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Old 12-05-2016, 09:50 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
The cracks are just in the gelcoat, and not likely at all to be through the fiberglass. It is a cosmetic issue. Still not good to look at. Being only a year old, I would let Escape know about it.
They will ultimately expand and leak, but it does take several years to become a problem. I will be turning this in and have no doubt ETI will take care of ot it. My concern is if it continues to be a long term problem as the trailer ages and goes out of warranty. The problem was very ongoing on the 05 17b.
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Old 12-05-2016, 09:56 AM   #22
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Greg, that looks to me to be from an impact of some kind. Maybe something struck it there either while it was parked or under tow.
Can 86 any kind of impact. We don't have trees here and the vent is forward of the cracking so it would have blown up if anything occurred from towing. This is caused most likely from shell flexing, stress, perhaps stress from weight of upper cabinets. The worrisome problem is it is at a year point, and shell shouldn't have these issues this early.
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:05 AM   #23
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wow....perhaps more research into fiberglass trailers is needed before deciding on this path. It is interesting in that a neighbors 2008 Casita does not have this issue when viewed a few months back....a random thought...wondering if the thickness of the underlying fiberglass mat has anything to do with this.
That is what I'm thinking, the thin lay up is allowing for too much flex in the shell which is causing the gel coat cracking. I will reiterate that this is mostly a cosmetic issue and will only become an integrity issue if never repaired, especially on roof locations. Of course, repairs never quite match which is why I could see the repairs that had been done on the 17, so you don't want to have this issue continue to reoccur over the life of the trailer.
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:09 AM   #24
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They will ultimately expand and leak, but it does take several years to become a problem
It never happened in 40 years on the trailer I showed. The gelcoat cracking got worse, but nothing on the fibreglass. Maybe if there was damaged caused by some kinda force, like being hit, this could possibly weaken the fibreglass, but fibreglass itself is tough stuff that can handle a fair bit of flexing. Look at the impact that boats see going through rough water.

But you are right, I am sure a call to Escape will sort it all out for you.
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:10 AM   #25
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Captain Tolleys Crack Seal

I used this product on my Casita with much success. Will not get rid of the cracks, but will prevent water penetration between clear coat and fiberglass.

http://www.captaintolley.com/
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:21 AM   #26
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That is what I'm thinking, the thin lay up is allowing for too much flex in the shell which is causing the gel coat cracking. I will reiterate that this is mostly a cosmetic issue and will only become an integrity issue if never repaired, especially on roof locations. Of course, repairs never quite match which is why I could see the repairs that had been done on the 17, so you don't want to have this issue continue to reoccur over the life of the trailer.
the other bummer is you have to drive over 2 thousand miles to get it fixed at the factory, if that is what you need to do under warranty....
will be interesting to see if after a year or so the new 2017 Escape models with the new awning type will have this issue of spider cracks along the roof line in the fiberglass....assuming of course stress might be the cause.
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:27 AM   #27
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It never happened in 40 years on the trailer I showed. The gelcoat cracking got worse, but nothing on the fibreglass. Maybe if there was damaged caused by some kinda force, like being hit, this could possibly weaken the fibreglass, but fibreglass itself is tough stuff that can handle a fair bit of flexing. Look at the impact that boats see going through rough water.

But you are right, I am sure a call to Escape will sort it all out for you.
after seeing how thin the trailer fiberglass actually was ,believe somebody made the observation that boat hulls are perhaps thicker fiberglass...
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:33 AM   #28
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I tried fixing the cracks on the canoe, looked worse then the original problem, as they cause no structural issue I just leave them. Wasn't a do it yourself job for this DIY'er. At least not pre Utube.

Greg, if there are boat shops in AZ, might stop by there and see what they say. Might be able to get ETI to pay for a repair a lot closer to home.
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:40 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by freespirit View Post
the other bummer is you have to drive over 2 thousand miles to get it fixed at the factory, if that is what you need to do under warranty....
will be interesting to see if after a year or so the new 2017 Escape models with the new awning type will have this issue of spider cracks along the roof line in the fiberglass....assuming of course stress might be the cause.
Escape would allow you to go to a local boat or other fiberglass repair facility near you after they approve the repair/warranty issue.
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:42 AM   #30
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There are various reasons for spider cracks according to this article. I've not had the problem, nor am I endorsing this product for a fix.
How to Easily Repair Gelcoat Cracks | MagicEzy
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:59 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by freespirit View Post
after seeing how thin the trailer fiberglass actually was ,believe somebody made the observation that boat hulls are perhaps thicker fiberglass...
In my past life , I built and repaired fibreglass boats from small row boats to 100 footers. In my experience, when I had to repair spider cracks, they were all gel coat deep (thickness of thick paint) and a good repair was almost invisible. The age of the boat did not seem to matter, new (just out of the mould) or old. Fibreglass in boat is generally a good deal thicker than trailers and can still experience spider cracks. I think most are caused by stress (related to curing time), either flexing or the gel coat was too thick or thin when applied in the mould, or severe impact damage.

Impact damage can damage the fibreglass structure especially when boat owner's try to drive up on a reef. You should see fibreglass that's been left under salt water for a few weeks.

So far I have not seen any spider cracks in our 2015 trailer, cross fingers.
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Old 12-05-2016, 11:53 AM   #32
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Hi: Jim Bennett... I once asked Reace if he would use a chop gun to speed up Mfg of trailers. He said NO!!! Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
Whether or not to use a chopper gun is a function of layup thickness. In university I helped build the largest commercial f.g. boat ever made. I spent hours spraying with a chopper gun in combination with woven roving. Hull thickness, in places, was measured in inches.

I don't build kayaks and canoes with a chopper gun. The total laminate is far too thin to use that process. ETI could use a choper gun but the trailer would weight more and they'd loose one of their selling features.

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Old 12-05-2016, 12:00 PM   #33
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When I toured the Scamp factory, they did everything with the chopper guns... including the "resin impregnated" OSB bottom. I could chip it off the bottom with my fingernail.
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Old 12-05-2016, 12:03 PM   #34
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they cause no structural issue I just leave them.
Unfortunately cracks can lead to structural issues. A crack can allow water ingress to the underlying laminate. It depends on how the layup was done but if water reaches any unsaturated strands of glass it can wick into the laminate causing delamination.

In osmosis repairs on boat hulls the difference between whether the damage is largely cosmetic and gelcoat only or more major is whether the damage extends into the underlying laminate.

I would never leave cracks unrepaired, especially in a damp climate.

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Old 12-05-2016, 01:16 PM   #35
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When I toured the Scamp factory, they did everything with the chopper guns... including the "resin impregnated" OSB bottom. I could chip it off the bottom with my fingernail.
Hi: thoer... I think Rease's reason was "Air quality" and his employees were his concern. Alf
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Old 12-05-2016, 01:41 PM   #36
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Well, more bad news as I was doing the 6 month wash and wax. We have spider cracking in an area on the roof. Location is above and behind the entry door near the vent above the kitchen. This was one of my fears after having the 2005 17b which had quite a number of spider crack repairs on both the roof and the side and several that were getting within a year of needing repair.
The worrisome part is that our trailer is just one year old, and nervous that this is going to be a recurring issue like the 17b.
The attached picture if you enlarge it, you will be able to see it. Approx 5 inches across and just at the beginning. They will ultimately worsen to the point of leaking if not repaired at some point. I will be going under the 2 yr warranty for this, but may wait on repairs till next fall to see if we have more to repair all at one time.
Since I'm 2 for 2 on Escape trailers having this issue, I have to assume that there are quite a few more out there with this malady. Maybe you have this, but didn't really know what you were looking at? Or you haven't been doing maintenance/wash/wax on the roof. I would like to hear if anyone has encountered similar gelcoat cracking.
sorry you have this issue Greg. Bummer.
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Old 12-05-2016, 01:41 PM   #37
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Hi: thoer... I think Rease's reason was "Air quality" and his employees were his concern. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
Sounds like Reace and I'd wager the fiberglass on my Escape is of higher quality too.
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Old 12-05-2016, 03:58 PM   #38
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I have sent both issues and photos with the solar connectors and cracking in to ETI. They are still on team building break until tomorrow, so will try and follow up with a call tomorrow as well.
I have full confidence in Reace and Tammy, but I want to make sure we get a short-term and long-term solution setup on the cracking, since I also had this issue with the 17b, when I do make contact with them. I hope this is just a one-off problem and there are no more cracks that develop, but I will probably request that we don't run it to a glass shop and do repairs until next fall right before the end of the warranty in case any more develop they can all be done in one stop.
They are mostly cosmetic, but in the roof locations especially where you can have standing water, they will widen and cause structural problems if left untreated as Ron correctly states. However, no one wants to have cosmetic issues appear on the shell of their new expensive trailer in a year whether it can be argued that they are only cosmetic or not.
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Old 12-05-2016, 07:41 PM   #39
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Greg, Good eyes on the wash and inspection, and good call on waiting for more cracks to develop or not develop. Sorry for your situation, and good luck on a timely and complete solution!

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Old 12-11-2016, 03:50 PM   #40
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We washed our May of 2015 5.0 yesterday and didn't notice any of this cracking. I ran out of wax and will have a new bottle on Monday. Waxing will give me a better opportunity to inspect closer. We have been in AZ now for 1 year with no cover. I did notice more oxidation than I expected. The AZ sun definitely brutal! A Calmark cover will have be ordered by at April. Bob
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