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Old 04-07-2011, 07:35 PM   #1
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Default Invisible Leak

During an ice storm about 2 months ago, a huge tree limb fell on my FF. Front window broke and the left front corner molding cracked plus some scratches over the front wall. It took about a month under an extra tarp before the snow melted enough to move it. It's been in the shop since 3/10. Long story short, when they pulled the molding off the left front seam, everything underneath was damp and rotted. I thought this was due to the tree damage since this was the side that got smooshed. THEY said it was long term seepage and wanted to replace the entire front wall - of course that isn't covered by my comprehensive (plus they put a big crack in the front apparently when they removed the molding). Today I made them pull the molding off the undamaged side (while I watched)...and they were right - it's rotted too!

It's a 2006. Nothing visible on the inside. I'm anal about caulking but I've only had it for 1 year. They say it's shoddy construction, that these seems never matched up correctly when it was built.

Any words of advice out there?

Elaine
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:52 PM   #2
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hi elaine,

it is the curse of all rvs. water is the enemy. my 189 had the same problem. turns out that the running lights on top had never been sealed and shame on me for not checking that. the water ran down the front and settled on the cross beam that runs under the front window.

i took it to several repair shops and the best price was 3200 dollars. i brought the rv back home to mexico where i sold it after i fixed the leak but did not repair the damage. the new owner had been made aware of the damage and shown the repair bills.

most people just trade them in without saying anything, others pay the bill and keep their rv until they feel they got their money back out of the cost and the repair.

don't look for cruiser to help you with any part of the cost or the repair.

my goal for our new funfinder is to keep it covered when not in use, have it leak tested and sealed every year.

good luck with your decision. you may want to check the rv.net forums and see what others have done to fix, repair or sell their water logged rvs.

chris bauer
monterrey, mexico
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:17 PM   #3
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Thanks Chris. I bought it used, wouldn't think I had any recourse with the manufacturer at this late date.

First estimate: replace front glass, left seem molding, buff front end, $1076.

Second estimate:Front filon $1188.

I just plain don't have the extra $1188. I asked them to dry it out and fix the crack they caused and put it back together with new corner trim/moldings. They swear the leak will stop....but the damage is already done inside the walls.

What can I expect the consequences to be?
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:40 AM   #4
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Hi Elaine,

Not all is lost. If they have the damaged area open, see if they can keep it long enough to let it dry out. Once dry, close it up and use the trailer. Make sure you keep it sealed. There may be some chemical spray or neutralizer you can use to reduce the mold spores or, instead of replacing the wood framing, just replace the insulation batting. Some people continue to use their rvs for years with leak damage. Make the best of it, find a solution like above or something else, and get out there and enjoy rving. Maybe later, you can come up with the money to fix it.

Keep us posted on what you do. This is a dilemma for every rv owner.
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Old 04-10-2011, 04:22 PM   #5
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Elaine,
I'd have the agree...close 'er up, caulk well and get use of it. Many of us have mildew in the walls, but fortunately it'll rarely come thru to bother you. Mine had had water damage beore I got it (previous owner never caulked or sealed, and by the third year it started leaking at top front seam. While the "bubbles" on the ceiling are the first sign, only once did I get a small 4-in diameter black spot on the wall. I dabbed and bleached it and it hasn't come back. Fortunately, the mildewed insulation is sandwiched in between and doesn't get out...I would know as I have an immune system disease and many allergies, and if the mildew were bothersome I couldn't stay inside at all.

Numerous owners, when they remove the air conditioning unit, are aghast at the amount of rot/mildew around the roof opening, so it stands to reason that any hole, opening or seam will be a potential problem. I have been sealing them all slowly with Everbond tape and so far, so good (I don't hold much trust for the "leveling sealers"...they're just too temporary for my liking.)

Get it together, try it and see how it goes...you can always have the front replaced later. I agree wit hthe above post to let it dry out as much as possible before closing the seam...

Let us know how it goes...I'm still hoping to see you in Assateague!
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:23 PM   #6
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And I am still planning to be on Assateague 6/1 - 30!!!!

But I WAS wondering if I would croak from mold exposure in a confined space for 30 days....or if the whole dang thing will burst apart on the 9 hour drive to get there!!!
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:38 PM   #7
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I had same issue so I removed the window and found that it was only
caulked on the bottom and sides. Cleaned up the area and purchased caulking from local boat dealer, caulked all around frame and reinstalled
3/8ths an inch higher in the opening, never had another leak.
Also found same with passageway / storage area , same problem
only caulked at sides and bottom. Also raised them 1/2 inch in the opening, again no more leaks.
Do not know why they only caulked the sides and bottom, seamed
strange. figured it was in haste.
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:30 PM   #8
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Update: I just called yesterday to check. It's been in their workshop since 3/10. "Maybe another week", which would be 4/28. I'd like to think that it had time to REALLY dry out before they reassembled it.....but I bet they just forgot about me and my little Fun Finder.
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