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Old 04-13-2016, 12:42 PM   #1
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Wall Construction on 1985 Winnebago Elandan or other Similar Models

Hi Y'all

Will get to my question shortly.

A while back my Winnie was hit and the outer skin was sliced open and other party 100% to blame.

Insurance company does not want to pay the entire amount of repair claiming that because there is delamination in the area that it amounts to a pre existing condition ie Wall rot that they wont cover citing that due to that existing condition it requires access from the inside wall in order to First of all Solidify and stiffen the inside of the FG skin in order to do the proper body work.

My argument to them is that whatever it is they claim as a pre existing condition has no bearing whatsoever on the procedure or cost of repair
because even if it was a brand new RV........the impact during the accident in cutting the skin open would have created a compressive effect
and thereby created an airspace between the outer skin and inside Luan or whatever they call it and created ....the exact same circumstances of having to access from inside with wall re construction in order to create a solid surface for body repair.

Now to the Question Does anybody here know what the total thickness of decayable material is that is between the outer skin and the rigid Styrofoam?

And also I would like an opinion as to my contention that the wall would have to be accessed from the inside regardless of pre existing conditions to stiffen the skin whether a new unit or not with respect to a void being created by the impact regardless.

Thanks y'all
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Old 04-13-2016, 01:01 PM   #2
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The sidewall is a sandwich of gel coat, fiberglass mat on luan plywood, foam insulation, then the interior wall. There's very little air trapped in the wall. Delamination happens when moisture gets into the layers and causes swelling or separation of the fiberglass/gel coat/plywood sandwich. It doesn't immediately rot the plywood if caught and repaired. If the plywood is left wet, it will weaken and rot since it's not exterior plywood.

Since you say the accident wasn't your fault, the damage was done to the sidewall by the other driver, not you. If the insurance company want to argue that MORE of the sidewall needs to be replaced than the damage caused by the collision, I think you need to carefully assess how much more than the original collision damage needs repair and pay for that while the other driver's insurance picks up the damage caused by them.

I don't think you will win the argument that the collision caused pressure to burst the wall. Most collision damage I've seen to RV wall constructed like yours cracks or tears open the wall, not popping the skin loose in areas beyond the contact unless left un-repaired and exposed to weathering.
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Old 04-13-2016, 01:36 PM   #3
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Thank you for your thoughts.
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Old 04-13-2016, 02:35 PM   #4
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Just another thought

Yes I have heard that moisture is the cause of Delamination but is it for sure the only cause??

I stand to be corrected but from what I know......Movement from driving as well as the huge difference in expansion and contraction FG versus wood or Styrofoam nost certainly is one cause if not the main cause...No???
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Old 04-13-2016, 04:40 PM   #5
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The foam insulation is just glued or sandwiched in behind the plywood. I don't think expansion/contraction would cause delamination, unless there was contamination, bad materials, or worker incompetence. The wall is made into a monolithic whole, I've never seen normal use to cause breakdown of a sidewall. You could check with Winnebago and ask them if it's ever happened, but I don't think so.

Walls I've seen opened up, it's always been moisture in the plywood causing the problem. If your sidewalls show signs of delamination, it's usually traceable to a hole in the gel coat or a leak at a window, vent, light, door, etc. That's why it's recommended to check and re-do caulking at all those locations every 6 months or so.
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Old 04-13-2016, 04:45 PM   #6
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Not quite what I wanted to hear but thanks
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