We all agree on how pleasurable RVing can be. When choosing motorhomes, the cost is one of the predominant factors outdoor enthusiasts consider. And for sure, one of the most popular low-cost RVs out there is the Fleetwood Storm. But you may have wondered – especially given their affordability – what problems they could have?
From our investigation, the most prevalent issues with Fleetwood Storm RVs include problems with the chassis brake, leaking roofs, clogged toilets, and in some cases, absorption fridge fires. While some of these issues arise from manufacturing defects, a significant fraction is triggered by user negligence or improper usage.
In this article, we will not stop at learning the typical faults you can expect from your Fleetwood Storm. We will go a step further to discover the most basic fixes you can independently execute to alleviate the situation before possibly getting professional repairs carried out.
Table of Contents
1. Fleetwood Storm absorption fridge fires
One notable finding from our inquiries is the alarming propensity of Fleetwood Storm refrigerators to catch fires. Looking deeper, we saw most of the prone-to-fire-outbreak Fleetwood Storm RVs had Dometic refrigerators.
This vulnerability is inherent to the design of Dometic refrigerators. Often, these models are fitted with highly pressurized hydrogen gas. The refrigeration effect is achieved when propane – or electrical power supply as the case may be – heats the gases.
Fire outbreaks arise from malfunctions in the Dometic refrigerator. This could cause the escape of flammable gases.
Such release can trigger explosions upon ignition, quickly spreading from the refrigerating unit to the RV passenger space.
It is worth noting that such malfunctioning Dometic refrigerators, since 1997, have caused at least 3,000 fires. That said, the latest models from Fleetwood appeared to have remedied this fire vulnerability.
A bit of due diligence from your end can reduce the risk of fire outbreaks in your Storm RV.
If you are not technically adept, it is recommended that you get a certified RV technician to inspect your RV refrigerator compartment annually.
Also, intermittently check the compartment for rodents. Rodents – along with insect nests – increase the risk of refrigeration fires in RVs.
Related Article: 8 Common Problems With Logik Fridge Freezers (Must-Read)
2. Fleetwood Storm brake issues
We also found that many Fleetwood Storm users complain of their brake developing issues too easily. Most Fleetwood Storm RVs – especially the Class A models – use Ford chassis brakes.
Ford has a reputation for engineering excellence, but these brakes go bad, primarily when the RV is not used in the right conditions.
Let us get dirty a bit with the technical details, shall we?
Usually, Ford chassis brakes feature brake discs and brake master cylinders, more commonly known as brake pads and brake rotors.
While being produced from robust cast iron (thereby boasting superior heat resistance), your RV rotor will inevitably go bad if you leave it on the damp ground for too long.
This accelerates rotor corrosion, and if not promptly addressed, will distort your rotor surface and consequently its functionality.
When you frequently drive your RV, the heat keeps the moisture from the phenolic resin (of the caliper piston). But when your RV is left idling for too long, particularly on damp surfaces, there is no heat to dissipate the moisture from the phenolic resin.
With consequent brake pad wearing, the caliper piston is progressively exposed, increasing the chances of your brake failing.
What can you do to reduce the chances of your Fleetwood Storm brakes going bad?
Well, the first one is easy: drive it often. For the second, you must be diligent with a routine of changing the brake fluid.
3. Fleetwood Storm RV roof leaks
Few things can be as unsettling as a leaking roof in that epic RVing trip. We understand that RV roofs can be as robust as those we have back home due to engineering constraints.
Also, being in perpetual motion through rugged terrains, the RV roof is always taking a beating from overhanging tree branches. Yes, all these accumulate to deteriorate the roofing material.
But amid all these, we will say we expect better resilience from Fleetwood Storm RV roofs. They appear to puncture too easily.
For the low-cost models, Fleetwood needs to do a better job at improving its shock absorption capabilities.
It appears most Fleetwood RVs have roofs made from thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO). We wouldn’t say TPO roofs are that bad when their resilience is compared to fiberglass.
The good news is with a bit of preventive maintenance, you can significantly downsize the risks of your Fleetwood Storm’s roof leaking.
Every month, you can climb and check the roof for signs of deterioration. As every experienced RVer would affirm, most leaking roofs arise from water penetrating failing sealants.
Therefore, ensure you periodically reapply quality sealant to your shower domes, antennas, fan covers, vents, and skylights.
If you can, do this at least two times yearly. It enormously helps in preventing leaks.
Related Article: 8 Types of Canopy Roofing (Explained with Pictures)
4. Fleetwood Storm RV toilet clogged
This is by far the most annoying problem associated with Fleetwood Storm RV. No one wants the rigors of a messed-up sanitation facility, especially when you are out there in the open.
It would be unfair to say this issue is exclusive to Fleetwood Storm RVs. But then we noticed that the Dometic Vacuflush in some of the latest Fleetwood Storms was particularly notorious for this malfunction. At times, the pump wouldn’t just flush.
While you can always get an RV maintenance specialist to fix this, some basic DIY tips can attempt to remedy the malaise.
The commonest is pouring boiling water down the toilet valve. This involves opening the valve and running in the water, allowing the water to rest through the night.
From your end, there are best practices you could abide by to prevent your Fleetwood Storm RV toilet from clogging.
Ensure you are using the befitting toilet paper. It is worth reminding you that not just any toilet paper from your grocery store would compatibly work with your RV toilet.
Specifically, opt for toilet paper that dissolves rapidly. When cleaning your RV plumbing system, avoid using bleach.
Such chemicals can hamper the seals, ultimately impeding the toilet flushing efficiency.
Related Article: Best Toilet Repair Kit
5. Fleetwood Storm kitchen sinks blocked
We put this one last as it is not the commonest we have seen in Fleetwood Storms, and it is also the least disruptive (among those on the list) to your RVing experience.
Usually, when this happens, you notice that the gray tank valve is open and seemingly unobstructed. Yet, the water doesn’t drain efficiently. You see the water backing up in the RV sink in other situations.
Baking soda can do you a lot of good here. To restore the unhindered drainage of your sink, mix vinegar with baking soda.
For this unique solution, just a cup of vinegar and two tablespoons of baking soda would do for each drain.
Get this solution in each drain. Let this rest in the sink for at least sixty minutes. After this, flush the drain with hot water – preferably boiling water. Anywhere around four cups of hot water would suffice.
You can, in preventive maintenance, carry out this procedure every four weeks. This goes a long way in preventing your RV sinks from clogging. More than that, this regimen also keeps your sinks smelling good.