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Old 10-09-2014, 05:21 PM   #21
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I can assure you that using epoxy is an established best practice for boat structural repairs where they deal with de-laminations, wood, and cracking structures on a daily basis. Once treated I have never seen epoxy fail in a boat repair. I have used epoxy for many jobs around my boats with great success.

Epoxy is used extensively in the marine industry especially when you are dealing with wood and fiberglass repairs.

It's true that if water gets behind the epoxy, it could separate, mostly because of the deterioration of the wood. It is also true that the longer the epoxy sits before curing, the more it will penetrate the wood.

My concern for moisture behind the epoxy is why I let the wood dry out for several days. The trick is then to make sure it does not leak. However, if the wood was still wet, the epoxy would not have fully cured. Since it cured OK, the wood was sufficiently dry.

Fortunately, epoxy is quite flexible, even when cured. Even if it separates from the wood, the epoxy will still retain it's shape and be like a cup of sorts. I am very confident it will not crack as there are no stress points that could result in it doing so.

You may be thinking of polyester resins, as they are fairly brittle. With polyester, if you smash it hard enough with a hammer, it can shatter. But epoxy is not really brittle at all, and will bend a lot before breaking.

Polyester resins are typically used in boat building for the fiberglass lay-up as it is significantly less expensive than epoxy (but high-end boats use epoxy for the lay-up). Epoxy is usually reserved for structural repairs.

I once saw a boat at our marina T-bone another boat with it's anchor... right in the side. They were only going a couple of kts, but I was surprised that the polyester fiberglass indented - in about 3 inches and popped back out without any lamination damage (although it was scratched). So even in that case, the polyester did not crack, which really surprised me.

While longer cure epoxy will soak in further than the quick dry stuff, I was running out of nice weather - and time - here in Michigan. Again, since it was not structural, I used the quick cure stuff rather than the normal West System epoxy I typically use.

If you end up having to do a repair on your rig, if you are concerned about the 5 minute epoxy drying too fast, I would recommend using the West epoxy. Since you live in Florida, epoxy will cure faster anyway, and you might find the 5 minute stuff curing too fast in the Florida heat.

There is another epoxy called CPES (Clear Penetrating Epoxy System) that takes about a week to dry, and has a consistency of water. It will soak in wood - depending on it's density - anywhere from 1/2" to several inches. I have seen that stuff poured into the top of a transom that had rotted away between the inside and outside fiberglass panels, and it stiffened into a complete single piece.

My repair job was not bad enough to warrant using it though.
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Old 10-09-2014, 06:09 PM   #22
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THOR #908
Well thanks for the lesson!
Maybe a trip to West Marine is on order, for a little slower curing stuff......
Planning to head up near there this weekend anyway.....

My gears are still turning....

One other thought I have, and that is regarding the poor design that you and I are dealing with. Not a fully developed thought, but for brainstorming purposes.....
I might consider installing some sort of drip edge immediately above these fixtures. Thinking just a simple piece of angle attached with adhesive just above, to form an "awning" above the fixture to divert some rainfall away from it.
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Old 10-09-2014, 06:12 PM   #23
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Actually another thought. Mine is still under warranty. I wonder if I shouldn't touch it but turn it in as a warranty claim.
I have no confidence that their repair will be good, but maybe there'll be a benefit to getting it documented as a warranty repair, so if the back end of this thing rots out down the road, there will be record of it as a failed warranty repair.....
What do you think?
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Old 10-09-2014, 10:22 PM   #24
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Documenting the problem seems like a good idea. I used some drip edge on my last boat. I could never get the window leak to stop, so I simply diverted the water.

I even tried this stuff called Captain Tolleys Creeping Crack Cure that might work for the tail lights, but on the boat the windows were under the rear deck and walking in deck kept flexing the caulking.

Due to those stressses, only the gutters worked.

The gutters I used were from Essential Products RV & Marine
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Old 10-10-2014, 01:01 AM   #25
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Hey, I like that gutter. I might consider putting that on my RV as it is designed... over windows and such
and
Actually almost the exact profile I was thinking of for the lights.....!
except upside down. I want to deflect the water over and away, especially when the flow is high., and with a drooping edge to release the surface tension.
As it is as a gutter, when the flow is high the thing might fill up and overflow.....

Thanks for the point out!
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Old 10-11-2014, 04:44 PM   #26
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So i opened it up this morning.

Exactly the same. In fact maybe a bit worse than yours with a little soft wood.
I called the dealer thinking maybe I'd take it in for their attempt to get things documented. 1st available appointment for drop off is next Friday, but i wouldn't be able to make it..... then we have some plans to use the coach later...... so I figure I'll address things myself and defer the other things till later. The others things I have on my warranty claim list aren't nearly so urgent.

I also popped open some of my roof marker lights that had visible moisture. All the rear ones had moisture in them, and two of my fronts...... open and drying, but not sure what I'm going to do to address those. None noticed in the lower lights
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Old 10-12-2014, 06:01 PM   #27
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Given all of the photos and posts on this problem I decided to open up my tail lights today and found much of the same problem as others. IMO the gasket material is not up to the task it needs to perform. It compresses too much and then dirt and water enter under it, mostly between the fiberglass and the gasket, not so much between the gasket and the plastic tail light.

Given that my tail lights were not anything more than damp at the bottom, I simply blew out the sawdust and went about putting silicone on both sides of the gasket and then screwing things back into place.

I realize that the silicone will be hard to remove when a light bulb burns out, but figure that that cheap black gasket will shred first and maybe I'll get lucky and be able to just put things back with a little more silicone. (How's that for lazy?)
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Old 10-12-2014, 06:35 PM   #28
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I'm using silicone grease on the tail light gasket rather than silicone sealant. I got it at Amazon - they use it for scuba diving... for what reason I am not sure.

I put a bead of it around the gasket and so far its working. Hopefully it won't attract so much dirt as to become innefective.
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:57 PM   #29
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so I dug out the rot. Went down fairly deep, maybe 3 inches.
By the time I got to West Marine to get some epoxy, they were closed....... a couple minutes past 8, in the newest most popular shopping and dining complexes in town!
While I'm standing there, two other groups came up to find them closed.....

anyway, ended up buttoning it back up today and sealing the top and sides with Duck tape temporarily. Need to take the coach in for other warranty work asap anyway, so I'm going to let them take a stab.
Water an rot in the tail lights
water in all the high clearance lights on the back
water in the front high clearance lights

I want this documented as a warranty issue.

Then I plan to install those gutters above the tail lights and likely the clearance lights too
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Old 11-20-2014, 06:11 PM   #30
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I think I started a new thread before about this, but couldn't find it as quickly as this one....
I had the same thing going on with my 2013, still under warranty.
Mine had rot, approx 5 or 6in down on half of one light was soft, i dug it out with a screw driver....
Long story, but ended up taking it in for warranty repair.
They ended up replacing the entire back wall
Yesterday, i found out that they sent a white wall and the dealer is painting it, rather than matching gel coat. Found out from Thor that it's a discontinued gel coat color.
So now most of my coach is gel coat, but the back wall is painted.
Nothing I can do at this point I guess, but I'm concerned that the paint will weather and wear differently than the rest of the coach.
Ugh!
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Old 11-20-2014, 07:31 PM   #31
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That sucks.

At least though, the paint should be easier to keep clean than the Gel Coat. Since at least with my coach, the rear gets dirtier - due to road grime I think - a painted rear might by itself not be a bad thing - as long as the color does not fade differently.
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:53 PM   #32
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Also had the same problem and the screws that held the tailight on were totally rusted. The wiring to the tailight shorted is why I took mine apart. The lens was tightened over the wiring, stripped the wire causing the short. I'm replacing the screws with stainless and will repair other things when the weather warms. Shoddy workmanship with apparently no quality control.
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Old 12-07-2015, 01:49 AM   #33
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I have mentioned this issue with my 2014 Vegas in previous responses. I, too, needed to replace a bulb after 2 months of use. The bulb blew because it was damaged by water intrusion into the tail-light assembly due to the cheap foam gasket. Upon removing the assembly, I also discovered some plywood decay and it was soaked. I dried the area for 2 days, saturated the entire void with wood preservative, checked for delamination of the area, then sealed the tail-light with generous bead of clear silicone caulk. No issues since. informed Thor of this potential major warranty delamination problem, as many Thor RVs use the same assembly.
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:46 PM   #34
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Angry Bad tail light on Four Winds 28Z

I, too, needed to replace 4 bulbs after few months of use. The bulb was not blew but it was damaged by water intrusion (rusted contacts) into the tail-light assembly due to the cheap foam gasket. Upon removing the assembly, I also discovered some plywood decay and it was soaked. I dried the area, checked for delamination of the area, then sealed the tail-light with generous bead of clear silicone caulk. I'm also replacing the screws with stainless one. "Shoddy workmanship with apparently no quality control."
I think that Thor should a recall of these RV and replace the defective tail lights Command 003-30.
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:53 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Toubdog View Post
I, too, needed to replace 4 bulbs after few months of use. The bulb was not blew but it was damaged by water intrusion (rusted contacts) into the tail-light assembly due to the cheap foam gasket. Upon removing the assembly, I also discovered some plywood decay and it was soaked. I dried the area, checked for delamination of the area, then sealed the tail-light with generous bead of clear silicone caulk. I'm also replacing the screws with stainless one. "Shoddy workmanship with apparently no quality control."
I think that Thor should a recall of these RV and replace the defective tail lights Command 003-30.
Good luck on a recall... This problem has been around for years and the same poor foam gasket That was on my 2014 Vegas is on my 2016 Axis. They won't even fix the problem, never mind recall them!
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Old 03-14-2016, 03:01 PM   #36
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So far so good, my flex seal solution still seems to be holding up there:
Busy day with the Axis
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Old 03-14-2016, 03:39 PM   #37
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Defective tail light

Good job to protect the wood... But to keep water out of the electric contacts you have to use silicone...And to replace a bulb you have to remove all this silicone !
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Old 03-14-2016, 04:47 PM   #38
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Good job to protect the wood... But to keep water out of the electric contacts you have to use silicone..
Well the flex-seal does overlap with the crappy gasket that is on there. Going on a year now since I did that and there has been no evidence of water intrusion on the taillights.
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:32 PM   #39
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Not only Thor, but many other companies use these lights. A class action suit would be the only thing to get some action... or do what I did, sell it.

I noticed at the RV shows this year, all of the manufacturers have switched to a LED version of the identical looking lights. That would make for an easy conversion rather than having to cut out additional material like I did to replace the lights with Bargman lights.

With the LED version, you can permanently seal the lights with silicone.
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:24 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by FW28z View Post
Not only Thor, but many other companies use these lights. A class action suit would be the only thing to get some action... or do what I did, sell it.

I noticed at the RV shows this year, all of the manufacturers have switched to a LED version of the identical looking lights. That would make for an easy conversion rather than having to cut out additional material like I did to replace the lights with Bargman lights.

With the LED version, you can permanently seal the lights with silicone.
I just started a thread, dealing with replacing the existing lights with LED's. Can you supply more information on this please.
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