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Old 04-12-2017, 06:52 PM   #1
theallde
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Rear Cap Slipping

I don't think this is suppose to happen after 2 years 1 month and 8,500 miles on a 2015 Cougar X-Lite. The TT rear faces north (all shade and no sun) during storage next to the house. Trailer goes in next Wednesday for exact cost estimate and time required. I'll probably submit a claim to Keystone RV but I'm past the warranty by 13 months.
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:13 PM   #2
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Rear wall is sagging? No that's not supposed to happen. Pics are actually too close. Can you post a couple more ?
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:28 PM   #3
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chuckster57: Here are a couple more but the TT rear is in the shade so clarity is not the best, not sure if you can use the ZOOM. Thanks for your interest.
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:49 PM   #4
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I can see clearly now the wall has sagged.

Sorry, but I couldn't resist. Again, it is not supposed to do that. Have you documented regular inspections of the roof? Any receipt for lap sealant? Without either of those things, you might have an uphill battle on your hands.

Your argument should be with the failure of fasteners to hold the top of the wall. Can you see and evidence of staples? If not then I would take lots of clear pics and argue poor workmanship.
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:58 PM   #5
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Chuckster57: No yearly inspections by dealer or independent RV shops, just my yearly climb up the ladder to check. I'll check for staples and try to get better pictures. I have trust in my RV dealer and will ask for their assistance in my claim. Many thanks, wish I were closer to Modesto.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:41 AM   #6
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Anybody else have this happen to them?
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Old 04-13-2017, 05:18 PM   #7
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theallde,

We have a similar issue with our camper (2015 Premier) except for the wrinkled appearance of the fiberglass. It appears that the upper portion of the wall curled inward and separated from where it joins the roof.

We sent photos to our dealer, who initially thought the solution was to replace the rear wall. After they performed a visual inspection, they think they can fix this by reinforcing the curved portion of the wall.

The problem was revealed when we removed the camper cover ~4 weeks ago. It caused us to cancel our first trip of the year. It hasn't been repaired since the dealer can't fit our repair into its schedule until April 18 (next Tuesday).

People asked about staples, but to be honest, I see none in that part of our camper. The fiberglass appears to have curled inward until it was stopped by screws that hold the upper rear roof trim piece in place.

Our camper appeared to be fine when we covered it for the Winter. There may be some discussion regarding the storage of campers facing north (with the rear facing south), but I haven't looked into these posts.

Since I have an appointment for having this problem fixed, I will share information with the forum.

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Old 04-13-2017, 05:49 PM   #8
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Craig:

Thank you for taking the time to post a reply.

We don't cover our trailer due the breeze / winds here in Hurricane, UT would cause rubbing on the fiberglass exterior.

I did a search on the forum for rear caps but there was nothing posted similar to what we are experiencing.

I take our trailer in on Wednesday, April 19th for a cost estimate and repairs. In verbal discussion with the service manager here at our local RV dealer, he thinks that he can do the same as what you probably are considering reinforcing the curved area verses replacing the entire rear cap.

I have a "draft" letter typed for sending to Keystone, I'll contact you via PM.

I'll post on my outcome when I take in on Wednesday.

Don
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Old 04-13-2017, 06:09 PM   #9
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Don,

We haven't camped in St. George, but have stayed twice at the Cedar City KOA. I agree that the winds can be stiff in the area. Living in the woods of so. Maryland, we even have some wear on our cover where it contacts scissor jacks and corners of the rear bumper.

I agree that we should stay in touch. Initially, our dealer says the fix should take 6-8 hours to repair. We'll see how that goes.

Craig
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Old 04-14-2017, 03:47 AM   #10
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I have no experience with this model of RV or this issue, but I once had an issue with the fibreglass deck of a boat. The original poster mentioned something which made me think of my past situation. I had covered my boat for winter with a blue polytarp and left it until spring. When I removed the tarp once the snow was gone I found the flat fibreglass surface of the deck was deformed and drooping in several spots. I took the boat to the dealer and had to pay for a new top deck as it was beyond it's waranty period. When the old deck was lifted off the boat hull it became apparent what had happened. The tarp over the boat had acted as a greenhouse and the sun had generated enough heat under the tarp to soften the resin in the fibreglass and caused it to sag into the depressions of the flotation foam under the boat decking. I never would have assumed that in the cold months of winter that much heat could be generated, but when I searched the web for similar situations I found lots and the common denominator was the polytarp draped over the object with no ventilation, which trapped the heat. Seeing the pictures you posted of the wrinkled fibreglass makes me think that's the problem.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:03 AM   #11
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I haven't seen this kind of "damage" (except in pictures) but maybe can explain how it could happen. Essentially, the adhesive (which can be damaged by moisture and heat/steam) actually comes apart, separating the bond, which allows the FILON sheeting to return to it's "manufactured and/or stored structural condition". In other words, with enough "steam" applied to the surface over a "long enough time" will cause the adhesive to "lose its bond" (separate) and the steam "softens the FILON" allowing it to return to the "rolled condition" in which it was stored before assembly.

Now the long explanation, so bear with me: FILON is less than 1/8" thick (about 1/16" to 3/32") and comes in a 8' wide roll. The roll can be up to 200' long, weigh several thousand pounds and are 4 or 5' in diameter. As the FILON is used, the roll gets smaller and smaller. The last part of the roll is "curled much tighter" than the first part of the roll. While FILON isn't supposed to have "memory" if the roll has been stored for a long time, there's going to be some "spring-back" to the FILON and it won't lay flat.

On the sidewalls of the trailer, a "vacuum-bonding" process is used to create a "solid wall" structure that consists of an outer layer of FILON, bonded to a single (or double) layer of luan, bonded to 2" of foam/aluminum studding, bonded to a single layer of luan that's bonded to the inner wall that has vinyl wallcovering (wallpaper). This entire structure is placed in a vacuum and heavy rollers are used to "force the bond" making it a single structure.

On the rear wall, that process isn't used. The rear wall is a "free hanging wall" and is a necessary part of the structure because it's the way the wiring is routed from the floor/basement to the ceiling/attic as well as how the tail lights, clearance lights and often other wiring is routed. So the FILON is bonded to either a single layer of luan or sometimes bonded to a paperboard type of material. This isn't done using the same process as the sidewalls but is bonded using a "contact cement" bonding process where the adhesive is applied to both sides, then once almost dry, they are mated and the bond occurs. After that structure is created, it is "hung in place" on the trailer and secured "only with screws under the edge molding and around windows and lights. That gives the "clean surface, free of screws" that moves slightly when pressed with fingers.

Now, herein comes the problem. The adhesive, like the boat deck that Cqyqte talked about in the above post, can separate under extreme conditions. His was a cover on his boat that held water which turned into steam when the sun hit it, probably causing the "steam damage" to his fiberglass decking. The same can (might not in all situations, but can, if the right conditions exist) happen to an RV that's stored under a cover that doesn't breath properly and allows moisture to remain under the cover. This isn't likely to occur in every RV because those with back walls that were constructed from the "outer coils" of that big FILON roll weren't rolled as tightly as those back walls that were constructed from the inner (tighter rolled) coils of that big FILON roll. As the FILON is heated by the steam, it tends to return to its storage position, causing it to apply pressure to the adhesive, pulling it away from the backing board. Keep in mind that if a "paper based" backing was used, as it gets wet, it loses rigidity and can't hold the FILON in position, making the moisture problem even worse. The FILON has little "structural strength" (the reason a backing board is used) and will pull through the screws or staples as it separates from the adhesive.

Just as every laminate flooring company has a caution to not use a steam mop on their flooring because the moisture will penetrate the outer flooring and cause the "paper backing" to swell and damage the floor, using "steam produced under a cover that holds moisture" on an RV can cause damage (in some situations as described above), not in every RV, but in some, depending on the adhesive used, the "tightness of the FILON coil" and the conditions during storage under the cover. These are things that the average RV owner will never know, until the situation occurs and he becomes the "victim of a perfect storm".

I can say that this year and last year I've seen more pictures on the fourm showing FILON damage, water intrusion and now wall separation than in the past. I don't know if it's a sign of things to come, a change in materials used a few years ago (most of the trailers are a 2, 3 or 4 years old) or if it's the type of covers being used during an especially warmer and wetter winter than usual. But, I'm guessing we'll see more and more of this kind of problem, likely because we've got more and more RV's in service. If we have a "hotter than usual summer" followed by another warm, wet winter with more people covering their RV, next year there will probably be even more pictures of this kind of damage.

Now, as for Keystone changing their manufacturing process or materials to prevent the problem: With more than 30,000 RV's produced annually (they produce more than that but I don't have the actual numbers) and even if 100 trailers were affected this year, that would only be a failure rate of 0.003, less than 1/3 of 1%. In manufacturing, a failure rate of less than 3% is considered acceptable. So, I wouldn't look for any "dramatic and costly" changes in production by Keystone. I know that's not what the owner of a damaged trailer wants to hear, but to the RV industry, it's probably going to be considered "acceptable casualties"......
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:10 AM   #12
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Don,



We haven't camped in St. George, but have stayed twice at the Cedar City KOA. I agree that the winds can be stiff in the area. Living in the woods of so. Maryland, we even have some wear on our cover where it contacts scissor jacks and corners of the rear bumper.



I agree that we should stay in touch. Initially, our dealer says the fix should take 6-8 hours to repair. We'll see how that goes.



Craig


Craig,
What dealer are you working with in MD? Most of the ones I've found near Southern MD you get on a list for service drop off and then you begin the wait for actual service.


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Old 04-14-2017, 10:02 AM   #13
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In post #8 Don mentions that he does not use a cover on his TT. I am puzzled as to how this separation was caused.


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Old 04-14-2017, 02:50 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by slow View Post
In post #8 Don mentions that he does not use a cover on his TT. I am puzzled as to how this separation was caused.
I saw that. Craig in post #7 did cover his, Don didn't. Almost all of the delamination we've seen on the forum this year is from "covered trailers" and of the two wall separation problems, one was covered and one wasn't. I'm not sure how others feel, but I would be very reluctant to cover my RV, even this far north where there's not a lot of "solar heat potential"...
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Old 04-14-2017, 03:58 PM   #15
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Rear Cap Slipping

I never doubted that you did John, I know better than that, lol. I was puzzled that even without a cover, there was similar damage.

Is it possible that even without a cover, there was enough humidity in Don's TT to cause the same result?

I am starting to think that the rear wall would be the most vulnerable in this situation since the sidewalks have the foam core that acts like a vapour barrier where as the rear wall has none.

Another risk area may be Don's large rear window that may have leaked and some moisture was in the rear wall cavity.



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Old 04-14-2017, 04:17 PM   #16
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Hi Tbos!

I don't know the protocol for naming dealers on the forum, but the quick answer to your question is: The RV dealership in Mechanicsville. We purchased the Premier there and feel that we have a good relationship with them.

We anticipate the repair will start shortly after we drop off the camper. This wasn't the case a few years ago when we dropped off our previous camper for recall work, but they may have made some changes to how they schedule service. Looking at this from a risk standpoint (liability insurance), it would make sense if campers weren't stacked up waiting for work.

Hope you are doing well.

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Old 04-14-2017, 04:39 PM   #17
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slow,

I thought about that possibility, but "skirted around it" because I don't know how the OP maintains his trailer. I'd hesitate to suggest it's from a leak along the molding at the roof/rear wall union or around a window and make him feel that I'm suggesting he doesn't perform careful inspections and reseal any questionable areas. Some people are "on the roof inspecting" after every trip and some people don't know how to even get on their roof. Most of us are "somewhere in the middle".....

It's entirely possible that there was a pinhole leak in the roof that allowed water to leak into the inner surfaces and when the sun baked the rear wall, it was actually worse than having a cover/humidity problem... Then again, a leak at a tail light could allow moisture to collect, and since "heat rises" most of the damage would probably be seen at the top of the rear wall... Or a window leak, or ?????

But without knowing his maintenance practices, I wouldn't feel comfortable suggesting that not inspecting for leaks might have caused the problem, that wouldn't be fair to him without knowing more information that we have in this thread.....
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Old 04-14-2017, 04:39 PM   #18
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Hi Tbos!



I don't know the protocol for naming dealers on the forum, but the quick answer to your question is: The RV dealership in Mechanicsville. We purchased the Premier there and feel that we have a good relationship with them.



We anticipate the repair will start shortly after we drop off the camper. This wasn't the case a few years ago when we dropped off our previous camper for recall work, but they may have made some changes to how they schedule service. Looking at this from a risk standpoint (liability insurance), it would make sense if campers weren't stacked up waiting for work.



Hope you are doing well.



Regards,

Craig


Craig,
Glad to hear they are treating you well. Since I didn't buy from them they won't return my calls. Hope the repair goes well.


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Old 04-14-2017, 04:47 PM   #19
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...I don't know the protocol for naming dealers on the forum...
There is no problem with naming a "great dealership" or even identifying a "problem dealership", just be accurate, present only facts, not third party "gossip" and realize that you're responsible for what you post. Remember, advertising or posting links to items for sale (that profit the individual) are not permitted. Posting a link to a site to offer help or to show a picture of a product are permitted.
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Old 04-14-2017, 05:29 PM   #20
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John,

Thank you for the information. I will strive to keep any reference to a dealership to only facts and not opinion/conjecture.

Regards,
Craig

P.S. The dealership is Economy RV in Mechanicsville, MD.
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