crazy to not cover Escape in So Cal? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 05-30-2016, 01:16 AM   #1
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Question crazy to not cover Escape in So Cal?

Hi all

Excited to be getting a 2017 21'

we need to keep it by the side of our home in Los Angeles, but due to space we are limited to what we can do to cover it.

We do NOT want to put a canvas or plastic cover over it, for a variety of reasons.

so our options are:

an inexpensive canopy.... however i can't find one that has legs long enough.

an example of one is here
Universal Canopy - White - 12' x 20' - Sam's Club

or

a fancy canopy. Much more $ and more work to put together.
most people seem to recommend Versatube

or

somehow rig up a number of shade sails. I'd have to rig up poles somehow.
not much wind here, so that should not be a problem.

or

simply leave the Escape travel trailer exposed to the sun, daily.

the downside to this, other than the UV exposure, is that a fair amount of black dust from various things drops from the sky, so the trailer would get grimy and dirty pretty quickly.

Are we crazy to not cover Escape in So Cal? In terms of the UV damage it would get.

thanks.
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Old 05-30-2016, 01:49 AM   #2
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I'm in AZ which is pretty brutal and never have covered trailers. Wax twice a year Spring n Fall with a good quality wax, I use Meguiars Premium Marine, and never seems to be a problem with chalking unless the maintenance isn't done.
I recently brought back two trailers that had always been in AZ and had chalked out pretty bad. A 96 and 97 Scamp by adding an orbital polisher and 3M Marine Restorer then the Meguiars. Both of their shells came back to almost new after years of neglect in AZ sun. Actually, think the 96 came back to better than new, as you could use it as a mirror to shave in the morning.
If ya want to spend the money, Home Depot has some pretty good prices on the carport/versatube which I might consider when we get away from this HOA in a few years.
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Old 06-04-2016, 02:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg A View Post
I'm in AZ which is pretty brutal and never have covered trailers. Wax twice a year Spring n Fall with a good quality wax, I use Meguiars Premium Marine, and never seems to be a problem with chalking unless the maintenance isn't done.
I recently brought back two trailers that had always been in AZ and had chalked out pretty bad. A 96 and 97 Scamp by adding an orbital polisher and 3M Marine Restorer then the Meguiars. Both of their shells came back to almost new after years of neglect in AZ sun. Actually, think the 96 came back to better than new, as you could use it as a mirror to shave in the morning.
If ya want to spend the money, Home Depot has some pretty good prices on the carport/versatube which I might consider when we get away from this HOA in a few years.
Thanks Greg - you sure do know your stuff... So this is great to read from you.



Our Casita has been almost always covered with a Calmark cover
But some dust has come thru the fabric and is on the roof

Any suggestions for a product to get that junk off before we sell it in spring 2017?

Mild soap and elbow grease isn't enough to get it 100% off.

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Old 06-04-2016, 02:53 PM   #4
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Bio-kleen Black Streak Remover did a great job on the roof of my Escape. Didn't take a lot of elbow grease either.
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Old 06-04-2016, 03:13 PM   #5
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Hate to be a contrarian, well not really.

I kept a boat in the Med. , including North Aftrica, for many years. My opinion is based on my observations over the years. You get a free ride with new fiberglass. Waxed or not it will continue to look good for several years. But UV will do its' damage. There are two levels. The first is the chalking and as Greg has pointed out it's possible to bring it back to a nice shine with various amounts of elbow grease.

But, in addition to chalking there's more serious damage in the making. At some point fiberglass exposed to lots of UV is going to start getting fine surface cracks appearing eventually developing into larger cracks in the gelcoat. At that point it's now major damage.

It's sort of like human skin and suntanning. At first sun effects appear harmless but exposure is cumulative. So, depending on how long you plan to keep the trailer, it's up to you. My opinion is protecting the surface is worth doing even if the effect isn't immediately evident.

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Old 06-04-2016, 03:47 PM   #6
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Keeping the trailer covered may lower the risk of headliner delamination.
Headliner Separation and Sagging
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Old 06-04-2016, 03:49 PM   #7
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Ron brings up some good points, I believe he is referring to what is called "crazing." So far in all my trailers, which were all 80's and 90's, and one 95 fiberglass boat in AZ, the only crazing was very minimally on the Scamps around the rivet points where there is stress placed on the fiberglass shell from the pull of the rivets. Never had any crazing or hairline cracking in the shells themselves, with the exception of the 05 17B Escape which had been an OR trailer all it's life. What I determined was the cause of the crazing in the 05 Escape was two fold. The thinness of the fiberglass layup used in comparison to the Scamps. It was also on the roof where it became obvious that either the previous owner or mechanics had walked on the roof (a big no no) and the crazing was in their footprint pattern. This was probably caused not totally by UV damage over the years, which I agree with Ron can contribute, but a combination of that and the pressure put on the fiberglass by whomever walked up there. If no one had ever walked on the roof, probably would not have had crazing spots there. If crazing does occur in later years, fortunately, it is not that expensive or difficult a repair other than matching the gel coat.
The bad thing in AZ with covering a molded fiberglass trailer is with our dry climate, dust, and prevalent wind the dust gets under the covers and will put permanent swirls in your gel coat all over the trailer. You won't get them out. My only option here is to eventually put up one of the versatube covers that doesn't make contact with the trailer. In the meantime, the new wax formulations like the Meguiars Premium Marine that didn't exist previously and have vastly improved I believe will do the job if applied twice a year religiously.
For now, our 19 spends the summers in the White Mountains of AZ nestled under the shade of lodge pole pines and out of the brutal Phoenix sun.
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Old 06-04-2016, 04:03 PM   #8
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all good info ... thanks everyone.

my current thought is to rig up some shade sails... so they don't touch the trailer, and they drastically reduce UV (I'll make sure the ones i get do) but also once up... no need to change or move them.

and also reduce dust on the Escape.

and fairly cheap.

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Old 06-04-2016, 04:06 PM   #9
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I think that is a good plan as you have quite a bit of dust and wind out in your area as well. I want to see pics of what you do, I might consider doing the same thing on our lot since it is partially protected with the trees anyway.
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:14 PM   #10
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check out: EQ-WineCovers.com

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Old 06-04-2016, 06:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg A View Post
It was also on the roof where it became obvious that either the previous owner or mechanics had walked on the roof (a big no no) and the crazing was in their footprint pattern. This was probably caused not totally by UV damage over the years, which I agree with Ron can contribute, but a combination of that and the pressure put on the fiberglass by whomever walked up there. If no one had ever walked on the roof, probably would not have had crazing spots there. If crazing does occur in later years, fortunately, it is not that expensive or difficult a repair other than matching the gel coat.
Based on my observations I have to somewhat disagree with you Greg. How's that for being a polite Canadian.

The crazing is sort a chicken and egg situation. I've seen crazing on vertical surfaces not subject to much stress. My view is that long term UV exposure to unprotected, unwaxed gelcoat degrades its' integrity and makes it weaker. So, yes, stepping on it or stressing it might bring crazing on sooner but chances are the damage is already done. Not that you can't create stress cracks even in new gelcoat.

Even in places like Tunisia I covered my boat when leaving it for a few months. It's a lot more work to get a cover on a sailboat than a trailer but it was worth it to me. That area is subject to Siroccos, blowing red dust, and while lot's did find its way under the cover I didn't see any scratching because of it. Maybe I was just lucky.

At lastly, while I can fix gelcoat defects in my sleep, I've helped all sorts of people with repairs and most of them have a horror of using something like gelcoat.
So my view is keep it in the best possible condition and avoid having to deal with damage later. And to the forum regular who is about to do a first time gelcoat repair, as Red Green would say, "I'm rooting for ya."

Ron
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:00 PM   #12
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I really don't think we are disagreeing with each other Ron, but I appreciate the polite Canadian. I do agree with you that long term UV on unprotected gel coat will degrade. I do think the modern waxes provide a high degree of protection, while a shed or garage would be the best solution. Actual covers that touch the surface of a trailer here in AZ are probably not a good idea and cause their own kind of damage to the gel coat, but they would be good solutions in other climates. I think the takeaway in all this is that folks need to be providing UV protection for the trailers whether it be waxing regularly, a cover where appropriate, or shed/garage.
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:12 PM   #13
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I think the takeaway in all this is that folks need to be providing UV protection for the trailers whether it be waxing regularly, a cover where appropriate, or shed/garage.


Ron
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:53 PM   #14
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We see fiberglass boats slowly .. but surely .. being damaged by UVs.

Our trailer shell is only 1/8 +\- inch and I have found it as thin as 1/10th inch. I would guess thinner would be affected more?
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Old 07-04-2016, 06:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg A View Post
I'm in AZ which is pretty brutal and never have covered trailers. Wax twice a year Spring n Fall with a good quality wax, I use Meguiars Premium Marine, and never seems to be a problem with chalking unless the maintenance isn't done.
I recently brought back two trailers that had always been in AZ and had chalked out pretty bad. A 96 and 97 Scamp by adding an orbital polisher and 3M Marine Restorer then the Meguiars. Both of their shells came back to almost new after years of neglect in AZ sun. Actually, think the 96 came back to better than new, as you could use it as a mirror to shave in the morning.
If ya want to spend the money, Home Depot has some pretty good prices on the carport/versatube which I might consider when we get away from this HOA in a few years.
Hey Greg

Thanks for the tips - on a couple tiny scuffs on our Casita I used the 3M Marine Restorer and it immediately fixed them beautifully.

Don't have any chalking at all anywhere. A really careful cleaning got rid of the LA dust and bird poop. (Plus it usually has the Calmark on it)

Just used the Nu Finish 16 oz. Liquid Car Polish on the front and it looks very good but it isn't amazing. What Meguiars option do you like?

Is it the Meguiar's M6332 Flagship Premium Marine Wax - 32 oz. ?


I do have a power buffer I can use, if need be. Or just elbow grease.

thanks.
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:45 AM   #16
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I started out using Star Brite Premium Marine Polish. I've always been a fan of MEGUIARS and tried MEGUIARS Flagship Premium Marine Wax. I was very disappointed as it was harder to use and often left a dull finish. Despite being left with a full bottle at over $25.00, I went back to the Star Brite. My labor is worth too much to use the wrong (to me) product.
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:41 AM   #17
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FWIW, in an entirely unscientific test, last fall before heading cross country I used Starbrite on half of the hood of the truck and half of the front of the trailer, used Meguiar's Ultimate Liquid synthetic wax on the other half, 2 coats of each. Going by how water beaded off it was no contest, Starbright lasted at least double the time the Ultimate did. Bugs also came off the StarBrite somewhat better.

I did think the Ultimate looked a little better, at least for a while.
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