RV Tech Talk

Reg answers your questions about water damage and airbags

Tricks of the trade from an RV technician

Question

Good to see your article in the RVwest magazine. We are accordion players and so disappointed to see that the Kimberly festival has shut down. Always good to stop in to the different RV shops to explore and buy. My question is we have an F150 and a 2010 Jayco 31-foot travel trailer. Thinking of putting on a set of airbags. What do you recommend and why? Lots of different manufacturers out there, but which one has a good product that does not drill into the frame of the truck?

Answer

Installing airbags will enhance the ride characteristics of your truck while under load. The application we see the most is with truck campers, fifth wheels or other types of payloads that are directly over the axle. If your concerns are based on how the trailer is positioned when hooked to the truck, then some basic adjustments may be required to improve the operation of the equalizer hitch. In regards to a non-drill application, Firestone manufactures the Ride Rite product.

Question

We have a Crossroads Seville 2008. We have put it on consignment for sale, but the dealership we took it to told us that we have water damage on the roof because there is some deflection when he walks on the roof. We have never seen any sign of water inside the unit while using it, which was seven to eight months per year since we bought it.
Is there any way to figure this out?  They tell us that we have to replace the whole roof at a cost of $10,000. I am looking at taking the trailer somewhere else for another opinion but I want to do the right thing. At this point I don't know where to turn. Thanks for your help in advance.

Answer

If you’re comfortable and use safe practices, you could go up on the roof and have a look for yourself. If you see signs of mold or mildew in particular areas of the roof, that could be caused by water ingression either through a tear or separated sealants. If the roof substrate is soft, the water has caused serious damage. If you discover a tear possibly caused by a tree or structure, you should contact your insurance provider.

To further your inspection, remove the roof vent valances and wood trims to expose the underside of the roof substrate. You may have to remove some insulation and with the help of a suitable light source have a look inside the roof for signs of black mold or rotted OSB board.

Although roof repairs are very expensive for both the parts and labour, you should consider a second opinion to ensure your confidence in moving forward with the repairs. I truly hope this response helps you out.

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