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Old 04-03-2023, 06:43 AM   #21
LeePat
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WOW! You really went the extra mile & my husband said that makes so much more sense to him. THANK YOU! This RV had so much hidden damage beyond the obvious that was minimized to us or “repaired” (their opinion…). We have worked hard to redo it right & were at the finish line. The exterior finish & decals were our last hurrah.
First a bad detailer & now this, & right where we & our guests sit & look at it. No easy fix, but at least there shouldn’t be deeper hidden damage.
Now to figure out how to repair this…
 
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Old 04-03-2023, 07:00 AM   #22
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My husband’s theory, after hearing yours, is that the interior cracked & all the finish work & intense cutting & buffing added vibration stress that weakened it more. We had serious oxidation too. With continued flexing after several days it finally gave completely through. He would have noticed the cracks before with all the detail work he’s done, including removing decals.
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Old 04-03-2023, 07:07 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by firestation12 View Post
The area you’ve outlined the crack is not a typical location where frame stress is found. I’m wondering if perhaps the right front of the cap came into contact with the tow vehicle’s cab in a tight righthand turn or perhaps an overhanging projection.
MikenDebbie, expanded on that idea & now it makes sense. Thank you. We think you were heading us in the right direction.
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Old 04-03-2023, 07:09 AM   #24
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I had a 2006 2980 model. It has a very similar bedroom area. I had frame flex (the old really bad kind) and had broken welds in the front area. These were right where the cross beams at the lower front are welded to the vertical beams.


In those days, you could tell if this has happened by looking at the closet. I forget which way was which, but when hooked up (or off the truck and on the landing gear) the closet wall between the W/D or storage area and the clothes closet would bulge our - in my case an inch or more. Then when you hooked up (or unhooked- which ever was the opposite) it went away.


In my case I was traveling from AZ to Alaska and it got bad enough in Oregon and Washington I decided to get it fixed. I called the dealer in Tacoma(?) I think it was. The service manager - first said bring it in (on a Mon. or tues) and we can get it checked on Friday. And if there is something wrong it would be a couple of weeks!!! The real kicker - he said 'I have never heard of frame flex'. (I had picked that term up here on the forum when searching) So I crossed my fingers and slowly returned home and got it fixed in AZ.


So get that truck and hook up to take weight off landing gear and you will know if you have a structural problem. Good luck.


p.s. I was one of the first with this, I guess. Then on my 2013 Mountaineer it happened again on both the front end and the read end (rear wall sort of detaches!). That one cost me $5000 or so!
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Old 04-03-2023, 08:30 AM   #25
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That's a gel coat fracture. I've seen it happen on boats. I don't think it's structural.



Fiberglass will break down over time for one of several reasons. The sun's heat and ultraviolet rays can eventually cause fiberglass to get brittle. If the gel coat surface is cracked or damaged due to impacts or vibrations, water seeps in through the cracks and damages the structure
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Old 04-05-2023, 01:09 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Foldbak View Post
That's a gel coat fracture. I've seen it happen on boats. I don't think it's structural.

Fiberglass will break down over time for one of several reasons. The sun's heat and ultraviolet rays can eventually cause fiberglass to get brittle. If the gel coat surface is cracked or damaged due to impacts or vibrations, water seeps in through the cracks and damages the structure
Foldbak is correct, it's a crack in the gel coat.

Was this area repaired? Or is this a factory only area?
You can get cracks in gel coats via bad repairs. Frame flexing will cause a larger failure ditto with an impact failure.

This wasn't caused by a cut and buff during detailing.
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Old 04-05-2023, 01:23 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Mikendebbie View Post
To deepen the mystery for how a crack might develop in that location - I sketched in the theoretical aluminum tube framing for your sidewall. This is based on looking at the two screenshots below from the youtube video "Keystone wall construction". I don't know what it looks like exactly - but it would be something like this. The luan plywood-backed fiberglass panel is vacuum laminated across several studs in that area. Seems that a stress crack would be difficult to form in that location. I agree with the idea expressed above that sometime in your RVs past - maybe the nose was lightly impacted by a shortbed truck cab. It was not a sudden impact - but more of a slight push against the cab over a few seconds while backing into a tight site. The fiberglass cracked - but was not noticed until you guys started working on the finish years later - which in itself is hard to imagine.
Wow! Impressive research.
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Old 04-05-2023, 01:24 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by LeePat View Post
We just finished a 2 year rebuilding, replacing & updating our 2006 Montana 3500rl we bought from a private owner. We were clueless but now we know it inside & out. Attachment 14261

A week ago we hired a company to cut & buff the fiberglass so we have been looking at the surface a lot since it was totally botched. (Different issue. :facepalm) This am we saw a curving crack that runs in an arc from one edge of a side wall around to the adjacent wall - not straight in a direction.

Any ideas how to trouble shoot or resources to research? Not sure of the depth yet.

Note. We are full time & stationary. It has not been moved since locating here.
I don't think it's a crack, it looks more like a scratch. BUT if it is a crack, then immediately stop its progress by drilling a small hole at the ends of the crack. Now you need to consider how to deal with it. I had one and used a special formula, epoxy that has some flex in it. It looks like hell, but it will never break there again.
Hole size? big enough that the crack doesn't go around it, roughly 3/16 but +- 1/16 should be ok.
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Old 04-05-2023, 01:46 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by LeePat View Post
We just finished a 2 year rebuilding, replacing & updating our 2006 Montana 3500rl we bought from a private owner. We were clueless but now we know it inside & out. Attachment 14261

A week ago we hired a company to cut & buff the fiberglass so we have been looking at the surface a lot since it was totally botched. (Different issue. :facepalm) This am we saw a curving crack that runs in an arc from one edge of a side wall around to the adjacent wall - not straight in a direction.

Any ideas how to trouble shoot or resources to research? Not sure of the depth yet.

Note. We are full time & stationary. It has not been moved since locating here.
I have your same 2006 3500RL - . The finish on your exterior wall impressed me. Can you tell me anything about it - what is it, how did you get it? Also interested in any work you may have done refurbishing any graphics. Thanks.
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Old 04-05-2023, 04:34 PM   #30
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cracks

you think some water could have gotten in there threw that light and cracked that side
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Old 04-05-2023, 10:17 PM   #31
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That is called crazing. It is not structural. You can search for "crazing in fiberglass" to see how it is repaired.
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Old 04-06-2023, 07:12 AM   #32
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I wouldn’t even think of taking it to a RV dealer for the fiberglass repair. Look for a shop that does fiberglass repair on large boats. I suspect there are plenty in Florida.
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Old 04-06-2023, 07:18 PM   #33
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Don't take my following thoughts the wrong way as I've owned 3 different Montana's since 2000 with a mostly satisfied experience with an older model as well. The exterior walls are bonded layers of Luan (paneling) and (Fillon maybe .080" or less thick), not true fiberglass per say. As has been shown, there is a metal framework inside with 2 more layers of Luan paneling bonded on the inside. Back in the 06 timeframe, there were the Filon walls that you have with the fibers very visible and there was an option for high gloss walls basically produced with thicker gelcoat. No more evident than your "crack" is, I'd leave it alone save drilling the endpoints with a 1/8" drill bit. The Filon you have has lotsa fiber showing and a repair will be pretty evident as the repair area will not show the same fiber just under the surface. This is a 17 year old fiver that had the less than desirable decals that faded and curled early on. You can see the "ghosts" of the old decals in your example photo. They cannot be buffed out. You've admittedly stated 2 things ... there were lotsa undocumented surprises from the first owner and you're looking to sell in a few years. I'd not loose much more sleep over this "crack" ... keep it shined up to your satisfaction and let the next owner deal with whatever they feel necessary.
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Old 04-07-2023, 05:50 AM   #34
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Quote:
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Don't take my following thoughts the wrong way as I've owned 3 different Montana's since 2000 with a mostly satisfied experience with an older model as well. The exterior walls are bonded layers of Luan (paneling) and (Fillon maybe .080" or less thick), not true fiberglass per say. As has been shown, there is a metal framework inside with 2 more layers of Luan paneling bonded on the inside. Back in the 06 timeframe, there were the Filon walls that you have with the fibers very visible and there was an option for high gloss walls basically produced with thicker gelcoat. No more evident than your "crack" is, I'd leave it alone save drilling the endpoints with a 1/8" drill bit. The Filon you have has lotsa fiber showing and a repair will be pretty evident as the repair area will not show the same fiber just under the surface. This is a 17 year old fiver that had the less than desirable decals that faded and curled early on. You can see the "ghosts" of the old decals in your example photo. They cannot be buffed out. You've admittedly stated 2 things ... there were lotsa undocumented surprises from the first owner and you're looking to sell in a few years. I'd not loose much more sleep over this "crack" ... keep it shined up to your satisfaction and let the next owner deal with whatever they feel necessary.
Dieselguy, Very sage advice. Hope the OP uses it.
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Old 04-07-2023, 09:54 AM   #35
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I have an issue with the word sudden. It just showed up after the “totality botched” cleaning job. Did the person that buffed it get it too hot or was the crack already there and you just hadn’t been it or looked close enough to notice?
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Old 04-07-2023, 12:17 PM   #36
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Lynwood said "I have an issue with the word sudden. It just showed up after the “totality botched” cleaning job. Did the person that buffed it get it too hot or was the crack already there and you just hadn’t been it or looked close enough to notice?"

I agree with your statement about the person that did the buff job.

When I used "sudden" in post #20 above - I meant like a sudden impact/strike like a baseball hit or similar crash...the kind you hear or feel and KNOW something is wrong. You would see a spider pattern at the point of impact. I found the pic below on line. The OPs crack looked like a result of a big slow wide-area bend - not a sudden impact...but I am just guessing!

We do tend to get in the weeds on some of these threads, and the vast majority of the time - I probably have no business getting in the weeds because I have no experience with the topic. But I have a good time learning from the guys that do know what the weeds look like!
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