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Old 05-15-2016, 09:20 PM   #1
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Roof leak at front cap on 2016 3101ss

Hello all, this is my first post and unfortunately it is not a good one. My 3 month old Forester 3101ss has had a large leak appear. My first sign after a couple of rain days was a wet mattress in the cab over. I quickly dried this up and moved the motorhome to my driveway. To my dismay the water pored out of the wall on the outside of the rig right behind the drivers door. This told me that the inside of the front cap was filled with water. Over the next two days I found the leak and repaired it. I would encourage all owners of a Forest River class C with a fiberglass front cap immediately check the caulking joint on top of the front cap where it meets the top outside edge of the roof. This is an area of imminent failure. Because the top of the front cap is flat side to side and the roof is curved they do not lineup and are totally dependent on the chalk joint. The problem with mine is that the 1/2-3/4 inch gap was filled with a paper thin layer of caulk. As I said my unit is only 3 months old and the paper thin caulk layer was cracked open on both side of the coach. After days of moving the motorhome to try to get rid of the water and running a dehumidifier 24 hours a day I think it is dried up. Question is how much damage was done?? I can see from the outside of the motorhome that wood supports inside the cabover have swelled and is evident on the exterior of the unit, both on the cabover sidewalls and the underside of the cabover. Also it appears that moisture got under the edges of the fiber glass roof and loosened it about 2" on the outside edge all the way from the front cap to the fridge vent. How would you proceed from here? If i take it to a dealer I'm afraid they could make a bad situation worse by attempting a repair they are not qualified for. What I would like is for Forest River to replace the unit with and undamaged unit as it was totally a failure in manufacturing failing after 3 months. HELP!!!!
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Old 05-15-2016, 11:19 PM   #2
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Hello and welcome - you are absolutely correct about the front cap. It's no joke - Everyone should immediately perform the eternabond install on their whole roof as soon as they get the new camper home at the bare minimum it is very cheap insurance - I have a 2012 3171 ds and just got done repairing a small leaks damage. I am not completely familiar with your exact model but I'm sure it's the same cap - mine had a leak through the cracked caulking on the right corner but it was because the screws from the cap into the roof had just pulled out of the thin piece of wood underneath them making the roof and cap move independently from one another. As for the construction though they do not use wood studs it is aluminum and styrofoam insulation with thin steel strips (backers) glued in all between two sheets of thin (1/8) plywood (or Azdel in sidewalls I believe). I have only personally seen inside the roof. If you can actually see swelling in the walls it may just be where the water has separated the glue from the aluminum studs ? Not sure but you are right - I would call forest river and just be honest and nice and see what they say. I have spoken to them a lot and everyone has been helpful and called me back when they said they would - more than I can say for camping world...
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Old 05-18-2016, 11:42 PM   #3
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This thread should be pinned at Sunseeker and Forester

This thread was an ironic find this evening.

I started a 2 - 100 watt panel solar panel install at the front of the roof today. All seams looked good, when i got on all 4rs and started measuring from the rt front corner I found the corner spongy. As said above the fiberglass cap is flat and roof barreled. The corners are hollow. The sealer is just a few mils thick and looked sealed but when i put finger pressure on the seam it was not bonded to the rubber insert and had been leaking. I used my knife to remove the sealer and found that the hollow was full of wet sand/dirt. Both corners the same.

" mine had a leak through the cracked caulking on the right corner but it was because the screws from the cap into the roof had just pulled out of the thin piece of wood underneath them making the roof and cap move independently from one another."


I AM NOT A HAPPY CAMPER!!!!!!

"Also it appears that moisture got under the edges of the fiber glass roof and loosened it about 2" on the outside edge all the way from the front cap to the fridge vent."

My fiberglass roof is debonded both front corners and running back along the wall/ roof back about 8 - 10' .

I see the only reasonable fix for me is to remove the front rubber rail insert, seal the front seam with eternabond tape and cover with dicore. I will not tell the DW as I would never hear the end of the __**_** that put the the thing together in such a *_*ttty manner and what else is *&$*## up.
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Old 05-18-2016, 11:47 PM   #4
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Can you post a picture of the area? I'm having a hard time envisioning exactly where I should check. Thanks.
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:00 AM   #5
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Go to the front of the roof where the fiberglass front cap ( where the front yellow clearance lights are ) there is a rubber bead about 1 inch wide at the junction of the fiberglass cap and the white textured fiber glass roof that runs from wall to wall. The area of interest is at the outside corners where the wall and the front cap meet.
Hope that helps
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:28 AM   #6
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Thanks, shooter2. We were in driving rain last weekend up in the mountains. We'll pull our 3171 out of its storage unit and get on the roof this weekend to check out that area.
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:19 AM   #7
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So is the best preventive measure to eternabond the perimeter of the roof?
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:33 AM   #8
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Roof leak at front cap on 2016 3101ss

I'm keeping on eye on this thread. Not good news on the front caps for the Foresters and even Sunseekers. We just got ours out of the shop because the drivers side slide had dropped almost 2 inches down one side. Sure scratch the paint big time. Slide is fixed now and we will be gone for the weekend. We will see when we get back about getting the paint scratches fixed under warranty.
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Old 05-19-2016, 07:49 AM   #9
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This affects every Sunseeker and Forester

This front cap to roof joint affects every unit with a fiberglass front cap and is a horrible design. My unit is 2 months old and it failed. I'm in contact with the factory and am getting the usual run around. Every dealer I talk to give me the run around and doesn't want to bother looking at it. Is just sickening to think you spend this kind of money for crap!! They will finance these thing for 15 years and with engineering like this where they fair in to month I think is criminal and then not standing behind it is even worse. As I said before if you have a fiberglass cap with a fiberglass roof on a Sunseeker or Forester motorhome get on the roof today and inspect this joint because if it hasn't failed yet it will and no one with help you fix it even if it's in warranty and only 2 month old!! Sad very very said. I hate camping and RVing now.
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:09 AM   #10
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Makes you wonder why the two FR representatives who monitor this forum haven't reached out to you all directly to offer assistance for what is likely a manufacturing and/or design failure.

Hope you get your issues resolved. I'm angry about this (mostly the continuing lack of support from FR) and I don't have problems on the same scale as you.
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