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Paint Checking/Spider Web Cracks


breister

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Looking to purchase a 2004 Holiday Rambler with dark blue full body paint. When I look at the sidewalls really close and in the right sunlight, I can see a bunch of small little like spider web cracks. I see these all over the motorhome but only if I look close and the sun is right. I have read that this happened a lot on units from around that timeframe and especially darker colored ones. Something to do with the fiberglass underneath releasing gasses when it gets really hot or something. The paint is still really shiny and looks good except when you look close. I am just wondering if I should be concerned about this. Is this common in units that are 10+ years old? Will it get worse as times goes on? If I keep it stored in doors will that help it stay nice? Any other input would be appreciated. Thank you

 

Brian

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I have a 2003 Dutch Star with the same issue. According to Newmar the only fix is to replace the sidewalls $$$$$$. I asked to speak with an engineer wanted to know what to expect in the future if I did nothing, no one could answer that question. I did some checking around and found two places that have tried a repair (stripping and repainting) but they say it hasn't been long enough to see if the repair works. As for my rig, I've had it five years now and it doesn't appear to have gotten any worse and only shows up in the dark colors, so I've decided not to worry about it. But, if I had known about this issue when I bought mine (didn't notice the problem before purchase) I would not have bought it. Mine is stored under cover and out of the hot Texas sun.

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I think that I'd want to get a healthy discount in price as compared to similar age/condition RVs to seriously consider any RV with this sort of issue. The problem isn't so much that we know it is bad as it is that we just don't know what will happen in the future. Keep in mind that if you put large amounts of money into an RV that is more than 10 years old, there is no chance that you will ever recover that cost.

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I found similar checking under the graphics on our Teton. These were on one side under the darkest colors only. When I painted new graphics I lightly sanded and then primed with an epoxy primer then automotive paint. 2 years so far and the light checking has not reappeared.

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Our 04, built Sept 2003, CC Allure has micro checking in the darker paint areas. Maroon in our case. It is something I watch, and was aware of when we bought it, and feel I priced the rig accordingly.

 

We've planned a repaint of the darker paints, with a lighter color, preserving the bulk of the existing Beige and tan paint, that is classic Country Coach quality. On ours, the dark Maroon is on the front lower part, covered with beat up 3M film. And then from behind the tag and working it's way up the back corners of the coach, and onto the rear too. (Amazing how much easier it would be to have road grime, if it was not contrasted by the darker paint...).

 

I've been told by a few, that by prepping it well, and then painting with the same quality paint in the lighter color (We've picked out a nice medium light brown to complement the beige and tan, and then we'll retain one Nike like swoosh, in a lighter maroon as contrast. The swoosh will be up above the waist line.), that the micro checking may never reveal itself again, or way down the road if it does.

 

We have this in our To Do lists, probably out two years from now budget wise:)! And we're doing it to get rid of the 3M, and to make coach cleaning a bit easier with a lighter color. Will help some on heat gain too, as much of the rear of the coach, is in that dark maroon, and the rear seems to have less insulation then the sidewalls. You open that closet, and you get real hot, or real cold, depending upon the weather:)! So, not just doing it because of the micro checking...

 

Best,

Smitty

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I've read this is a fiberglass side panel problem, not a paint problem. It occurred with many different manufacturers of RVs in a specific time period by those that used this specific fiberglass manufacturer. The only solution is to replace the side panels.

 

About a year ago I glanced over reading about it on a Newmar forum and talk was that Newmar replaced the side panels within a certain year range. After that period it was only going to be replaced by the owner. We didn't have that problem so can't help any more than this info.

 

Replacing side panels is very expensive but so is full body paint. I don't think I'd re-paint thinking this will solve the problem although it probably will during the time you own the RV. Good luck!

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I was told dark colors expand and contract significantly. The cracks may not be structural. My stock decals were removed by a firm that did a poor job, nicking and gouging gelcoat. I wound up going with full vinyl graphics on the sides. Price was better than paint.

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