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 > 2019 Kodiak water in wheel well

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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 07/05/22 03:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bkenobi wrote:

I decided the best option was to start by removing the spray foam. I needed to figure out if it was open or closed cell anyway (it's closed cell). So now I have a blank canvas except for the residue. Can I install eternabond tape over the spray foam residue or will that compromise the seal?

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Second, I'm assuming I'm going to have to pull the skirt back to get that area sealed. I don't like the idea of ignoring it but it looks like a royal pain to get it off. I can remove the screws, but I'm guessing the metal is sealed on with silicon. To reinstall, I'd assume I'll have to clean the silicon first. Just seems like opening a can of worms!

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If there's an easier way and I'm over complicating this, I'd appreciate experienced comments!


Wheel well metal is installed incorrectly and sealing it permanently will be doubtful.

That upturned sheet metal of the wheel well should actually be behind the outside wall. Having it behind the outside wall allows any moisture running down the outside wall is simply shed off.

That is a very good example of poor design and/or assembly and the outside "skirt" just hides and serves as a means to hide the bad design/assembly..

Is there any way you can drop the wheel well enough to relocate behind the outside wall? If it is possible to relocate that metal you can use any caulking/sealant between the wall and the relocated metal.

bkenobi

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Posted: 07/05/22 10:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I started disassembling things to gain access, I started off in a good mood but was quickly pretty upset. It appears to me that what people have claimed was a higher end trailer intentionally hid things that could not be detected by a potential buyer without disassembling things. At this point, it's too late to correct the design or find a different trailer, so I have what I have.

That said, I appreciate the feedback and agree. The best I can hope for is to seal it with the best option and check for leaks periodically. The trailer lives in a metal building so this is only an issue during trips (of which I have had 1 trip of 2 days).

PButler96

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Posted: 07/06/22 02:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bkenobi wrote:

When I started disassembling things to gain access, I started off in a good mood but was quickly pretty upset. It appears to me that what people have claimed was a higher end trailer intentionally hid things that could not be detected by a potential buyer without disassembling things. At this point, it's too late to correct the design or find a different trailer, so I have what I have.

That said, I appreciate the feedback and agree. The best I can hope for is to seal it with the best option and check for leaks periodically. The trailer lives in a metal building so this is only an issue during trips (of which I have had 1 trip of 2 days).


Do not get upset as you have nothing any worse than anyone else unless you start comparing to some uber expensive custom built rig, a Prevost based A, etc, and even those may have shortcomings. A Kodiak is not high end, nothing is. Kodiak is a Dutchmen clone brand. Kodiak,Aerolite,Coleman,Denali all were/are built in the same plant from the same materials by the same people. Whats different? Decals and upholstery colors. Travel trailers and 5'ers, no matter who makes them, are simply junk built as fast as possible and pushed out the door, without much or any QA/QC. Anything you read on a manufacturers website or in a brochure is marketing BS using words like high quality, luxury, craftsmanship, etc. Folks claim this one is best, or that one is better, but the fact is you can find shortcuts taken and shoddy workmanship with all of them. That's why the warranties are so skewed towards the manufacturers to the point there almost worthless. The RV Industry is one of the shadiest industries that ever existed. Spend some time reading their propaganda rags RVbusiness.com
or go RVing.com and you'll see it's always roses all the time and everything is perfect in the RV world.

I've now owned 5 all purchased new including an Aerolite back a few years ago which was a sister to a Kodiak. Anyone who tells you X made by Y is better than K made by Z is mostly full of it, there are few exceptions if any in a mass produced RV.

If you get upset about what was hidden behind the wheel skirt, never, I repeat NEVER, drop a coroplast underliner and take a good look at what's hidden in there.

Seal the thing up, put it back together, and use it.

Gdetrailer

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Posted: 07/06/22 07:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PButler96 wrote:



I've now owned 5 all purchased new including an Aerolite back a few years ago which was a sister to a Kodiak. Anyone who tells you X made by Y is better than K made by Z is mostly full of it, there are few exceptions if any in a mass produced RV.

If you get upset about what was hidden behind the wheel skirt, never, I repeat NEVER, drop a coroplast underliner and take a good look at what's hidden in there.

Seal the thing up, put it back together, and use it.


There is a lot of truth packed into PBulter96 post.

Mass assembly lines require some take and give, it is typically all about building a device or product as quick as possible to minimize costs and delivering it to the customer at a price point the masses are willing to pay all the while delivering the company enough profit to pay for materials, buildings, utilities, accountants, workers, sales people, taxes and yes, provide the owners of said company profit they can reinvest into the company and draw a paycheck for themselves.

The take and give comes at the cost of QA, rarely does a company do 100% QA inspection, nope, most will use the sample method.

Accept/fail is often done using statistics, ever hear of a "Bell Curve"?

HERE

" The term bell curve is used to describe the mathematical concept called normal distribution, sometimes referred to as Gaussian distribution. "Bell curve" refers to the bell shape that is created when a line is plotted using the data points for an item that meets the criteria of normal distribution.

In a bell curve, the center contains the greatest number of a value and, therefore, it is the highest point on the arc of the line. This point is referred to the mean, but in simple terms, it is the highest number of occurrences of an element (in statistical terms, the mode). "


A company sets certain QA goals and standards that the samples must pass which represent the upper and lower allowable limits. Anything that falls between the upper and lower limits pass. Anything falls outside upper and lower limits fails.. Data is gathered and a chart is assembled of that data..

[image]

The data will now show a representation that starts to look like a "bell".. The goal is to have everything inside that bell.. Too many units fall outside of that bell and the production line may be stopped and reworked to improve the outcome as rework cost the company time and money..

Worked 22 yrs in manufacturing high tech devices and lived by the QA departments bell curve data sets..

One of our statistics classes everyone had to take at the plant we sampled measured 100 out a box of 1000 coffee stirrers.. Interestingly enough very few of the samples were the exact same length even though those are manufactured with automated machines, there were many stirrers had deviations in length in mms and only a few that were the same length in mm..

RV manufacturers do tend to get a bad rap but consider that they build thousands of RVs off each assembly line every yr there are going to be many that slip through with no QA done at all..

OPs issue is more about building a RV faster, it was designed and built that way to save the builder a lot of time.. Tucking the sheet metal behind the trailer wall would most likely require a redesign of the production line to allow the side wall to terminate a bit lower and the wheel well metal depth would have to be altered..

bkenobi

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Posted: 07/06/22 06:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sure, I get it. I had a Northernlite TC for a few years that I just sold and moved to this TT. I liked some things and hated some things about the way they built the NL. I saw other TC and know that in general the NL was much better in most regards. What I really liked about the NL is any questions I had, I could email NL and the owner would get back to me within a day. I understand company A operates differently than company B, so it's not fair to say A is great and B is terrible across the board based on one factor.

I did a lot of research and found the same as what has been mentioned (all TT are garbage). When looking at various options (TC, Class B, Class C, TT, 5er, etc) I noticed most had issues in some areas across the board. The NL was selected because it's structure is fiberglass so even if there is water issues, it shouldn't disintegrate. The Kodiak was selected for the same reason. They both have "wood" (the cheapest 1/8" plywood in existence), but the structure should be good. I wasn't expecting to find on a nearly new TT water issues from the factory. It was a surprise that this was effectively by design.

I talked to Dutchmen CSR today and they said that the way the wheel well was installed was as designed. And yes, the flimsy fender flare with the minuscule silicon bead is truly the way they designed the waterproofing on the wheel wells.

So basically what I've now learned is that I would not make it in the RV industry because I would make things too expensive to sell. Making a watertight exterior is apparently cost prohibitive for whatever reason.

EDIT: I really don't know what "high end" is, but the Kodiak was referred to in a way to suggest it was better than the obvious garbage meant to last for 1-2 years. A friend bought a used Montana 5er last summer and it is generally called "high end". They have had so many water issues I don't think they will be able to move it by the end of the year. It wasn't perfect when they picked it up, but the issues were very minor (on the surface). It makes me wonder if the Airstream TT are "high end" or if people think they are and are happy because they paid so much for them.

Gdetrailer

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Posted: 07/06/22 08:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wouldn't say that "all" RVs and RV manufacturers are garbage, in some respects it is the opposite if you take into consideration the requirements to build a 8' x 30' rolling palace on wheels. It must hold together under very severe conditions like 70 MPH - 100+MPH windspeeds (70 MPH driving speed plus 30 MPH winds or higher) and take the constant twisting and bumps to the frame and structure and still be light enough to tow with a common vehicle and not a semi tractor..

If you were able to drag any sticks and bricks behind your vehicle, chances are it wouldn't hold up as well as it is constructed with very rigid framing which doesn't flex..

RVs by their nature of needing to be flexible but yet strong and light weight has some side effects and compromises when it comes to staying weather proof, sealants must stay flexible to deal with all the twisting and movement but yet continue to seal..

Somethings can afford to be designed a bit better, the example of the wheel wells being up turned and terminating on the outside of the siding was most likely a design flaw created to make the assembly process go faster. But at the cost of longevity..

Something else to consider, may RV owners trade often, this means the RV design only needs to outlast the warranty or when the owner trades out to another model in a yr or two..

bkenobi

98101

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Posted: 07/06/22 10:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

Something else to consider, may RV owners trade often, this means the RV design only needs to outlast the warranty or when the owner trades out to another model in a yr or two..


That's something that has become clear at least from those I have conversed with and read comments on various forums. Although the dealers sell these with a 10+ year loan to a lot of people (thus they are "affordable"), they either don't last that long or don't stay with the owner that long. I suppose so long as the insurance covers the loss due to design flaws, most people wouldn't worry about it.

Anyway, I'll just have to seal the existing design as best I can to make it last as long as possible. I use my toys, but I try to keep them nice for both myself and in case I want to go a different way in the future. Thanks for the suggestions.

Gdetrailer

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Posted: 07/07/22 08:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bkenobi wrote:

Gdetrailer wrote:

Something else to consider, may RV owners trade often, this means the RV design only needs to outlast the warranty or when the owner trades out to another model in a yr or two..


That's something that has become clear at least from those I have conversed with and read comments on various forums. Although the dealers sell these with a 10+ year loan to a lot of people (thus they are "affordable"), they either don't last that long or don't stay with the owner that long. I suppose so long as the insurance covers the loss due to design flaws, most people wouldn't worry about it.

Anyway, I'll just have to seal the existing design as best I can to make it last as long as possible. I use my toys, but I try to keep them nice for both myself and in case I want to go a different way in the future. Thanks for the suggestions.


Correct.

Have a friend that is on their 4th TT in the 10 yrs we have known them. Myself, only the second RV since we started camping back around 2002. Both of mine were old used units that needed major repairs, friends TTs, brand new off the lot. But in my friends defense, they retired then started taking Grandkids camping, then the grandkids multiplied..

As far as 10 yr loans, keep in mind the dealers are doing what the public demands.. A very low monthly payment to get them into a $30K-$200K RV. That often means a 10yr-20yr loan to get the payments well under $200 per month..

I have seen it often stated on this forum that some folks don't care what the interest rate is and how many times they pay more in interest on the RV than what the unit cost new, they are going to do it again if needed as long as they can get the sale price under MSRP by so much percent and the payment is below a certain number.. To do that magic the loan period must be extended..

bkenobi

98101

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Posted: 07/08/22 10:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I spoke to another dealer's service department this evening since I was driving past. They told a slightly different story than I've heard so far. They only sell TT where the floor sits above the wheel well. In their opinion, they don't understand how the mfg could design where the fender flare is the water seal since the plastic flare will degrade, crack, or disappear when driving past a tractor trailer. They don't have experience with the lower slung models, so they couldn't offer a solution that they have used. But, they did suggest trying underbelly repair tape.

After a bit of review, it looks like it's basically like duct tape but is designed to adhere to the underbelly plasticized fabric and create a waterproof seal that can stand up to road salts etc. It's apparently super sticky so should hold for a long time.

Anyone have any thoughts? I've never seen the stuff (they were closing when I got there and the parts dept was already dark).

Gdetrailer

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Posted: 07/09/22 08:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The manufacturer of your rig was depending on the caulking or sealant at the seam to stop water intrusion. fender flare is decorative at best since the fender flare can't stop the water that is flung around by the tires.

Someone did mention using "EternaBond" tape which is most often used to seal up roof issues. I suspect, it will do the job. Follow the instructions and I believe part of the instructions include using a small roller to put pressure on the tape. The pressure helps the tape bond to the material under it. You will need to make sure the tape is covered by the fender flares when they are installed.

I have never needed to use EternaBond tape so I can't attest to how well it works but have seen a lot of positive posts about it.

Something I have used for places that won't be visible is called "Peel and Seal". It is a modified rubber/asphalt self stick roofing/flashing product which is available with an thin flexible aluminum top.. It is super, super sticky and the same idea as EternaBond applies, use a small roller to press it to the surface you are applying it to. The advantage of Peel and Seal is it's flexibility, it stretches with any expansion/contractions involved with different materials and yet doesn't rip, tear or lose the seal.. You can buy it in widths from 6" to 36"..

[image]

Found HERE

They do have white sold as Peel & Seal Power Bond in 4" width..

Found HERE

Both products need to be applied to a clean dry surface.

Note, when they say self stick, it is self stick, don't let it touch anything including it's self when installing.. Once it touches anything other than the backing paper it isn't going to come off without a fight.

Never tried the white myself, just the aluminum version but the white version should work just as good.

On edit..

Forgot to mention, any "tape" based solutions will need the top edge of the tape applied above the wheel well material but not any higher than the fender skirt. I would shoot for covering the fender skirt screw holes then allow to run down to the wheel well metal, fold under and into the wheel well making sure you have firmly pressed the tape to all surfaces.

The Peel & Seal since it is a modified rubber/asphalt product also is self healing so running screws through it results in a seal around the screw threads. Not sure if EternaBond is like that.

* This post was edited 07/09/22 08:55am by Gdetrailer *

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