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Old 05-27-2014, 11:22 PM   #1
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Corrosion

Hi,

I am not mechanically inclined but have always been told to look under a vehicle for signs of rust when purchasing a used car. I recently purchased a rather "new" used 2012 model year RV with relatively low miles (4,000+). This weekend I decided to look under the RV and I noticed what I believe is "superficial" rust on the inside of the wheels. I believe it is the brake drum area as well as where the drive meets the axle. My question is being a 2012 RV is this normal? Thanks!
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:57 PM   #2
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A lot of it depends on where the motorhome came from.
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:12 AM   #3
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Its originally from southern california. Could rust in these locations be normal?
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:00 PM   #4
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Its originally from southern california. Could rust in these locations be normal?
If it spent a time near the ocean, the salt in the air could very well cause the rust. What time we spent in MO, even the hint of snow or ice had the highway dept putting down salt which corrodes everything in short order.
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:21 PM   #5
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It's normal for brake components to get surface rust due to sitting unless you're in a very arid desert. Furthermore, where was your RV made, not bought? Naked chassis often sit in a manufacturer's field for months before it has a house built on it, so again rust is normal. If it's really concerning to you, treat rust with a neutralizer (Naval Jelly or the like) and then spray with undercoating, but be aware rust happens.
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:48 PM   #6
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Neither of those areas are painted or plated at the factory to prevent rust, on any vehicle. I have never seen either of those areas rusted to the point of being unsafe either.
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Old 05-28-2014, 05:30 PM   #7
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It is common practice for motorhome manufacturers to store chassis outside, sometimes for months. The chassis frequently show signs of rust before the motorhome is even built, especially on unpainted surfaces like brake drums.
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Old 05-30-2014, 12:02 AM   #8
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If it's surface rust, not a problem. What you don't want to see is heavy rust that looks like it can flake off.

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Old 10-01-2014, 09:05 PM   #9
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If it spent a time near the ocean, the salt in the air could very well cause the rust. What time we spent in MO, even the hint of snow or ice had the highway dept putting down salt which corrodes everything in short order.
I have lived on the coast my entire life and have often wondered about that comment, "the salt in the air" when I learned in grade school that salt gets left behind with evaporation. Perhaps they were wrong years ago although that is how most "sea salt" is gathered from evaporation ponds. Why distill water if the compounds in the water will vaporize and re-condense with the water?
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Old 10-01-2014, 09:20 PM   #10
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I have lived on the coast my entire life and have often wondered about that comment, "the salt in the air" when I learned in grade school that salt gets left behind with evaporation. Perhaps they were wrong years ago although that is how most "sea salt" is gathered from evaporation ponds. Why distill water if the compounds in the water will vaporize and re-condense with the water?
Tiny droplets of ocean water gets lifted by the wind and deposited on everything nearby. When the water evaporates from those droplets, salt is left behind. Glass will show the salt deposits first, but it happens anywhere near the ocean. These droplets contain salt and other ocean chemicals and life. This is different than the water vapor evaporated from the ocean, which is just water.
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Old 10-01-2014, 09:26 PM   #11
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I used to rent motor homes in the So Cal area and unwitting people would launch their boat to the extent of drowning the motor home. A little salt for everything under there.
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Old 10-01-2014, 09:36 PM   #12
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I used to live on the beach and salt corrosion is very overrated for being in the air, but not for using it to launch a boat.

The main thing to look for is a rusted out frame. If a mechanical component that can be replaced is rusted, generally it's not a big deal. Your coach won't be totaled if the brake drum has a bit of rust.

When you see vehicles that have been really rusted you get things like seats falling through the frame while the driver is on the road and those types of issues can become extremely expensive to fix. They generally are caused by driving on salted road in the winter like in the rust belt areas, although there are other potential causes like being submerged in water.

For anything structural, I would recommend trying to fix the rust by sanding it down to bare metal and coating it with DTM primer. It is possible for rust to accelerate quickly especially in areas with lots of snow/rain/condensation and something that looks like it's on the surface could turn into something you could poke your finger through.

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