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Old 04-23-2016, 06:38 PM   #1
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What is that vinyl stuff on the walls? .......

So I just toured up at ETI and am wondering. What is that vinyl padded stuff on the walls?
Is it durable?
What happens if a leak somewhere causes water to run between it and the FG exterior wall?
How would you know?
And how would you dry it out?
Thanks,
Rosalyn
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Old 04-23-2016, 07:10 PM   #2
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Foam backed Vinyl, I think the Escape site says its R-5. Reace made the wood floor ride up on ridges so any water would go out weep holes out the rear of the bottom shell.
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Old 04-23-2016, 07:20 PM   #3
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Many a mosquito has lost its life on that vinyl over eight years and none has left a lasting impression.
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Old 04-23-2016, 08:13 PM   #4
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Foam backed Vinyl, I think the Escape site says its R-5. Reace made the wood floor ride up on ridges so any water would go out weep holes out the rear of the bottom shell.
But,.......if water leaked between the shell and this foam backed vinyl, wouldn't the foam just absorb the water, become wet, and then eventually mildew?
While I appreciate the tell tale weepholes, wouldn't they only leak IF the amount of moisture surpassed what the foam could hold?
I quess I am having a hard time understanding how the foam wouldn't get wet if there was a leak?
And if it was a small leak, one might not even know they had the leak, because the weepholes would never drain, and eventually the vinyl backed foam would mildew?
Ros
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Old 04-23-2016, 08:39 PM   #5
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Yes any rv can leak, and could be undetectable behind. The other forum has many examples over the years of this. Even a scamp belly band which others said was impossible to leak since it is fiberglased over. Was it the kamper bob scamp? Maintence is the key. You can pay to have a rv leak test done where they pressurize the trailer and go around and spray every hull penetration with soapy water. This can be done as much and as frequently as your wallet will allow.

If the foam is closed cell it might not absorb water as open cell does. A call to escape might be able to tell you, I bet they would send you a piece to test out yourself if you paid for the postage.
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosalyn View Post
What happens if a leak somewhere causes water to run between it and the FG exterior wall?
How would you know?
And how would you dry it out?
Thanks,
Rosalyn
A probable answer is that if there was a leak it would be at a fitting that passes from the exterior to the interior and the foam would have a cut edge next to the fitting. I'm guessing that if there was a leak it would likely show up as a drip at the junction between the fitting and the edge of the foam.

Since the shell is pretty water tight and caulking is usually pretty easy to check for integrity the issue isn't high on my list of concerns.

Ron
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:26 PM   #7
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Personally, I'd be worried about my stress levels.
Doctor asked me about my stress levels and I said, "I don't have stress, I cause stress".
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:52 PM   #8
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Yes, the foam could certainly hold water from a leak at a shell penetration such as a window or vent. Fortunately, this doesn't seem to have been an issue with Escapes.

The foam is open-cell so it is soft, like upholstery cushioning, not closed-cell like a pool noodle; many early moulded fiberglass trailers (such as most Bolers and Trilliums) had a covering with closed-cell rubber foam called Ensolite, and it is much harder than the lining in an Escape.

My Boler doesn't have Ensolite; it has open-cell foam with a vinyl skin like an Escape, but the skin is not as tough. It has a water-stained area from a leak... which is visible.

The construction of the mid-height seam between the upper and lower shell sections is the biggest single difference between my old Boler (a Scamp is a copy of a Boler, including the seam construction), and one key reason to prefer an Escape.
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Old 04-23-2016, 11:19 PM   #9
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There is a layer of Reflectix which, by itself, is R 1.1.

Then a layer of marine headliner which is foam backed vinyl. Again an R of 1.xx

So you have around R 2.5.

On some trailers like our 2014 19' it comes loose from the reflectix, but a larger area where the reflectix came loose from the fiberglass when we were in very hot weather in south Utah.
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Old 04-24-2016, 01:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post

Since the shell is pretty water tight and caulking is usually pretty easy to check for integrity the issue isn't high on my list of concerns.

Ron
Ron, I wasn't sure what you meant by "pretty easy to check for integrity" so I thought I would put out a version of our leak story again. We had our first major leak with our Nash stick built trailer in 2007, costing us almost $7000 in repairs. Thereafter we kept a very close eye on all our caulking, both the self-levelling roof stuff and the Proflex around the windows, door and molding. I even redid all the caulking before our 2012 trip to Utah and didn't skimp on it. But in 2014 we faced another $5000 repair and basically gave the trailer away. Kevin, the owner of Adventure RV (Repairs) associated with BCRV Sales told me that pressure testing for leaks would NOT catch the slow leak (same opinion from Fraserway RV) that soaked the insulation and rotted out our supporting framework and Filon backing. He also said that you cannot rely on a visual check of the caulking, but must pull back on every inch of it to see if it releases from the edge it protects. And this needs to be done every year (or every 6 months according to the shop that fixed my brother-in-law's leaker). Our leaks on the stick built were all at points where the huge fibreglass panels met each other or the roof and floor (we had multiple leaks both times). Absolutely no moisture appeared inside the trailer because the insulation soaked it up and held it, so the first evidence of the leak was a soft floor or wrinkled wall (inside and out). On the stick built trailer, the stress at these junction points are tremendous as it flexes, especially on rough roads.

Moulded fibreglass trailers can't leak at these areas of extreme stress, which is a huge relief for me. They can, of course leak at any of the holes cut into the roof, walls and floor, but the stresses are far less within the same plane of fibreglass.

I too wonder what happens if water gets between the fibreglass and the insulation. Though there might be mold long term, at least the integrity of the walls and ceiling wouldn't be affected. The floor, despite the drain ports, might be an issue, but then I don't know much about leaks in an Escape. I would love to hear from Reace or anyone who has had a slow, long-term leak and how difficult and costly it was to fix.

Bob K

p.s. I have believed for some time now that the fully fibreglass trailers have better longevity and fewer leaks, based on all the older Bigfoot trailers in B.C. (I've known several owners and none had leaks, whereas I know several stick built owners besides ourselves who had major leak damage).
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Old 04-24-2016, 02:19 AM   #11
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Me too Bob.
I just want to know what happens if..........?
One of the things that appeals to me with Escape is that as a solo RVer, I think I can do a lot of future repairs myself. And the realist inside me knows that in time repairs are going to be needed.
But I am not sure how one would dry out wet lining. Or replace if a leak did go undetected and mold evolves?
So I really appreciate all these answers.
Rosalyn
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Old 04-24-2016, 10:49 AM   #12
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being a rv newbie I had many of the same concerns you did concerning the foam,liner and adhesive. When considering a Casita they provide me with a sample of the material, the specifications for the materials including the carpet and foam backing. They were very out front with the fact that in previous years the adhesive used to attache the material to the fiberglass had failed in some instances, but the problem was resolved when they switched to a better marine adhesive. Obviously the Escape uses a vinyl rather than the carpet as a liner, but it still has a foam backing and the optional extra thermal layer. Have not seen any specs on the adhesive, perhaps some of the other Escapes may know if it's a marine adhesive and how good it is. Escape has indicated they have a new optional thermal layer material for 2017 so what that is has not been revealed nor the specs for it. Hope to learn more about this prior to completing a build sheet next year, but since the 2017 model has a new optional thermal layer... how well
the adhesive bonds fiberglass> thermal layer OVER TIME
and
the adhesive bonds thermal layer>foam vinyl backing OVER TIME
is also not documented and therefore 2017 buyers may be lab rats for this as well. As a buyer of any product , one can only hope the mfg has done their homework. With regard to a major fix if one was required for these flexible interior type trailers, my guess is that you would end up at the factory for either the Escape fix or a Casita fix and what it would cost is yours to guess. Like another post indicated, maintenance and visual inspection where possible is about all the user can do and hopefully stop a minor problem from turning into a major problem. While the double hull fiberglass trailer designs may seem to mitigate these concerns..one can only guess how you access the inside of the outer hull if need be.....
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Old 04-24-2016, 11:41 AM   #13
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I agree FreeSpirit! I know people say Oliver is the "best", but I sure wouldnt want to have to figure out how to get in between two fiberglass hulls for any repair.
Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-24-2016, 11:51 AM   #14
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I agree FreeSpirit! I know people say Oliver is the "best", but I sure wouldnt want to have to figure out how to get in between two fiberglass hulls for any repair.
Thanks for sharing.
The Oliver is made to drain between the two shells if the exterior leaks. Technomadia asked them direct about this.
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Old 04-24-2016, 12:13 PM   #15
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I agree FreeSpirit! I know people say Oliver is the "best", but I sure wouldnt want to have to figure out how to get in between two fiberglass hulls for any repair.
Thanks for sharing.
With all trailers you must visually look for potential leaks regularly. Driving on any roads will break down joints and parts due to the dissimilar materials expansion/contraction, vibrations, twisting, impacts, etc.

On stick buiilts they use the sandwich contruction to give it strength, when it gets moisture between the layers it weakens and they sag ... which accelerates the process.

With a fiberglass trailer single or double it will not corrode or rot and loose it's strength. Might get some mold. With an Escape you can slice the headliner to inspect, reattach, etc. and then use plastic snap buttons or rails to dress up the slice(s). If you go to marine supply sites and check out headliners you will see the same type of product ETI uses and attachment 'systems' to add to your contact adhesive.

There are headliner grade contact adhesives that don't weaken with heat. On our 2014 19' it must have the common contact adhesive that can be softened with heat to remove the layers. On our trailer the forward section is sagging, the rear with the solar panel over it is not. ETI is continuing to change materials and methods so each trailer can be different in subtle or not so subtle ways.

When we had our first 'bad' condensation night I was puzzle why our Scamp had condensation on windows but never on the 'rat fur'. I called Scamp and they said the 'rat fur' or 'carpet' is attached to the cold surface and due to the length of the fibers are less cold and do not present a flat cold surface. They said that they specifically chose the 'rat fur' to minimize condensation on the walls.

Air flow definitely helps, but doesn't eliminate condensation on the vinyl. This is especially true in the cabinets and other areas (around the mattress) where the air flow is minimal.

Our solution is keeping the temperature inside the trailer above the dew point. I find low 50's usually does it. The furnace wakes us so I added an electric plate wall heater and a second propane furnace with lower output and quieter cycling.

Every trailer has it's pros and cons. The ETI products are no exception. The 'sales team' on this Forum tries, at times, to make a joke or tell you it's not important. Your questions are will thought out and relevant to all of the owners.
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Old 04-24-2016, 12:16 PM   #16
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The Oliver is made to drain between the two shells if the exterior leaks. Technomadia asked them direct about this.
Trapped air is the best insulator so they have this figured out! WOW no 'rat fur' required!
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Old 04-24-2016, 03:32 PM   #17
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I've been on this forum since inception, almost eight years ago, and I do not recall any post about water getting between the hull and liner or causing mold.
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Old 04-24-2016, 03:49 PM   #18
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Thanks for that information, Glen. I hadn't seen any myself, but you've been working on the forum for a lot longer and working as a moderator as well, so it gives me some confidence that water getting between the vinyl/insulation and the fibreglass is unlikely. Considering all the Escapes out there, I would have expected at least a few where this had happened and surely the owners would have posted on this forum.

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Old 04-24-2016, 06:24 PM   #19
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I've been on this forum since inception, almost eight years ago, and I do not recall any post about water getting between the hull and liner or causing mold.
Let's say you have 'separation' as Donna D. says is 'common' in FGRVs, see post #5: "This seperation is VERY common with all molded towables, of any age. Just read the archives on FiberglassRV. OH my stars."

Headliner Separation and Sagging

Then it's only a matter of time until a little condensation grows some mold.

Here's some good mold tips:

http://www.rvt.com/articles/rvarticle.php?article=11
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Old 04-24-2016, 07:22 PM   #20
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The Oliver is made to drain between the two shells if the exterior leaks. Technomadia asked them direct about this.
That also is why the solar is bolted through the top shell never going through to inside shell . You also can get on your roof , it is pretty strong . Oliver that is .Pat
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