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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

My Trailer Redo - Days 84, 85 - Wheel Wells

Even though the wheel wells will be completely covered by the benches, that space is good for storage, so I don't want raw, rough fiberglass exposed under there. Especially since the odd-shaped space can be good for stuffing in an extra blanket. So, I wanted to cover them. Here's what you saw last time, when I laid down the flooring. I was thinking I'd leave that flap that comes up the flat side of each well attached to the floor. But I didn't. We'll get to that in a minute.

You can also see there is a piece of the vinyl laid (not yet glued) across the top of the well. That wasn't quite as simple as it looks.

covering the wheel well in a fiberglass trailer

The inner edge is pretty much straight, but the back edge curves because the wall of the trailer curves inward. So I had to make a template for each of those. And no, they were not the same. And no, they are not symmetric. You must custom fit each side of each one.

I cleaned up the fiberglass as much as possible, and cut down a few burrs that were poking up. There is nothing about this surface that's as smooth as the floor, but I tried to eliminate big pokey bumps.

covering the wheel well in a fiberglass trailer

Then I wasn't sure what kind of adhesive to use. I had some leftover regular vinyl adhesive from a project in the house. But it said it was expired, and more to the point, it said it won't adhere to non-porous surfaces. So, I called Jared, my favorite flooring guy at West Michigan Carpet (it's where I bought the vinyl). He's been in the business 40 years, and has been a friend even longer. He suggested a contact cement, but before an hour had passed, he was knocking on my door, bringing me a bucket of this professional product that I could use the little bit I needed, and return the rest. He said to just brush it on.

a bucket of Mannington Residential T-711 adhesive.

I also showed him my progress to date, and he suggested that I cut the side piece on the wells away from the floor piece, so it doesn't ultimately get stressed and crack anyway. So, I did that. This picture is out of sequence (after it is glued on), but it shows that I just cut them apart. It doesn't matter that there is a little gap. Stay tuned.

covering the wheel well in a fiberglass trailer

So, the adhesive is like soft mud, and it brushed on really easy. I used a disposable brush and just did all of this job in one sequence so I could throw it away when done. Here is the glue, spread on the top of the well. I was able to lay the vinyl on and skootch it around until it fit right where it was supposed to.

covering the wheel well in a fiberglass trailer

This took a few hours to dry. I had also asked Jared about what kind of tape would stick to the vinyl so that I could cover the seams with something to keep out the dirt. The wheel well is too uneven to glue the edges up tight and trim them close like on a counter-top edge. Remember, this will be hidden in a storage compartment. Although I don't want it to look like garbage, it doesn't have to be as finished as something out in plain sight. I told him even duct tape wouldn't stick to it. He chuckled, and said that nothing will stick to the products treated with Scotchguard. The solution- sand the surface down a bit.

This is before I wiped away the sanding residue, just so you can see that I sanded a strip about an inch back on each surface. Then I wiped with a damp cloth and let it dry.

covering the wheel well in a fiberglass trailer

I found a color of "Duck Tape" that goes fairly well with the vinyl. Stretched it slightly to conform to the top curve of the well, and put it in place. Then I started at the bottom edge and made cuts about every inch, folding the front half of the tape down on the face. Then I laid a strip over the seam where it meets the floor.

I think the result is a great solution for keeping the inside of that storage space clean.

covering the wheel well in a fiberglass trailer

I love it that something inside the trailer is finally starting to look nice.

In other news: wrote in the morning, did laundry, and now I'm out the door to a meeting.

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1 comment:

Ann said...

Nice to have an expert like that who can give you suggestions. It came out great. That tape is on there perfectly.