Damage from an impact - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 05-11-2018, 03:23 PM   #1
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Damage from an impact

My detailer was waxing the Escape earlier this week, and noticed some spider cracks on the side of the trailer, in an area above the exterior door for the under bed storage. I had to get down on my knees and get up close, and look at it in just the right light to see them, but not only can you see them, but you can feel them also if you run your fingers over it.

Since I'm still under warranty, I reached out to Escape via the "contact us" section of their website. It wasn't long before I had an email from Reace asking for pictures.

After sending the pictures as requested, I shortly got a response back indicating that this would not be a warranty issue, as it was obvious that something had impacted the trailer either from the inside or outside causing the stress crack. And that fixing it would be fairly costly, as the graphics will need to be removed, gelcoat sanded completely down to the fiberglass and depending how bad the impact was, it may need a layer of fiberglass added.

The good news was that the cracks should not get worse, as there is no static stress in that area (per Reace), and if I can live with it the way it is, just make sure to keep plenty of wax there to keep dirt from getting in.

I have no idea what could have impacted the trailer from the outside (it spends 95% of it's time sitting in my back yard unfortunately, and there is nothing going on back there that could cause this.

Is it possible that something moving around in the under bed storage could hit hard enough to cause this? I'm just trying to figure out what I need to do to make sure this does not happen again.

I'm also trying to decide if I want to find a fiberglass person to take a look, and see what fixing it would cost. Or if I'm just going to live with it as is.

Pictures attached, and I will note that they were taken very close, and in very good light. If you are standing a couple of feet away, you really cannot see them (even if you know where they are).

The first picture shows where the damage is (yellow arrows added to point out the area). The actual damage is about 4 inches by 4 inches.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Spider Cracks 7.jpg (165.2 KB, 204 views)
File Type: jpg Spider Cracks 6.jpg (52.9 KB, 179 views)
File Type: jpg Spider Cracks 5.jpg (48.4 KB, 184 views)
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Old 05-11-2018, 04:53 PM   #2
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I went out and checked the where the bed frame is on ours. That looks to be slightly above the bed mattress. Any chance you had something on the bed which smacked into the wall? I know the back of the trailer is subject to more movement than the front so we have not used the bed for transporting anything but clothing. Mostly that was so it did not launch items forward if we were to stop hard. But it could slide sideways in some instances. Now I'm going to look underneath and make sure what I have packed there can't impact the walls.
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Old 05-11-2018, 05:05 PM   #3
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I backed into a pole ( while my spotter stood by ) with our Casita years ago. I found a good fiberglass guy at a local boat repair place on a big lake. You might have good luck looking for a boat repair shop, they do this type of repair all day long.
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Old 05-11-2018, 05:54 PM   #4
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Of course, can't see under the decal, but looking at the patterns it looks more like spider cracking from flex or stress rather than an impact. Usually an impact will have a center point where the impact occurred and the cracks will radiate out from the impact point.
Either way the repair is about the same. I'd go to a marine dealer and get an estimate. They do good work on this type of repair and it isn't always that expensive. I'm sure Reace can get you some replacment decals for that run once the work is done.
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Greg A View Post
Of course, can't see under the decal, but looking at the patterns it looks more like spider cracking from flex or stress rather than an impact. Usually an impact will have a center point where the impact occurred and the cracks will radiate out from the impact point.
.
Absolutely agree.

It would be good to first establish how much flex in the f.g. there is in that area. Unfortunately, at times, ETI goes light on the layup. If you push on the area firmly from both inside and outside and there's not much detectable deflection then the repair is quite simple. If there is noticeable deflection then some reinforcement on the interior would be good. Otherwise a repair would likely just crack again.

The good news is that repairs on spider cracks like this, done right, are invisible.

I wouldn't wax it until you decide if you're going to have it repaired.

Ron
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Absolutely agree.

It would be good to first establish how much flex in the f.g. there is in that area. Unfortunately, at times, ETI goes light on the layup. If you push on the area firmly from both inside and outside and there's not much detectable deflection then the repair is quite simple. If there is noticeable deflection then some reinforcement on the interior would be good. Otherwise a repair would likely just crack again.

The good news is that repairs on spider cracks like this, done right, are invisible.

I wouldn't wax it until you decide if you're going to have it repaired.

Ron
If it's flex or stress wouldn't that be a design or build issue?
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:43 PM   #7
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If it's flex or stress wouldn't that be a design or build issue?
You'd think so in that case, in the absence of any tell tale impact damage.

Ron
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Old 05-11-2018, 07:25 PM   #8
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Honestly, I'm not sure how I would prove which it was, impact or flex. I'm in agreement that I don't see anything that indicates it was struck from the outside.


I opened up the hatch and looked to see where the damage is in relation to the bed, and it appears to be the area where the mattress sits up against wall.


Most likely, I'll just end up finding a good local marine place and getting it fixed. And order new decals from ETI.


Unfortunately Ron, it was just waxed. That is how I was alerted to the damage.
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Greg A View Post
Of course, can't see under the decal, but looking at the patterns it looks more like spider cracking from flex or stress rather than an impact. Usually an impact will have a center point where the impact occurred and the cracks will radiate out from the impact point.
Agree, it's not impact from the outside. It could be impact from the inside, but the owner would know if something heavy inside the trailer surged repeatedly against the side of the trailer to cause the damage.
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Viajante View Post
Agree, it's not impact from the outside.
How do you know that? What evidence are you seeing?
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