"Cursed" Camper - Rotted Front storage

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Repairs & Maintenance' started by Sudz, Jun 8, 2020.

  1. Sudz

    Sudz New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2019
    A bit of background, because why not.

    I bought this camper from my father in law, who said it was worth 6000 according to a local dealer (who I found out never laid eyes on it) and sold it to me for $5000. Its a 2011 Viking Epic 1906ST.

    We bought it in september, planned our first trip for the end of september and there was tornado warnings and severe thunderstorms in the forecast for the entire weekend so we bailed.

    We had another booking for mid october and the day before I was to get the trailer from storage my wife was in an accident and our tow vehicle was written off. (she was banged up but fine, my 4 year old was also fine. Scary day.

    The trailer took a back burner until I had a new car, faught the insurance companies etc. We got a new van without a hitch but figured, Seasons over Why bother, I'll wait for spring.

    Freak snowstorm in november, and winter came instantly.
    Kind of forgot about the trailer over winter. March, I book an appointment to install a hitch and it gets cancelled - Covid!

    Mothers day was the first day we were able to get out to the trailer storage. I opened up the side hatch to make sure everything was still there and it was DRIPPING inside. It leaked. a lot it appears.

    I am not allowed to set it up at storage, so I begged my brother in law to borrow his van to tow it back to my place. He obliged.

    Its now set up kind of precariously on my very slopped driveway, (with really good rubber wheel chalks, and the stabilizer jacks lowered to a few mm above the pavement) and I discovered the front storage has a "sub floor" over the linoleum floor. I peel it back and to my horror, the plywood floor is literally peeling apart, covered in mould, rot, fungus etc.

    The subfloor basically sealed in the moisture and had been festering. The floor UNDER the linoleum is also incredibly soft, sagging, and looks like it'd give way if I put any weight on it.

    I have no idea where to start. Cut back the linoleum floors and see what I'm dealing with? can I replace the wood on the edges or is this what the walls of the camper is attached to?

    I'll put all the photos of it here: (and will add more
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/P4KsN1aWHRxm6aoE9

    (Including a photo of my 4 year old and I playing cards in it on the driveway, because we just want to do this in the forest too!)

    And I'm sure I'll get some comments about going back to my father in law... and I know He'd feel more rotten then the flooring if he found out, and would never knowingly put my kids and his daughter in this situation - I made a deal with him, and if this was a random on kijiji I'd feel ripped off but I did buy it as is, so we've made the decision to not even tell him. I don't want his money, which is literally the only thing I could see him feeling like he could or would offer. So I'd reject it, and he'd still feel horrible about the whole thing, so nothing would be accomplished by telling him.
     
    Kyle R Thorson likes this.
  2. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,626
    Likes Received:
    8,008
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    Who did your father in law get it from? Someone had to have put the wood in the front box?

    Find the leak first, then stop it. Dont do anything untill thats figured out. Use a garden hose, check the water heater if its in that area. Etc.
    Next step is looking to rebuild it. After you find out what needs replacement.
     
  3. Sudz

    Sudz New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2019
    He bought it new. He did say it leaked once but it was repaired and hasn't leaked since. He's pretty clueless towards most things mechanical. I KNOW it needs to be re caulked, it was on my to-do list but after the accident I completely forgot about it until I saw the water. I should have tarped it too. This is mostly my fault. its coming from the front driver side I'm pretty sure, but didn't get the bed wet. I think it ran down the wall and since I had it slopped front down it ran into the front storage.

    I'm going to completely recaulk the thing, THEN do the hose test. I also noticed I'm starting to get some moss growing on the roof - Just scrub with diluted bleach or TSB or something?
     
  4. Sudz

    Sudz New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2019
    Actually looking at the subfloor, it looks like it might have been part of the original trailer... Maybe for increased load? - There's X's everywhere the 1x3 supports are, I know my father in law wouldn't have done that so it must have been a pre-fab piece they use during constructions.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,626
    Likes Received:
    8,008
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    It dosent look that bad, you got this!
     
    Sudz likes this.
  6. Sudz

    Sudz New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2019
    to me its like it was diagnosed with cancer or something. I have no idea where to start. From what I can tell, the walls, screw into the floor and the floor is attached to the frame - So if I remove the rotten wood won't the walls fall apart? Another thing is that the rot goes under the wall that divides the storage from the cabinet/living space inside. The Linolium floor is one continuous piece throughout the trailer and everything was screwed through it - I can just trim around things right? leave the cabinets?
     
  7. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Messages:
    6,968
    Likes Received:
    4,014
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    First of all sorry that all happened to you. Had something similar happen to me except with my roof many years back. My parents gifted me our childhood popup, an old 1990 Jayco. It was during Late fall so never had any trips planned. It was garage kept and was in great condition considering it’s age. However bad luck revolved around me too and I lost my job. Camper sat in a field a farmer rented out for about a year and a half. When I took it out on my first trip with it
    , didn’t bother opening it up until I took it camping.
    Only to discover a huge mess waiting for me inside. In that time it set out in the elements I never thought about caulking the roof as I was more concerned about keeping my job and recovering financially.
    And because it was garage kept my folks never realized the roof leaked.
    Good luck with your repairs amazing how a little crack could create such a mess.
     
    Sudz likes this.
  8. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,639
    Likes Received:
    2,209
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2012
    Location:
    Northwestern New Jersey
    Check the lid for cracks. I have the same camper. I rebuilt the front box and slurried the cracks.
     
    Sudz likes this.
  9. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,846
    Likes Received:
    2,821
    Joined:
    May 28, 2018
    Location:
    California
    Good luck with the repairs. Just take it slow and keep your eye on the prize: playing cards with your kid in the forest!

    The main thing you've learned from this is to NEVER let your camper sit through a winter without checking on it several times. I always recommend checking it after the first rain of the season, and then after each major storm following that. Catching a leak when it first occurs will prevent complete damage.
     
    Sudz likes this.
  10. Sudz

    Sudz New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2019
    I think I also learned "Never underestimate how cheaply these things are made" Even the underside is uninsulated, just chip board, with a thin layer of black spraypaint. I'm going to look at some sealant when this is all done. I wonder if I could get like truck bed liner sprayed under it if I mask off all the imporant bits. Also, we have zero intention on ever using the sink or kitchen inside so I might remove the water tank.

    The weird thing is it looks like there's two? furnances. One under the bench seat and another on the other side across from the fridge. I also have no clue where the inverter is because they'res obviously a 120vac to 12vdc thing to power the lights, fan and Radio.

    I also noticed that some of the crimp connectors for the 12v wires were not stripped properly and have exposed copper, so I'm going to have to redo them. Seems like they just whip these things out of the factory with no QA whatsoever. I also noticed no sealant around ONE of the pipes going into the sink area. The other ones have it, and there's no bite marks so I assume it was just forgotten, which explains why I found a few mouse chocolates laying around. (No nests and the mattresses are fine thank god)

    I DO have intentions on making this a solar powered beast... but I have to make the bones good before I put anything else into this. I'm both excited and completely daunted. I'm an I.T. guy and this covid business has made me busier than I ever have been in my life. (everyone wants to work remote, everyone's internet sucks, Everyone wants to use every single video conferencing/collaboration tool under the sun but nobody knows how to use it and why haven't I trained them on all 15 of them when they can't even restart their computer to do windows updates...)
     
  11. Sudz

    Sudz New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2019
    I cut away the linoleum flooring.
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/QcCzi7mY2utZtee87
    I could cry. Camping will not be in our near future.

    Updated the original album as well. It goes into the camper as well. Does anyone who has this camper/brand know (@tombiasi ?) if the lift mechanisim is screwed into the wood floor or if its welded to the frame? Wondering how safe it is if the roof is supported by a pokey floor.
     
  12. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,626
    Likes Received:
    8,008
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    Im not farmiler with your camper, but you are starting out in the right direction. Find out how much damage, then see if you can replace the bottem, thats if the water didn't wick up into the walls. Is the box one peice to the frame? Or seprate? Any option to remove it entirety and replace it with somthing else? Take some pictures of the side of the camper.
     
  13. Sudz

    Sudz New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2019
    The storage is part of the same "cavity" as the living space - there's a thin wall between them, and the linoleum floor goes under the wall into the trailer. I don't believe I could remove it without some major changes to how its built.

    Regardless, I don't have a backyard, and my front yard is super sloped, so I don't really have a sheltered place I can do this major sort of work. I'm going to get a quote to fix it, but at this point... I don't know.

    Some of the front wall is clearly a bit soaked, but its a thin, curved board with diamond plate on the other side - Not sure how that gets replaced.
    I'd take pictures now but its dark. - this is the exact model I have.
     
    Sjm9911 likes this.
  14. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,626
    Likes Received:
    8,008
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    He would be the guy tom if he re did his. I didn my colman, but it was diffrent and not as bad.
     
  15. Sudz

    Sudz New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2019
    Who's Guy Tom? I'm a bit confused from this, lol
     
  16. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,626
    Likes Received:
    8,008
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    Tombiasi , sorry. Guy, tom, forgot comas.
     
    Sudz likes this.
  17. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,322
    Likes Received:
    489
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2014
    Location:
    MN
    You'll need to identify the location of the leak. It does not take much over time and I'm assuming this was stored outdoors. I confused that you bought it, but never set it up and inspected it at that time, that doesn't make a lot of sense. You will need to replace the entire floor in the storage trunk area. It is really not that bad of a job, but does take skills and time. The leak has to be found, that is job #1.
     
  18. Sudz

    Sudz New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2019
    my father in law told me it was in great shape. He was selling it, I had no intention of buying one in the fall, but felt this was “too good” to pass up. He’d been using it since new so I assumed he knew his stuff and bought it. Stored it at the same place and he even came with me to park it and stored it the same way he had been for years.

    basically, I bought it because ignorance.

    ...and trusting my father in law to know his stuff when I didn’t. The subfloor hid all the rot and I did crawl under it the trailer but didn’t check the front/corners, just the middle of it. (Which is solid, no obvious soft spots)

    my city has a bylaw about leaving “dilapidated vehicles” in driveways so I am not likely going to be allowed to tear this thing down. My garage is too small.
     
  19. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,759
    Likes Received:
    1,175
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Location:
    Mass
    Your inverter is the one under the bench seat.
     
    Sudz likes this.
  20. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Messages:
    6,968
    Likes Received:
    4,014
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    I just wanted to comment on this section. Actually wood needs to breath so it doesn’t rot. If you paint the underside if any water was to come in from the top it will have no where to go and essentially do what your sub layer did. So keeping the underside exposed is the best option unless you plan to seal the entire piece of wood. Yes, these trailers are not put together well and manufacturers makes any too many shortcuts.
     
    Toedtoes likes this.

Share This Page