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Old 07-03-2022, 03:42 PM   #1
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Brand: Still Looking
State: Alabama
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THOR #26270
Freedom Elite 24fe

Looking to purchase a 24 foot class C. We haven't owned motorhomes before but upon inspection we notice some strange caulking around the wheel well on both sides of the wheel well.(it looks like it turned dark gray over time) also does not appear applied very evenly. Asked owner which is original and they stated they hadn't done anything to the outside after purchasing. Also a strip on the slide out as well that does not have the same discoloration. Any know issue with these pulling away from the actual body of the units?

This unit is not even 2 years old however the decals have discoloration as well which I found odd for the age of the unit. Low mileage less than 15,000 miles.

Thank you in advance!!

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Old 07-03-2022, 03:59 PM   #2
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Model: Fourwinds 24F
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Here are some photos of my 2017 FW24F in the areas you question- I have not done any work on the outside but need to this fall. Given as a reference point. IMHO all sealant discolors over time especially with constant exposure to UV. Others will share their opinions. Hope this helps inform your decision.

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Old 07-03-2022, 04:03 PM   #3
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Freedom Elite 24fe

PS - all of the trim is held on by screws, they rust and need to be replaced over time.Click image for larger version

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Old 07-03-2022, 04:08 PM   #4
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The Freedom Elite Series is an entry level coach built by THOR exclusively for Camping World. They all need a bit of loving care as they age and crack apart. Just do a deep, diligent search, as you are, and keep looking for small things. They all need a little caulk here and there but body pieces that don't match means something was repaired. Repairs made around a slide wall would scare me. Did they purchase it used recently or buy it new? Why are they selling it? If the caulking is that different, they should know something unless its new to them...and again...why selling it so soon? If it doesn't feel perfect...keep moving on.
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Old 07-03-2022, 04:16 PM   #5
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They stated they bought it new was just really surprised as the colors oxidizing at literally 1.5 years old. They actually seem to be very honest said they literally can't listen to the radio while driving as it is extremely loud inside the cab while driving.

Thank you for your response.
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Old 07-03-2022, 04:17 PM   #6
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Can those decals before removed before they get to this point, this is exactly what the caulking looks like btw!!
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Old 07-03-2022, 04:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskers5466 View Post
Can those decals before removed before they get to this point, this is exactly what the caulking looks like btw!!

Search the forum and you’ll find folks that removed their decals and the process they used.
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Old 07-03-2022, 04:35 PM   #8
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FYI - there are a set of folks on the forum that have 24’ full wall slide coaches of different vintage and model - Freedom Elite, Four Winds and Chateau - that are kissing cousins to the one you are looking at. Good group of knowledgeable folks that know their coaches.
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Old 07-03-2022, 04:49 PM   #9
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Thank you I will check that out! Odd because the caulking is actually between the plastic over the wheel wells and the body almost looks like the wheel well pulled away from the body doesn't look bent just a lot of space inbetween!
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Old 07-03-2022, 05:02 PM   #10
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Hmm…sounds like the screws that hold the wheel well trim on have backed out or rusted through causing the gap. Is that trim loose to the touch? The sealant might be the only thing holding it on.
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Old 07-03-2022, 05:08 PM   #11
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I don't think so it was hard to look out they had the slide out so I was crawling underneath that, it just really surprised me considering its only 1.5 years old I found it odd. Maybe I will go back and relook at that also the edge on top cab looked like it was bent out not flush on the unit no dents so did not look like an accident in that area just wondering if the build quality wasn't there.
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Old 07-03-2022, 05:18 PM   #12
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Well Gritz Carlton told you what was important - entry level coach. Mine is as well for the FW/Chateau product line. Search the forum for build quality information - very enlightening.
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Old 07-07-2022, 05:54 PM   #13
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My right side leading edge trim just flew off - the screws are attached but the plastic strip just pulled out of the clamping edges - happen to anyone else?
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Old 07-08-2022, 11:16 AM   #14
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Are you referring to the Vinyl insert trim - about 1 inch wide?

Search Amazon “vinyl insert trim for RV” and there will be many choices of sizes and colors.
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Old 07-08-2022, 12:23 PM   #15
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In the Southeast US, left outside in full Sun, unwaxed , it will oxidize in the first year. The decals will fade and become brittle. The joints will discolor with caulk getting moldy (low end caulk). The screws will rust. Vinyl trim will shrink. If these are problems, don’t buy it.
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Old 07-08-2022, 02:03 PM   #16
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This is why I wax the entire gelcoat - including the decals. Old fashioned carnauba based wax is essentially a "sacrificial coating" which takes the beating from atmospheric contaminants and the sun's UV radiation. The wax will deteriorate over a few months, and MUST be re-applied. Otherwise, you will get what you see... the vinyl decals will dry out and crack, and the gelcoat will quickly begin oxidizing - exhibiting a dull chalky white coating on the surface. Factory caulking will get dirty, but if the RV is washed on a regular basis the dirty looking caulk can be minimized.

Just looking at those pics, I'm guessing that rig has seen VERY few washings, and probably NO wax or protective coatings. It looks like it was driven off the lot and hit the road running... with little to no upkeep. Has the oil ever been changed? If that's the case, what else has been neglected? Ask the owners how often it's been washed... and what brand of wax they use. That will tell you all you need to know.

Sorry to sound so harsh, but motorhomes require - DEMAND - a LOT of maintenance. Think of it as a hobby. A motorhome that's as little as two to three years old with severely cracked vinyl decals is an anomaly - while vinyl decals will gradually "die", they'll suffer an early death from lack of protection from UV damage... which is what you're looking at in those pics.

Bottom line... these things are "indicators" - they tell me a bigger story of a motorhome that has not been maintained. Two years old? Wow... I'd walk away. There are currently TONS of lightly used "Covid RVs" hitting the market.
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