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Old 06-19-2018, 08:12 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: River Falls
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Exterior storage doors discoloration

I have an Alpine 5th wheel, 2013 model purchased new in 2014. This past fall I've noticed that three out of four outside storage doors have a brownish discoloration showing through the fiberglass. Has anyone else experienced this problem?
We wash our trailer at least every other month and was it twice a year. I can't believe a very expensive, " top of the line" fifth wheel that has only been used a few times a year has an issue this bad after only three and one half years! It looks like water must have leaked behind the laminate and caused the discoloration.
This is my second Keystone fifth wheel, having a Montana before this one. I was close to purchasing another Montana but our salesman said the Alpine is at the same level as the Montana and the price reflected this. They were both the same price but we liked the layout of the Alpine better. It's been one thing after another with this unit !! Tires, leaky roof, I had to replace the kitchen faucet, the gray water tanks leaked into the belly pan, the hydraulic lines weren't tied up properly and a screw pierced one causing the slides not to work and dumping fluid all over the interior of the sealed under belly and the main slide wouldn't come in all the way.
Now this! Does anyone know what this discoloration is and how much it entails in having it fixed???
Thanks for any and all help with this!

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Old 06-19-2018, 03:11 PM   #2
Frank G
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From what I understand they take the cut-outs and send them to another building for framing, so...it's hard telling if you got yours back or from another unit. On Our Laredo the basement doors and other doors have a different texture than the main body. From my observation of units in the campgrounds the only ones that weather well are the ones with full body paint, and that's a big $$$$$ hit.

Good luck in getting something figured out. It seams like "Top of the Line" doesn't mean much.

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Old 06-19-2018, 03:42 PM   #3
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First of all, welcome to the forum. I hope you find your time here "well spent" and productive...

You posted your comments in the RV Service & Warranty Issues section of the forum. I do hope you aren't expecting Keystone to provide warranty service on a 6 year old trailer with a cosmetic problem. You'd probably be much further ahead talking to your dealer about that kind of action and getting the service manager's advice on how to proceed.

As for fading, typically almost all the plastic accessories (vents, shower doors, refrigerator vents, water access panels, etc) yellow with age and exposure to UV rays. Look at almost any older RV (more than 3 or 4 years old) and you will notice yellowing of most trim pieces. Even trailers with gel-coat FILON panels will "weather differently" based on where the panel is located. Vacuum formed FILON walls with 2" of foam bonded to them will weather differently (and fade differently) than panels with no backing, like panels on access doors. Typically, the first place you'll notice the different shading (from fading) is on the "people door" which is usually faced with fiberglass sheeting rather than FILON sheeting. Often, you'll find that access doors are built in one plant (often by a sub-contractor, not by Keystone) and trailer sides/walls are built in another plant. Usually the colors match very closely when the coach is new, but as the years accumulate, fading due to UV exposure will affect the color of different brands of FILON and even different lots of FILON at differing rates. So the FILON on one side of your coach may not match the other side, although with the separation, you can't compare them "side by side" so you'd never see the fading. On your access doors, chances are that they are constructed differently and will fade/yellow differently.

What can you do? I'd suspect that you'll be in for a long, frustrating journey if you try to demand that Keystone repair your trailer under warranty. First, the warranty expired years ago, secondly, and I think more importantly, cosmetic issues are not considered a "defect" and are specifically excluded from the warranty. It's in the owner's manual, in the warranty exclusions. If you don't have a copy, you can download the correct year in the Owner's Manual Archive at this link: https://www.keystonerv.com/owners/owners-manuals/

Again, welcome to the forum, but I'd opine that you're about to start an uphill battle that will be nearly impossible to win. Good Luck

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Old 06-20-2018, 03:44 AM   #4
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Thanks for the response

The discoloration looks like water has leaked behind the laminate. The patterns of the discoloration are arranged in a way that it looks like water has gotten behind the laminate and caused a yellowing effect.
The trailer is not 6 years old. We purchased it in September of 2014 from a dealerships interior floor room that makes it only 3+ years old according to the warranty. I still don't expect Keystone to do anything about though. We've decided to get out of the RV world and get into boating once again. No more load, crowded campgrounds. No more road rage and no more spending 10' s of thousands of dollars for a RV that lasts all of two years before it starts to fall apart!
I've owned dozens of boats ten years old or more and never have had the issues I've seen personally or heard about at campgrounds around the US. It reminds me of the US car industry before foreign companies brought better products to the US and forced the US companies to get their act together. Don't say I don't know what I'm talking about, I am a retired engineer who witnessed this phenomenon first hand. I was told over and over we can't do that, it's too expensive! Then when the sales dropped, secondary to imports, all of a sudden we could do it! Go figure!
Perhaps with the improving economy more competition will force a change to better products?
Thanks again for the feedback.
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Old 06-20-2018, 07:03 AM   #5
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I donít think youíll find anyone that disagrees in regards to the lack of standardization and quality control in the RV industry. Iíd love to see a few companies step forward and take positive steps to resolve the quality issues. Hope you are able to get the value out of your 5er when you sell it. Enjoy your boats. FYI, I just heard Winnebago is buying Chris Craft.
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