A question about rot.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Repairs & Maintenance' started by Aladin Sane, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

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    I have a question for the experts. I seem to be reading two conflicting theories about floor rot. On the one hand, we are cautioned to make sure that every little crack on the top side of the floor is sealed, such as the area around the door, because any amount of water entering these cracks will lead to rot. On the other side, we are told that applying any type of sealer to the bottom of the floor, or bunk ends for that matter will cause wood rot as well. I know the manufacturers recommend not applying a sealant to the unfinished wood on the underside of a pup, but has anyone done it, and what have the results been?

    I know I will hear about the need for breathing, and I understand that, it just does not seem to match up with the stories I hear about small amounts of water causing rot.

    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle"> 2003 F250 Super Duty Crew Cab
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp"> 1996 Viking 2006
     
  2. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

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    Anyone have any experience with this that they woud like to share?

    Anyone? Anyone?

    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle"> 2003 F250 Super Duty Crew Cab
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp"> 1996 Viking 2006
     
  3. kmh1596

    kmh1596 Wilbraham, MA

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    Sorry about not seeing this sooner, I have repaired rot on the roof, as well as on the floor unfortunately. If the water has a way to get to the floor from the top, it WILL.. For the underside, needs to be left bare as it needs to breathe. Check out my experiences <b>here</b> about resealing by the door. I can say I have PROOF that had that been sealed, I wouldn't have had to do what I did. Lucky for me I had it done before the next trip, but I only got lucky..

    More pictures and info can be seen <b>here</b>.

    Do you have a floor rot problem, or trying to prevent? I had always thought undercoating the <i>bottom</i> of my pup would be a good idea, until it was explained that they very much need to breathe! Mine rotted right where it sat on top of the frame rail. So the wood DID do its job of breathing where it could!

    My <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_twocents.gif border=0 align=middle alt="My 2 Cents"> of course, Good Luck!

    *Kevin*
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp"> 2004 Rockwood 1940 LTD, <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle"> 96 Cherokee 2dr 5spd, <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_canoe.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Canoe"> ~16' Old Town Canoe
    Nights Booked 08: 48, Camped so far: 44

    Edited by - kmh1596 on September 02 2008 17:56:18
     
  4. Tekboy46

    Tekboy46 Member

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    I'll throw in. I've thought about this stuff too. The floor rot I had to replace was in the corners by the lifts. I believe it was because of 29 years of repeated wetting cycles. The factory floor wasn't "sealed" but appears to have been some type of pressure treated wood, or wood with some kind of treatment, but I'm not sure. But the bottom surface of it could breathe; yet it rotted. Roof rot is another thing as the factories like to encapsulate wood in aluminum inside and out and seal it up on a finished roof. Tiny leaks rot it, much like if we put a piece of wood in a mason jar with a few teaspoons of water, cranked a lid down tight then set the jar in a dark cabinet. The wood wouldn't last very long. On my bunkend bed wood, the camper leaked so bad when I got it that I put a coat of polyurethane on the bunkend wood upper surface; if I hadn't done this the first couple of months would have seen soaked, wobbly bunkend wood. The bottom surface can "breathe" and the wood is none the worse for wear. During a hard thunderstorm with hail while camping, some rain blew under the canvas with the strong winds; the water beaded up on the bunkend wood and did not soak in. I wiped it with a towel and all was well. When I replaced the roof end boards I left out the inside laminate; the wood is primed and painted so it can breath. If a leak starts there I want to see it. I think the floor/door area rot is like corner rot... a result of repeated, lengthy wettings. I think wood that is sealed with polyurethane in these areas would last longer because water would be repelled. I think roof wood would last longer if the inside surfaces were painted and not encapsulated in aluminum; any leak would show immediately and evidence could be seen so a fix could be started. The wood couldn't turn to the tobacco like stuff that encapsulated wood turns in to. I guess what I'm saying (before this turns in to an incomprehensible ramble lol) is that encapsulated wood will last until the first leak... unfinished wood anywhere is open to the elements and will decay eventually (pressure treated wood not so much), and I believe that wood finished with poly or anything on all sides will last longer because it can expand and contract, and breathe to a certain extent. It would take many, many coats of poly to really seal up a board so moisture couldn't escape. As you can tell, I'm no engineer and maybe I think too much lol, but that's how I think.

    1979 Starcraft Venture
    1996 Ford F150 TV
     

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