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Wanting to purchase a nice Orbital buffer for use on the Ollie gelcoat.


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I am looking for recommendations on a really decent orbital buffer.
My goal is to stay ahead on waxing the gelcoat and keep it looking good on our Oliver for years to come.

Suggestions? 
 

Thank in advance! 
 

A worthy read - https://olivertraveltrailers.com/blog/everything-you-need-to-know-to-take-care-of-your-fiberglass-rv/

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2020 OLEII - Hull #634   TV -2021 F 350 6.7 liter Diesel Lariat Ultimate “Tremor”

 

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I’ve had a cyclo unit for over a decade. It’s nice but heavy. I’d probably go with a smaller unit like the PC…I’ll have to look up the exact model. 

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6 hours ago, Patriot said:

I am looking for recommendations on a really decent orbital buffer.
My goal is to stay ahead on waxing the gelcoat and keep it looking good on our Oliver for years to come.

Suggestions? 
 

Thank in advance! 

Very timely!

Doing same thing this afternoon, looking for good dual action orbital buffer for the vehicles and Ollie. Looking forward to learning more about these units.

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Tundra LE2

 

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Having answered that question hundreds of times to people I delivered boats to over 20 years, I always said buy the one offered by Shur Hold marine products,

They are light, do a great job for the weekend buffer. If you want to step up and work your arm use what the pros use Dewalt or Makota . If your hull looks good

try Buff Magic by the company or 3M finesse. 

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19 minutes ago, jim sroka said:

Having answered that question hundreds of times to people I delivered boats to over 20 years, I always said buy the one offered by Shur Hold marine products,

They are light, do a great job for the weekend buffer. If you want to step up and work your arm use what the pros use Dewalt or Makota . If your hull looks good

try Buff Magic by the company or 3M finesse. 

Jim,

Thank you for your post. I am trying to decide which one would be the best choice for work on our Oliver. The video is really helpful.

https://shurhold.com/blogs/all-blogs/choose-the-right-polisher-for-you

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2020 OLEII - Hull #634   TV -2021 F 350 6.7 liter Diesel Lariat Ultimate “Tremor”

 

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I just bought a Dewalt polisher, mainly because I used to have a nice Porter Cable one with cord, and I just hated dealing with that;  tripping over it, pulling the plug out of the socket, and dragging it across my freshly polished paint (!) And I have about six other Dewalt tools and lots of batteries. I haven’t used it yet, but I need to do my truck since the sides are all brush striped from fire roads.

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I got a killer deal on an open box one on eBay for $375, free shipping. It was in perfect condition.

Griots Garage sells great care products, I bought a bunch of pads, polishes and tools from them for the Dewalt. It doesn’t come with any. https://www.griotsgarage.com/buffers-pads/

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

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I have the Makita, it is a beast, and will certainly outlive me. This one is corded, and it super smooth in operation. I’ve used it with Osborn brushes to smooth the logs on my home before refinishing, and it will stand up to heavy, daily use. If there is anything negative, it has to be the weight, although the strength of the motor and obvious durability will make it rather hefty.49DBD71B-FB67-4139-82C0-9341437C9171.thumb.jpeg.7881f855fbe5fc7ed6b8ccf3cac4cbd7.jpeg

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2022 Elite II Twin “Katie”

2010 Toyota Sequoia 

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Your shiny new Oliver is not the place to learn how to use an orbital polisher, imo. Practice on something else, first. Learn how to handle the speeds and products. Just a cautionary advice. 

There are some great articles available online from practical sailor, basically the consumer reports of the marine fiberglass world. (BTW, they have recommended the dewalt and shurhold many times.)

Just like anything else, it's not just the tool you own, and the products you use, it's the proper application that gets the job done with best results.

The gelcoat Oliver uses is marine grade, and a good layer, but it's still gelcoat. Don't abuse it, and it will give you a long lasting, beautiful life.

Our motto is, take care of your stuff, and it will take care of you. Our sailboat is 40+ years, powerboat 20+ years, trailer 14+ years. (We do love fiberglass...)

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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40 minutes ago, rideandfly said:

Patriot, thanks for starting this thread!

Going to start learning about all of these polishers mentioned.

Thanks,

😊 you are welcome rideandfly, gotta keep our Ollies gelcoat looking great! 

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2020 OLEII - Hull #634   TV -2021 F 350 6.7 liter Diesel Lariat Ultimate “Tremor”

 

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3 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

Your shiny new Oliver is not the place to learn how to use an orbital polisher, imo. Practice on something else, first. Learn how to handle the speeds and products. Just a cautionary advice. 

 

Advice appreciated!

My first project to learn on will be our 2003 Toyota Tacoma with fiberglass shell, next will be the Tundra, and last will be Ollie. 🙂

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Tundra LE2

 

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I use a number of griot's garage products. I especially like their leather cleaners and conditioners for car seats, and my leather furniture in my home. Not greasy,  and easy to use. 

Do they have a recommended orbital polisher? I've never used any of their products on or in my trailer. 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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8 hours ago, ChrisMI said:

I’ve had a cyclo unit for over a decade. It’s nice but heavy. I’d probably go with a smaller unit like the PC…I’ll have to look up the exact model. 

Good point Chris, I am looking at a lighter weight cordless polisher. Thanks for your input. 👍🏻

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17 hours ago, ChrisMI said:

I’ve had a cyclo unit for over a decade. It’s nice but heavy. I’d probably go with a smaller unit like the PC…I’ll have to look up the exact model. 

Same here. Very popular in the aviation community, I assume because they are built like Toyota LC’s and the dual action is pretty benign when used properly. 
 

Not sure I would recommend one for occasional use on an Ollie due to it’s weight. However, if you want to buy something that you can pass down to your kids or grandkids (and assuming the new owners are still building them to the same level as the older units) - they are great polishers. Lots of attachments available as well. 

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10 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

I use a number of griot's garage products. I especially like their leather cleaners and conditioners for car seats, and my leather furniture in my home. Not greasy,  and easy to use. 

Do they have a recommended orbital polisher? I've never used any of their products on or in my trailer. 

They sell there own brand corded one, I don’t know who makes it for them. The kits are a good value rather than buying pads or other items separately.

https://www.griotsgarage.com/buffers-pads/polisher-kits/


John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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Being a retired Body Ship Mgr. for over 35 years I personally wouldn't use an Orbital Buffer for buffing my trailer. It's not that the orbital will not work, but an rotary auto buffer will do a much easier and faster job, it is a little more difficult to use, but its all in the way you hold and move the buffer in its operation. I use Maguire's 67 Compound Buffing/Polish which does a good job of buffing and leaves a nice shine and applying a wax, or polish is optional. I purchased a buffer for around $65.00 from Harbor Freight and my wool buffer pads (2) from Amazon for around $30.00, I wouldn't use the foam pads for buffing, the wool pads work the best.  https://www.amazon.com/Meguiars-M6732-Marine-Step-Compound/dp/B00029CYRG/ref=sr_1_2?crid=3VANI3ZZ56A47&keywords=meguiars+one+step+67&qid=1654973125&sprefix=meguire's+67%2Caps%2C112&sr=8-2

trainman 

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Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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On 6/10/2022 at 10:40 AM, Patriot said:

I am looking for recommendations on a really decent orbital buffer.
My goal is to stay ahead on waxing the gelcoat and keep it looking good on our Oliver for years to come.

Suggestions? 
 

Thank in advance! 

I do not use a buffer.

After washing in the spring, I hand apply the Maguire's 67 Compound Buffing/Polish to the Ollie to remove any black water stains. It is a easy rub on application and whipping off after drying.

After the Maguire's 67, I use the Maguire's Premium Marine wax. It is also an easy application and whipping off after it dries. I do the same in the fall before putting the Ollie to rest for the winter.

After owning a number of fiberglass boats and cleaning and waxing them, I find the Maguire's products very easy to apply and whip off with a clean rag.

No need for a rotary buffer as it is over kill, in my opinion.

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2018 Oliver Elite II, Hull #354 

2018 RAM 1500 Rebel 4 x 4, 5.7 Hemi, 3.92 gear ratio

 

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Yesterday evening I purchased this HF cordless buffer/polisher and honestly was very skeptical about how well it would work despite the very solid reviews. I thought for $30 why not give it a try?

I had light to medium oxidation beginning on the street side front roof top corner and all along the top of the street side roof which I wanted to remove. I have to admit my wife and I were both really surprised and pleased at how well this 4.83# buffer removed ALL the oxidation with ease using Meguiars #67. Our Ollies roof top now looks as good if not better than the day we took delivery. Note-  I never needed to replace the lithium battery during use. 

As mentioned I used Meguiars #67 with a terry cloth polishing pad on this little buffer which easily removed areas of oxidation. I then followed up with a buffing pad after applying Meguiars Premium Marine wax. 💯 % satisfied and happy with the final results. Letting the buffer do the work, I really prefer to work smart not hard.😎
The buffer is light weight enough that you can actually use it with one hand (perfect). The ergos of the handle felt very comfortable as I never got tired of using it while working up on the ladder. Another thing I liked is I was able to use the buffer under the solar panel over hang a plus.

A 💯% keeper. Thanks to everyone’s buffer thoughts and suggestions, I have found what works really well for me at  a very reasonable price. I would not hesitate to purchase this buffer again as it really brought the shine and beautiful luster back to our gelcoat and saves a ton of elbow grease.

Happy Camping and Happy Polishing! 😊

A few photos -

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This area had the beginnings of oxidation…it’s gone now. The shadows are reflected shade from our trees.

Very happy with the luster of the gelcoat completely restored to our Ollie.
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Just clears the solar panel. 👍🏻
44307ADD-05FD-4196-ADC8-313AB09A43A6.thumb.jpeg.55037e93a7b4a99bdc949e72f58eb62a.jpeg

 

 

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A5860D45-BB7D-4D93-9011-837A39E43E21.thumb.jpeg.78fecb06b2bd2d6e634fe7511e3f178a.jpeg

Terry cloth pad -
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ACB2C277-4878-4128-BC96-509475C0FBD6.jpeg

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2020 OLEII - Hull #634   TV -2021 F 350 6.7 liter Diesel Lariat Ultimate “Tremor”

 

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Thanks for your informative post.

How long did it take you to address the areas you covered?

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Hull #?

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II with expected delivery November, 2022.

Tow Vehicle:  2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

 

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Looks like you found a decent option but for folks who may still be hunting, here's what I got based on the advice in a few articles on Practical Sailor. The DeWalt buffer was enticing as it works even faster but also runs more of a risk of burns and swirl marks if you're not really on your game - I would want a LOT of practice before risking using one of those. Even this Shurhold buffer requires attention to not overdoing any one spot. I used this to compound out some bad oxidation on the gelcoat of the roof of our camper van and it did a great job of that. I also used it to buff out the paste wax i used on that as well as on our Oliver - it also worked well for that, though for waxing I think one of those one hand cheap harbor freight auto buffers would work fine and in some ways be a little easier to handle. https://www.practical-sailor.com/boat-maintenance/shurhold-shines-among-electric-buffers I would not hesitate to use this to compound/polish the Oliver when that's needed.

On these threads Mr Miyagi will aways weigh in regarding the goodness of hand-done "wax on/wax off", of course! 😉

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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Is the harbor freight tool you chose variable speed? 4500 rpm is way above some products' recommended rpm, but I'm sure you checked maguire 67. 

Many of the technical 3m products require a much slower speed, like 1500. 

It sure looks great!

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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1 hour ago, Rivernerd said:

Thanks for your informative post.

How long did it take you to address the areas you covered?

@Rivernerd 
It actually took about 1.5 hrs to buff out the entire street side roof area. A lot less time than “flying elbows” 😅. I could not be more pleased with how it turned out and with little to no downward pressure on the HF a buffer/polisher just letting the tool do the work. Hope this helps!

This really works well - 

https://www.meguiars.com/marine/products/meguiars-marinerv-one-step-compound-m6732-32-oz-liquid

 

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2020 OLEII - Hull #634   TV -2021 F 350 6.7 liter Diesel Lariat Ultimate “Tremor”

 

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2 hours ago, Jim_Oker said:

Looks like you found a decent option but for folks who may still be hunting, here's what I got based on the advice in a few articles on Practical Sailor. The DeWalt buffer was enticing as it works even faster but also runs more of a risk of burns and swirl marks if you're not really on your game - I would want a LOT of practice before risking using one of those. Even this Shurhold buffer requires attention to not overdoing any one spot. I used this to compound out some bad oxidation on the gelcoat of the roof of our camper van and it did a great job of that. I also used it to buff out the paste wax i used on that as well as on our Oliver - it also worked well for that, though for waxing I think one of those one hand cheap harbor freight auto buffers would work fine and in some ways be a little easier to handle. https://www.practical-sailor.com/boat-maintenance/shurhold-shines-among-electric-buffers I would not hesitate to use this to compound/polish the Oliver when that's needed.

On these threads Mr Miyagi will aways weigh in regarding the goodness of hand-done "wax on/wax off", of course! 😉


Jim,

I agree with your comments on the rotary buffer and the potential for burns and swirl marks. I especially don’t like the heavier weight of the rotary buffers some averaging almost 6# ugh. Our oxidation was not terribly bad, but it was visible. Its all gone now and I hope to keep it that way with continued regular washing and waxing.
Thank you for the link and your view points and as always your thoughts are appreciated. For now I am going to stick with what works and really works well. This little $30 HF buffer along with Meguiars #67 and Meguiars Marine wax really impressed us with the results. 
Thank you for you thougths!

- Patriot



 

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2020 OLEII - Hull #634   TV -2021 F 350 6.7 liter Diesel Lariat Ultimate “Tremor”

 

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