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Old 09-05-2005, 05:43 PM   #1
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I bought a use fifth wheel from a dealer, brought it home, and washed it. Several days later I notice the bedroom wall, inside and out, has swelled, bubbled, and delaminated (it is smooth-sided fiberglass). Upon closer inspection I discover a visible gap in the caulking above the window! Apparently while on the lot the rain did not enter, but while washing it the water poured in causing the damage.

Question #1: Roughly how much would it cost to repair something like this (it is a 33' unit)?

Question #2: Should the dealer accept some, or all, of the responsibility for this? I know I should have caught it during my inspection prior to buying, but wouldn't you expect a dealer to inspect all caulk before selling, even a used unit?

Thanks for your replies!
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Old 09-05-2005, 05:43 PM   #2
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I bought a use fifth wheel from a dealer, brought it home, and washed it. Several days later I notice the bedroom wall, inside and out, has swelled, bubbled, and delaminated (it is smooth-sided fiberglass). Upon closer inspection I discover a visible gap in the caulking above the window! Apparently while on the lot the rain did not enter, but while washing it the water poured in causing the damage.

Question #1: Roughly how much would it cost to repair something like this (it is a 33' unit)?

Question #2: Should the dealer accept some, or all, of the responsibility for this? I know I should have caught it during my inspection prior to buying, but wouldn't you expect a dealer to inspect all caulk before selling, even a used unit?

Thanks for your replies!
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Old 09-05-2005, 08:21 PM   #3
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......check your sales contract....if less than 3 days take it back of more than 3 days negociate-negociate-negociate.....geofkaye
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Old 09-06-2005, 05:59 AM   #4
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A lot of people do not understand the so-called "3-day rule". In MOST cases it applies only to certain items purchases and MOST have to be made at an in-home sale.

They do not generally cover vehicles and RV's.

As for you causing the damage from a one time wash job, it is very doubtful that the damage occured from a one time wash job. The seam had been open for some time as the damage occures over a period of months.

You can sometime make a small repair at a window by removing the window and working a water base glue into the area and clamping the area. Most contact cements use a hdro-carbon base and will melt the styrene wall insulation.

The problem is generally caused by water intrusion which causes the Luan plywood used to back the Filon skin to separate.

To properly repair the window leak, you should totally remove the window and reseal it using the proper Butyl tape when replacing. Placing a bead of caulk there is a stop-gap measure.

The delaer may or may not have noticed the bubbled side walls. I would talk to himand see if they would assist inthe repair. Other than that, it is pretty much "Buyer Beware" and it is up to the purchaser to throughly inspect the unit prior to purchase.

Sorry that you got into such a purchase.

Ken
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Old 09-06-2005, 10:00 AM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Should the dealer accept some, or all, of the responsibility for this? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sorry to hear about the delamination on your new to you trailer. I did a search on 'delamination' and had 124 hits, you may want to read up on the issues others have posted about concerning this problem.

It might be in your best interest to obtain the name of the person the dealer obtained the trailer from and ask them if they were offered less on it on a trade in due to its delamination problem. If they were and the dealer denies any knowledge of the delamination you might want to ask why they would offer less for it from the previous owner due to a delamination problem and then pass it off to you, denying any knowledge of the pre-existing condition.

It's doubtful the dealer took it in trade and didn't notice the delamination, possible but doubtful.
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