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Old 10-26-2019, 04:28 PM   #1
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Freedom Express Roof Leak Issue

Hi all. I have a 2015 Freedom Express 246RKS. From the get go there was a low spot at the left front of my roof. Now 5 years in, I experienced warping of my front panel. I had the panel removed and inspected, and the techs concluded there was leakage behind the front roof flange down in behind the fibreglass front, causing warping of the front panel. I have had this repaired at considerable expense. And the techs said there was evidence of a previous attempt at repair (trailer was supposedly new from dealer/factory). Has anyone else experienced this problem? Have you had any success of recourse from Coachmen or dealer?? Thanks - Tom in BC Canada.
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Old 10-26-2019, 05:15 PM   #2
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On a 2015 model, there is not much chance of FR or dealer "warranty" repair. I have the exact same year/model.

There are a lot of posts about warping of the front panel at the top edge, and not just for FE models. It apparently has to do with the thin panel being attached to cardboard to hold the curved shape. If any moisture hits the cardboard (via leak or condensation from temp differences in humid environments), it separates from the panel and you get a ripple effect. If you notice the newer models have a different front panel.

Personally I think it's a design defect and they don't want to acknowledge it. Otherwise why change the design? I think condensation from temp/humidity changes is more of a cause, but it often gets blamed on phantom leaks.
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Old 10-26-2019, 05:25 PM   #3
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roof leakage

I think you have it bang on. In the repair process here, it was apparent that the cardboard had gotten wet and caused the warping. The techs told me that the leakage appeared to come from the front riding lights and from the drivers side of the flange between the roof and front fibreglass. It really does seem to be a design and construction issue. I was flabbergasted that cardboard would be used as a backing! My repair included pulling the whole front panel off, removing the cardboard, and replacing with 1/4 plywood, and a complete new top flange seal. My local RV techs did a fine job. I plan to write Coachmen about this, but dont expect much in reply. I did see that the design has changed for newer models...and that the roof is now PVC not rubber. But the whole thing is as good as the seal achieved at all unions. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 10-26-2019, 05:41 PM   #4
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If mine does it, I'm thinking of using some FRP panels as the backer to replace the cardboard.

FRP comes in different thickness/stiffness and is 100% waterproof. I'm thinking the thinner panels will handle the bend needed and I would build a wooden jig to hold that bend shape and then epoxy the stock fiberglass panel to the FRP clamped on the jig. Once set, it should hold the curve. FRP comes in 4x8' panels, but with it bonded to the front panel, that joint will not matter as its in the flat portion of the panel. Should be a drop in repair after that. Basically the same thing your repair shop did, but using FRP instead of thin plywood for the base (100% waterproof that way).

I've watched a couple of youtube videos where front caps on multiple brands were replaced with everything from FRP to aluminum roll panels. Assuming the framing underneath is sound, the biggest hassle is finding somewhere to do the work to keep it dry in case of rain as it may take more than one day. It will take 24 hours for epoxy to cure and the front cap will have to be off to epoxy it so it's at least a 2 day project (probably more since its not like I've done this before).
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