Sunday, April 24, 2016

First week done.

After we left Detroit Diesel in Ocala, we headed down to Creative Coach in Lakeland, FL. We arrived about 2pm, and Lester put a guy on us right away.  He also informed us that we'd need to boondock for at least one night as they didn't have any more electric plugs available.  Oh well, that's why we have a generator:)  We are here to get several things done.  We need the 3M coating or film on the front to be replaced, we need the area around the point where our new wipers are mounted to be repaired and reinforced, cracks ground out, and new paint applied.  Most higher level motorhomes have a 3M film or similar product applied to the front below the windshield to help protect the paint from, dirt, dust, bugs, and small stones.  You have to remember the front end is straight up and down so there is no "flowover" like on a car.  The problem with the material is that it has a life after which it breaks down and cracks allowing mildew to start penetrating it, exacerbated, by a warm and humid area, read Florida, and begins to look really awful.  Ours made it almost 10 years, not bad.  Why didn't we remove it ourselves?  Well, I guess because we're lazy:)  I will say after watching the removal process, I am SO, SO glad we did not tackle it.  The film sticks very well, and since it has become somewhat brittle with age, you are very lucky to get a piece off the size of a stick of gum, but mostly it is smaller.  Our tech used a heat gun and a 1/2" wide plastic chisel to take the film off, then a solvent and the same chisel to get the glue off, just the glue took one full day, all together 3 full days, and several hours from our first day!

He starts removing the film on the first day

Lots of film off, but you can see the adhesive

A close up of the adhesive that still has to come off, and
you can see a bit of the cracking around the wiper shaft

Camp Creative Coach
Another shot that shows some of the mildew, look near
the bottom where there is kind of a shelf, that's not dirt, but mildew
 Now as you know especially if you've followed this blog at all, there always has to be a glitch in the plan as Murphy raises his ugly head, and of course he does.  Down near the bottom as the end is in sight, a bunch of paint comes off with the film:(  It's just the luck of the draw, so we will have to have that area painted before the film goes back on as well, and they tell me the paint in that area is "pearl", so it is a bit more difficult and harder to match and apply, read more expensive.  But we have no choice.

You can see where the paint came off
Film is all off, nice and shiny!

So after the film is all off, we head into the shop for the fiberglass work.  That goes smoothly, he takes the wipers off, grinds out all around the holes where the wiper stems come through and is able to get a good, thick, strong layer of fiberglass in there.

Checking for fit

A close up of the repair

Bondo all applied and sanded

Another closer view

All primed for paint
So we have been cooling our jets for a week, and it's been fine.  In fact we've been able to enjoy a couple of delicious lunches at one of our now favorite Vietnamese restaurants, Saigon Bistro.  We also had a coincidental meeting with some old friends and neighbors from Atlanta.  We noticed on Facebook they were having service done to their beautiful new motorhome at Lazy Days, just about 30 miles from us, so we were able to go over and have a wonderful visit and lunch catching up with Larry and Teresa.  We hadn't seen them in some time so it was really a treat.  We also were able to pop in and enjoy a lunch and visit with Bruce and Cathie, so all in all the week went pretty well.  We had to boondock for 2 nights, but now we are all hooked up with electric which is nice since the temps are supposed to be climbing into the 90's.  Hopefully this week will be as productive, the painting will get done quickly and the film goes back on smoothly, and who knows, will be be out of here before Friday???


Sandy said...

So how much for the 3M film? And what would it cost to repaint every couple of years?

Bill said...

$1800 for the film. Just the two color job at the bottom where the film pulled the paint, $1200. So considering there are 4 colors on the whole front, and it would be hard to figure how much to paint as it just wraps around the corners, I hate to think what the whole front would cost to paint. The one color top of the cap that we had done last year was $3000. Believe me we thought about leaving it, but hopefully we'll get another 10 years out of the new film.

Sandy said...

Ouch, sounds like airplane pricing. They dropped a town bar on the nose wheel pant one day and the bill was $400.

Bill said...

Very similar I think. The paint got done yesterday and it does look fantastic. Film should go on today.