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Old 07-25-2021, 09:23 AM   #1
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Cracked sidewall…

Has anyone dealt with a crack in their sidewalls. We have about a 10” crack on the drivers side at the rear bedroom slide. The crack has not grown since we purchased the bus last summer.

I was wondering if this is an issue because something broke behind the wall. Or is stressed related if the bus is not level before pulling out the slide. Nonetheless, I am going to try to fix it sometime this week by opening up the crack and refiberglassing it.

I will post the outcome.
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Old 07-25-2021, 03:53 PM   #2
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I have seen similar cracks on other coaches, but never on an Alpine. That doesn't mean they can't appear. The causes have ranged from "normal due to excessive twist while driving" to leveling procedures, to loose framing. All I can offer is that the cracking happens but in Alpines it seems to be rare.


Fixing, IMO, would depend first on what was the cause. Similar to a water leak, if you don't address the cause, it will return. Hopefully, someone with direct experience with the same issue, regardless of coach manufacturer, can point you in the right direction.


One caution. Seal the crack, immediately, even if only temporarily. Any water entry can begin the delamination process of the outer skin, and then you have a much greater problem. If the area surrounding the crack is already soft or bubbled, delam has begun and the crack may be a symptom rather than a cause.
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Old 07-25-2021, 05:04 PM   #3
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That 90 degree corner IS a sharp point/load point in any coach.


Agree, the area does need to be checked for water intrusion or other "curable" issues. But, if there is any chassis flex, this IS where it will be concentrated.
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Old 07-29-2021, 04:25 PM   #4
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Got the sidewall repaired finally. The job wasn’t that hard and came out pretty good.
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Old 07-29-2021, 08:07 PM   #5
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Nice work Ernie.
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Old 08-03-2021, 07:08 PM   #6
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Well the crack repair did not hold. Crazy, because I moved the bus to a new spot, auto leveled it, moved the slide out. I watched all this happen with no problems. Came back 1 he later and noticed all this(pics).

I was told to cut a relief cut in the fiberglass, fill it with flexible chalking and put a painted trim piece in it. I can’t find any examples on line. What kind of trim piece are they talking about.
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Old 08-03-2021, 07:25 PM   #7
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Pic of 3 new cracks. 1 each in the corner of the tail lights. And another in the gold paint.
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Old 08-03-2021, 07:28 PM   #8
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Pic 2 and 3
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Old 08-04-2021, 08:55 AM   #9
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Cracked sidewall…

Hey Ernieo, there was a repair of this type that was in the ACA web site before it went proprietary! I took a look and it does not look like it is in the new bank of information that is still remaining on their web site for some reason. Maybe someone still has it and can share it with you. Bummer!!!
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Old 08-04-2021, 09:49 AM   #10
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In your repair photo i can see the fiberglass has become separated from the body of the coach. You will need to inject a two part epoxy and clamp pressure to fix that before any fiberglass repair will work! www.delamrepair.com
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Old 08-04-2021, 10:19 AM   #11
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My 2004 has the same small cracks by the taillights. Unlike your sidewall cracks, these are only in a fiberglass skin that is not bonded to a substructure. It is a weak point, being at a corner and in a narrow bridge between two openings. Repair, if necessary, can be done from the backside.
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Old 08-04-2021, 11:30 AM   #12
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Yup, laminated end caps are structurally completely different that the wall structure and much easier to repair properly. End caps are no different than working on a FG boat.
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Old 08-05-2021, 09:52 PM   #13
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I have the same crack. It's been there for 4 years. I have had it sealed with caulking to keep the water out. I have read on here before that there is a weak point in the aluminum wall frame in this area. I also remember reading that the frame needs welding to repair. This is a much bigger job than skin repair and is the reason I have not tried the repair myself.

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f104/sli...ks-265273.html

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f104/cra...all-15847.html
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Old 08-06-2021, 07:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy29847 View Post
I have the same crack. It's been there for 4 years. I have had it sealed with caulking to keep the water out. I have read on here before that there is a weak point in the aluminum wall frame in this area. I also remember reading that the frame needs welding to repair. This is a much bigger job than skin repair and is the reason I have not tried the repair myself.

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f104/sli...ks-265273.html

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f104/cra...all-15847.html
I have heard the same thing. Would love to see a schematic of the structure.
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