1997 Viking 2060ST rebuild (floor, front compartment)

Discussion in 'Camper Restoration Projects' started by Dubbya, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

    6,138
    18
    Aug 2, 2011
    Steinbach, MB
    The frame-up restoration of my '97 Viking is underway!

    We bought our 2060ST late last summer and hobbled through the season with a busted lift system, rotting storage compartment and rotting floor.

    I've determined that the water damage occurred over what I would estimate to have been years, due to a faulty seal at the top edge of the front compartment lid. (I'll post some nasty ol' water damage pics as soon as I can.)

    While it's become evident that he certainly displays a great deal of exuberance when using a caulking gun, I'll cast no further dispersions regarding the thrift or construction abilities of the previous owner. [;)]

    While removing the lid, I've peeled off copious layers of silicone, a rubber stair tread strip and latex sealant over-zealously applied by the previous owner.

    With the weather as awesome as it's been this spring, it's time to git 'er dun and do it right.

    My goal for this season is to restore everything from the frame to the tops of the walls. They're not in the worst state of repair, so other than replacing the roof seal, I'll save the canvas and roof fixes for next year.

    Knowing what lay ahead, I started the "tear-down" (before I parked the camper last fall) by removing the fabrics, bunks, canvas, appliances and almost all of the cabinetry.

    With a few months remaining before camping season is in full swing, I've resumed my project having removed the roof, corner trim, side rails, the side door and the front compartment lid.
     
  2. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

    11,707
    51
    Oct 3, 2007
    Waterford, Ct
    Good luck with your repairs, I found that the edge that the lid sealed against had sagged in the middle about a 1/2 an inch causing a gap between seal and the lid. Was a tough leak to find. Post some photos if you can.
     
  3. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

    6,138
    18
    Aug 2, 2011
    Steinbach, MB
    Thanks, Raycfe! In my case, the previous owner (PO) attempted to use a 1x2 to shore up the rotted wood under the lid closest to the interior wall. Once I'd removed the lid, it was plain as day.

    While his efforts did add some horizontal support to the roof of the compartment, I quickly found that the factory-applied plumber's putty seal mixed with a few gallons of silicone (PO applied) had actually sealed IN moisture, effectively creating a "target-rich" environment for mold and mildew. LOL!

    Yep, I'll definitely take some pics this weekend.
     
  4. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

    11,707
    51
    Oct 3, 2007
    Waterford, Ct
    When I first got mine, someone suggested to me to make a new compartment top without a lid (completely sealed) and just use the side and inside compartment doors to get to stuff inside. Sealed top ..... no leaks. Someone else suggested that the inside be coated with a bed liner material and just make a big plastic tub out of it with a drain. I may make a plastic tray to cover the complete bottom of the compartment , for just incase.
     
  5. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

    6,138
    18
    Aug 2, 2011
    Steinbach, MB
    Hah! I was pricing out bedliner and some alternatives this morning! [;)]

    You're right, it's such a problem area but I really like the lid. I think reinforcing the roof of the compartment, adding a decent hinge and seal and properly aligning the lid would go a long way toward fixing things properly.

    I thought about having metal 2" high metal pan made with drains on the bottom... then just roll it with Bedliner and use Fiberglass Reinforced panels on the walls. It'd sure brighten things up in there!

    (*Note to self: Add a light and pressure switches in the front compartment that turns on when you lift the lid or open the side hatches)
     
  6. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

    6,138
    18
    Aug 2, 2011
    Steinbach, MB
    '97 Viking Side Access Hatch Removal

    It was great to have a few days to work on the camper. After I'd removed the front compartment lid (and about 10 pounds of silicone and latex caulking), the lights and everything else that was surface mounted, I moved on to removing the side access hatches.

    Removing the side access hatches is fairly straightforward. You'll need a thin tipped flat screwdriver or similar prying device and another, thin, broader pry bar and/or a putty knife. You'll also need a Robertson Head (square) screwdriver or cordless drill (with a Robertson Tip).

    If you plan to reuse the trim, be CAREFULL not to overflex the trim as you tug it out. Years of exposure to sunlight and the elements will have made this stuff quite brittle!

    Begin by carefully removing the 1/2" plastic trim from around the frame to expose the mounting screws that secure the hatch frame to the camper side panel.

    [​IMG]

    Continue removing the trim piece by piece...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Remove the mounting screws from around the frame.

    [​IMG]

    Working in small increments, push a broad, thin pry bar or stiff putty knife into the butly or putty tape between the frame and the camper's side panel. Use a twisting motion to separate the hatch frame from the side panel.

    [​IMG]

    As best you can, pull off any remaining butyl or putty tape that is still stuck to the frame and camper side panel, you can use a plastic scraper to get the rest.

    [​IMG]

    TIP: You CAN use a MILD cleaning solvent but I've found a little WD40, a rag and some elbow grease make short work of removing butyl or putty tape residue, leaving a clean surface WITHOUT damaging any decals or paint.

    If you able to remove them without them shattering, set the four trim pieces aside. If you broke them, you might want to keep a few smaller pieces so that you can take them to your RV parts dept or local building center where you may be able to match up replacement trim.
     
  7. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

    6,138
    18
    Aug 2, 2011
    Steinbach, MB
    Front Storage Compartment Water Damage:

    Thought I'd post some clickable thumbnail photos depicting the extensive water damage to the floor and framing of the front storage compartment.

    The main causes of the damage were due to long term leaks at the top edges of the compartment lid, the separation of the bottom front skin where it had been stapled to the underside of the floor and at the top of the passenger side front lift post, where a leak had developed around the post hole and the angle cuts in the top edge trim.

    [​IMG]

    Notice in the two photos below, that the staples that secure the bottom edge of the outer skin to the underside of the floor have worked loose and how the skin is almost "free floating". The same problem occurs where the bottom edge of the outer skin is also stapled to the underside of the floor at the rear of the camper.

    SOLUTION: Welding 1"x1" angles flush to the top edges of the frame where it could support the front and rear edges of the floor would have prevented this problem at the manufacturing stage.

    With this done, a 3/4"x3/4" angle flashing or trim piece could have been used to "pinch" the skin to between the 1" angle and the flashing. Screwed together and sealed properly, the front and rear skins would have additional strength, support and moisture resistance.

    NOTE: Similarly, water damage (wood rot) to the rear edge of the camper's floor caused the bottom staples to work their way out, allowing the bottom edge of the outer skin to separate from the underside of the floor.

    Without proper support from the floor, extending the rear bunk would cause the rear wall to rock down, opening the side door. The 1/2"x1/2" angle framing "fix" to the wall between the door and corner post is, in my opinion, ineffective as it treats the RESULT of the problem and not the CAUSE of the problem! The floor continues to rot, the rear panel continues to lose integrity and support and simply rocks back further and further.

    THIS became quite evident when the spare tire and bracket were removed. The skin had buckled slightly where the top of the spare tire bracket was mounted to the rear wall. More on that later...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    While the top access lid framing does have a degree of rot, I'd say it's really minimal and didn't seem to affect the integrity of the compartment ceiling.

    Here at the side post, we see extensive wood rot caused by leaks in the post hole and top edge trim. This was a long term issue. Coupled with the front skin having separated, the whole compartment would flood when parked or while traveling in the rain.

    [​IMG]

    Looking through the compartment via the hatch framing, we see where the flooring has buckled and lifted.

    [​IMG]

    With the walls and bulkhead removed, we see where over time, the wood rot worked its' way under the front bulkhead, softening the floor well into the main cabin.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

    6,138
    18
    Aug 2, 2011
    Steinbach, MB
    And the result?

    The cause of my lift system failure! A twisted, rusty and tore up pulley assembly.

    [​IMG]

    As the floor rot extended past the front bulkhead and into the main cabin, cable tension on the front right double pulley caused the floor to give way. With nothing to hold it in place, the pulley assembly shifted, where it began crimping the cable. As this part of the lift system is hidden under the kitchen galley, the PO merrily cranked away until the cable had sawed it's way completely through the pulley block housing.

    All in all, I'm thrilled that it's not worse! All I need is one double pulley assembly. The rest of the lift system is fully intact. After some light cleaning and lubrication, it'll be ready to go.

    Now that the whole camper has been taken apart and I'm down to the frame, I'll take a better photo of the problem pulley assembly and get that posted.
     
  9. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

    6,138
    18
    Aug 2, 2011
    Steinbach, MB
    Door won't stay closed?

    These photos depict the weak points in the construction of the rear wall sections and lack of vertical support of the rear panel where it attaches to the floor.

    Problem: As the weight in the bunk increases, the rear sidewall section pivots back, unlatching the side door. While placing stabilizing jacks under the frame may alleviate the symptoms to some degree, any significant weight in the bunk (an adult) will cause the door to spring open.

    The "fix" to the problem involves removing the sidewall outer skin so that a 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" welded angle iron frame can be inserted and secured to the wooden framing members using screws. While it stiffens up the sidewall significantly, if the rear edge of the floor has deteriorated significantly, the angle iron frame does little to prevent the rear wall from dropping down.

    This is the panel behind which the metal frame is installed between the lift post and the left door post. (Sorry, I didn't get a pic with the outer skin removed.)
    [​IMG]

    The spare tire carrier frame which was attached to the wall and rear bumper has been removed from the center of the wall, clearly showing where the outer skin has buckled as the rear wall shifts down under load from the extended bunk.

    [​IMG]

    With the outer skin removed, the weak points are the same on either side. The wall posts on either side of the lift post cavity are joined only out the outside by a piece of white sheet metal which has been stapled in place.

    Floor rot under the wooden corner section sill plates and the overhanging 1" of floor at the rear of the camper allows the wall sections to shift up and down, bow and twist under load.

    [​IMG]

    SOLUTION: Laminated 3/4" plywood panels within the wooden framing would be MUCH stronger and long lasting than the stick frame walls constructed at the factory. The white sheet metal panels should be SCREWED in place, NOT STAPLED! While the staples remain embedded in the wood, under stress they permit the rear panel to move up and down at will. Additional sheet metal panels should be affixed to the INSIDE wall members, thus preventing the corner from twisting and flexing.

    Additionally, the angular design of the rear wall makes it prone to flexing and buckling under weight where a straight vertical wall, like the bulkhead at the front of the camper, would hold and distribute weight more efficiently.

    While simply replacing the floor will help, beefing up the the spare tire carrier so that it's more of a weight-bearing component would help resolve the sag, bowing and flexing of the rear wall when there's weight in the bunk.

    As with the floor's leading edge in the front of the camper, simply welding a 1" x 1" (3/4" x 3/4") angle iron across the length of the length of the camper's rearmost frame member, would support the floor overhang and provide a secure mounting point for the bottom edge of the rear wall's outer skin.

    A piece of metal trim could then be screwed in place to "sandwich" the skin's bottom edge to the underside of the angle iron. Seal it all up to prevent leaks and the floor would be much better supported. Done this way, even if the floor did rot, the screws would still hold everything in place.

    [​IMG]

    With the walls removed, here you can clearly see the extent of the water damage.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. dozer

    dozer New Member

    45
    0
    Mar 29, 2012
    Looks like you are goin' in deep! I'll be watchin'!! [8D]
     
  11. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

    6,138
    18
    Aug 2, 2011
    Steinbach, MB
    Here's a clickable thumbnail image of the front right (driver side) double pulley after removal. You can see where the lift cable sawed its' way right through the pulley housing after the mounting bolts were able to shift in the rotted floor.

    [​IMG]

    I think I got off lucky! In the grand scheme of things, it could have been much worse. This is the only lift system component that needs replacing.

    Here's a thumbnail shot of the door-side (rear) wall panel after removal. Notice the 1 1/2"x 1 1/2" angle iron frame inside the wall cavity. When I discovered this last year, it hadn't been bolted to the camper frame and there were only two screws attaching it to either vertical post. Things were much more solid after bolting it down and adding a few screws in the top wooden member.

    [​IMG]

    Again, all of the flexing and stress occurs in the section AFTER the lift post cavity. Once piece of sheet metal on the outside, coupled with some floor rot under the wall section allows it to twist and the broad staples holding the wall framing and sheet metal in place permit the left wall section to move up and down when under load from an extended bunk. The horizontal staples barely hold the small pieces of framing together.

    As I said above, When it's all said and done, I'm sure that two laminated pieces of 3/4" plywood will make this portion of the wall much stronger and stable.
     
  12. FL_Bill

    FL_Bill I'm cooking something yummy!

    I am a little confused on the bottom picture with the framing. So that is the curb side rear? And it is a factory installed brace?

    I have a 2001 viking and I will say I am sure glad they switched to the spring lift system.

    I have noticed on mine some crappy work like that frame brace. Shame.

    I too need to repair my front box area and was encouraged by your pics then I saw you totally stripped your box off and I know I do not have time for a project like that. [:(]

    The lids for the storage boxes all fail and we are all left with rot in the front. I made a new lid for mine from 1/8 diamond plate. Came out real nice.

    [​IMG]

    FL Bill
     
  13. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

    6,138
    18
    Aug 2, 2011
    Steinbach, MB
    The angle iron frame was there when I cracked open the wall panel last year but I'm the third owner on this thing and it's my understanding that the endwall "repair" is done by the dealer. Unfortunately, it looks like a "fix" and it stiffens up that portion of the wall but it's pretty much ineffective. Hey, we all need to make a living, right? [;)]
    Well, you needn't necessarily tear it all down to the frame. I'd probably just take off the lid, the front and sidewall skins, detach the front top compartment framing, remove the floor screws that secure the front portions of the sidewalls to the floor and sidewall screws that hold the interior bulkhead in place.

    With those components out of the way, you could cut the floor back to the center of the first cross member in the camper frame and replace any of the 1"x1 1/2" wood framing required. Throw in a new piece of 5/8" OSB for the floor, then line the compartment with 3/8-1/2" plywood and glue down some nice shiny FRP. Reconstruct the compartment, seal the inner joints with silicone

    Qty: 1 x 24"x8'x5/8" OSB Exposture 1 sheathing (approx)
    Qty: 1 x 4'x8' Fiberglass reinforced panel
    Qty: 1 x 4'x8'x1/2" Plywood (3/8" would work)
    Qty: 1 x Quart (liter) FRP adhesive
    Qty: 1-2 Tube(s) Silicone (for lid and inner storage compartment joints)
    Qty: 12 x 1 1/2" Self-tapping screws (floor deck to camper frame)
    Qty: 1 x 100' 1" Butyl tape (for lid/outer skins and misc surface mounted items)
    Qty: 100 x 14ga staples or equivalent (for re-attaching outer skins)
    Qty: 24 x 1 1/2" Ceramic coated or zinc-plated deck screws (for framing)
    Qty: 1-2 x 8'x2"x6" ripped to 1"x1 1/2" framing (as required)


    When you're done, the floor patch's seam would be hidden under the bulkhead. In addition to stiffening the entire compartment, the 1/2" plywood would make the perfect backing for the uber-durable FRP. Worst case scenario, I'd estimate the total cost would be under $200 and it'd only take you a weekend to do.

    Wowzers! Did it ever come out nice! Bill, THAT is a thing of beauty! After seeing that, it would appear you know what you're in for and guessing you've already done a bunch of patching to the compartment framing. You've no doubt got some tools, so your cost and time investments to replace the floor would be greatly reduced.

    Reminds me, my plastic lid isn't cracked or anything so I plan to reuse it. Any suggestions as to where the heck can I find new seals and hinges for the original lid? The PO made a pretty significant mess of things and tried to seal the lid with foam tape and gallons of silicone.

    I plan to mount a piece of 3/4"x3/4" anodized aluminum angle (to serve as a water dam) to the outer skin above the top edge of the lid opening. That should help channel away at least some of the future problems!
     
  14. FL_Bill

    FL_Bill I'm cooking something yummy!

    Thanks for the tips. [:D]

    As far as the weather strips go I would say your local rv dealer/repair center will have it. I know I have gotten a lot of covers and various parts from mine. I know homedepot did not have them.

    Thanks for the encouragement. If I feel brave enough I will start the rip and tear. I think I will have to clean the garage out first so we can fit the pup in there so i do not need to worry about weather [{}=] or neighbors. [SUN]

    FL Bill
     
  15. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

    6,138
    18
    Aug 2, 2011
    Steinbach, MB
    Hah! I know, right? Last week Monday while I was out in the garage, our semi-retired neighbor stopped by to chat and drop off an Easter basket. He's a great guy and we get along fine but I'm pretty sure he almost took his basket back when I pointed to my gutted camper and told him I was going to be making some noise over the next few weeks.

    Tuesday night I moved the roof out onto the driveway where it'll sit waiting while I complete the renovations to the camper. I howled with laughter as the DW voiced her concerns that we'd come to be referred to as "those neighbors".

    We're pretty much surrounded by retired farmers, widows and empty-nesters who appreciate hard work and the value of a buck. I know a few of the old guys LOVE walking by and always wave and say hey when my garage door is open!
     
  16. FL_Bill

    FL_Bill I'm cooking something yummy!

    [:O] "Those neighbors" How embarrassing.

    Current yard inventory:
    3 cars (was 4 but I sold my work truck, which killed me...)
    2 Hobie 18 sail boats, (currently selling one of them)
    1 Pop up camper...

    and thats just in the front yard.

    I am pretty sure I have been "those neighbors" for a while now. Sometimes I have to bring a trailer home from work, place looks really pack then.

    Bill
     
  17. zimerman

    zimerman New Member

    15
    0
    Sep 1, 2006
    I have 1999 Coachman Hunter 1060St that had the same damage caused by the same storage lid. [:(] The only difference is that I had damage at the rear corner posts as well. I am presently in the rebuild stage. I replaced the the floor under the storage area and well into the main cabin. I then replaced the floor under the rear area which left a 4 ft strip of solid original floor. I used bcx plywood as I really don't like OSB. All joints are on cross members. I think I read every thread on floor replacement before starting. I removed all screws holding the sidewalls to the frame to get all old OSB out from under sidewalls. This allowed me to install the new plywood under the sidewalls. I then installed new screws to anchor the side walls. Dubbya commented on a 1 1/2" angle frame to help stiffen the door wall. Mine had this angle but with floor rotted the was no support under it. Last camping season I noticed that the door would not stay closed even though I have a jack under that rear corner.

    I have install new vinyl flooring, rebuilt the front storage and heading tomorrow to get paneling and 1/8' plywood as the plywood backing on the aluminum is damaged. I'll post some pictures soon. The pictures of the damage were too dark.
     
  18. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

    6,138
    18
    Aug 2, 2011
    Steinbach, MB
    I was putting a jack under the rear curbside corner as well and it helped a bit but, as with your Coachmen, it was the floor rot under that shorter wall panel between the door post and corner that allowed the whole back end to shift under load.
     
  19. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

    6,138
    18
    Aug 2, 2011
    Steinbach, MB
    I've finished cleaning the frame with a wire wheel and spent some time straightening twists and bends in the hitch and frame.

    While I can certainly appreciate where the manufacturer felt that a single angle provided "adequate" support, I'm of the opinion that, as with any other industry, they design campers purely with production costs and profitability in mind then "re-frame" their shortcomings as "features" such as their light weight and improved fuel mileage.

    I'm not too concerned with turning a profit on this, I don't have access to 7' x 12' pieces of OSB sheathing that manufacturers do and I'd prefer not to see the floor sag and bounce the way the old one did,

    Regardless, at this point there are a few key areas that are (sorely) lacking in support and where I found the original floor was either sagging or exceedingly bouncy.
    [list type=decimal]
    [*]Along the entire center of the frame in the main cabin from front to back.
    [*]Directly inside the side door where everyone stands when they enter the camper.
    [*]The 2' x 4' section with no support between the channel framing in the center of the front storage compartment.
    [*]The framing under the forward portion of the main cabin floor (where you'd climb in and out of the forward bunk, stand to wash the dishes or to prepare a meal).
    [/list]
    The additional support for the three sheets of 4'x8'x5/8" tongue and groove OSB floor will also help alleviate the bounce and sag which was apparent in the camper's initial construction. You can see the old angle running hither and yon from front to back, only in the areas where support is lacking and one might reasonably expect heavy foot traffic.

    [​IMG]

    I cut pairs of angles to length using my side grinder with a cutoff wheel then pre-drilled bolt holes through the 1" tabs and at every 6" to 8" along what will be the vertical edges to accommodate 3/4" x 7/16" bolts (1/2" head), flat washers and nuts. These will hold everything together until I can drag the frame down to Dad's to add a few tack welds to keep things in place after the floor is on.

    [​IMG]

    Once I've cut, drilled and removed all the burrs from each piece, I use Vise Grip folding pliers to fold the 1" tabs to about 90 degrees then finish hammering them into position on the concrete floor. A few fixes with the folding pliers and they're good to go.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    When I've finished bending the tabs, I bolt the angles together to form a "T" then drill holes in the frame and bolt on the next piece. When done, I'll have added another 60-80 pounds to the GVW but it's worth it, knowing how stable and solid the floor will be.

    While drilling through 1/8" channel framing then bolting pieces together was pretty straightforward, where required, I pre-drilled then used self-tapping body bolts to fasten my "T" angles to the existing box steel framing.

    [​IMG]

    I've added a few more pieces than what is shown in the above pic, so I'm almost done. Then it's on to greasing the hubs, paint and wiring.

    Having a welder on hand would have been cheaper, stronger, faster and easier but since I've doubled things up, I'm confident that it'll be pretty solid, miles better than it ever was.
     
  20. FL_Bill

    FL_Bill I'm cooking something yummy!

    Wow man that looks great!

    I truly am impressed with your restoration/rebuild.
    Do I understand you are not going to use OSB? I saw some one else use ply wood with sealant and bedliner coating.

    Watching this thread closely...

    FL Bill
     

Share This Page