Aluminum RV equitable to Fiberglass RV? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-01-2015, 01:54 PM   #29
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
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I'll update what I posted previously in this thread about the cracks overtop the door of my Lil Hauley. I stated above, "the Snoozy folks have stepped up to the plate and stated that they will pay for the repair." Well, it was Alan Smoak who had said he would pay for it. But when I followed up with Carl Cannon at Snoozy via email in May, Carl replied, "Unfortunately after your previous email with Richard, he spoke to Alan who was not willing to help with the cost of this repair. L. Even though the unit is out of warranty, we are willing to help you with the repairs needed after evaluating the work needed. Any travel plans to the SC area in the near future?"

This is the second time I've had Smoak offer to pay for a repair, only to change his mind inexplicably.

The offer by Snoozy (Richard Mickle?) to "help" with repairs "after evaluating the work needed" sounds like they want me to stop by and let me look at it, at which time they would decide if and how much help they would grant. And I'm not sure if they mean money or actual repair work. I wrote back to Carl and asked what this meant, but never got a reply. I tried calling Snoozy a couple of times and only get an answering machine...... so I've decided to forget about this so-called "offer" of "help". It would be a 2000 mile round trip to the factory ($350 in gas), and no assurance what would happen when I got there anyhow.

I'm not saying I had any right to expect help. It's out of warranty, after all. But the way they went about all this... offer, retract offer, offer something else, go silent... seems wacky to me.

I don't actually have much in the way of extra funds to pay for this work, so I think I'm going to let it slide. I think it'll be ok. You see, both Carl Cannon at Snoozy, and the boss at the FG boat/rv repair shop I got a quote from locally, told me they didn't think the cracks would get bigger. I've used the trailer steadily for 2 months since, and I think one crack lengthened (in the gelcoat, at least) just slightly. As long as it's not going to split the shell down the middle or anything like that, I'm not terribly concerned.

Here is the longer of the two cracks, from outside and inside the shell:
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I cannot say for sure what led to this cracking, but I and others who've looked at it have speculated that it may be from times when the wind caught the door and whipped it open or shut, hard. We get a lot of wind here in OK and the door holdback on this trailer has never worked well; sometimes the catch slips out of the groove in the swirling winds, and WHAM. But again this is just speculation.
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Old 06-01-2015, 02:01 PM   #30
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Trailer: 2012 ParkLiner #006
New York
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
You see, both Carl Cannon at Snoozy, and the boss at the FG boat/rv repair shop I got a quote from locally, told me they didn't think the cracks would get bigger. I've used the trailer steadily for 2 months since, and I think one crack (in the gelcoat, at least) lengthened just slightly. As long as it's not going to split the shell down the middle or anything like that, I'm not terribly concerned.
You might want to drill a hole at the end of each crack to keep it from getting worse.

These sort of cracks can be repaired by handy egg owners. Find a boat store (like West Marine) and get a gel coat repair kit. Generally you need to "V" out the crack somehome, fill it, then cover with some sort of gel coat repair.

Best of luck to ya!

Frank
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Old 06-01-2015, 04:19 PM   #31
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Name: Francois
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fix it, Mike....

fiberglass and gelcoat repairs look real complicated...if you've never attempted one...but the reality is that it is a real simple skill to learn...like in an hour or two...

most places where you can buy the materials will be glad to either explain it all to you or furnish you will detailed written instuctions...and then there's the net of course (Youtube?)

if it was me, with your problem I would drill a half inch hole an inch or two beyond where you can see the end of the crack now....this is to give the crack a place to stop. The theory being when it reaches that point there will be a much larger area (circumference of the hole) to absorb the shearing force....and it will stop there.

Now, the interior surface (that not many people see anyway) is a lot easier to remediate than the exterior...so I would apply 4-5 layers of fiberglass mat INSIDE to the area (like 4-5 inches on either side of the crack)....rough up the surface real good before applying first layer of mat...when doing this kind of repair or fill in openings in boats it is suggested to grind away around to opening to acheive a tapered edge and use layers of FG mat that are ever larger in area....but that is if you want to make the "perfect/flush" looking repair...not needed here I think

once you finished the interior "structural" work (including pouring a little epoxy in the hole from the outside) chisel/cut out an even little channel along the crack on the outside (gelcoat).....there's small gelcoat mixes availble and they are easy to figure out / work with....your biggest problem will be color matching.....but an appropriate size sticker or other strategy, like maybe painting a different color border all the way around the door will "disguise" the repair if you can't get the exact color

it's an easy to learn job/skill.....good idea to do one or two test applications on some scrap plywood (or whatever) before you tackle the real thing.... just to get the feel of it..there are time constraints, measurings to get used to and working with mat and epoxy can be a little awkward at first (gotta get the "moves" down pat before doing the real thing)

go for it! good luck
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Old 06-01-2015, 05:14 PM   #32
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Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
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Well, since the crack appears on both exterior and interior, I've been assuming that it goes all the way through. (Can't be certain, but it seems likely because the inside and outside cracks seem to follow the same path.) We are talking about a material thickness of perhaps as much as 1/2" on this type of shell. To do it right, I think I would probably have to dismount the door and remove the door framing (metal with wood surround), grind a V on both the outside and inside, and fill it in. Not at all sure I am up to the task.
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Old 06-01-2015, 05:51 PM   #33
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"This is the second time I've had Smoak offer to pay for a repair, only to change his mind inexplicably."

I remember the first time. You need to add this to your RV.net post as an update to let folks know your experience. Thanks for update Mike.
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:28 PM   #34
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could be wrong Mike....

from your pics I thought I was looking at a FG shell (outside finished with gelcoat, inside the rough FG mat...painted)....

I don't know exactly how your trailer is built....are you saying it's some kind of a "sandwich" construction with and outer and inner shell???? and the crack appears in both layers???? that sounds very unlikely...to me anyways (???)
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Old 06-02-2015, 12:25 AM   #35
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Trailer: 16' Casita
California
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I retired in 2005 and downsized.
I bought a ,I think, 1973 Scamp and fixed it up.
I was camping in the Sequoia National Forest and some one asked if it was for sale. I thought about it and gave him what I thought was a ludicrous price.
We cut our trip short went home and met me at my house with $4500.00 cash on Monday afternoon.
That got the wheels working. I bought a 88 16' Scamp fixed it up and sold it 8 months later for $9990.00.
I knocked off $10.00
Last summer I sold my completely refurbished 32 year old Lil Big Foot for $7800.00.
Of all the Eggs I have had that's the one I wish I had kept.
Four months ago I sold my 33 year old Scamp for $4850.00
The above is only a partial list as I have rebuilt and sold at least 10 eggs since I retired and made money on all of them.
I'm not bragging, just letting you know there ARE NO OTHER travel trailers which are as trouble free, long lived or hold their resale value as well.


The rounded contours of an Egg will get you much better gas than a boxy, flat fronted stick built trailer. Aluminum framing included.


Adult toys always seem to cost us a great deal of money.
With care you will get many years of use from an EGG and sometimes break even when you sell it.


Good luck,
John


PS
Look for a 20 year old Travel Trailer.
Most likely the owner will PAY YOU to haul it off.
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Old 06-02-2015, 10:33 AM   #36
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from your pics I thought I was looking at a FG shell (outside finished with gelcoat, inside the rough FG mat...painted)....

I don't know exactly how your trailer is built....are you saying it's some kind of a "sandwich" construction with and outer and inner shell???? and the crack appears in both layers???? that sounds very unlikely...to me anyways (???)
Lil Snoozy shells are an injection molded, single, thick shell. It is not thin like Scamp or Casita but is thick enough so that the body is rigid and self supporting without any inner supports.
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Old 06-02-2015, 10:50 AM   #37
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Mike, I am no expert on your type of trailer, but it looks like you crack is wider at the bottom, indicating that it is under stress. This would worry me.
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Old 06-02-2015, 12:00 PM   #38
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Name: Dennis
Trailer: Scamp
Minnesota
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One of my hobbies is auto body repair. I have fixed damage to Fibreglass, steel, and aluminum bodies. The ease of repair is fibreglass, steel, then aluminum.
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Old 06-03-2015, 06:55 AM   #39
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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Lil Snoozy shells are an injection molded, single, thick shell. It is not thin like Scamp or Casita but is thick enough so that the body is rigid and self supporting without any inner supports.
Evidently not self supporting or the door would not have cracked in this manner.
This crack is the result of stress concentrating in that corner of the door a and splitting the shell. This will not stop here and the causation factor is the twisting of the shell before and aft of the door. There is not enough support longitudinally to keep the stress from cracking the shell here.
This looks like either a poor structural design or some supports are not functioning as designed. The shell is rigid enough to concentrate the stress here and not flex and spread it out over a larger area.

You get the same warping in a Scamp when the floor is rotten in the front and the shell spreads, spreading the bottom of the door.
I know nothing of the Lil Snoozy structure, but this failure is indicative of bigger problems and if it is under warranty (or not for that matter) I would insist that the factory repair it at their cost and time. They should also reimburse you for the fuel to take it back to them!
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Old 06-03-2015, 07:50 AM   #40
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This certainly appears to be a stress fracture. However, before we jump all over LilSnoozy too much, this is a LilHauley, and it may therefore be subject to VERY different stress dynamics than a Snoozy. Granted, they market the Hauley, and it should be capable for that purpose, but that is another discussion.

A camping trailer is relatively lightweight relative to its size, due to large volumes of empty space. In particular, the Snoozy is weight-biased to the tongue, with the basement, battery and tanks up there. A Hauley could be loaded with considerable more weight aft of the axle, which dramatically increases torsional loads on the frame and superstructure, and these stresses will display themselves at weak spots like door corners.

Additionally, the cabinets and walls in the Snoozy increase rigidity of both the shell and the frame. The Hauley doesn't have that.

Mike, how much weight do you haul? Is it loaded over the axle, or distributed across the floor? Distributed weight is good for towing dynamics, but not necessarily so for stress issues. Just wondering if you have proven that the unit is not especially well suited to handle the stresses as a hauler? Has anybody had this type of issue with the Snoozy camper?
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Old 06-03-2015, 09:18 AM   #41
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Oklahoma
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The trailer should weigh 1200-1300 lbs per the mfr. I calculate that my loads are not more than 1600 lbs, which makes a total of 2800-2900 lbs on a 3500 lb axle. However, the load weight is biased toward the driver's side. This is because I have to strap my wire display racks to one side, leaving the heavier bins full of merchandise (book/gift displays headed to schools) on the other side.
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:25 AM   #42
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So, it sounds like you are within the weight limits of the axle. The actual rigidity of the frame we don't really know. But, it sounds like the vast majority of the load is distributed on the driver's side, tongue to tail. This load is in boxes, so the load can flex with any movement in the floor that it sits on. Am I right so far?

If so, I would expect that with every bump in the road, the driver's side of the frame will absorb greater stresses than the passenger side, and will therefore flex more, creating a bowed arc on both sides of the axle fulcrum. This is compounded by the weight being not over the axle, but balanced across the axle, with heavy weight along it and at the ends of the lever.

That being the case, it will flex to the centerline on the downswing, and to the outside on the rebound. That flexing has to be absorbed by the stiffening panel, which is the rear wall. The most absorbent spot of the rear wall is the corner of the door, and concentrated on the driver side in particular.

The flex in question is probably very small, but the Snoozy shell is really not designed to flex at all. Things that don't flex ... crack. I would hesitate to call this a flaw in the Snoozy based on the information we have at this point. It may just be a use-case situation. But, I am a bit troubled at the mixed messages from the company. Approve the repair or deny it (either way may be proper in this case), but don't go back on your word.
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