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Old 11-07-2020, 06:26 PM   #1
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Speaking of leaks

I'm shopping for a trailer and comparing stick built to Escape. Another thread, which went down the leaks tangent, got me wondering about this - because of the seams along the roof edge, and because of the insulation in the roof and walls, many of the leaks in a stick built trailer go undetected for a long time. Because of the way Escape is built, are leaks more easily discovered?
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Old 11-07-2020, 07:00 PM   #2
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Every Escape has a raised floor with a trunnion around the perimeter, any water that did enter would enter the trough and there are drain holes to allow drainage.
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Old 11-07-2020, 07:16 PM   #3
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Would you be more or less likely to detect a leak in an Escape? Since there's no fiberglass insulation to absorb water, is a leak from say, a window or a roof vent, going to run down the inner layers to under the floor so you may not notice a leak right away?
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Old 11-07-2020, 07:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by tigrpal View Post
Would you be more or less likely to detect a leak in an Escape? Since there's no fiberglass insulation to absorb water, is a leak from say, a window or a roof vent, going to run down the inner layers to under the floor so you may not notice a leak right away?
Any leak in the trailer that is going to run down the walls will show up as a drip from one of the drain holes in the bottom shell.

Pretty obvious when you see it - where is that wet spot under the trailer coming from?
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Old 11-07-2020, 07:40 PM   #5
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Within my first year, everytime I would hitch up I noticed water(1/2 gal) coming from the same drain hole. Called Escape and they couldn't say, yet not too long afterward there was a thread about the warping tailights. Sealing them from the top with Proflex ended the leak(not a permanent fix though). Condensation was collecting and running down and into the cavity caused by warping on one taillight. It did not cause me any harm as the water drained down to the "low point drain"- the lower area on either side with drain holes. I have my inverter and other electronics in the back side of my U-dinette and there was never any moisture there.

Have heard of someone with a bed in the rear where that same cause of leak got their mattress wet somehow and that needed replacement. You cannot compare moulded fiberglass with stick built for potential issues arising from water penetration. The stick stuff absorbs the moisture without you knowing about it until it is a real problem. Nothing is foolproof, yet this design greatly reduces potential problems.
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Old 11-08-2020, 08:14 AM   #6
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Back in the day a tiny leak turned my HiLo trailer from a $5000 investment into a $1200 trailer in a couple of months. My 2014 Escape leaked around a warped tail light . No permanent damage. A few hours spent resealing the lights.
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Old 11-08-2020, 08:14 AM   #7
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Maintenance Still Required

Check the usual spots - roof vents, window seals, exterior lighting fixtures. Any place the fibreglass shell has been ďbreachedĒ. I have seen water leaks follow wiring cable runs on clearance and side marker lights (not on an Escape). There is wood used in the walls for structural support, so I would not immediately discount the possibility of interior wall damage due to window leaks. The advantage of a unbroken exterior fibreglass shell is that there is no wall-to-roof joint seam to eventually fail.
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Old 11-08-2020, 08:42 AM   #8
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We all know some trailers are built better than others. I have had 4 Holiday Ramblers since 1970 and have have never had a leak.

They went out of business around 2008 or somewhere around there. That was a difficult time for the RV business as I remember. I think another co. bought the brand and really trashed it.

I presently have a 2002 HR and it is still a good trailer.
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Old 11-08-2020, 09:14 AM   #9
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While I used ProFlex to re-caulk all of the usual visible extrusions I have always wondered about the need to caulk any place related to the AC unit. Thoughts?
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Old 11-08-2020, 09:21 AM   #10
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While I used ProFlex to re-caulk all of the usual visible extrusions I have always wondered about the need to caulk any place related to the AC unit. Thoughts?
The air conditioner mounts on a 14 x 14 cutout. There is a soft and spongy rubber gasket that seals the air conditioner to the roof. Rarely does it leak but if it does, a tightening of the A/C mounting screws is usually all it takes to seal it.

https://www.amazon.com/Dometic-33107.../dp/B005BOQSEW
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Old 11-08-2020, 10:00 AM   #11
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The air conditioner mounts on a 14 x 14 cutout. There is a soft and spongy rubber gasket that seals the air conditioner to the roof. Rarely does it leak but if it does, a tightening of the A/C mounting screws is usually all it takes to seal it.

https://www.amazon.com/Dometic-33107.../dp/B005BOQSEW
I agree! Never use caulking around the AC. If need be, install a new seal under the AC if the old one leaks.
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Old 11-08-2020, 10:09 AM   #12
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Thanks for the info regarding the AC and lack of need to caulk.
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Old 11-08-2020, 11:22 AM   #13
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It never takes more than two beers in the trailer for me to take a leak.
(sorry. )
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Old 11-08-2020, 05:26 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone. This was the info I was looking for. Very helpful.
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Old 11-15-2020, 11:12 AM   #15
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This is the entire reason we are looking at Escapes. Tired of leaks, as particle board, OSB, and water don't mix well.
There are less penetrations and seams in these, and less materials that suck up water like a sponge.
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Old 11-15-2020, 01:55 PM   #16
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I had 2 leaks with my 2007 Escape 17B. The first, the small front side window leaked. After 11 years the rubber shrunk that held the window in place. I removed the widow and rubber and used RTV automotive sealant to re install. The RTV was black so you can't even tell. The second leak was the 9" bathroom fan. The seal on the bottom of the vent was rotten so I ordered a new vent off Amazon.

When ever I store my trailer, either the 17B or the new 19, I drop the nose (for the 19, front tires in a hole, even pressure on axles and it won't roll away) so if any water gets inside it runs to the front where it can run to the open corners and into the pontoons and then out the drip holes. If it's been sitting a while, I check the front corners for water. There was no damage for both leaks unlike the 2 stick built trailers I had.
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Old 11-18-2020, 01:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigrpal View Post
I'm shopping for a trailer and comparing stick built to Escape. Another thread, which went down the leaks tangent, got me wondering about this - because of the seams along the roof edge, and because of the insulation in the roof and walls, many of the leaks in a stick built trailer go undetected for a long time. Because of the way Escape is built, are leaks more easily discovered?
I have owned and repaired leaky stick built campers and motor homes. Escapes rarely leak and rot due to their design and because of attention to detail. They are built to handle North America's wettest climate in the PNW. I don't ever want to repair another stick built RV and lose my investment to depreciation. We just don't worry any more and are confident that we will have many years of trouble free use.
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Old 11-18-2020, 02:40 PM   #18
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I don't ever want to repair another stick built RV and lose my investment to depreciation. We just don't worry any more and are confident that we will have many years of trouble free use.
Ditto for us. One of the main drivers for buying an Escape.
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Old 12-05-2020, 10:00 AM   #19
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The Escapes do not leak due to construction method.

We had a Damon RV, the whole back roof seam leaked. I was quoted $10K to fix, so I did it myself. My brother had the same thing happen on his motor home. The wood structure & rubber roof just do not hold up to the road vibration. So you are always resealing seams. The roof is usually made of 1/2" foam & 1/4" luan, no roof rafters. Hence, never walk on the roof.
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Old 12-05-2020, 11:00 AM   #20
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Justifying $40,000 for a single outer fiberglass shell vs $20,000 for stick built makes for a difficult calculation.

Maybe paying someone a whopping $1,000 a year to prevent leaks for a whopping ď20 YEARSĒ is a better investment in the long run?

I love the whole idea of the small, rounded fiberglass Escape concept but paying an EXTRA $20,000 for an outer fiberglass shell is a bit extreme give that refrigerators, heaters, air conditioners, ovens/stoves, awnings, storage tanks, propane tanks, solar options, battery options, power tongues, etc are essentially the same across the entire industry.

For $60,000 (only an extra $20K for an Oliver) you can buy a unit with a fiberglass interior AND exterior shell that will not rot at all if you get a leak in the roof or window or interior high humidity AND you get a significantly better frame AND it wonít rust AND they hold their value AND they have the exclusivity factor to show off. Itís only an extra 20 Grand.

Sorry for the rant but I keep finding it harder and harder to understand the $20,000 Members Buy In Fee for the single outer fiberglass shell cool factor.

Maybe someone from Escape needs to convince me?
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