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Old 10-12-2015, 03:17 PM   #1
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Freedom Express Delamination?

So I noticed this last night when we got back from our camping trip. Down the front of my 2011 Freedom Express (on both sides) there are ripples where the side walls meet the front. I'm no camper wizard but something tells me that's not normal and I probably have a water incursion issue? I have not noticed any water in trailer or front pass-through but I'm guessing these ripples are not good.

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Old 10-12-2015, 03:36 PM   #2
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When was the last time the corner strip and lights were Recaulked? Also loose screws under the trim cover allow water to enter. Yes it is Not good to see this. Youroo!!
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Old 10-12-2015, 03:46 PM   #3
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I'm not sure, I just bought it last month but I guess I'll be doing it ASAP I bought some Dicor self leveling lap sealant, is that the best thing to use? *edit* Just answered my own question (slap to forehead). lap sealant is just for the roof.
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Old 10-13-2015, 11:34 AM   #4
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hbrady, unfortunately you do not have a delamination problem caused by a water leak. I had the same issue with my 1911 Freedom Express which I had also purchased used. In it's second year it developed the same issues without any signs of leaking. My local dealer informed me that this was an adhesion issue with the front cap and was common with many 1911 models. Apparently they were no sufficiently glued to the frame with the result that over time they begin to detach from the subframe on the front. The fix? Remove and replace the front cap, estimated cost between $2500- $3000. I traded mine in on a 2014 model and took the hit on the trade-in value. So far two years and 12,000 later no similar issues.


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Old 10-13-2015, 11:47 AM   #5
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Thanks Indiana Man, that makes me feel a little better.. maybe If the condition stays 'as is' I'm not too worried, if it worsens I guess I'll also lose my shirt. Only 11.9 years of payments left
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Old 10-13-2015, 11:48 AM   #6
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I would care to bet it is caused from the wind hitting it being towed. How fast do you drive pulling it ???? I had a similar issue with a snowmobile trailer. Aluminum framing kept breaking at the welds and looking like the front of yours. When I called the manufacturer they said it was only rated to be towed at 65 MPH. I guess when I was towing it at 75 MPH it didn't like it. I wonder what Coachman would say the MPH tow rating is so it don't delaminate.
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Old 10-13-2015, 11:57 AM   #7
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Fastest I've gone both times I towed is 60 and that was just for a short distance.
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Old 10-13-2015, 12:06 PM   #8
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The other thing you will find on this style front panels is heat expansion . The filon expands under hot sun and the screws running through the sides push back against the expansion.
It can be repaired. Remove the corner moldings and enlarge the holes in the front panel where the screws go through it. It's the molding that holds the panel in place.
This allows the panel to expand and contract with out forming the wrinkles
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Old 10-13-2015, 12:51 PM   #9
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Heat expansion sounds like an interesting theory but the wrinkles are no less obvious in the winter. The condition did first manifest itself after a very hot and windy trip to Utah and the Grand Canyon. One would think that this type of issue would have appeared before three years of use and several thousand miles of travel. I wonder if any other Coachmen model years exhibit these issues. I was lead to believe 1911 was the first year for the Freedom Express with this type of sloping front and the adhesion issue had been corrected, but I have been misinformed by the dealer. It was an almost new 2011 192RBS at the time of purchase and we upgraded to a new 2014 246RKS for the additional space. The 246RKS now has more miles under more diverse climate and driving conditions than the pervious units with no similar front panel issues.


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Old 10-13-2015, 06:07 PM   #10
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Click image for larger version

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Click image for larger version

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This is what mine looked like after about 8 months. It was much worse by the time I had it fixed in July. Once the wall was removed the water stain on the inside from the right side clearance light down was discovered to be the cause. Only sealed on the top and sides.
It was an 8 hour job at the dealer.
Pays to have a good dealer.
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Old 10-13-2015, 06:26 PM   #11
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Sorry to hear of the issues with your 2011. I have a 2011 295RLDS that does not have issues yet. Replied to follow this thread. Keep us posted on how it goes.
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Old 10-13-2015, 07:18 PM   #12
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Thanks all, here is a close up of mine (my TT needs a bath). Hopefully this isn't a giant picture, 1st time using iPhone app. I plan to do all joints / entry points with caulk / lap sealant and pray for the best.Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByForest River Forums1444781870.778150.jpg
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ID:	91462. Those ripples go all the way down the front (left and right)... Sigh
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Old 10-14-2015, 01:46 PM   #13
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Decided since I financed this rig 80% I better get it fixed. I have insurance which will cover it and pretty solid theory on how this happened. I purchased this unit a month ago and it was sitting on a seasonal site for 2.5 years. I did a full inspection and there were no ripples at that time. After two weeks using it at the seasonal site I towed it 15 miles home. A few days later we got some big rain, 7'' in 12 hours. A few days after that I hauled it to another campground where it sat for a week and another normal rain storm. I first noticed ripples Sunday when I hauled it home. Theory is, the caulking was original and the flexing which occurred during that 1st tow home broke the caulk's seal. Then.. epic rain..and delamination. Lesson this green RV'er already learned ... re-do your roof seals and caulking every two years no matter how good it looks! I'll update with repair costs and before / after pictures in the next few week.
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Old 10-14-2015, 02:28 PM   #14
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You don't need to redo the roof seals and caulking every 2 years. What I do is inspect all seams when I wash it, which is before each camping trip, so at least once a month. Every once in a while I find a dicor joint that has cracked or a caulking joint that has opened up. I always have the stuff on hand and fix it immediately.
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Old 10-14-2015, 05:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Campfire79 View Post
You don't need to redo the roof seals and caulking every 2 years. What I do is inspect all seams when I wash it, which is before each camping trip, so at least once a month. Every once in a while I find a dicor joint that has cracked or a caulking joint that has opened up. I always have the stuff on hand and fix it immediately.
I agree with the above as far as the 2 years being way to long. I personally check the roof every spring, summer and in the fall before I cover it for the winter. 2 weeks ago, I noticed that the trim on the left front, top had a 12" crack in the decor where yours failed. The other key areas are the front marker lights. I resealed all the suspected areas with non-sag decor.
I am glad to hear that the insurance company will cover the damage. I am sure the repair shop will pull the front filon and reskin it which would be the only way to fix it.
Thank you for the update, keep us posted.
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Old 10-19-2015, 08:46 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by hillsdaletc View Post
The other thing you will find on this style front panels is heat expansion . The filon expands under hot sun and the screws running through the sides push back against the expansion.
It can be repaired. Remove the corner moldings and enlarge the holes in the front panel where the screws go through it. It's the molding that holds the panel in place.
This allows the panel to expand and contract with out forming the wrinkles
I was all hooked up and ready to bring to my local dealer for an estimate on my insurance claim but I made an unfortunate discovery which seems to prove your diagnosis. I found a picture from the week we purchased the camper (when it was still warm during the day). The ripples were very pronounced, this means I missed this during my inspection so the insurance claim is out the window. When I went out to unhook it from truck this morning (very cold out) the ripples were barely noticeable. This means it is a temperature related expansion issue. Now I need to decide if I'll fix it or just live with it

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Old 10-19-2015, 05:08 PM   #17
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You should not give up the insurance claim. You have damage to your front cap, regardless of the temperature. Mine does not do that when it is 95 or minus 20 degrees.
Get it fixed through your insurance company, that is why you pay them. The insurance company cannot prove it is pre-existing if that is an issue. Seal it up for now so it does not get worse.
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