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Old 05-23-2013, 12:19 AM   #1
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Location: LHC, AZ
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Default M139: Ext. & wall construction? Hairline cracks on exter

Just bought a 2004 M139. After getting it home from a dealer's lot (this dealer has an excellent reputation in Phoenix), I've got some concerns after more investigation and need to address these concerns as quickly as possible.

Can anyone tell me:

What the exterior of the trailer is made of (obviously not aluminum)?
What is insulating the trailer walls (foam, insulation, etc.)?

My first concern is the front of the trailer has some dents/dimples in the exterior. Nothing major, not pretty, not anything I care about. But a friend told me that because there are some very minor cracks in the surface of the exterior, it probably will leak into the wall area. Being in Lake Havasu City, AZ, it rains about 6 times a year. Usually in August, usually when it's 110 anyway, and everything dries instantly. We don't deal with a lot of dry rot out here. Is this something I need to be concerned about? Is there a fix to the exterior surface of the trailer (i.e. coating like when you re-coat a redwood deck) or anything I should be aware of?

My second concern is that the foamy insulation stuff around the exterior edges of the trailer is brown and brittle. I'm thinking, that's really not a big deal, I can easily re-caulk (or whatever is the proper material to seal this) fairly easily. Am I correct in this thinking or is this a sign of something major down the road?

The very reputable dealer stated that they went through the trailer with a fine tooth comb. They informed me that the refrigerator doesn't work on propane (which I don't care about) and that the fan in the bathroom has a broken blade (which I don't care about). They also found a leak in the black water tank and they have fully repaired the tank (which meant taking out interior walls to remove the tank because it can't be dropped through the bottom). They did a lot of work on this TT before they released it to me. I'd reasonably assume that if the trailer leaked they'd not be selling it.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:27 AM   #2
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Default

Not sure what they were using in 2004, but if it's not aluminum then most likely it's fiberglass with gel-coat. If it's the same as mine (2009) the wall is built (inside to outside) of a layer of luan, a layer of foam insulation another layer of luan and then gel-coat fiberglass.

I don't really have any info on fixing cracks in gel coat, but since you're located in Lake Havasu I'd suggest taking it to a marine repair outfit and have them take a look.

As for the foamy insulation stuff, it sounds like you do indeed need to recaulk. In fact recaulking is really a preventative maintenance activity and needs to be done periodically. All of the seams should be checked usually anually and recaulked wherever it's starting to crack, peel or seperate. I'm a little surprised the dealer didn't do this if he went over everything with a fine tooth comb. At any rate you can either have this done at any RV place or buy the caulk at any number of online outfits. Dicor is popular brand and works well.
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:10 AM   #3
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Default GREAT IDEA - WRAP!

My boyfriend suggested a great idea; while I'm really unconcerned about the dimples and dents in the front, I am concerned about water getting in when we go through the monsoon season in the desert.

We have a friend who wraps boats using waterproof, UV resistant, durable 3M industrial vinyl. I'm going to have Dave wrap the entire front and top of the trailer in plain off-white vinyl to match the existing trailer color and then re-caulk the seams at the side and around the air conditioning. Vinyl wrap lasts for years and years, will give a secondary layer of protection from the elements, is easy to remove if it needs to come off, and is a cheap alternative to dealing with fiberglass/exterior repair.

I'm pretty sure this will work because we've got friends who have fine cracks in their gel coats of their boats and will wrap over the cracks to "seal" the boat.

Wanted to tell everyone this in case they are dealing with the same issue that I am. Brilliant idea.
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