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Old 05-15-2016, 08:20 PM   #1
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Roof leak at front cap on 2016 3101ss

Hello all, this is my first post and unfortunately it is not a good one. My 3 month old Forester 3101ss has had a large leak appear. My first sign after a couple of rain days was a wet mattress in the cab over. I quickly dried this up and moved the motorhome to my driveway. To my dismay the water pored out of the wall on the outside of the rig right behind the drivers door. This told me that the inside of the front cap was filled with water. Over the next two days I found the leak and repaired it. I would encourage all owners of a Forest River class C with a fiberglass front cap immediately check the caulking joint on top of the front cap where it meets the top outside edge of the roof. This is an area of imminent failure. Because the top of the front cap is flat side to side and the roof is curved they do not lineup and are totally dependent on the chalk joint. The problem with mine is that the 1/2-3/4 inch gap was filled with a paper thin layer of caulk. As I said my unit is only 3 months old and the paper thin caulk layer was cracked open on both side of the coach. After days of moving the motorhome to try to get rid of the water and running a dehumidifier 24 hours a day I think it is dried up. Question is how much damage was done?? I can see from the outside of the motorhome that wood supports inside the cabover have swelled and is evident on the exterior of the unit, both on the cabover sidewalls and the underside of the cabover. Also it appears that moisture got under the edges of the fiber glass roof and loosened it about 2" on the outside edge all the way from the front cap to the fridge vent. How would you proceed from here? If i take it to a dealer I'm afraid they could make a bad situation worse by attempting a repair they are not qualified for. What I would like is for Forest River to replace the unit with and undamaged unit as it was totally a failure in manufacturing failing after 3 months. HELP!!!!
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:19 PM   #2
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Hello and welcome - you are absolutely correct about the front cap. It's no joke - Everyone should immediately perform the eternabond install on their whole roof as soon as they get the new camper home at the bare minimum it is very cheap insurance - I have a 2012 3171 ds and just got done repairing a small leaks damage. I am not completely familiar with your exact model but I'm sure it's the same cap - mine had a leak through the cracked caulking on the right corner but it was because the screws from the cap into the roof had just pulled out of the thin piece of wood underneath them making the roof and cap move independently from one another. As for the construction though they do not use wood studs it is aluminum and styrofoam insulation with thin steel strips (backers) glued in all between two sheets of thin (1/8) plywood (or Azdel in sidewalls I believe). I have only personally seen inside the roof. If you can actually see swelling in the walls it may just be where the water has separated the glue from the aluminum studs ? Not sure but you are right - I would call forest river and just be honest and nice and see what they say. I have spoken to them a lot and everyone has been helpful and called me back when they said they would - more than I can say for camping world...
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Old 05-18-2016, 10:42 PM   #3
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This thread should be pinned at Sunseeker and Forester

This thread was an ironic find this evening.

I started a 2 - 100 watt panel solar panel install at the front of the roof today. All seams looked good, when i got on all 4rs and started measuring from the rt front corner I found the corner spongy. As said above the fiberglass cap is flat and roof barreled. The corners are hollow. The sealer is just a few mils thick and looked sealed but when i put finger pressure on the seam it was not bonded to the rubber insert and had been leaking. I used my knife to remove the sealer and found that the hollow was full of wet sand/dirt. Both corners the same.

" mine had a leak through the cracked caulking on the right corner but it was because the screws from the cap into the roof had just pulled out of the thin piece of wood underneath them making the roof and cap move independently from one another."


I AM NOT A HAPPY CAMPER!!!!!!

"Also it appears that moisture got under the edges of the fiber glass roof and loosened it about 2" on the outside edge all the way from the front cap to the fridge vent."

My fiberglass roof is debonded both front corners and running back along the wall/ roof back about 8 - 10' .

I see the only reasonable fix for me is to remove the front rubber rail insert, seal the front seam with eternabond tape and cover with dicore. I will not tell the DW as I would never hear the end of the __**_** that put the the thing together in such a *_*ttty manner and what else is *&$*## up.
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Old 05-18-2016, 10:47 PM   #4
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Can you post a picture of the area? I'm having a hard time envisioning exactly where I should check. Thanks.
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Old 05-18-2016, 11:00 PM   #5
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Go to the front of the roof where the fiberglass front cap ( where the front yellow clearance lights are ) there is a rubber bead about 1 inch wide at the junction of the fiberglass cap and the white textured fiber glass roof that runs from wall to wall. The area of interest is at the outside corners where the wall and the front cap meet.
Hope that helps
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Old 05-18-2016, 11:28 PM   #6
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Thanks, shooter2. We were in driving rain last weekend up in the mountains. We'll pull our 3171 out of its storage unit and get on the roof this weekend to check out that area.
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:19 AM   #7
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So is the best preventive measure to eternabond the perimeter of the roof?
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:33 AM   #8
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Roof leak at front cap on 2016 3101ss

I'm keeping on eye on this thread. Not good news on the front caps for the Foresters and even Sunseekers. We just got ours out of the shop because the drivers side slide had dropped almost 2 inches down one side. Sure scratch the paint big time. Slide is fixed now and we will be gone for the weekend. We will see when we get back about getting the paint scratches fixed under warranty.
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Old 05-19-2016, 06:49 AM   #9
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This affects every Sunseeker and Forester

This front cap to roof joint affects every unit with a fiberglass front cap and is a horrible design. My unit is 2 months old and it failed. I'm in contact with the factory and am getting the usual run around. Every dealer I talk to give me the run around and doesn't want to bother looking at it. Is just sickening to think you spend this kind of money for crap!! They will finance these thing for 15 years and with engineering like this where they fair in to month I think is criminal and then not standing behind it is even worse. As I said before if you have a fiberglass cap with a fiberglass roof on a Sunseeker or Forester motorhome get on the roof today and inspect this joint because if it hasn't failed yet it will and no one with help you fix it even if it's in warranty and only 2 month old!! Sad very very said. I hate camping and RVing now.
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Old 05-19-2016, 07:09 AM   #10
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Makes you wonder why the two FR representatives who monitor this forum haven't reached out to you all directly to offer assistance for what is likely a manufacturing and/or design failure.

Hope you get your issues resolved. I'm angry about this (mostly the continuing lack of support from FR) and I don't have problems on the same scale as you.
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Old 05-19-2016, 07:49 AM   #11
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The continuing lack of support? We aren't forced to be on this forum. We come here to help and give support/advice when needed.

Subjects such as this one are best handled by warranty and service. When you get too many hands in the cookie jar you're not able to resolve the real issue.
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Old 05-19-2016, 07:52 AM   #12
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Sorry, Mr Cavitt - but it seems like there are way too many posts on this forum about major issues and little to no help from FR and/or the dealer.

Looking forward to the OP and others praising FR for their wonderful handling of their problems.
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:13 AM   #13
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It's odd you say there is a lack of support from Forest River on here, you and I have spent time exchanging private messages in an attempt to help solve your issues.

I've Forwarded this on to our product manager. In the mean time I will get with warranty and production to find a resolution to this issue.
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:26 AM   #14
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Tell you what, Mr. Cavitt - redesign the Curt taillight controller installation, provide the details to those of us who have the bumper mount and I will go quietly into the darkness and never complain about FR again.

Sound reasonable?
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:35 AM   #15
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I don't think bashing Forest River is going to help anything and also I can personally say that they help out just as much as any other company that I deal with and more - I think they actually know that this is a weak point because in the new ones I was under the impression that they use the steel backer to screw the front cap screws into but if your unit is brand-new apparently that must not be working either. I think that when buying an RV especially a new one people think that they can't have any issues but that's not the case lol. I think that in this forum they should put a sticky at the top about the Dicor and eternabond your whole roof as soon as you get it home - I really don't see any other way to prevent this from happening and even if you do that repair the design of the roof itself will make water pool because the sides are a little higher than the fiberglass and so are the caps - there are companies who will spray a bedliner type material over your whole roof but it cost a lot (that is probably the only permanent solution but it is very expensive) I will take some pictures of mine and put them up here just for future info
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:53 AM   #16
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Really?

So if we don't complain about poor design/engineering/build quality/service, then FR is magically going to improve just because?

What you are suggesting is that as soon as we get home with our $80K+ motorhome, we need to immediately "fix" the known defects so we don't have water leaks. Doesn't seem reasonable to me.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:34 AM   #17
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I'm not bashing Forest River, I'm just looking for a solution to this problem for a unit that is only 75 days old. I'm also warning all other owners to address this or they will have a major problem. The frustrating part is the lack of concern on everyones part that is associated with Forest River. 2 dealers have refused to look at the problem, the dealer I bought it from was a nightmare during the purchase and I will never deal with them again. So here I am out $75,000 with a damaged 75 day old motorhome and no resolution in site. I'm also bummed that after reading this forum for over a year before purchasing no one else has raised this issue. If I would have know about this I might have done something different. Everyone says how a fiberglass roof is better the a rubber roof. I say BS, a fiberglass roof has hundreds more failure points then a rubber roof. The rubber roofs biggest downfall is the shorter lifespan, but a lot fewer failure points during its 15 year lifespan. My old Coachmen rubber roof was great and stupid me thought the company went to fiberglass as an improvement when it was just a marketing gimmick.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:52 AM   #18
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Same problem for my unit too

I found the crack last week. About 6" long, 1/8" thick. I thought i had been inspecting my roof closely but I wonder how long the crack was there. No evidence of water leakage but unlikely that water didn't get in given all the rain we have experienced at home and on the road. My dealer experience is similar to others in that they don't want to be bothered and likely wouldn't repair it right anyway.

As others have said, it takes all the fun out of RV'ing, and leads to feeling stressed every time I open the door.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:55 AM   #19
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Joshua Cavitt, thank you for your monitoring this site as I understand you do this as an personal favor as an uncompensated customer service.
I have been impressed with your monitoring of this site and the info and expediting of repairs, parts, DIY part numbers and procedures or facilities for repairs you have supplied. I believe that some times you are perceived to be the OFFICIAL fix it all for FR. I believe you being slammed for not responding to or interceding in a warranty issue thread fast enough is anger, frustration or disappointment in the product or lack of process.

MY OPINION:
Temporary factory fix;

A bed of buytle tape of adequate depth set between the fiberglass cap and the roof, butyl tape, screw rail ,rubber insert and final coat of dicore totally covering the entire rail and rubber insert. As the present seal failure was the rubber insert dicore bond. The rubber insert surface seemed to be chalking ( decomp ) , even under the dicore, and the chalking ( decomp ) layer was bonded to the dicore but the rubber decomposition was the failure point. The nominal 3/4" hollow at the outside of the front cap and wall should be fully filled with butyl / dicore to permanently seal the void.

Permanent fix;
modify the fiberglass cap mold to match the roof/wall contour.

MY OPINION AGAIN:

Allowing enough time for each TASK to be completed properly should be the QC priority. Allowing the bean counters to control QC is not producing quality products. The quality of the components is not the issue as I have not found any component that is substandard. The problems are labor related. I doubt any one on the line wants to do a (I'll be nice) SUBSTANDARD ASSEMBLY. In my opinion they are NOT given adequate time to NOT DO a SUBSTANDARD ASSEMBLY. QC says WE have big problems: then BEAN COUNTER says we cant slow down to correct the problem tasks so LET the customer deal with OUR (BEAN COUNTERS) lack of commitment to produce a good product.


http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ing-95559.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by shooter2 View Post
I have a 20013 Sunseeker 3010 purchased 2012. We had 2 windows, sofa and dinette, that not only leaked water but snow would blow into the interior of the coach. It took 2 years and a lawyer to get Hehr windows to replace the defective windows. We live in the desert so we do get some rain but nothing like tropical storms. Late this summer we were camped on a central Gulf Coast beach, the passenger side facing the water. A tropical depression brought 50mph winds and a foot of horizontal rain. The bedroom slide window leaked and the foam mattress and bedding was soaked when we returned from shopping. That cut our stay short, 2 days later back home I got the mattress out to dry, ran the a/c and fans to dry the carpet and plywood. I inspected the outside and inside of the window. Noting nothing unusual or different than the other windows, slight gap between wall and widow flange. I called the dealer and was told that the widows were not calked as they had a rubber gasket under the outside frame flange that sealed the window.They suggested checking the screws to make sure they were tight. Screws were tight.
I ended pulling the window to reset/ reposition or something with the seal.

THERE WAS NO SEAL, no butyl bedding or any type of sealing method from the factory.

I purchased a roll of butyl calk and set a layer of caulk tape around the window opining and re-installed the window. I was then required to pull all of the other valance, shades and windows to VERIFY the presence of some type of sealer on the rest of the windows. All of the other windows had the rubber seals present and were sealed.
I was not a happy camper. It was not a pleasant day and should have been spent doing something else.

It was more important to install a window with out a seal than it was to get off the ladder, pick the seal up off the floor, get one from stock or get a different window with a seal, than to install it correctly.
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Old 05-19-2016, 09:11 PM   #20
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As disappointing as this is you have to start a warranty claim. From most of the posts on this board FR is always willing to get things fixed properly. I know the frustration of a new rig that has a major problem but give FR warranty a chance to correct the issue. I'm confident FR will repair your rig to your satisfaction if given the chance. If your selling dealer will not help you contact FR directly and they will find a dealer to assist you. Good dealers are hard to find. I searched for a long time for a dealer with an excellent history of helping it's customers. My dealer even monitors and participates on this forum. Stay optimistic I'm confident your issue will be resolved.
As a side note: bashing Joshua because he does not respond fast enough to every post concerning a warranty issue is unfair. Joshua monitors this forum to assist all of us with his knowledge of the FR product. He is here because he likes to stay in touch with the consumer and being on this forum obviously goes far and beyond what is required of him. Every problem is not his fault and he cannot be expected to solve every issue we have. He is a huge asset to this forum and should not be our punching bag when things go wrong with our rigs. I for one don't want to lose a person like Joshua on this board who is one of the largest assets here.
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