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Old 12-27-2010, 02:10 PM   #1
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Major Rockwood/Flagstaff Construction Flaw

If anyone is wondering why there are delamination issues, you only have to look at the way the slide seals are attached to the camper wall. They are only stapled every foot or so, and there is absolutely NO sealant between the seal and the camper wall. So there is nothing to stop water from getting in behind the seal and soaking the exposed wall where it is cut out for the slide.
Being an engineer, I tend to try to figure out where the flaws may be, and this one didn't take long to find. If you own one of these lightweights, or maybe any camper for that matter, just open your
slide(s), pull back the seal flap, and have a look behind. You may be shocked at what you find.
That open cut in the wall should be capped/sealed from the factory, but of course they only care as long as it lasts past the warranty. Like the old saying goes, they don't build them like they used to.
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:21 PM   #2
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If anyone is wondering why there are delamination issues, you only have to look at the way the slide seals are attached to the camper wall. They are only stapled every foot or so, and there is absolutely NO sealant between the seal and the camper wall. So there is nothing to stop water from getting in behind the seal and soaking the exposed wall where it is cut out for the slide.
Being an engineer, I tend to try to figure out where the flaws may be, and this one didn't take long to find. If you own one of these lightweights, or maybe any camper for that matter, just open your
slide(s), pull back the seal flap, and have a look behind. You may be shocked at what you find.
That open cut in the wall should be capped/sealed from the factory, but of course they only care as long as it lasts past the warranty. Like the old saying goes, they don't build them like they used to.
So then, with your engineering background, we can assume that you have come up with a do-it-yourself fix for this potential problem. Would love to hear what it is as our unit has two slides. Thanks in advance.

...VTX-AL
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:37 PM   #3
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As much as I hate to start dismantling a brand new camper, I will be removing the vertical slide seals. The top one shouldn't be an issue.
I will be looking for something to cap that open cut in the wall, although it may take two seperate pieces. One flat strip to cover the open cut, then a small L-shaped piece to go over the corner made by the new flat piece and the outside camper wall. If I could find one piece to do both jobs, that would be preferrable. Whatever I use, I will caulk the open wall cut first, and caulk under the corner bead. And I will probably caulk the slide seal when I put it back on. And I won't be 'stapling' it on, I will be screwing it on.
If it means not having a delamination issue in the future, it will be well worth the work.
I really cannot believe that the manufacturer would do such a butcher job. The camper is gorgeous to look at, but good looks don't last forever if there are fundamental issues under the 'skin'.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:24 PM   #4
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Any chance you can post pics? I'm not sure I understand. On my 08 Rockwood I don't see any staples and my side seals are caulked at side panel.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:45 PM   #5
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The newer campers may have different seals. On mine, the slide seal has a 3 or 4-inch flap attached to a hard strip, and it is that strip that is stapled to the camper. Then a soft seal is slid over that strip, and held in place by two screws, one on each end. That seal is the one that gets sqished between the slide flange and the side of the camper when the slide is pulled in for transport.
On mine that hard strip, and the soft seal over it, are not caulked like yours, and water can get under it. If yours is caulked, you should be ok. The problem with mine is that if I caulk them, then I couldn't remove that soft seal without cutting off the caulking first. And since I would still have that open cut in the wall, I figured I would hide all of the caulking while I was at it.
Your wall contruction might also be different than the newer campers, and you may not have that exposed section.
I'll take pictures once I get it taken apart.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:14 PM   #6
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Good deal...pics will help. I'll check mine again when time permits, now that I have a better idea of whats up. I re-caulk my side strips every year just in case. After the first year I had the TT I noticed the caulking had pulled away from seal forming an entry for water. A very quick yearly task for making sure all is as should be. Figure as long as I'm checking the roof, may as well check all out seals while I'm at it. I've been using clear silicone sealant. Perhaps there is a better sealant out there for this?
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:20 PM   #7
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If I could find one piece to do both jobs, that would be preferrable.
I'll be interested in your photos. As for the "piece" you are looking for...perhaps some PVC rain gutter will do the trick. You can cut it easily to the correct width on a table saw and it would have the built-in "L" you need. Certainly cheap enough to give it a try.
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:05 PM   #8
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Thanks Willis, a trip to Home Depot is in order.
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Old 12-28-2010, 05:58 AM   #9
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Thanks for the info crocus. I'm looking forward to seeing your pics. Could save some from a really big problem.

I never got a satisfactory answer has to how the water got inside the walls of my '09 Rockwood. I was just told the delam was caused by bad glue, but then no explanation as to how water got inside the walls. One thing though, I was told by my dealer that the slide area is where most delam problems were found, however my tt had delam down both sidewalls. It was most evident around the slide and the 2 entry doors on the other wall.
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:49 AM   #10
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"I was told by my dealer that the slide area is where most delam problems were found"

One would think that maybe they might realise that there is a problem? And maybe care enough to look for a solution? It would be such an easy thing for them to cap the cut opening in the wall before installing the slide(s), and it would probably cost all of 20 bucks to do the job, labour included. Makes me wonder where else they are cutting corners?
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