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VERY dissatisfied customer re: Travel Lite 960RX


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#41 OFFLINE   Oliver

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 04:14 PM

This water-intrusion issue is a tough nut to crack. As far as I can see, nobody does it right, if you define right as leak-free for "X" number of years without going thru a bunch of maintenance crap every year. Even the people who use fiberglass bodies turn right around and start putting holes in them for vents, a-c's, ladders, etc. that almost guarantee failure. Do the fiberglass models raise a molded wall around vents and such, so that water sitting there is against a molded combing, like on a boat, instead of a sealed joint?

Windows and doors are a problem, but car windshields and rear windows go on for years without leaking, you just have to input the right level of engineering and quality of materials. Same with doors. The joint where the sidewalls meet the roof seems to be one of the worst offenders. There has to be a way to solve it but nobody I've seen has done it. I have seen both Lance and Arctic Fox campers, not even mentioning lesser brands, with the bottom falling out on the cabover from leakage around the top, the windows, or the seam at the bottom edge. They just don't get it right.

And, of course, even with the right engineering and materials and processes in manufacturing, if the guy on the line doesn't do his part right, we are still screwed. I'm afraid it's not a pretty picture, and investing more money doesn't seem to solve the problems with the lack of basic structural integrity.

Sorry for the rant!

#42 OFFLINE   Hempomatic

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 10:04 AM


Sorry for the rant!

 Hardly a rant Oliver, more like calling it as you see it.  I'm still not 100% sure what I'm going to do.  As soon as the weather gets a little warmer, I'm going to be sealing all of the external seams and joints with eterna-bond. I'm a decent mechanic, but damage from water intrusion is not something I can repair. If something happens like what happened to Shellback or Gandydancer, I might as well just push the damn thing over a cliff.   

 

ken



#43 OFFLINE   gandydancer

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 11:22 AM

I know I've had my share of little problems and one major problem with the roof causing water to seep in and damage the ceiling tile in the cab-over area, but everything has been replaced and fixed. This will be the second summer with the new roof and everything seems to be fine now. I inspected the roof several weeks ago before I thoroughly cleaned and applied a sealant to it and there wasn't anything abnormal up there at all. As far as the little problems I had I just fixed them myself. I believe and hope that this camper of mine will hold up for a few more years if I do the regular preventative maintenance on it. I'm getting ready to leave the end of next week and travel to Gatlinburg, TN for the Southeast Truck Camper Gathering so hopefully everything will go smoothly. Late last summer we were out for several months with the camper and everything worked just fine and nothing fell apart. The wife and I really do like this camper and now that it's all fixed up we'll enjoy it even more.                


2009 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD 4WD LT1 Ext Cab Z71 Long Bed Vortec 6.0L V8 SFI gas

2012 Travel Lite 960RX

Torklift frame mounted tie downs with FastGun turnbuckles and a Lock and Load Maximum Security Cargo Tray

Champion Power Equipment 73540i 2000 watt portable inverter generator

Timbren SES

Curt front mount hitch receiver

 

Time flies when you're having fun or is it time's fun when you're having flies     


#44 OFFLINE   Hempomatic

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Posted 07 April 2016 - 09:05 AM

I know I've had my share of little problems and one major problem with the roof causing water to seep in and damage the ceiling tile in the cab-over area, but everything has been replaced and fixed.               

I hear ya John, but that one big problem was a BIG problem, and it was BARELY out of warranty. Financially,  something like that would put the kibosh on any traveling we'd like to do for a year. That's what I'm desperate to avoid. (cutting things pretty close to the bone these days).  

I wrote to the warranty guy at Travel Lite and actually got a response, which on one hand was reassuring, on the other hand not so much.  I got the standard "Gee whiz, I'm sure sorry you're having a problem with your camper." Then, the always popular "Have you contacted your dealer yet?"  Obviously, he didn't actually READ the email, since I stated the dealer had the information for a month, and said that the guys at Travel Lite were the ones dropping the ball.  

Regardless, John, I'm glad you have resolved all of your problems and are enjoying your camper. Perhaps, soon, I'll be able to say the same thing.  In the mean time however, I'm stuck here until at least some of the present issues are resolved.  

 

ken 



#45 OFFLINE   Hempomatic

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 06:09 AM

Yesterday I received a CALL from Travel Lite. Unexpected to say the least.  There was a little finger pointing, naturally, the factory blamed the dealer, and the dealer blamed the factory.  Then there was the obligatory, "sorry you're having issues" comment which frankly did little to ameliorate my slowly brewing rage. Regardless, given my past history with these folks, I was cordial and thanked them for their time. It was a gesture at least, and as simple as it was, still more than I expected.  

ken

 


 



#46 OFFLINE   gandydancer

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 09:29 AM

The call that you received from Travel Lite wasn't from Dustin Johns of the company was it? If it was then maybe, just maybe, they are taking some of these concerns from dissatisfied customers like yourself seriously enough to start making changes and correcting the problems before their units leave the factory.   


2009 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD 4WD LT1 Ext Cab Z71 Long Bed Vortec 6.0L V8 SFI gas

2012 Travel Lite 960RX

Torklift frame mounted tie downs with FastGun turnbuckles and a Lock and Load Maximum Security Cargo Tray

Champion Power Equipment 73540i 2000 watt portable inverter generator

Timbren SES

Curt front mount hitch receiver

 

Time flies when you're having fun or is it time's fun when you're having flies     


#47 OFFLINE   Hempomatic

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 09:21 AM

I finally received all the warranty parts I ordered and completed the installation. We'll see how things hold up on the next trip. Anything that craps out then and I'm on my own.  Several of the items I replaced COULD have been repaired by me if I NEEDED to, but I insisted on warranty replacement because frankly, I was entitled to replacement of those parts. 

Now that I'm aware of what to expect, most of the bugs have been worked out, the parts have been replaced, I'll see if I can just enjoy our next trip, and not have to worry about what's going to self destruct next.  

ken



#48 OFFLINE   Stars101

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 10:43 PM

Hi Everyone - I joined specifically so I could post in this forum about my Travel Lite.

 

We bought a new Travel Lite 770R in 2013.  Brought it home and 5 days later it was leaking from under the cabover.  I put a bucket under the largest leak and collected 3 gallons of water..... from just that one leak.  meanwhile it was gushing water from the passenger side jack bolt holes, trim area and from the vertical seams of the siding - on BOTH driver's and passenger sides.

 

After much back and forth between dealer and Travel Lite, we drove from NY to IN to swap it out for a new one.  I was told they "didn't use appropriate sealing methods"..... Um, ya THINK!?  We arrived to find our "totally 100% perfect new replacement TC" leaking water from under the shower pan.  OK, so someone missed some caulk under the shower drain.  They fixed it and we loaded up and drove out front to leave.  I took one last look and saw that the front siding under the cabover had "slipped" and now had an 1/4" of insulation exposed x 18" long.... We stayed an extra day and they called in a sheet metal crew to fix it on a Saturday.  Found out that the guy who installed it had cut it too short, and rather than throw out the piece and cut a new one, he just "butted" the edges together and didn't "lock" the siding in place like it should be.  Got that straightened out and went to lock the door to leave for the second time.  And I realized we had no 12 volt power inside the unit.  My DH put a meter on it and realized they ran the wrong gauge of wire for the "pre-wired for electric jacks option" (that I paid extra for).  They had to run entirely new heavier gauge wiring from my electric jack controller to the opposite side of the trailer.

 

The "new replacement TC" lasted exactly 13 months and then it started leaking in exactly the same spot.  We were one month out of warranty, but Travel Lite agreed to repair it. - At their factory.  Another trip back to IN.  It was in the shop for 3 days and they had to replace the entire front piece of the cabover framing and had to rip it apart back 1/2 way on each side in order to fit in the new siding pieces.  From the amount of damage it was leaking from the day it left the factory.  There was neon yellow mold growing under the bed and the wood framing was black with rot across the entire front cabover.  We are lucky it didn't fail and dump us down onto the roof of our truck....this time they added a new fiberglass front cap, instead of the aluminum siding that it came with.  They also re-sealed the ENTIRE camper top to bottom.  While it was nice of them to repair it under "warranty", it still cost us 7 days vacation and $1,000+ for the trip b/c we needed to stay in a hotel x 3 days, eat out x 3 days, etc, etc. while it was in the shop.  But after watching the repair we realized that there was no way that this work would have gotten done in our local RV shop.  It was too complicated and needed to be done at the factory.  They originally allotted the local Camper's Barn 8 hrs. to fix it... it took 30 hrs. at the factory where they knew the unit, had all the necessary parts right there, etc.  that is why we chose to make the trip to IN, but it did cost us.  Mostly that our family vacation that year was spent at Travel Lite...

 

It lasted exactly one more year and then we noticed "bubbling" around the bottom edge of the siding on the driver's side.  It also started "bubbling" the aluminum siding on the left hand side of the door.  So this is our newest project - tomorrow a local RV tech is going to tear into the driver's side and see what exactly is causing the corrosion.  It could be the glue they used, it could be a reaction between the staples and the aluminum siding, or it could be actual galvanic corrosion due to water damage.  But we have kept it covered at all times when it's not on the truck.... and we only had time/money to have it out for 2 weekends last year.  The rest of the time it's under cover.  So in 2015 I can honestly swear that it was never out in the rain. NEVER WET in 2015, yet this corrosion is growing like a cancer.  I think it's a reaction to something against the back of the aluminum and not from water.... whatever it is it will cost us to fix it.

 

I wish I had known you could cancel a sale when the first one filled up with water after less than a week in our possession....

 

In short -

 

2013 770R issues:

- special ordered windows were not installed from factory.  Waited 4 months for "special order" and it wasn't done.

- 5 days after delivery, cabover filled up with water, siding bowed down and touched the roof of the truck from the weight of the water.

- refrigerator not installed correctly, not enough room left between exterior vents - so it won't cool properly.  Also not enough insulation installed.  Had to use coolers for food.

Travel Lite agreed to replace this faulty unit with a new one - IF we returned it to IN.  Which we did... boy are we gluttons for punishment.

 

2014 770R issues:

-- stove had propane leak and needed to be replaced.

- shower pan leaked.

- aluminum siding was cut wrong and opened up after loading to expose an 18" long, 1/4" wide gap.

- wrong gauge wire run to electric jacks, kept blowing a fuse, resulting in no interior 12 v. power and inoperable jacks.

- even after fixing at factory new fridge didn't work either due to incorrect installation at Travel Lite.  We had to add an auxillary 12v computer fan to correct the problem.

 

All these issues were addressed at the factory, but what should have been a quick stop to drop off a faulty unit, and pick up a new, "perfect" one, ended up being 26 hours of us hanging out at the factory while they corrected shoddy workmanship.  And my DH had to pitch in and help out in order to get electrical problem solved... no one working on it had an electric meter, DH had to provide his own.  Good thing he's an electrician LOL.

 

2014 - used camper once after we got home from having it fixed.  No rain ever touched it.  Covered it for the winter.

2015 - used camper for 2 weekends all year, again not a drop of rain touched it; yet noticed that the siding was "bubbling" from corrosion.  Put it back under cover and resolved to deal with it in 2016.

 

I have to admit that Travel Lite did throw in a pair of electric jacks during that first 2013 fiasco.  But I'm not feeing all that charitable towards their efforts b/c A) they didn't install the special ordered options in the first place AND it leaked like a sieve, which necessitated me driving to IN to their factory - the trip cost me 2 days out of my cross country vacation; so I had to cut out a trip to Zion National Park in order to make up the time and stay on schedule.  So I think a $600 pair of jacks is kinda the least they could offer... Plus NOT ONE TIME did the owner's ever come and meet us personally and apologize for anything.  Not when we arrived, not when the new one wasn't ready to go, not when the siding fell off, not when the electric fuses kept blowing, not when we had to spend the night in their parking lot and wait for a repair crew to come in on a Saturday... you get the picture. 

 

I was really hoping to get to the Southeast TC Rally this year and meet some other Travel Lite owners.  But it just didn't work out.  Sorry I missed meeting some of you.  Hope I see you down the road some day.  I'll be the one in the leaky Travel Lite :happy0075:


Edited by Stars101, 09 May 2016 - 10:59 PM.


#49 OFFLINE   Shellback

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 04:38 AM

 I have a 2013 770SL and my experiences haven't been any better than yours. I did all the repairs myself though. If the knuckleheads couldn't build it right the first time, I wasn't going to let them touch it again. 



#50 OFFLINE   Stars101

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 04:58 AM

I'll post some pics if I can figure out how.  People need to see them to appreciate how bad Travel Lite really is. 

 

I still love the floorplan.  And the interior quality was just decent for the price, but the overall build quality was horrendous.

 

I am planning on pulling all the windows and resealing them, using Eternabond on all the roof seams and rechecking all the trim screws and probably replacing them all with stainless steel and caulk under that.  It's just a tremendous amount of work to have to do to a newer camper.

 

Shellback - I sat in the factory for 3 days watching the repairs being made and documenting everything with photos and notes.  That's the only reason I know it was done (somewhat) correctly; because I watched them and made them re-do anything they F'd up.  I am sure that my name/photo is posted somewhere at Travel Lite with bullet holes through it LOL. I know they thought I was a B*&^% from NY with an attitude.  Screw 'em.  2 visits to the factory in 2 years for major manufacturing defects is enough.  I have better things to do than sit in a lawn chair making sure the manufacturer fixes my camper correctly.


Edited by Stars101, 10 May 2016 - 10:55 AM.


#51 OFFLINE   Shellback

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 12:42 PM

Here's a few pictures. First of the trim barely covering the siding. The flexing of the camper popped the siding out from under the trim. 

Next is a shot of when I ripped the bed plywood out to get to where it was starting to rot and mildew.

Next is the rotten last 1/4 of the roof I had to replace

Here's a shot of the alum angle I installed inside the camper to stiffen it

Next is aluminum angle on the outside, which replaced the undersized trim from the factory

I also install oversize trim on the back corners and roof edge after I fixed the roof.

All these repairs were done between 8 months and 2 years. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • TL camper 004.JPG
  • camper trim holes 002.JPG
  • camper roof a.jpg
  • camper project 008.JPG
  • camper project 002.JPG
  • camper project 003.JPG


#52 OFFLINE   Shellback

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 12:46 PM

I too like the interior, and found it's quality of workmanship much better than the exterior. I almost have to believe that the exterior worker intentionally screwed up due to a bad attitude. Leaks in the front, leaks in the back, and I almost forgot. Over the rear door there was a 3 inch section or the door frame with no caulk at all.



#53 OFFLINE   Nuckfan

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 05:40 AM

Wow Shellback! Seeing those pictures makes my guts roll. UGH!! I hope and prey that doesn't happen to our unit. There's no obvious evidence of leaks in my camper but we all know sometimes leaks can be elusive, so I've Eternabonded the crap out of the roof seams and recaulked windows and jack mounts. I'm going to check all the trim screws now and recaulk them as well. I like your idea of the aluminum angle iron to beef up the sides. Now I have another project for mine. Thanks for sharing and nice work.

#54 OFFLINE   KnightEagle

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 12:00 PM

These are old pictures to me Ive seen them somewhere before??? just cant think of where? It seems you got a bum unit and they have bad services and all plus they make a poor TC. Advice sell it for what you can get or just trade it in. Getting sick over it not worth it. If you do get another TC. Go to a good maker such as Hallmark or Artic Fox Wolf Creek


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#55 OFFLINE   gandydancer

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 02:30 PM

Nuckfan, I'm really beginning to think that you're worrying too much about all the troubles Hempomatic, languiduck, Shellback and Stars 101 are having. Your 2010 and my 2012 were built long before the major meltdown of Travel Lite Inc. in late 2012 and early 2013. When that occurred it appears to me that everything went to hell for Travel Lite Inc. after that. From 2013 on it looks as though they're putting out quite a lot of inferior products. If you and I haven't experienced the troubles these other folks are having then we should consider ourselves very lucky indeed. With regular maintenance and upkeep I think we should be fine. I just returned home from being gone for over three weeks with the camper and it performed flawlessly. For several days it rained pretty damn hard while camping and not a drop of water entered the camper. Several years ago I had to replace the roof on the camper because of water intrusion that was probably my fault of not maintaining the roof properly but I have to admit that it hasn't leaked since. I was hoping to have met Stars 101 at the Southeast Truck Camper Gathering in Gatlinburg, TN a couple of weeks ago so we could compare campers but they couldn't make it.                 


2009 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD 4WD LT1 Ext Cab Z71 Long Bed Vortec 6.0L V8 SFI gas

2012 Travel Lite 960RX

Torklift frame mounted tie downs with FastGun turnbuckles and a Lock and Load Maximum Security Cargo Tray

Champion Power Equipment 73540i 2000 watt portable inverter generator

Timbren SES

Curt front mount hitch receiver

 

Time flies when you're having fun or is it time's fun when you're having flies     


#56 OFFLINE   Hempomatic

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 02:38 PM

As bad as my issues have been, they are nowhere near as bad as what Shellback had to put up with.  I AM glad that all of this has come to light.  I honestly have no idea how these guys are still in business.   

 

I've had a few guys in the past year ask my about the TC and if I liked it. I was honest, I told them the concept is great, the execution, not so much.  I DO still like the concept. When/if I unload this one, I'll go with a better brand.  I know that none are perfect, but I've seen 10 to 15 year old Lance's that are still working fine.  I can't imagine this one being around in ten years, the time it will take to pay it off.  Tough call.  I'm still kicking myself in the ass for selling my Class B camper that was in PERFECT condition.  Conceptually, I prefer the TC, but my Class B was in perfect condition when I sold it.  Live and learn.  I have to keep reminding myself "but now you have a pick up too".   

 

We'll see how it holds up on our next multi-month adventure.  

 

ken



#57 OFFLINE   Oliver

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 05:07 PM

Shellback,

That first pic reminds me of a Lance we considered, briefly. The bottom of the cabover had sagged about an inch, exposing the fact that the only seal was just like what you had there: about a quarter of an inch of trim ovelapping the sidewall, with a little bead of caulk sealing it! How could it not fail?

Would it make sense to put the angle on, as you did, but slip it up under the siding, then use a finish trim piece to cover the joint like they normally do? That way, when the seal leaks, the water is between the trim and the angle, so it couldn't affect the structure. Costs a little more, but for another hundred bucks, it sure beats the hell out of having the seal leaking into the bottom of the cabover. Of course, that's only one small part of the problem. If the joint between the roof and the sidewall leaks, or the windows leak, or the marker lights leak, not to mention all the stuff on the top, the water still ends-up between the siding and the s#*~board they use instead of plywood.

There are no easy solutions. Northern Lite or Alaskan seem like good choices, if you're flush!

#58 OFFLINE   Nuckfan

Nuckfan

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 05:09 PM

Nuckfan, I'm really beginning to think that you're worrying too much about all the troubles Hempomatic, languiduck, Shellback and Stars 101 are having. Your 2010 and my 2012 were built long before the major meltdown of Travel Lite Inc. in late 2012 and early 2013. When that occurred it appears to me that everything went to hell for Travel Lite Inc. after that. From 2013 on it looks as though they're putting out quite a lot of inferior products. If you and I haven't experienced the troubles these other folks are having then we should consider ourselves very lucky indeed. With regular maintenance and upkeep I think we should be fine. I just returned home from being gone for over three weeks with the camper and it performed flawlessly. For several days it rained pretty damn hard while camping and not a drop of water entered the camper. Several years ago I had to replace the roof on the camper because of water intrusion that was probably my fault of not maintaining the roof properly but I have to admit that it hasn't leaked since. I was hoping to have met Stars 101 at the Southeast Truck Camper Gathering in Gatlinburg, TN a couple of weeks ago so we could compare campers but they couldn't make it.



Your probably right gandydancer about me worrying too much. I bought the camper last May and went over it pretty well but I never heard much about Travel Lite then and everything looked good to my untrained eyes and the price was right. I do really like my unit but so many negative experiences from others with lack of company support is disheartening. I am meticulous about taking care of my stuff although the camper sits out in the weather all year and we get a crap load of rain. I need to do what I can to protect her.
Cheers!

#59 OFFLINE   gandydancer

gandydancer

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  • Camper Brand:2012 Travel Lite 960RX
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Posted 12 May 2016 - 04:32 AM

Nuckfan, my camper also sits outside on the truck 24/7 365 days a year in all kinds of weather so I know what you mean by needing to do what you can to protect her. I'm also meticulous about taking care of my stuff too so I try to do all that I can to protect the camper. I just wish that I had someplace to store it during the winter months but I don't. Fortunately for me, the winter months in the Central Plains States have not been too bad at all for the last several years so that really helps a lot. You and I really like our campers that we have and it is really disheartening to hear about the negative experiences from others in what they're having to go through.     


2009 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD 4WD LT1 Ext Cab Z71 Long Bed Vortec 6.0L V8 SFI gas

2012 Travel Lite 960RX

Torklift frame mounted tie downs with FastGun turnbuckles and a Lock and Load Maximum Security Cargo Tray

Champion Power Equipment 73540i 2000 watt portable inverter generator

Timbren SES

Curt front mount hitch receiver

 

Time flies when you're having fun or is it time's fun when you're having flies     


#60 OFFLINE   Shellback

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 05:02 AM

Shellback,

That first pic reminds me of a Lance we considered, briefly. The bottom of the cabover had sagged about an inch, exposing the fact that the only seal was just like what you had there: about a quarter of an inch of trim ovelapping the sidewall, with a little bead of caulk sealing it! How could it not fail?

Would it make sense to put the angle on, as you did, but slip it up under the siding, then use a finish trim piece to cover the joint like they normally do? That way, when the seal leaks, the water is between the trim and the angle, so it couldn't affect the structure. Costs a little more, but for another hundred bucks, it sure beats the hell out of having the seal leaking into the bottom of the cabover. Of course, that's only one small part of the problem. If the joint between the roof and the sidewall leaks, or the windows leak, or the marker lights leak, not to mention all the stuff on the top, the water still ends-up between the siding and the s#*~board they use instead of plywood.

There are no easy solutions. Northern Lite or Alaskan seem like good choices, if you're flush!

Over lapping the siding so the water runs off inside, instead of under? Exactly! they should have a starter piece for the bottom, and also corner and top molding. Vinyl siding folks have doing it since the get go. I just love it when RV companies think a a piece trim overlapping the edges are going to seal if there's failure of caulk. Caulking should be the last resort to water tight integrity. Looking at the rotted section of my roof, you will see it's not near the vent. What happened was they ran staples through the top of the rubber roofing instead of where it over lapped vertically.  Then slapped a piece of trim over the edge and  must not have prepared the surfaces before caulking. The caulk looked good, but you could just roll it up off the roofing material.  That repair was done when it was about 18 months old. I'd love to beat the crap out of the fellows that did the exterior of my camper.






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