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Old 09-20-2015, 07:49 PM   #1
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Freedom express leak issue

2015 Freedom express

We have had our brand new Freedom Express for less than 2 months. Had an intense rain on friday night and it leaked through the front cap and though the wall seem and soaked the entire bed and front closet. It also leaked into the front storage and soaked the floor. I am beyond pissed and feel this camper is not repairable with water damage behind the walls.
How do you suggest to approach this situation. I emailed pics and it felt like they think all campers have this issue. Fix the problem and poof...done!. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks you
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Old 09-22-2015, 03:39 AM   #2
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It does suck, im on my 3rd new camper and all had leaks. I go out in the rain and do my best to find the cause. Most of the time its just sloppy or missed caulking job. My apex had an excessive amount of sealant behind the channel on the awning where the power wire went through, this was trapping water and making its way into front storage.
Id get up on top and look for any crappy caulking jobs.
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:54 AM   #3
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Did you just sell and rebuy or did the manufacturer switch them out?
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Old 09-22-2015, 09:42 AM   #4
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As Cableman said, most of the time it is poor caulking or dicor application. It could also be slide seals not sitting properly. Water just doesn't come into an RV because it feels like it, there is an issue, and usually it is easy to find and address. I have personally had to touch up a couple calking areas where the calk had started to separate (at a year and a half old) and have had to add some dicor to front and back roof seams already. Easy repairs, but bottom line is if I wasn't paying attention to this stuff, I would have water leaks, but have had none as a result. I highly recommend that all RV owners inspect all caulk and dicor areas every couple months and inspect the slide seals to ensure they aren't folded over, etc every time you camp and also if you park the RV with the slides open.

As far as your issue jwo, be vigilant, and don't accept less. What you described is NOT normal. However, I believe your trailer has the Azdel walls, which is a good thing, so you might be able to get away with getting it dried out and fixing whatever caused it.
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Old 09-22-2015, 10:09 AM   #5
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Waaay not normal...this is our 3rd camper and the others never leaked. We have had this for less that 2 months. Vigilant is an understatement, but what should I shoot for? A different camper? A fixing of the leak and replace walls? A extended warranty to cover these leaks? Just looking for options. Thank you.
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Old 09-22-2015, 08:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwodesigns1 View Post
Did you just sell and rebuy or did the manufacturer switch them out?
I just sold them cause i wanted different models.

Im a little crazy and get into everything so i tend to find these things more then the average.
I wish there was an option to come help build your own model!
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Old 09-22-2015, 09:58 PM   #7
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This is just a section of the front cap caulking job. Reminder...this is a brand new camper.
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Old 09-23-2015, 04:41 AM   #8
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Yep that sure is a bad job! Mine didnt look like that. Seal that up with dicor fast. Where is the qc in building these things!
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Old 10-02-2015, 10:02 PM   #9
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This is just a section of the front cap caulking job. Reminder...this is a brand new camper.

Oh my... This looks pretty rough, to say the least. I'd contact Coachmen pronto and send them this picture. Shameful it left the plant this way.
I just received my Apex 288BHS back from a warranty repair. The rear upper bunk window was never set in properly and water poured down the wall when it rained. All sealed up now. Thankfully, it's been stored under roof since I purchased it.
Good luck and please stop back to let us know how your issue went.


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Old 10-07-2015, 10:29 AM   #10
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The Azdel walls will be fine. That's the biggest selling point for Azdel.

The floor may need work depending on if water soaked in beyond the vinyl flooring, but you at least have aluminum framing, so replacing the flooring, if it got soaked, is not as bad as having to also re-frame it.

All of this should still be under warranty. haul it back and tell them to fix it all including a new mattress and flooring.

While they have it in for service, go find yourself covered storage. it's worth every penny in peace of mind.
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Old 11-20-2015, 11:11 AM   #11
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The Azdel walls will be fine. That's the biggest selling point for Azdel.
Incorrect. Actually Azdel being a "selling point" is correct, but its the same as "enclosed underbelly" or "artic package". Just selling points and the only benefit is what you believe it to be. They all make for nice colorful stickers on the side of the trailer.

A laminated wall is 4 layers. Fiberglass/Azdel or Luan plywood/expanded Styrofoam/Luan plywood with vinyl wall covering. You also have a minimal aluminum frame. On a Freedom express that aluminum is 1" square tube. I say minimal as they only put an aluminum member where they absolutely have to. Its not like a house with a stud @ 16" or 24" on center. On your trailer they may be 3' apart. Window openings may not have an aluminum frame, especially smaller windows.

Even with "Azdel" you still have Luan for the inner wall surface, and you still have somewhat water soluble adhesives holding the entire thing together. Add water and the glue releases. The fiberglass may pull loose from either the Azdel or luan, or the Azdel or Luan may pull loose from the foam etc. The only difference between Azdel and Luan is that if it does get wet the Luan will absorb water and may possibly delaminate itself. It doesn't matter though once water is in the mix you have problems no matter if the outer substrate is Azdel or Luan. Azdel is only used for the outer substrate layer in the sidewalls. Its not used in the front or rear walls typically. I don't see the benefit of the Azdel. It may not rot, but how is that a benefit when the entire assembly is failing regardless? The roof substrate and ceiling is also plywood. All Azdel amounts to is smoke they blow up prospective buyers rear ends that it's some great benefit.........it's not. Better than luan? Yes a little. If it has any benefit at all it is that the panel seams do not telegraph as much through the fiberglass as luan, but eventually they still show up even with Azdel. It's not the saving grace its claimed to be. Now if they used Azdel for both inner and outer wall layers, both the roof substrate and ceiling panels, and top and bottom layers for the floor along with 100% non water soluble adhesive, and extruded foam which does not pull apart you may have something that's a benefit.


The floor is the same type of construction although there will not be any Azdel . As far as fixing a floor that has received water damage leave that to the factory. Its not as easy as its being made out to be. Even when fixed at the factory its still going to be a "patch job". In order to repair it to its exact condition when made you need to remove all the interior items and the sidewalls. They are not going to do that. The floor and floor covering is done before everything else.

The trick is not letting water into the laminated assemblies to begin with which is why all the manufacturers stress the importance of regular sealant inspections.

I also have to ask, why wasn't this bad roof sealant job picked up during the PDI? Its not like it was a hidden defect. By not finding this and pointing it out during the PDI you left yourself open to the finger pointing warranty game. Technically the dealer should of found this during his inspections, especially since its in a place so easily seen. Where was it purchased?
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Old 11-20-2015, 12:11 PM   #12
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Good news...they are replacing our trailer. They did the right thing and we are happy. There will be many more checks before this one leaves the lot, though. Thank you for the info.
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Old 11-20-2015, 12:20 PM   #13
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Good news...they are replacing our trailer. They did the right thing and we are happy. There will be many more checks before this one leaves the lot, though. Thank you for the info.
Outstanding, that has to make you feel great. How much resistance did they give you to that?
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Old 11-20-2015, 05:45 PM   #14
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They tried to just replace the boards on the front under the cap, but we held our ground....when it drips into and soaks the bed, that water has gone more places than just where we saw it. I think the time it was wasting in the bay was costing them more than just replacing it for us and fixing and reselling ours. We are very happy they did right. Kudos.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:13 PM   #15
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They will end up repairing it and selling it as used to another unsuspecting buyer.
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Old 02-26-2016, 11:25 AM   #16
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Late reply to old thread. Glad they replaced it, the right thing to do. According to rep I talked to they pressure test the units. That is good way to find leaks. The dealer I am going to has the pressure test unit on site.
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Old 08-02-2016, 10:20 PM   #17
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This is the crappy dicor job on my 2016 Freedom Express 292bhdsle. I made then reseal the entire roof. ALL dicor looked like this on every accessory that penetrated the roof. They also said the screws were broke for the front cap and said they installed longer screws. After I got camper home I noticed the screws penetrated through the ceiling in the front bedroom. Now I'm waiting for their answer to fix this new issue
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Old 08-03-2016, 04:26 PM   #18
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Unfortunately this is too common and most RV owners don't take the time to inspect these places. I have a friend who worked for one of the RV industries in Indiana. He stated that they were pushed to keep the line moving even if you missed something at your station. Management kept stating "let the dealer worry about it". He also stated that they were paid for units out the door per week, so getting a unit out the door was more important than quality.
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