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Old 06-04-2017, 07:40 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by rewcamper View Post
the model is mm8 the only numbers I could find, as I tossed the package. wallboard setting .only a few percent difference if the wetness of the surface was bad enough, as it scanned from zero to almost 100 % wet. heading to a dealer tomorrow to see what readings I get from new or nearly new trailers, might be fun.. is it proper, or do you offend a seller if you take the meter to a viewing of a trailer and come up with some high readings. ? this one I posted earlier had no signs of a problem on the surface. it wouldn't bother me if something was found on a trailer I was selling..

OK Thanks. I looked up the MM8 https://www.generaltools.com/pinless...olor-bar-graph

It has the same spec's as mine which is a MMD7NP https://www.generaltools.com/digital...or-bar-graph-1

I have a friend who bought the MM8 when she was buying her camper as she could not find the MMD7NP. It worked good enough for her she found the 2 wet areas and told the dealer about them and was able to get a better deal by being tactful about it.

Yours has a different packing setup on where the scanning head is but it will still do a good job. The MM8 was not on the market when I bought mine.

Only a few percent of a difference, I thought so. If there is a lot of wet behind the wall, and it reads 100% or 80%, its still really wet and enough to know that is a suspect problem area.

To your question about
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is it proper, or do you offend a seller if you take the meter to a viewing of a trailer and come up with some high readings. ?
If this is a dealer sale, I would not be concerned as much as a private party. For both of them, I would mention to them what I was doing and the type of meter I will be using only scans through the wall and leave no marks due to the way it works.

The private party person may have no idea what is behind that wall, ceiling, floor etc. If they have not seen any water inside and the camper has no smells, to them it is in great shape and they feel they have no leaks.

Since you are buying a used "as is" camper, you should have a right to inspect the camper. Now what you do with the info when you find a problem is something to think through.

I myself would be very respectful about it. If it is real bad and you do not want it then, you can just say, no thank you and leave it at that. Or if you really want the camper knowing the issues it has, you can calmly explain what you found and that you are still interested in the camper but would like to make an offer of $XXX dollars based on the wet areas found. Again, remember, they may have no clue the walls are 100% wet behind them.... They can then decide to sell it to you at a lower price or just say no, the price is as stated and then you leave or pay the price. Point being, don't be argumentative and don't make negative comments about their camper as they may have tried the best they know how to keep it up. The issue is, no one ever explained to them about how to properly maintain a camper. Many folks really have no idea what is all involved in keeping water out of a camper.

The dealer, I would still take the same approach. However if they have been in the business long enough, they know wet campers. They may point out quickly that moisture meters can give false readings. This is true, it is a tool but using this tool combined with knowledge of how campers leak, it is a good tool. If it comes to be, then show them how and what you did. They may not know about the meter you have and they missed it too. If they are trying to sell a fast one on you, well then, you decide your course of action.

When you buy an automobile from a dealer you often times have a right to take it to your mechanic for inspection. Why would you being educated as the mechanic with a moisture meter be any different with a dealer?

These are only "just thoughts". Do what you feel is the "right thing", for you and the other person.

John
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Old 06-04-2017, 07:56 PM   #22
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thanks john, we think alike, I would never be disrespectful..50 years a carpenter this year, and have always been honest and up front..haha poor but honest. I would be very tactful. the dealer knows what I discovered. this particular one I had mentioned earlier goes to auction on sat. the 10th. another one is a private sale 2075, and i'll ask permission before I use the meter. I 'djust feel bad if both parties were uninformed, and there's problems later.thanks for the input, BOB
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Old 06-05-2017, 07:09 AM   #23
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I wouldn't be offended if I was selling a trailer and someone showed up with a moisture meter. I passed on many trailers when I was looking for mine. You can discreetly slide under trailer and check things out without seller even knowing what your doing.
Most sellers are unaware of the meters to know what your doing.
I used to do allot of wood working and that's how I came about knowing about moisture meters so I figured if you can check moisture content in wood why not trailers
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Old 12-10-2017, 02:36 PM   #24
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Thanks for this info- I found the MMD7NP meter, open-box, on Ebay for $25. I built a oversize teardrop and want to see how it's holding up- 2 years later.
I worked a couple winter seasons as an RV tech and I saw a lot of water damage, so much so, that IMO, any camper stored outside, uncovered, will likely have issues within 5 years.
With all the experience I gained from building my own camper, I think I can rebuild a camper myself- if the price is right.
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Old 12-12-2017, 05:23 PM   #25
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You found a good deal there on your meter. Great!

To your comment on water damage at your dealership, yes it is a problem. I keep finding more and more campers, any brand, that the owners never knew they were supposed to do roof maintenance at all, not alone 4 times a year checks. So a 10 year old camper that do not always shows water signs inside can have infected walls, roofs, floors. It seems come year 3, tiny cracks in the sealants start. Some maybe sooner depending how heavy it was applied at the factory. By year 5 to 8 those cracks can be large enough water is getting in. Come year 10 with no maintenance at all and the camper being outside all the time, odds are favorable a level of water damage exists somewhere.

A camper that lives half a year or more under cover has a different deterioration timeline. Since the UV rays are only half as much, the sealants hold up better and the odds of being exposed to water are less. It is like a 10 year old camper stored under cover half a year is about at around year 5 with caulking cracks on one living outside uncovered all the time.

The more roofs I inspect, the more I find the sun UV rays are the downfall of the roof sealants and most anything plastic on the roof. By using a UV protectant like 303 on the rubber, caulking and any plastic or vinyl survives at a totally different rate. A 14 year old camper with the original caulk can still have no cracks in it even after 10 years of living outside all the time with regular UV treatment. It is amazingly different. The other 4 years the camper was under cover later in it's like. (thats mine)

Roofs are not the only issue though. Anything sealed to the siding with putty tape can be a leak point. Corners, entry doors, furnaces, water heaters, cargo holds, windows etc. Putty tape is not a long term seal. It dries out, shrinks then separates from the molding and siding leaving a leak path. Towing in the rain, and bad luck, beats water into the camper. Or just plain roof run off beating down on a seam.

The meter can find most all these areas. Set it on wall board mode and scan every inside walls where a roof or wall joint is and around every area sealed with putty tape. If there is no heavy fungus on a rubber roof, you can scan down through the rubber from up on the roof looking in too it. Metal roof, well those you have to do from the inside looking out.

You can also scan up from the bottom. The meter will see through the plastic water membrane under the floor and wet insulation just does not dry out any time fast. This helps if the top of the floor is dry but the bottom of the membrane is wet you at least know the water did not come through the floor, more likely down a wall or in from a wheel well etc.

It can also scan through a fiberglass sided camper from the outside in. If you have a camper with aluminum wall studs, need to realize the aluminum will trick the meter. But you can tell the meter will peak when you cross the stud and go back down again when you pass it. A water leak on going for some time creates a large area of wet. If the delam doesn't show it, the meter will.

They are a cheap handy tool to have if you own a camper.

Your little camper looks good.

Thanks

John
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:33 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
A camper that lives half a year or more under cover has a different deterioration timeline. Since the UV rays are only half as much, the sealants hold up better and the odds of being exposed to water are less. It is like a 10 year old camper stored under cover half a year is about at around year 5 with caulking cracks on one living outside uncovered all the time.

The more roofs I inspect, the more I find the sun UV rays are the downfall of the roof sealants and most anything plastic on the roof. By using a UV protectant like 303 on the rubber, caulking and any plastic or vinyl survives at a totally different rate. A 14 year old camper with the original caulk can still have no cracks in it even after 10 years of living outside all the time with regular UV treatment. It is amazingly different.
John- Thanks for info. I've heard mixed reviews about covers and some real horror stories from folks using cheap tarps. Would you recommend getting a quality breathable fitted cover (no tarps) and doing a 303 spray down of the seams each year? I'm surprised more new camper owners don't do this as cheap insurance to protect their investment. Granted a good cover isn't cheap, but I would think it's worth it compared to the loss in value of a trailer with water damage.

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Old 12-14-2017, 12:08 PM   #27
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John- Thanks for info. I've heard mixed reviews about covers and some real horror stories from folks using cheap tarps. Would you recommend getting a quality breathable fitted cover (no tarps) and doing a 303 spray down of the seams each year? I'm surprised more new camper owners don't do this as cheap insurance to protect their investment. Granted a good cover isn't cheap, but I would think it's worth it compared to the loss in value of a trailer with water damage.

Mark
HI Mark,

The 303 spray, I'm sold on using this on the rubber membrane, all plastic on the roof and all Dicro caulking. The learnings that I keep finding on roofs, the age of them and when the owner has done maintenance or lack of any, continues to support that the sun UV rays really plays havoc on the roof. I need to get a post up just this topic. Thanks for reminding me...

So yes, do use 303 aerospace UV protectant on all roof areas and the rest of the camper too. The plastic, vinyl, decals, clearance lights, rubber etc. just about anything that is not aluminum or steel. Ideally treat 3 to 4 times a year, however even once a year helps.

A camper that has been stored under some form of cover holds up so much better over the long haul. This can be a camper car port, a full blown pole barn or a camper material cover. For the covers I have only used a tarp cover 1 year on my prior 2004 T2499. In this case it was a large silver tarp. We bought the camper new and I could not come to grips with not covering it for the first winter. The following years I was able to get it inside my prior workshop building. When the T310 came, it had to live outside for 10 years until the new pole barn came but I did other upgrades to get through that.

Covers do create drawbacks. Using any type of a cover is a job getting it on and off. Any sharp edges needs to be padded so they will not tear the cover and it needs to be tied or strapped on well to not have the wind tear it up or flap hard on the camper. Breathable covers make it easier to not have molding issues during wet spring times. All those downsides on covers can be overcome, it takes work and pain. If you are getting a cover, consider a custom fit one that fits your camper, has zippers at the entry door areas, is made of the right material for your area and learn the tricks on how to make it easier to get on and off.

The fact remains, a camper that can be stored out of the sun and weather elements for 1/2 a year for sure holds up better over the long haul. It does not mean you will not have a water infection, as water infections come from more areas than just the roof. But it for sure helps lower the roof leaks and the sun breakdown on the outside of the camper for the months if it is covered.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 12-14-2017, 07:29 PM   #28
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Covers do create drawbacks. Using any type of a cover is a job getting it on and off. Any sharp edges needs to be padded so they will not tear the cover and it needs to be tied or strapped on well to not have the wind tear it up or flap hard on the camper. Breathable covers make it easier to not have molding issues during wet spring times. All those downsides on covers can be overcome, it takes work and pain. If you are getting a cover, consider a custom fit one that fits your camper, has zippers at the entry door areas, is made of the right material for your area and learn the tricks on how to make it easier to get on and off.

John

We put a cover on our 2499 the first winter we had it (before I built a carport for it) and to make it easier to put on and take off, I made a roller out of a pvc pipe with emt pipes at each end. I'd carry the roll up a step ladder and lay the cover on the roof then come down and Barbara and I would go on either side holding each pipe and walk the roller from one end to the other. It worked better than wrestling it over the roof.
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:33 PM   #29
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The topic of failing roof caulk recently posted in this thread has been moved here to help keep this good info with the caulking thread. Rubber Roof Caulk - Inspect and repair 101
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Old 06-23-2019, 09:50 PM   #30
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Hi Rich,

Thanks for the good words. Since you lived through rebuilding your prior camper from large water damage, you have, like I have, learned over time how to look for a wet camper.

Your comment on, letting your nose tell you, "No thank you" is a classic! Oh, how the scent of rotting or wet wood smells and the scent once planted in ones brain will never leave you....

Your find on using the "softwoods" setting, h'mm I'll have to play with that.
I never tried that before. When I first started using this meter, I did the wet wash cloth test behind a cabinet door. I can see what the % number means, then go and try to use it. You are right, use the meter to compare on what dry is and then when wet starts. As I said before, this meter is not an absolute, but a tool to help. I know metal gives false readings but I was shocked I could look through the shower surround wall. That dense plastic never seemed to affect it much. And it see's through the black Darco real good.


The algae/slime in the roof of the T1950 has me puzzled. The front of this camper shows all dry inside up high, yet the roof shows 100% all over which does not seem to line up right with the inside. I have tried to clean an area of the roof in the suspected dry section and it does not want to drop below 100% scanning through the rubber/budboard. At this point, it is either the bud board has wicked wet all over it, just the water has not made it down to the ceiling board yet. Or somehow the rubber membrane is deeply infected with some kind of mold that tricks this meter into reading the mold. I'll let you know when I open it up.

Thanks for sharing your experience with the meter. That is a great help.

John
I'm sure that you probably documented the 1950's roof elsewhere but I would be interested in knowing more about the wall construction. What's behind the shower walls in the back corner? Is it shower wall> wallboard> insulation> outer wallboard> siding or does it go straight to insulation from the shower wall?

After using the meter all over my 1950, I'd like to open my shower up to visually inspect behind the shower wall and was wondering what to expect, construction-wise.
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:52 PM   #31
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After using the meter all over my 1950, I'd like to open my shower up to visually inspect behind the shower wall and was wondering what to expect, construction-wise.
Hi Dig,

Sorry so long getting back to you. Been away doing what all good campers do, camp...

This link will drop you into my 2004T1950 post and a some pics show the roof and shower dome off and the rear wall off which on the 1950, the rear camper wall is the rear wall of the shower. So is the left rear side of the camper 2004 T1950 Restoration Project - (Ugly Picture Heavy)

You also said,
Quote:
I'd like to open my shower up to visually inspect behind the shower wall and was wondering what to expect, construction-wise.
What did you find with the moisture meter and what are you thinking of "opening" up?

I would caution taking the shower apart from the "inside" of the camper. Need to understand some on what you are trying to fix so I can suggest a maybe better way on what to do it then take it apart from the inside.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-02-2019, 06:51 AM   #32
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John, I think the back corner was 'reconstructed' at some point in the past. When you stand behind the camper and look at it, the back wall is not level with the bumper. It drops about an inch by the time it gets to the outside left corner.

The original shower enclosure is long gone. Someone replaced it with very well installed cheap acrylic pebbled shower wallboard from a hardware store. No shelf nooks, towel rods or soap dishes. It does not look at all like yours in your link. I was too new to camper shopping at the time to notice what should have been a red flag. It is glued to whatever is behind it which is what I was asking, I think. The meter is pegged at 100 on the side and back outer walls. There is a skylight dome above it. Everywhere else is bone dry.

Things have changed since my previous post what with the pending purchase of the T-280SR so I doubt that I will look any further into the issue.
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Old 07-03-2019, 07:41 PM   #33
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John, I think the back corner was 'reconstructed' at some point in the past. When you stand behind the camper and look at it, the back wall is not level with the bumper. It drops about an inch by the time it gets to the outside left corner.

The original shower enclosure is long gone. Someone replaced it with very well installed cheap acrylic pebbled shower wallboard from a hardware store. No shelf nooks, towel rods or soap dishes. It does not look at all like yours in your link. I was too new to camper shopping at the time to notice what should have been a red flag. It is glued to whatever is behind it which is what I was asking, I think. The meter is pegged at 100 on the side and back outer walls. There is a skylight dome above it. Everywhere else is bone dry.

Things have changed since my previous post what with the pending purchase of the T-280SR so I doubt that I will look any further into the issue.
OK, glad I asked as if it has been redone then it is hard to tell how they attached the shower wall boarding. Originally Sunline glued the shower surround to 1/8" luan wall board which was already glued and fastened to the wall studs. To check why the back wall is 100% on the meter, this points to moisture in the wall itself.

To investigate or repair, remove the rear siding. Do not go in from the inside as odds are high you will damage/destroy shower walls and still have to deal with the rot repair. With the siding off, you can access the damage and replace/repair the bad wood and leave the shower intact. Even if all you do is lift the corner molding on the bottom 1 to 2 feet up the wall and remove the bottom most rear siding panel, you can get a good look at the inside of the wall. A 2nd piece up will even tell more.

If you decide to not go any further, understand, just letting you know.
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:49 PM   #34
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I went out to reinspect as my memory is spotty on numbers sometimes. Never was very good with them. The meter readings were not as dire as I previously stated. There were some mid 70's in the corner near the top of the shower on both walls but they quickly dropped away to the upper 40's until they were at zero about halfway down and halfway across the shower walls in both directions.

When I inspected the roof this spring, I noticed a small separation in the caulking at that back corner and immediately sealed it with the self leveling Dicor. I fear that I may have allowed the water in and it had nothing to do with whatever the previous owner had fixed.

I was thinking of mounting a small directional electric heater on something tall and broad enough to safely support it and point it at the corner (not close enough to damage the shower wall) for a few days to see what the meter said after that.
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