Another Broken Trim Issue...

ColoradoJonColoradoJon Posts: 315Member
Again!  Same problem I had last year, exact same piece of trim.  The aesthetic plastic trim that covers the corners has cracked completely through.  The replacement piece is less than a year old!  And unfortunately it will not be fully warranted.  I understand that the trailer is over a  year old, but the replacement trim is not!  NuCamp's response was a bit snarky, even, and nowhere near the rosy customer service experience that I normally read about on these forums.  Oh well, it's just a piece of aesthetic plastic according to them.

They did offer to sell me a replacement at cost, though, so I suppose that's something.  I don't know what 'cost' is, though, as it was not mentioned in the email.

So... are there any permanent solutions to keeping these plastic pieces from cracking?  Or even a solution that doesn't involve yearly replacement?

Also... not sure what category to use.  I hope it's in the right spot :)
Jon & Angela | Florissant Colorado | 2017 Outback S
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Comments

  • ScottGScottG Posts: 2,212Moderator
    That stinks. I assume you are talking about the little decorative silver piece found only on the Outback/Boondock? The one that looks like a skid shield of sorts?

    I haven't heard many reports of this particular issue, so all I can guess is that maybe the attachment points (screws, I assume...) are a little off on your trailer, torquing or otherwise stressing the plastic a bit once it's tightened down. Over time the stress causes a crack.

    I wounder if you reamed out the holes a little on the new part it might give it a little play and maybe relieve the stress enough to prevent the damage. Hardly a perfect solution, but neither is having to purchase and replace a new part every year!
  • ColoradoJonColoradoJon Posts: 315Member
    It's the plastic roof trim, like in this thread: Plastic Trim Cracking



    Same piece as last year, just a different spot.  I may attempt to fix it, but I'm more tempted just to leave it and let people ask me about it.
    Jon & Angela | Florissant Colorado | 2017 Outback S
  • ScottGScottG Posts: 2,212Moderator
    Ahhh, got it. Did it break that clean and straight both times? Makes me wonder if there aren't seams of some kind in there that form natural weak spots.

    Anecdotally, it seems the black trim has been over-represented in cracking issues. I wonder if it is more subject to thermal expansion.
  • ColoradoJonColoradoJon Posts: 315Member
    Yes, broke clean both times.  This second time it broke while we were out on our first camp of the year (last weekend).  I put up the visor when we arrived and the trim was fine.  When we packed up to leave I noticed it was broken when removing the visor.

    I'm sure that the black plastic is more problematic.  It absorbs more heat and thus is prone to larger amounts of expansion.  I replaced the trim the first time, and I drilled larger holes to allow for additional expansion, hoping that would cure the problem.  It is just a poor design or poor choice of materials on the part of the manufacturer.

    I gotta say that I am a little disappointed, but I understand that there is little that NuCamp can do after the fact.  I don't expect them to keep sending me free replacements, but a workable solution would be great.  The email that I received from them was a bit snarky, which is primarily why I am disappointed.
    Jon & Angela | Florissant Colorado | 2017 Outback S
  • jkjennjkjenn Posts: 4,816Member
    edited May 3
    The email that I received from them was a bit snarky, which is primarily why I am disappointed.
    Jon, maybe the email you received was snarky, I dont know, I didn't read it, but depending on who sent it, it could be more communication style than snark, especially if it was from someone raised in an Amish community where the style is very different. I have a sister-in-law who was raised not far the factory and she once offered to help explain something to a school employee who is considered to be an expert. She was sincere. If my brother or I had said it, it would have definitely seemed snarky and people do misinterpret my sister-in-law's gentile sincerity as snark from time to time but there is not a snarky bone in her body! I am extremely confident that she has never said a snarky thing in her life!

    Jenn Grover | 2015  [email protected] S Max Silver/Turquoise Trim | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk v6 | Nights spent in [email protected]: 180 | Pittsburgh PA

  • ColoradoJonColoradoJon Posts: 315Member
    @jkjenn - It is certainly possible that the tone has been misinterpreted.  I would expect that care would be taken in their responses to avoid that, though.

     In any event - I just got the quote back from their parts department.  $62.24 for the replacement trim piece.  $146.75 ups ground shipping!!!  Egads, that's $208.99 to fix a design/material problem with these trailers, and this doesn't even guarantee that it won't happen again.  I'm sorry, but this I just cannot agree with.
    Jon & Angela | Florissant Colorado | 2017 Outback S
  • rkj__rkj__ Posts: 510Member

    Same piece as last year, just a different spot.  I may attempt to fix it, but I'm more tempted just to leave it and let people ask me about it.

    I don't think many people will be asking about it.  Most people would not notice, or assume it's supposed to be in two pieces. 

    2016 [email protected] 320 CS-S - 2018 GMC Sierra - St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 2,803Moderator
    I think it just looks like a seam.  That would buy a lot of caulk!
    Sharon
    Cleveland Heights, Ohio
    2017 TaB CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan

  • ColoradoJonColoradoJon Posts: 315Member
    It doesn't look bad in the pic, true.  But it looks a lot worse when it warms up.  That pic was taken when it was only 32 degrees outside :) 

    Hey, I get it.  It's just a piece of trim.  On a $24K trailer, though.
    Jon & Angela | Florissant Colorado | 2017 Outback S
  • ScottGScottG Posts: 2,212Moderator
    Well looky here...

    My [email protected] is still under cover but ColoradoJon's post inspired me to feel around the edges a bit. And sure enough...



    Not only is the split not clean and straight, it's actually cracked in three places on the side face. There's a very good chance that a chunk or two will actually fall off in short order.

    Knowing the cost to replace this, I'll probably settle for a couple patches of black duct tape. It will make a cute conversation piece on my vintage three-year-old trailer, right? And after all, I only paid $18K for mine...
  • jcfaber1jcfaber1 Posts: 308Member
    I had a crack on a piece of trim on our DM tab.  I took it off, sanded the back side and fiber glassed the back side.  You can still see the crack, but it got no worse.  It has held up for more than 3 years.  Just an idea for home repair.  West Marine makes some great repair stuff.

    John

    2007 [email protected]

    Rockford, IL

  • ColoradoJonColoradoJon Posts: 315Member
    I will definitely attempt some sort of repair.  I simply cannot ride around with this thing sticking out like a sore thumb!  It is a shame that we have to resort to hacks to fix these kinds of problems, though.

    But alas, it is the world we live in.
    Jon & Angela | Florissant Colorado | 2017 Outback S
  • MarcelineMarceline Posts: 316Member
    ScottG said:
    Well looky here...

    My [email protected] is still under cover but ColoradoJon's post inspired me to feel around the edges a bit. And sure enough...



    Not only is the split not clean and straight, it's actually cracked in three places on the side face. There's a very good chance that a chunk or two will actually fall off in short order.

    Knowing the cost to replace this, I'll probably settle for a couple patches of black duct tape. It will make a cute conversation piece on my vintage three-year-old trailer, right? And after all, I only paid $18K for mine...
    TAP Plastics is another good source for materials for repairing fiberglass and plastics. 
    San Francisco Bay Area
    2013 CS-S [email protected]
    Battered but trusty 3.5l V6 Hyundai Santa Fe
  • ScottGScottG Posts: 2,212Moderator
    Thanks for the tips, @jcfaber1 and @Marceline. Like ColoradoJon, I'll probably attempt some sort of repair myself rather than drop coin on a costly replacement that is likely to do the same thing again.

    I'm not looking forward to removing that piece and trying to keep it intact and aligned while I secure it up, but I've fried bigger fish. Any additional tips for patching this from the back are welcome. Given the extent of the cracking, I think a fiberglass band-aid on the back might be the best way to go.
  • rkj__rkj__ Posts: 510Member
    ScottG said:
    Thanks for the tips, @jcfaber1 and @Marceline. Like ColoradoJon, I'll probably attempt some sort of repair myself rather than drop coin on a costly replacement that is likely to do the same thing again.

    I'm not looking forward to removing that piece and trying to keep it intact and aligned while I secure it up, but I've fried bigger fish. Any additional tips for patching this from the back are welcome. Given the extent of the cracking, I think a fiberglass band-aid on the back might be the best way to go.


    Whatever you do, you may want to consider expansion / contraction due to temperature changes; which is likely the cause of the cracking in the first place. 

    2016 [email protected] 320 CS-S - 2018 GMC Sierra - St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
  • ScottGScottG Posts: 2,212Moderator
    Yep, I've thought of that. I wonder if there's enough flexibility in the fiberglass to keep it stuck to the plastic. jcfaber1 says his fix is going on three years, so maybe...

    The crack wasn't there when I parked it and covered it late last fall, so it almost certainly derives from cold-related contraction. I'm interested in seeing what it does when it gets hot.  :-/
  • MarcelineMarceline Posts: 316Member
    I wonder if it might be better to somehow “finish” the broken ends and let it be an “expansion joint” 
    San Francisco Bay Area
    2013 CS-S [email protected]
    Battered but trusty 3.5l V6 Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Hans111Hans111 Posts: 48Member
    We hadn't experienced any (silver) trim cracking issues on our 2016 [email protected] until this spring. We took the trailer out of indoor winter storage and four of the eight trim pieces are completely cracked through, some in multiple places. It seems odd that they failed simultaneously but it may point to temperature fluctuation.
    As with you, nuCamp offered replacements at cost and, while UPS is still expensive because of dimensions, it costs about the same to ship four as it does one. 
    Doug
    Des Moines Iowa
    2016 S Max Sofitel
  • RatkityRatkity Posts: 3,577Member
    One other thing to consider if any other color than black. There is a color match issue. I had a piece of trim near the back handle replaced under warranty and it didn't match the other three. I opted to fix the small crack (screw was replaced too tightly during a repair) and use the old one. It was an OCD thing, methinks lol.
    2017 820R Retro Toy Hauler from 2015 Tabitha [email protected] from 2009 Reverse LG Teardrop (but a [email protected] at heart)
  • phulishcatphulishcat Posts: 89Member
    just an idea here to save on shipping, could they just send the parts with a normal dealer shipment and then you pick the replacement up at the dealer? 
  • jkjennjkjenn Posts: 4,816Member
    just an idea here to save on shipping, could they just send the parts with a normal dealer shipment and then you pick the replacement up at the dealer? 
    I could pick it up and drop it off in the fall, for you. :)

    Jenn Grover | 2015  [email protected] S Max Silver/Turquoise Trim | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk v6 | Nights spent in [email protected]: 180 | Pittsburgh PA

  • ColoradoJonColoradoJon Posts: 315Member
    Having replaced one of these before I can say that the molded plastic trim doesn't really fit the curve of the trailer very well.  To install flush to the camper it requires you to flex the trim, which puts stress on the plastic, which creates a convenient place for failure.

    I attempted to alleviate the problem by making oversize holes in the trim piece and allowing the trim to sit in the sun to warm up and become flexible.  The trim is attached to the trailer by the keder rail screws and cannot be over tightened - it appears they were randomly placed along the trailer wall and most of them do not hit any major support structure and were screwed directly to the panel.

    I looked closely at the second broken piece this weekend and it appears to have failed just to the left of a mounting screw, about one inch away.  Nice, straight, vertical crack that goes all the way through the trim.
    Jon & Angela | Florissant Colorado | 2017 Outback S
  • ScottGScottG Posts: 2,212Moderator
    What does it look like under that trim? Is it relatively finished or is it a hot mess of screws, calking, and other visual impedimentia?

    Not that I'm considering this at this point, but I wonder if a "nuclear option" could be to just ditch the trim and go au naturel in the style of the CS [email protected]
  • ColoradoJonColoradoJon Posts: 315Member
    If I recall correctly it's actually really clean and finished, no mess of caulk.  There are screw heads of course, and aluminum corner trim which I believe is the sealed part.  I was actually considering the same thing but the wife put the kibosh on that idea.  She likes the plastic trim.  It had to be silver walls and black trim.

    An update - nuCamp is assisting me with a replacement piece, which I am very happy about.  I will be replacing the broken piece and I really hope to find a method that works well enough to keep it from happening again.  I'm going to try using slots in the plastic trim this time rather than larger holes.  This should give it more movement to expand and contract without binding.

    I'll gladly consider other suggestions if anyone has any :) 
    Jon & Angela | Florissant Colorado | 2017 Outback S
  • MarcelineMarceline Posts: 316Member
    I wonder if you it would be possible to alleviate the problem by pre-bending the trim with a heat gun.
    San Francisco Bay Area
    2013 CS-S [email protected]
    Battered but trusty 3.5l V6 Hyundai Santa Fe
  • ColoradoJonColoradoJon Posts: 315Member
    @Marceline - that's a good idea.  I'm also considering doing the install when it is cooler out and the plastic has contracted rather than expanded.  Or maybe the other way around?
    Jon & Angela | Florissant Colorado | 2017 Outback S
  • jgram2jgram2 Posts: 1,025Associate Member
    It’s too bad nüCamp can’t experiment with evenly spaced black rubber gaskets placed between pieces of trim, all along the length of the trim to see if those would accommodate the expansion and contraction due to temperature changes. Of course, that would increase the cost of manufacturing the trim even if it solved the cracking problem. What price beauty? And which of you scientists will explain why that’s not a feasible idea, because of the different coefficients(?) of rubber and plastics? Ah, the amount of thinking I do based solely on imagination with nary a fact to interfere. We also have cracked trim, one crack on each side, so similar in location, I thought they were intended to solve for this very problem.
    John, Judi, Guinness & OD in PDX
    [email protected]@t 2015 S Max Outback, ‘06 V8 4Runner 


  • ScottGScottG Posts: 2,212Moderator
    Twojgrams said:
    ...
    We also have cracked trim, one crack on each side, so similar in location, I thought they were intended to solve for this very problem.
    Many of the cracks are so clean and straight (mine are not...) that I originally considered the same thing.

    Foundation builders will often score concrete slabs with a circular saw before troweling the floor smooth. The know the slab is going to crack at predictable intervals--this intentional weak spot ensures that the crack is as "pretty" as it can be.
  • ColoradoJonColoradoJon Posts: 315Member
    Expansion joints/slip joints.  I'm sure there is a solution but that solution would involve additional cost.  Auto manufacturers can make entire bumpers and grills (entire cars?) out of plastic yet those do not exhibit this cracking phenomenon.  Those bumpers cost a lot of money, though :)
    Jon & Angela | Florissant Colorado | 2017 Outback S
  • RatkityRatkity Posts: 3,577Member
    Expansion joints/slip joints.  I'm sure there is a solution but that solution would involve additional cost.  Auto manufacturers can make entire bumpers and grills (entire cars?) out of plastic yet those do not exhibit this cracking phenomenon.  Those bumpers cost a lot of money, though :)
    Tis true! I don't think expansion joints are the only answer because of the jarring the trailer goes through bouncing/bounding down the road. I'm not sure there's a simple answer with the flexing going down the road and due to heat and cold. Where's our engineers?? hehe.
    2017 820R Retro Toy Hauler from 2015 Tabitha [email protected] from 2009 Reverse LG Teardrop (but a [email protected] at heart)
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