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Old 04-27-2019, 06:04 PM   #1
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Suggest you make a mandatory inspection

Had the left rear wheel well plastic trim come loose on the front side while traveling so I stopped to tighten up the screw (there are three per side). No joy it just spun, so I added a second screw higher up and went on my way.

So today I pulled the trim off to investigate. Well SOB, the front and rear bottom edges underneath the trim of both rear wheel wells had substanial wood rot (about1/2 - 2/3 cup harvested out of the each four corners). The right rear wood rot was wet to the touch.

What rocket scientist designer puts wood covered by tar paper in a wheel well?

I wish I would have inspected this at delivery, or at least soon after delivery to midigate the issue of this maunfacturing practice. I did not know the customer was expected to remove trim work to inspect structure.

We live in the south, the coach was put into service in spring 14 now with over 25k, never wrecked or for that matter scratched. While the coach is well cared for I thought you could drive it in wet weather without structrual harm. The answer to that question is no.

Would love to know if this condition is rampent. If I have this issue then so should most others, if not then I want to hear from FR now.

I can repair it for the most part, but it will never be factory.

As I repair this mess I will post pictures in the "fenders" album. Here is the first pic..
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Old 04-29-2019, 04:44 AM   #2
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Hoglou. Wow that stinks. I had noticed water dripping from the area and got worried about the same. Also notice screws holding my storage compartments and trim came out rusty. Really donít like that design either, especially what appears to be black tarp material on mine. So I added further covering to protect mine and caulked like crazy.

Latest Repair/Preventative Maintenance.
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...d.php?t=134110

I just covered around the rear wheels and still worry about other areas in the lower body.

Good luck with the repair. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 04-29-2019, 07:28 AM   #3
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I have the same unit and have a similar problem with the front bottom lower corner on driver's side. I was going to cover it with eternalbond tape. Thoughts?
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:19 AM   #4
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Haven't looked at ours since returning from our winter travels. If I find water damage I will use penetrating epoxy to solidify any rot and then fill voids with epoxy putty. I have used this method to repair rotted areas on a couple of door frames on our house with great success.

I got my epoxy from a company called Rot Doctor. https://www.rotdoctor.com/products/product.html

I see that some of their products are out of stock right now. You can find similar products from other manufacturers.

My fear with using caulk to seal up the area is that if moisture finds a way in it can't get out.
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:44 AM   #5
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While I don't have a Sunseeker, most all the other R/Vs I've owned have had this same type of construction in the wheel wells.

Seems wood covered with plastic or tarp like material is the norm.
One I owned was pressboard simply painted black.
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Old 04-29-2019, 11:04 AM   #6
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Haven't looked at ours since returning from our winter travels. If I find water damage I will use penetrating epoxy to solidify any rot and then fill voids with epoxy putty. I have used this method to repair rotted areas on a couple of door frames on our house with great success.

I got my epoxy from a company called Rot Doctor. https://www.rotdoctor.com/products/product.html

I see that some of their products are out of stock right now. You can find similar products from other manufacturers.

My fear with using caulk to seal up the area is that if moisture finds a way in it can't get out.
Thanks for the advice!
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Old 04-29-2019, 02:29 PM   #7
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Had a chance to check my rig and found the bottom front part of the driver's side wheel opening is a bit soft when I squeeze it. The rest seems ok.

We drove through torrential rains as tornado warnings chased us trough PA and NY on our way home from wintering in FL and GA. This could be why it is so wet and soft feeling.

It will be a while before I can get to it because this is early spring in New England and we're seeing more rain than sun. Maybe by late May or early June I'll be able to dry it out and do a repair. When I do I'll share the process.
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Old 04-29-2019, 02:52 PM   #8
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crazy. but tar paper is what water proofs the roof on your house. they must not have sealed it very well.
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Old 04-29-2019, 02:58 PM   #9
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I had to repair the wheel well on my old TT when i bought it to fix tire blow out damage. I repaired then sprayed on flex seal. It worked great for the next year i had the trailer
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Old 04-29-2019, 03:44 PM   #10
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Over three days and 7 man hours later

Note this was not a berverage available job.. but done. Also this coach has been parked since jan 3. No wet weather in the last trip.

I added the project pics to my fender album.

Steps.
01. Cleaned out all damage, pulled back both rear quarter panels found damage.
02. Used wood expoxy on the wheel wells and sanded smooth.
03. Both quarter panels were wet and swelled underneath the fabric. The driver side rear bay sits further back then the passenger side. Fortunately the damage on both sides did not extent to the bay. About a sq foot on drivers, and about eight inches deep on passenger. Applyed the syn wood and sanded flush.
04. Used flex seal liquid on all locations (tad messy).
05. Pulled fabric back over the flex seal after a short setup time but still tacky (not dripping).
06. Flex seal over the fabric. Used blue painters tape to hold until set.
07. Pulled bottom trim from one rear tire to the other, cleaned, dryed, then flex sealed over the fabric aroung te entire rear of the coach.
08. 48 hour set then I will reinstall bottom trim, pull all tape.
09. Will expand foam the rear quarter panels back to the bays, then the fabric will be locked beneath it.
10. I repaired the fourth screw hole that brought all this to my attention and I will reinstall plastic fender covers.

Done..

Debating the addition of weep holes on the lower trim throught the bottom horizonal aluminum railing (seen on the original damage pic). Concerned that any condensation within the verticals may access the lower horizonal and needs venting.

This was the best fix I came up with such a short review time.

Sadly, the enginerrrrr (have a hard time using that title here) could have called for wheel well channel surround maybe 2" deep and used an expanding foam product and a 40" ◊ 2" plastic band fixed with eight 2-1/2 screw. Prob less labor and better outcome.

I need a drink..
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Old 04-29-2019, 04:17 PM   #11
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I agree - it is very poor design and construction... Thus, one of the first things I did to our Sunseeker was to seal/re-seal the perimeter at the bottom, especially the wheel wells. I removed the trim, coated the surface and up/around the outside & inside with polyurethane sealant, then covered it with duct tape - the foil kind, not the cloth crap. The fender trim screws were also coated in the same poly, then reinstalled. I removed all screws one or two at a time) in the bottom trim & filled the hole, and coated the screws with the poly and re-installed them. Using the excess squish-out, I coated the screw heads and other openings that did not contain screws.

The one issue I did have was the wheel opening was about a 1/4" above the surface of the trim, thus the top two screws pulled up on the trim. Eventually, the plastic failed and broke around the screw heads. At that point, when I pulled the trims, both front and back at the bottoms were filled with dirt and sand. We tend to spend a lot time & miles on gravel & sand/dirt back roads, plus living in the great North-Wet, it's a perfect recipe to cause this condition. At the time, the structure as you've pictured appeared fine.

However... given your post, I'll go inspect mine tonite. Hopefully, my preventative preparation paid off.
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Old 04-29-2019, 04:42 PM   #12
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Im that guy

I think the repairdetail I did is "once and done". Again wish I had addressed this year one. I would have left the structure alone and rhino lined the wells, stripped the bottom trim and paper and also rhino up 1" on the exterior of the fiberglass and any accesible interior wall. If I there was somewhere I could not rhino I would foam.

I have about 100$ invested in materials and my time. Rhino and foam would have been about 350$ I bet, and a quarter of the time. There would be no "fabric"! And would look nicer too..

So where is the fabric in any exterior (not to mention lower) of any other vehicle on the road?

And wood in the wheel wells, what is this the Springfield Wagon Company?

Sorry, I will be like this for a few days...
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Old 04-29-2019, 05:58 PM   #13
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Hoglou, your repair looks really good. I think I'll take a similar approach, but with the addition of starting with some penetrating epoxy.

You've given me a glimpse into my future. Thanks for that. I can't start the repair right now, but I think I'll have a drink anyway.
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Old 04-29-2019, 07:48 PM   #14
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Stainless steel screws

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucemc View Post
I agree - it is very poor design and construction... Thus, one of the first things I did to our Sunseeker was to seal/re-seal the perimeter at the bottom, especially the wheel wells. I removed the trim, coated the surface and up/around the outside & inside with polyurethane sealant, then covered it with duct tape - the foil kind, not the cloth crap. The fender trim screws were also coated in the same poly, then reinstalled. I removed all screws one or two at a time) in the bottom trim & filled the hole, and coated the screws with the poly and re-installed them. Using the excess squish-out, I coated the screw heads and other openings that did not contain screws.

The one issue I did have was the wheel opening was about a 1/4" above the surface of the trim, thus the top two screws pulled up on the trim. Eventually, the plastic failed and broke around the screw heads. At that point, when I pulled the trims, both front and back at the bottoms were filled with dirt and sand. We tend to spend a lot time & miles on gravel & sand/dirt back roads, plus living in the great North-Wet, it's a perfect recipe to cause this condition. At the time, the structure as you've pictured appeared fine.

However... given your post, I'll go inspect mine tonite. Hopefully, my preventative preparation paid off.
There's a lot to be said for stainless steel screws. They are readily available in every size. (You probably can't get them with a Robertson (square) recess. I did not find stainless steel at the source.)

EDIT: OOPS. I take that back. Check out this page at Home Depot. After going to the page, the filters in the left column to "Finish" and select "Stainless Steel." They have stainless steel wood screws in 37 different sizes, including Robertson heads.

Larry
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Old 04-30-2019, 10:42 AM   #15
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Regarding Stainless: Particularly when there's an opportunity for moisture, as is the norm for RVs. I've pulled & replaced more than my share of rusted steel fasteners, which is why I try to stay ahead of it. This is also why my RVs are always parked under shelter and away from the effects of rain & sun while not in use.


Lowe's also has a good selection of stainless, and at somewhat (??) decent prices when purchasing in quantity.
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Old 04-30-2019, 03:57 PM   #16
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Materials

I had the syn wood and rot converter on hand from a previous deck project. I was able to work back to original condition wood/luan so the rot converter was not needed. I did recoat all surfaces with syn wood and flexseal.

The wall is alum sq tubing, fiberglass ext, foam center, and luan int (I think). Pressing on tne luan on a new wall from the inside will give a good bit from the foam so you have to open it up to exam for issues.

Finished the expanded foam on the quarter panels. Just need to install the trim and walk, (run) away...
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Old 05-04-2019, 08:08 PM   #17
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I finally checked on mine - the original corrective measures are holding just fine. No soft wood, no moisture. All is as it was 3 1/2 years ago when we took delivery.


Good that you found yours and took action. The outer layer is azdel, which has no luan. However, the inner layer is the same as your inside walls, and it is luan with a vinyl cover.


No doubt others have this same issue and don't have any idea.


Regarding those fender trims - I'd like to remove mine, clean up both the inside of the area and the trim, then mount it with spacers so it fits cleanly. Once that's done, I'd like to spray it full of foam so it completely seals the area and properly supports the trim. Obviously, it won't be removable afterwards, but then one shouldn't ever have to remove it. Ah, maybe when I get bored one of these days and have nothing better to do...
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