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Thread: Travel Trailer Electrical Upgrade

  1. #161
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    Aug 2017
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    Bruss01, thanks for continuing this thread all this time. I've followed it from the beginning while lurking and you've given me pause for thought when it comes to maybe attempting something similar. Always nice to know that somebody else has come across lots of problems and overcome them.

  2. #162
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    So taking a recommendation from a member here, I decided to put POF-15 to the test. This is for rusty metal that you want to prevent from becoming rusty again.

    The fridge trim I could get into a soak (using pvc pipe with a cap) in a weak oxalyc acid bath. The trailer tongue however will not go into a soaky bath, obviously. and no matter how much you sand or brush, you are never going to get all the rust out of the pits. That means that treating/bonding/sealing whatever traces of rust remain is important to keep it from bubbling up all over again after you've gone to the trouble to paint it.

    I was really not looking forward to spending a lot of time hand-sanding and hand-brushing. My old drill went kaput on me so I went off to the hardware store to get a new one. The idea being, a wire brush attachment for the drill seemed like the way to go. However, once at the store my eye was caught by the angle grinder selection. "Well hello Mr. FancyPants!" I ended up coming away with a new angle grinder, a cut-off wheel, a twisted wire brush, and several sanding disks. Boy howdy that made nice work of it. Still a lot of time and effort but nothing compared to what it would have been otherwise. The challenge is just getting into everywhere. I was able to get down to bare metal on about 90% of the tongue but there were places the original ironworks scale or the pit-rust was just too hard. Fine, it doesn't want to sand or brush out, that's what I have the POF-15 for.

    Most of my recent painting experience is with rattle-can, though I have done some interior painting with rollers and brushes. This was a brush-on job but I should warn you it was different than my previous brush-slinging experience.

    This stuff is a bit of a challenge to work with in this application. First of all, you have to spray your metal with the pre-treatment which isn't cheap. It's phosphoric acid (which is found in Coca Cola) and zinc phosphate. This will supposedly help neutralize any rust that is left and help the POR-15 adhere better. It's probably of more value in places that you can't get to in order to sand/grind/brush the rust off. You have to keep it "wet" while it's working, and then rinse it off. If, after it dries, you see a white residue, then you have to scrub on it a bit with a kitchen scrubber to get the loose residue off. The POR-15 itself is thick but runny... kind of like honey. Almost seems to be a resin with black pigment in it. You brush it on but then it flows a lot. I found I had to go back 3-4 times to catch runs before they set. Also it seems to not cover very well on the first coat, you tend to see places showing through. Don't worry about that, it covers fine on the 2nd coat, don't just slap it on thicker, it will run.

    Painting the underside of something is a chore. It tends to want to run and then drip. Anything it drips on - it basically isn't coming off any time soon. There's a special solvent which is supposedly the only thing that can remove it. Which, of course, is illegal in this state for some stupid reason. Wear gloves. No, wait... wear trash bags over your wrists and forearms, then put the gloves on, tucking the trash bags into the gloves. I wore gloves for the first coat but spaced and forgot them for the second. And don't get me started on what happens if you get a few drips in your hair. It's like when you were a kid with chewing gum, only worse. Nothing's taking it out. Ask me how I know. Figure on the clothes being a total loss, designated "the paint clothes" from this day forward.

    For a second coat it says to wait until the finger "drag test" works. That means not frictionless like a table top, and not sticky... just enough so there's "drag" when you run a finger across it. That's dry enough not to run when you apply the 2nd coat but still damp enough for the two coats to bond securely. In my case I think it was like 5-6 hours on a still high 70's-low 80's day. If you let it dry completely you'll have to scuff it with fine grain sandpaper to get the next coat to bond properly.

    Anyway, I've badmouthed the stuff enough that you probably think I'm ready to pitch it in the trash. Not exactly. Once it dries, it looks good and feels tough. I think another couple coats and this trailer tongue should be good for many years. I'd be surprised to see rock chips in it anytime soon. Still toying with the idea of a coat of bed-liner on the bits that tend to get the worst rock-chippage (underneath, front bumper).

    Oh, and I cut out the old battery mount which was welded in. It's just taking up space and the place it was made it impossible to properly grind/brush. And it would have been a lot more effort getting it totally prepped for paint... and for what, to take up more space? It's outta there. Maybe I can someday find a use for that empty space. I'd love to have a larger horizontal-mount propane tank, maybe 60 pounds. It'd be great to be able to double the propane capacity.

    Another issue is going to be the propane tank shroud. I don't like any of the new ones I see offered. the original has a big crack and the hardware is rusted. I am toying with the idea of fixing the original but that's likely going to be a next year task.

    Two days off at the end of this week - going to put in a solid effort on the fridge and see if I can't get it operational or nearly-operational.
    Last edited by bruss01; 10-11-2017 at 04:15 PM.
    In a crazy world, it's the crazy man who can get by - and it's about to get cray-cray up in here.

  3. #163
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    Yeah, the stuff is a pain to work with but I have had good luck with it in the past.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  4. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by 91CavGT View Post
    Yeah, the stuff is a pain to work with but I have had good luck with it in the past.
    I don't doubt it Cav. As much of a pain as it can be to work with my confidence that it can do the job when properly applied is high. I'm sure it would have done a great job on the fridge trim and if i end up doing it again that's what i will.use. it's almost like dipping something in plastic. It seems to do a good job of sealing cracks/seams which most spray on paint does not. Just posting my comments because I was a tad unwary, hopefully someone will benefit from my experience. I do believe it is an effective product but the challnges of working with it should not be underestimated. It is not just "paint" in the ordinary sense we are accustomed to.

    Seriously folks don't get it on you if you don't want to wear it for a week.
    Last edited by bruss01; 10-12-2017 at 02:30 PM.
    In a crazy world, it's the crazy man who can get by - and it's about to get cray-cray up in here.

  5. #165
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    Trying to attach before/after pics of the trailer tongue. Let's see if this works. (Attachments). I have managed to get probably 80% + of the paint spatters off me after nearly a week. This POR-15 is some darn stubborn stuff. Scrubbed Saturday until raw with a kitchen scrubber in places, little to show for it... just going to let it wear off. Hope it's this tenacious on the metal! There was about 3.5 days of sanding/grinding, wire brush and prep between the two photos, plus the actual painting of course.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by bruss01; Yesterday at 01:35 PM.
    In a crazy world, it's the crazy man who can get by - and it's about to get cray-cray up in here.

  6. #166
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    Thats looking pretty nice!
    Good medicine in bad places

  7. #167
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    It looks like new!
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  8. #168
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    It was all just surface rust (as i have been telling the wife the past 4 years) and paint is only skin deep.
    Still considerable persuation was required to separate the metal from the old paint and rust. Hopefully catching up this bit of maintenance will keep the old girl roadworthy for another decade or two. I still have to put a couple more coats on and then top coat/color... for all its virtues, POR-15 is not UV stable on its own.

    Many RV campgrounds have age limits on trailers. The cutoff is arbitrary and is designed to keep out the white-trash junkers. Many times though they will wink/nod if the trailer & owner appear civilized and well-maintained. Hoping tbe exterior upgrades open a few doors... or at least prevent them from slamming shut.

    The wife is finally starting to see what i have seen all along, that behind the distraction of some cosmetic faults and neglected maintenance there is something really usable here. It hasn't been necessarily cheap or easy but by gum we're getting there! A lesser man (and probably a smarter man) would have walked away but I'm apparently more stubborn than smart.
    Last edited by bruss01; Yesterday at 03:38 PM.
    In a crazy world, it's the crazy man who can get by - and it's about to get cray-cray up in here.

  9. #169
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    Hey Bruss I have a project of mine I'd like you to take on when yer done with your Trailer. I bought the Long long long trailer from Dezi and Lucy I'd like you to refurbish. What do you say buddy?
    "The First Gay President", L'dMAO!! "Peace can ONLY be achieved through SUPERIOR FIREPOWER, STOMPING LIBS and CARPETBOMBING"!!

  10. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by texasskeeter View Post
    ... when yer done with your Trailer.
    When i'm DONE?!

    Now you're a funny one!
    In a crazy world, it's the crazy man who can get by - and it's about to get cray-cray up in here.

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