If you live in the harsh, varied climates of Dallas, Texas and drive an RV, you know you have to protect the exterior. What could be worse than taking your trailer out for the first drive of the season and seeing a less than perfect condition? Maybe your RV is starting to show its age or has some crack and leaks starting to form throughout the siding.
Having a gel coat applied can help bring your RV back to life and preserve it for several years. At Coach Specialists, we understand a faded gel coat never looks good. In fact, we’re experts in faded gel coat repair and we want to help you get your favorite RV looking and functioning it’s best as fast and efficiently as possible. So let’s talk about gel coat and why using it and keeping up with it is so important.
What is Gel Coat and Why Use it?
If you are a first time RV owner, you may be wondering what gel coat is and what it is used for. Or, even if you are a seasoned RV owner, you may need a refresher. Gel coat is a synthetic substance made from a base of polyester resin. The most common gel coats are made of thermosetting polymers or thermosetting plastics. These materials sprayed onto the exterior of your travel trailer is cured, altering the resin to a hard, sleek surface. The materials used to make the gel coats are dangerous and toxic. That is why it is important to trust professional technicians at Coach Specialists with its repairs.
Gel coats are used to waterproof, seal, and bring shine to the exterior of your RV. They are also used throughout different marine and airline industries because of its strength. Because your RV is potentially made out of materials including fiberglass and wood, it is smart to stay on top of having a nice gel coat.
How Does Gel Coat Lose Its Shine?
Buying an RV is quite the investment. It is like buying a second home in some cases since many use their travel trailer for long-term travel. If you own older RVs or have a lot of wear and tear on your current, you can start to tell when the gel coat on the outside loses its luster. It can be quite sad to walk up to your RV for your first trip of the year and see a perfectly healthy vehicle on the inside look old and run down on the outside.
Over time, the exterior gel coat will become foggy or blurred due to the process of oxidation. Simply, the exposure your RV has to the environments you drive to will affect the outside appearance. One way to spot when your travel trailers gel coat has aged is when a yellow discoloration appears. It will form throughout the skin of the RV and sometimes show cracks in the surface as well. When you notice this change, it is time to bring your trailer in for gel coat repair.
Repairing Old, Faded Gel Coat
Most people thing gel coat restoration is only for the marine industry, but at Coach Specialists, we specialize in this type of restoration. Let’s talk about how the gel coats on RVs are repaired:
Step One: Preparation – As with any type of reparation, the RV must be prepped before the gel coat can be restored. The Surface of the RV must be thoroughly washed and dried completely. This process is so important. You want to make sure any gritty materials, dirt, rocks, or anything that can keep the gel coat from drying smooth have been washed away. No one wants to go through the entire process start to finish to find a pebble stuck to the side of their RV.
Step Two: Let the Buffing Begin –This is a part of the process you will definitely want to trust to our professionals. At coach, we have specials sanders and buffers that can effectively cover the size of the trailer. You should not be spending your entire weekend trying to sand away at rough spots on the sides of your RV. Our professional buffers will smooth out any imperfections quickly so we can get started on the gel coat application process.
Step three: Double Check – Once the RV is washed, dried and buffed the next step is rather simple but still important. Thoroughly check the exterior for any leaks or cracks. This is especially important if you have experience damage in specific areas before. Any cracks or leaks found will be filled with body filler and sanded out.
Step Four: Applying a Primer and the Gel Coat –Two coats of primer will be applied to the outside of your RV. Each coat should be dried completely before anything else is applied. After each coat of gel is applied, it is cured and dried completely before the next consecutive coats are applied and cured.
Step Five: Finish –One the final coat of gel coating has been applied and dried completely, technicians can do a final buffing to remove any rough spots that may have formed throughout the process. The head of the buffer will be changed throughout to lighter sanding options in order to give the RV that high-luster finish you have been dreaming of.
The best part about having Coach Specialists repair your faded gel coat is that we have the tools and space needed to safely operate. We have extremely spacious and well-ventilated work areas as well as the proper face masks, booths, and safety uniforms or clothing to keep us protected. We would never want anyone hurting themselves trying to work with dangerous chemicals or work in dangerous areas. So give a call today or schedule your next appointment and Coach will get your RV back on the road looking fantastic!