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Old 11-26-2014, 10:56 AM   #15
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I probably shouldn't have nit-picked about the sidewall material, but I'll explain a bit further. Most coaches use Filon or a similar plastic sheet product for the composite sidewalls. It's not molded - it is part of a class of materials called "fiberglass reinforced plastics" or FRP that are sold in sheets or coils. It has a somewhat hard & shiny surface that many people call "gel coat", but it's not the same stuff as is sprayed into a mold to form the hard top surface of a molded fiberglass piece. Maybe there isn't much practical difference from an owner's view point, though.

FRPs are often clear-coated to give them a nice shine, but there are high-gloss varieties available too. Coaches with full body paint wouldn't use high gloss Filon - it would just make painting more difficult.

The front and rear caps, however, are molded fiberglass, layed up with hard gel coat glass as the exterior layers followed by coarser glass (lots of fiber) layers to give it structural strength. An entirely different process than the laminated sidewalls.

Filon is a trademark brand of Crane Composites. They make more than a dozen different sheet products under the Filon name. And yes, they sometimes use the term "gel coat" to describe the surface of the sheet.
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Old 11-26-2014, 12:09 PM   #16
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Navimama,

I too have the same coach. No crazing on ours but am nervous about it.

Is there anything that can be put on to help prevent it? Someone mentioned zep or is there a wax or uv inhibitor that can help prevent crazing if you have not gotten it yet?

Also, is crazing ubiquitous throughout a brand and model? in other words; if Navimama gets it on there 2008 Navigator will all other 2008 Navigators also get it?

Thanks,

Stuart
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Old 11-27-2014, 08:54 AM   #17
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The tiny cracks are likely to occur on most any early-mid 2000's coach with a dark color paint, e.g. black, dark blue, dark green, etc. Fleetwood, American Coach, Newmar, Monaco/HR/Beaver, National RV, Country Coach all used Filon from Crane Composites, so all are susceptible to the same problem. The only way to delay or prevent it is to avoid exposure to direct sunlight on the dark paint - it is heat build-up that causes the defect. Nothing you can put on it will help.

Coaches stored inside are far less exposed to direct sun. Coaches in the sunny south are more likely to be affected, or affected sooner, than those that stay in the less intense, shorter summer north. Shade is better than beaches.
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Old 11-27-2014, 09:07 AM   #18
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Navimama, it happens to all of us, and has been going on since they began making fiberglass coach panels. We have had over the years an 85 Country Coach that did this only in the dark colored stripes, 95 Dynasty only in the dark colored stripes, and now this 07 light colored Navigator just barely showing a few. Only way around it is to buy it new, have it delivered to your indoor storage facility covered, and camp inside the storage place,����. JMO. Randy
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Old 11-27-2014, 09:22 AM   #19
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I answering one post as to the ZEP, I wouldn't apply that to a full body paint job. Regarding the fiberglass/Filon whatever these panels were manufactured with a defect from 04 thru about 06 before the issue was resolved with the new manufacturing procedure. It's a shame it has to happen and it was NOT just one manufacture of coaches that had the problem. I've seen this problem on various coaches in our park. I guess you just have to deal with it but when it comes time to sell or trade, well that's when we'll have to bite the bullet.
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Old 11-27-2014, 06:38 PM   #20
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I have a 2009 Winn. Journey built in the first half of 2008 - it was one of the first 09's off the line. I purchased it in 2010 new and noticed very fine hairline cracks most of which emanated from the window cutouts. They were on both sides of the coach but not everywhere. Fortunately, I was at the Winnebago factory for service at the time and when the coach was returned for the day, the lighting was such that they were visible. Pointed them out to the service advisor and he immediately brought the service supervisor out who said without hesitation - that the sidewalls would have to be replaced under warranty.
The problem affected a number of Class A coaches built around that time and was caused by a batch of defective fiberglass panels they received from the supplier. I believe that Winnebago was not the only manufacturer affected. It took 7 weeks to repair and well over 7 months to get all the bugs out. It is a very invasive process as both caps need to be removed and the roof-sidewall joint detached to remove and replace the walls as does everything going through or attached to the walls.
We were boaters before getting an RV and I was very familiar with FG crazing and though that was the issue. As other have pointed out, there is no gel coat on RV panels so that was not the problem.
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Old 11-28-2014, 05:20 PM   #21
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Well Gang,
Yep, the old "Crazing" is a common occurrence on many brands/years/model of coaches. And, no, it's not limited to only the side walls. I've seen it on many front and rear caps too. And no, it's not limited to "Black" or darker colors either. I've seen it on "White" coaches and, I've also seen it on non-full body painted coaches. You are correct that the darker colors will accentuate the problem.

And, I've talked with a few owners that have spent TONS of money having their coaches repainted only to have the problem reoccur a few years later. Once it starts, there's predominately no way of stopping its spread. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen, period.

Ours is an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 CAT and it showed some really small signs of it a couple of years ago but, I just found some on the sides. Ours is called the "Slate Blue" color scheme. It's not dark but, it's also not light in color. I hate that stuff. It devalues any coach it rears its ugly head on. Our coach has been in garages or covers for it's entire life and yet, it's starting to show signs of it, approximately 10-11 years old. That sucks.
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Old 11-29-2014, 03:28 PM   #22
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"Crazing" is a different issue than the short, hairline subsurface defects of the early 2000's Filon panels. Crazing is in the surface (the gel coat) and looks like cracked eggs. The Filon defect is subsurface and actually just a cosmetic problem. In between the two is fiberglass pitting, which is caused by moisture in the laminate below the fiberglass. It literally bursts out when heated by the sun and makes a bubble or pit in the surface. Pitting is caused by improper fabrication of the laminated sidewall, while the Filon cracks were inherent in the Filon material and not the fault of the RV maker. Crazing is typically caused by flexing of the substrate or frame, but may also be simply a poor choice of the fiberglass compound used for the gel coat. A very hard surface coat makes for a nice shine, but too hard and it cracks under pressure. You often see crazing where fiberglass has been struck by something.
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