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Old 02-10-2016, 10:06 AM   #15
city , province
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 2

Hi all,
Thanks for all your input especially John, the sandlapper! My husband said the same thing about the cabinet doors, there seems to be no allowance there for movement between the panel and the frame, too bad. We removed the table from the trailer.....boy, not an easy task.....heavy sucker! The rear left side had warped up which makes sense because it is not sealed on the bottom.
There is a wooden batten thing on that edge but the end screw had actually broken off when the table edge started to move and so that corner just moved upwards. We brought it in, clamped it and rescrewed it and it is laying flat upside down in our living room with weight on it and we will see, it does already look a lot better.

Where we are on Vancouver Island, lack of humidity is NOT the problem !
This was a bad winter for rain and humidity and we now think that little unit we used was not enough. It is a Stor-Dry low wattage warm air circulator by Caframo, designed for marine and RV use. We just now have put one of those oil filled heaters out there on really low, but obviously it is starting to get warmer now so we are too late in the season! My husband will take a door off and see what happens inside.
John said this: ""If the corners of the door frames are opened up (joints pushed open), a sign of swelling in the panel...too much humidity.""
That looks exactly like what happened. Don't know if we can ever get them 100% again and if we spend a bunch of money to do it, it might just happen again during the next winter. John, any advice for us to try before we go the cabinet maker route? We are new to BC too, it is amazing how it really is the "West Coast".
Basically we were just so shocked because it is not new, we figured that type of thing would have happened already.....and it was living in the NW since delivery.
Just made us sad and disappointed.

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Old 02-10-2016, 10:45 AM   #16
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2008 25' Classic
Wichita Falls , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2012
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As lovely as the Classic table looks I'm not finding the finish on it to be practical. Somehow one of us put something on the table that ate away the finish leaving a quarter sized ring. I'll probably have to get the whole table sprayed.

As mentioned above its heavy. Letting the table down isn't bad put swinging it up can only be handled solo by myself, the wife needs help, so we don't take it down often.

But, its what I've got and I've learned to live with it.


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Old 02-10-2016, 02:31 PM   #17
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2014 25' FB International
2007 20' Safari SE
2005 19' Safari
Qualicum Beach , British Columbia
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Vagabons , we are just down the road from you in Qualicum and will attest to the " no lack of humidity"
Last year on our trip south we had a lot of moisture issues ( 3dogs, 1cat and 2 humans) so after a lot of research we picked up a small EVA DRY 1100 which really keeps the moisture down for winter storage here. Our selling dealership Midtown RV in Penticton even uses the 2200 model in the Newmar motorhomes they sell.
So far this year, no damp smell at all and no moisture on my windows.
Hopefully after fixing, your tabletop will become acclimatized and not warp again

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Old 02-10-2016, 02:35 PM   #18
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2010 30' Classic
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South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,129
Hello vagabons

I too have the hickory cabinetry in my rig.

We have had problems with warpage only on the sliding door to the bedroom. We did however run into problems with the finish cracking and crazing on one of the folding tables (not the dinette one; there are two smaller ones in the 30', not sure if yours will have them). It was replaced under warranty shortly after I bought the trailer and is starting to craze again now.

I have had to replace some of the plastic friction catches on the cabinet doors. Whether this is because of alignment problems due to expansion and contraction of the wood, or the fact that the plastic friction catches are junk, I am not sure. I am using brass replacements and they work better.

I agree that the table is unnecessarily and inappropriately heavy. Who knows why they do what they do.

I don't have much specific advice on repairs, but I hope you can get out and enjoy your trailer and see how things go and whether some of the changes are temporary.

We do not try to heat our trailer in the winter.
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Old 02-10-2016, 06:40 PM   #19
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1993 34' Excella
York , South Carolina
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once the doors are pushed apart at the joints, not much can be done with them. They are toast. Often the swelling splits and cracks the wood in the joints anyway. The panels themselves could possibly be reused, new frames made.

It sounds like replacement is necessary. If/when you talk to a cabinetmaker, just explain what has happened and quiz him on his construction techniques. The grooves in the frame must be deeper than the panel is wide to allow for the expansion.

Many factors come in to play with any wooden product.....moisture content of the wood and how carefully it was dried, hidden stress cracks, where the piece eventually ''lives'' in relation to where it was produced, the type of finish used, type of construction, quality of fit, and most of all...the human factor.

Sometimes things go wrong despite the best intentions.

Equal finish on both sides of the doors or table tops is perhaps the most important step. It stabilizes the piece.

Everyone out there in Airstream land, take a look underneath your table. If there is no finish, or very little compared to the top, pull it out and brush on a coat or two of polyurethane. Doesn't need to be pretty, just get it on there.

As for water proofness, there are products out there that provide excellent protection. The polyurethanes and varnishes are very good. I would not recommend applying a fresh coat of either on an existing finish, adhesion and other problems can occur.

Laminates on particle board substrates are the most stable and trouble free.

Wood is good. It must be assembled correctly or the types of problems discussed here will show up. And sometimes they just show up anyway.

Not gonna point any fingers, but a tour of the factory will tell you first hand just what kind of pressure the workers are under to get the product out the door.
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:01 PM   #20
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1994 30' Excella
Mississauga , Ontario
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 961
If the bottom has no finish then as the humidity goes down(usually winter) that surface will dry out fastest and shrink which would account for the warp. There is a chance that when the humidity increases it will swell and straighten out. That would be the time to seal the bottom surface to prevent it from happening again.
Door manufacturers always say seal all surfaces in an identical fashion or no warranty against warpage.
Al and Jean

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Old 02-11-2016, 10:46 AM   #21
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1996 25' Excella
Tillsonburg , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 859
Quote from sandlapper "It sounds like replacement is necessary. If/when you talk to a cabinetmaker, just explain what has happened and quiz him on his construction techniques. The grooves in the frame must be deeper than the panel is wide to allow for the expansion."

If you do go to a cabinet maker, a knowledgeable one will make the grooves deep enough and also stabilize the panel in the center using small rubber spacers that allow expansion but hold the panel centered in it's frame. If the frame came apart at the joints, there was simply not sufficient room for expansion. Wood expands more width wise than length along the grain, so the Rails (top and bottom) won't expand as much as the panel.

AS seems to have stopped using Hickory???? May because of this problem. Hickory and Oak move more than Maple and others as to expansion due to humidity, but not excessively so, and about the same amount.

You absolutely need to coat all surfaces equally to mitigate differential expansion between finished and unfinished faces. Properly made table tops are carefully laid up to counteract the tendency for wood to curl with the grain. This degree of attention is not going to be found in commercial construction unfortunately, but equal surface treatment can help a lot.

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