Trailer Life Magazine Open Roads Forum: Class A Motorhomes: Cracks Developing in Fiberglass
Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Class A Motorhomes

Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes

 > Cracks Developing in Fiberglass

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 2  
Next
Sponsored By:
ColoCamper

Somewhere in North America

Senior Member

Joined: 02/09/2003

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 12/12/17 04:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am looking for an answer to a perplexing issue. While preparing to wash the MH this morning (we are in southern Arizona , when I noticed about ten hairline cracks developing in the fiberglass, all at least three inches long, above the right rear taillight on the rear cap where it transitions from the back to the passenger side . I have NEVER backed into anything; nothing (to my knowledge) has ever struck that area. Admittedly, the MH is fourteen years old, but they were not there the last time I washed the MH in October. I am at a loss to explain just what has caused this?

Any comments regarding probable cause(s) and, more importantly, what can be done about them.

John


❚ Did you read the FTS "Announcement : READ BEFORE POSTING HERE"?
    Forum Technical Support (FTS) is reserved for questions related to the use of the Open Roads Forum sites,
    member profile and photo testing, and for reporting account issues. Please avoid using FTS for RV related
    questions. Instead, select the Sub-Forum which corresponds to the subject of your topic. Thank-you!



    Moved from FORUM TECHNICAL SUPPORT



* This post was edited 12/12/17 08:10pm by an administrator/moderator *

SidecarFlip

SE Michigan

Senior Member

Joined: 10/09/2016

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 12/12/17 06:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Underlying structural issues maybe?


2015 Backpack SS1500
1997 Ford 7.3 OBS 4x4 CC LB

DutchmenSport

Between Anderson, Pendleton, & Lapel, Indiana

Senior Member

Joined: 10/10/2006

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 12/12/17 07:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Simple age. I traded my last Duly pickup truck for the same reason. Each side of the truck bed was one continuous fiberglass. For some reason, the fat fenders started cracking out. I attempted to get them repaired, they said, no, the entire side needed replaced, at $4000 a side, I said "No way!" I traded the truck while it still have value, and before a chunk of the fiberglass fell off, for a new one (metal sides now, so now I can watch them rust!).

Reason for the cracking? just age.


DutchmenSport

2019 Montana High Country 375FL Fifth Wheel
2014 Chevy Silverado 3500 Duramax Dually

2 Dachshunds, 1 cat, 2 even older folks now, but still lots of love!

The new Montana is now officially, "The Love Shack 2"


Gjac

Milford, CT

Senior Member

Joined: 08/16/2006

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 12/13/17 12:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From what you are describing it sounds like an area that has a gel ooat thicker than .020 ins. Resin expands at a much higher rate than the FG underneath and hair line cracks develop. This usually happens in the radius of caps or recessed areas where resin pools. Is this in a full body paint area? Dark paint can make this worst especially in a state like Az where temps can reach 100 plus. What year an model is your MH ? Some years use used resins that made this problem worst.

ColoCamper

Somewhere in North America

Senior Member

Joined: 02/09/2003

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 12/13/17 03:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you for your interest and comments my issue – The color of the area of concern is light, golden beige. As we have owned the coach since day one, I know I have never backed into anything, or otherwise cause anything to impact the area in such a way that it would create the “stress cracking”. As mentioned in my OP, I washed the coach in October, prior to coming to Arizona and they were not present then. I am very particular as to the cosmetic of the coach, as I’m certain you all are, so I typically do a rather comprehensive inspection, looking for damage, paint chipping and other bodywork blemishes. Just a though, the wife seems to think it is sun related, however we are located in the same spot/position we have been at for the past five years.

I did take some pictures to post that show some of the cracks developing. But many just did not show up very well. I am not certain how to post photos here - possibly link to "Dropbox"?

Again, thanks for taking the time to help me understand what is happening to our coach.

John


John & Maria
2003 Newmar DSDP 4050 - On the road April 1, 2005 - Free at last!
Currently in Florence, AZ (Desert Gardens RV Park)!
Tucky - An American Eskimo Dog (2005 - 2017)


FIRE UP

Lake Havasu City AZ

Senior Member

Joined: 03/08/2004

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 12/13/17 06:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ColoCamper wrote:

Thank you for your interest and comments my issue – The color of the area of concern is light, golden beige. As we have owned the coach since day one, I know I have never backed into anything, or otherwise cause anything to impact the area in such a way that it would create the “stress cracking”. As mentioned in my OP, I washed the coach in October, prior to coming to Arizona and they were not present then. I am very particular as to the cosmetic of the coach, as I’m certain you all are, so I typically do a rather comprehensive inspection, looking for damage, paint chipping and other bodywork blemishes. Just a though, the wife seems to think it is sun related, however we are located in the same spot/position we have been at for the past five years.

I did take some pictures to post that show some of the cracks developing. But many just did not show up very well. I am not certain how to post photos here - possibly link to "Dropbox"?

Again, thanks for taking the time to help me understand what is happening to our coach.

John


Hey John,
If your coach is the one in your sig, it's a year older than ours, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT. At first, I thought you might be talking about the infamous "Crazing" that happens to many coaches in our era. But, by your description, that is, 3" long cracks, that's not crazing. And, since you've owned this coach since Day one, I'm suspecting your issue(s) are primarily stress cracks. Fiberglass is only so strong. It can take abuse for quite some time before it finally starts to say "enough".

I've seen this on a few coaches in our era and, also seen stress cracks on many boats too. Pounding on wakes from other boats and, wind driven chop, also takes its toll on boat fiberglass.

So, what's the answer, not a clue. Can those cracks be mended, well, you'd have to talk with a motor home fiberglass specialist to get a proper and accurate answer. THEY are the ones that fix that stuff and know what and how to potentially remedy them so they don't come back. Good luck.
Scott


Scott and Karla
SDFD RETIRED
2004 Itasca Horizon, 36GD Slate Blue 330 CAT
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Ext Cab 4x4 Toad
2008 Caliente Red LVL II GL 1800 Goldwing
KI60ND


Passin Thru

N VA

Senior Member

Joined: 06/17/2012

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 12/13/17 07:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Or you could sand them out and Gel Coat them yourself. See if they come back then. After owning boats and TTs I have found that Gel Coat. Spider cracks are just that. Practice on a piece like the window awning.
http://www.diy-fiberglass-boat-repair.com/spider-cracks.html

Executive

California/Arizona/South Dakota

Senior Member

Joined: 02/07/2008

View Profile





Offline
Posted: 12/13/17 10:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

John, a picture is worth a thousand words. Posting a picture is easy as:

1. Click HERE
2. Press Ctrl D to save link for future use.
3. Drag or Select your photo into the box.
4. Cut and paste your "link" into your post. Nothing further needed.

Pretty easy, thanks to one of our mods.....Dennis


EDUCATION IS IMPORTANT, BUT CAMPING IS IMPORTANTER!
Dennis and Debi Ninth Year Full Timing
Monaco Executive M-45PBQ Quad Slide
525HP Cummins ISM 6 Spd Allison
2014 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ W/ ReadyBrute
CLICK HERE TO VIEW OUR TRAVEL BLOG



ColoCamper

Somewhere in North America

Senior Member

Joined: 02/09/2003

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 12/14/17 08:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks Dennis. You are right, of course, a picture can tell all!

[image]

[image]

johnhicks

Wandering below the Gnat Line

Senior Member

Joined: 08/29/2013

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 12/14/17 09:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

They're cosmetic stress cracks in the gelcoat.

Fiberglass is flexible, gelcoat not so much, so if that area suffers some bending you get stress cracks. It's probably not something you did. Of course you can get stress cracks via impact but that's usually a round or star pattern. Gelcoat itself has no structural strength; it just provides a smooth waterproof surface.

It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the fiberglass itself; it just means you drive down the road occasionally.

The solution is to sand it out and paint on some gelcoat or get it smooth and repaint. Stress cracks are likely to return.


-jbh-
CG reviews & more - www.fugawetribe.com

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 2  
Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes

 > Cracks Developing in Fiberglass
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Class A Motorhomes


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:

© 2018 CWI, Inc. © 2018 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Use | PRIVACY POLICY | YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS