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Old 03-01-2021, 05:58 PM   #1
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Crack in fiberglass sidewall

I am looking at a '96 38' Scenic Cruiser DP which has been garaged for 16 years when not in use (or camped in Yuma for the winter).


It's a clean unit but.... noticed a crack in the fiberglass shell just above floor level in the rear right of the coach. It is unpatched/not repainted (original decals as far as my untrained eyes can tell). It is uneven so the shell either side of the crack does not match flat. There is also roughness that runs at floor level about 5' back towards the rear. I looked where it would be inside (front end of bedroom), behind the bathroom closet) and see no delamination or rough texture inside.


Is it something I should be worried about enough to walk away?

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Old 03-02-2021, 07:01 AM   #2
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"Do you feel lucky?" That would make me very nervous. On the other hand if the price was thousands lower because of it.... I might suggest getting an inspector. Offer to share the cost with the seller and they would then have a selling tool if you did not buy. In the boating world nothing changes hands without an inspection or "Survey".



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Old 03-02-2021, 07:15 AM   #3
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….not familiar with this rig but RVs often develop fiberglass wall cracks at the corners of slide openings.....or along the floor beltline....many RVs derive part of their sidewall strength from the fiberglass and aluminum tube cage lamination....so a surface crack may suggest that an internal aluminum support tube/weld has failed….easy enough to fix but will require opening the sidewall and a subsequent fiberglass repair....
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Old 03-02-2021, 09:33 AM   #4
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….not familiar with this rig but RVs often develop fiberglass wall cracks at the corners of slide openings.....or along the floor beltline....many RVs derive part of their sidewall strength from the fiberglass and aluminum tube cage lamination....so a surface crack may suggest that an internal aluminum support tube/weld has failed….easy enough to fix but will require opening the sidewall and a subsequent fiberglass repair....
I'm with Old Scout on this^^, it seems to be a shifting of the framing. Your description is a little unclear, but it sounds like the shell has been forced outward/inward a bit, causing the crack. If so, and it is a shifting of the internal cage, personally I would walk away.

Pictures would help, if you are still serious.
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Old 03-02-2021, 09:59 AM   #5
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Thanks all. I tried to take a photo but it wasn't coming up well given it was in the garage.


This is the photo used in the ad, which shows the affected part. The crack is a couple of inches above the belt line which appears to be the floor line, just aft of the vertical centreline of the axle/wheel hub (within the same space vertically as the rear half of the wheel well). Doesn't show in this photo. The roughness in the fiberglass texture which extends from there to under the rear window and above the two rear storage hatches can be discerned.


Now that you say the framing may have come loose, I noticed there was a vertical depression in the fiberglass near the crack which could be one of the vertical metal frames.



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Old 03-02-2021, 12:31 PM   #6
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Given your description of the location, it appears to be close to or in line with the support for the awning. Could it be possible that the awning was subject to a high wind gust that compromised the glass or the frame behind it? No asking if you know the answer, but asking for anyone who might think that is a possibility.
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Old 03-02-2021, 12:38 PM   #7
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Given your description of the location, it appears to be close to or in line with the support for the awning. Could it be possible that the awning was subject to a high wind gust that compromised the glass or the frame behind it? No asking if you know the answer, but asking for anyone who might think that is a possibility.

I was just thinking that after looking at the photo. Entirely possible and a very plausible reason.








Walk away?


If I don't end up buying an RV, I could have the makings of an apprentice pre-purchase inspector!

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Old 03-02-2021, 02:53 PM   #8
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I was just thinking that after looking at the photo. Entirely possible and a very plausible reason.








Walk away?


If I don't end up buying an RV, I could have the makings of an apprentice pre-purchase inspector!

IMO, with the cause of the crack unknown and its location away from the usual crack areas like slide opening corners, I would pass this one by.
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