Checking Out “Checking”
As an RV Collision Center, we have seen all kinds of major damage to fiberglass and filon. For an expert staff of technicians like ours, most of it is easy to fix. But there is a dirty little secret in the RV industry. It’s called “checking” or “crazing”, and much to the dismay of RV owners, there’s no quick-and-easy fix for it.
“Checking” is a series of tiny, but deep cracks in the RV’s undercoat. These little cracks, usually about a quarter-of-an-inch or less in length, eventually show up on the surface of an RV in random patterns, closely spaced together. The edges of these cracks start to curl back slightly. The result is something that looks like very tiny mud cracks in a dry pond. “Checking” first becomes noticeable in the darker colors of the body paint and on the side of an RV that receives a lot of exposure. It is most common in older RVs, although we’ve seen it in coaches and trailers of all ages.
At a distance, “checking” often goes unnoticed. But the little cracks allow moisture into the fiberglass substrate and, over time, this moisture causes deterioration. Eventually, the damage becomes more visibly noticeable as bumps or lumps in the surface of the fiberglass panel.
One of the most frustrating things about “checking” (or “crazing”) is that it does not seem to be acknowledged as a problem by many RV manufacturers, leaving an RV owner with no help from their warranty policy. Like rust, “checking” is one of those things you have to decide to live with–or, you commit to doing something about it.
Many RV owners have learned the hard way that there ARE quick fixes, but they are only temporary. At Final Touch Coach Works, we’ve addressed this problem many times, and there is a way to permanently transform your RV’s exterior to better-than-new condition. Next month we’ll tell you how we do it.
In the meantime, get out there and enjoy the RV life and the waning days of summer!