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Old 06-26-2018, 10:15 PM   #1
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What happened here?

We have a Flagstaff Classic Superlight about 4 years old. It is my understanding that it has a fiberglass front cap. I noticed today that at the curve where the cap becomes level to the roof it has three indentations about a foot wide. One at the center line and one on either side of that point roughly a foot further out towards the sides of the cap. I have never hit anything and these indentations have no scuffs or marks that would indicate something was hit. Any ideas what this might be about? This is the first time I have noticed this. Could this be deformation from the sun?
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Old 06-27-2018, 01:20 AM   #2
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Old 06-27-2018, 03:43 AM   #3
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We have a Flagstaff Classic Superlight about 4 years old. It is my understanding that it has a fiberglass front cap. I noticed today that at the curve where the cap becomes level to the roof it has three indentations about a foot wide. One at the center line and one on either side of that point roughly a foot further out towards the sides of the cap. I have never hit anything and these indentations have no scuffs or marks that would indicate something was hit. Any ideas what this might be about? This is the first time I have noticed this. Could this be deformation from the sun?
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Old 06-27-2018, 08:05 AM   #4
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pic as requested

Here's the best pic I can get, the areas I am referring to are at the mid-line of the trailer and roughly over the L and the AF in the decal.
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Old 06-27-2018, 08:31 AM   #5
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It kinda looks like buckling (which could just be cosmetic) but it could also be delamination.. I'd be surprised by that though.. How's the front seal between the roof and the cap?
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Old 06-27-2018, 08:51 AM   #6
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I'd be getting up on the roof and trying to get a closer look at that. Hard to tell from that picture what's really going on. It might be delamination, it might be buckling, it might you hit something (a decent sized bird might have done the centre divet, with the others being caused by the displacement), or it might be hail damage, if you've had hail at all.
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Old 06-27-2018, 09:17 AM   #7
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I'd be getting up on the roof and trying to get a closer look at that. Hard to tell from that picture what's really going on. It might be delamination, it might be buckling, it might you hit something (a decent sized bird might have done the centre divet, with the others being caused by the displacement), or it might be hail damage, if you've had hail at all.
No hail of any appreciable size. I know I didn’t hit anything but your suggestion of a bird strike is definitely a possibility. There are no scuffs or anything showing at the points that would indicate a tree branch or anything like that. I am shocked that folks are suggesting delamination on a relatively new unit. There are no signs anywhere of a leak. One thing that may be relevant is that this unit has a front galley, the area under the part we are looking at is overhead cupboard space. This year when we were loading the unit up I noticed that the shelf itself had become concave for the full length. I am suspecting both things are related to heat. Our winter storage has the front of the unit facing the sun. We aren’t in a consistently hot climate and it doesn’t tend to rain a lot overall here (Canadian prairies).
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Old 06-27-2018, 10:21 AM   #8
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I'd be getting up on the roof and trying to get a closer look at that. Hard to tell from that picture what's really going on. It might be delamination, it might be buckling, it might you hit something (a decent sized bird might have done the centre divet, with the others being caused by the displacement), or it might be hail damage, if you've had hail at all.
Just got up on the roof to look at the issue from a different angle. The dents are quite far down from the seam of the roof and cap. they are actually on the arc of the curve of the cap. There are no apparent similar dents or lifting etc. after the curve as you move up to the roof line. I pushed (gently) down at the dent areas and compared the feel to the non-dent curve and they exhibited the same resistance in all the areas I checked. It is my understanding from pics etc. I have seen that delamination areas will be raised rather than pulled in as the fibreglass releases from the underlay.
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Old 06-27-2018, 10:31 AM   #9
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Then it could be heat but if it's fiberglass I wouldn't think so.. are you positive it's not plastic? I could see the dark color plastic deforming more quickly than fiberglass.

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Old 06-27-2018, 10:37 AM   #10
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No hail of any appreciable size. I know I didnít hit anything but your suggestion of a bird strike is definitely a possibility. There are no scuffs or anything showing at the points that would indicate a tree branch or anything like that. I am shocked that folks are suggesting delamination on a relatively new unit. There are no signs anywhere of a leak. One thing that may be relevant is that this unit has a front galley, the area under the part we are looking at is overhead cupboard space. This year when we were loading the unit up I noticed that that the shelf itself had become concave for the full length. I am suspecting both things are related to heat. Our winter storage has the front of the unit facing the sun. We arenít in a hot climate here and it doesnít tend to rain a lot overall here (Canadian prairies).

There you have it. It is caused by the extreme temperature swings we are exposed to.
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Old 06-27-2018, 11:07 AM   #11
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Then it could be heat but if it's fiberglass I wouldn't think so.. are you positive it's not plastic? I could see the dark color plastic deforming more quickly than fiberglass.

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Good point, the surface doesnít feel like fiberglass when you push on it , it gives more like plastic. I would expect fiberglass to be fairly stiff like the sides. There is also all the moldings and details on the front that would pretty much be done by hand.
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Old 06-27-2018, 11:10 AM   #12
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Dont worry about it, any remediation would require unsealing the top of the cap and roof junction. It it is not leaking leave as is IMHO.
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Old 06-27-2018, 11:48 AM   #13
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I'm not too familiar with the properties of fiberglass and don't know whether the front cap is fiberglass or plastic but I know of fertilizer and feed bins that are definitely made from fiberglass showing similar 'damage' on the SW side in the unsupported curved roof cone - so it must be reacting somehow to temperature extremes down to -40, even lower last winter on the prairies. I also see it frequently on cargo vans/trailers and travel trailers, with indentations as large as 4' across, always in the unsupported curved part of the front cap.

Tip: When you pull the clearance light you should be able to see whether it is fiberglass or some kind of plastic.
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Old 06-27-2018, 03:49 PM   #14
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Well I crawled underneath the front of the trailer and from there I could see the trailing edge of the cap where it is screwed down. It is plastic as I can see no laminations of any sort, just a same colour edge where there are visible cut / file marks where the edge was dressed after moulding.
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Old 06-27-2018, 04:10 PM   #15
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I think shapely caps like on your trailer can't de-laminate since it isn't laminated. I have seen a smooth cap, one without much shape... just wrapped over... filon or something 1500 glued to cardboard or thin plywood. That type could delam. I bet it gets so hot it expands or even is on the verge of melting.
ww
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Old 06-27-2018, 07:26 PM   #16
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Well I crawled underneath the front of the trailer and from there I could see the trailing edge of the cap where it is screwed down. It is plastic as I can see no laminations of any sort, just a same colour edge where there are visible cut / file marks where the edge was dressed after moulding.
Sounds like you got it figured out then.

Wow.. I wonder how a cap like that would do in a place like Arizona.

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