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Old 06-11-2021, 06:57 AM   #1
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Clarity on paint checking issues

In my quest for a MH I have read a lot about the issue of paint checking on some of the older, "high end" MHs, which is what I am looking for. I have found some that have none, a little and some that have a lot, mainly in the darker colors but can bleed over to light as well. It is definitely a cosmetic issue but what is the structural consequence of the cracking? Will it continue? If a MH doesn't have any cracking, is it likely to remain so in the future even if exposed to high sun/heat exposure? I have read a few posts that hypothesize that the cracking, which is in the paint under the clearcoat will eventually crack the clearcoat and lead to water seeping thru to the panels underneath. Has that actually happened? I have found a few MHs that are mainly light in color with a stripe or two in darker colors that have some minor checking. I would like to quantify my risk if I would buy one of those units. Any help with defining this problem would be greatly appreciated. John
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Old 06-11-2021, 07:29 AM   #2
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When one says paint "checking", that is what looks like birds feet lifting the color coat into the clear coat which ultimately you can feel with your hand as small crevices.

This is common on mid 2000's RVs as the Filon available at that time had this issue. The only permanent repair is replacing the sidewall and repainting - a very large project that is costly.

You can sand down to the filon and prime / repaint but that might last a few years but isn't typically permanent.

It isn't a structural problem. Nothing will fall off the RV. Cosmetic only.

Polishing might help the initial problem a little bit, but likely won't affect it at all. Just removing the clear coat and repainting that is not worth that effort. You might as well repaint the base color coat as well if you are that deep into the repair.

Most just ignore it and use it to get a better price on the RV.
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Old 06-11-2021, 07:56 AM   #3
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Dav L gave a good summation.


Regarding your concern about eventual seepage of moisture, never heard of it and doubt if it would ever happen. Purely cosmetic concern and I have it on my coach. Knew about it ahead of time and did not consider it when negotiating. More pronounced in the dark colors, as mentioned, but not a concern for me, at least.
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Old 06-11-2021, 04:13 PM   #4
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Tks Larry, that's the kind of responses I am hoping to see. Owners who have actual experience or knowledge of this issue.
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Old 06-12-2021, 06:02 AM   #5
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To add, the checking happens, causes are many reasons. does it hurt anything, your eyes mainly...
If it degrades the clear can come off as moisture will start to break the bond.. delam..peel..

Being a painter and been asked to fix that stuff on old cars, RV's and boats.. I tend to shy away from purchasing any thing with that condition as the fix is worth more than rig in many cases...
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Old 06-12-2021, 06:10 AM   #6
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Paint checking or spider cracks

This subject (Paint checking or spider cracks) has been discussed in great length on this forum. If you like to read many more opinions, experiences, solutions and if it will cause delam read some of these prior threads:
https://www.google.com/search?q=pain...earch=irv2.com
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Old 06-13-2021, 01:07 PM   #7
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Paint "checking" is what sibe described, but the tiny hairlines visible in many high end coaches of the 2000's is technically not "checking". It's an imperfection in the fiberglass composite (from Crane Composites Co) that shows thru the paint. It's a heat-induced failure of the surface, but all the fiberglass experts insist it won't ever allow water penetration. And I mean materials scientists and engineers, not forum pseudo-experts (like me).


My '04 Tradition had it, and so did a friends 2000 Dream. Neither ever developed further problems - just the visible blemish when up close.
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Old 06-14-2021, 04:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
Paint "checking" is what sibe described, but the tiny hairlines visible in many high end coaches of the 2000's is technically not "checking". It's an imperfection in the fiberglass composite (from Crane Composites Co) that shows thru the paint. It's a heat-induced failure of the surface, but all the fiberglass experts insist it won't ever allow water penetration. And I mean materials scientists and engineers, not forum pseudo-experts (like me).


My '04 Tradition had it, and so did a friends 2000 Dream. Neither ever developed further problems - just the visible blemish when up close.
Gary great point, being a paint guy among other strange talents.. I need to realize those fibers, hairs, etc are normal and have no effect.. I find them normal and overlook.. most consumers will be alarmed..
Many RV are of the Fiberon or simliar sheet molded composite as well as thicker SMC reinforced with long strand fibers..
These composites will shrink as they "dry" out/age.. The fiberreinforcement material that was almost not visible, tends to show.

There is alot of talk on this all over the web, youtube.....

Being there are many variations in RV consruction Material,, TT/RV C's etc will have the thinner Fiberon styles in a compressed molded panel of interior /insulation/outside all in one sheet..

Then many other have large thicker molded sections of smc or fibeglass styles that are bonded together into a large shell, Mmany of those have a gel coat surface like older boats/corvettes etc..

Then some some in color are processed, wrapped in vinyl or striped etc..
Some are painted and others are hi end custom painted..

Many of the Painted RV's etc that have stripes or many colors are buried in a clearcoat.. This process can protect the panels but in some cases the extra material can cause issues..
The paint film can also shrink and contract or age at a different rate than the substrate.. showing more of the fibers, maybe enhancing the look or small cracks can occur.. Clears can get toasted by UV and split crack, yellow, peels..

There are some incredible coatings that hold up very well and can be applied to be forgiving over odd substrates but they come at a cost and to bad most RV companies may use the lowest bidder that meets their warranty standard...

OK my coffee is over, I need to fire up my paint booth and make some RV fun money...
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Old 06-14-2021, 07:53 AM   #9
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That is the clarity I was looking for

Tks to Gary Rvroamer and Sibe for providing the type of info that I need to make a decision on buying a used coach. I was viewing "paint checking" as a structural issue and one that would eventually cause damage to the wall itself. This has cleared it up for me and clarified it for what it is, a cosmetic issue. Obviously it will still affect the resale of a RV but not to the point that nobody wants to own it. Since it seems to be such a big concern of potential buyers of MHs in the year group, I think it would be nice if the info, particularly the info Gary discussed from the engineers and materials experts, could be in one place that would be easy to find in a search of the forum.

Thanks again to everyone that responded to my post. Hopefully, it will enable me to find a MH that my DW and I can enjoy without worrying about losing a ton of money when we sell in a few years.
John
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