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  1. #1
    Setting Up Camp
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    Front nose spider cracks

    I bought a new 2019 Reflection 295RL in August 2018 and picked it up in Sept 2018. In Sept 2020, while hand washing it, I discovered spider cracks on two separate areas on the front nose. I immediately informed my dealer and supplied them with pictures as requested. I also had an estimate from a repair shop (recommended by my dealer) in the amount of $2700 to repair the cracks. This estimate did not include the cost of new decals. My dealer advised me several months later that Grand Design had denied the claim. I contacted Grand Design directly and they said that the nose supplier denied the claim because they were of the opinion that the cracks were caused by an impact with the towing vehicle! I argued that I had never hit the trailer with my towing vehicle.

    At Grand Design request, I sent them pictures of my towing vehicle connected to the trailer at different angles. My pictures clearly showed that the rear of the cab of towing vehicle doesn't come anywhere close to the front nose of the trailer even during sharp turns. If I was to fully jackknife the two units, the rear corner of the towing vehicle would come into contact with the sides of the trailer, not the front nose. Several weeks later, I received a call from Grand Design informing me that the nose supplier was still denying the claim as they still felt that the cracks were caused by an impact.

    I really like my trailer but can't help being very disappointed and frustrated with having thousands of dollars in damage on a nearly new trailer. I also found it insulting and upsetting to be accused of hitting my trailer with my towing vehicle when this was not the case at all. Nobody should have to deal with spider cracks on a "quality" 2 year new trailer. This trailer has had very little use with only one trip to the west coast in 2019 and two trips a couple of hours away from our home in 2020. It has never been driven on a gravel road. When not being used, it is always wrapped or parked under a large carport. This is the type of damage that I would expect from an old trailer that has been used extensively for a decade or more, not on a nearly new trailer that has had little use. The repair shop that provided me with an estimate said that these cracks were the result of a poor quality front nose. I went to another repair shop and they said the cracks were caused by a poor quality front nose or may have been caused by the trailer flexing too much.

    Prior to buying this trailer, I made lots of research before deciding on a Grand Design. My decision was based on Grand Design trailers supposedly being better quality and better built that other units. I also read that Grand Design stood behind their products! This certainly has not been the case for me.

    If Grand Design did stand behind their products, they should have covered the cost of repairs regardless of the nose supplier decision! When you buy a product such as this and pay this kind of money (mid to high 60's), you expect a reasonable life expectency before having to make this type of repair.

    I don't beleive anyone would buy a new trailer knowing that they will have to spend thousands of dollars 2 years later to repair cracks in fiberglass panels.

  2. #2
    Big Traveler Wicked ace's Avatar
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    I empathize with you, that shouldn't be happening and Grand Design should be standing behind their product not be sluffing it off to a vendor. An alternative solution to painting the cap might be a wrap that would cover the cracks and add protection.
    2018 F150 XLT 301a, Screw, 4x4, HDPP, Max tow, Andersen Ultimate w/ Curt Double Lock hitch.
    2019 Grand Design Reflection 150 series 260RD.

  3. #3
    Setting Up Camp
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    Wrapping it is an idea!

  4. #4
    Site Team D2Reid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigag1 View Post
    I discovered spider cracks on two separate areas on the front nose. I immediately informed my dealer and supplied them with pictures as requested. .
    Could you please post a picture or two. Like WickedAce I too empathize with you, but I can't do anything. I too have spider cracks on the front cap of my 4 year old Momentum. However I know they are not caused by any defect or installation error. They are caused by me traveling thousands of miles on US highways that are in need of a little TLC. They are stress cracks. But they are easy to identify because they are linear. Impact cracks tend to be star like with the impact point in the middle.

    I tend to think that stress cracks and impact cracks a usage problem. Now, if the cracks are around a connection point a case could be made that it had improper installation. You could also put in an insurance claim. When a tire blew and I had $3700 worth of damage I put in an insurance claim, they paid without a hassle and didn't raise my rates.
    Dallas
    2017 Momentum 376TH, 2019 Ford F450, Dual Rear Wheel, 4x4, diesel.
    2015 Harley-Davidson Street, XG750

  5. #5
    Site Sponsor
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    This common in the marine industry, often on boats that are relatively new. Gelcoat is supposed to be somewhat flexible. The cause of the spider-cracking is that the gelcoat is sprayed into the mold too thick and it becomes susceptible to cracking when the structure it is on flexes. The cracks, while unsightly, are not structural problems. GD claims to have gone to painted front caps on some of, maybe all, of their models and maybe this is the reason. I would think that a good auto body paint shop could shoot the cap for a lot lower than the quote you received. I've seen Imron shot on boat hulls with beautiful results.
    2010 Jayco 26(SOLD)
    2011 Keystone Outback 277RL(SOLD)
    2021 Grand Design 268BH
    2013 Ford F250 XLT, 6.2L Gas

  6. #6
    Setting Up Camp
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    Thanks D2Reid. My cracks are linear. I don't think this is acceptable on a four years old trailer even if you have travelled thousands of miles on some roads that might need some TLC's. These trailers are supposedly built to be driven, not sit in a trailer park like parkland models. I tried loading a cople oictures but it didn't work.

  7. #7
    Setting Up Camp
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    Thanks Bob Landry. My front cap is painted. I don't think that very many shops around here work on 5th wheel because of their sizes. I will be getting another estimate next week.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigag1 View Post
    Thanks Bob Landry. My front cap is painted. I don't think that very many shops around here work on 5th wheel because of their sizes. I will be getting another estimate next week.
    I would also check with a local boatyard if you have one available. They are set up to do large scale, outdoor paint projects.
    2010 Jayco 26(SOLD)
    2011 Keystone Outback 277RL(SOLD)
    2021 Grand Design 268BH
    2013 Ford F250 XLT, 6.2L Gas

  9. #9
    Site Team D2Reid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigag1 View Post
    I don't think this is acceptable on a four years old trailer even if you have travelled thousands of miles on some roads that might need some TLC's. These trailers are supposedly built to be driven, not sit in a trailer park like parkland models.
    I hear you. Engineering standards are an often discussed subject on RV forums. These things should exceed automotive standards when it comes to construction. They have been at it a long time. But I have learned to deal with what is, not what should be. I got stress cracks...

    I have asked the other moderators on a good tutorial for uploading pictures. I just click on the picture thingy that says insert image. Window pops up, I click on "from computer", then choose file, find the file click open. Now here is the tricky part, you have to also click on "Upload files" for it to be inserted. Not a straight forward intuitive process.

    I wish the world was at it should be, in the mean time I will deal with what is.
    Dallas
    2017 Momentum 376TH, 2019 Ford F450, Dual Rear Wheel, 4x4, diesel.
    2015 Harley-Davidson Street, XG750

  10. #10
    Site Sponsor livinthelife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D2Reid View Post
    I hear you. Engineering standards are an often discussed subject on RV forums. These things should exceed automotive standards when it comes to construction. They have been at it a long time. But I have learned to deal with what is, not what should be. I got stress cracks...

    I have asked the other moderators on a good tutorial for uploading pictures. I just click on the picture thingy that says insert image. Window pops up, I click on "from computer", then choose file, find the file click open. Now here is the tricky part, you have to also click on "Upload files" for it to be inserted. Not a straight forward intuitive process.

    I wish the world was at it should be, in the mean time I will deal with what is.
    Off topic, but I'm on a couple of other forums and they've moved onto different (not sure what they're called) providers (?) and we only have to drag & drop from personal computer files to post pictures. Or copy & paste. Sooooo much easier.
    2017 Reflection 26RL "Mili"
    2016 Ford F250 Extended Cab Gas Engine "Buck" (the truck)

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