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 > Exterior rear wall feels spongy

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jimmy16x

Florida

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Posted: 03/28/19 09:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've been considering buying a five or six year old smaller fifth wheel and looked at two nice ones yesterday that had a spongy feel on the outside rear wall. One was a 2013 Wildcat and the other was a 2015 Cougar. Both were 30 footers with a large rear window and below the window the fiberglass exterior would flex in and out when I pushed on it. Both sides of the window and above it and the rest of the walls felt firm and looked good. They were at two different dealers and the salesman at both told me that was fairly common on these models with large rear windows. Anyone had any experience with this that can give me some advice? Thanks

FLY 4 FUN

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Posted: 03/28/19 11:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I know those walls are typically of a "hung" variety, but I don't think they should be any different firmness than the side walls! I may be wrong, but I would suspect a small amount of water intrusion from the window or roof has made it spongy. Other potential issue is the wall materials have delaminated due to glue/adhesive failure. Not sure I would proceed much further without an independant inspection. Buying an rv with a leak or delamination puts your investment in jeopardy.


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pianotuna

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Posted: 03/28/19 11:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Run away.


Regards, Don
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goducks10

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Posted: 03/28/19 11:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thats normal for a non bonded wall. The only things holding the outer layer to the 5er are the window, perimeter trim and lights. Or whatever else penetrates the wall.

azrving

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Posted: 03/29/19 04:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The window has probably leaked. Also check the roof especially around the corners and ladder area. Check under the slides for soft or crunchy areas when you push up. Very common at the ends. Sometimes they leak and dry out and leave raised/bumpy crunchy areas.

MFL

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Posted: 03/29/19 05:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

goducks10 wrote:

Thats normal for a non bonded wall. The only things holding the outer layer to the 5er are the window, perimeter trim and lights. Or whatever else penetrates the wall.


Yes, many FWs with bonded firm sidewalls, do not have the same across the back. You can press on the inside back wall, and likely feel more give, than at the sidewalls. If no sign of water intrusion around rear window, inside or out, the units mentioned should not be a problem.

Jerry





WNYBob

Tonawanda, NY

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Posted: 03/29/19 06:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes that's'delamination', so drop the price $6 to $10, because that is what a dealer would sock you on trade in!

Ralph Cramden

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Posted: 03/29/19 07:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WNYBob wrote:

Yes that's'delamination', so drop the price $6 to $10, because that is what a dealer would sock you on trade in!


It may be, but most likely just the way its designed and built as at least two others have posted in this thread. If you go look at laminated trailers on a dealers lot you'll see the bows and waves in the rear walls on most of them, just look from an angle. The only manufacturer I am sure of who uses a true laminated panel the same as the sidewall for rear walls is Rockwood / Flagstaff. There has to be others.

bingford

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Posted: 03/29/19 07:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If it's a composite bonded wall then it should be solid. Some rear walls are of a 'floating" design and have some give. However it would be uncommon to have a large window on this type of wall.

* This post was edited 04/06/19 05:56pm by an administrator/moderator *

goducks10

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Posted: 03/29/19 07:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WNYBob wrote:

Yes that's'delamination', so drop the price $6 to $10, because that is what a dealer would sock you on trade in!


I know for a fact that Keystone does not vacuum bond or pinch roll the rear walls on Cougars. It's not delam. We have a dealer south of us next to the freeway that carries Keystone Cougars. When driving past them in the right light you can see the waves in the wall from expansion in the heat.
I can't vouch for the Wildcat.

My 2nd TT had the same floating rear wall. Heartland North Trail.

It's just another way to save money by the MFG.

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