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Rear Fiberglass Cap Damage

TechWriter
Explorer
Explorer
Had a very bad day when our Jeep toad apparently kissed our RV's rear end during a hard stop. No interior damage, just the outer fiberglass skin (and ladder).

Estimated cost to repair ???




2004 - 2010 Part Timer (35’ 2004 National RV Sea Breeze 8341 - Workhorse)
2010 - 2021 Full Timer (41’ 2001 Newmar Mountain Aire 4095 DP - Cummins)
2021 - ??? Part Timer (31’ 2001 National RV Sea View 8311 - Ford)
www.rvSeniorMoments.com
DISH TV for RVs
35 REPLIES 35

Rick_Jay
Explorer II
Explorer II
TechWrite,

Wow, great start!!! It looks really good. I think I would've been tempted to just replace the ladder, but your repair is probably stronger than a new ladder would be! 😉

~Rick
2005 Georgie Boy Cruise Master 3625 DS on a Workhorse W-22
Rick, Gail, 1 girl (27-Angel since 2008), 1 girl (22), 2 boys (23 & 20).
2001 Honda Odyssey, Demco Aluminator tow bar & tow plate, SMI Silent Partner brake controller.

TechWriter
Explorer
Explorer
We started fixing the damage to the rear cap of our RV . . .

Here's the poop -- Fixing Our RV Damage – The Ladder

The next step will be repairing the fiberglass damage . . . which I plan to tackle myself.

We'll see. Stay tuned.
2004 - 2010 Part Timer (35’ 2004 National RV Sea Breeze 8341 - Workhorse)
2010 - 2021 Full Timer (41’ 2001 Newmar Mountain Aire 4095 DP - Cummins)
2021 - ??? Part Timer (31’ 2001 National RV Sea View 8311 - Ford)
www.rvSeniorMoments.com
DISH TV for RVs

CA_Traveler
Explorer III
Explorer III
willald X2 This could happen even with fully functional toad brakes. The amout of time that it would take for the jeep front to rise would be very short. Depending upon speed, when the brakes were applied and toad brake reaction time it could happen to anyone. Thanks Techwriter for the update.
2009 Holiday Rambler 42' Scepter with ISL 400 Cummins
750 Watts Solar Morningstar MPPT 60 Controller
2014 Grand Cherokee Overland

Bob

willald
Explorer II
Explorer II
TechWriter,
While I can't offer any better advice than you've already got on repairing this, I'd like to compliment you on how well you documented on your other page how this happened, all the details, etc. And, how you documented how your tow bar is set up correctly, instantly silencing all the folks that tried to suggest this happened due to a faulty setup.

I can see exactly how, why this happened, though, and see it was a case of several factors all conspiring together at the same time and place. It was the one time your toad braking system wasn't functional, and you were on a trip to address that very issue. And, on that trip, you came across those road trenches. And, right when you were hitting them, you were on the brakes hard.

You were probably braking heavily right when rear axles of the motorhome went over one of those trenches you talked about, so back end dropped, briefly making the jeep's hitch point higher than the Motorhome while braking heavy. Heavy braking with no braking on the Jeep, right at the split second that Jeep's hitch point was higher up than Motorhome because of the trench rear axles were hitting, resulted in the Jeep 'jumping' over the tow bar and into your Motorhome. Was a case of a half dozen things all going wrong at the same time, same place, resulting in this. Could've happened to any one of us that flat tows a vehicle, regardless how well we think we have our rigs set up.

Anyway, sounds like you have a good plan on how to fix this. Good luck with it, and thanks for posting back, and giving us more insight on just what happened. Definitely a few things I think we can all learn from this. 🙂
Will and Cheryl
2021 Newmar Baystar 3014 on F53 (7.3 V8) Chassis ("Brook")
2018 Jeep Wrangler JK ("Wilbur")

Rick_Jay
Explorer II
Explorer II
TechWriter,

I guess the question is...how many more years do you expect to use the rig?

The marine grade plywood will probably last 10+ years in that application. Probably longer if you treat it with preservative before it's installed. While it will get wet with road spray, it should also be able to dry. Aluminum or plastic would be permanent...but as you said, there's a price for that.

I know if this was me trying to make the decision, I'd probably drive myself nuts trying to decide.

If I go with the less expensive plywood option, and then the work done on the back looks A1 perfect, I'd be kicking myself for not using aluminum or plastic. On the other hand, if I put the expensive stuff behind it, and then the back didn't look so good, I'd be kicking myself for spending more than needed.

Knowing myself....(after 60 years, I almost do! LOL)...I'd still probably opt for the marine grade plywood option. And SHOULD the back come out better than expected, I'd just spray some wood sealer up there every couple of years...if it even needed it.

Well, sounds like you've been assembling a great diversity of advice & opinions and sorting through it all to find a good solution for your needs. I wish you good luck with this project, and I can't wait to see how it turns out!

~Rick
2005 Georgie Boy Cruise Master 3625 DS on a Workhorse W-22
Rick, Gail, 1 girl (27-Angel since 2008), 1 girl (22), 2 boys (23 & 20).
2001 Honda Odyssey, Demco Aluminator tow bar & tow plate, SMI Silent Partner brake controller.

TechWriter
Explorer
Explorer
Rick Jay wrote:

While it's probably not necessary, I would recommend that you use marine grade plywood behind the fiberglass. It adds a bit to the price but you won't have to worry about water that splashes up on it from underneath the vehicle degrading the plywood.

I'm also considering a plastic or aluminum sheet (leaning towards aluminum), but both (especially aluminum) are much more expensive than plywood.

See this IRV2 post (post #12).


Rick Jay wrote:
PLEASE keep us up to date on the repair. I'm really interested in seeing how this turns out for you.

You bet. I may try fixing the fiberglass to make it more structurally stable this fall, but probably won't be complete until Spring.
2004 - 2010 Part Timer (35’ 2004 National RV Sea Breeze 8341 - Workhorse)
2010 - 2021 Full Timer (41’ 2001 Newmar Mountain Aire 4095 DP - Cummins)
2021 - ??? Part Timer (31’ 2001 National RV Sea View 8311 - Ford)
www.rvSeniorMoments.com
DISH TV for RVs

Rick_Jay
Explorer II
Explorer II
TechWriter,

That WAS a series of unfortunate events, for sure.

I think that's an AWESOME game plan. I've always liked the look of RV's with a mural on the back. Something your wife creates makes it so much more special! So tell me, are you going to have her paint the grill so it looks like a DP too? 😉

While it's probably not necessary, I would recommend that you use marine grade plywood behind the fiberglass. It adds a bit to the price but you won't have to worry about water that splashes up on it from underneath the vehicle degrading the plywood.

PLEASE keep us up to date on the repair. I'm really interested in seeing how this turns out for you.

~Rick
2005 Georgie Boy Cruise Master 3625 DS on a Workhorse W-22
Rick, Gail, 1 girl (27-Angel since 2008), 1 girl (22), 2 boys (23 & 20).
2001 Honda Odyssey, Demco Aluminator tow bar & tow plate, SMI Silent Partner brake controller.

TechWriter
Explorer
Explorer
OP Here . . .

Here's more info on HOW the accident occurred and HOW we plan to fix it.

The Safari Solution

Of the three forums I posted on, I think the best advice came from here. Thanks!
2004 - 2010 Part Timer (35’ 2004 National RV Sea Breeze 8341 - Workhorse)
2010 - 2021 Full Timer (41’ 2001 Newmar Mountain Aire 4095 DP - Cummins)
2021 - ??? Part Timer (31’ 2001 National RV Sea View 8311 - Ford)
www.rvSeniorMoments.com
DISH TV for RVs

donkeydew
Explorer
Explorer
Rick Jay wrote:
donkeydew wrote:
i had damage just like that on a prior motorhome. camping world portland
removed the rear cap and did a fantastic job on it. i had it back the following week good as new. turn in your claim and see who the recommend. the faster you get it filed the faster you can be back on the road


Do you remember the approximate price of the repair and when it was done?

The OP was looking for an idea of what it might cost him. So far, you seem to be the best one to give him some sort of idea. 🙂 He might be able to get an idea based upon your information.

Due to the age of the rig, it's possible this won't be covered under his insurance. For example, on our rig (almost as old as the OP's) we have "limited collision" which only pays when another driver causes the damage, so it wouldn't cover an incident such as this. So this quite possibly might be an out-of-pocket expense for them.

~Rick

over 10 years ago but just under $3000.00 if i remember right

Rick_Jay
Explorer II
Explorer II
donkeydew wrote:
i had damage just like that on a prior motorhome. camping world portland
removed the rear cap and did a fantastic job on it. i had it back the following week good as new. turn in your claim and see who the recommend. the faster you get it filed the faster you can be back on the road


Do you remember the approximate price of the repair and when it was done?

The OP was looking for an idea of what it might cost him. So far, you seem to be the best one to give him some sort of idea. 🙂 He might be able to get an idea based upon your information.

Due to the age of the rig, it's possible this won't be covered under his insurance. For example, on our rig (almost as old as the OP's) we have "limited collision" which only pays when another driver causes the damage, so it wouldn't cover an incident such as this. So this quite possibly might be an out-of-pocket expense for them.

~Rick
2005 Georgie Boy Cruise Master 3625 DS on a Workhorse W-22
Rick, Gail, 1 girl (27-Angel since 2008), 1 girl (22), 2 boys (23 & 20).
2001 Honda Odyssey, Demco Aluminator tow bar & tow plate, SMI Silent Partner brake controller.

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
Bird Freak wrote:
kitty hair is chopped fiberglass mixed with a resin you can buy in a can. You just have to add hardener and spread after surface prep. Works great for filling holes and cracks but not for structural.

Beat me to it!
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
dedmiston wrote:
Grit dog wrote:
Grind out the cracks, fill with kitty hair.


OK, I'll bite. What's kitty hair?

(I hope I don't regret asking. :B)


LOL!:E

At first I thought maybe it was slang, but the top mfg of autobody filler actually calls it that as well.
It's fiberglass strand reinforced resin to be used as body filler.



Here I used it (the brown stuff, green filler is bondo to smooth the small pits in the fiberglass) to repair a missing chunk in a fiberglass visor on the old truck. Filled the entire void that was broke out as well as a backing layer extending beyond the repair on the back side.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

Bird_Freak
Explorer II
Explorer II
dedmiston wrote:
Grit dog wrote:
Grind out the cracks, fill with kitty hair.


OK, I'll bite. What's kitty hair?

(I hope I don't regret asking. :B)
kitty hair is chopped fiberglass mixed with a resin you can buy in a can. You just have to add hardener and spread after surface prep. Works great for filling holes and cracks but not for structural.
Eddie
03 Fleetwood Pride, 36-5L
04 Ford F-250 Superduty
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Old coach 04 Pace Arrow 37C with brakes sometimes.
Owner- The Toy Shop-
Auto Restoration and Customs 32 years. Retired by a stroke!
We love 56 T-Birds

donkeydew
Explorer
Explorer
i had damage just like that on a prior motorhome. camping world portland
removed the rear cap and did a fantastic job on it. i had it back the following week good as new. turn in your claim and see who the recommend. the faster you get it filed the faster you can be back on the road