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Old 02-28-2010, 12:08 PM   #1
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Exterior issues

I am looking for advice concerning some small bubble like areas that have developed below my fridge vent on the outside of my fiberglass sided trailer. They are about a thumb's width and are various lengths. There is a couple different spots. I do not recall seeing these "bubbles" when I purchased the trailer. I still have factory warranty on the exterior. I am wondering if anyone else has had these issues and whether the "bubbles" will likely get worse. I have tried to take pictures without much success. The trailer is a 2009 surveyor.

To me, it looks like water has got in the luan on the outside of the trailer. I would have to assume that this happened because the opening around the fridge vent was not sealed properly.

Any ideas? I am thinking that it will have to return to the factory to have the whole side replaced.
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Old 02-28-2010, 04:00 PM   #2
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I am looking for advice concerning some small bubble like areas that have developed below my fridge vent on the outside of my fiberglass sided trailer. They are about a thumb's width and are various lengths. There is a couple different spots. I do not recall seeing these "bubbles" when I purchased the trailer. I still have factory warranty on the exterior. I am wondering if anyone else has had these issues and whether the "bubbles" will likely get worse. I have tried to take pictures without much success. The trailer is a 2009 surveyor.

To me, it looks like water has got in the luan on the outside of the trailer. I would have to assume that this happened because the opening around the fridge vent was not sealed properly.

Any ideas? I am thinking that it will have to return to the factory to have the whole side replaced.
Sounds to me that your suspicions are 100% correct. Others have posted here where similar bubbles showed up inside and found that water had gotten into the interior of the wall. It sounds like the same has happened on your unit but the water has gotten between the outter layer and the one under it. You should contact your dealer or FR so you don't lose too much camping time while it's gettin fixed.
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:34 PM   #3
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I had bubbles on the exterior of my camper but it was delamanation, due to poor bonding of the exterior finish and the sub wall. My bubbles continued to grow and got bigger. The pic are posted somewhere on the Forum.
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:49 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies guy's... I wished I could say that we were all wrong...

My trailer is still in storage, guess I better bug the guy to get it out of the barn and back to the dealer. I don't want to lose all my camping season. Camping season doesn't usually start until May in Ontario... It is supposed to be +8 celcius this weekend... I could camp in that!
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:08 PM   #5
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That's like 48 F, hell ya, bring on the camping
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:18 PM   #6
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shineysideup,

We got up to 69 degrees today! Time to clean the tt and I found this spot above my slide out. It's about 3"W x 5"L and I can push it in with my finger. There's no sign of any problem on the inside of the tt.

Looks like delamination to me. Called the dealership and I'm taking it to them a week from Monday. They said it will probably have to go back to the factory.

My problem is the warranty was up the 23rd of last month!
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:25 AM   #7
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shineysideup,

We got up to 69 degrees today! Time to clean the tt and I found this spot above my slide out. It's about 3"W x 5"L and I can push it in with my finger. There's no sign of any problem on the inside of the tt.

Looks like delamination to me. Called the dealership and I'm taking it to them a week from Monday. They said it will probably have to go back to the factory.

My problem is the warranty was up the 23rd of last month!
I think you are right, I had the samething but it was on the main body of the camper. I had just pick it up from the dealer and it was in my driveway for 8 days and had not had it out yet. I got a another new camper out of it.
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:45 AM   #8
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I think you are right, I had the samething but it was on the main body of the camper. I had just pick it up from the dealer and it was in my driveway for 8 days and had not had it out yet. I got a another new camper out of it.
After talking to my wife about this spot, she believes it's always been there. I think I may have noticed it in the past as well it just never seemed that bad. Maybe it's worse now or the light hit it just right. It's kind of wavey in that area, but this is the only spot that is "soft". It feels solid underneath, just the outside skin flexes in that area.

I did wash the top yesterday with roof conditioner and there is no visable leaks inside the tt. I had a leak last winter in the right front corner that the dealer took care of. Noticed a small, dry bubble on the inside in this area yesterday. Hope this tt doesn't turn out to be a headache with leaks.

I looked at the papers. We signed on 2/20/09 and picked the tt up a few days later. I'm going to research some threads. It seems like I read where Forest River fixed delamination problems after the first year warranty ended. Maybe wishful thinking.

I had the tt in last month before the warranty was up. One thing they were suppose to do was re-caulk all areas on the roof because I complained of leaks. They only did about three places. Maybe that will save me if this is delamination and it's caused by a leak. Maybe more wishful thinking.
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:24 AM   #9
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After talking to my wife about this spot, she believes it's always been there. I think I may have noticed it in the past as well it just never seemed that bad. Maybe it's worse now or the light hit it just right. It's kind of wavey in that area, but this is the only spot that is "soft". It feels solid underneath, just the outside skin flexes in that area.

I did wash the top yesterday with roof conditioner and there is no visable leaks inside the tt. I had a leak last winter in the right front corner that the dealer took care of. Noticed a small, dry bubble on the inside in this area yesterday. Hope this tt doesn't turn out to be a headache with leaks.

I looked at the papers. We signed on 2/20/09 and picked the tt up a few days later. I'm going to research some threads. It seems like I read where Forest River fixed delamination problems after the first year warrant ended. Maybe wishful thinking.

I had the tt in last month before the warranty was up. One thing they were suppose to do was re-caulk all areas on the roof because I complained of leaks. They only did about three places. Maybe that will save me if this is delamination and it's caused by a leak. Maybe more wishful thinking.
I was told by the people I bought mine from that this kind af delam is found on rig that are at least 10 years old, But with cut backs on manufacturing the quality control is some what eliminated. I worked in the printed circuit board industry for 15 years and I am happy to say I worked for Johnny Unitis # 19 for the Baltimore Colts. The copper clade that we used is manufactured in the same manner as the skin on campers, but the clade is more ridged then the material used on campers. Both the sub wall and the back of the finished wall or exterior are glued and then vaccumed pressed at a high temp. I don't know what that temp is but if they have a temp drop in the middle of this proceedure or if they have a bad batch of glue this can cause problems with delam. In order for a good bond all of the mositure has to be removed between both compoenets. While in the PC Industry we had $50,000 worth of material sent to us for pc manufacturing and had to ship it all back because it was separating, come to found out they had a bad press, due to temp control it lost it's heat.
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:41 AM   #10
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Thanks rockwood06.

Since I haven't noticed any moisture inside, it's probably due to poor manufacturing as you mentioned in your post.

I'll keep everything updated on here in case someone else runs into a similar problem.
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:17 AM   #11
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grhodes50,

Check your PM(Private Message).
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:15 AM   #12
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Sounds to me that your suspicions are 100% correct. Others have posted here where similar bubbles showed up inside and found that water had gotten into the interior of the wall. It sounds like the same has happened on your unit but the water has gotten between the outter layer and the one under it. You should contact your dealer or FR so you don't lose too much camping time while it's gettin fixed.
Well my suspicions were correct. There is/was water getting into the wall. It was coming from the dometic fridge installation bracket. I haven't picked up the trailer yet but the dealership has removed the screws that the water (from condensation because of the fridge operating or rain, I'm not sure) was running down and installed some kind of baffle or dam to prevent the water getting into the sidewall. The bubbles are only a thumb width and don't stick out hardly at all. The dealership believes they have stopped any future water damage.

I can only notice it in the sun when the trailer is clean. The "fix" is to do nothing (except stop the leak). Any repairs to the spot or actually sending the trailer back to the dealership for a sidewall replacement will likely leave me more unhappy . I have to agree with the dealership, the care and concern my trailer was made seems to indicate to me that it was a monday or friday trailer I don't believe that the factory workers are to blame, it comes from the company processes and lack of q.c.

This seems to be where our society is placing it's focus on cost/quantity vs. quality. Little things done differently could have made this good trailer a great trailer.

The dealership is working on getting me some more warranty for this issue... Again, it is so minor right now most people would not notice (except for the anal types, guess that is me).

So, in the end guess who has to live with it? Me. Well I did buy it right? I should be responsible...

Ah, what to do... live and learn. From what I've read on the 'net I could have spent twice as much and had more serious isssues.
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:31 AM   #13
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I agree with you when it comes to the quality issues. It doesn't matter how much you spend or who is making the product. Everything today is quantity, quantity, quantity, keep it moving, Gitter Done!!.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:01 AM   #14
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I hear you about the quantity vs quality. I was using my Berkshire for the first time and was in Florida in August so using the AC's. Noticed water dripping from the ceiling in the bedroom. Took it to a local dealer to get fixed and they, of course, couldn't find anything. After having several issues with the kitchen slide I decided to bite the bullet and take it back to the factory. They also said they couldn't find anything at first. Then, just before I was to leave, I asked that they look at it again. One of the tech's took an air hose and blew air through the drain and said he heard some air escaping (drain runs through the ceiling to the outer wall and down inside the back cap). They removed the outer edge cap and found that they had stapled through the drain in during the assembly putting holes in the drain tube. Replaced the tube and, knock wood, no problems since. That could have led to more serious problems down the line.
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:08 PM   #15
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I hear you about the quantity vs quality. I was using my Berkshire for the first time and was in Florida in August so using the AC's. Noticed water dripping from the ceiling in the bedroom. Took it to a local dealer to get fixed and they, of course, couldn't find anything. After having several issues with the kitchen slide I decided to bite the bullet and take it back to the factory. They also said they couldn't find anything at first. Then, just before I was to leave, I asked that they look at it again. One of the tech's took an air hose and blew air through the drain and said he heard some air escaping (drain runs through the ceiling to the outer wall and down inside the back cap). They removed the outer edge cap and found that they had stapled through the drain in during the assembly putting holes in the drain tube. Replaced the tube and, knock wood, no problems since. That could have led to more serious problems down the line.
We didn't have any problems with the A/Cs but both coaxial cables running to the rear from the front had something shorting them out. One line was broke in two. Took it back to the dealer, they rewired a few things up front, which didn't do anything. I ran a line across the floor to the back and the TV worked. I ended up running both cables myself under the unit to the rear. It all works now!!!
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:55 PM   #16
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Well my suspicions were correct. There is/was water getting into the wall. It was coming from the dometic fridge installation bracket. I haven't picked up the trailer yet but the dealership has removed the screws that the water (from condensation because of the fridge operating or rain, I'm not sure) was running down and installed some kind of baffle or dam to prevent the water getting into the sidewall.
Any chance that the condensation drainage tube from the fridge was not pushed through the access panel to drain outside and was puddling condensate inside the compartment.

I only ask as I was checking our new camper and found the drainage hose inside the compartment, not pushed through the access panel.

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Old 03-25-2010, 03:08 PM   #17
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Dave, That seems to be standard procedure from Rockwood. I found our drain hose draining inside compartment as well before any damage. You would hope either the factory or the dealer would catch it.

Ps Time to update the rv picture even if it is on the driveway
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Old 03-25-2010, 03:13 PM   #18
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Any chance that the condensation drainage tube from the fridge was not pushed through the access panel to drain outside and was puddling condensate inside the compartment.

I only ask as I was checking our new camper and found the drainage hose inside the compartment, not pushed through the access panel.

Dave
I have not seen the drain tube protruding through the vent on our trailer. I can't recall seeing this tube on any of the surveyors at the dealers lot either. I do know what you mean though. I figured that it was a different design. I will be asking questions when I pick my trailer up next week to find out exactly what it was.

Does anyone with a surveyor trailer have the drain tube extended out the fridge vent?

thanks,
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:18 AM   #19
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Checked my 2010 Flagstaff 8526RLWS for the tube and it was inside as well. Routed it outside the vent and there is a lot of water draining outside now. Thanks guys.
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Old 03-26-2010, 10:44 AM   #20
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Checked my 2010 Flagstaff 8526RLWS for the tube and it was inside as well.

That's a little alarming! Anyone else with a new Forest River RV would be wise to check this out as it looks like its not being caught in prod'n or dealer prep.

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