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Old 04-06-2015, 11:00 AM   #1
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Brand New Fifth Wheel with tear in roof!!

Hello All, This is my first time posting in this forum. We just purchased a 2015 Cedar Creek Silverback 37BH approx. 2 weeks ago.

What should be a happy time for me is not and I'm sick to my stomach!

My husband installed a max air vent cover and while he was doing so he looked over and saw a 1/2" tear in the rubber roof. Located over the main bedroom where the aluminum meets the plywood.

He immediately went to get sealant and applied it. I called the dealer and their response was, well that's all they would pretty much do as well. I said, so what about the winter season we had with over 4 feet of snow, plus all the rain we had. I'm very concerned and it's a brand new fifth wheel. Their response, well, you can make an appt. to bring it in.

I made appt. but feel very uneasy and sick about the whole thing. I have no idea how to go about this. We just spent $60,000 on this unit that now is potentially rotting away inside.

Can someone please steer me in the right direction? I feel this is completely unacceptable and wrong.

We did look over the unit, however, it was parked inside. My husband did climb up there, but couldn't walk the roof due to being inside. when we hooked up outside we were soo excited that we forgot to go back up there to look at it.

Thanks in advance for any information,

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Old 04-06-2015, 11:28 AM   #2
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Yeah say it's a tear?
You know for sure you didn't hit a tree branch?
I find it hard to believe that forest river nor the dealer wouldn't have seen it.
But since no one inspected it during delivery I guess it's hard to say.
I hope there wasn't to much water damage!
On another note if it was torn all winter I think you'd have seen water damage on the interior when you walked through.
Good luck and I hope all turns out well.

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Old 04-06-2015, 12:57 PM   #3
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Thanks for responding.

Lucky for us, it was all highway and main routes with no trees in our way, with the exception of low trees on our private road. We cut them back for the arrival of our new fifth wheel. The possibility of hitting a tree branch is out.

Yes, it would be impossible not to see the rip.

Not so lucky for us, I'm kicking myself not going up there before we left.

Water damage is my main concern! To me, I can't see water damage inside the unit. any water that got down there I'm afraid it got soaked up into the wood or R-38 insulation that's supposed to be in there and in return causing mold.

I just don't know what to do, Is leveling sealant enough to fix it? Is that how a rubber roof is fixed without replacing it? If sealant is all that is needed, then there's no point to bring it in to dealer, right?

I'm also torn cause if I bring it to dealer are they going to make it bigger so they can check for damage, then are they going to come back and say everything's good, now I'm left with a bigger rip, but obviously repaired?

I will attach photo for you to see. Let me know if the roof is supposed to look this way, minus the rip. you can see a line where the 2 materials meet. This is on both sides of the roof.

Sorry this is so long.
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Old 04-06-2015, 01:07 PM   #4
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I would just let the dealer fix it, especially if they are going to do it under warranty. Honestly i never went up on my roof before we bought it, just assumed that it was okay, maybe foolish on my part but i actually never thought about it. Tears in roofs happen all the time and i dont think that it will be a big deal. I totally understand where you are coming fro, but i guarantee that you are going to find more issues that you are going to need to have fixed as you start to use your rig. We all go thru this pain, you are not me.
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Old 04-06-2015, 01:16 PM   #5
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Clean area really well and put a piece of eternabond on it till the dealer can get it in.
It to me does look like it's possibly a install defect or something poked through it from the bottom side.

In all cases eternabond will pretty much fix it permanently.

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Old 04-06-2015, 01:18 PM   #6
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MMattox :

Thanks for responding and understanding where I'm coming from!

Unfortunately, I know other issues will be coming up. We had a couple minor stuff happen, one being the bedroom slide had to be adjusted because it wasn't coming in straight. I just didn't think a tear in the roof was going to be one of them 2 weeks into it, not even using it yet!
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Old 04-06-2015, 01:21 PM   #7
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I'm glad I showed you the pic. Along that line you see, to me it definitely looks like the materials underneath caused it. Thank you for the advice.
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:24 AM   #8
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I know just how you feel.....8 months after we purchased our new 29RE Silverback I found out the hard way that a 14' high 5er does not fit under a 12' underpass even going very slow......Did some tears and tore out front vent over BRm.....Replaced whole roof under insurance..$8,000.00..You have to consider your resale or trade in value.....Someone may not want a unit that has been "patched"! I would push the dealer to replace roof or get another unit from them,,,,,,,J
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Old 04-07-2015, 02:22 PM   #9
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I have some advice which I probably wouldn't follow myself. If your that concerned you should take it back to the dealer and have them check it out and repair it. For the only reason is to have the documentation that the repair was made and what was performed. Now you have a date. If something crops up at a later date you have some backup.. I am sure you can demand anything you want but their not going to install a new roof or give you another unit. No way you'd be wasting your time trying to get that. If it was me I would just fix it myself and move on. I can understand your frustration been there done that. Good luck whatever you decide. If you don't get satisfaction write a complaint to trailer life magazine. They get results.
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:23 AM   #10
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Just finished installing new material on a 30' Montana Mountaineer, with my brother-in-law. The roof original material was torn off in 4 places by raccoons while in storage. They wedge themselves between the trailer and ladder and climb right up, then try to eat or claw their way inside. He had seen three of them under the trailer cover once before and since had put a piece of wood to block their access to the ladder steps. Last time putting the trailer in storage he forgot to put the block in. So, repair or replace? He opted to replace. I think I would have patched and sealed. His feeling was since the trailer is 10 years old he would put on new material.

I agree with many of the other comments posted but I for one would be okay with putting a light coat of sealer over the tear and then check and reseal as needed every six months.

As far as the insulation - I know his trailer had fiberglass b/t wood - my Windjammer has styrofoam b/t aluminum. I would imagine your new trailer is the same as mine and thus wood wrought is not going to be a big issue with the vertical structure of your trailer.

Anyway, I hope you won't spend a great deal of time being worried and can enjoy your new trailer.
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Old 04-08-2015, 08:01 PM   #11
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I have learned the hard way - there's not much difference between car and RV dealerships. Try to get the customer to pay before they tell you it's covered.
If there is an access panel, door or hatch open it and check for problems. If there is a roof ladder climb it and check for even sealant beads, caps and rips. I missed window sealant - the whole back end had to be replaced because of water damage, still missing inside molding and shelves aren't level. The furnace gas hose was kinked, no heat in October.
Even though we had the post purchase demo, we should have done a preinspection. We were left with the feeling missed sealant and the kinked furnace hose has our slip up. Bad taste after spending over 35K.
At least we took lots of pics before and during our purchase negotiations. The dealer knew it wasn't right to begin with.
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:52 AM   #12
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Get it into the dealer for documentation. They can access and look at the area and determine if there is damage and then you can determine the course you want to take.

Chances are it is just fine but getting it looked at will give you peace of mind.


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Lose the 2nd and the rest will follow.
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fifth wheel, roo, roof, wheel

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