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Old 09-28-2017, 01:44 PM   #1
TyeeMan
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Fabric In The Wheel Wells?

So my wife are I are R/V shopping, I do all the crawling around underneath to see how things look. So we're looking at Cougars and Premiers, I'm looking up in the wheel wells, , it's not a true wheel well but I think you know what I mean, and I see some kind of black fabric. No plastic, no steel, , our current 97 Sunny Brook has actual plastic wheel wells.

I'm guessing on the other side of that fabric is the wood floor? Am I to believe that if I'm towing all day, , heck, a 1/2 hour in rain that this fabric will shed water and prevent water from getting on the bottom side of the wood floor?
What happens when a tire throws some rocks at this stuff, will it hold up to that? Maybe it's better than I think.

Any insight would be appreciated.
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Old 09-28-2017, 02:06 PM   #2
Bit'n'Goldie
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Speaking from new experience with a blow out, under the fabric is a layer of insulation. Traveling on wet roads or throwing a rock shouldn't be a problem. A blown out flapping tire, however, rips it to shreds. When RV dealer repaired the damages we were told the fabric is no longer installed back on and a heavier plastic cover which they did install. Hope this helps a little, I'm no expert, just a slight experience with damages and peek into underbelly.
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Old 09-29-2017, 03:44 AM   #3
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I had a blowout and the fabric received some cuts from the steel cords.
Cleaned the area and used Gorilla tape to cover the damage.
Repair/patch has held up.
Pat
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Old 09-29-2017, 05:07 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies! From a tire blow out aspect I suppose it's easier to repair some fabric rather than an actual wheel well. Just seems odd.
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Old 09-29-2017, 05:21 AM   #5
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The fabric is the same stuff used under slides, I believe it's called Darco. And there is specific tape made for repairing tears called Scrim tape.
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Old 09-29-2017, 08:12 AM   #6
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Thanks chuckster57. So is the fabric truly water proof/water resistant?
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Old 09-29-2017, 08:16 AM   #7
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I just found the Darco fabric on the internet, they flat out call it waterproof and more reliable than metal. So now I know. Sweet!
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Old 09-29-2017, 08:37 AM   #8
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As trailers become lighter, many innovations have been incorporated to help reduce overall weight. Some have been very successful, some, not so much. One of the successful products has been DARCO as a replacement for the older "tin wheelwells" on trailers that sometimes weighed two times what today's models weigh. If you think "blue poly reinforced tarp", that's essentially what DARCO is. Although it's stronger than most "blue tarps" it's built much the same way. It's been used in travel trailers as a bottom liner/wheelwell liner for about the past 10 years. Before that, it was used (and still is used) as the undercovering for mobile homes to seal the "basement" where insulation, heat ducting and plumbing runs are located.

Most travel trailers now use DARCO in the wheelwells and either DARCO or COROPLAST (corrugated plastic) as the "bottom seal". Both are waterproof (not water resistant) and as long as the structural integrity is maintained, DARCO is a great choice for wheelwells. The only "downside" is damage from rocks/blown tires. That damage should be repaired ASAP using an approved tape, applied properly.

That said, many owners are probably sitting in their easy chair reading this thread and wondering, "Do I have that in my wheelwells?".... I'd submit that they are already "behind the power curve" because the DARCO lining in your wheelwells really needs to be inspected and maintained, just like the axles, wheels, bearings and tire pressure is maintained. Wheelwells, just like the rest of your trailer need to be inspected for damage, repaired and maintained on a regular basis.

Nobody ever said RV ownership was easy. This is just another part of keeping up with the maintenance.
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Old 09-29-2017, 10:48 AM   #9
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Hey John,

Thanks for the explanation, I appreciate it. Yep I totally agree in regards to maintenance. Your car, truck, rv, boat, bicycle, moped will only perform as well as you take care of it, or have it taken care of.
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Old 09-29-2017, 04:49 PM   #10
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I have to say the only wheelwell I 've have leak water into the interior was years ago on a Jayco with tin lining. When we had the last blowout it tore the bottom of the wheel well/Darco out. It's Darco, thin plywood/luan and insulation up to the flooring. Repair was pretty simple and painless and it's fixed back as good as new from my experience with it since then. It looks awfully frail but seems to hold up well.
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Old 09-29-2017, 05:43 PM   #11
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Well I now know I repaired the Darco in mine incorrectly. Who knew there was a special kind of tape?


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Old 09-29-2017, 05:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbos View Post
Well I now know I repaired the Darco in mine incorrectly. Who knew there was a special kind of tape?


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Gorilla tape will work, but we find it starts to peel when exposed to moisture. Scrim tape will do the same but it takes a whole lot longer, and I mean years longer.
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Old 09-29-2017, 05:50 PM   #13
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To be honest I sprayed it with Plastidip afterwards. Seems to be holding.


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Old 09-29-2017, 05:55 PM   #14
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You do what you have to.
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Old 09-29-2017, 05:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Pat View Post
I had a blowout and the fabric received some cuts from the steel cords.
Cleaned the area and used Gorilla tape to cover the damage.
Repair/patch has held up.
Pat
I had a nearly identical accident on my old passport. I put some rubberized undercoating on it and once it hardened up it was a decent patch.

Now that I have some knoweldge I will definitely look for the scrim tape.
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