How can I restore this massive cargo box to it's former glory?

Hi all,

I have a Packasport System 115 Roof top Cargo Box (like a Thule or Yakima cargo box but 1.5x the size, 2x the price, and 3x the quality)

Unfortunately, mine doesn't look so new anymore. It is sun faded, scratched up, and has velcro on top from when a solar panel rested on it.

Functionally, it is perfect. it just looks like sh*t.

So, my question: What would be the best way to make this thing look good again and restore it's former shiny black look, considering it's made of fiberglass?

Could I plasti-dip the thing? Some type of paint? Any ideas?


Here it is in better days:



and here it is now:



 
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Try this stuff. It’s incredible.
I should've mentioned that unlike yakima/thule cargo boxes, this one is made of fiberglass, so I'm not sure that stuff will work. I'll do a bit more investigating though and thank you for the suggestion.

I was going to actually sand and use a gel-coat kit to repair the gash seen on the left side, but are you saying to simply gel-coat the whole thing for color restoration?
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
yeah basically, use fiberglass to repair any cracks/gash.. sand it down, power wash it, and re-gel coat the whole thing, it'll look brand new.. the UV and weather basically wears it down over time.. all those nice pristine Westfallia's at the car shows, just took the top off, re-coated it, put new rubber seals on and new stickers.. looks like the day they were made and isn't really that much work considering the results.. mine needs it something fierce, and you can practice on the roof box which is arguably easier to replace if you totally hose the job.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
Skip the gelcoat even us boater types go strait to the high quality marine paint. Easier, more durable, more stain resistant etc. gelcoat is pretty porous and hard to do right unless you have more complicated gear. Vs the good paints are far easier to use. Also paint it a light gray or white. It will lower the box temps considerably and the new finish will last longer.
 

4xdog

Explorer

Try this stuff. It’s incredible.
Really? I've tried 303 Protectant on black polypropylene trim and found it unremarkable. About the same effect as any one of the many products that do the same thing, and no longer lasting than any of them.
 

Alloy

Active member
Skip the gelcoat even us boater types go strait to the high quality marine paint. Easier, more durable, more stain resistant etc. gelcoat is pretty porous and hard to do right unless you have more complicated gear. Vs the good paints are far easier to use. Also paint it a light gray or white. It will lower the box temps considerably and the new finish will last longer.
X2.......run it buy an autobody shop and what they'll charge to spray it.
 

outback97

Adventurer
Skip the gelcoat even us boater types go strait to the high quality marine paint. Easier, more durable, more stain resistant etc. gelcoat is pretty porous and hard to do right unless you have more complicated gear. Vs the good paints are far easier to use. Also paint it a light gray or white. It will lower the box temps considerably and the new finish will last longer.
I am repairing a recently acquired 25 year old Kevlar canoe, and I would agree with this. It's my first time working with gelcoat, and while it's not too bad to work with while repairing dime to quarter sized chips and dings, it's a lot of work getting a smooth finish, and I'm seeing some porosity. I think high quality paint would be much better for a large surface like that cargo box.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
Gelcoat works well when you spay it into a smooth mold. Once you sand it or rub it with abrasives the sealed surface comes off and your left with a porous surface. Paint it and be a happy camper. Paint will be lighter also.
 
Wow so many answers! Thanks for all the responses, guys. The way it sounds this may be above my casual pay grade- I'll run the dimensions by a few auto paint shops and see what they say. I live in San Diego too, so I can see what boat painters have to say RE: fiberglass paint options.
 
Ok Packasport just got back to me and said that having it repainted at an autobody shop would be the best move, but also that a lot of people are apparently using Lemon Pledge furniture polish to restore these things. Go figure.
 

Lemsteraak

Adventurer
Gelcoat looks OK, just faded, you should be able to bring it back. Dark colors fade and look like crap, that is why you see so much white fiberglass.

Wetsand with really fine sandpaper 600 or higher until you get down to a solid finish.
Wax with 3M Fiberglass restorer, don't bother with car wax, doesn't have enough grit and you will be at it forever.
For extra credit, put on a coat of protective wax

If that doesn't work, paint it, use a one part marine polyurathane and match the color. If you change color, every time you scratch the finish, you will see the black under.
 
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