"Cursed" Camper - Rotted Front storage

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

  1. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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  2. TheLight75

    TheLight75 Member

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    Finding the source of the leak shouldn’t be too difficult. My GF bought a ‘98 PUP last summer which we found leaked water like a sieve in the front trunk.

    Buckle the top lid shut, open the side door, then use a flashlight to watch the inside closely while someone else sprays the top of the trunk with a hose.

    In my GF’s case, while there was a badly repaired crack in the lid, that’s not where the water came through. It ended being because the lid seal along the back rotated downward over time. Water between behind the lid hinge overwhelmed the lowered seals before it could run out towards the sides of the trunk top. I removed, cleaned, then replaced the entire lid seal making sure the seal was perfectly vertical. Maybe 4 hours worth of work? It hasn’t leaked since!

    Stopping the leak is 75% of the battle. Replacing the floor is doable if you take your time and will add years to the camper’s life.
     
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  3. Sudz

    Sudz New Member

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    Ok! I've started this post a bunch of times but kept loosing it because I took to long to write or hit the back button accidentally. So its going to be shorter.

    Its all repaired!
    Maybe I'll make a few posts in order on how we did it, so I don't lose everything again.
    This job was... NOT fun. We used PL glue to fill in the joints of the wood, glue it down to the frame, and as a bit of a space filler because the nails that were driven into the steel frame had to be pushed in to allow us to "slide" the new pieces in.

    Before:
    [​IMG]

    After:
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    You couldn't match that one peice of wood! Just kidding, looks great, and it is worth a million bucks knowing its fixed. Been there done that! Good job!
     
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  5. Sudz

    Sudz New Member

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    Step one:

    Was sealing the roof. I'm 95% sure the culprit was the corner caps - They had lifted up off the sealant. Since it was draining fine (into the cabin and down into the front storage) it didn't rot (much) The screws still had purchase and so I tightened them up a bit, and sealed it back on with Dicor Lap Sealant. (Self levelling)
    I have to say, although it was really sticky crap - it was quite workable and looked HALF decent when we were done.
    I removed what caulk came off fairly easily (not too much) and my dad and a wet thumb ran the bead after we scrubbed off with a wire brush and wiped down with some 100% isopropyl alcohol to clean the surface.
    Around the hood vent only had a tiny bead, not smushed down like you'd normally caulk something - and it looked like there was a crack around it (not sealed to the hood vent) so we hit that too.
    Once the roof was done, we let it sit for the night and then raised it in the morning so we could get started on the rest. (I read it takes 4 days to really "cure" as much as possible)

    The next day we assessed and cut out the damage and made a plan of attack. We pushed out the rotted wood, cleaned up, Then cut out the wood along the closest frame components to the rotted area. I'll admit, we left a TINY bit of rot on the driver side, but bombed it with paint and impregnated the cut edge with PL outdoor rated adhesive. This prevented us from having to remove everything from the interior, and its under the bench and not a walking space so it SHOULD be ok. (at least for a few years I hope)

    We hammered down the Nails into the frame so it wouldn't stop us from sliding the wood under from the front of the camper. (under the diamond plate)
    [​IMG]

    After we cut along the frame - we cut wood out halfway into the frame (without cutting the frame itself) So there would be an overlap on the frame to support our new wood.
    For the wood that was under the living area, we left the linoleum in tact and stapled it up into the dividing wall. We painstakingly clawed out about an inch of somewhat rotted wood so we'd have overlap on the frame. We filled that joint with the PL to take up space and help slow down the rot. I also hit the underside of the linolum with anti-mold/killer spray. PL was applied to the linoeum as well to act as a grease as well as glue for force/sliding the new floor in.
    (the photo below is during cleanup - you can still see rotten wood between the black frame and the wall.
    We also had to cut those wires and re-join them (butt joints, hidden inside storage of bench seat above this spot)
    [​IMG]
    (also, HOW is that to any sort of code - Having the wires smushed between the frame and the floor? Are you kidding me?!?)
    [​IMG]
    We measured 18 times and apparently the 19th time would have been the charm on our second piece. The side pictured above went in perfectly.
     
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  6. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Thats about how mine went, but with more colorful language[:D]
     
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  7. Sudz

    Sudz New Member

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    Dealing with the nails and screws was annoying.
    we tried to cut it with a rotozip type thing but they were hardened steel and wrecked a blade, so we decided to get a crowbar on top of them and just hammer them down. They weren't doing much, and I KNOW the trailer isn't as strong for not having them, but With the PL Premium, the adjacant un-rotted floor, and the fact that it had been completely rotted out for at least a year (and being used before this) gives me hope I'll get a few more years out of this trailer.
    [​IMG]


    This is the "somewhat" rotted floor we left. We hit it with some more spray paint, and its under the bench seat, but removing it would have meant going all the way to the wheel well, to the other side of the booth, and where the furnance/utilities is so it really was not something we wanted to cut out. Its decently firm, and should(I hope) hold up for a couple years of use without any further leaks. (this is before we re-painted it)
    [​IMG]

    Next, we cut out a piece of marine chip board (or whatever this is called) to fit our excavated opening. We painted the edges quickly, and then PL'd all the frame and receving edges this was going to slot into.
    [​IMG]
    We pushed up the diamond plate with some fairly significant force, wedged this in at an upward angle, and just before it was going to hit the inner wall, pushed it down under the linoleum floor and hammered it in. We got PL Adhesive all over our hands trying to get this into place, but the driver side (the larger side!) fit in perfectly.

    the Passenger side was a clamadity of errors - We forgot to hammer down a nail, stopping the wood from sliding in, but couldn't see it because of the PL glue... And then when we figured that out and used (and sacrificed) side cutters to flush cut it, we then realized that we mis-measured - One of our early measurements was off an inch. After an HOUR of futzing with quickly curing Glue, we got it in there with a bit of pure brutality and the diamond plate "wall" with extruded caps "snapped" right on to the front cut of our insert. We added some extra PL (an entire tube was used) for good measure, to hopefully help support the walls with absence of those nails into the frame.

    Old beside new:
    [​IMG]

    Once the wood was in, we called it a very hard earned success, and also a day.
     
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  8. Sudz

    Sudz New Member

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    3rd day was assembly and caulking the walls of the trailer.
    A lot of the caulk was in decent shape, but one thing we were sure to do was the front - Putting caulk around diamond plate is HARD. (well, making it look decent is hard)

    Unfortunately on Canada Day, I fell into the lake with my iPhone - SO I don't have many more photos. When I go pick it up in a few weeks to go CAMPING (finally!) I'll take some more finished photos)

    My dad again with his wet thumb did his best but he is not proud of the caulking job on the diamond plate. Not much could be done to make it look neat and make a good solid seal.

    In retrospect we should not have used the lap sealant - Its more of a filler/sealer than an adhesive - We wished we used something that could have given it more of a bond to strengthen things - but it should be ok.

    I put the bench back in, re-attached and tested the 12v wiring that we cut, and replaced the spade terminals going to the roof with permanent butt crimp joint things. Hit it with heat shrink anyway, because why not. I neated up the wiring with corrugated sheathing, zip tied things into place and that night we cut and put another piece of plywood overtop our repair in the storage area. (figured the 10-15lbs of extra flooring was a good tradeoff for much more strength, and of course, we hit it with PL adhesive and screwed it into the old and new floor. It also gave a bit of support to the walls, which admittedly were a bit pokey as water had made the bottoms of them rot a bit too.

    I cut and laid down Sticky flexible vinyl plank flooring, and took the "after" photo.
    [​IMG]
    The boards are supposed to be all different, but its clear that one plank is a lot brighter than the others. THis annoys me, but not enough to open another box of this stuff as Im returning 4/5 boxes I didn't need because we saved the interior floors!

    At this point, with the light and the end of the tunnel - We slowed down a bit and enjoyed the rest of our week.

    My daughter caught a fish with her first cast, with her Paw Patrol rod, and even held it after I took it off the hook.
    She even "kissed" it, but blew it a kiss because "She didn't know who else had kissed the fish and didn't want the germs" (She's not even 5 yet and really gets this Covid stuff. (Admittedly better than many adults)

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    After you throw stuff on top of it no one will see it. Not like its in your kitchen!
     
  10. Sudz

    Sudz New Member

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    Once we pulled the trailer out of his garage, we spray painted the underside and went through an entire can - I picked an eggshell finish because the frame was once gloss but had become more matte - I assume it'll all match perfectly once we've driven a few hundred miles, and evidence of our repair will likely be nil.

    (my dad thinks he's funny - the sign)
    [​IMG]
    After it dried for an hour - I popped the top and was rewarded with Cards with my daughter!
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2020
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  11. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    Nice job
     
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  12. krustywalnuts

    krustywalnuts New Member

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    I have the same cursed storage bin leak, water damaged floor. I have the same issue with one of the corners on the roof being wet after removing the plastic corner. However I don't see how the water could get in the storage area. I did the water test and it looks like my problem is the white one inch piece of plastic that runs along the bottom between the metal outside front panel and the floor. Water was in between it and the wood was just wicking it up.

    I have three sides for the metal frame braces I can put a patch on, but don't want to go into the living space and start removing everything. What thickness of plywood do I need? Do you think I can get a way with a butt joint on the one side, maybe need to seal somehow?

    Thanks,
     
  13. krustywalnuts

    krustywalnuts New Member

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    Okay an update was able to caulk the whole trailer with Geocel Proflex on the weekend, including the white plastic moulding at the bottom between the metal panel and the floor. I ended up cutting out the damaged OSB floor in the storage area, had to cut out about a 1'x2' section on the right side which was the worst. Trying to dry out the left side under the hot water tank, its taking forever, plus it keeps raining here. After I install the new OSB piece, I plan to brush on epoxy resin on all the soft areas left to hopefully strengthen them.

    We had some more rain today and had placed some rags inside the corners to see if there was still any leaks and the rain is still getting to the plywood/rag that sticks out from the frame.

    Anyone have any tips on creating a drip edge to break the water draining down the front to the floor? I sealed the gap between the white plastic piece and the metal panel, however the water seems to goes right around to the plywood. I see amazon sells a self adhesive J channel that I could stick on, not sure it would work for what I want it to do. I saw in another forum someone suggest a bead of caulk as a drip line, not sure if silicone would work for that, but would be worried it would fall off and I wouldn't catch it before it soaks the floor again. There's got to be solution more permanent.

    Thanks,
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2021
  14. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    On mine I covered the caulk on the side with eternabond tape. Not pretty , but worked. On the spot where the box met the aluminum. Also when open caulk that on the top.
     
  15. krustywalnuts

    krustywalnuts New Member

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    Hi, did you put anything where the aluminum panel meets the floor. Not sure when you say the box meets the aluminum panel if thats what you are talking about.
     
  16. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    On mine the water was getting in between the box and the camper itself. So where the aluminum on the camper and box meet on the side of the camper. This was on the water heater side. If you follow where the sides met, and follow that to the top, there was a slight gap.
     
  17. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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  18. krustywalnuts

    krustywalnuts New Member

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    Okay I see, your TT is different, as mine is the same as the OP all one box. If only I knew now when I bought this last year, however not sure I would have found it seemed fine underneath. Most the water/soft plywood is hidden under the linoleum.

    Making me nuts trying to find the leak. Does your TT have the 3inchs of floor that sticks out beyond the frame to the aluminum panel? I put a piece of folded duct tape temporary across the front bottom of the aluminum panel as drip edge to see if that would stop any water and then look at a permanent solution. Was thinking of this J channel along the bottom or top of the aluminum panel to stop the water going around to the bottom, so probably the bottom would be better. https://www.amazon.ca/Esssentials-U...E19HM7PFZ3S&psc=1&refRID=KK2ED67YBE19HM7PFZ3S
     
  19. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe take some pictures and a year make and model may help. Im flying blind here.
     
  20. krustywalnuts

    krustywalnuts New Member

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    Okay sure thanks. The TT is a 2013 Viking model 2108ST, very similar model to the OP.

    Here's some pictures, the last picture underneath, shows where the plywood sticks out beyond the frame to the aluminum panel, the white plastic moulding overlaps the two. IMG_20210714_172315.jpg IMG_20210714_172523.jpg IMG_20210714_172307.jpg IMG_20210714_172241.jpg IMG_20210714_172255.jpg IMG_20210714_172323.jpg IMG_20210714_172401.jpg IMG_20210714_172438.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2021

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