Leak Potential Inherent in Design? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-20-2008, 09:07 AM   #1
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I know that, in general, the fiberglass campers have fewer leak problems than the stickies do. However, I was wondering if anyone knows if the models with vertical seams, like the EggCamper and Burro, tend to have more leakage problems than the Scamp or Casita types.
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:30 AM   #2
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Seams can leak, both on vertical and horizontal... hasn't been reported as a major problem with any brand and not one more than the other. What typically leaks, are things like windows and vents. Any opening through the fiberglass is a possible "leaker." It's a maintenance issue. And every brand is at risk.
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:35 AM   #3
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Quote:
I know that, in general, the fiberglass campers have fewer leak problems than the stickies do. However, I was wondering if anyone knows if the models with vertical seams, like the EggCamper and Burro, tend to have more leakage problems than the Scamp or Casita types.
I don't have an answer to your question, but for older Trilliums the horizontal seam is entirely welded together with fiberglass from the inside. The metal trim is only there to hide the "scar". A rare leak can still develop because the trim is attached with rivets and metal clips, and small cracks can appear after many years in areas where the fiberglass seam isn't thick enough. Some people actually remove the trim altogether and fill up the gap from the outside as well. My guess would be that windows, vents and rivets would be more of a concern in general, leak wise, than the seam itself (at least for Trilliums).
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:37 AM   #4
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I doubt that either style would have a leak problem. On the EggCamper the two halves are sealed together with a very high strength construction adhesive, then several layers of resin are placed across the seam on the inside. I have looked at units with a horizontal seam (Casitas and Scamps) and they use the same construction technique.

The leaks I have seen in fiberglass units is around windows etc. and around pop rivets or bolts through the hull..

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Old 05-20-2008, 10:01 AM   #5
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Thanks for the responses, everyone. I've been thinking that the EggCamper may eventually be the way to go because my husband is so tall. (6ft. 3in.) But I had wondered about the structural integrity of the vertical ceiling seams. It sounds like it won't really be a problem.
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:43 AM   #6
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There is one inherent advantage of the vertical seam design -- less roof sag. The ridge running the length of the roof does a lot to strengthen the roof. Horizontal seam trailers have a tendency to sag somewhat over the years, and as has been mentioned here many times, they are dependent on their interior cabinet and support-pole by the sink for structural integrity. Of course, there are advantages to the horizontal seam, too, but that's another thread.

If I were trying to pin down which one is more likely to leak, I would say the horizontal seam is more likely, although it is a pretty remote chance in either case. The vertical seam allows water to immediately run away from the seam, whereas water can pool somewhat along the horizontal seam. Therefore, it stands to reason that if there were any failure to the mechanical bond at the seam, more water will be present on the horizontal seam.

Personally, I love the EggCamper design.
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Old 05-20-2008, 03:21 PM   #7
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My Burro has a sag, not too much but enough to pool water.
So the vertical seam doesn't help much in that area.
But it too, is glassed over the seam on the inside, not much chance of a leak from there.
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:01 PM   #8
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^^^
same as the above... sag in an old burro... but not leaking... the f/g on the inside is intact & watertight...
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
The leaks I have seen in fiberglass units is [b]around windows etc. and around pop rivets or [b]bolts through the hull..

When I first bought my Fiber Stream, I thought I was home free, because Fiber Stream has a [b]seamless, one piece body.
It had leaks from the screws through the roof that held the top of the walls/cabinets in place. and the butyl tape seal had dried and cracked around all of the front 3 windows.
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Old 05-21-2008, 11:43 AM   #10
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To clarify, I did not intend to imply that a vertical seam design is sag-free, merely more sag-resistant. And the testimony of Burro owners, whose trailers are now aging, bears out that any design can (and, eventually, will) sag.

Getting back to the origin of this post, dealing with leaks, if a sag allows water to pool deep enough to sit against the seal around the roof vent, a leak is eventually going to occur there. In this example, I once again think the vertical seam models have the advantage here, as the vent is installed to one side of the seam, where the roof is sloped, allowing the water to run away from the vent.

One good idea is to install a prop-rod from floor to ceiling for when the trailer is parked unused. Remove the prop rod to tow or use the camper.
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