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Old 12-09-2014, 11:18 PM   #1
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2012 Forester 3011DS Roof Leak/Resto

This thread will be for information purposes only. I wouldn't recommend attempting this, but for me it seems that its the best option at this time. Not for the purpose of bashing Forest River either. I'm am at a place that I'm going to deal with the problem rather than complain. I am not happy about it though...

Preface...
I purchased a 2012 Forester in Feb 2012. Other than some chassis trouble which took Ford a couple of times to rectify the experience has been mostly positive. I noticed some discoloration on the vinyl soft touch ceiling a while back. I checked the seams and everything looked fine. I have inspected it before this and all seemed ok. I assumed it was from the heat etc. No signs of moisture was ever present and I even peeled back the vinyl a few different times and it wasn't wet. I wash the roof 2-3 times a year and keep it clear of debri. Its been stored outside for about 2.5 of the 3 years I've owned it. The discoloration began to grow and I upon my most recent inspection the front two corners of the roof are soft. The caulk seems pretty good, but since the roof is soft when pressed on seems to stress the seam.
My best guess is a small leak started long ago, but there was never any evidence to me of failed seal. I checked the back corners only to now find that one corner is also doing the same thing with discolored vinyl. Perhaps my inspection wasn't sufficient, but I am an average user so be aware. The seams appeared in good condition and then suddenly weren't. But, the routine small amount of moisture has deteriorated the laun.

These pictures are looking at the passenger side corner from the inside. Notice that black rotted inner laun compared to the portions of dry brown colored laun. Lots of condensation on the foam. The wood is soaked.

The plan is to remove rot, return rigidity to the corners with new wood, refinish the inside, recaulk the seams and externabond over all the seams. Assuming I don't run into anything that prevents that.

Also visible is the metal tube at the front that coincides directly below the front cap seam. Does anyone know distance back to the next aluminum support? Also does anyone know if the fiberglass is bonded to the luan top decking or does it float?







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Old 12-09-2014, 11:22 PM   #2
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Old 12-12-2014, 10:35 PM   #3
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This is worrisome as we have the same MH
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Old 12-13-2014, 10:51 AM   #4
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That looks like wood framing on the roof. Isn't the roof framing metal? Fortunately the walls are adzel so no chance of delamination. So much for fiberglass roof being better than TPO.
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Old 12-13-2014, 08:09 PM   #5
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Rubber, fiberglass or TPO is irrelevant if there is a seal void somewhere. Always check the roof seals, especially where the cap meets the roof.
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Old 12-13-2014, 11:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
Rubber, fiberglass or TPO is irrelevant if there is a seal void somewhere. Always check the roof seals, especially where the cap meets the roof.
Is there any type of video or literature that shows or tells how to inspect your roof seams ?
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:43 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Frank & Eve View Post
Is there any type of video or literature that shows or tells how to inspect your roof seams ?
Dicor has videos on youtube that show you. If the caulk is cracking it can be very subtle.

So I have finished pulling out all the interior wood, foam, and delaminated ply. You can see in this picture the small white patch is the bottom of the fiberglass roof. The vinyl soft patch is glued to the thin interior ply which is glued to the foam which it glued to the thicker roof ply which is also apparently glued to the fiberglass. If your interested in this, which I am because I had to remove each layer. It does make for a nice light roof, but is a pain to take apart. Not that you should ever want to.

It seems there was far more damage to the the interior than the actual roof ply. This is probably because the vinyl soft touch roof wicks the water a greater distance. This messes up the interior ply but really leaves the foam undamaged.
More pics to follow.


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Old 12-14-2014, 09:11 PM   #8
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Seen here is the passenger side top. About 6 screws back from the front on the "toe rail" which is what I will call the metal ridge that keeps the edge of the roof down there was a seam in rail itself. This allowed me to seperate only the front section where my problem is located. I also took the front cap loose across the top. It ended up being easier to do this so that I could dig the rotted wood out from then inside that was tucked into the corner, and I could now replace the caulk all fresh as I am still not sure where the seam first failed. None of my toe rail screws were caulked but now being paranoid they are all now.



Next pictured is the inside completely stripped. I was careful not to puncture the fiberglass but rather bust and scrape all the foam off the plywood. Peel back any rotten ply. With the toe rail loose I dug out the rotten ply that layed over the aluminum side frame. I have replaced it with cedar to off set the reduction in thickness due to loss. Several places had galvanized metal strips for reinforcement and I have replaced the strip that occurs directly below the front cap seam that the metal screws bite and pull to.




If you look at the big picture the rot is worse around all the seams obviously and spread down the edges of the plywood just like it would anywhere else plywood would get wet.


I don't know if the edge of the plywood is sealed from the factory. I doubt it but that would have prevented some of the rot. In hindsight it would have been nice to have water gushing in so that I knew there was a problem rather that a slow leak that never made it in. It will be next weekend before I continue with new framing and insulation.
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Old 12-15-2014, 08:59 PM   #9
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Wow! What a big job. My 2012 is stored inside most of the time but I need to take a much closer look at the roof area seams based on your findings. Being a Sunseeker I don't have the padded ceiling which sounds like a good thing so it won't mask leaks. Look forward to your finished pictures and repairs. Thanks for posting the information.
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Old 12-25-2014, 08:54 PM   #10
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Folks, I feel the thread owners' pain but I want to also share my story detailing how well Forrest River stands behind their product. I had the same issue on my 2013 3011. My rig was stored at a dealer outside and while at the dealer, the site received 6 inches of snow followed by melt, a freeze and then an additional two inches of snow. The rig was also parked facing downhill which no doubt caused the snow to accumulate in the absolute worst spot. When it all melted and I picked up the rig in the spring the seal between the cap and the front of the roof had failed and the overhead bunk was soaked. The screws attaching the cap to the roof had pulled away from the roof and the snow melt entered through the light over the cab over bunk and drenched the interior. When I showed up to pickup the rig from storage there was mold covering the cab over bunk. Luckily I was under warranty so FR covered the damage. They were willing to allow me to send them pictures of the damage along with the repair that resealed the roof and made it water tight. They then allowed me to camp for the year and drop off my rig for repairs this fall after the camping season was done.

While a roof failing in less than a year shocked me, Forrest Rivers' willingness to allow me to delay the repair and use my rig this past year even though it would be outside the warranty was unbelievably kind. Right now my rig is in Elkhart being worked over and part of that repair will be a walk through of the entire rig even though the rig is now technically out of warranty. I have nothing but good things to say about Forrest River as a company. The dealer I bought my rig from... well that's a different story for a different thread.

The caps on the 2014 models were changed to added additional structure to the location where the roof and cap meet. I asked about retrofitting the change but unfortunately that change cannot be retrofitted to older models due to a change in the shape of the sides and bunk so the only fix is exactly what the owner of this thread is detailing. Replace the aluminum strip used to attach the cap and roof, repair the water damage, and maybe slap some "no step" stickers near the weak spot to avoid an accidental step in the area in the future. Oh, and using a liberal amount of dicor on the seam (1 1/2 tubes when it was patched prior to going to Elkhart)

When I dropped off my rig I was informed that this failure is rare and that the cause is the screws failing to seat into the aluminum support strip correctly during manufacturer of the rig. Please don't assume that this failure is a defect in the rig design. Perhaps someone on the site can suggest a way to check for this condition beyond pushing on the seam and possibly causing unwanted damage?
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