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Old 04-21-2016, 08:11 PM   #1
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Full Body Paint Cracking After only 3 trips

Has anyone else had issues with the full body paint on their Cardinals? Last Aug I took my first trip from Houston to NM when I arrived I saw that the paint on a few of the joints on the exterior had cracked. I took it to a dealership to see about getting it fixed under warranty they didn't seem too interested. I have had a few paint shops give the opinion that what has happened is that they painted over joints and trim that should have been caulked after painting not visa-versa. I have been in DFW for a while and now the dealership handling the claim says they have mostly has these claims denied!!!!
I paid extra for the full body paint and never would have believed that after the first trip it was already cracking and peeling!!
So now I am in the 4th month of trying to get this covered. After 2 sets of photos I'm being told that there wasn't sufficient evidence in the photos to warrant the estimate given to FR.
If they think just fixing the current issues and not redoing ALL the trim and joint is sufficient......I do not.
I see on the latest out of the factory that this method of painting has been discontinued. I'm other words it was done properly.
The Texas Lemon Law applies to RVs and since this is now my second attempt to get it fixed.... I'm considering this option.
So anyone else have this issue? What was done? I have spoke to several others where it has happened. Some got fixed others didn't. Here's just a couple of pics
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:52 PM   #2
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Have the same problem on my 2013 Cardinal. You can get the paint codes and mix the paint with new caulking and recaulk. Or remove the old caulking, touch up the bare exposed areas with paint and use a clear sealant to recaulk those areas. I had to take a razor and cut along the edge of the cracked paint to prevent it from pulling the paint off further as I removed the old caulking.

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Old 04-21-2016, 11:21 PM   #3
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Don't have a cardinal but im in the paint and body industry.
You need to see what kind of sealant was used. If it is silicone than nothing will ever stick to it. Seams that are to be painted should use a "seam sealer", that is what is used on all butted edges, roofs, floors, trunks etc on vehicles.
Unless the sealant is paint able, than this is going to be a recurring problem.
If they did use silicone, rather than tearing the camper up to remove it, i would just get some touch up paint from an auto parts store, or paint markers and just paint over it ever so often.

Sorry about your problems....that sux.

Fyi, lemon law or attorney talk will probably not help your situation. As soon as you drop that in a conversation then most dialogue with the factory will stop.
Also, doubtful that this would be a lemon law applicable issue. Yes its a pain/bothersome issue, but not an issue that would prevent it from being used would cause any harm.

Just keep trying to work with FR and try to find a factory cardinal warranty contact to get in touch with instead of going thru a dealer.
Good luck!!
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Old 04-22-2016, 11:44 AM   #4
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It's way beyond a touch up. There are areas where the paint has flaked off on the are far from the trim.
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Old 04-23-2016, 03:47 PM   #5
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I have that on my Solera on the seams. Particularly bad is the curve that wraps around overhead cab. Even the trim pieces here shrank and moved the full body paint pattern on it. The RV repair shop replaced the trim with a solid black trim piece. They claimed; difficult to paint( or else lazy.) I wasn't sure why this happened. I was guessing that the factory has a more humid climate and where I live in mtns at 7,000 ft. Elev. it is very dry here. This is very frustrating to purchase an expensive new RV and see the full body trim crack snd pull apart immediately.
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Old 04-23-2016, 04:23 PM   #6
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Hi. Yes, we had the same problem with our 2015 Cardinal 3450RL. Long story, I will try to summarize. We noticed the same paint damage (cracking, chipping, etc. all around the rig) after we purchased the RV (April 2015). While it was at the paint shop (May 2015) getting repaired for other damages done prior to our purchase I called Terry Milarcyk at FR (he is no longer in the Cardinal Dept) directly, explained the situation, sent photos via email. He said to get an estimate and he would approve it (because he didn't like what he saw in the pictures that I emailed him). I did all of the above. Our bid for repairs from the local body shop was a little over $11,000.00 That did not make Terry happy. He denied the claim, but said I could get another estimate. We took her over 200 miles away to another shop and the estimate was a little over $5,000.00. In the meantime Terry left the Cardinal Dept. and was replaced by a gentleman called Cel Lopez. I do not know if he is still there. It took me a month of wrangling with Cel just to get him to acknowledge that I had a claim in with Terry. All the while, the Warranty Guy at Camping World in Avondale, Arizona was trying to help us get this approved. He basically gave up and I ended up spending the latter part of my summer going round and round with Cel. He did tell me that Forest River would back up their product and this was a defect in manufacturing (as you are aware, they did it wrong at the factory) he just didn't know how they were going to go about fixing it. Cel said that his superiors didn't like the 2nd bid either and were thinking about picking up our fifth wheel and taking it back to Indiana, because they could have it done for $1,600.00 less. Really? Wear and tear on our newly purchased fifth wheel, brand new self- purchased Goodyear tires, etc. etc. so they can save $1,600.00? Not happening and I told him that. I am not sure what exactly happened, I think he just got tired of my daily calls, but one day in September I received and email from Cel that said he was approving my claim. I never heard from him again. Called Camping World in Avondale, as they initiated the claim, they did the paperwork on their end, we brought her down to the body shop and picked her up at the end of October. Done. I understand that this is an ongoing problem due to stress areas, anyway, and I don't have a problem touching up small areas, but it was done incorrectly to begin with, and was cracked on most of the rig. FR needs to correct the problem. It will only get worse. We pay ALOT of money for these rigs. Also, there is a Cardinal RV Club that you can join and the people on that Forum work very closely with FR Cardinal Division. I didn't know about them at the time, unfortunately. Give it a try - they might have current contact for you. One bit of advise they give on that Forum is to be nice and calm when dealing with FR and it goes a long way. I only lashed out once in frustration but Cel seemed to take it in stride. Good luck! Don't give up and document everything in writing!!!
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Old 04-23-2016, 06:11 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input. I worked with Cel last summer on an issue and found him to be quite amiable. Got two issues delt with by a mobile tech. He has since moved onto the motorized div.
I have been pretty low key until my last email. Over 50 photos sent by myself and the dealership over 4months. Gone are the days of people like Bob Tiffin who had actually done entire re paints on coaches because he didn't want his name on bad work.
I'm ready to attempt a paint shop on my own but my warranty is up in a couple months. I'm going to the Owners Ralley in Aug I suppose by the time I add a couple thousand more miles it will be worse. It seems to be more each time I take her out.
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Old 04-24-2016, 07:14 AM   #8
Join Date: Apr 2015
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Before you go the Lemon Law call Dan Dobecki @ Forest River Cardinal he's the man that can handle your problem. Talk nice real nice guy. Elkhart
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:11 AM   #9
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You may also want to check roof,,, I see the paint has cracked on the end seams on our Sunseeker !!! As has been stated before,,, They probably did not use a caulk that will accept paint !!!
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Old 04-24-2016, 11:31 AM   #10
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We had the same issue on our 2013 as well. Very frustrating to say the least. We had it fixed under warranty at camping world and I must say they did a good job. This is how ours looked after only a few months. Dan Dobeki is the warranty manager for cardinal, and even though they fixed the problems, getting any information out of him is like pulling teeth. Rod Batts @ FR is who I would recommend talking to. He is amazing!!! Good luck. Jerry.
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2005 GMC Sierra 2500HD, Duramax 2WD CC/SB
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