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Old 10-03-2020, 08:08 AM   #1
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Water leaks

Having done numerous water damage repairs on two Sunlines, I can't stress enough the importance of being diligent about preventing water intrusion in your Sunline camper. I'm sure this applies to any RV, but being experienced only with Sunlines, I know the weak points of these campers;
1- Roof seals- Sunline wrapped their rubber roof over the siding, then screwed the gutter to the vertical surface at the roof level. This required a bead of Dicor self leveling sealer at the joint which is exposed to the elements. Eventually, cracks develope and water begins its entry. Once inside, it will travel down the wall.
2- Uncoated pine framing and OSB subfloor. These materials soak up water and left alone mold will form.
3- Fiberglass insulation on walls and floors. This is probably the worst insulation material for a camper as it soaks up water like a sponge and keeps it there. It was applied over (ends up being under after they flip the camper right side up at the factory) the floor joists so that these 2"x2" or 3" joist become saturated as well.
4-Black Darco fabric almost waterproof. It will allow water to pool, but if you smack it in an area where water is present, it will weep water telling you that there is a problem. The main idea is that it acts like a pool liner holding any water that accumulates against the wood framing.

So the roof seals need to be checked at least every 6 months to insure their water tightness, but there are other points of entry. Window frames, hatch door frames and seals and even light bezels can allow water inside. These also need to be checked because once water enters the camper, its usually not detectable usually until damage has occurred.

On my own 2499 camper, which has up until recently had a completely dry front half (repairs done at the back), i felt a wet spot in the front bedroom on our last camping trip. I first thought it was a plumbing leak since it so close to the water pump, fill hose and other pipes, but then I found a poor fitting hatch door that was receiving water from the gutter spout whenever it rained. This required about a two foot by two foot section of OSB to be replaced. Of course, the lower siding had to be removed to gain access. This is one feature that Sunline did that I'm happy about. That one piece can be removed without disturbing the siding above it.

I've replaced whatever insulation I could remove with rigid insulation board and coated all unpainted wood I could reach with Kilz primer.

So, the purpose of this post is to alert anyone who may not be aware of the potential problems of water intrusion to the importance of preventative maintenance on their own Sunline. Everybody likes to extol the virtues of Sunline's great workmanship, but they were not built to last forever and since many of us are trying to keep ours for almost that long, don't overlook this maintenance item.

One more thing, I know not every one has the opportunity to keep their camper under a roof, but ideally this would be the best option to preventing water problems since most of the time, our campers are sitting waiting for the next trip. A cover has its drawbacks, like chafing of the paint when the wind blows the cover, but repairing water damage is far more labor intensive than cosmetic repairs in my opinion.
Hope this is helpful,
Rich
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Old 10-09-2020, 04:37 PM   #2
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I know exactly what you are saying Rich. I had a slight leak at the extreme rear corner which resulted in me have to tear out the shower and floor and remover the siding at the rear and side around the shower. I had to replace all the studs and floor joists with green lumber as the fiberglass soaked up and held the water. After doing all that, I used 6 inch wide Enduro-bond tape - the stickiest substance ever - and covered the entire edge of the roof with it. No more leaks
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Old 10-12-2020, 05:27 PM   #3
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Rich,

Quote:
Originally Posted by vcrt View Post
snip..

So, the purpose of this post is to alert anyone who may not be aware of the potential problems of water intrusion to the importance of preventative maintenance on their own Sunline. Everybody likes to extol the virtues of Sunline's great workmanship, but they were not built to last forever and since many of us are trying to keep ours for almost that long, don't overlook this maintenance item.

Hope this is helpful,
Rich
Yes, any camper, any brand, needs routine maintenance to help keep it in a good operating and dry condition. Especially when it comes to water intrusion. While the roof gets mentioned in the owners manual to inspect, and even Dicor mentions to inspect the roof 4 times a year, they do not give enough information, as to what a problem looks like in it's infancy stages to its full blown leak stage. If you are not trained, or learned the hard way, what a leak potential looks like, and how to address it when you find it, leaks still happen when the inspection is done.

Then there are all the other places on a camper that have leak potential below the roofline never mentioned in the owners manuals. And I'm not sure if any camper owners manual, any brand, talks about where leaks can and do start due to compromised siding penetration sealing. Any opening in the siding; entry doors, windows, corner moldings, water heater, furnace, shore line cord door, DOT clearance lights, cargo doors and the list goes on to with how many holes get cut into the siding, and they are all leak potential areas. As the camper ages, the roof and the siding sealing gets all that much more important to inspect and reseal. And the age is not that old either for when campers can have water issues. After year 3 of a camper being built, the inspections need to be more intense as leaks can and do start at the 3 year mark and some even after they are built pending the brand....

Your comment about camper owners wanting to keep a camper forever, has a lot of truth to it, especially Sunline owners. We really get attached to our campers, we have made a lot of great memories with them. And many of them are still better built, and have better features then many new brands being sold today. At least in my opinion, and yes I'm somewhat Sunline bias'ed..., but all campers have the same needs to keep them in good condition for years.

Camping forums, like ours and others, have done a lot to help educate folks about water damage, trailer suspension, brakes, trailer frames, appliances, camper maintenance in general. The more we talk on all that we do to keep our Sunnies going, the more the word gets out.

Your post is very relevant to all our members. And if they need help on understanding a topic and what to do, just ask.

Thanks for bringing this up. It needs to be read more often.

John
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Old 10-13-2020, 06:21 AM   #4
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Good points John,,
Here's an area where leaks can occur while seeming to be just fine. Windows and doors are set in using putty tape and no more than that at the factory. This method should keep water out for years, but until water is seen inside the camper and then traced to that window or hatch, it might look just fine when inspected. So what to do to prevent leaks? I have removed and revealed some windows I suspected of leaking, but they might have been OK. I at least eliminated that window as a source, but I wouldn't expect the average rv owner to do this as a regular maintenance procedure.

On my 2499, someone before I bought it, maybe the factory, had applied a bead of sealer over the tops of some of the light bezels, so taking a cue from that, I did the same to all of the windows that weren't under the rolled up awning. This would help keep water that runs down the siding during a rainstorm from at least not get between the frame and the siding and entering the camper. But, how long will the putty tape last? I suppose a number of factors may affect it's performance, but as a general rule, I can't say I know.

Also, on the subject of putty tape, for many years I have used butyl as the better choice. I always saw it with a layer of white crepe paper stuck to one side. Recently, I purchased a roll of butyl tape at CW that had a flat, brown paper instead of the crepe I was used to. It was labeled butyl so I bought it. This tape turned out to be the most difficult to work with because it was so sticky that just trying to peel the paper backing from it was a chore. In addition, once the paper was removed it was very stretchy making it hard to lay down evenly. The stickiness meant it stuck to my fingers as I tried to get it back where I wanted it to be.
Then, once I got the part in place and tightened the screws, the excess squeezed out was very difficult to cut off. The tape with the crepe paper backing would easily be cut away with a plastic spatula, but this one was like trying to remove bubble gum from your shoe, pulling away like mozzarella cheese on pizza-not fun.
Now, once the job was finished, I will say that I believe the seal will be excellent since it is so pliable and sticks to both surfaces extremely well, but be forewarned, if you get this type, you'll be spend more time and getting more frustrated that you might be used to.
Rich
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Old 10-13-2020, 10:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vcrt View Post
Good points John,,
Here's an area where leaks can occur while seeming to be just fine. Windows and doors are set in using putty tape and no more than that at the factory. This method should keep water out for years, but until water is seen inside the camper and then traced to that window or hatch, it might look just fine when inspected. So what to do to prevent leaks? I have removed and revealed some windows I suspected of leaking, but they might have been OK. I at least eliminated that window as a source, but I wouldn't expect the average rv owner to do this as a regular maintenance procedure.

On my 2499, someone before I bought it, maybe the factory, had applied a bead of sealer over the tops of some of the light bezels, so taking a cue from that, I did the same to all of the windows that weren't under the rolled up awning. This would help keep water that runs down the siding during a rainstorm from at least not get between the frame and the siding and entering the camper. But, how long will the putty tape last? I suppose a number of factors may affect it's performance, but as a general rule, I can't say I know.
Hi Rich,

I have an amount of stuff I have been collecting on your points above. I was collecting it to make a post on the topic in the near future. Here are some key points from what I will cover with more pics later.

Sunline did change the brand/type of putty tape over the years. In some cases the really older camper may have had slightly better lasting tape, but they still did not hold up as they should. They also seemed to change brands in the 2006 to 2007 model years. Club members with 80's and into the early 90's campers reported the putty tape still had pliability to it, but I could see the bond to the siding or the molding/window flange's etc. was still cracked.

The issue with the putty tape I have found is, over time the putty tape shrinks. When exposed to sunlight, it aggravates the situation it seems as the cracks in the tape become more pronounced. Sometimes the tape will lift from the siding, the molding or it will split in the center of the two. The separation or split may start small and not be a leak at the start. The shrinking is what is causing the separation. As the tape gets shorter then applied length, the stress of shrinking lifts the bond or cracks the tape itself.

Next up is where is the affected area? This can be a good luck or bad luck situation. The good luck is, the putty tape separation did not yet make it across the entire width of the molding/siding joint still having a level a seal intact. And then there is the location on the camper. A front window, widow or cargo door under a gutter spout, a corner molding at the end of the gutter rail with the spout missing or the corner molding in general are "some" of the worse offenders for leaks due to location. There are more, but those stick out. More water naturally ends up beating on those seams.

You are then into the bad luck situation when the putty tape shrink/cracks progress over time enough to allow a complete seal failure to happen. Then water starts wicking and seeping in between the siding and the sealing flange of the window, door, molding etc. The leak may only let say, an ounce of water in the first water infecting event. But the water and dirt that comes with it, even more affects the bond of the putty tape. Over time, more ounces water wicks/seeps in. When the screws start rusting or the wood starting to rot, the screws are not holding the seam tight as they use to and the entire seals weakens. In time, (years) worth this small little crack in the putty tape could of let gallons of water in never to be seen inside the camper. It festers in the walls, floor and ceiling and over time. When the rot is bad enough you can smell it or see it inside, by then large damage in the wall has occurred.

Here is a pic of a front molding leak path. There is more to talk on this, but it shows the progression of a failed putty tape seal. The black dirt/mold is the leak path. In this case, the seal failure almost made it all the way into the corner.


Next what can you do about it? What you said, there are 2 ways to combat the issues.

1. Pull out the window or molding, scrape off the old putty tape, install new commercial grade butyl tape and install.

2. Apply caulk to the edge of the siding and the flange of the window, door, molding etc. every siding penetration. You have to touch the siding the the metal of the flange. I use either Dicor non sag (non leveling) or Proflex RV caulk. Both work, but the more I use the Proflex, the more I am leaning towards using it as my main secondary sealing compound.

If you do both option 1 and 2, then you have 2 stage positive seal with a lot longer life. Those who cannot do option 1, then option 2 is still very effective.

This same pic is off my T310SR.






I need to look up the exact dates on when I started applying option 2 to my T310SR. This pic shows it better. I used Dicor non sag about ~ 10 years before I pulled that molding off. You can see the white bead of caulk on the left side of the pic


That caulking stopped the leak progression. I did not pull that molding off until about 2 years ago. The camper was about 5 to 6 years old since being made in Nov 2003 when I applied the caulk. The T310SR lived outside from Nov 2003 until Sept 2013 when the new barn came. Bottom line, the putty tape used started cracking and separating at some level in approx. 3 to 5 years after being applied if the camper lived outside all the time. This all comes down to good luck or bad luck if the seal breaks through or not to allow a leak to occur. And if the camper is exposed all year long uncovered.

I camped with a fellow Sunline owner a year ago with a 2001 camper. They had a front window. On a 2001 camper, the front window was behind a different rock guard. This rock guard totally covered the front window flange and window. It was separate from the window. This is not like the newer Krino front windows where the rock guard is part of the window frame. On the 2001, I looked close at the putty tape at the front window. No cracks, it was not moldy and it looked shockingly great. Not like mine. That vintage front rock guard shielded the sun from beating on the caulking when not using the camper. The sun exposure was a lot less at that location. Their corner moldings where they are exposed to the sun, had cracks in it. The UV breakdown is part of the problem accelerating the cracks.

I have a lot more of this is all areas of the camper where putty tape has failed on a siding seal. The putty tape leaks are close to, and in some cases worse then a roof leak as there are so many siding penetration's.

While we are on this, some folks have used silicone to seal the siding joints. While this type of caulk will work for a few years, it will not last. After about 2 to 3 year it can break free from the siding or the molding. The caulk did not really break down, but is does shrink and pulls away from the siding or the molding leaving a seeping leak path to still come back. Point, Silicone is a good product, just not for the outside sealing of a camper like we are talking about.

John
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Old 10-13-2020, 11:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vcrt View Post

Also, on the subject of putty tape, for many years I have used butyl as the better choice. I always saw it with a layer of white crepe paper stuck to one side. Recently, I purchased a roll of butyl tape at CW that had a flat, brown paper instead of the crepe I was used to. It was labeled butyl so I bought it. This tape turned out to be the most difficult to work with because it was so sticky that just trying to peel the paper backing from it was a chore. In addition, once the paper was removed it was very stretchy making it hard to lay down evenly. The stickiness meant it stuck to my fingers as I tried to get it back where I wanted it to be.

Then, once I got the part in place and tightened the screws, the excess squeezed out was very difficult to cut off. The tape with the crepe paper backing would easily be cut away with a plastic spatula, but this one was like trying to remove bubble gum from your shoe, pulling away like mozzarella cheese on pizza-not fun.
Now, once the job was finished, I will say that I believe the seal will be excellent since it is so pliable and sticks to both surfaces extremely well, but be forewarned, if you get this type, you'll be spend more time and getting more frustrated that you might be used to.
Rich
Over the years I have learned a lot about butyl tape. It is by far superior to putty tape, but not all butyl tape is created equal.

The release paper by color or texture does differ between brands. The paper itself is not an indicator of the quality of the tape though, it is just different release paper.

Back in 2009 when I was fixing my slide floor rot problem on my T310SR, I bought several rolls of butyl tape off an online RV parts store. It was for sure butyl as you can do the pull test on it and it pulls like taffy with stringers 3 feet long. It went on well and trimmed OK with a plastic scrapper. I did this in the spring of the year.

Then comes my entry door frame reset so I could close the door without it jamming. I ordered some more from the same place on line. This same no name brand of butyl looked close but acted different. I put in on and trimmed it OK like before. Then I stored the rest of roll in a zip lock bag in the camper in case I needed some on the road. A year later, I went to get that bag and the roll was hard as a rock. Oh boy, this is bad butyl....

That started me on a mission to find high quality butyl that I knew the brand I was buying. I "tried" to buy Dicor butyl, the same as they use on the roofs. This is good quality butyl but getting it shipped was a disaster. The 10 rolls I bought from Camping World was damaged in shipping. I'm not sure if this was dropped shipped from CW or some other warehouse. They just put the rolls in a big box and shipped them. There were all beat up and the rolls flattened and stuck together. In my book, they are not useable. I contacted CW, showed them the pics and they apologized profusely. In this case, they refunded me my money as I had to go buy some elsewhere.

So I ordered some more Dicor from another on line retailer here in
Ohio. It showed up in 2 days, all beat up like the CW order did. Sent them pics, they apologized profusely and shipped a 2nd order, but had it shipped to their main office from the supplier so they could see it first. She called me back, the same problem, just it was even more jumbled all up. They refunded me my money.

The search started for commercial building butyl sealing tape. When you put steel buildings together they use the butyl as well. A commercial building does not want leaks due to a less then $10 roll of butyl tape, they want 25 to 30 year durability. This took me to Permatite brand 250H butyl. This product 250-H Butyl Tape | Permatite

That tape worked really well and I bought it by the case off of Amazon. But this was about 3 to 4 years ago. Permatite sold out to Edge Adhesives. Edge makes good commercial butyl as well. But they never got the shipping method from the original company on how it needs to be to survive UPS and Fed ex shipping. After the 3rd shipment of damaged cases of the Edge produced Permatite, I gave up on them. They have no problem selling you a pallet of product shipped by truck, just UPS or Fed shipping I'm not sure if they ever got that resolved.

That took me to GSSI sealants. These folks GSSI Sealants, Inc.

Scroll down to the bottom. I use the MB-10A SEALANT TAPE. This is the commercial building tapes. If you look, there are 3 other tapes made for the RV world. I called them and talked to their tech service dept. I asked what is their best, longest lasting butyl they have. They told me the MB-10A. I asked what about the other 3 RV tapes, then it came out. The modify the formula so it trims easier. And with that modification, while it will trim easier, they loose some of the sealing ability. It still seals well but will not last as long as the MB-10A tapes. And he stated, you can still trim MB-10A, it is just not as easy.

I have now bought over 4 cases of the MB-10A. I buy it from Best Materials here https://www.bestmaterials.com/detail.aspx?ID=18944

While I buy it by the case, they sell it in single rolls too. https://www.bestmaterials.com/Search...nufacturer=108

Since they are a commercial roofer company, they know how to ship this kind of product and it not get damaged. Even with single rolls.

To the super sticky and trimming. Temperature affects both. Using the MB-10A or Permatite it works totally different at cooler temps. At temps of 60 to 45F it is very different then at 70F. At the colder temps, you warm the metal or the tape to apply and trim it.

At 70F application is doable and still trimmable with a plastic scraper. At 80F, the trimming is a stringy mess. In this case, wait until the next morning when it is lower temps and it works very different. If you are doing this outside in bright sun, and the camper is hot from the sun, (in the 75 to 80's) it is going to work messy too. Again back to temperature. While spring time in the sun at 50 or 60 F is very different then August and 75 to 85 outside. Just wait and trim it the next morning before the camper heats up.

Here is a one pic that sort of tells all on commercial grade butyl. I had to take up a Permatite sealed slide flange 2 years after installing it. The GSSI tape does the same. I have never, ever seen putty tape look/seal like this. The bond to the siding and the slide flange was 100% solid. The butyl had to rip in 2 parts to have the joint come apart. It stayed bonded to the metal on both sides.




Seeing that correct bonding action is the difference in quality commercial building butyl then RV butyl or putty tape. The tape itself will break before the adhesion to the metal does. Yes, it does cost a little more, but it is only a little bit more and the results are night and day difference.

If you have a local roofing/steel building supply company, odds are high they offer good quality butyl too. I'm sure there are more good brands out there. I will never again buy a no name brand of butyl tape at an RV store sitting on the shelf exposed to the air for who knows how long.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 10-13-2020, 12:31 PM   #7
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Sounds like you're describing what I got from CW. I'll try the cooler weather trimming whenever that happens here in SC.
BTW John, do you really have 5 Sunlines now?
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Old 10-13-2020, 06:33 PM   #8
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Sounds like you're describing what I got from CW. I'll try the cooler weather trimming whenever that happens here in SC.

BTW John, do you really have 5 Sunlines now?
Rich
If you would move back north, cold weather is not far away...

And yes, I really have 5 Sunlines right now. You gotta have a spare or 2 don't ya? You may have missed a few posts.

We have the T310SR you have seen a few times and the one we still camp in all the time.

Then there are 4 other Sunline "project" campers. I have sort of found my way into a somewhat extreme retirement hobby. Some guys restore cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, houses, etc. well, I do campers. I am on my 12th camper rot repair, with 9 of them being Sunlines.

Here is some late night reading in case you missed them. You can scan the pics or read.

Project camper no. 1. This one was on track to be restored by early summer. But then Covid came and put a damper on progress. It is back in the winter project slot for this year.
https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...avy-17684.html

Project camper no. 2. This one I already redid the front wall and took the top back of the roof up to get the wet insulation out, dry it out and stop the rear wall leak. This camper is usable at the moment, and has camped a few times by family members. But it needs a new roof and an entire rear wall rebuild yet plus whatever else comes up to complete the restore. https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...475-18501.html
The repair thread
https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...2-a-18706.html

Project camper no. 3. This one is apart well dried out now waiting to get in the restore que. https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...avy-19318.html

Project camper no 4. This one is apart well dried out also waiting to get in the restore que.
https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...ics-19473.html

Since you are pre-trained doing rot repair from your prior camper, maybe you want to get into a new hobby too?

John
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Old 10-14-2020, 05:08 AM   #9
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John, what were the 3 non Sunline campers you did and what was your impression of them?
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Old 10-14-2020, 05:42 AM   #10
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I have been away for awhile and missed all of these. I'm still doing my business in a building behind our house and between that, home repairs and other things, I'm pretty busy.

I just skimmed one of the posts and I'm sure at this point, you have enough material and expertise to write the definitive book on camper repair!

Rich
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Old 10-14-2020, 06:57 PM   #11
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John, what were the 3 non Sunline campers you did and what was your impression of them?
Hi John,

As always, I learned something from all 3 of these campers. Some had small water damage while others had more. I only did spot repairs on these, not a total restore as the neighbors who own them did not want to get that much into them.

1. 2004 Keystone Cougar TT. This was a big one, 2 slides, 34 feet just about, 10,000# GVWR. It was a rear living layout, similar to our T310SR. This camper had filon siding and an EPDM rubber roof. The rear wall showed a lot of wet with the moisture meter. There was an active leak on the right rear corner. A traditional corner joint caulking failure. When I took the corner apart, the corner molding shocked me with how they applied it. On the long filon side, the corner molding was pressed tight to the siding and there was no sealant between the siding and the molding. There may have been a film of something on the outside, but it was almost gone when I saw it. On the rear wall where the screws are under the vinyl cover, they used a putty tape material to give a seal. I look at this same joint on many newer other brand campers. And many manufactures with filon siding, do it about the same, but they put a fine 1/32" bead of caulk on the siding to the molding. Yeh, 1/32" film of sealant is what you get as a seal on the side walls.

I patched the roof area with a new piece of underlayment, it had an OSB walk on roof, and sealed it all back up and the corner molding. The big picture rear window was leaking from putty tape failures and I caulked them closed.

The front wall had similar corner molding leak issues and active leaks. The putty tape failed, water wicked in, delimitation started on the side walls, both the left and right wall opening holes to the inside wall cavity. This vintage of camper used a product called Unicore I believe on the front and rear walls, a very thick corrugate like the Sunline budboard roof, just thicker. I patched the delam on the siding to stop it from separating and leaking. Water had wicked across the Unicore on the front and the back wall. The moisture meter confirmed the front and back was wet.

They uses aluminum wall studs and they put the screws into the thin tubing to hold the corner moldings on. You can strip a screw real fast screwed into a 1/32" thin wall aluminum tube. The higher end camper builders insert wood into the hollow wall studs just to hold the screws where needed. This camper had none.

Overall, this was one of Keystones higher end campers for the time period. They at least had a 10" I beam frame and axles/tires to handle the entire camper weight. Not all Keystone campers are built the same. Price point enters and they start down sizing axles, tires, cargo capacity, interior appliances etc. This camper was built before the, 1/2 ton towable words and light weight made it into the industry. The methods of how they are made today, are very different then how this older one was. It had a nice floor plan, the cabinets were nice, dark in color, but RV standard manufacturing with wrapped wood. I am not sure I would entertain buying a new Keystone camper. If I did, it would have to be a high end one to get past the downsizing things they do.

2. The next camper was a 2000 Coachmen. It was a 7,000# GVWR about 26 ish ft long bunk house non slide. It had corrugated aluminum siding. The camper frame under this model was, built better then most new campers in this weight class I see today. It had a good frame under it. Again this is an older made vintage camper before Coachmen was bought out. I would not expect the campers of today to have a frame this rugged.

This camper had a full one piece aluminum roof as the roof membrane. It was not a full walk on roof, but I was shocked how good the roof membrane was. This roof membrane can go another 20 years and not have an issue or need a coating etc. The industry though has stopped making them like this. The labor to cut and fit all the roof openings is all that much harder. But it is a very good roof membrane. The down fall is the caulk and sealants. They were all shot. The neighbor helped and we took all the old Dicor off, put all new on and after it cured for a month, Eternabonded every roof seam. He already had another friend rebuild the entire front of the camper from rot. The rear right side corner and floor under the toilet was in real ruogh shape. Water damage from failed putty tape corner moldings took it out. I lifted the rear corner molding and removed a piece of bottom siding to repair the outer band board at the floor line so the awing arms had something to screw into. The neighbor did not want to get into a full rear wall and floor rebuild, so we sealed it up to stop leaking. We also did a brake inspect, bearing repack on it and put new tires on to replace the 18 year old ones...

This was a basic camper of the time period. Coachmen on this vintage did not down size the frame, tires or axles. It was built as a good camper, just it did not many upgraded things inside like the Sunline Solaris campers do. Putty tape failures did this one in on the rot aspect.

3. The next was a 2014 Gulfstream Kingsport camper bunkhouse. About 27 ft, non slide approx 7,690# GVWR, aluminum siding. This camper was a real basic starter camper. I did more other repair work then water damage as it was newer. The camper had a tree limb tear the roof membrane. It was a TPO roof. I fixed the tear and the wood rot under it was minimal. This neighbor though was going to sell it and needed some of the broken things fixed. The stove cabinet came apart. These are built with wrapped paper particle board wood. And they used screws into the particle board which ripped out. I corrected that.

The entry step supports collapsed. The steps where pointing down hill about 20 degrees from the support steel giving way. I have no idea what they were thinking when they made this step mount. 1/32" thick sheet metal brackets do not hold well fed adults very well. I reinforced it and it now holds.

I had brake work to do, good thing he had a 1 ton truck to tow it as the only 1 of the wheels had effective braking. Broken brake wires took out the front axle and the rear axle the one wheel had the brake shoes separated. They used undersized axles do not hold all the GVWR, they had 3,500# axles and let the truck hold the extra GVW. This camper had made in USA Lippert axles and brakes. These older brakes were actually not bad. Just parts are hard to find on the USA version. The China replacement LCI parts will not interchange so you have to change the entire brake plate.

The neighbor knew he bought it cheap, and there is a lot inside that is starter camper quality starting to come apart. Their family camping life changed, so they sold it.

Once you go outside the Sunline brand, you start seeing what things Sunline did as standard and unique, where the other brands you had to buy into the higher end campers to attempt to come close.

4. There was another repair too, just not rot repair. 2019 Keystone Laredo fifth wheel. This is a new camper, bought in Feb this year. Then Covid hit and the owner needed help with some things getting redone as there no dealer in site that is not backed up 3 months on repairs. It has the infamous fresh water tank vent siphoning out half a tank of water problem while towing to camp. Many of the newer campers use a pressurized fresh tank fill verses the gravity fill spout like the Sunlines or other campers of years gone by. He would loose almost 1/2 of this water heading to camp. I helped him with this. This is a topic all it's own on the problems and how to correct them on this new method the RV industry is going to.

The self resetting circuit breaker was falling apart in the battery compartment. The battery cables were short in length and yanking on the circuit breaker that feeds the camper 12 volt system. The strain from these short cable have pulls these new cheap circuit breakers apart. We addressed this.

The low point drains and the fresh tank drains are straight down, under the camper in the middle. That is 4 ft inboard from the side you have to reach under to get to the valve outside. We re-piped them to the side.

These are all petty little things, but they should not be existing on a brand new camper. They where built like this from day 1.

Sorry for the rant...

John
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Prior Sunlines: 2004 T2499 - Fern Blue
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Old 10-18-2020, 02:32 PM   #12
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John, I loved you rant!

My daughter and son-in-law traded in their 2017 Keystone Bullet for a 2020 Keystone Outback. I can definitely tell the difference on the much more expensive Outback.

The Bullet roof had several minor caulking issues after just a few months while the Outback roof still looks great after a year.

Their dealer told them that Outbacks are the ďCadillacĒ of travel trailers. Not sure about all that though.

Thanks for sharing.
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