hybrid bunk repair

Discussion in 'PopOut (Hybrids)' started by Coolzzy, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. Coolzzy

    Coolzzy New Member

    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    I've read lots of articles on this, but I need just a bit more info. I have a 2007 R-vision Trail cruiser 21rbh expandable. While replacing the front bunk seal the other day, I noticed the first 6-8 inches near the hinge is soft, indicating rot inside the door from water leaking. I believe it leaked in on the outside where the fiberglass panel meets the lower aluminum frame and will be re-caulking it this weekend. I also plan to run a strip of Eternabond across that seam since I've got a 4"x50' role coming in the mail to do the roof seams. I'm assuming there is a aluminum frame inside the door that a thin wood substrate is glued/screwed into? I'm hoping its aluminum and not 2x4 because I can probably handle replacing just the surface but if I have to re-make the main supports I'm afraid it won't be as strong. Has anyone done this to an R-vision hybrid and can confirm the internal structure of the bunk door?

    I was contemplating reinforcing it from the outside (bed surface) with a thin panel of wood to strengthen it up without tearing into it but if the center support is wood and not aluminum, I won't have something of substance to put screws into if its rotted away already. Let me know what you all think, much appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. bikendan

    bikendan Active Member

    Messages:
    561
    Likes Received:
    50
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    as far as i know, it has no aluminum frame in the bunk door.
    it's simply luan sandwich material with its rigidity coming from the outside metal door frame.
    i have seen some door repairs done that the person did construct a frame and then covered it.
     
  3. Old_Geezer

    Old_Geezer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,760
    Likes Received:
    505
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Location:
    Southwest PA
    Coolzy.

    Your R Vision has a bunk door assembly that is made by a company named Lippert Components (LCI). It is the same door assembly used on my Keystone and the other Thor brands such as Aerolite, Kodiak, Coleman, KZ. It is also used by Coachmen, Jayco and Starcraft and a few others. I don't even know how many variations and design changes have been made over the years but its many.

    It leaked in exactly where you believe. A common issue on the front door up until around 2010. After that they changed to the secure lock tent system and different sealants inside the doors themselves. If you look on the bottom edge of the door that you can not usually see, under the flap that covers the hinge, there should be about 5 large Phillips screws going up into the door. Those will be rusted from the water draining out of your door. That's how these leaks creep up on people. The bottom hinge is designed as a drain in case any water gets past the rubber door seals. It is made to drain from the ends. When that bottom door seal you're talking about leaks the water gets inside the door itself then drains out of the screws at the bottom, then out the hinge channel. You never notice anything wet until you find soft spots because its all hidden.

    Somewhere here is a post where someone rebuilt one but I can't find it. If you look long enough you'll find it.

    It has a perimeter aluminum square tube sub frame. They place foam in the center the same thickness as that frame then they glue luan inside and out to everything along with the filon on the outside. They run these panels to the outside edge of the inner aluminum sub frame. Then the white aluminum exterior frame gets pushed on around the perimeter. Picture the sub frame and panels pushed into a C as that is essentially what the outer frame is. The screws then that go in the edges I mentioned above hold the whole frame together. I also believe there is one piece of pine the thickness of the foam, around 6 inches wide, that is sandwiched in horizontally across the center for support.

    I caught a leak just starting and got lucky on the 2011 Aerolite I had. That same caulk seal across the bottom of the front door. I had one small area 1/2 inch wide starting to get soft.

    You should try emailing LCI, you may be able to talk to one of their people for info. If you were to PM me an email addy I could send you a whole email thread we went back and forth with back a few years ago.

    At that time they quoted me an entire new assembly for $800 which I could of bought from LCI directly. Once you find the thread with the repair you'll see its not an easy thing. The thing is laminated together in a vacuum press using heat. The area that has the water damage comes apart easy, the undamaged area is almost impossible to separate without destroying it from what I have seen..
     
  4. Coolzzy

    Coolzzy New Member

    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    There is a vertical 4" wide support running up the center of the door. The "floor" on either side has either sunk or the support has risen at the bottom of the door. The support is firm and does not deform with pressure, even my knee on it, which had me thinking it's aluminum and not wood. My door has rounded corners and an aluminum drip shield/cover that follows it's curve across the top of where the door meets the trailer. All of the other hybrid doors I've seen have square doors which seem to be easier to rebuild due to the standard shape.

    I have some bedboard material (used for bunk bed material under a mattress and above the cross supports) that is thin and might be enough to reinforce if I screw or use construction adhesive across the top of the soft area?
     
  5. Old_Geezer

    Old_Geezer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,760
    Likes Received:
    505
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Location:
    Southwest PA
    Maybe I had the support orientation backwards, the memory is not what it used to be. But it is an LCI made door. The LCI doors have the frame you mention and radius corners....all of them. Just look online at any Jayco, Coachman, Starcraft, KZ. etc. The square doors you mention are on Forest River products such as Rockwood, Shamrock, Palomino. Like I said before, they changed them again and again over time, so the actual interior construction, frame profile, hinge design, tent attachment may be slightly different. I know first hand the hinge changed 4 times between 2009 and 2012 and the frame profile twice.

    Here is a link to a whole series of you tube videos where a guy rebuilds the rear LCI door on a 2004 Kodiak. There are 32 of them so you have to search all the guys videos to find them all.

    2004 Kodiak
     
  6. Coolzzy

    Coolzzy New Member

    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    I watched the video and panic set in. That does not look like an easy or fun task to take on, especially since the camper is not stored at my house (no rv parking so it's stored at a storage facility up the road). I'm going to try and reinforce the weak spot with some thin paneling across the top and screwed into the good wood. I also ran a bead of caulk across the seam where water was most likely getting in and will be covering that entirely with a long piece of eternabond. I love sleeping under the tent but hope I didn't bite off more than I can chew with this new to me trailer. I paid quite a bit more for it than I did for my tent trailer for the added conveniences of a potty and bigger appliances. I may bandaid it for a year and go full hard side or hard sided rear slide next year.
     
  7. Old_Geezer

    Old_Geezer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,760
    Likes Received:
    505
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Location:
    Southwest PA
    Is he rest of the trailer in good condition?
    If it is it may make sense to buy the entire assembly from LCI. Its not a huge ordeal workwise to change the entire assembly for $800-$1000 if you can afford the hit for the part.
     
  8. Coolzzy

    Coolzzy New Member

    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Well I think I got it licked. Cut away the contact paper the other day, and found that 8" all the way across the door from the hinge up was rotted. It flaked/peeled out and was wet. I dremelled back another 1/2" into the solid wood and scraped all the old wood out and away from the Styrofoam. I then bought a piece of 1/16" panel from home depot. Lucky for me, the perimeter 2x4 frame and center support on my bed are all aluminum (no 2x4 wood so the supports are not affected by water damage). I used construction adhesive on the aluminum only and stuck the panel down. I then used some self taping screws to secure the panel down by the hinge and on the sides to ensure good adhesion. I then used a piece of 4" wide Eternabond tape to run the full width of the bed covering the joint between the panel and the old bed material. The mattress snaps down and covers all of the old/original wood, so unless you lifted it up you'd never know there was a color/texture difference.

    I'm thinking of buying a 4x8 sheet of fiberglass shower surround and trimming it to fit over the entire inside door to add some additional strength and make it look uniform when the mattress is removed. My only regret is not removing the Styrofoam and checking to see if there was another piece of rotted wood on the outside but I didn't want to risk damaging the outside panel because its not showing signs of damage and I'm not sure how its attached.
     
  9. SlavCo

    SlavCo Member

    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2016
    Coolzzy did you happen to take any pictures of the repair you did? Would be great to see how it turned out. My HTT will need some TLC on the front bunk door as well :(
     
  10. Coolzzy

    Coolzzy New Member

    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    I didn't take any pictures of the finished product, and did all the work without removing the bunk door. To be honest though, shortly after completing this repair I discovered a leak in my front wall from a poor joint seal on the roof to front edge, which caused delamination on the passenger front side. That was the nail in the coffin for me, and I sold the trailer for what I paid for it and bought a 2015 Tracer air 250 and never looked back.
     
  11. roc87

    roc87 New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2015
    I will also add a note that that the aluminum frame rails inside the door have a very,very crap weld on them from the factory.it only has a minimal spot weld holding the corners.I had mine welded and braced when I opened it up.it is a 2 man job for sure and keep a flat level surface so that it doesn't warp while apart.also take your time and make sure that all the screws are out when you remove the metal trim frame.
     
  12. Kostyan

    Kostyan New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2021
    Hi folks. Sorry to dig up this old thread. It is 2021 and I am the owner of a 2007 Trail-Cruiser by Trail Lite R-Design, same one as OP had. My front bunk door seal went bad and I am beating myself trying to find a matching seal anywhere. Can anyone please help? Going nuts over here.
     

Share This Page