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Old 10-19-2017, 06:02 PM   #1
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Gelcoat Crack

Any opinions on how to deal with this? Surprised to see it after 1-1/2 years.
Thanks
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Old 10-19-2017, 06:15 PM   #2
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pick up the phone, you're still under warranty, right?
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:47 PM   #3
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pick up the phone, you're still under warranty, right?
I wrote them. Was told that it couldn't be their issue and that it must be my fault or some other action. My theory is that the stress from plugging in the quick connect cause flexing at the corner and caused the crack. According to Escape that can't be because they have no complaints and they have been installing external showers for three years.

Do I sound frustrated?

Their suggestion was wax it well to keep out dirt....
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:59 PM   #4
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The key question to me would be is it a crack in the shell or just the gelcoat? If it's just the gelcoat, that's cosmetic and an easy fix.
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:16 PM   #5
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pick up the phone, you're still under warranty, right?
Sad to say Bob, however when it comes to FG issues, ETI is either going to say it's cosmetic as in print -thoughs around the door like we both have, or spider cracking like Greg A has. Now with this situation - it must be your fault, because evidently it isn't theirs as they haven't heard of it in three years. Right- and they never heard about rusted window screws until mine happened. By then they had been making trailers for over seven years. Huh?
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:25 PM   #6
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The key question to me would be is it a crack in the shell or just the gelcoat? If it's just the gelcoat, that's cosmetic and an easy fix.
Can you point me in the right direction? I'll be doing this myself...

Thanks
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:40 PM   #7
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Can you point me in the right direction? I'll be doing this myself...

Thanks
If you have access to the interior side adjacent to where the crack is, the only way to determine if it's the shell (which I seriously doubt) would be to peel or cut back the liner or insulation so you can inspect the shell itself. If it's cracked, that's more than cosmetic and you'd want to apply a fiberglass patch over the crack before repairing the gelcoat on the outside.

It's probably just the gelcoat. A crack through the shell is usually caused by a harder impact, not a slight flex.

If it's just the gelcoat, the trick there is to match the color. There are many shades of "white" gelcoat. I'd see if maybe Escape could give you some insight on the color or maybe even send you a small container of matching gelcoat.

As a side note, I would think this obviously falls under a warranty repair, and frankly, I'm a bit puzzled by what Escape told you. The shell is either warranted for 2 years or it's not. This was not damage caused by misuse or accident, and looks to be a simple defect.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:05 PM   #8
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When we couldn't get paint to match on older cars we used to tell folks the new paint would match better once it had a chance to age a little.

Sounds like the run around to me. I'd start a paper trail and keep bitching.

Don't suppose you have boat repair places in the Rockies? In lieu of that, try a good auto body shop, see what they say. Might give you some ammo to pass on to ETI.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:08 PM   #9
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If you have access to the interior side adjacent to where the crack is, the only way to determine if it's the shell (which I seriously doubt) would be to peel or cut back the liner or insulation so you can inspect the shell itself. If it's cracked, that's more than cosmetic and you'd want to apply a fiberglass patch over the crack before repairing the gelcoat on the outside.

It's probably just the gelcoat. A crack through the shell is usually caused by a harder impact, not a slight flex.

If it's just the gelcoat, the trick there is to match the color. There are many shades of "white" gelcoat. I'd see if maybe Escape could give you some insight on the color or maybe even send you a small container of matching gelcoat.

As a side note, I would think this obviously falls under a warranty repair, and frankly, I'm a bit puzzled by what Escape told you. The shell is either warranted for 2 years or it's not. This was not damage caused by misuse or accident, and looks to be a simple defect.
Thanks for the reply but the crack is either behind the shower wall or closet. I think the only way to inspect it fully would be to pull the external shower box which means a lot of rivets.

I'm puzzled by their reply too, especially since they didn't ask any questions or try to clarify. Just looked at these pictures and said not our fault, cosmetic only and wax will keep the dirt out.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:13 PM   #10
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I would stick on Escape starting with how they think it was your fault. You might go by an RV shop and show photos of what would need removing to get a good look and what that would take.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:18 PM   #11
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Try emailing "partsandservice@escapetrailer.com. That gets to a different department. Hopefully they won't blow you off so quickly. ....maybe let you down more easily- OR step up to the plate! I do know one owner had to persist to get satisfaction with his cracking.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:22 PM   #12
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Does anyone know if there is reinforcement in that area for an external shower?
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:29 PM   #13
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Try emailing "partsandservice@escapetrailer.com. That gets to a different department. Hopefully they won't blow you off so quickly. ....maybe let you down more easily- OR step up to the plate! I do know one owner had to persist to get satisfaction with his cracking.
That's the email address I used. Will try re-attack tomorrow.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:30 PM   #14
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Does anyone know if there is reinforcement in that area for an external shower?
That's a good question and was the point I made to ETI. They only said they haven't had any complaints.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:31 PM   #15
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That's the email address I used. Will try re-attack tomorrow.
Yes, I hardly thought that answer came from anyone else. Especially given someone else's experience here.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:33 PM   #16
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:56 PM   #17
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I have spider cracking on the roof after 1 year and they sent me same response. I’ve worked on these trailers for too many years and know better.
Kept after them and suggested they mail me a quart of gel coat and some other related items and I’d do the repairs myself. It’s not a hard job to repair but very difficult to get a match on gel coat. They did agree to what I asked for so I’m happy. I wanted a quart because my 2005 17b had a lot of spider cracking on the roof and I am anticipating that as the trailer ages one can always see more develop.
If you don’t want to attempt the repair yourself, any marine shop can do that repair inexpensively.
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Old 10-19-2017, 10:20 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
If you have access to the interior side adjacent to where the crack is, the only way to determine if it's the shell (which I seriously doubt) would be to peel or cut back the liner or insulation so you can inspect the shell itself. If it's cracked, that's more than cosmetic and you'd want to apply a fiberglass patch over the crack before repairing the gelcoat on the outside.
The better way to determine if it is in the shell, which it probably isn't, is to sand away the gelcoat and see if the crack penetrates into the shell. That would be the process to correctly repair the gelcoat crack anyway. Fiberglass is very flexible while gelcoat is very hard and brittle so it is likely to be in the gelcoat only.
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Old 10-19-2017, 10:42 PM   #19
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Fibreglass mat and resin is very strong and I expect that the crack is just in the gel coat. Had many fine cracks in the gel coat in my old boston whaler boat. Repaired the larger ones (deep and wide across) and left the small fine cracks as is and did what ETI suggests - keep clean and wax well. Never had problems.

If you want to repair - tape off the area, clean the crack with acetone (Q tip), fill the crack with gel coat, let it dry, either wet sand smooth, put saran wrap over it as it dries or leave as is. Wax afterwards. Hard to match perfect colour unless ETI can send you some of their's.
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Old 10-19-2017, 10:53 PM   #20
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That's a good question and was the point I made to ETI. They only said they haven't had any complaints.
I asked an RV shop about putting an exterior shower on our 19'. They said that they could not because there would need to be reinforcement.
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