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Old 03-15-2014, 01:30 AM   #1
SNB
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Crack clear coat/full body paint on 2011 3171 DS

Well, pulling the 3171DS out for spring break, the enter passenger side of our nice full body paint job is cracked. Attached is just a simple example where you can see the cracks between the window and door. Some cracks are really long, others are shorter. Some of the cracks are on the darker paint areas and not in the lighter paint -- almost like a temperature difference caused the cracking.

Any thoughts on what's going on here? Any thoughts on how to get it fixed up? Camper is well past it's 12 month warranty, but now I'm stuck with 32' of a cracked paint job.

Thanks in advance for any help, -SNB
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Old 03-15-2014, 05:39 AM   #2
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Can't really tell from the photo, I could see you taking the picture that's about it. Maybe turn the flash off or take from a different angle. At least I can not see them.
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Old 03-15-2014, 05:55 AM   #3
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Appears---------

Appears to be stress cracks in the gel-coat. (Glenn, get yo eyes examined) .Looks like a job for repair at the rally in August.
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Old 03-15-2014, 06:28 AM   #4
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Appears to be stress cracks in the gel-coat. (Glenn, get yo eyes examined) .Looks like a job for repair at the rally in August.
How much RUM did you drink?...... How is he getting stress cracks setting in storage, something else is going on with the paint itself. What ever it is it should not have happened. My advice is to take it to a body shop and ask them what could have caused it. At Least that would be a starting point to figure it out. I know I would be pissed off if was mine and they showed up from nowhere sitting in storage. Then I would be on the phone to FR themselves and he would have an idea of how to go about getting it corrected. Even if I had to pay a body shop for a reason and repair cost for the inspection. Also get then to write something down then you would have a case to present. You were in the Navy (sorry about that) but it boils down to the Navy saying CYA.
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Old 03-15-2014, 06:40 AM   #5
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Maybe De-lamination---------

Maybe de-lamination in the wall between the window and the door is causing the wall to swell from water intrusion during storage.
For a 2011 model, the gel coat should not be cracking as it shows in the photo. It is still something that I would submit a work order and attend the rally in August for the factory to handle.

At least I drink great Rum
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:16 AM   #6
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Yes those are "spider webbing" or stress cracks. Much like when a plastic bumper on a car is hit in and then flexes back out. The high spots of the area will push out word and crack the outer layer.
Usually these outward cracks will form as a result of pressure from other places. If this area is in the raised up portion of a fifth wheel (the area above the pinbox) I would bet that there was some side contact of the body to the truck body. This type of cracking doesnt happen with out being provoked, or back side materials shrinking. Of course if it is spongy behind the cracks than this is a delam bubble that has cracked from the pressure. But the delam could be from contact of the body or possibly moisture expanding in the body. (Like water freezing and pushing out, or water swelling underlying wood supports). You may check for leaks around your windows.

Here are a couple of rather extreme stress crack pictures. This is from the bumper being hit in a different area and the area that "pooched up" was the area that spider webbed out.


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Old 03-15-2014, 11:03 AM   #7
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Two updates:

1) I brought it by a local painter who does repair work for the local RV stores. He looked at it and said it was _not_ the type of cracking he's seen before and suspects it may go all the way through to the gelcoat. He didn't do any invasive inspection, but it said in general the paint/clear coating looked to be done well and was sort of surprised at what the cracking looked like. He suggested contacting FR. He did say he he'd fix it, he'd likely plan on sanding it all off and starting from scratch -- $8k-$10k. Yikes.

2) I'll post some more pictures later today, but the cracking is on almost all areas of this one side of the MH except for the Ford chassis door and fenders. It is interesting that it is on the house door, the slide out, and the main body -- so not just stress in one area. The only part it didn't appear on was the painted refrigerator bottom vent -- I'd suspect since that was plastic and not fiberglass.

Thanks so far for the feedback, I definitely need to get in touch with FR next week. -SNB
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Old 03-15-2014, 11:12 AM   #8
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Two updates:

1) I brought it by a local painter who does repair work for the local RV stores. He looked at it and said it was _not_ the type of cracking he's seen before and suspects it may go all the way through to the gelcoat. He didn't do any invasive inspection, but it said in general the paint/clear coating looked to be done well and was sort of surprised at what the cracking looked like. He suggested contacting FR. He did say he he'd fix it, he'd likely plan on sanding it all off and starting from scratch -- $8k-$10k. Yikes.

2) I'll post some more pictures later today, but the cracking is on almost all areas of this one side of the MH except for the Ford chassis door and fenders. It is interesting that it is on the house door, the slide out, and the main body -- so not just stress in one area. The only part it didn't appear on was the painted refrigerator bottom vent -- I'd suspect since that was plastic and not fiberglass.

Thanks so far for the feedback, I definitely need to get in touch with FR next week. -SNB
So Sorry to hear that from you, you are doing it the right way. Now you can definitely talk with FR. Lets hope they are going to stand up and get counted, they have been so far on most stuff. Keep us informed. And once again sorry that this has happened to you, It can ruin your day. GOOD LUCK and get pushy if you have to........
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Old 03-15-2014, 12:38 PM   #9
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I would guess thermal heat stress. Was it stored such that the sun could get to one side? Not sure where you are located but the winter sun can rapidly and significantly change surface temperatures. White unpainted bodies do not heat up like painted ones so it puts more stress on the fiberglass. I once looked at a Corvette which had cracking like that on one side only. Turns out it was garaged under a lean-to like structure but the afternoon sun got to and beat on the one side.
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Old 03-15-2014, 12:52 PM   #10
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I would guess thermal heat stress. Was it stored such that the sun could get to one side? Not sure where you are located but the winter sun can rapidly and significantly change surface temperatures. White unpainted bodies do not heat up like painted ones so it puts more stress on the fiberglass. I once looked at a Corvette which had cracking like that on one side only. Turns out it was garaged under a lean-to like structure but the afternoon sun got to and beat on the one side.
Age has alot to do with what your describing. A 2011 won't have these issues for some time.
I've worked on a few vettes over the years ( look on some of my older posts and profile) and have only seen cracks like this from stress (collision or floor jack) old fiberglass-like 30-40 years old will sometimes have some strand seperation and Uv age damage.

OP I would suggest you take your mh to a RV collision repair center. A nornal dealer doesn't have experiance or knowledge about how to handle stess cracks, frame flex or any kind of real body repair. This sort of damage requires a whole different perspective and knowledge of vehiclular geometry that very few individuals understand or can fixure out a corrective repair plan.
Sorry about your troubles.

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