the aluminum trim, does anyone recommend a place to buy that? I assume it's a strip of aluminum that you bend to your needs? Is it sold at big box stores, or more online RV stores? Also, do you use caulk or silicone to seal the seams/corners of the plywood before you do the trim and tape or fiberglass? This has been really helpful, thanks again.


Never, never use silicone. If you do, you will probably regret it, if you don't someone else will. Use a quality polyurethane caulk.

Yes, I would caulk the corners of the assembled plywood sides & top. Then I would use butyl tape and then the aluminum trim. RV supply houses sell the trim, often called J-rail.

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Re: Skinning with sharp angles

Postby Tigris99 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:10 pm

Maybe someone else will regret it being used but if done right that regret may never happen. Polyurethane caulk degrades in a few years. Buytl tape is always good, its last forever. But Most faulks your repairing/replacing every few years. Silicone done right is done for the life of the trailer. But you cant paint or anything like that and if you every have to remove and recaulk there will be a lot of sanding and cleaning involved.

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Re: Skinning with sharp angles

Postby tony.latham » Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:33 am

Tigris99 wrote:Maybe someone else will regret it being used but if done right that regret may never happen. Polyurethane caulk degrades in a few years. Buytl tape is always good, its last forever. But Most faulks your repairing/replacing every few years. Silicone done right is done for the life of the trailer. But you cant paint or anything like that and if you every have to remove and recaulk there will be a lot of sanding and cleaning involved.

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What brand of poly sealant are you referring to? I have yet to see any degradation after six years.

T


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Re: Skinning with sharp angles

Postby Tigris99 » Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:16 pm

I see campers all the time especially ones that have been outside with the sealant trashed. Some sealant obviously is better than others but if that stuff was so great there wouldnt be immeasurable amount of discussions about leaks. Prep and proper use matters above all else but there is a reason why silicone is used for sealing seams that need to last decades without being touched and deal with the worst mother nature can throw at it.

Its sucks to have to remove and reseal anywhere silicone has been used. But done properly it will never leak so shouldnt be an issue.

I know some new stuff has come out in recent years that looks awesome, pricey (which may be what your using), I forget the name I was turned onto it last summer. Pretty nasty stuff (keep it external use) but holy god once it's set fully after about a week it seems indestructable. Havent tried removing any of it to see how year down and reseal does with it but the $15 a small gun tube price tag....

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Re: Skinning with sharp angles

Postby aggie79 » Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:19 am

tony.latham wrote:
Tigris99 wrote:Maybe someone else will regret it being used but if done right that regret may never happen. Polyurethane caulk degrades in a few years. Buytl tape is always good, its last forever. But Most faulks your repairing/replacing every few years. Silicone done right is done for the life of the trailer. But you cant paint or anything like that and if you every have to remove and recaulk there will be a lot of sanding and cleaning involved.

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What brand of poly sealant are you referring to? I have yet to see any degradation after six years.

T


I used 3M 4200 polyurethane based sealant designed rated for below waterline conditions. It's been on 10+ years and no degradation.

The only maintenance I've had to do is on the dryed and cracking butyl tape I used around my windows. I would have used 3M 4200 there too but I wanted to be able to remove my windows. To fix the butyl tape, I cut it back about 1/8" below the window flange and sealed around the perimeter with OSI Quad Max - another polyurethane based sealant. (It's gray color better matched the aluminum or else I would have used 3M 4200.)

Add me to the: "I'll never use silicone." camp.
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