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Old 12-02-2007, 12:51 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Cape Coral, Florida, USA
Posts: 53

I'm glad to see that this forum is open again because at least it provides us with an opportunity to let others know about our experiences with this end of the RV industry. I have an 03 Showhauler garage coach that was built on a new Columbia chassis and I've got several posts on here in regard to the truck conversion experiment. Some are good, but most reflect the experiences I've had and are mostly negative. I contacted Showhauler and spoke with Chad about a problem that had been reoccuring since the motorhome was less than a year old. The aluminum skins do not stick to the frame and each other with this double sided 3M tape. That stuff was made to hold lightweight trim pieces and nameplates on vehicles not aluminum skins. I had my rig back and forth to Showhauler a number of times to have this repaired, but of course there is no true repair when faulty manufacturing processes were used in the first place. My rig is now 4 years old and the aluminum skins have popped open in various places all over the place with no rhyme or reason. I last contacted Chad over six months ago by phone, email, snail mail and also sent pictures. The last time I spoke with him, I was told that Kerm (owner of Showhauler) hadn't had a chance to take a look at anything. At the same time, they were also informed and sent pictures of my roof. Before leaving on a trip this summer, I pulled my truck outside. It's normally garaged 24/7 at my home. It rained that day and it had leaks in several places. Upon examination of the roof after the pooled water dried off, I found numerous holes in the aluminum. These holes were all located in the areas where water regularly pools on the roof because theses morons build the roof FLAT. The holes were different sizes from the size of a pencil eraser down to a little larger than pinholes and there were alot of them. So now I'm left with a motorhome where the exterior walls are delaminating, and the roof has failed due to poor design and material usage. Is there anything that I could have done to prevent this from happening and does anybody think that a motorhome roof that lasts less than 4 years is simple wear and tear and should be expected? I don't think so that's why I'm warning everybody who reads this to beware of Showhauler and any other manufacturers who use a bare, flat aluminum roof and adhear the exterior walls with tape. These systems don't work. Look around and see if you see any late model motorhomes with a flat roof. They all have a crown built in. The last motorhomes that had aluminum exterior walls were ones made by Safari and Holiday Rambler years ago and the aluminum was run horizontally and secured with rivets. I'll also tell you what the "factory" fix is for loose exterior walls-they squirt some polyurethane sealant/glue in and hope that it holds. Forget about them putting new tape on. Well, that didn't work in the first place anyway, so what the hell! While I had Chad on the phone I also told him about the corrosion that is eating away at the aluminum pieces that cover the last steel framing member on the end of the rig. Apparently, water gets in behind the aluminum, can't drain and eventually corrodes the that end cover piece. I spent over $20,000 for a full paint job on this rig and the paint is lifting in these areas. Gee, wonder why I haven't received any phone calls from Showhauler? Maybe because they just hope I'll go away. They all seem like your best friend, but watch out. They don't want to know you after the warranty is up even if it was stuff that they tried to fix and failed while still under warranty. I've read stories in various motorhome magazines where the manufacturer stood behind their product many years after the warranty expired and major problems developed that never should, but forget it with Showhauler. Good luck to the rest of you.

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Old 12-03-2007, 07:32 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: N.E. Ohio
Posts: 768

Well that doesn't sound good. I won't sit hear and patronize you with how good those guys are and the great experience I had, because that obviously isn't your experience. Just hope to hear you are able to find a solution to your problem.

You mentioned the roof as being aluminum and it actually is galvanized steel. I have not had much luck with galvanized material and corrosion. My bays started to corrode with just one run on salty roads. It seems to pit very quickly with just alittle salt water applied. I do agree on the flat roof issue, my second rig held alot of water and I really worried about the seals on my AC units failing.

You mentioned you had painted your truck, got any pictures?


2012 Showhauler 28'6" Motorhome on a Columbia w/ 450 Mercedes.
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:46 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 6

" cjc " You stated,
" I contacted Showhauler and spoke with Chad about a problem that had been reoccurring since the motor home was less than a year old. The aluminum skins do not stick to the frame and each other with this double sided 3M tape. That stuff was made to hold lightweight trim pieces and nameplates on vehicles not aluminum skins. I had my rig back and forth to Showhauler a number of times to have this repaired, but of course there is no true repair when faulty manufacturing processes were used in the first place. My rig is now 4 years old and the aluminum skins have popped open in various places all over the place with no rhyme or reason."

" cjc "
I have owned several truck conversions. Each conversion had many great features.

Showhauler, Hallmark, Powerhouse Conversion and Transport Designs as well as other conversion manufactures use tape construction method. I have heard claims from each company that they can make the aluminum skin work with proper instillation.

On a hot summer day at a motorcycle race I walked around looking at a coach built by each coach manufacture listed above.

These companies can claim anything they want. They all had the same problem you are discussing. Before selling my last taped aluminum skin conversion, I used 3M windshield sealer to stick down the bulging aluminum skin.

I am currently designing a Kevlar skinned coach. I am sure it will not live up to the claims. This will be my fifth truck conversion in 8 years. I have learned truck conversion manufactures will say anything to make you happy when they have their hand out waiting on your deposit.

" Warranty " Each conversion company I used acted like insurance company when it came to a claim. They blame "me "the customer; they blame the products they have chosen to sell on your conversion. They rarely accept the blame.

It is clear to me that manufactures rarely stand behind the warrantee more then one or two visits to the shop. I have found it doesn't matter how long they claim their warranty is.

Good Luck


TruckerWillie Out
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Old 01-24-2008, 04:39 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 15

I can understand the problems you are having with the 3M tape. We've used it for many years and have great success, but occasionally you have an area that will "pop". (I'd like to know who Trucker Willie is as I am unaware with anyone calling me and getting no satisfaction with this or any other problem, but likely he'll slam me on this blog and never call).

The correct way to apply this 3m product is quite labor intensive. Double cleaning of the wall tube is a must - that is two separate wipe down with a degreaser. Then apply heat - a lot of it - and finally an adhesion promoter - a very expensive product ($100 / gal). That adhesion promoter must be applied to ALL surfaces of the materials to be bonded. It's been only in the last 2 tears we've "discovered" this adhesion promoter and it works very well.

Galvanized roofing is really "ancient technology" - you generally cannot buy it seamless (we stopped using it on our low cost line of trailers in 1992 because of the leak problems. It can be coated to help, but I'd suggest looking into installing a rubber roof over it. It is time consuming, but will stop it from leaking if properly applied.

I'd be only happy to help in any way I can - feel free to call or write. My name and company is listed - no hiding behind a moniker.
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:19 PM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 748


What is Showhaulers warranty on their conversions that fail due to inferior workmanship or materials such as in your case of delaminating exterior siding from the studs and roof holes?

Here is their current warranty




Your new living quarters including the structure, plumbing heating and electrical systems said all appliances and equipment installed by the manufacturer, is warranted under normal use to be free from manufacturing defects in material and workmanship. The warranty extends to the first retail purchaser and begins on the date of original retail delivery or the date the living quarters is first placed into service (whichever occurs first). This warranty extends for a period of two years from such date. Written notice of defects must be given to the selling dealer or the manufacturer not later than ten (10) days after the expiration of the applicable warranty. Warranty repairs, if required, will be made without charge after your living quarters is taken to the dealer or manufacturing plant location.


The owner is responsible for normal maintenance; however, minor adjustments (such as adjustments o the interior or exterior doors, LP regulator pressure, cabinet latches, TV antenna control, etc.) will be performed by the dealer during the first ninety (90) days of warranty coverage. Thereafter, such adjustments are the responsibility of the owner as normal maintenance unless required as a direct result of repair or replacement of a defective part under this warranty.

If a problem occurs which the owner believes is covered by this warranty, the owner shall contact the selling dealer, or other authorized dealer, giving him sufficient information to resolve the matter. The owner shall deliver the living quarters to the dealer or manufacturing plant location for warranty service.


By agreement with the manufacturing, the dealer is obligated to maintain the living quarters prior to retail sale, to perform a detailed pre-delivery inspection and to repair any parts necessary to correct defects in material or workmanship


If the dealer is unable or unwilling to resolve & problem which the owner is convinced is covered by this warranty. he should contact the manufacturing plant at the address listed below and provide the manufacturer with a description in writing of the problem and attempts made to resolve it.


Upon receipt of a claim, where the dealer was unable or unwilling to resolve the problem, the manufacturing plant will repair or replace any parts necessary to correct defects in material or workmanship, or will take other appropriate action as may be required.


1. Batteries, appliances and other equipment, which are covered by the separate warranties of the respective manufacturers of these components.

2. Damage caused by or related to:

A. Accidents, misuse or negligence.

B. Alteration or modification of the living quarters.

C. Environmental conditions (salt, hail, chemicals in the atmosphere, etc.)

3. Normal deterioration due to wear or exposure, such as fading of fabrics or drapes, carpet wear, etc.

4. Normal maintenance and service items such as light bulbs, fuses, lubricants, etc.

5. Extra expenses such as transportation to and from dealer or manufacturing plant location, loss of time, loss of pay, loss of use of the living quarters, inconvenience, commercial loss, towing charges, bus fees, vehicle rental, incidental charges sock as telephone calls or lodging bills, or other incidental or consequential damages (other than injury to the person).

6. Any unit used as a commercial unit or used as a rental unit.

7. Condensation on any window or other parts or any results of condensation.

Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitations of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitation or exclusion may not apply to you.

This warranty gives you specific legal rights and you have other rights which may vary from state to state.

Dealers or any other persons are not authorized to make modifications to this warranty. Any additional statements concerning this warranty whether oral or written are not the responsibility of the manufacturer and should not be relied upon.
"I have marveled often at the thin line that divides success from failure and the sudden turn that leads from apparently certain disaster to comparative safety." Ernest Shackleton, Antarctic Explorer, Sea and Land, 1874-1922.
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Old 02-01-2008, 04:36 AM   #6
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 15

Delamination of fiberglass from the substrate is a problem that has occurred ever since the product was developed and used extensively in the early 90's. Back then you'd se 40% (or more) of the semi trailers on the road using this design for their sidewalls. You'll notice it isn't used any longer and these semis have vanished (You might check the Smithsonian for an example!). It's the product used that is the problem. Typically it starts around a window or door area, but it could happen anywhere moisture intrudes. The only fix I've seen is having aluminum fastened over top of it. A customer of mine had a fifth wheel travel trailer made of FRP that he brought in for us to do some interior fabrication. I asked what it was that was on the exterior and he stated for something like $12,000 the factory installed aluminum over the delaminating fiberglass. I believe he said the trailer was 3 years old at the time.

Holes in the roofing can be repaired by removing the old roofing and installing seamless aluminum or a rubber roof. The former can be done by someone with decent construction skills, although the removal will be the hard part as the adhesive - used properly - really holds fast. The rubber is a bit technical and is better left for professionals. You definitely want to remove the galvanized though.

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Old 02-01-2008, 09:36 AM   #7
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 182

FRP is not what he had a problem with in the Show Hauler. The FRP was a good product as long as people kept it sealed. The semi-trailers have moved into stronger lighter material for composite trailer side walls that so far do not have the tendancy to absorb moisture.
I believe that CJC has a flexing problem that is causing the panels to pop open. I have had several Show hauler units and so far have not had that problem.


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