What is the best exterior covering?

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What is the best exterior covering?

Postby Katie&Craig » Sat Mar 11, 2006 2:21 pm

I know this is more of an opinion question, but I’d like to take advantage of the vast experience of the forum members. What is the best exterior covering that meets the following criteria/limitations?

Low maintenance:
I have a hard enough time keeping my car washed, so don’t really see myself polishing the exterior that often. (yes I will check my bearings and other safety maintenance things often). Also we don’t have a place to store it, so a cover or tarp is the best we can do.

Durable:
Will be used off-road, so I expect it to get dinged by rocks and scratched by the occasional large woody shrub. I don’t mind it looking like it gets used, but since the exterior will be a protective coating as well, I don’t want something that is no longer effective if dinged or scratch.

Reasonably low cost:
Low cost is good since otherwise we can’t afford it. Also, something that can be inexpensively and easily replaced if the exterior starts to get too worn would be good.

No white:
I don't want to offend anyone, so this is strickly a personal preference. I don't want MY TD to be white because it makes me think of the big RVs, which I don't want to emulate. Ok, I'll be flexible on this one - guess I could always paint over it if the substance is white.

I am sure this has been addressed early, but I got too many hits on my search! There was a poll asking what exterior coatings were used, but it didn’t really address what situation they would be used in.
All thoughts are welcome!
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Postby Steve_Cox » Sat Mar 11, 2006 5:14 pm

Katie&Craig,

It seems you want it all. Low cost, extreme durability, low/no maintenance. I don't think it works that way, or we would all (most of us) would do it. I'm thinking truck bed liner in one of the lighter colors, the off road jeep guys use it. It might hold up to your "occasional large woody shrub." But is isn't cheap as house paint. Just my thoughts.



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Postby cracker39 » Sat Mar 11, 2006 5:25 pm

You probably won't like mine, because it will be white. But, I don't think it will be confused with any big RV. I'm going to spray my plywood with a couple of coats of Helmsman Polyeurothane Spar Varnish and sand after each coat, just to seal the wood. Then, one coat of primer/filler and sand, then one or two coats of a good exterior white, latex, semi-gloss enamel. I'll checkwith paint sales to see if a primer is really necessary over the varnish.

I am choosing latex over oil-based because it resists sunlight, moinsture, and tempeature changes better than oil-based enamel. I may put a clear coat over it, but am using semi-gloss because it hides imperfections better than gloss, and I am sure no matter how much prep I do, there will be imperfections. I have sprayed a lot of latex enamel with my pressurized paint guns. I usually thin with 10%-15% water before spraying. It dries quickly and if I am careful, there are no runs or sags.
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Postby bdosborn » Sat Mar 11, 2006 6:15 pm

FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic) has all the qualities you want except its usually white. Make sure you get the kind the kind that has UV stabilizers in it. It can be painted any color you want. There's a reason most RVs are white, the dark ones get HOT. $1.75/SF is a good price for FRP. There's a thread around here somewhere about it.

http://www.themetalcompany.com/Products ... /index.htm

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Postby Mitheral » Sat Mar 11, 2006 6:46 pm

If I end up building a ultralight I'll be coating the exterior ply with polyester resin with glass reinforcement in the corners then painting with a couple coats of house paint. Available any colour you'd like though lighter shades are cooler and darker shades will fade faster/more.

Not super tough but cheap and easy to repair.

That's if I don't use chrome bumper paint for the whole thing.
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Postby cracker39 » Sat Mar 11, 2006 6:58 pm

I don't think Rustbullet would stick well to wood, but it sure would look good. 8)
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Postby cracker39 » Sat Mar 11, 2006 6:58 pm

But, I already have my RV door and it's white...darn.
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Postby angib » Sat Mar 11, 2006 7:25 pm

Plywood and house paint. Cheap and, with the money saved, promise to buy a tin of Bondo to repair the dings - and then get to like them un-repaired, describing it as the 'lived-in look' to others.....

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Postby cracker39 » Sat Mar 11, 2006 9:16 pm

I already have the Bondo!!! :thumbsup:
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Postby bdosborn » Sat Mar 11, 2006 10:47 pm

Hmmm, methinks this topic would be a good poll....
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Postby mikeschn » Sun Mar 12, 2006 3:45 pm

bdosborn wrote:Hmmm, methinks this topic would be a good poll....
Bruce


Me too, so which admin is going to turn this into a poll?

Mike...
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Postby Gerdo » Sun Mar 12, 2006 6:04 pm

I went with FRP "Filon". I love the look of the silver aluminum, BUT with all the hail that we get in Colorado I felt that aluminum was not an option.
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Postby Kevin A » Sun Mar 12, 2006 6:15 pm

mikeschn wrote:
bdosborn wrote:Hmmm, methinks this topic would be a good poll....
Bruce


Me too, so which admin is going to turn this into a poll?

Mike...


Here ya go. ;) http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?t=3119
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Re: What is the best exterior covering?

Postby Ira » Mon Mar 13, 2006 8:46 am

Katie&Craig wrote:
Reasonably low cost:
Low cost is good since otherwise we can’t afford it. Also, something that can be inexpensively and easily replaced if the exterior starts to get too worn would be good.


I doubt you would want something that you would need to replace, other than repainting.

But check out Rot Doctor's Uniflex. It's amazingy durable stuff, and although it'll cost you about $100 to do your tear (I think), that's a drop in the bucket when you consider you can apply it directly to your ply walls.
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Postby EZ » Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:12 am

I too am planning on using latex paint. It sounds like some folks seal the wood with polyurethane and sand before painting with primer. Is this mostly to get rid of the grain or make it cover beter or maybe both? Maybe water-based varnish would work too especially since it is covered with a few coats of paint. Would still seal the wood well.

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