View Full Version : Patching fiberglass roof of trailer

Feb. 22, 2011, 07:50 AM
Surely this is something I can get at Home Depot/Lowes and do myself! I'd rather you guys tell me than them :lol:

What do I need to know and be careful of?

It's not a hole, it's a crack in the front corner of the roof :(

Tom King
Feb. 22, 2011, 09:01 AM
I'd use West System Epoxy and a couple of layers of 4 oz. cloth.

They might sell polyester resin at Lowes or Home Depot, but poly isn't as strong a mechanical bond as epoxy to old work. Poly is strong when it's all laid up and sets at once, but it has little impact strength when applied as a patch.

West System comes with pumps that makes it easy to keep the mix ratio just right.

Just do a Google search for West System Epoxy and places like Jamestown Distributors will probably come up.

I used to have a sailboat business, and did a lot of fiberglass repairs. If you don't want to do it yourself, and want a professional looking job, there is a fiberglass repair guy near us that doesn't have much work to do this time of year. By the time you buy all the stuff you need, his price might not be much different.

Feb. 22, 2011, 09:03 AM
I'd get a bathtub repair substance. Years ago when Ihad my Brenderup, the corner of the back end cracked at the top. I contacted them and they paid for a fiberglass repair person to come and repair it. There probably is something out there now that will work.,maybe using a patch tape, like drywall and 'plastering " over it. Then again, if it's a fairly new trailer( like mine was)I'd contact the mfg- with pictures and see what they say or recommend. You wouldn't want to do anything that would void any warranty.

Tom King
Feb. 22, 2011, 09:05 AM
If it's not all the way through and has a gelcoat finish instead of paint, it might just be the gelcoat.

Feb. 22, 2011, 10:23 AM
It's all the way through, and there is no paint on it. It's an '01(?) Trail-et, and even if they were still in business, I'm sure it's out of warranty LOL

Tom, can you send me the contact info of the guy? "near us" is relative LOL as I think we're several hours apart.

Tom King
Feb. 22, 2011, 02:57 PM
I don't know how far we are from you. This place is within a quarter mile of the entrance to our place. I don't know about over your way.


Feb. 22, 2011, 03:03 PM
Thanks Tom. Yeah, he's too far - 140 miles. But that gives me a good idea on who to look for :)

Feb. 22, 2011, 06:53 PM
Fiberglass repair kit.... was about $20 in the farm store. I used it to repair a water tub. Worked perfectly. Going to use the rest of it to fix my horse trailer....

Feb. 22, 2011, 08:36 PM
"in the farm store" - like that? LOL Tractor Supply? Is that something HD/Lowes would have?

Tom King
Feb. 22, 2011, 10:07 PM
Fiberglass is pretty easy stuff to work with, whether using polyester resin or epoxy. The hard part, and the part requiring skill, is getting it to look good.

Temperature is most important. Below 65 and it kicks (sets up ) really slowly. Above 75 and it will get away from you.

It's not a one step process to get a repair to both be strong and last, and look good-as in can't see the difference from the rest of it.

It's easy to just slap something on that looks like an amateur did it, but if you do that, you might as well gouge it out with a church key, and put some polyurethane caulking in it.

Tom King
Feb. 22, 2011, 10:10 PM
By the way, the reason those fiberglass horse trailer roofs crack, is that they are just laid up in the molds with chopper guns rather than using laminations with fiberglass cloth. A chopper gun just shoots out chopped up fiberglass fibers mixed with the resin. In other words, fast and cheap but no comparison in strength to things like good quality fiberglass boats.

Feb. 23, 2011, 06:01 AM
If it is all the way through and you can see daylight you can get a fiberglass repair kit at Auto Zone or other for less than $10 - if it is just a crack in the gel coat use a little paintable caulk.
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