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Old 08-23-2011, 02:25 PM   #1
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New and need advice

Hello Everyone. New to your site and to RV's. I am in the process of purchasing a 1997 Fleetwood Storm 31'. The vehicle is in great shape and has 32632 miles. Owner has taken great care of it.The owner told me the roof leaked above the drv side window at one time and it warped the interior panel next to the drv seat and above the drv window. I keep reading about delamination. A small raised places in this area on the outside wall. I would appreciate any and all thoughts. Have a wonderful day.

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Old 08-23-2011, 05:03 PM   #2
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Delamination is a slightly raised area of the outer skin, usually caused by moisture in the sidewalls that causes the glue to deteriorate and loosen the fiberglass skin. It's just a cosmetic problem unless very extensive in size.

There is a related concern, though. Moisture in the sidewall can also result in dry rot of the luan backing and the wooden structural members used in some rigs. Most newer RVs have metal frames, but I don't know about the 97 Storm.

Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:10 PM   #3
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On the outside it is delam. on the inside it is just warping of the paneling. if you have stopped the leak, i would not be worried about the area that is warped if it is small and not very noticeable. starting in the early 90's almost all the manuf. went to steel or aluminum framing. Of course keep an eye on the area and make sure you don't still have a leak.
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:17 PM   #4
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Leaking inside

If the water was leaking on the inside and it bulged out a bit it may be similar to the problem I had. On the driver's side there were no "weep holes" stamped into the frame like there was on the passenger's side. So the water in the window frame leaked insidel I took my portable drill and punched out a bunch of holes on the outside of the frame and all was ok. The water weeped outside of the window. Then when it was dry, I used a black magic maker and covered over all of the light colored holes and the work is not visible.
Joe from Ct.
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:16 AM   #5
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Thanks for everyones input. I give me a better understanding of the problem. Maybe one day iI will be able to return the help. Looking forward to the RV experience and new friends.
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Old 08-24-2011, 03:58 PM   #6
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One problem with roof leaks is that where the leak is on the inside is not always where the leak is on the outside. I have a friend with a Safari, he had a leak that dripped through his rear A/C (it was not the A/C that was leaking) and on to the bed...the leak was up front around the front A/C.
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:02 PM   #7
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Our last motorhome was a 1998 Fleetwood Southwind Storm 31W. It went back to the factory in Riverside CA twice and wound up having all of the sidewalls replaced for delamination. Apparently Fleetwood considered this a serious enough problem to spend over $40,000 (under warranty) to replace the sidewalls. When I picked up the motorhome they told me that I had the only Southwind Storm with Gell Coat Fiberglass side walls instead of "Mindy Board" as they referred to the original side wall material.
I noticed the delamination issue shortly after we purchased it new in 1998. In my opinion Fleetwood tried to save money by using a inexpensive sidewall material and it did not work out to well for Fleetwood.
Fleetwood treated us very nicely and seemed to really care about customer service.

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