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Old 10-10-2007, 12:13 PM   #1
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Serious Problem w/Floor.....need help

Hi all......The problem first presented with some dark grey discoloration on the floor in the left rear of the TT. When the discoloration appeared I did a thorough examination of the roof to check for leaks that might be running down the inner wall to the floor. I, nor several others, could not find any flaws that would indicate a potential leak. It seemed that the floor was being damaged from below...not from surface exposure. It is as though the floor has a cancer. In addition to the discolorization the floor is now getting soft spots. Since our last outting a few weeks ago we have had next to nothing for rain....today it is raining so I went out to check on the TT and found no leaks anywhere. But, I was shocked to notice that there is now a much larger soft spot in the floor. I have checked the fridge for chemical leaks, etc and found nothing. I checked the water heater (it is in close proximity) and found nothing abnormal. This morning I made a cut in the membrane underneath and there is moisture in the insulation.....not drenched but moisture none-the-less. My Sunline is dying a slow death & I need some serious help. A 2ft square of flooring is impacted. Can anyone help me out here?

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David
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Old 10-10-2007, 12:40 PM   #2
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Wow, that sounds terrible. I can tell you that I had a house in Florida that developed a mold underneath that produced a growing discoloration of the floor. You expect mold in Fla not in the northeast. The soft floor is of great concern and must be the cause. You mentioned the water heater is in close proximity, is the fresh water tank in the area also? I have heard of a errant screw going through the bottom of tanks causing a very slow leak. I do hope someone can help you out soon.
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Old 10-10-2007, 08:09 PM   #3
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we had a soft floor once...

On our old 2653 we had a soft spot in the hall floor..found all the insulation sopping wet in the underbelly...we were 2000 miles from home at the time so we split the underbelly to let out as much water as we could. We traced the leak to a faulty drain connection on the tub and also a small crack in the tub...We had the drain tightened and the crack repaired (we had an insurance policy that covered the tub repair) and then took it to Sunline on our way home where they lowered our grey water tank that was directly beneath the tub resulting in the water from the leak staying on top of the waste tank creating a perpetual moisture area. They found the wood wasn't rotted, just wet and soft--dried it out and put in some reinforcing "struts", replaced the now dried out insulation and put in a new piece of underbelly material...cost was $400.00....we know of others whose drain at the tub has come undone and shifted a bit allowing the water to leak out. The cost to us was higher because the tank had to be dropped to get to it....Hope this may help.
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Old 10-10-2007, 09:09 PM   #4
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Janalee, thx for the response. In looking for leaks I have removed all available panels in the area and done a thorough search for water. I found everything to be dry. One of the panels is in the area of the drain for the tub and another is underneath the fridge. I have never seen any water on the surface of the floor. I am still drawing blanks. The water must be coming down the walls and entering the floor at the edge of the floor board. There are no signs of water in the ceiling or interior walls above the stains on the floor or anywhere in the trailer for that matter. The origin of the leak is nowhere to be found. Tomorrow I am going to slit another area of the membrane further away from the damage to see if the insulation is wet near the holding tanks and below the bathroom area. I called my Ins. co. and they are coming out on Friday to take a look-see, however, they already indicated that it sounded like "ordinary wear and tear" and probably wouldn't be covered. I called a certified RV repair business in the area and the owner told me that from what I described the repair would be $1500 to $2000, maybe higher and stated that he may not even be able to find the leak. I fear that I am about to take a 5 figure loss here. As you might imagine...I am not a happy camper especially given the fact that this should have been a warranty issue.
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Old 10-10-2007, 10:06 PM   #5
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Woodstock

Here may be a place to look. The outside clearance markers. You said the issue was in the back rear of the camper. The red lighted clearance markers are located on the rear outside of the camper.

I have noticed on mine the lens can crack and then the seal is broke. If yours is not sealed to the side of the camper and is under the roof gutter spout, it might be rain water coming down the side of the camper, comes to the side marker, leaks in and then down the wall into the bottom thru the hole where the wire is pulled thru for the clearance marker.

I know this might be a long shot, but it sort of fits your description.

My lighted marker is only held on with 2 screws and a rubber pad behind it. If you take the lens off you can stick your finger in the hole where the bulb goes and touch the insulation in the wall. If it is wet and soggy, well this might be it. Or if it is not wet as it drained down, it might be discoloered like it was wet.

I have thought of putting chaulking around these lower ones like they do the upper ones and now reading your post, I know I will.

Hope this helps.

John
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Old 10-10-2007, 10:20 PM   #6
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John,

I always have to replace my clearance lights due to the cracking. They are really a poor design, but I have to live with it. If I'm doing the lens, I usually go ahead and do the socket too since it has probably seen water and is most likely coroded. As for the side lower lights, I prefer to put some silicone on top of those as well, because after all, it really gets more water than the front/rear ones do (except yours). On a normal Sunline with the lousy gutters, all the rain water gushes out and runs down the sidewall right on top of the clearance lights.

However, due to the foam gasket still being compressed by the lens for the most part, and the bulb socket is sealed to the lens with a gasket, I have my doubts that that much water could get in and do the kind of damage it has.

Jon
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:45 AM   #7
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John, I appreciate your thoughts & will take a close look as soon as the sun rises....I am actually losing sleep over this as it is 3am and I am still pondering over this problem. Previous posts have suggested that I look in and around the holding tanks, etc. and I will continue to do that as well, however, I doubt that the problem originates there as I do not use the fresh water tank and I always empty the black and grey tanks at the CG...also I ruled out any seal leakage from the toilet connections as there is no wetness in that floor area at all. The damaged area does not contain any bad odor that might indicate a black/grey water leak....actually, the trailer still has a new smell. There are no wet or water stained areas by either of the sinks. The bathroom sink is on the same side so I looked there pretty closely. Generally, we do not use the shower very much if the CG facilities are good....much easier room wise. However, on our last trip the shower was used several times by us and a guest so I plan to really scrutinize that area again. Since our Labor Day excursion, there was one day of rain that came down hard for a while. I feel that this problem has been hidden from view for some time and this rain caused the problem to take a turn for the worse. IMO it is gathering between the floor and the outer protective membrane and wicking up into the floor below this storage area. I am hoping that a remedy can actually be found, however, I will have to make some serious decisions over this incident.
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Old 10-11-2007, 07:21 AM   #8
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Where water leaks are getting in are really hard to find. We had a popup that water kept getting into the front storage trunk, and the cracks were so fine that they were hard to see. Yet the amount of water that got in was VERY damaging. We had swelling of the walls and floor of the trunk. If it's water, you should have swelling. Maybe this swelling is causing the soft spot. We were lucky that our camper was still under warrantee and Fleetwood took it to the factory and rebuilt the whole front. I know this is going to sound rediculous, but get a large magnifying glass and look closely at the roof in the back corner area.
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Old 10-11-2007, 08:15 AM   #9
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Woodstock,

Thereís a test that can be performed to see if there are any water leaks on the exterior side walls. Itís call SealTech 430R. This will indicate if there are leaks around any windows, markers, etc. From their locator web page, thereís 3 places in CT that perform this test. They are:
Gustine RV Sales in East Hampton, CT 860-267-5364
Hemlock Hill RV Sales, Southington, CT 860-621-8983
Longview RV Inc, Windsor Locks, CT 860-623-3326
Not sure if any of these places are close to you.

I hope you find your problem and itís an easy and inexpensive fix.
Hutch
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Old 10-11-2007, 10:16 AM   #10
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leak

Quetse, unfortunately, there is not only swelling, but rot. The 6" diameter soft spot has very little of the floor left underneath....it is basically linoleum. I discovered the extent of the damage in that area when I slit the membrane. A significant portion of the floor in the corner will have to be replaced.

Hutch....that looks like an excellent beginning test. I do not know if the RV repair shop that I was referred to has this type of testing device. Longview is within 50 miles from me, but several people have warned me about them. Most of the cautions are about being extremely costly and slow to get the work done. Having said that, several campers I know have been satisfied with the quality of their work. I too, would like an easy and inexpensive fix, however, there is too much serious damage to make that a reality.
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:17 PM   #11
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Here's some pics of the situation:

















Jon
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Old 10-11-2007, 04:19 PM   #12
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Hi David,

Really sorry to hear your Sunline is leaking. Leaks are sneaky little suckers. Is it possible that the water could be coming in from the side window somehow? Or maybe even seeping in around the storage compartment opening?

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Old 10-11-2007, 05:16 PM   #13
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Hi Kitty,

Yes, this really is a sad state of affairs to be sure. After the hot water heater the window & storage door were my next concern. The caulking looks good all around the window and the compartment door. Even so, I did re-caulk anything that even looked questionable. After the insurance adjuster takes a look-see tomorrow I am going to break out a hose, aim it at specific areas of potential concern and see if I can cause an increase in moisture in the insulation. The few local RV service businesses around here are booked solid...I may not be able to get in until sometime in late November. I am going to have to spring for an ADCO cover as I just can't leave it out in the elements.

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Old 10-11-2007, 06:09 PM   #14
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If your storage door has 2 latches, both must be latched or the door won't seal properly, and water can get in. I know I'm grasping at straws, but that is just one thing the dealer tried to tell us about our popup that was leaking.
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Old 10-11-2007, 07:55 PM   #15
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Quetse, funny that you should mention that.....once when washing the trailer I had forgotten to lock the bottom latch and got all upset with myself fearing that I had just flooded the compartment....but, it didn't flood. However, once I get it cleaned up in the yard I do keep all the latches closed....thanks again for your thoughts.

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Old 10-11-2007, 10:10 PM   #16
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David,

Another way to check if there's a leak around the storage compartment door is to put a high intensity lamp in the storage compartment at night. Close the door tight, check all around to see if you see any light coming through. Check around the door and under the trailer. If you see any light, that's where water is getting in.

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Old 10-12-2007, 06:07 AM   #17
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David I would definately do as Hutch mentioned above,when we first got our camper two of our three compartment doors leaked,we took it back to sunline several times but they never fixed the leaks,determined to get my leaks fixed I decided I needed to do it myself,so after a little brain storming I decided to put my rechargable spot light in my compartment at night with it turned on and close the door and long behold I seen light coming out from around the doors,the fix was very simple just a little work with a rubber mallet on the seal flange and bingo no more light and no more leaks.your door may not be your problem but atleast if you check it you could eliminate that as your problem.I wish you luck with your leak I know they can be tough sometimes,sunline was pulling their hair out with mine.
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Old 10-12-2007, 07:30 AM   #18
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Hutch & Rich,

I went out early this morning & did as you suggested. Midway on the latch side of the door some light leaked through....not much, but light none-the-less. Without using the lower key latch a lot of light came through completely validating Quetse's comments. While I was standing there mentally kicking myself in the seat of the pants I put on my glasses and noticed that someone had tried to break into the compartment....some of the frame work appears to have been bent/damaged with a prying tool or screw driver. Perhaps just enough to let water in.....I can't believe that I did not see this before. Hopefully, this is the source, however, earlier I put rags and paper all around the floor near the wall, closed up the door and hosed the whole area.....no water made it to the rags/paper. Still very puzzling to me. I will still have a big bill to repair the damage & am trying to make a decision to put an ADCO cover on it this winter.
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Old 10-12-2007, 09:26 PM   #19
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Everyone....since you all took the time to try to help me out...very much appreciated.... I wanted to post an update....the insurance damage specialist gave the trailer a real good look. He could not come up with an answer as to where the leak might have originated. He did not think that the door would leak enough to cause the damage especially since the door and the seals show no evidence of a leak. He also said that it might possibly be vandalism (he saw the pry mark). He said given the amount of damage present if the leak was from above it would show up in the walls and/or ceiling. It was raining all morning here and the floor in the compartment was bone dry....no moisture anywhere above the floor. He felt that the next step would be exactly what Hutch suggested, so I am to set up an appt. to have a SealTech procedure done and the under carriage completely inspected. He went on to say that there is a possibility that the trailer came from the factory with a hidden defect that is going to be very hard to find without really tearing the trailer apart. So, next week I will be making an appt .... hopefully I will get some answers.

David
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Old 10-13-2007, 06:20 AM   #20
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Thanks for the update & keep us posted. Vandalism? UGH...what's wrong with people? I guess it's a good thing that we never lock our compartments unless we're rolling down the road. Rather someone steal our "stuff" than cause such problems! I am also thinking that a leak like that might be more prone to water coming in while you're driving than while she's sitting.
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