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Old 01-06-2013, 07:20 PM   #1
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What does delaminating mean?

If someone says:
Passenger sidewall is delaminating from water intrusion.

What does that mean? Obvious repairs are needed but is this a major job?
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:25 PM   #2
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To repair requires either removing and replacing the entire sidewall, although some do get an adequate repair by drilling holes, injecting glue and compressing the area so the glue bonds.
And you also need to stop the water intrusion!
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:27 PM   #3
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Laminated materials are layers of materials glued or fastened together. Delamination is when the layers begin to come apart. And yes, it is usually big job to repair.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:32 PM   #4
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How much are we talking about to repair correctly? It's a 37' 1999 SAFARI SAHARA they are asking $25k but I know I can get it around $22k.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:39 PM   #5
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Panels in the sidewall of a fiberglass sided RV are often built up of thin Luan plywood with a fiberglass cloth and resin coating, then gelcoat on that to make a smooth, glossy sidewall. If there are any places for water to get in behind the fiberglass, through a window or vent opening, the plywood will absorb water, swell up, and the fiberglass will start to come away from the plywood. The side of the RV will look like bubbled wallpaper. It is best repaired by replacing the panel (very expensive) or, as Mr_D said, drilling holes and injecting epoxy or some other adhesive, then applying pressure to the panel to try to get it to flatten out again.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoafan View Post
How much are we talking about to repair correctly? It's a 37' 1999 SAFARI SAHARA they are asking $25k but I know I can get it around $22k.
Newmar wants about $18,000 per side for a rig like our 41' DSDP under their discount program. Newmar doesn't use laminated walls so no chance of delamination but they did use an outer skin that can craze/crack and to fix also requires replacement of the outer wall. They no longer use that siding manufacturer BTW.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:49 PM   #7
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Properly repaired, delamination is expensive to fix. Sometimes you can patch an area with the right glue and some clamps. You have to be sure that the glue or epoxy you use will not melt the foam insulation and create more problems.

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Old 01-06-2013, 08:01 PM   #8
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Repairing delamination can cost anywhere from a few dollars to exceeding the value of the RV. Normally caused by water getting between the outer skin (fiberglas) and the luan plywood underneath. The luan is thin and crumbles after it has been wet for awhile. This makes repairs difficult, requiring the wall to be opened up. Depending on the wall construction, if the framing is wood that also can be damaged. Aluminum framing would not be affected. Inside the wall, sandwiched between the layers of luan is styrofoam, which limits the adhesives you can use because some will melt the foam..
Any water entry has to be corrected before attempting repairs and the area would need to dry completely...
Short answer - It can be a major undertaking.
Here's a typical layout of wall construction.


Hope this helps: I see I've repeated most of what has already been posted.. need to type faster...
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:07 PM   #9
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I had a 1999 Safari Zanzabar an it was all Aluminum and I didn't have that problem are you Sure it is Delaminating before you invest?
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoafan View Post
If someone says:
Passenger sidewall is delaminating from water intrusion.

What does that mean? Obvious repairs are needed but is this a major job?
It IS a MAJOR job.
Water has gotten into the wall and is rotting away the wood and steel structure. The glue that bonds the various materials(fiberglass siding, styrofoam, plywood, steel, etc) together can no longer do that. The inner wall is falling apart. The moisture will continue spread and rot away your rv until all the moisture is removed.

Most shops don't do many delam jobs because it is so labor intensive and the customer can't afford to pay them to do it right. Often the job would cost more than what the rv is worth.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:11 PM   #11
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in the boating world it means salvage....hopefully you are insured.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenkerb View Post
in the boating world it means salvage....hopefully you are insured.
In the rv world insurance doesn't cover repairs that are caused by neglet.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:32 PM   #13
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Thanks for the info, according to the owner this was caused by the owner installing a motorized awning himself. I guess he thought he can just drill screws into side.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoafan View Post
Thanks for the info, according to the owner this was caused by the owner installing a motorized awning himself. I guess he thought he can just drill screws into side.
Sorry, but this is a major job and can only be corrected by a small qualified rather rare rv shops.. I speak from experience having owned a boat works for twenty years in Fl. IMO the cost out weighs the current value of the unit?
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