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Old 04-16-2017, 10:00 PM   #1
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Order of Restoration??

Posted last week about rust and got some very useful information. Thanks! I bought this 15 ft Sunline trailer (my first trailer) on a rainy day and it appeared dry. Two days later we had torrential rains and it was clear there are several leaks. First areas that are suspect are what apppears to be an after market skylight addition, 2 plumbing stacks and possibly some window and or corner joints. After covering roof with a tarp, I spent last 2 weekends slowly disassembling part of the interior and problem areas are quickly revealing themselves. First thing I discovered was I am the third owner to make this a project and apparently each owner simply covered previous problems. I am almost down to original walls and at least one side will need to be removed and rebuilt. Biggest concern is I found mold under the floor and behind the most recent generation of paneling. Have attached some pictures below and have a couple of questions.
1. The subfloor that has the mold is solid but thick planks of wood,not plywood as I expected. Is this original or someone's attempt at restoration? The wood is solid. I am fairly confident I can greet and eliminate the mold. Do I need to remove it if that is the case? Based on the mold pattern I believe the skylight is the culprit. If I can salvage, I would fleas and seal with poly to create a waterproof floor with a rustic look.
2. The last owner added a window ac. Newer and dry, sit seems unsturdy. Should I buy a unit to replace the skylight that is leaking? If so, thoughts on how to manage the wall hole that will be left?
3 What is the best order to go about this? Thinking I remove damaged interior, assess and seal the skin, address chassis rust then rebuild interior. Is that the best order?

Apologize, my picture skills are not the best! Still getting the hang of posting the pics. A couple are of the wood floor and mold. One is the bad skylight and a couple are the moldy corners I uncovered but need to be rotated to correct orientation.
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg IMG_0325.jpg (103.3 KB, 10 views)
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Old 04-16-2017, 10:58 PM   #2
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Oh gosh! No worries on the pictures, you'll get the hang of it. Sometimes this site will rotate them for you when you don't want it, depending on the computer/tablet/phone you use to post with.

The plank flooring isn't original. There should have been plywood with linoleum on top originally. Since it's moldy and you don't know what's underneath, I'd pull it out.

The white wall panel pieces aren't original either, they either used bare wood finish panel or panel with vinyl wallpaper on it. That panel type looks like a household type, I used to have very similar stuff in my basement. It looks like it covers over the original panel, since I see some of it behind the dinette bench. I would pull this off too, because chances are it could be hiding some further water damage. It could be someone put the new panel and floor on to hide prior water damage instead of fixing it correctly. The moldy floor probably means the trailer has trapped a ton of moisture and can't get rid of it.

I do hate to say, but in order to correctly repair all of this, you're probably looking at taking it down to the studs, and that might be easier from the outside. Start by pulling the added floor boards and panel pieces and see what the extent of the damage is.
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:44 PM   #3
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I'm with Jon on this as far as taking all of the affected stuff out and see what you have. It will also allow you to see what is going on behind the walls and under the floor and to start the dry out process. At this point, I wouldn't take the outer skin off. Once that is done, go out and check all of your trim and "calking" to see if it is dried out and cracked. You should take out the plastic covering over the aluminum trim pieces and look for rusted screw heads. That would give you a good indication that water is getting in there as well. If you click on my user name and look for my post about water damage on my 2000, you can see what I was up against and how I went about it.
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:38 PM   #4
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Hi,

As you work your way through this restoration process, here is a question you will be asking yourself over and over. How long do I want to keep this camper and have it in good condition?

If you are after something real short term, that is a patch fix to just get you by until you no longer have it.

If you want to keep this a good amount of time, it can set the stage of how good the repair needs to be.

I agree with SunlineFan and SEP, you need to know what is under those floor boards and the walls. If they just left the rotted wooding under it, they did a patch and it worked for them. If you want to keep it and know you have a good solid camper, then take up a few boards and wall areas and see what you have. Odds my be high it is going to look ugly underneath it.

Ideally as you take the camper apart, you can find "all" of the water entry points over the years. Odds are high, even where it does not leak, the putty tape used to seal a window, entry door, cargo door, roof seams ets is about shot. It does not really cost much for new "butyl sealing tape" but it will take some time, but you are doing the labor so that helps with the out of pocket costs. If you go and fix up the inside with all good new wood, it will be painful if it to starts leaking again on a bad window or door seal left over. The good news, that is a small camper so there is not as much to reseal like a larger camper.

Here is also a tip to pass along in case you have not heard of this. Rot Doctor, This stuff, CPESô-Wood based epoxy products to repair and resist wood rot.

If you do find some good solid wood you want to keep, and the wood was wet or close enough to bad wood, this CPES will seal and kill any dry rot fungus left in the pores of the good old wood. Dry rot left unchecked will leave you with a pile of dust for a wood structure. If you do use this product, you have to get a respirator. The fumes when putting it on in a small place is not good. They sell a good brand for not a lot of cost on the site if you do not know which one to get. After about 3 days, all the smell is gone but on day 1, it is bad.

You are off to a good start, we are rooting for ya! Just ask away with any and all questions. Someone on the forum most likely has already been through it.

Good luck and hope this helps you sort out what you want to do.

John
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:09 PM   #5
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Thank so much for your help! I'm a pretty busy woman so I only end up with about one weekend day each week to tackle this. You're comments are helping me determine best direction. This weekend I will get down to original and see what I have. On one side I'm already to the original wallpapered panel and it seems solid. On the side with the AC unit where you can see 2 layers over original wall, the original layer is like paper. Expecting that will be pretty bad! Any thoughts on the after market skylight in pic 4? I think it is a big leak problem. The largest mold area is just below. Of course I realize water travels so that may not mean much. Wondering if it would be better to try to eliminate, cover and seal or just try to deal with it? Also, is that window AC hanging off the side a problem?
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:28 PM   #6
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Good evening Westgoin,

I just wanted to say welcome. I too am in the process of repair. Same here, the weekends is the only time I have to work on it.

I will tell you that I did not see how bad things were until I started pulling the floor and walls apart. There were several leaks. I let the camper sit to dry out for a couple of months and when I tore into the floor and walls, it was still wet. It did not dry out completely until it was opened up. Once the floor and walls were opened up, I was able to see what was bad and started from there.

This group is the best! I am a total newbie. This group has helped me a great deal. They love pictures to see your progress and it helps them help you and it also helps others. I can't wait to see what you come up with. Still learning. Good luck.

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Old 04-19-2017, 11:06 AM   #7
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Hi Westgoin,

To your 2 question areas,

The skylight, as a homemade skylight I would say to eliminate the home made part of it. It may have been an opening for a roof mounted AC unit. If you do not put an AC unit back in that opening, I would replace it with a openable screened roof vent. They are very common and as long as the plastic dome does not crack from sun damage over time, they work very well.

They make the straight forward crank out ones. Like theses. http://ventline.com/i/u/6148923/f/RV...omes_11-11.pdf

And they make covers for these so you can open the vent in the rain. These, Max Air covers Maxxair - RV Fan & Vent Covers | Airxcel They are very popular and they help keep the sun damage off the vent dome. We have then on all our vents.

And they make ones with a 12 volt power fan so you can draw in cool air through the windows and exhaust out the roof vent. Here is one popular brand. Max Air power vents Maxxair - High Powered Ceiling Fans for RVs | Airxcel. There are other brands of them too.

You will need to know the size of the opening in the roof. Most of these fit in a 14 1/4 x 14 1/4 roof opening. If yours is a lot bigger, there are ways to close it down to fit.

The AC unit in the wall. That is a good question. I have heard some talk that is may not be legal in all states and has to do something with it hanging out that far of the side of the camper. But I do not know this as fact. We see these house AC units mounted in the sides of a camper from time to time. Some in the front and back and then the width requirement is not a concern, but in the side wall, it may be. Is your camper an 8 ft wide camper? Or a 7 foot wide? Once you are a lot over the 8 foot wide then the width regulations may play into this.

If you want to convert to a camper roof mounted AC unit, they can be in the $500 to $600 range for the upper and lower control unit. You may be able to find them a little cheaper. Cost is the general reason you find the house type installed in a camper when the roof unit stops working. Here is one site that sells them. For sure shop around and investigate this to get the right parts for your camper. You may be able to get by with an 11,000 BTU model in your size camper. This link is a 13,500BTU one.
Brisk Air II Roof Air Conditioners on Sale - PPL Motor Homes

Hope this helps

John
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Old 04-23-2017, 08:27 PM   #8
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I would like to see a pic from the doorway inside. I am guessing your window ac in right next to the fridge??
I have seen window ac in the front and rear that worked well when braced. I wouldn't run one the the side unless I had a way to remove it while traveling.

I am in the thought process for ducting a window ac unit.

EDIT--ducting the rear of the ac.
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