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Old 05-30-2024, 06:10 PM   #1
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Fiberglass sheets

So I have found some fiberglass sheets measuring 4'x8' x 1/4" for real cheap, $25 bucks each.

I am planning to remove all the windows from the bus (no roof raise), installing RV windows, and was shopping for 16ga sheet metal which is around $200 bucks a sheet, needing 8 sheets.

I never worked with fiberglass before so I would like to hear some thoughts about using the fiberglass sheets instead. I realize it might be a challenge riveting them to the body but that is not a deal breaker for me.


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Old 05-30-2024, 06:48 PM   #2
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I've never worked with fiberglass sheets, But I would be concerned about rivets compressing it and causing cracks down the road. Many washers may help. Smarter folks than I will offer more knowledge. I may be a bit prejudiced, after 43 years in the metal stamping bidness, though.

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Old 05-30-2024, 06:51 PM   #3
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I've never worked with fiberglass sheets, But I would be concerned about rivets compressing it and causing cracks down the road. Many washers may help. Smarter folks than I will offer more knowledge. I may be a bit prejudiced, after 43 years in the metal stamping bidness, though.

I was also concerned about cracking down the road but the cost difference!
Speaks alot!

I was also looking on how to address butting the sheets up to each other as at 1/4" thick I don't think I would be overlapping the sheets!
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Old 05-30-2024, 06:58 PM   #4
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Yup. That is too thick to overlap. Maybe buy a sheet or 2 and experiment?? Keep us posted...
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Old 05-30-2024, 06:58 PM   #5
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You will definitely want to stick to the metal sheets.



There's a surprising amount of force placed on the sides from torsional forces when the bus hits a bump, takes a turn, goes up a hill, or is even going fast enough into a headwind. Fiberglass will eventually crack and/or break, which opens up the possibility of getting a leak in your bus; worst case is gaping holes, but it all depends on how 'twisty' your bus is.



Yes, there are Fiberglass bus bodies, but those are generally made in one solid piece, and are also usually thicker than most fiberglass pieces.



When joining to metal, it's generally going to be better to use metal.
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Old 05-30-2024, 07:27 PM   #6
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You will definitely want to stick to the metal sheets.



There's a surprising amount of force placed on the sides from torsional forces when the bus hits a bump, takes a turn, goes up a hill, or is even going fast enough into a headwind. Fiberglass will eventually crack and/or break, which opens up the possibility of getting a leak in your bus; worst case is gaping holes, but it all depends on how 'twisty' your bus is.



Yes, there are Fiberglass bus bodies, but those are generally made in one solid piece, and are also usually thicker than most fiberglass pieces.



When joining to metal, it's generally going to be better to use metal.
You make some very good points!

To clarify just a bit, I am not using the full 4' sheet.
I guess the panel would be cut down to something like 30-36 inches x 8'.

I'm thinking along the lines of butting it up just under the drip rail and on the bottom, butting it up to the rub rail.

On the top, inside, probably install an angle iron in order to rivet the top.

There will be new windows...

I'm curious to know if with a smaller footprint, would the panels hold up?

I do prefer metal but at 200 bucks a sheet I really would like to find a reasonable solution...
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Old 06-15-2024, 10:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewo1 View Post
So I have found some fiberglass sheets measuring 4'x8' x 1/4" for real cheap, $25 bucks each.

I am planning to remove all the windows from the bus (no roof raise), installing RV windows, and was shopping for 16ga sheet metal which is around $200 bucks a sheet, needing 8 sheets.

I never worked with fiberglass before so I would like to hear some thoughts about using the fiberglass sheets instead. I realize it might be a challenge riveting them to the body but that is not a deal breaker for me.






Do you have a link to the sheets? Some FRP can be bonded to the steel, depending on the resin and how they were manufactured. Laid up or compressed in molds? Compressed can often be screwed or bolted on, think of the luggage racks on some ATVs. Are you sure that they are FRP and not some other type of plastic
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Old 06-16-2024, 09:28 AM   #8
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I'd be interested in ten of those sheets.
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Old 06-16-2024, 01:02 PM   #9
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I found them on marketplace, Austin tx area. Ill check later to see if the pist is still up.
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