Reader seeks input about ‘Extreme’ RV siding problem

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From editor Chuck Woodbury
I received this email from reader Kate Perrie about a serious condition with cracking paint on the exterior of her motorhome. I am sharing it with you to see how many others have had the same experience. If this is a widespread problem, we will assign an article about it to one of our RV tech experts. Please leave a comment if you know more about this.

Cracking paint on Ms. Perrie’s motorhome.

Dear Chuck,
I know you have been on a quest to instill some quality control in the RV industry. In light of this I want to share with you a quality problem we’ve experienced.

We purchased a 2009 Gulf Stream Tourmaster and have an extreme problem with the exterior paint, a condition that I believe is called Micro Checking. From my investigations, it appears to be a fault with the skin on the exterior walls and not the paint — a defect in the composition of the material, Filon.

I have tried to have the coach repainted by two paint providers and they both informed me that they do not repaint coaches with this problem because the checking problem will just return. As far as I can tell, from my limited resources, that in order to correct this the walls need to be re-skinned.


Filon RV siding

I have heard that this is not limited to any one RV manufacturer. We all bought an RV with expectations that the paint and the exterior of the coach would not become an eyesore that would significantly degrade the value of our investment.

I have been an avid reader since we bought our coach – almost nine years — and I have never seen this topic discussed in your newsletter. If you have any information on this problem, or know anyone who you think could be of help in my quest to find a solution, or any ideas as to possible directions to take, please let me know. — Kate Perrie

READERS: Your comments are invited.

##RVT798

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Diane Souders
Guest
Diane Souders

We have the same problem on our 2005 Itasca Horizon motorhome, It started several years ago on the drivers side in the dark brown paint and has since moved to some of the lighter color paint. Just this last week we went to a RV repair company who does the “Fiberglass checking repair””. Just to do the dark color repairs would run about $9,000. and their is no guarantee it won’t happen again & most likely would.

Paul
Guest
Paul

Had the same problem on a 2012 Coachman Sports Coach. Started about a year and a half after we bought it. The black and dark brown paint was full of cracks, while the light colored paint was fine. I was told by a friend in the auto paint business there was no point trying to fix it as it would return again. He said it was much more common in dark colored paints but can also occur in light colored paints.

Troy
Guest
Troy

I know a simple and relatively cheap fix for this with many options on colors and hues. I don’t know if anyone has done this to an RV before, but it’s pretty huge in the automotive world. Have you ever heard of Plastidip? Check out Dipyourcar.com to see all the options on what can be done. I covered my jeep in the stuff to keep the paint underneath from scratches while off roading, and it works great! There are professional installers all over the place, and it’s so much better and cheaper than a wrap. The only way a wrap… Read more »

Roy Ellithorpe
Guest
Roy Ellithorpe

We have the same problem on our 06 Travel Supreme. The black looks like the cat was shedding when the paint was wet, the dark grey has some cracking and the 2 lighter colors are fine. As Tom says the aluminum baggage doors are fine.
Seems to follow Matts theory.

Kevin Wilmouth
Guest
Kevin Wilmouth

How expensive would a wrap for the RV be and would this work? You see all kinds of vehicles with a wrap for advertising including buses so why not look into a nice looking custom wrap. Just a thought KW

David Burrell
Guest
David Burrell

I have the same problem on a 2016 Thor Tuscany.

Tom Hargreaves
Guest
Tom Hargreaves

I have the problem on my Holiday Rambler FG side walls, but NOT on the aluminum-skinned compartment doors and lower panels.

Lorne Briere
Guest
Lorne Briere

I looked at your pictures of the thermochecking of the sidewalls. There is no fix or paint repair that will eliminate this issue. Even stripping off the sidewalls and replacing with new fiberglass walls with different composite structure will not guaranty that your coach will not have thermocycling (gassing off of the fiberglass) issues again. What happens is that when the sidewall gets hot over a certain temperature it will cause the fiberglass to gas off or kick off and cause slits in the paint. This does not cause any damage to the clear coat over the paint it just… Read more »

Don & Mary
Guest
Don & Mary

We have the same problem on our 2005 Fleetwood Triumph Regency 5th wheel.

Mel
Guest
Mel

We have a friend with I believe a 2006 Newmar that has the same problem. He contacted newmar, but they would not do anything about it. I understand that some were getting a class action law suit. This was 4 years ago.

O. Henderson
Guest
O. Henderson

Checking is a well known problem, I have a 2003 Newmar Dutch Star that I bought used in 2010, I noticed the condition sometime in 2011. It’s prevalent mostly in the dark colors and can be exacerbated by setting in the hot sun. I’ve had a quote from Newmar for 27K to reskin the unit, this was supposedly a special they were running. I’ve asked their engineers what I could expect, long term, if I took no action, I could never get a definitive answer from them. I’ve decided to do nothing, so far it doesn’t seem any worse than… Read more »

Richard West
Guest
Richard West

Same issue on 2005 Holiday Rambler. Bids of $30 – 50K to reskin.
Rick

THomas N Pelkey
Guest
THomas N Pelkey

I have 2003 Tiffin Allegro Bus with similiar problems. Tom

Cohen Edith
Guest
Cohen Edith

We had this problem a few years ago on our new Ford Explorer. The service dept manager at the dealer noticed it at the first 3,000 mile service. It’s called star bursting. It was on the top mainly, then found on the sides. The dealership worked diligently to repaint and do,whatever they could to make it right. Over about 6 months of dealing with this, and the dealership kept ford manufacturing informed, they determined that the metal was defective and no amount of primer, painting, etc., would stop the star bursting. Ford sent a district rep to review and evaluate… Read more »

Rick
Guest
Rick

I have the problem on a 2005 Winnebago Adventurer.

Ron
Guest
Ron

Have the problem on a 2009 Winnebago journey