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Old 09-14-2021, 07:53 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Langhorne
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What should a wall feel like

My husband and I just bought our first travel trailer used — a 2019 Jayflight 324bds from private owners. It was a family who said they only used it 4 or 5 times locally and wanted to put in a pool instead. The unit still smelled like the factory to me. We admittedly don’t know a thing about trailers and took their word that there were no issues.
And maybe there aren’t. But as I was putting in a backsplash tonight, I noticed that the kitchen wall has some “give” or “bounce” when I push on it. The rest of the wall is solid. My husband said this is just where the interior panel isn’t overlaying frame. But he’s an electrical engineer, not a structural engineer haha and he’s never owned any kind of RV. We bought this thing cash and the more I've learned about travel trailers, the more I’m paranoid about water damage. I’ve made an appointment to have the roof inspected and any necessary resealing, but how do I know if this is a “soft wall?” When I push, it gives about a half an inch. Not wet, no discoloration, but I swear I hear/feel a little crunch when I push. Am I being a paranoid naysaying wife? Shouldn’t every area of the walls be solid? What does a “soft spot” feel like?
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Old 09-14-2021, 08:25 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: WV
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The wall panels in RVs are pretty thin to save on weight, it’s not stiff like drywall. There will be some deflection if you are pushing in between the studs. Completely normal, IMO.

If you have a leak, you would start seeing some spotting, although you may feel it in floor deflection first due to wet plywood.
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Old 09-14-2021, 08:39 PM   #3
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Thank you! So a “soft wall” would have other clues than just this? It does concern me that this area starts about 2 inches from the window and continues behind the stove area. How do people detect soft spots? Like what would you be feeling around for?
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Old 09-15-2021, 04:09 AM   #4
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Location: New Hampshire
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I think your previous reply from wallacemf, was describing 'water damage' spots. Here's a page that explains what to look for:

I wouldn't worry about the walls having some 'give'. RVs are not made to the strength of a regular house because they must be light enough to tow. There is wall support where it's required and little, or no support, everywhere else. We use 'command strips' to hang anything instead of nails.

I hope you get lots of use from your new camper and make tons of great memories.
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