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Old 06-17-2012, 09:07 PM   #1
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Front Cap Crack Cause? Repair info?

Purchased new 2002 Larado 27RL and now has a crack on front cap. If my memory is correct there were two options for material. I am sure they can be replaced but was also considering solid repair job. I do not believe it is fiberglass. I temprarly put a clear silicone caulk to fill crack which is apx 15" Is this common? Any once else know of repair material used? Thinking of body shop material that may be available. Years ago I had a friend use a material that was liquid and formed up solid as a rock and strong as steal. Not sure what it was but came from a body shop. Thanks! Jim
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:12 PM   #2
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check for cracks around the pin box, the cracking maybe caused by flexing. There have been some issues with the lippert chaisis, they make 80% of the frames for travel trailers and 5th wheels.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kro1957 View Post
Purchased new 2002 Larado 27RL and now has a crack on front cap. If my memory is correct there were two options for material. I am sure they can be replaced but was also considering solid repair job. I do not believe it is fiberglass. I temprarly put a clear silicone caulk to fill crack which is apx 15" Is this common? Any once else know of repair material used? Thinking of body shop material that may be available. Years ago I had a friend use a material that was liquid and formed up solid as a rock and strong as steal. Not sure what it was but came from a body shop. Thanks! Jim
the material on your rv might be Filon Looks like fiberglass. If it is a stress Crack they would probably take a section out and replace, then paint or gelcoat to match.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:23 PM   #4
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I had the same problem with a Fleetwood Prowler Lynx 5th wheel. I removed the cap and called the manufacturer listed on a label inside. The caps are a plastic, not fiberglass. They said they continually have problems with OEM installers. Screws are only supposed to be across the top. There are tabs on the sides that fit under the trim. No trim screws are to be through the tabs, but between them. I had several in the tabs and expansion/contraction caused it to crack. I talked to a plastics supplier and they recommended epoxy with fiberglass mat reinforcement. I sanded the outer 3-4 inches on the back side of the top and sides and applied 2 overlapping layers of mat and epoxy. It set up nicely. I sanded any points to prevent sticking on the framing after installation. I also drilled the holes across the top a little larger than the screws to allow some movement. Then applied Dicor roof lap sealant that levels itself and stays flexible. I used non-leveling dicor under the side trim and also a bead down the sides. It really is nice now, just like the manufacturer prescribed. No stress, no cracks, no caulking gooped on the cap cracks. They have disappeared topping it with gelcoat. Yes, a lot of work, but worth it to me. It takes three guys to get the cap off and on safely.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:45 PM   #5
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We have a company that can gelcoat very nicely if it is cracked or damaged without doing a whole section. can be done.
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:39 AM   #6
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front cap repair and gel coat

To be more clear, I just applied a little gel coat on the front of the cracks that had been reinforced and repaired from the back using epoxy and mat.
I didn't mean to imply I did the entire cap over in gel coat. All the graphics would then need to be reapplied.

To add to my previous post...The real key to the problem is side trim screws going through the tabs on the sides of the cap. Removing the side trim can reveal if that has happened. Relocate the trim screws to save future cracks.

Mine had a unique problem. Fleetwood used 3 styrofoam ribs behind the cap for stability. The center one was deeper than the other two located half way between the center and the side trim. I found a center rib was used for one of the sides, raising the side. The factory "fixed" it by using way too many screws to pull it down. It was way too solid there so both top corners cracked (one broke off). Another screw on the opposite side was through the cap and it cracked there.
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