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Old 05-21-2017, 12:11 PM   #1
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Water damage around front window

While getting our new to us 2004 T-2199 ready for our first camping trip, I was flipping the mattress and bumped the bottom curtain holder. Now I'm truly heart broken.
That little bump revealed that the wall at the bottom corners of the window is only paper thin due to previous water leaks.
The window had been resealed by a previous owner and it appears that the work was done well.
During inspection, I looked that area over really well, but since there was no signs of a water leak, I didn't push on the wall to check for weak spots.
Question...
1-is the camper safe to pull and use?
2-does anyone have a picture of the framework around the front window?
3-can the repairs be made from the inside without having to remove the outer siding?

I don't have a covered area or garage big enough to work on the trailer, so it would have to be tarped during repairs.
I was planning on replacing the roof in a year or two(if we enjoy camping like we think we will), so that timeline may have to move to the left a bit to repair the front wall.
I've already started resealing all of the openings on the roof and plan to remove one window at a time to reseal all of those but this new damage wasn't something I was expecting or something I look forward to right away.
Kind of bummed out right now


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Old 05-22-2017, 10:51 PM   #2
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Hi John,

I may be able to help. To your 3 questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnByrum View Post
Question...
1-is the camper safe to pull and use?
1. As long as the entire front wall is not rotted, towing the camper should be OK to use it with caution while keeping an eye on it. You can check by pushing on the wall around the widow on all sides. If the whole thing gives way, that is a problem. If it feels as solid as a camper wall can be, check another wall that is good for the feel, then your damage is not that bad, yet. You can then make the judgement call on if it is OK to use. Any camper wall has some flex to it. We cannot tell from here, how good or bad it might be at this point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnByrum View Post
2-does anyone have a picture of the framework around the front window?
Yes, I have many pics of resealing the front window. I just have not yet created a post of them on how the window reseal. See this link to my photo bucket with many more of the front window area.

These are not in any order from start to finish, they are all part of the process from removing the window to final install. These are pic's on my Flicker photoserver page. https://flic.kr/s/aHsmbt5efS


Here is the outside looking in on the frame


The inside looking out on the frame


These 2 links show other windows being resealed and the process is the same for the front. They may help.

A Winter Project - Roof Repair (Picture heavy)

A Winter Project - Slide Opening, Frame Repair (Picture heavy)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnByrum View Post
3-can the repairs be made from the inside without having to remove the outer siding?
It all "depends" on what the damage is and how much damage there is if the siding has to come off. If you want to do a check on how wide spread the water damage is without removing anything, this post on a moisture meter can help you understand if the wet is 2" out from the window or several feet away and all the way to the floor line. You would scan the entire front wall inside. Most all water flows down to the floor and then under the camper if it is been leaking long enough and heavy enough. Checking the bottom black waterproof membrane will tell if the water is down there. Moisture Meters For Inspecting a Camper

You can also have a look by pulling off the inside window flange with all the screws and looking at the wood sill. Just have a helper on the outside holding it in case the window wants to start falling out with flange off. Most times it is stuck to the wall. You can then put the flange back on when your done looking.

Here is a pic with the inside flange off. You can see the wood and the opening in the camper. In this case you can also see they did not center the window in the opening very well. This means the sealing tape is not even all the way around. The thin area has less sealing tape to create a better seal. Look at the bottom gap and the top gap are very different.




If the wood is only rotted right by the window metal frame, then yes, that can be changed out without removing the siding and most times not even the inside wall board. You just extract the bad wood frame at the window opening edge and replace.

If the rot goes many feet away from the window and includes many wall studs, then this is more involved. First we would need a pic of the entire front wall inside to see what cabinets and bed setup are located to help which way to pick to do the repair. The issue is, what method will give the best long term repair and look the best inside and out when you are done.

If the wall board is in good shape and not totally gone, and there are a lot of cabinets the wall board goes over, then in this case, taking the siding off can give you the ability to do a nice clean repair from the outside, replace all bad wood, fasten the wall board to the new wood and then put the siding back on.

If the wall board is badly rotted and almost gone, then it may have to come out as it is gone. In this case you have to take the wall down inside. And you may need to still take the siding off as the siding is stapled to the studs and the cabinets are screwed through the wall board from the outside in. This is the more worst case repair but you do not know this until yet can sort out how far the water damage has gone. The moisture meter can help tell you this.

Taking the siding off and putting it back on, is not that bad. And it can be done without damage to it. Plus you get to reseal the corners which helps the camper last longer if you are talking about a roof redo.

Now to problem. The front window has been known to leak 2 ways. Water comes in the frame seal to the camper sides. Or water leaks in the corners of the glass to the inside of the metal frame. Do you know which you had or both?

If the prior owner only stopped the leak on a frame to siding seal leak by putting a small bead of caulking on the outside edge of the window frame to the camper siding, odds exits when the caulk cracks the leak will come back again in the near future. It will work, but it is not long term.

For the front window which takes a beating when towing in the rain driving water hard into the window frame seal, it really needs the window pulled out and resealed with butyl tape and then caulked. The caulk alone can hold water out, but it is thin for a primary seal. It is great for a secondary seal in addition to good sound butyl sealing tape under the flange.

Hope this helps.

John
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