Here is the right fender layed on a straight bannister.
As you can see, the finder is grossly warped. Every fastening hole is indented.
All summer long I have been watching this thing contort, continually deforming more and more, right before my eyes.
Keystone says - after hearing a verbal description over the phone - that they have not seen this happen before.
They did not say that I was mistaken; Only that their product can not do this.
Keystone has a one year warranty, but FINDERS are not covered!
I paid $1000 for an extended warranty from the dealer Cusin Garys with a hundred dollar deductible.
Although this warranty is in effect, finders are not covered by this either!
Two warranties, and finders are not covered!
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where moths and vermin do not destroy,
and where thieves do not break in and steal.
I do not understand...
For example, on a new car, expendables like hoses and belts are not covered.
But when did finders become expendable? How can they wear out?
All I have done is ran an observant hand over the finders from time to time, and helplessly watched them degrade.
To add insult to injury, Keystone does not make these finders any more. They have replaced them with
something else. I wonder why!
To add further insult, Keystone wants $168 dollars per finder skirt plus $34 dollars to ship.
To add further insult, Keystone recommends TWO finders; that is almost $400 dollars. For what? For crap!
Hey Keystone! You should be thanking me for my business instead of hitting me twice.
Edge on view
Here is the left fender: not nearly so bad as the right.
And there is a reason for it:
The right finder is exposed to the sun, and I would guess the temperature of the finder could go to
125 degrees. This type of plastic gets soft in the heat,
and does not return to it's previous shape when cool. And evidently with each heating cycle, it gets permanently bigger.
Well, maybe that is not totally true, because there are many cracks; that means the plastic is contracting.
I do not know how in the hell it is happing. All I know is that I just have to fix it.
During the summer, I made a half hearted effort to stop the tearing, with epoxy, but to no avail.
Here is the under side of a couple of holes.
This started out as an experiment: How much weight would it take to straighten this out?
After sanding and applying epoxy, the wood was glued down without screws. After the epoxy sat all night,
it appeared to work, until I attempted to lift up the finder in my hands. The epoxy busted loose and the finder
sprang back warped.
Next, I would try using the wood with epoxy and screws to temporarily hold the form so that I could install
aluminum ribbing. After all, the wood will rot eventually.
First aluminum spar.
Also applied automotive filler to holes and surrounding area, and filed flush with the lip, and drilled new holes.
Oversize the holes to allow for movement.
It actually works better to lay the aluminum like this...
Put screws into the corner, and not on a face.
Otherwise, at the ends of the aluminum braces, as they go over the sides of the trailer , they would push out the finder.
The aluminum is 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch. But the lip of the finder is just under this amount: about 3/8 inch.
Laying like this, the spar fits tight, and adds yet more bracing; probably exceeding all the screws around the lip.
Here are the nearly finished finder skirts; Right, on top; Left finder at bottom.
I suspect - without actually seeing it - that the finder skirts vibrate in the wind. I can not really tell
for shure in the rear view mirrors. If so, then they can totally tear off someday from fatigue.
So to help prevent this...
First I applied cooking butter to the sides of the trailer that the finders will normally cover.
Next, I partially
installed the finders, not synching down the screws, and leaving plenty of gaps.
Next, I applied expanding foam
under the finders.
Finally, I adjusted everything for the best look. The expanding foam will be permanent
inside the finders, but hopefully will not bind well to the side of the trailer due to the butter.
The foam should follow
the corrugations of the sides perfectly. You do not want any oscillations in the wind.
The finders look much better. There are still some minor "waves", but the big contortions are gone.
One more thing...
Put some foam on any screws that are not already covered in foam. You do not want any screws backing out.
They can cause an unfortunate flat to anyone behind you.
While pointing out poor materials and inappropriate materials, here is another: the Air Conditioner.
The Air Conditioner cover is cracking due to the extreme heat in California.
Also, all components of the RV are subject to motion stress, in any state.
The RV manufacturer gave no thought to RV roof temperatures or RV motion.
This crack will have to be repaired to prevent water damage.
In time, the Air Conditioner cover will further crack around the screws,
and eventually fly off the top of the RV into an officers windshield.
In time, this plastic will further harden, and crumble into little pieces.
I will probably throw the Air Conditioner away, because we never use it.
Actually, we did use it ounce; it does work.
In terms of usage, it is brand new.
I designed the RV for the fog and rain of the coast, and
a sky light there, unlike an air conditioner, would serve a useful purpose.
Also at this time, I do not have enough battery power to run it, even if I wanted to run it.
If you are into Boondocking,
then probably this thing setting on top of your RV is nothing more than a big wind brake,
or perhaps a branch trimmer.
Keystone is a good buy for the cheap money.
But once they have your money they will leave you completely.
You are barely even a memory in their computer; You are on your own.
The management does not care, and the quality of work and materials are poor.
Cousin Garys does not care either:
I pointed out that the wall did not join up with the roof correctly on the left hand side.
Cousin Garys said "Oh, that is a structural defect! Structural defects are not covered."
The good news is that such people will never touch my RV.