What is that vinyl stuff on the walls? ....... - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 04-23-2016, 07:38 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, 08:10 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, 08:20 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, 09:13 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by gocamp View Post
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, 09:39 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, 10:20 PM   #6
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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, 10:26 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, 10:52 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 04-24-2016, 12:19 AM   #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, 02:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
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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