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Old 10-10-2012, 12:00 PM   #1
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Fiberglass "Waffling" on older Monaco RV

I have an older '87/88 Monaco RV and the side panels of both sides of the vehicle have developed some waviness that bows out from the sides that get worse with temperature. Apparently the side panels are restricted in some areas and then when the temperature requires the panel to expand it bows out. It looks terrible and I would think that others might have experienced this same condition.

Has anyone had to deal with this? What would anyone suggest that could be done with this. Would I have to cut out the bad panel? Can flat fiberglass panels be purchased that could be spliced in? I can post a picture if no one has seen this before. I know that I haven't seen it.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:12 PM   #2
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Pics would help. It sounds like delamination though. It's caused by water intrusion between the luan and fiberglass skin lamination. Not an easy or cheap fix.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:26 PM   #3
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often it's not a issue of leaks....although that's the first thing that comes into one's mind. Truth is, heat or extreme temperature changes over extended periods of time can also cause "delamination". Our coachmen had "waviness", but it wasn't because of leaks (it never leaked a day in its life). The de-lam was random, in some spots it started from the middle of the sidewall (nowhere near any windows etc), and ran down. Obviously water didn't cause that
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:22 PM   #4
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The water intrusion delams are kind of a lost cause I think? You can't glue rotted wood. If somebody just didn't use enough glue in the lamination process or it's temp related somehow, there might be something there to work with?

If the delam goes to the edge of a panel where you can pull a molding and access the delamed area with more cement, it might be an easy repair? Otherwise repair is going to depend on what's involved in getting glue to that area.

Bulges over the area of the rear axle can often be attributed to structural problems often seen when the hitch has been overloaded.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:17 PM   #5
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The bulges on the sidewall are delamination. Water intrusion is usually stated to be the most common cause. However, it is not always water intrusion that causes delamination. Occasionally delamination is evident, but there has been not water intrusion. High humidity can factor, as well as defective factory glue that deteriorates with age.

The sidewall sheeting looks strong, but it's not. The fiberglass sheeting is only .045" - .055" thick. It is glued to 1/8" luan (junk plywood) sheeting. As soon as the fiberglass sheet is no longer firmly glued to the luan plywood sheet, you have delamination. In hot weather, the fiberglass sheet will expand more than the cooler luan behind it, causing a very visible bubble.

If water intrusion is the cause of your delamination, the biggest culprit causing water intrusion into the sidewalls is the cap on the seam where the roof joins to the wall. It has to be kept well caulked, as also do the window frames to the coach wall.

The only way to repair this is to remove the fiberglass sheet, and replace any luan plywood that is rotten. Then a new fiberglass sheet is glued to the luan plywood. It is very time consuming work, requiring a new paint job when the wall repair is finished.

***I could take this opportunity to express my opinions about the use of luan plywood as interior sheeting for the roof and walls in our expensive motor coaches, but no one asked my opinions when they were considering this cheapskate method of building a motor coach, so I'll just remain silent and keep my opinions to myself.***
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:08 PM   #6
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The repair is to squirt epoxy resin behind the fiberglass and 'reglue' it to the luan.. There are shops that can do this..

or DIY: http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/c...repair-kit.htm
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:51 AM   #7
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Wow - Great responses. This is my first post on this site and I have to say that I am impressed with the level of support that can be had here.

It is obvious to me that I need to post some pictures to give a clearer idea of what is going on. As I assumed, it is a big deal to try to fix this and probably not worth it on such an older coach. I was not aware that the fiberglass outer sheet was glued to a luan sheet, probably 1/4" thick. There probably was delamination first and then the temperature caused differing expansion rates and resulted in the bulging.

I will try to get pictures to see if anyone has some suggestions about fixing it. I work with fiberglass on my racecar and can paint it, but I am only willing to put just so much effort into fixing it.

Thanks again.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimkate View Post
The bulges on the sidewall are delamination. Water intrusion is usually stated to be the most common cause. However, it is not always water intrusion that causes delamination. Occasionally delamination is evident, but there has been not water intrusion. High humidity can factor, as well as defective factory glue that deteriorates with age.

The sidewall sheeting looks strong, but it's not. The fiberglass sheeting is only .045" - .055" thick. It is glued to 1/8" luan (junk plywood) sheeting. As soon as the fiberglass sheet is no longer firmly glued to the luan plywood sheet, you have delamination. In hot weather, the fiberglass sheet will expand more than the cooler luan behind it, causing a very visible bubble.

If water intrusion is the cause of your delamination, the biggest culprit causing water intrusion into the sidewalls is the cap on the seam where the roof joins to the wall. It has to be kept well caulked, as also do the window frames to the coach wall.

The only way to repair this is to remove the fiberglass sheet, and replace any luan plywood that is rotten. Then a new fiberglass sheet is glued to the luan plywood. It is very time consuming work, requiring a new paint job when the wall repair is finished.

***I could take this opportunity to express my opinions about the use of luan plywood as interior sheeting for the roof and walls in our expensive motor coaches, but no one asked my opinions when they were considering this cheapskate method of building a motor coach, so I'll just remain silent and keep my opinions to myself.***
Everything Jim said, PLUS, dark paint job colors cause high temperatures which can cause the glue to release(delamination), and fiberglass gasing (ruined paint job). I've purchased two different brands of fiberglass sheet for delamination repair and both say NOT to paint it in dark colors. Yet what do the coach manufactures do?
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimkate View Post
***I could take this opportunity to express my opinions about the use of luan plywood as interior sheeting for the roof and walls in our expensive motor coaches, but no one asked my opinions when they were considering this cheapskate method of building a motor coach, so I'll just remain silent and keep my opinions to myself.***
I think you need to be familiar with how luan disintegrates when it gets wet to appreciate what you're alluding to here. If that knowledge were more commonly available, I doubt seriously the numbers of coaches built using it would be as high as what we have out there now. Consumer indignity over it, similar to what happened when the Chinese sheet metal used in many of the mid seventies vehicles built by the big 3 rusted out way too quickly, would have forced the change many years ago.

Armed with that knowledge/experience, I doubt it's possible I could agree with you any more than I do? Luan has no business being used in the RV industry. -Al
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:31 AM   #10
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Pictures

Here are some pics of the problem. Has anyone successfully dealt with this? The motorhome had it when I bought it so I don't have the history as to when and how it appeared.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:43 AM   #11
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The driver's side of my '89 Winnebago has the exact same waves in it. They were there when I purchased it this summer. I was thinking about drilling some small holes and spraying some 3M adhesive into the cavity the sealing the holes. I'm not about to start replacing panels.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:18 AM   #12
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I read about a fellow drilling holes and injecting glue behind the bowed panel. He put a few boards against the panel with "kickers" to the ground holding pressure against the repair for a couple days. After repairing the small holes he said all was good again. I'm assuming his was not water damage.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:33 AM   #13
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Here are some pics of the problem. Has anyone successfully dealt with this?
Yes, its alot of DIY work and you have to do it in a somewhat controlled environment. Can't be too cold and the side of the MH will be opened up. A repair shop would charge more to fix it than what your MH is worth. There is no quik/easy fix for what I see in your pics. Sorry.

Here are some companys that sell & ship the siding at a reasonable price($20-$22/linear ft).
Filon www.rvsurplus.net
Lumilux www.factoryrvsurplus.com
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:29 PM   #14
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Again, drilling holes, squirting epoxy in and clamping (as shown in the DIY kit) is the way to do it without taking the sheet off..

In this particular case, I doubt hole would even have to be drilled as the edges are already lifted and seams broken..
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