- June 21, 2021 at 20:44 #51548TechieTechieParticipant
I have a new Northstar 650TC and need help. Had my first camper boo-boo, I cut a corner too quickly and the Happijack caught an obstruction. The backwards force on the Happijack sheared it away from the camper frame.
Structurally, seems the only damage is a single cracked vertical wood wall stud (it’s at the cabover/main body junction, right next to the water heater). In terms of the shell, 4 issues: A. The front and side fiberglass panels are shredded at the happijack attachment point (corner) (maybe 1 foot high by 1.5 wide). And there are 2 glass cracks: One from the corner of the city water opening to the front corner of the camper, and One between the city water opening and the opening for the water heater.
Even tho I was 90 minutes from the factory when the accident occurred, the factory directed me to take it to the local N* dealer. Had some reservations regarding the potential quality of their repairs (other story)….but that’s the drill.
I do feel like they can do a decent job on the structural part (they would repair like I would…cut out, replace, sister) but they want to bondo or simply make a metal plate to cover the shredded fiberglass….which is nuts. It’s a corner that is going to have lots of rain runoff and it needs a waterproof membrane. This is standard procedure for a boat (glass repairs), it ticks me off they want to take cheap body shop shortcuts (I don’t think they have a lot of experience doing this kind of repair).
So, the question is, does anyone know how the N* exterior shell is constructed? I’m assuming 1/4″ luan with some sort of spray glass/gelcoat mix…but it would sure be nice to know. Thinking I can have a reputable boat fiberglass shop fix the exterior properly (buy the luan, then glass it into place, then gelcoat)….
The other option to take it back to the factory, but per the dealer they’ve not been forthcoming about time, nor cost (I think they would replace the entirety of both panels, which seems like a huge overkill).
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- June 23, 2021 at 16:25 #51566Phil PattersonParticipant
Sorry to hear of your difficulties…The cleanest approach would seem to be return it to the factory and have them do new sidewalls ($$), so it depends on how best to arrive at your level of satisfaction…Instead, I might be tempted to cut open the affected area with say an exacto-knife, make the corner repair and then recover again, trying to keep the seam gaps tight, then caulk…Either way you go the corner will need to be opened up…
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