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Thread: Tree branch scratches on fiberglass trailer

          
  1. #1
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    Tree branch scratches on fiberglass trailer

    Hi guys,

    I had some tree branches run along the side of my 2016 Jayco 23RLSW, leaving some nice scratches down the length of the rig. They are superficial enough that when I run my fingernail over it I can't feel the scratch.

    Rubbing compound just smudged the finish. A neighbor leant me a polish he uses on classic cars. It faded the scratches pretry good, but when I look up at it from directly underneath the scratch is clear as day.

    Help, how do I get these out?

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    Registered Member Lydia's Avatar
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    Re: Tree branch scratches on fiberglass trailer

    Welcome to the forum!

    That's good news that they are pretty superficial. In my experience, tree branch scratches are usually shallow enough to remove pretty easily.

    I'm not sure what kind of rubbing compound you used but I had a bad experience years ago with a rubbing compound. I think it was called "gravel in a bottle". Or that's what it seemed like! It was so rough that it hazed the paint badly. It's possible that whatever rubbing compound you used just ended up hazing the finish. As far as the polish you used, if it's a pure polish without any kind of abrasives, it sounds like it just hid the scratches to some extent.

    To start with, I would recommend getting Ultimate Compound. Work it in according to the directions on the bottle in a test area, then wipe it off and see how it looks. While the name does say "Compound", it is nothing like the old rubbing compounds. It finishes down very nicely. UC can be found at most Auto Parts stores, Walmart, etc. Get a few quality microfiber towels and a couple foam applicators while you're at it, if you don't already have them.

    I will say, be prepared to get a good arm workout as this will take effort. You effectively are removing a very thin layer of paint to remove the scratch. Depending on the depth of the scratches, the results you want, and how many scratches there are you may want to consider some type of machine. One option is to go with the Dual Action Power System. This mounts to a standard corded drill and will be a lot easier on your arms. It can also be found at most Auto Parts stores or Walmart. The good thing about it is the price. If it's in the budget, the Meguiar's MT300 is a great option and will make it go even more quickly. You can also use it to apply wax so it will save some time there.

    If Ultimate Compound does the job, you'll want to get some paint protection to top it with as UC (like any other paint cleaner or compound) will remove the wax. In fact, I would recommend waxing/applying a sealant to the whole thing, if you haven't already. I don't know off-hand if your Jayco is gel coat or not, but it's always worth the time to put a coat of wax on as a preventative measure, rather than spending 10-20 hours after a couple years buffing out all the oxidation that could have been prevented by taking care of the finish from the beginning. If you're wanting a quick, easy to use product to protect it, I would recommend Ultimate Fast Finish. I'm not sure if Meguiar's specifically recommends it for gel coats or not, but I have used it on one with no trouble. The nice thing about UFF is it is a wipe on, wipe off product. You don't have to wait for it to haze, so that means you only have to go around this behemoth once with a ladder instead of twice.

    Alternatively, I have no idea where you are in relation to Irvine, but if you're anywhere near, Meguiar's opens up their garage relatively often - you should go by one of their Saturday or Thursday night events if you're anywhere nearby! Even if you don't bring the Jayco, you can get hands-on experience that will help you with the Jayco.
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    Registered Member Lydia's Avatar
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    Re: Tree branch scratches on fiberglass trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by Lydia View Post
    I'm not sure what kind of rubbing compound you used but I had a bad experience years ago with a rubbing compound. I think it was called "gravel in a bottle". Or that's what it seemed like! It was so rough that it hazed the paint badly. It's possible that whatever rubbing compound you used just ended up hazing the finish. As far as the polish you used, if it's a pure polish without any kind of abrasives, it sounds like it just hid the scratches to some extent.
    I wanted to specify for future reference that the rubbing compound that I had a bad experience with was from a completely different brand. I was in an auto parts store over the weekend that I don't usually go to and saw that they carried Meg's Rubbing Compound. Since my normal "haunts" don't carry it, I tend to forget Meguiar's offers one. I'm actually pretty sure that the brand that I had a bad experience with doesn't even offer the same rubbing compound any more. It was seriously that bad. I used it on a severely oxidized single-stage paint and it still made it look worse than severe oxidation.

    Just wanted to clear that up.
    Lydia's Mobile Detailing
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    Re: Tree branch scratches on fiberglass trailer

    Hi Lydia,

    Thanks for the detailed response, that is a huge help. We just got home after a long road trip and I'm ready to shine this baby up.

    I'm going to try the UC but the Meguiars buffing pads I see are really expensive. I know we're on a Meguiars forum but is there a cheaper version, maybe by a different manufacturer, that has little to no cut that I can attach to a drill?

    Thanks!

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    Registered Member Old Bear's Avatar
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    Re: Tree branch scratches on fiberglass trailer

    Lydia sugests:

    Alternatively, I have no idea where you are in relation to Irvine, but if you're anywhere near, Meguiar's opens up their garage relatively often - you should go by one of their Saturday or Thursday night events if you're anywhere nearby!
    Read more at http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums...3hvwgWwCClt.99

    Matty, with Newport Beach sharing a border with Irvine in the airport area, I too encourage you to make the Saturday class, followed up with a couple Thursday Night Open Garages.


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    Re: Tree branch scratches on fiberglass trailer

    Is it a question and answer type thing?

    I'm not looking to become a professional detailer, just want to know the best products at a reasonable price.

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    Re: Tree branch scratches on fiberglass trailer

    Matty, read the intro on TNOG here.
    It can let you ask advice and try products to see if they will resolve the problems.
    http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums...thOtkFhckAX.97

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    Product & Training Specialist |MOL Admin Nick Winn's Avatar
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    Re: Tree branch scratches on fiberglass trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by FattyMatty View Post
    Is it a question and answer type thing?

    I'm not looking to become a professional detailer, just want to know the best products at a reasonable price.
    Feel free to contact me with any questions via PM or nawinn@meguiars.com.

    Nick
    Nick Winn
    Product & Training Specialist | Meguiar's Online Forum Administrator
    Meguiar's Inc.
    Irvine, CA
    nawinn@meguiars.com
    800-854-8073 ext 3845

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    Re: Tree branch scratches on fiberglass trailer

    So I got all my supplies - the Meguiars Marine/RV Restoration Kit, as well as the DA Polisher with maroon (compounding), yellow (polishing) and black (wax) pads. My question:

    Since this is a 1 year old gel coat / fiberglass trailer with barely any oxidation, but MANY scratches from tree branches, should I just use the polish? Or the oxidation compound then polish?

    And if I use the oxidation remover, should I use the maroon or yellow pad?

    Finally, do I need to clay bar gel coat first?

    Thanks!

  10. #10
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    Re: Tree branch scratches on fiberglass trailer

    FYI the directions on the oxidation remover (#49) says to use the mirror glaze cutting pad. So I guess I'd want to use whatever is closest to that.

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