Pretty much what others have said. Love the hybrid, but recognize the compromises. Annual inspection for leakage of any kind is mandatory, as with any RV. We store ours at the house as well, but use a cover and bunk end gasket protection over the winter.
The (all in fun) story so far...
Wife's family had a Jayco Jay Cardinal pop-up from the '70's. No leakage problems in over thirty years of use. Even replaced all the seriously worn canvas and cushions around year twenty as a family project!
Jayco supplied all the replacement material pre-cut and ready to go! Local dealer was useless for this project, but direct contact with Jayco was superb.
The Cardinal was retired to Montana for stationary use by a young family building a log home; huge upgrade from the army tent! When the young husband mentioned the baby on the way and asked if the tires would make it the 600 odd kms to the dream house my Father in Law knew he had a buyer!
We replaced the tent trailer with a 2008 Jayco 23B hybrid. No bunk end leaks in eight years of use. Unfortunately the roof membrane was compromised while parking it for the winter, resulting in complete roof failure.
The issue would have happened with a travel trailer with a similar roof membrane, and the offending tree is no longer around. Jayco has since revised their roof design to have a curved profile (like the Roo
), so the chance of total roof failure is greatly reduced. This is where we learnt the hard way about inspecting things.
With the last year replacement Roo we experienced bunk end leakage much like you describe. It was not discovered on the PDI as it was raining very hard, we were very excited with our new unit, and we did not open the bunks.
It was the rear bunk, which is hard to examine in the up position. Big mistake! There was moisture all the way over to the side bunk.
We determined the leak cause; a giant lump of Dicor roof sealant dropped on the top gasket during manufacture. No leaks since we removed the Dicor and properly seasoned the bunk ends. I put a picture up of the Dicor here...
Cut to the chase...
The dealer was completely useless on this issue. Surprising as they sell a ton of hybrids. They insisted all three bunk ends needed replacement.
Nothing happened for several weeks, as Forest River seems to have (quite rightly) completely rejected this notion. The dealership actually burnt down while our trailer was in for evaluation; fortunately not further damaged. The final dealer comedy was after waiting for about eight weeks for additional water testing (required by Forest River to consider a warranty claim) we were informed the night before our appointment
that the dealer didn't have a garden hose at their temporary service location, so we were basically 'on our own' if we wanted to get in touch with Forest River.
Anyway, the learning was that if water gets by the gasket system it can get in to the unit interior through new unseasoned bunk ends. You did the right thing to reject the compromised unit, as who needs the hassle and heaven knows where moisture has got during shipment and storage. The other learning is that RV dealers are a unique bunch; needless to say we have made alternate arrangements for any additional service work and parts.
The Roo bunk gasket design is (in my view
) not as good as the Jayco design. Kind of confusing as both manufacturers have changed designs over the years, but I give the nod to Jayco.
The Roo gaskets stand proud of the trailer wall, and use a very soft seal. Jayco gaskets are located within the wall, have a rain lip above the door crack, and have radiused corners rather than potentially leak prone square gasket corners with a gap. They also close much tighter, presumably on harder gasket material.
We didn't notice this design detail difference when we opted for a Roo rather than a new Jayco. Now that we are aware of the issue we are OK with it as a minor limitation, but mitigate things with PVC pipe over the gaskets (as shown in the linked thread) and a ADCO cover during winter storage. Our concern is in Calgary we get very frequent freeze and thaw cycles over the winter, and we worry about ice doing the same thing as the Dicor sealant.
That said, the Roo has nicer features and finish, and we are overall happy with the unit, see it as a huge improvement over the Jayco.
Sorry for the length and ramble. The hybrid positives far outweigh the concerns.