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Old 03-19-2016, 01:01 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbito View Post
YogiYoda, I missed your statement that damage in Escapes is likely to be cosmetic or not structurally significant. But clearly I can't ignore seal maintenance just because it is a molded shell. How many days a year of rain for you on Florida? Maybe it dries just as quickly. Here near Vancouver we can have extremely long periods of rain, weeks long with no time for surfaces to dry out.

I'm not the one to ask about maintenance. I've never had a trailer! All my knowledge is from reading and talking with others.

Here's Orlando info:

Orlando, Florida Climate

FYI- it's raining right now as I type this.

In the summer, we get heavy afternoon thunderstorms for many days in a row. It's usually not a constant rain for days, but it's always humid. When it does rain for days at time it's usually a lighter rain. There is a major problem with mold and mildew down here. Anyone parked in the shade of trees and not on top of cleaning their RVs will get mildew growth.
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Old 03-19-2016, 01:25 PM   #42
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It sounds like you have similar problems to us here in the Vancouver area, but of course you have it much warmer there. I should admit that my passionate response is biased by our experience with leaks on our Nash. I just wanted you and others to be aware of the potential damage and that no amount of checking (not even pressure testing the whole trailer) will detect a pinhole leak through sealant. I have seen happy stick built owners whose trailers have lasted. I guess its like playing roulette. Some win and some lose big.
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Old 03-19-2016, 01:32 PM   #43
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On my sticky when I had it, first thing I did was to remove the dicor and do every seam with the 20 year seam tape. Not only did I never have to get on the roof and reseal ever again, it seemed to take care of the seams leaking. In the two years that I had it, I never saw any evidence of leaks from the roof, but you can't see what's running down inside walls from Windows, etc. You can keep the stick builds leak free, but it takes a major aggressive constant viligant effort that I grew tired of.
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Old 03-19-2016, 02:34 PM   #44
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Escape 5.0 TA vs Arctic Fox 22G

Greg, one thought I had was that the screws that went through the butyl tape on seams into the frame might have reamed it out a bit from the flexing on getting into certain campsites or trips down rough roads. I know there was a plastic cap that covered the screw channel of the corner molding, but do you think water could seep in at the roofline where it is level? I never knew for sure the exact spot the water penetrated the shell. Any thoughts on this?
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Old 03-19-2016, 02:46 PM   #45
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Hey Bob,
With the 20 year seam tape, it went right over the screws so there was no longer any leak issue from any point the seam tape covered. If you needed to replace a vent you just razor cut the tape around the vent replaced the vent and then re-taped the new vent. I'm pretty certain my roof was tight. Not sure about leaks around the Windows/vents on the side of the trailer, but I reset those in the beginning and never saw any addl leaks.
Needless to say I'm very happy to be back in molded fiberglass, the issues are so minimal and I spend my time making the trailer better, not chasing leaks.
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Old 03-19-2016, 02:50 PM   #46
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leaks

One reason to be in AZ now is the fact that we have lived and had RV's in the SFO area as well as traveled extensively up and down the Wet coast, and had to remove up to three feet of snow off the poor little Scamp when we lived in Utah. One motorhome we had was full steel framed body on a 70's Tioga that did not twist and complain and it was leak free even being used for a ski cabin at times in the Sierras.
Now I just ignore our trailer until it's time to go. If we did want something larger than the 21 (2 or 4 foot itis) I would look at the Big Foot.
AZ jack planning on Calif next month.
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Old 03-19-2016, 02:56 PM   #47
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Bigfoot 25 rear queen with the walk around bed and true 4 season package. That's where we originally thought we were heading for the retirement trailer, but decided we didn't want the truck that was needed to pull it.
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Old 03-19-2016, 03:03 PM   #48
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big foot

Maybe we could just hire someone to move it for us. Jack
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Old 03-19-2016, 03:05 PM   #49
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Maybe we could just hire someone to move it for us. Jack
Wanna go in on one with a driver and we each get 26 weeks?
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Old 03-19-2016, 03:24 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
Don't know if it's still Filon.

"One-Piece, Corona Treated, Continuous Fiberglass
Hot, Polyurethane Laminated, Multi-Layered Substrate Walls"
Someone at Northwoods sure has a flair for written B.S. I'm pretty sure that means a bunch of layers glued together, like every other conventional modern RV.
  • one-piece: the whole wall is one multi-layer panel
  • continuous fiberglass: Filon or similar sheet of extruded fiberglass exterior sheet
  • polyurethane laminated: layers glued together with urethane glue
  • multi-layered: fiberglass, plywood, foam insulation, plywood
  • substrate: the plywood
It's anyone's guess what "corona treated" means. The author of the spec page probably doesn't, since that author doesn't understand that a "slam latch" is a latch you can slam closed (no need to hold the handle open while closing the door), and isn't an acronym... "SLAM".
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Old 03-19-2016, 03:27 PM   #51
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I didn't realize the 5.0TA had more headroom.
The 5.0TA body is based on the 21', with the roof sloped up to meet the loft area. The extra headroom (increasing toward the front) is a bonus.
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Old 03-19-2016, 04:34 PM   #52
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The fact that molded fiberglass has less areas for leaks is a definitely a strong point. But it seems like there are still lots of areas that can leak and need maintenance …A/C, vents, windows, pipes, side seam etc. I think a stronger point is less cosmetic and structural damage when the eventual leak does shows up.
Yes, that's exactly my thought. The fiberglass is not going to get destroyed by leaks. I read all those leak reports here and although there was definitely water intrusion, I have yet to read of any significant damage. The problem with stick RV siding is that it goes cosmetically bad instantly, destroying resale value. I don't care that much about having a little water coming in, but these things are expensive and I want them to retain value.

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Originally Posted by yogiyoda View Post
The guy in this video sold his Oliver Legacy Elite II for an Arctic Fox and is very happy too. That's the Elite II with a 48k base price! You can see my little conversation with him in the comment section.
This is an exaggeration, but sometimes I feel like we must be the only people in the RV world that have continually downsized. We started with an Eclipse TT that had a permanent bed, dry bath, full dinette, and couch. Next we went to the AF 990 and lost the couch and dry bath. Now we are looking into getting a 17B which is tiny by comparison.

Most RV people go continuously bigger, so to the move to a stick-built is really the only place to go if you want a lot of space.
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:53 PM   #53
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The fact that molded fiberglass has less areas for leaks is a definitely a strong point. But it seems like there are still lots of areas that can leak and need maintenance …A/C, vents, windows, pipes, side seam etc.
The seam between the two main parts of the body (which is a horizontal "waistline" in most moulded trailers including the Escape, but down the vertical centre plane in a few designs) is problematic in some brands. Some are only screwed together at this point, which is an invitation for problems. Most are fiberglassed over on the inside, effectively becoming one shell unit, but the details differ. The mechanical design of Boler (copied by Scamp and Casita) joint is an invitation to failure, and so the fiberglass over it on the inside does occasionally crack. The original Trillium had a bunch of washers and rivets clamping the edges together, which must have seemed like a good idea but caused all sorts of problems when the washers rusted; Escape copied the shape of the Trillium, but not this feature of the seam design.

A feature which may be unique to Escape is that upper and lower the shell parts are mated edge-to-edge while still in the moulds, so that they can be 'glassed together securely without other materials to cause problems. The band around the outside is just a cosmetic cover over the join line. Leaks in this seam are one thing I wouldn't be concerned about, although the various openings are a legitimate concern, as with any RV.
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Old 03-19-2016, 08:17 PM   #54
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This is a picture I shared over at FiberglassRV of an ETI 5er coming out of the molds.
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Here's an Oliver
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Old 03-19-2016, 11:06 PM   #55
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Here's an older description of the way the two parts are brought together:
Escape Trailer: Escape Factory Photos - Demolding (post #42)

I don't recall seeing photos of the actual 'glassing of the seam on the inside.
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Old 03-19-2016, 11:24 PM   #56
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Ten years later, I'm thinking the same "demolding" occurs... or even better!
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Old 03-20-2016, 11:56 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Here's an older description of the way the two parts are brought together:
Escape Trailer: Escape Factory Photos - Demolding (post #42)

I don't recall seeing photos of the actual 'glassing of the seam on the inside.
No inside pic, but here is a tech getting ready to go inside to bond the halves of a 17 a few years ago...
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Old 03-20-2016, 01:10 PM   #58
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Currently own an Artic Fox 29 -5T fifthwheel. Purchased it brand new in 2014. Would I buy another one?......... Not sure. Found lots of errors that could have been avoided with better quality control during manufacturing. And running into a few AF owners while on the road who also have been disappointed. Sad for us because they are a local business up in the PNW that we wanted to believe in. Just my point of view. But take note,...... I am not spending my future time on their website or forum , am I? Hoping to believe again in a company rated for their great customer service,...... ETI.
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Old 03-25-2016, 04:37 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Someone at Northwoods sure has a flair for written B.S. I'm pretty sure that means a bunch of layers glued together, like every other conventional modern RV.
  • one-piece: the whole wall is one multi-layer panel
  • continuous fiberglass: Filon or similar sheet of extruded fiberglass exterior sheet
  • polyurethane laminated: layers glued together with urethane glue
  • multi-layered: fiberglass, plywood, foam insulation, plywood
  • substrate: the plywood
It's anyone's guess what "corona treated" means. The author of the spec page probably doesn't, since that author doesn't understand that a "slam latch" is a latch you can slam closed (no need to hold the handle open while closing the door), and isn't an acronym... "SLAM".
Ha ha, I thought the same thing when I read that section. But to be fair Corona treatment is a real thing:

"Corona treatment is a high frequency discharge that increases the adhesion of a plastic surface. "

What is Corona Treatment - By the inventors of Corona

Does it help make the walls more durable? I don't know. I do know there are many ways to build an RV wall including different materials, adhesives and pressure techniques ("pinch rolled" vs "vacuum sealed") etc. And then there is how the manufacturer executes the actual build. There are some RVs prone to problems and some that look great for the life of the trailer. If Arctic Fox had problems in the past, I'd bet their current technique is pretty good. For instance, they started re-building their own chassis after having problems with factory bought Lipperts last decade.
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Old 03-25-2016, 04:43 PM   #60
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Brian, thanks for the seam info. Donna and Paul, thanks for the pics. Not having to worry about the seam is a plus.
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