Damage from an impact - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 05-11-2018, 04:23 PM   #1
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Damage from an impact

My detailer was waxing the Escape earlier this week, and noticed some spider cracks on the side of the trailer, in an area above the exterior door for the under bed storage. I had to get down on my knees and get up close, and look at it in just the right light to see them, but not only can you see them, but you can feel them also if you run your fingers over it.

Since I'm still under warranty, I reached out to Escape via the "contact us" section of their website. It wasn't long before I had an email from Reace asking for pictures.

After sending the pictures as requested, I shortly got a response back indicating that this would not be a warranty issue, as it was obvious that something had impacted the trailer either from the inside or outside causing the stress crack. And that fixing it would be fairly costly, as the graphics will need to be removed, gelcoat sanded completely down to the fiberglass and depending how bad the impact was, it may need a layer of fiberglass added.

The good news was that the cracks should not get worse, as there is no static stress in that area (per Reace), and if I can live with it the way it is, just make sure to keep plenty of wax there to keep dirt from getting in.

I have no idea what could have impacted the trailer from the outside (it spends 95% of it's time sitting in my back yard unfortunately, and there is nothing going on back there that could cause this.

Is it possible that something moving around in the under bed storage could hit hard enough to cause this? I'm just trying to figure out what I need to do to make sure this does not happen again.

I'm also trying to decide if I want to find a fiberglass person to take a look, and see what fixing it would cost. Or if I'm just going to live with it as is.

Pictures attached, and I will note that they were taken very close, and in very good light. If you are standing a couple of feet away, you really cannot see them (even if you know where they are).

The first picture shows where the damage is (yellow arrows added to point out the area). The actual damage is about 4 inches by 4 inches.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Spider Cracks 7.jpg (165.2 KB, 231 views)
File Type: jpg Spider Cracks 6.jpg (52.9 KB, 208 views)
File Type: jpg Spider Cracks 5.jpg (48.4 KB, 213 views)
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Old 05-11-2018, 05:53 PM   #2
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I went out and checked the where the bed frame is on ours. That looks to be slightly above the bed mattress. Any chance you had something on the bed which smacked into the wall? I know the back of the trailer is subject to more movement than the front so we have not used the bed for transporting anything but clothing. Mostly that was so it did not launch items forward if we were to stop hard. But it could slide sideways in some instances. Now I'm going to look underneath and make sure what I have packed there can't impact the walls.
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:05 PM   #3
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I backed into a pole ( while my spotter stood by ) with our Casita years ago. I found a good fiberglass guy at a local boat repair place on a big lake. You might have good luck looking for a boat repair shop, they do this type of repair all day long.
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:54 PM   #4
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Of course, can't see under the decal, but looking at the patterns it looks more like spider cracking from flex or stress rather than an impact. Usually an impact will have a center point where the impact occurred and the cracks will radiate out from the impact point.
Either way the repair is about the same. I'd go to a marine dealer and get an estimate. They do good work on this type of repair and it isn't always that expensive. I'm sure Reace can get you some replacment decals for that run once the work is done.
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Old 05-11-2018, 07:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Greg A View Post
Of course, can't see under the decal, but looking at the patterns it looks more like spider cracking from flex or stress rather than an impact. Usually an impact will have a center point where the impact occurred and the cracks will radiate out from the impact point.
.
Absolutely agree.

It would be good to first establish how much flex in the f.g. there is in that area. Unfortunately, at times, ETI goes light on the layup. If you push on the area firmly from both inside and outside and there's not much detectable deflection then the repair is quite simple. If there is noticeable deflection then some reinforcement on the interior would be good. Otherwise a repair would likely just crack again.

The good news is that repairs on spider cracks like this, done right, are invisible.

I wouldn't wax it until you decide if you're going to have it repaired.

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Old 05-11-2018, 07:26 PM   #6
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Absolutely agree.

It would be good to first establish how much flex in the f.g. there is in that area. Unfortunately, at times, ETI goes light on the layup. If you push on the area firmly from both inside and outside and there's not much detectable deflection then the repair is quite simple. If there is noticeable deflection then some reinforcement on the interior would be good. Otherwise a repair would likely just crack again.

The good news is that repairs on spider cracks like this, done right, are invisible.

I wouldn't wax it until you decide if you're going to have it repaired.

Ron
If it's flex or stress wouldn't that be a design or build issue?
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Old 05-11-2018, 07:43 PM   #7
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If it's flex or stress wouldn't that be a design or build issue?
You'd think so in that case, in the absence of any tell tale impact damage.

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Old 05-11-2018, 08:25 PM   #8
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Honestly, I'm not sure how I would prove which it was, impact or flex. I'm in agreement that I don't see anything that indicates it was struck from the outside.


I opened up the hatch and looked to see where the damage is in relation to the bed, and it appears to be the area where the mattress sits up against wall.


Most likely, I'll just end up finding a good local marine place and getting it fixed. And order new decals from ETI.


Unfortunately Ron, it was just waxed. That is how I was alerted to the damage.
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Old 05-11-2018, 11:31 PM   #9
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Of course, can't see under the decal, but looking at the patterns it looks more like spider cracking from flex or stress rather than an impact. Usually an impact will have a center point where the impact occurred and the cracks will radiate out from the impact point.
Agree, it's not impact from the outside. It could be impact from the inside, but the owner would know if something heavy inside the trailer surged repeatedly against the side of the trailer to cause the damage.
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Old 05-11-2018, 11:42 PM   #10
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Agree, it's not impact from the outside.
How do you know that? What evidence are you seeing?
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:23 AM   #11
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When the response from Escape states,"Obvious that something impacted the trailer either from the inside or outside causing the stress crack. Probably should have ended there.

When it continued past that point in the paragraph. Felt a little like part of the reason they are not covering it is because of it being fairly costly and the amount of work involved. Probably reading too much into it.

Whenever I see threads like this, I envision it happening to me and what would I do if I truly felt I was in the right. Hard way to go through life, but.....

Whatever path you take, I'd like to know how it pans out.
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Old 05-12-2018, 09:43 AM   #12
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Honestly, all that I can say is that, to my knowledge, there has never been any sort of an impact. But proving that is impossible.
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Old 05-12-2018, 01:20 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
How do you know that? What evidence are you seeing?
My gut feeling is that it's not impact damage. That feeling is mostly based on my lifelong association with f.g. boats and a lot of experience working with f.g.

Just one trip through 456 locks in Europe, with the rough stone and concrete providing lots of examples of what impact damage looks like, makes me think that the O.P.'s example isn't caused by impact. The epicenter appears to be under the vinyl. I don't feel that anything could impact the trailer hard enough to cause that damage without leaving any trace of damage to the vinyl.

But there's no way to prove anything and the O.P. now has to deal with it on their own. This is just one of a series of spider crack problems that have occurred and in my mind, at a higher rate than normal for other f.g. products.

If this damage is repaired I'll be interested in hearing what the boat yards opinion is on the thickness of both the gelcoat and the f.g.

Ron
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Old 05-12-2018, 07:54 PM   #14
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I hope this is not the start of passing the buck
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Old 05-12-2018, 08:16 PM   #15
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I hope this is not the start of passing the buck
I hope this is not the start of yet another thread supported by nothing but poster's imaginations and suppositions.
I've asked twice what people are seeing in the pictures that is evidence of the source of the spider cracks and I've not got a reply that satisfies me.
How does one tell the source of spider cracks?
And, what is the point in posting, "I hope this is not the start of passing the buck". ?
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Old 05-12-2018, 08:49 PM   #16
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Unless you are a somebody who's got some pull to help the OP with this sort of thing, I'm gonna assume he's not too concerned with providing evidence that satisfies you.

Posters have given their opinion and lets face it, based on the pics, that is all Escape can do. One thing about forums, posters do give opinions.

There was a thread on here not that long ago regarding cracks and it seemed as if it did help to post here.
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Old 05-12-2018, 09:24 PM   #17
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I wasn't asking for evidence that satisfies me. I'm asking what evidence there is in the pictures that indicates the source of the damage. What do some see that convinces them of what they believe?
And, why post the supposition that Escape is avoiding responsibility without evidence?
Having been on this forum since the beginning, I've seen plenty of evidence that Escape goes beyond what's called for.
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Old 05-12-2018, 09:41 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I wasn't asking for evidence that satisfies me. I'm asking what evidence there is in the pictures that indicates the source of the damage. What do some see that convinces them of what they believe?
And, why post the supposition that Escape is avoiding responsibility without evidence?
Having been on this forum since the beginning, I've seen plenty of evidence that Escape goes beyond what's called for.
I figured you have been around for a long time with 11 and half thousand post. Trust me, it was intimidating to respond.

Maybe i'm reading it wrong, wouldn't be the first time, but it did appear that you mentioned, I've not got a reply that satisfies me.

The whole reason I purchased and Escape was because I felt that they would and have gone above and beyond. It was this forum that lead me to purchase our 19 in the first place.

Anyway, back to the barbecue.
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Old 05-12-2018, 09:55 PM   #19
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BBQ sounds good to me.
I did say I haven't read a reply that satisfies me, because nobody answered my question, other than "my gut tells me".
I have no idea what caused the damage.
Did ribs yesterday. Have to eat some sort of fish wrap tonight..
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Old 05-12-2018, 10:01 PM   #20
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Not in an Escape but I have seen similar spider cracks on a boler that were caused at the foot of the bed when someone "stretched" and pushed their feet against the side wall. I'm not saying that is the cause of this, but "impact" can mean different things, force or pressure can cause spider cracks, does not have to be a sudden impact
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