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Old 12-05-2016, 12:32 AM   #1
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Spider Cracking

Well, more bad news as I was doing the 6 month wash and wax. We have spider cracking in an area on the roof. Location is above and behind the entry door near the vent above the kitchen. This was one of my fears after having the 2005 17b which had quite a number of spider crack repairs on both the roof and the side and several that were getting within a year of needing repair.
The worrisome part is that our trailer is just one year old, and nervous that this is going to be a recurring issue like the 17b.
The attached picture if you enlarge it, you will be able to see it. Approx 5 inches across and just at the beginning. They will ultimately worsen to the point of leaking if not repaired at some point. I will be going under the 2 yr warranty for this, but may wait on repairs till next fall to see if we have more to repair all at one time.
Since I'm 2 for 2 on Escape trailers having this issue, I have to assume that there are quite a few more out there with this malady. Maybe you have this, but didn't really know what you were looking at? Or you haven't been doing maintenance/wash/wax on the roof. I would like to hear if anyone has encountered similar gelcoat cracking.
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Old 12-05-2016, 12:40 AM   #2
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That is worrisome. How did you do the repairs on the 17? Living in Arizona, could this be a sun/heat issue for the gelcoat?
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Old 12-05-2016, 12:44 AM   #3
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Mine is eight years old and I start maintenance by washing the roof. I've not seen any spider cracks on mine.
Lots of green algae that needs removal here in Pacific Wet. Web site I checked for causes of spider cracks indicates ( for one ) temperature changes.
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Old 12-05-2016, 01:19 AM   #4
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The cracks are just in the gelcoat, and not likely at all to be through the fiberglass. It is a cosmetic issue. Still not good to look at. Being only a year old, I would let Escape know about it.
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Old 12-05-2016, 03:34 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Greg A View Post
Well, more bad news as I was doing the 6 month wash and wax. We have spider cracking in an area on the roof. Location is above and behind the entry door near the vent above the kitchen. This was one of my fears after having the 2005 17b which had quite a number of spider crack repairs on both the roof and the side and several that were getting within a year of needing repair.
The worrisome part is that our trailer is just one year old, and nervous that this is going to be a recurring issue like the 17b.
The attached picture if you enlarge it, you will be able to see it. Approx 5 inches across and just at the beginning. They will ultimately worsen to the point of leaking if not repaired at some point. I will be going under the 2 yr warranty for this, but may wait on repairs till next fall to see if we have more to repair all at one time.
Since I'm 2 for 2 on Escape trailers having this issue, I have to assume that there are quite a few more out there with this malady. Maybe you have this, but didn't really know what you were looking at? Or you haven't been doing maintenance/wash/wax on the roof. I would like to hear if anyone has encountered similar gelcoat cracking.
I think that as Escapes have a two year Guarantee, you should take it up with ETI directly.
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Old 12-05-2016, 06:48 AM   #6
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You should see my fiberglass canoe, it's got spider cracks all over it and it's never leaked, course it's a lot older then 2 year. As Jim mentioned, it's just the Gelcoat, I blame it on the fiberglass flexing while the Gelcoat doesn't.
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Old 12-05-2016, 08:57 AM   #7
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I had a patch of spider veins on my front curbside corner on my other Escape which I showed to Reace and he indicated a bird or other thing may have done that while towing but that it was cosmetic. It never got any worse.
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Old 12-05-2016, 09:16 AM   #8
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Well, more bad news as I was doing the 6 month wash and wax. We have spider cracking in an area on the roof. Location is above and behind the entry door near the vent above the kitchen. This was one of my fears after having the 2005 17b which had quite a number of spider crack repairs on both the roof and the side and several that were getting within a year of needing repair.
The worrisome part is that our trailer is just one year old, and nervous that this is going to be a recurring issue like the 17b.
The attached picture if you enlarge it, you will be able to see it. Approx 5 inches across and just at the beginning. They will ultimately worsen to the point of leaking if not repaired at some point. I will be going under the 2 yr warranty for this, but may wait on repairs till next fall to see if we have more to repair all at one time.
Since I'm 2 for 2 on Escape trailers having this issue, I have to assume that there are quite a few more out there with this malady. Maybe you have this, but didn't really know what you were looking at? Or you haven't been doing maintenance/wash/wax on the roof. I would like to hear if anyone has encountered similar gelcoat cracking.
wonder if fiberglass boats have this issue...or for that matter fiberglass trailers that use sheets of material rather than being laid up fiberglass.
May as well wonder if the new awning style will accelerate this type thing with the stress put on the upper roof fiberglass area with continued use.
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Old 12-05-2016, 09:17 AM   #9
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Greg, that looks to me to be from an impact of some kind. Maybe something struck it there either while it was parked or under tow.
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Old 12-05-2016, 09:19 AM   #10
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I know this does little to help in your case Greg, I am just posting it to visualize an extreme. This '76 Trillium had terrible crazing from sitting for many many years uncovered, never getting cleaned, with lots of snow load every year. When sanded down to the fibreglass, everything was solid there. No fibreglass repairs were needed at all. This was all around the trailer where the walls curve to become the roof, with it being worse at the front and rear.



These cracks can be easily repaired, though first one should make certain that the cause has been remedied. The best solution is to scratch them out, and force matching gel coat into them, then polished smooth.

A good remedy that stops dirt from getting into the cracks, though does not eliminate the visual is to use something like Capt. Tolley's crack sealant. I used this on my 19 when it showed a wee bit of crazing.
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Old 12-05-2016, 09:27 AM   #11
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I know this does little to help in your case Greg, I am just posting it to visualize an extreme. This '76 Trillium had terrible crazing from sitting for many many years uncovered, never getting cleaned, with lots of snow load every year. When sanded down to the fibreglass, everything was solid there. No fibreglass repairs were needed at all. This was all around the trailer where the walls curve to become the roof, with it being worse at the front and rear.
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wow....perhaps more research into fiberglass trailers is needed before deciding on this path. It is interesting in that a neighbors 2008 Casita does not have this issue when viewed a few months back....a random thought...wondering if the thickness of the underlying fiberglass mat has anything to do with this.
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Old 12-05-2016, 09:39 AM   #12
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Hi: Greg A... Maybe it's not the fault of the fiberglass but fall out from a UFO. Sorry I couldn't resist. Seriously we had a small tree limb fall on our 5.0 right at the edge of the raised part of the roof. It never got any worse and I always made sure it got extra wax on it. Alf
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Old 12-05-2016, 09:40 AM   #13
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wow....perhaps more research into fiberglass trailers is needed before deciding on this path. It is interesting in that a neighbors 2008 Casita does not have this issue when viewed a few months back....a random thought...wondering if the thickness of the underlying fiberglass mat has anything to do with this.
I already did the research for you. A 40 year old trailer had cosmetic issues only, and was put back into service. You really can't beat that.

Find me a 40 year old non-moulded fibreglass trailer with the same longevity. And this is not uncommon, just look at all the 70's Bolers and Trilliums in use now, many without any work done on them.

The one small area of crazing on my 19 was at least partial due to getting whacked with a falling branch.
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Old 12-05-2016, 09:52 AM   #14
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I already did the research for you. A 40 year old trailer had cosmetic issues only, and was put back into service. You really can't beat that.

Find me a 40 year old non-moulded fibreglass trailer with the same longevity. And this is not uncommon, just look at all the 70's Bolers and Trilliums in use now, many without any work done on them.

The one small area of crazing on my 19 was at least partial due to getting whacked with a falling branch.
yes that longevity is interesting and have no plans to have a trailer anywhere near that long..still curious though about the materials and the process used to make these critters.....the materials used in trailers and on what part of the trailer is evolving and perhaps this issue may be mitigated further with newer techniques and materials. Also wondering if this spider cracking fiberglass is also relevant to double hull fiberglass trailers like Bigfoot and Oliver with stiffer walls assuming of course if flexing has anything to with it..
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Old 12-05-2016, 09:57 AM   #15
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I was always under the impression that stress cracks will appear around edges or corners but these pictures indicate like several have said, impact damage perhaps.
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:16 AM   #16
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wow....perhaps more research into fiberglass trailers is needed before deciding on this path. It is interesting in that a neighbors 2008 Casita does not have this issue when viewed a few months back....a random thought...wondering if the thickness of the underlying fiberglass mat has anything to do with this.
Casita's can have the same cracking. Our 2006 had it around the rear window.
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:17 AM   #17
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so is spider cracks something that happens to a fiberglass trailer when it gets in golf ball size hail?

do know a low flying buzzard or an armadillo crossing the road will take out a corvette..
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:20 AM   #18
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Also wondering if this spider cracking fiberglass is also relevant to double hull fiberglass trailers like Bigfoot and Oliver with stiffer walls assuming of course if flexing has anything to with it..
Just to be clear, it is not the fibreglass that is crazing, but the finish coat. I would imagine even double hulled trailers can suffer the same issues.

A consistent hull thickness is important, and experience will help attain this. Fibreglass strands and resin are mixed and sprayed with a chopper style gun onto the moulds, of course after mould release and gelcoat are first applied. Lots of stuff from boats to bathtubs use a similar method.
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:37 AM   #19
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Hi: Jim Bennett... I once asked Reace if he would use a chop gun to speed up Mfg of trailers. He said NO!!! Alf
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:44 AM   #20
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That is worrisome. How did you do the repairs on the 17? Living in Arizona, could this be a sun/heat issue for the gelcoat?
Karen,
I can 86 the AZ sun as being he issue. The 17b spent its life in Oregon. Looked like the previous owner had the repairs done by a fiberglass shop.
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