Thursday, May 25, 2023


How is fiberglass applied in fiberglass RVs?

By Cheri Sicard
Ask and ye shall receive! A few weeks ago we shared a video of a fiberglass Escape fifth wheel coming out of its mold. One of our readers expressed disappointment that it didn’t show how the fiberglass went into the mold. So I searched and found this video showing how the fiberglass RV Airstream Nest is made.

The video will take you behind the scenes with Goldshield Fiberglass to watch the making of an Airstream Nest’s fiberglass hull.

According to Goldshield employee Tara Laws, it takes 6 months to a year to learn the craft of applying gel coat and fiberglass. That’s because the thickness of the material is crucial to the overall cosmetics and durability of the finished RV.

It begins by first cleaning the fiberglass mold in order to make sure that it is free of any debris. Next, the mold is sprayed with a gel coat.

The parts of the video about applying the fiberglass strands were surprising to me, as I had never seen or even thought much about it before, but, true to its name, fiberglass starts as a fiber.

Blades at the tip of the sprayer cut the fiber strands into about 1-inch lengths. Catalyst and resin are injected at the tip of the gun along with the strands. Applying it all properly takes a lot of hands-on training and practice.

Once applied, depending on atmospheric conditions, the fiberglass artists have between 12-20 minutes to smooth and roll the surface of the fiberglass. This removes any air bubbles from the laminate. Failing to remove the bubbles would result in a weaker laminate, as well as unwanted cosmetic issues.

Because Airstream is so demanding of high quality, 43 different quality checks happen along the road to creating a fiberglass Nest body.

The fiberglass will set in the mold for 24 hours before air, wedges, and a forklift remove the fiberglass hull from the mold.

After that, windows are cut and components fitted and ta da! A fiberglass RV is made.

Watch the short, fascinating video on how it all comes together. It’s all handmade and is as much art as it is craft.



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23 days ago

Wrong video attached. This was an Oliver Factory tour but was promoted as Airstream molding process. Disappointing waste of time.

Cheri Sicard
23 days ago
Reply to  Horseahorse

My apologies. I watched several videos to find one of the process and I accidentally put the wrong link in. It has been fixed.

Mel Jones
23 days ago

Sorry, but that wasn’t much of a video. Needs to show more of each stage.

Cheri Sicard
23 days ago
Reply to  Mel Jones

My apologies. I watched several videos to find one of the process and I accidentally put the wrong link in. It has been fixed.

23 days ago
Reply to  Cheri Sicard

Cool video! It was really interesting, thank you.

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