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Saturday, September 25, 2021

My Trailer Redo - Days 147, 148 - Insulation Experiments

  I finally feel as if I am making some progress, so will show you what I've been working on. I'm trying out my tentative plan to complete the insulation of the trailer in curved areas. If I'm satisfied, then I have to go pick up some more flexible, closed-cell foam. But I have to figure out how much, and what thicknessess.

The area beneath the back window that is also under the table is a good place to fool around with because it won't ever show very much. The table has been removed again so I can work more easily in the space. This is after step 1. I have used various foam insulation types to create a surface that is a lot more smooth than the fiberglass shell that has ridges in various places. The colors of the insulating material don't matter. insulating a fiberglass trailer wall

Just to remind you, this is where the circuit breaker outlet box is mounted. In this picture, without any insulation, you can see that there are various levels of the fiberglass. fiberglass trailer shell with outlet strip

Next, I'll cover all this with another layer of the flexible foam, using as few pieces as possible to make a fairly smooth surface. Then I have to choose what I'm covering the foam with for the finished surface. But that's in the future. I had a couple pieces of the flexible foam that I was willing to sacrifice to this experiment. So far, I'm pleased.

NOTE: a year later, I have learned that none of these adhesives will stick to fiberglass well enough. See The battle of the glues

But let's talk about how I'm sticking the various kinds of foam to the fiberglass. I'll skip talking about all the things I tried (for now) and just say that I'm using Loctite Ultimate. It's going to take more than I'd like (because it costs more), but the Loctite All Purpose, although it did stick to the fiberglass, did not hold up to the vibrations of the moving trailer. More about that another day. So I'm going with the Ultimate. lines of adhesive on foam

But talk about a long process to get to those little lines of adhesive! First let's talk about the caulking gun. Mine is who knows how old. (top one in pic) Something approaching 50 years, probably. While I was watching videos yesterday to try to solve my other problem (coming up next), I listened to a big strong guy say that some of the new adhesives and sealants are so thick that he could barely get them to come out of his gun.

Well! I thought, when I was doing the well pit and roof, that I was just getting wimpy. And the Loctite is so stiff it was really, really hard. It seems there are caulk guns, and then there are caulk guns. OK, so mine was so old it doesn't have a place to cut the tube end, and it doesn't have a wire to pierce the cartidges. I could live with those deficiencies. But you can get a gun that has a lot more leverage. standard ones have about a 6:1 thrust ratio. Just read "how hard you have to squeeze to make stuff come out." I now own one with a 13:1 thrust ratio! (lower one in pic) It no longer takes two hands and a foot to make thick products come out! $17 well spent. caulking guns

And now for the other problem. I could not manage to pierce the cartridge. It seemed as if the nozzle should screw off, but it wouldn't. Could not find a single video about this. You have no idea how long I spent trying to figure out why I could not get that cartridge open. Anyway, I took that cartridge back and got a different one. cartridge of LocTite

Sure enough, the nozzle screws off, and you need to pierce right in the center of that conical projection. If you try to pierce the cartridge and manage to get down beside that cone, the tube will squirt a worm of adhesive off to the side as you use it. cartridge of LocTite

Anyway, now I am in business. I need to try to cover all the curved surfaces with small blocks of foam to create a relatively smooth interior surface. insulation on inside of fiberglass trailer

We won't call this huge progress, but I've finally got the method worked out. insulation on inside of fiberglass trailer

In other news: I edited and formatted all morning. All of the icky stuff and the interior frame I built are out of the freezer. I think one more day to scrub it down and that job will be done. I also am working on the real fix for the curved trailer walls. Stay tuned. My list is up to 56 things to do by 12/1, and I have crossed off 6. TO DO- 50 things: 66 days.

See Day 146- New Tires
See Index to Trailer Refurbish


Ann said...

I'm betting the caulk gun I have here is just like your old one. I never would have figured out how to get into that cartridge.

Sharkbytes said...

Ann- It did look like the nozzle should screw off, but it wouldn't so I was completely stymied. Just defective, I guess.