Large Gel Coat Cracks At Door Base - Page 3 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Problem Solving | Owners helping each other
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-01-2015, 08:13 PM   #21
Senior Member
 
techfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Longview, WA, Washington
Trailer: 2013 Escape 15B - 2014 Nissan Frontier SL
Posts: 858
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
I don't want to slag fiberglassers but it's not an exact science when it comes to the actual layup. There may be exact materials and layup schedules but the actual results may differ. I've seen gelcoat differ in thickness ranging from paper thin to almost 1/4" thick. Layup usually is pretty consistent but it's not unusual, in areas that you know are going to be cut out, like doors and windows, to not do the full layup. Your affected area is very close to such an area. It is possible that the layup was a tiny bit under spec. The fact that you can flex it may confirm that.

I'm still not sure that your setup is the same as mine. On the 19 there's the outer shell, the part where your cracks are visible. On the interior there is the molded door frame assembly, back to back with the shell, shiny f.g. on both the interior and exterior. Is that what you have?

Ron
I do have the internal trim piece but I don't think they are connected in a way that would support the door area.
__________________

__________________
Tim and Julie
2013 Escape 15B
2014 Nissan Frontier, Previous 2012 Santa Fe
techfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 10:35 PM   #22
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 9,055
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
I'm still not sure that your setup is the same as mine. On the 19 there's the outer shell, the part where your cracks are visible. On the interior there is the molded door frame assembly, back to back with the shell, shiny f.g. on both the interior and exterior. Is that what you have?
I'm not absolutely sure, but I believe this is consistent in all Escape models - one of the signature construction features, and clearly preferable to the crude opening that passes for a doorway in traditional moulded fiberglass trailer designs such as Bolers.
__________________

Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2015, 03:18 PM   #23
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Van., British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19
Posts: 3,290
Well, how can we solve problems without data? I measured the thickness of my layup about 6" from the floor. The back-to-back measurement, of the two layers, is .203". That's a tiny bit less than I was expecting. I thought that it'd be at least .250" I know that's not much difference but every time that door closes, rubber trim or not, there is a force applied to that flange.

Anything less than .200" would be more likely to flex and, in time, develop stress cracks. So, not sure how much you want to pursue tracking down the cause but if you do want to see how yours measures up you've got something to compare it to.

Ron
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 02-09-2015 11-40-21 AM_0004_resize.JPG (144.7 KB, 32 views)
Ron in BC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2015, 04:31 PM   #24
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Juneau, Alaska
Trailer: 2015 17A - Ready for 4th Maiden Voyage
Posts: 597
Hi Tim,
I like how Ron measured the thickness of his lay up. It would be interesting if you could do the same ... but measure the whole verticle surfaces to see if you have a local variation. Perhaps you have an area of unusually thick gel coat. Gel coat has no structural fibers in it so it will be more brittle than the glass substrate. In a inside curved area it would be easy to spray on too much gel coat.


My trailer has not been built yet so I don't have any thing to look at that would help me better understand the structure. I'd be tempted to drill perhaps a 1/16" hole at each end of your largest crack - to de-localize the stress, then fill holes with fiberglass putty. Watch over time to see if the crack travels beyond your holes. If you look closely inside your holes you might be able to see how thick the gel coat is there.


If you don't have a set of calipers, I'll bet a good tool rental store would. It would be very interesting to find out the thickness of your layup, up and down, in that area.


Please keep us posted, Good luck Tim!


Tom
__________________
Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity.
Thor Heyerdahl
StarvingHyena is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2015, 05:15 PM   #25
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Van., British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19
Posts: 3,290
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarvingHyena View Post
Hi Tim,
I like how Ron measured the thickness of his lay up.

I'd be tempted to drill perhaps a 1/16" hole at each end of your largest crack - to de-localize the stress, then fill holes with fiberglass putty.

Tom
Actually I was expecting someone to ask what that funny measuring instrument I was using is. Haven't used the old fashioned micrometer for years but because of the rubber molding it was easier to measure over. Just used a spacer block at the back. With digital calipers I'd have had to use little spacers on both sides.

Agree, small holes at each end of the crack could stop the progression. But for the repair I'd just widen them slightly with a Dremel tool and use gelcoat. Smoothing plastic over it would result in a smooth shiny finish. If, after several months the cracks haven't progressed then any wet sanding and polishing, if needed, could be done.

Ron
Ron in BC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2015, 10:13 PM   #26
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Port Angeles, Washington
Trailer: 2014 19'
Posts: 532
My Grandpa speaking through L.S.Starrett says: 6/32 " which translates to .1875 "

Most interesting to me was that the two layers are properly bonded and have high stiffness. Looking at the line from the side to the stiffener it flares toward the door. If that belly area is being worked from the roof/walls and add a little door flex/strike that area could crack?

I'm just enjoying measuring and staring, I look so purposeful..
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 6 32 measure cropped.jpg (55.4 KB, 8 views)
Klem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2015, 10:30 PM   #27
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Van., British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19
Posts: 3,290
Well that's two "no flex" to Tim's "some flex"

I give up. If the rubber trim is still on, how did you use outside calipers to measure? Use spacer blocks? or count the rotations as you opened it?

Useful tool, I have several of Mr. Starrett's products.

Ron
Ron in BC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2015, 11:09 PM   #28
Senior Member
 
techfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Longview, WA, Washington
Trailer: 2013 Escape 15B - 2014 Nissan Frontier SL
Posts: 858
OK, latest update… Thanks first to Ron for a great idea. I have spent part of the day tracking down a micrometer that will clear the gasket material (my neighbor across the street is a gun smith and has one that we will use tomorrow to measure.) Thanks to Tom for suggesting multiple measurements; it will be interesting to see if there is variance.

ETI responded. They have never seen cracking in this area before, even on older trailers that have come in. Reace and their fiberglass guy have posited that the glass may be too thin coupled with a thick gel coat. Normally, they say they end up with glass in this area too thick. We did discuss how the door is framed and the trim on the inside IS bonded to the shell so it cannot be removed to work on the fiber glass from the inside. The fix is to grind down the gel coat from the outside and lay in more fiber glass and then re gel coat. Reace said they would make a repair if I brought the trailer to Chilliwack, which I greatly appreciate.

I will get some measurements tomorrow, but I think "thin" is the problem now and after 2 years and 25,000 miles of use opening and closing the door the cracks have appeared.

Thanks to all of you for your ideas. We have a 4 week trip coming up, so we will see what happens to the cracks in another 3,000 miles.
__________________
Tim and Julie
2013 Escape 15B
2014 Nissan Frontier, Previous 2012 Santa Fe
techfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2015, 12:04 AM   #29
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Van., British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19
Posts: 3,290
That's great that you can go on your trip knowing that a permanent fix is available and good on ETI to step up to the plate.

Just to keep apples and apples, my measurement was made about 6" from the floor and as close to the rubber molding as possible. I have a sense that the further outward you move from the molding the thicker it gets. It'll be interesting to see what your measurements are. Of course they could be the same only with more gelcoat and less laminate.

Ron
Ron in BC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2015, 12:16 AM   #30
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Port Angeles, Washington
Trailer: 2014 19'
Posts: 532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Well that's two "no flex" to Tim's "some flex"

I give up. If the rubber trim is still on, how did you use outside calipers to measure? Use spacer blocks? or count the rotations as you opened it?

Useful tool, I have several of Mr. Starrett's products.

Ron
What a good question, luckily the rubber gasket has been falling off and I can push it on with my hand. Easy inspection of the bond between layers!

I was going to fold a point setting matchbook and count the layers but thought the hardware combination would impress you.
__________________

Klem is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:58 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.