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Old 10-30-2016, 08:04 PM   #1
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Exterior wall rot from the inside

A friend of mine is looking for a used diesel pusher. I have seen some that will "rot" from the inside out on the exterior wall. I can't remember the brand, can anyone help me here?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 10-30-2016, 09:05 PM   #2
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The ONLY way for anything wood to rot is to be wet for a long period. Thus, any RV can rot from the inside of the wall-out if the RV has a water leak. This includes an RV that is continually exposed to high humidity inside, never aired out and allowed to dry thoroughly.
I've never heard of an RV that is predisposed to wood rot.
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Old 10-30-2016, 11:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
The ONLY way for anything wood to rot is to be wet for a long period. Thus, any RV can rot from the inside of the wall-out if the RV has a water leak. This includes an RV that is continually exposed to high humidity inside, never aired out and allowed to dry thoroughly.
I've never heard of an RV that is predisposed to wood rot.
When I said "rot" I had no idea anyone would think wood rot. We're talking about a class A diesel pusher. The outside of the exterior wall will deteriorate from the inside out. You will see a bubbled up spot (rot) on the outside wall.
A hundred years ago (not literally) there was a brand called Open Road and they had a similar problem. I think it killed them.
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Old 10-31-2016, 12:27 AM   #4
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Wait....you do realize that the walls are basically wood, right?
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Old 10-31-2016, 02:24 AM   #5
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When I said "rot" I had no idea anyone would think wood rot. We're talking about a class A diesel pusher. The outside of the exterior wall will deteriorate from the inside out. You will see a bubbled up spot (rot) on the outside wall.
A hundred years ago (not literally) there was a brand called Open Road and they had a similar problem. I think it killed them.
Not aware of any DPs that have wood wall framing. Some have a thin layer of luan bonded to the back of the fiberglass siding. Bubbling on the outside wall sounds like delamination where the fiberglass siding glue has failed.
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Old 10-31-2016, 07:17 AM   #6
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In the early to mid 90's the coach mfg's were sold a "new" "rot resistant" luan backing that would hold up better than the previously used stuff that had already proven to be trouble.

The problem was, it was corrosive and would attack alum. willingly if wet - creating bubbling in the exterior skin.

I'm not sure I would point fingers at any particular brands, but it is something I would be looking carefully for on a coach built in that time period.

As already mentioned, pretty much any 5 year old plus coach is capable of having serious ceiling/sidewall issues due to water intrusion. Any but the most minor generally not economically feasible to repair. Factory service departments, if they're willing to work on it, will generally replace the entire wall.
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Old 10-31-2016, 08:08 AM   #7
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Is it possible that you are referring to the delamination, cracking, or similar of the fiberglass sidewalls? I thought I read that there was a run of years/brands that had a manufacturer issue for this specific problem.
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Old 10-31-2016, 08:42 AM   #8
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In '91 I had a new '91 Southwind that shortly after buying it the outer laminate on the entrance door started to bubble. It wasn't rot 'from the inside out', it was water getting in between the layers making the door panel. When an outside panel is cut to fit an opening (door for example) the raw edges of the cut have to be carefully sealed so water can't penetrate. If not sealed properly you will get delamination. Perhaps if left unattended for years it might develop rot.
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Old 10-31-2016, 09:41 AM   #9
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the brand i have is an Alfa and they had some problrms with little blisters and many many blisters and is was because the fiberglass company had some moisture in or under the skin. some look like they were shot with a shotgun...mine does have a few but nothing serious .. the people who buy them are very happy and can even get good enough deal to reskin.. and newmar had some problems also with spider cracking// my london aire was real bad.. but inside was nice..
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Old 10-31-2016, 09:44 AM   #10
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Wait....you do realize that the walls are basically wood, right?
The outside wall on a class A is often "wood", give me a brand name.
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Old 10-31-2016, 09:52 AM   #11
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Not aware of any DPs that have wood wall framing. Some have a thin layer of luan bonded to the back of the fiberglass siding. Bubbling on the outside wall sounds like delamination where the fiberglass siding glue has failed.
No not delamination, you can scratch the bubble (blister) off with your fingernail and expose the deteriorating material. Its a small bubble(blister)
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Old 10-31-2016, 10:13 AM   #12
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thats what im talking about in post about Alfa and made form i lthink 2002-2008 jand the models were seeya, founder, gold
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Old 10-31-2016, 11:27 AM   #13
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Is this in reference to Piker's epic exterior siding project in the Vintage RV forum? In his case, a '94 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE had it's aluminum side panels disintegrate from the inside out due to corrosion.

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In the early to mid 90's the coach mfg's were sold a "new" "rot resistant" luan backing that would hold up better than the previously used stuff that had already proven to be trouble.

The problem was, it was corrosive and would attack alum. willingly if wet - creating bubbling in the exterior skin.

I'm not sure I would point fingers at any particular brands, but it is something I would be looking carefully for on a coach built in that time period.
This, exactly. As I recall, the problem was in the chemicals used at the time to protect the cheap wood from rot. Ironically, when the luan did get wet, the treatment would chemically react with the water to corrode aluminum.

So any coach of that period using luan backing with aluminum siding has some risk of internal deterioration that won't be very visible on the outside, except for the bubbling once it finally eats through the panel.

The original Holiday Rambler's were known for their aluminum construction, and the early-90s units were still being built that way. This is generally a good thing, but as Piker discovered, there is a hidden risk that is good to be aware of when looking at coaches from that time period.

I doubt this is unique to HR, however. That luan was commonly used; it's the aluminum siding that completes the risk triangle (water penetration/treated luan/aluminum siding). IIRC, the original source of Piker's problem was window leaks.
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Old 10-31-2016, 09:30 PM   #14
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Yes, familiar with Piker's ordeal, but more of my experience relates to being a service manager at a pretty good size RV dealership for quite a while - including the time span where this material is used. Actually, the factory techs at Fleetwood (Decatur) were the ones that originally put me on to this with their findings. They were tired of taking a load of hassle over the deal, when all they were trying to do when going to it was eliminate the original issue (delaminating luan).

I wouldn't be too quick to blame the alum. framework on Piker's coach, as I've seen the issue just as often on metal framed coaches (like the Fleetwood coaches). Another example might be storage compartment doors - that aren't hung on anything. Further, this issue was not limited to low or mid range coaches. I was conned into doing both sides of a Vogue coach I lost my butt on.....

If you're looking at coaches, your likely further ahead watching for the problem, rather than eliminating potential mfg's.

Water intrusion sends more RV's to the scrap heap than all other problems together.
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