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Old 05-04-2017, 07:08 PM   #1
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Water in Front Left Basement

Hi everybody,

I just bought a 2007 Que 5.4 SE. It looked to be in pretty good shape. I didn't see any water damage when viewing it. However, it has now been sitting in heavy rain for a week and today I found some water coming into the left front basement:

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]


It's hard to see in the picture but when I pull up the vinyl a bit there is definitely water and the floor is spongy. Fortunately, the vinyl does not appear to show any water damage so I think this is relatively new. Also, I can not find any other places in the trailer where this is happening, just the left front basement. Here is the outside of the problem area:

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

Also, I should mention that where it looks like water is running down the basement door that is actually just a discoloration that looks like water in the picture. It may be from water, however when I took this picture a few hours ago the discoloration was dry and the floor was wet (and it was two days of straight rain and counting).

I'm looking for some suggestions to fix this before it spreads. Is it as simple as sealant?

Thanks

ps: I did see the posts from other people about the stapled on wheel well. I will definitely seal those up before taking it on the road. Fortunately, no water damage in those areas.
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:33 PM   #2
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Hi iambucket,

Welcome to the club!!! Glad to have you with us. And congrats on your new Que.

I'm not a Que expert but I know water leaks.... This might help.

A question is, is the water coming in the cargo door area or other area?

Can you post some pics of the side of the camper showing the roof down to the cargo door? And the way the front corner joint is made on the Que. This is the front cap to the side walls joint.

What I'm looking for is, does roof water from the gutter beat down on the cargo door or is there a corner joint from the front to the side walls. Is the gutter blowing water out into that corner joint? Water flying out of the gutter rails is an issue if it is beating on a seam that is starting to be compromised.


Cargo door: Look at the seal around the cargo hole door frame. This is the frame to the side of the camper. Look real close of cracks in the sealant. And lock the cargo hole door with the key and the thumb knob. Then try and pull on the door by the knob. Does the door wiggle a lot? If so the latches may be a little bent and not compressing the door gasket to keep the water out. Or the gasket is shot in places.

A way to find leaks in cargo doors at the door seal to the frame, put inside a bright light. Then at night when it is dark out, pull on the door and look for light to shine through.

Once we find where the leak is coming from, then it helps on how to fix it. If the cargo door frame is leaking to the siding as the intrusion, then the door frame can be removed and the seal redone. This is better then just caulking the outside. But again, need to know where the leak is first.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 05-05-2017, 11:31 AM   #3
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Hi Iambucket,

Welcome to the club!!! Glad to have you with us. And congrats on your new Que.

Thank you John, I'm glad to find you!

I'm not a Que expert but I know water leaks.... This might help.

A question is, is the water coming in the cargo door area or other area?

Can you post some pics of the side of the camper showing the roof down to the cargo door? And the way the front corner joint is made on the Que. This is the front cap to the side walls joint.

I hope you can see in these pictures. It's still raining so the light is not very good. On the plus-side, it reveals the water paths. Here is the entire shot of roof to cargo door as well as some closeups:










Front corner joint:


Here is the same joint from under facing front:




What I'm looking for is, does roof water from the gutter beat down on the cargo door or is there a corner joint from the front to the side walls. Is the gutter blowing water out into that corner joint? Water flying out of the gutter rails is an issue if it is beating on a seam that is starting to be compromised.

Here is a picture of the gutter rail. The right side gutter rail looks identical though I noticed in the runoff rain is much heavier on the left. Also, it looks like the seal has broken off from the rib in front of the gutter:




Cargo door: Look at the seal around the cargo hole door frame. This is the frame to the side of the camper. Look real close of cracks in the sealant. And lock the cargo hole door with the key and the thumb knob. Then try and pull on the door by the knob. Does the door wiggle a lot? If so the latches may be a little bent and not compressing the door gasket to keep the water out. Or the gasket is shot in places.

The door did wiggle some, though not as much as the right side which was perfectly dry inside. I did notice that the seal is torn off in some places and that the frame is bent in others. I tried some gentle adjustment with a hammer to make it as flush as I could but it's still warped. Here are pictures of the seal from the outside:




And inside:



This particular spot of the cargo door seal seamed loose and wet:





A way to find leaks in cargo doors at the door seal to the frame, put inside a bright light. Then at night when it is dark out, pull on the door and look for light to shine through.

Ok, I will try that tonight.

Once we find where the leak is coming from, then it helps on how to fix it. If the cargo door frame is leaking to the siding as the intrusion, then the door frame can be removed and the seal redone. This is better then just caulking the outside. But again, need to know where the leak is first.

Do you think it would do any good to remove the frame and flatten it with a hammer on a table? Would I need to buy a new seal or just caulk over the old one from the inside?

Hope this helps

I appreciate your response. Please let me know if you need any more pictures. Also, I noticed the foam around the hose leading to the water heater that comes through the floor is degrading and I can see the ground through it. No problems yet, but how would I fill this up with the hoses in the middle of it?




John
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Old 05-05-2017, 04:10 PM   #4
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It appears the water leak might be more extensive. I originally thought it was only in the front left basement because that's where I saw water. However, I just pulled back the vinyl and saw it's on the right side too:



And here is the left-side with the vinyl pulled back:



Realizing I might need to pull up quite a lot before finding the border I got my Uncle's Moisture Meter (wish I knew those existed when I bought this thing last week!)

It is at 22%+ through the entire slide out lounge section as well as an equally wide section at the front in the picture below. It's also by the right wheel-well under the sink, but surprisingly not the left wheel-well bathroom:



At this point, am I still looking for a leak? Or many many leaks? I have to get back to WA in this thing for full time living in a week. Fortunately it's the dry season but once it gets wet again come fall, I'm not sure how serious this is. My plan is to live in it full time and I'm installing an extensive solar system next week. Is this salvageable?
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Old 05-05-2017, 08:10 PM   #5
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Hi,

You get an A+ for the pics and the investigation! This really helps. I see some things not right, some that can be an issue and some we need more info/pics. I will point them out below.

Here is something I see that I will call "Not right". At this point, I do not know if yours fell off, was taken off or was never put on at the factory.

See this pic. The area at the end of the gutter rail I have a red circle on.


Normally, there is a plastic gutter spout that goes behind the gutter rail and directs the water out away from the camper. They look like this. Scroll down to the part number Gutter Spout 389PW-A - Polar White



Look at the other 3 corners of the camper at the end of the roof gutter if there are any. The issue I'm seeing is, without that gutter spout, all the gutter water is beating into the seal between the front cap and the side of the camper. If the caulking and the sealing tape under it on that joint has any level of being comprised, water can get into the camper. You are going to have to go up and look close at that joint from the front top of the cap to the side along the entire wall to the bottom.

And this is not good. This sealant shows signs of a potential issue leaking area if that hole is very deep.


And... if the window flange seal has any issues with all that water running down the wall due to no gutter spout, it too is a problem. It looks like there is a level of cracking sealing tape in the corner, but is the cracking into behind the window flange along the top? Take a look. The water may be coming in the widow frame and then running down inside the wall.


This pic shows the same issue. The rain water is concentrated on the top of the cargo hole flange seal. If that seal is compromised water can get in


This is also something to look into more. There is a "lot" of space between the edge of the cargo hole frame and the hole in the camper. Look at the top, the other side and the bottom and see of the cargo hole door frame is in the center of the hole in the camper. This is a really good pic.


My concern about that large gap is, on the cargo hole door units, the flange that creates the seal to the side of the camper is only so wide. About 3/4" maybe 1" wide flange. In the corners, since the radius of the door frame is smaller then the hole in the camper wall, there may only be 1/4 to 1/8" of cargo door flange to seal against the camper. If that putty tape is compromised with all that water beating down on it, it can leak. That gray ridged stuff you see in the pic deep in the wall, is putty tape. That sealing tape creates the seal to the side of the camper. Normally you never see a gap that big.

Since you now found you have wet across a good part of the front floor of the camper, this points to you need to do a full sealant caulking/sealant check on the roof. Especially the front seam and rear seam. You need to get on a step ladder and look at the joint between the roof and the front cap. That entire width of the camper need to be inspected. Take pics.

There is also caulking all around the sides of the roof to the sides of the camper at the gutter rail. Look at that caulking too.

Basically you need to look all caulking on the roof and then report back. Your camper is old enough that if the prior owners never did any, or very little, yearly maintenance of checking the caulking and fixing any cracks when they start, you may have a caulking breach letting water into the camper. This thread may help. This is on the standard Sunline rubber roof on what to look for. Rubber Roof Caulk - Inspect and repair 101

Also a heads up, I do not know how the Que roof is built. If it is like the normal travel trailers you cannot walk directly on the roof without using a tarp or something to protect the rubber and then small sheets of plywood to span the rafters to spread your weight out. If not, then you can go right through the roof between the rafters. See the link above on how I get on the roof with the green tarp and the plywood sheets

I am going to make an assumption that the Que roof is built like all the other Sunline roofs. If a Que owner or someone knows different, please chime in here.

While you are looking from the side on the ladder, feel the roof structure. Especially up front between the front cap and a few feet behind on the roof. The rubber roof if it has bud board (a 3/32" thick dense corrugate sheet) glued to the rubber then draped over the rafters is flexible but it does have structure to it. It can sag a little between the rafters but again is dense.

Feel around, it will push slightly down but feel dense/stiff and come back up. If you feel an area that feels like a rubber tire tube and very bouncy/spongy like an inner tube, that is where a leak has wicked in and deteriorated the bud board and separated it from the bud board. Literally only leaving a piece of 1/16" rubber that feels like a rubber tire tube. That feeling will change once the wet area gets back to sound bud board.

At this point we or you, do not know yet where the leak or leaks are coming from. A roof leak will let gravity take that water where ever it can flow "down" inside the wall cavity. Once it gets to the floor area, it can wick in almost any direction under the tile floor and or down under the floor and stop in the black waterproof membrane and stay trapped there.

I do not want to sound like all gloom and doom, just trying to help you rule in or out issues. If the roof check comes up good, great! Then you may only have a window or cargo hole seal leak.

If this is too overpowering for you to do, or you want a positive way to do leak checking everywhere, look in your area for a RV dealership or RV service center that has a SealTech leak testing machine. They pressurize the inside of the camper slightly and then using soapy water solution spraying the camper all over every joint and you can find the openings to the outside. Pending where that is, water can get in. This is the company who makes the testing machine. SealTech Manufacturing USA | Industry Standard for RV Leak Detection Searh for SealTech RV leak testing in your area.

Quote:
At this point, am I still looking for a leak? Or many many leaks? I have to get back to WA in this thing for full time living in a week. Fortunately it's the dry season but once it gets wet again come fall, I'm not sure how serious this is. My plan is to live in it full time and I'm installing an extensive solar system next week. Is this salvageable?
You or we do not know yet how many leak entry points you have. More investigation is needed to try and figure out how good or bad this is. This will then help sort out what to do next.

This is fixable, the question will come down to who does the work as it relates to the cost factor of it. If you do the work, and have the tools and place to do it, then the cost is lower, but the time to do it can be larger. Hiring it out can be costly depending on the extent of the damage. This can be a labor intense project. Some dealers have $100 to $120/hr rates. The smaller independent guys can be less if you have any in your area.

The Que is built different then the standard Sunline made with all wood studding but the Que is fixable, it just needs different methods on the repair. It does appear you are in a moving situation which makes a repair right now a problem. If you can at least find all the leaks and stop the leak, then the damage growing larger slows down greatly. Even if a temporary patch can be made, that buys you time until the camper can be worked on to do the permanent fix. Again, need to know how good or bad the problem is first.

Do you have a pin or pinless moisture meter? You may be able to check other parts of the camper from the inside. I know with my pinless meter I can see through the walls from the inside to find how far water damage goes. I can see through the walls, ceiling, and some floors. I can see up from the bottom black Darco waterproof membrane to see water under the camper. It would need to be tested on your aluminum wall studding if it would work. You may be able to see between the studs OK just not at the studs which still helps greatly.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 05-06-2017, 12:16 PM   #6
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John, I'm impressed not only with your detailed answers but seeing that I'm only one of many people who's RV issues you are currently giving thought and time. Thank you for your help!

I have copied and pasted bits from your last reply into my reply for context. Some of the quotes I truncated for the sake of making the post shorter so please correct me if I took out anything that changes the effect of your words.


"Normally, there is a plastic gutter spout that goes behind the gutter rail and directs the water out away from the camper. Look at the other 3 corners of the camper at the end of the roof gutter if there are any."

There are no gutter spouts in any of the four corners.

"The issue I'm seeing is, without that gutter spout, all the gutter water is beating into the seal between the front cap and the side of the camper...You are going to have to go up and look close at that joint from the front top of the cap to the side along the entire wall to the bottom."

There was some degradation in the seals between the walls and both the front and back cap:

Front right



The back seals looked dried out but it is not showing up in the pictures I took so I didn't include them.

The back corners looked good. The front corners not so good but I already put tape over them last night in case any more rain comes.


"And... if the window flange seal has any issues...It looks like there is a level of cracking sealing tape in the corner, but is the cracking into behind the window flange along the top? Take a look. The water may be coming in the widow frame and then running down inside the wall."

All of the 6 windows have cracked seals in some spots. I'll post the front right window as an example:




I didn't find anything from the inside but since the flange sits up right next to the wall without any seal I'm not sure what I was looking for. The moisture meter was high above this window:




"This is also something to look into more. There is a "lot" of space between the edge of the cargo hole frame and the hole in the camper. Look at the top, the other side and the bottom and see of the cargo hole door frame is in the center of the hole in the camper...My concern about that large gap is, on the cargo hole door units, the flange that creates the seal to the side of the camper is only so wide...If that putty tape is compromised with all that water beating down on it, it can leak. That gray ridged stuff you see in the pic deep in the wall, is putty tape. That sealing tape creates the seal to the side of the camper. Normally you never see a gap that big."

On the left cargo door there is more space on the side facing front:



There is not as much space on the front end of the right cargo door though still some. And a gap at the top. And a very thin wall at the bottom. I couldn't get a full shot due to a cabinet blocking the rear facing side:



What do you think about putting one of those cargo door gutters above these doors?


"Since you now found you have wet across a good part of the front floor of the camper, this points to you need to do a full sealant caulking/sealant check on the roof. Especially the front seam and rear seam."

The front seam across had cracks and gaps:



The rear is good.


"There is also caulking all around the sides of the roof to the sides of the camper at the gutter rail. Look at that caulking too. "

Neither side has caulk over the roof/side seam. The right side has a long dried out section:


The left side was better but had a tiny spot that might be letting water in:


So should I put sealant across the side/roof seals or is there a reason they do not have any?



Feel the roof structure. Especially up front between the front cap and a few feet behind on the roof. The rubber roof if it has bud board (a 3/32" thick dense corrugate sheet) glued to the rubber then draped over the rafters...feel around, it will push slightly down but feel dense/stiff and come back up. If you feel an area that feels like a rubber tire tube and very bouncy/spongy like an inner tube, that is where a leak has wicked in and deteriorated the bud board and separated it from the bud board."

I did find some areas that fit the rubber tire bouncy description. In addition, I could push in both the right and left front corners without hitting any bud board:

Right:


Left:



Finally, I didn't take a picture of every place where a seal existed on the trailer but here is the out for the hot water:


There are many little things like that on the left side that have a dried out seal. So they could be all adding up to let in a lot of water. It's a ten year old trailer and the seals more or less all look like that. Ironic that it lets in water as a result of being dried up.

Wow, I had no idea about all this stuff when I was buying my first trailer two weeks ago. I checked all the floors and saw no water marks (at least on the vinyl, I didn't know about peeling it back to look at the plywood) so I thought it was good. It also was very clean so I thought it was well cared for (a rookie move I'm sure but a good lesson.)

Thanks again for all your help. I feel like I'm a lot more informed about trailer diagnosing as a result.

By the way, I noticed you used Dicor in the link you attached about resealing your roof. I'm finding in the sealing world a lot of people say don't use silicone. I'm not sure why just that people say not to use it. Some people enthusiastically recommend Sikaflex as an alternative. Other Geocel with just as much passion. And now you with Dicor I'm sure each has pros and cons and there is no "best" but I'm just curious why Dicor for you?
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:12 PM   #7
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Welcome iambucket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iambucket View Post
Wow, I had no idea about all this stuff when I was buying my first trailer two weeks ago. I checked all the floors and saw no water marks (at least on the vinyl, I didn't know about peeling it back to look at the plywood) so I thought it was good. It also was very clean so I thought it was well cared for (a rookie move I'm sure but a good lesson.)
Trust me, you are not alone as you will find as you read through a lot of the posts on this site. But you have come to the right place. Good luck with your project and I look forward to seeing what you come up with. I am a newbie as well but am learning a lot on this forum. You will too.

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Old 05-07-2017, 11:54 PM   #8
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Hi iambucket,

Your hunt has been productive. This confirms several things and there is still much not yet known. I’ll comment on them below. Sorry this is long, but you can follow it, and it's almost all "in there"... Ask away on any questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iambucket View Post
John, I'm impressed not only with your detailed answers but seeing that I'm only one of many people who's RV issues you are currently giving thought and time. Thank you for your help!
Thank you, you are very welcome. I enjoy doing these kind of technical things both on my campers and helping others as well. There is enjoyment in this for me and we all learn in the process. We are a little handicapped on your Que with the intimate details of exactly how they were built in every fashion. The other Sunline campers we have a very large knowledge base here on the forum. While we do have some folks with Que campers or active members who had them, however yours is the first to have the details you are providing.

Your camper was made as a new style of camper targeted to help Sunline grow with a new approach. You have a solid molded front cap, I believe aluminum wall studs/wall frame, foam board insulation. From your pics, the windows and cargo hole doors units match the type the other campers use. The roof structure, so far is exhibiting the same characteristics as the standard Sunline rubber roof structure that we have many campers experience with and repairs to them. At this point, we do not know if your roof has the wooden truss rafters or an aluminum truss of some type. Across the RV industry, aluminum wall studs do not always have aluminum truss roofs systems, some have wooden roof systems.

We do not know yet what your thoughts are as far as the repair of the camper. This is unique and specific to the individual. Some folks have wood working tools and skills and take on an entire camper rebuild. Others do not have this ability and sometimes hire it out or trade the camper in. If you are wanting to do some of this repair yourself, we can assist with knowledge just we may need more pics etc from you to help understand how your camper is exactly built. A lot of the wood/tin/fiberglass campers repair methods can apply in your case, but there are some Que unique things yet to be learned along the way.

With that said, now to commenting to your latest information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
Normally, there is a plastic gutter spout that goes behind the gutter rail and directs the water out away from the camper. Look at the other 3 corners of the camper at the end of the roof gutter if there are any.
Quote:
Originally Posted by iambucket View Post
There are no gutter spouts in any of the four corners.
That is unfortunate. Odds now exists Sunline did not put any on, your at least. We can see if other Que owners ever had them to know if they were missed, or the Que design never had them. From a water intrusion standpoint, not having them increases the odds of water entry when compromised seals exist from all I have learned on this. There are times when a hole in the sealant can be tolerated as long as water is not presented to that area. However in the case of the gutter rails, they are filled with water and the ends discharge all that water directly towards a siding seal. Not good. If you ever repair this area, suggest adding them along with gutter extensions sold on as aftermarket kits to deflect the water away from the side of the camper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
The issue I'm seeing is, without that gutter spout, all the gutter water is beating into the seal between the front cap and the side of the camper...You are going to have to go up and look close at that joint from the front top of the cap to the side along the entire wall to the bottom
Quote:
Originally Posted by iambucket View Post
There was some degradation in the seals between the walls and both the front and back cap:

Front right

The back seals looked dried out but it is not showing up in the pictures I took so I didn't include them.

The back corners looked good. The front corners not so good but I already put tape over them last night in case any more rain comes.
From the degradation you are showing, that seal is for sure questionable. It is hard to tell from the close up where that is on the camper. A vertical seal or a horizontal seal. While that molding has lifted, it may or may not be a water entry location just yet but may in time.

You said the front corners not so good. Is that area near one of the rubber tire tube feeling roof spots is at?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
And... if the window flange seal has any issues...It looks like there is a level of cracking sealing tape in the corner, but is the cracking into behind the window flange along the top? Take a look. The water may be coming in the widow frame and then running down inside the wall.
Quote:
Originally Posted by iambucket View Post
All of the 6 windows have cracked seals in some spots. I'll post the front right window as an example:

The windows are not that hard to remove and reseal if it comes to this. The one pic on the inside of the window shows the retaining screws like the rest of the campers. Those screws are removed and the window will come out from the outside wall once the sealing tape releases. I can type more on this, if you want to attempt that.

That said, if the caulking that has cracks in it is on the top of the windows or on the sides of the windows, odds are higher a leak may be possible. Cracks on the bottom of the window are not great, but some do not leak just yet as it is harder for water to wick up hill. Not impossible, but harder. The window under the gutter rail spout, that window since it is subjected to a large quantity of water running down the outside wall out of the gutter, if there are top cracks in that sealant, odds are favorable that may be a water entry point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iambucket View Post
I didn't find anything from the inside but since the flange sits up right next to the wall without any seal I'm not sure what I was looking for. The moisture meter was high above this window:

Your moisture meter, is this a pinless type or does it have pins? I have both but I find I can use the pinless one on the inside walls to see into the wall for moisture without leaving prick marks from the probe. I can scan an area and see where moisture is higher and then tapers out to 0%. See here in a shower stall. It can see through the plastic shower wall ok.

The stall itself


Now a scan starting at the top. I know this rear wall has a water infection and now I can see how far it has spread. There is 60% at the top by the ceiling. On this meter that is not 60% moisture but of % of scale. 100% is very wet, 0% is dry and it scales everything in-between. A 60% wet is for sure wet.


Then moving down approx. 12 inches It lessens to 19%


And down at 24” from the top is goes to 0%


Can you scan the walls or ceiling to see how large an area shows wet? If you are seeing water above the window, go up to the ceiling and see it is starts up at the ceiling line and also scan the ceiling. The goal is to find out how big a problem this is. Is it coming down from the roof or from the top of the window?

To the topic of not seeing water on the inside of the camper, this is a common attribute of very slow leaks. A slow leak may take a very long time to show up inside the camper. It is common that sometimes it takes over a year or more for a water infection buried in a wall cavity, the ceiling or the floor before it is noticed inside the camper. A large leak, may appear in the camper sooner as the quantity of water is more. The problem with the a slow roof or window frame leak (a leak from above) is, every rain storm water slowly weeps in. Maybe only 1 quart at a time. The water then then follows gravity down as far as it can go. Sometimes the quantity is small enough it stops. Other times, the quantity is enough that the water will go as far as it can go down until it cannot get out. Now maybe 1 gallon or 5 gallons. This sometimes is under the floor and it is trapped by the black waterproof membrane on the bottom of the camper. Your one pic of the front bottom of the front dome showed the same black plastic membrane as used on a lot of the Sunlines and many other brands. If the entire bottom of your camper has that black membrane, my pinless meter can see through it and show how wide spread the water is. A pin meter can too. It is also to be understood, the pinless meters also pick metal in the wall and send a false high reading. However understanding the technology we know wall studs can do this, but between the wall studs the readings can be very much representative. Point: The water meters are a good tool, but not always an absolute. When you find a good qty of info, from multiple areas, then you have good data to help show how good or bad the problem is.

A fellow forum member Jim44646, turned me onto these moisture meters. I never knew about them either. At that time is was the pin type. I sort of took his methods to the next level with the pinless type.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
This is also something to look into more. There is a "lot" of space between the edge of the cargo hole frame and the hole in the camper.
Snip: That sealing tape creates the seal to the side of the camper. Normally you never see a gap that big.
Quote:
Originally Posted by iambucket View Post
On the left cargo door there is more space on the side facing front:


There is not as much space on the front end of the right cargo door though still some. And a gap at the top. And a very thin wall at the bottom. I couldn't get a full shot due to a cabinet blocking the rear facing side:


What do you think about putting one of those cargo door gutters above these doors?
Good report. What it looks like is they set the cargo door off center during the install. This is easy to do by accident. The side that has the large inside gap has less sealant to bond the door flange to the camper. That side could be a leak path. This can be corrected by pulling the door unit, applying new butyl sealing tape and reinstalling.

I have no objections to a stick on gutter above the door to divert water away, however fixing the original problem by changing the door flange sealant and centering of the door would be my first correction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
Since you now found you have wet across a good part of the front floor of the camper, this points to you need to do a full sealant caulking/sealant check on the roof. Especially the front seam and rear seam.
Quote:
Originally Posted by iambucket View Post
The front seam across had cracks and gaps:


The rear is good.
I cannot tell from this pic what you are seeing in cracks and gaps. However if you see them, not shown in the pic, then this area is a high potential for a water infection. More on this below in the rubber test.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
There is also caulking all around the sides of the roof to the sides of the camper at the gutter rail. Look at that caulking too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by iambucket View Post
Neither side has caulk over the roof/side seam. The right side has a long dried out section:

The left side was better but had a tiny spot that might be letting water in:


So should I put sealant across the side/roof seals or is there a reason they do not have any?
You mentioned, “Neither side has caulk over the roof/side seam” What I am seeing in your pics is sealant which touches the rubber roof to the top of the aluminum gutter rail. That is the caulk I was looking for. Unfortunately what we are seeing is not good. The caulk is dried out, very long splits, odds are high that area is a water infection area. What happens is this. There is a vinyl plastic strip on the top part of the gutter rail. It will pull off if you pick at it. That vinyl strip covers over screws which holds the gutter rail to the camper and sandwiches the rubber roof to the siding of the camper. There is butyl sealing tape behind the gutter rails to help seal the screws and the water leaking down from the top of the roof. When the caulking on the roof top is compromised, water will leak down to the screws over time. The screws rust and then the water starts wicking through the rusted screw into the roof structure. It is very important that top roof caulk from the rubber to the gutter is 100% intact with no cracks, skips or is brittle like your pics show it is. More on this below in the rubber feel test.

To fix that leak, all that bad caulk should be scraped out as much as possible, the area cleaned and new fresh caulk applied. Dicor self leveling sealant is what is used here. If you are going to do this, let us know we will go into more detail on how take off the old caulk and apply new. While this will stop the leak from the top, if the screws are rusted badly, that is still another leak this top caulk will not fix as the rusted screw is a hole into the inside of the roof above the ceiling from when water is in the gutter is flowing. More on this below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
Feel the roof structure. Especially up front between the front cap and a few feet behind on the roof. The rubber roof if it has bud board (a 3/32" thick dense corrugate sheet) glued to the rubber then draped over the rafters...feel around, it will push slightly down but feel dense/stiff and come back up. If you feel an area that feels like a rubber tire tube and very bouncy/spongy like an inner tube, that is where a leak has wicked in and deteriorated the bud board and separated it from the bud board.
Quote:
Originally Posted by iambucket View Post
I did find some areas that fit the rubber tire bouncy description. In addition, I could push in both the right and left front corners without hitting any bud board:

Right:


Left:


Finally, I didn't take a picture of every place where a seal existed on the trailer but here is the out for the hot water:


There are many little things like that on the left side that have a dried out seal. So they could be all adding up to let in a lot of water. It's a ten year old trailer and the seals more or less all look like that. Ironic that it lets in water as a result of being dried up.
The roof pics with the tire tube bouncy feeling is a tell tail. You have areas of an infected roof by water. The pinless meter “might or might not” help here. On roofs that are not cleaned often, there is a slime that builds up on the rubber. It is a fungus/algae type on the roof. If you wet the roof and rub, the slime starts to spread around. A roof that has this slime been shown to trick the moisture meter to read close to 100% all over. On a roof that has been cleaned a few times at least and no algae build up, the pinless meter can show an area of infection and how big it is as it will go to zero on a good area. The rubber tire tube test means the water in that area has totally separated the bud board from the rubber. There may be some areas of the bud board that is still wet, but it has not yet separated and creating the bouncy feeling. The bud board can also wick water a good distance. Many feet depending on how big the leak is..

Not to scare you, but to show you, see this link. A Winter Project - Roof Repair (Picture heavy)

This camper had no water indications inside yet , but it had an infected front and rear seam and some gutter screws too. The post also show the reconstruction process. You never really know how good or bad this is until you open up the camper. This camper had wood studding so we could make new wood parts and replace and treat sound wet wood with resins. In your case, if you have aluminum wall studs, this makes the repair different. While the wall studs of aluminum will not rot, mold can potentially grow in the wall between the outside wall and the insulation or in the inside wall and the insulation. And water behind the fiberglass can cause delamination if they bonded/glued the fiberglass to anything.

What I do not know, is how the Que wall is built. Did they bond the fiberglass to a luan wood sub straight and then glue it to the wall studs or is there a type of fastener in this? The same on the inside wall board to the studs,it is glued? Odds are high yes. The front of the camper and maybe the back I believe may be all one molded end cap. Take the end cap off and the wall is exposed. The sides is where the unsure parts come in. We would need more pics of the camper on how it is built to help back into this.

We can also ask on the forum if anyone has details on the Que wall and rafter structure. This would help.

The roof, appears to be screwed on like the standard camper. Behind that gutter rail vinyl strip is a series of screws about every 6 to 8”. The moldings on the ends of the roof come up and then the rubber roof comes off after all the roof penetrations are lifted. The link above shows gutter rail screws and the bud boards etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iambucket View Post
Wow, I had no idea about all this stuff when I was buying my first trailer two weeks ago. I checked all the floors and saw no water marks (at least on the vinyl, I didn't know about peeling it back to look at the plywood) so I thought it was good. It also was very clean so I thought it was well cared for (a rookie move I'm sure but a good lesson.)

Thanks again for all your help. I feel like I'm a lot more informed about trailer diagnosing as a result.

By the way, I noticed you used Dicor in the link you attached about resealing your roof. I'm finding in the sealing world a lot of people say don't use silicone. I'm not sure why just that people say not to use it. Some people enthusiastically recommend Sikaflex as an alternative. Other Geocel with just as much passion. And now you with Dicor I'm sure each has pros and cons and there is no "best" but I'm just curious why Dicor for you?
The prior owners may or may not of known there was an issue. If the inside is well cared for and even the outsides in appearance, it is also unfortunate that many camper folks do not know about the needed roof and sealant care that has to be done all the time. It is for sure an education process and someone has to explain it to them or at least tell them where to look for the information. That step is missed too often. Since one’s home roof does not need attention 4 times a year, it is thought a camper does not either which is not the case. Your pics show the roof may have never been checked and recaulked. If you see signs of somewhat newer caulk over the old, then someone may have done it a few times but not the 4 times a year to check and address an issue when they start and can be taken care of painlessly. Here in the camping forums we try and help show how to do this, but folks find us sometimes afterwards. And even when someone is a hawk on this, a leak may happen. But it is not as wide spread as what you have.

To using silicone on an RV rubber roof, silicone is a good product when used in the correct application. An RV rubber roof is not one of those applications. While on day 1, the silicone may stop a leak, after a few weeks or months the silicone will lift or split off and the leak come back. And since silicone is so slippery, the residue it leaves will not allow the right caulking to be used as there is not much that sticks to silicone. Bottom line, silicone is the wrong caulk for an RV roof.

A RV roof is not a simple task. It has to live below zero in the winter, be 115 or higher in the summer, bounce down the road, not wear out quickly and is supposed to be 100% water tight. That is hard to do. It is achievable, but the sealants used do not last forever and then there are times when human error in application occurs.

To the Geocel, https://www.geocelusa.com/product/ge...-roof-sealant/

Or the Silkaflex Roof Sealing | Sika Corporation U.S.

I know of both products, but I myself have not used them. The literature states it does what the Dicro does. The Silkflex however does state to not use over existing caulk in their product sheet so do not know how you touch up with that product.

I came to know the Dicro products as they are who made the rubber roofs we have on our Sunlines. https://dicorproducts.com/product-ca...roof-products/

Since they supplied the EPDM membranes, and that is what Sunline used, I have stayed with it. Dicor self-leveling roof sealant and their non leveling roof sealant is a good product in my opinion. It is made for the task we put it up to. I know how it works and I know where it’s weaknesses are. It does not last forever and there are products to help overcome the weakness such as applying Eternabond sealing tapes. But even the Eternbond needs some caulk help too. I myself have not done a side by side test between all 3 caulk products to understand which is better. They all are good products for an RV EPDM roof. However I have a thought they all have their limitations.

I am sure by now you are wondering, what do I do? That is a good question. The moisture meters can help give you a pretty good handle on how large a problem you have. How many walls, the ceiling, under the camper. This is the pinless one I have https://www.generaltools.com/digital...or-bar-graph-1

I also have a pin type, but I now use the pinless one more. Amazon has both and they are sold in other stores as well.

Ideally most all of your windows/doors may need a caulking/sealing tape reset. That is not that hard and can be done in separate times starting with the worst and then the least worst. They may not be all bad at once.

We can help on the what to do and how, however it comes back to is this something you have the time, tools and place to do the work? To repair the damage is not fast if you are doing it however the cost is more manageable as your labor is free. It may be able to be done in pieces once you know how much of the damage you have.

Hope all this helps

John
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:28 PM   #9
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I spent some time on the roof yesterday. First, I scrubbed it off with dawn and water. I think it's been awhile since it's last scrubbing (and road trip). The dealer told me it had been on the lot for a year but the title says they acquired it in 2011! I also put in a Maxxfan and cover, and picked up some gutter spouts.

That zoom-in pic of a seam was vertical, the front right.


I think the rubber tire tube area is near the front corners if what I'm thinking of as rubber tire tube is the same thing you're thinking when you describe it. Do you mean the sections where it feels like there's a pocket of air under it and it bounces up if you press down? The very corners feel like there is no OSB underneath and I can push it down like it's a stretch of chewing gum spread across. But right behind the left one it feel like there is an air pocket and the roof is harder and bouncy. Not sure if that is the same as your rubber tire tube.

Here is one of the rubber tire areas. There are some in the back too:



I think the topography looks more drastic than it appears in the picture.

I'm going to have to save the windows for when I get to Washington. The leaving date is coming up really fast and I still have lots of things do in addition to the trailer stuff. I'd like to at least get the big stuff on the roof before I leave.

I'm borrowing my uncle's Wagner moisture meter. It's pinless. It's not scaled like yours; the percents are percent moisture. It goes up to 22%. I did find some wall areas ABOVE the windows that max out the meter. I did not know it worked on the black membrane underneath. The Que has that across the entire bottom.

There are so many possible spots with those cargo doors: Offset to the rear and thus bigger gap in the front, rail is crooked, seal is degraded in places, gutter rails from roof dump it all on one spot. That is going to take some process of elimination to find the cause there.

Now for the roof to wall seals, which is very likely a part of the cause. In my pictures:





I had said neither side has caulk over the roof/side seam. You did see caulk. Are we referring to the black stuff between the white roof and aluminum gutter? I was thinking that was a seal because it has a totally straight line and I didn't think caulk could do that. Or is that the vinyl strip you talk about which covers the rail screws? And if so, where is the caulk?

I will check out the moisture meter on the roof tomorrow. Will the slime still be a factor if I gave it a good cleaning yesterday? It's clean now but I may have rubbed around a lot of micro-slime in the process.

I ordered some Eternabond tape and primer yesterday. My intention is to go around the entire roof/wall seams (another reason I cleaned it yesterday so it would be prepped). I was wondering about two things:

First, I think the dealer caulked over the rear cap seam right before I bought it:

It looks fresh. Do I scrape this off for the Eternabond? Or do I put on more OVER the Eternabond? Or both?

Second, if I zoom out from the corners:





I see that putting the Eternabond around the horizontal roof/wall seams will also cover over the moulding on the vertical seems running from the rooftop to underside corners. This means that if I ever need to take off the caps I'll have to destroy the Eternabond perimeter. I'd like to get on the tape soon because I think that will significantly block the water entering the trailer. But should I hold off in case I need to take off that moulding? On that link you shared about your son's T264. I know his was an extreme case but this part you wrote, "It was literally a rubbery feeling with no structure under it in the front right corner," is the same thing I have in both corners. When I push down it doesn't stop because I hit something. It stops because the rubber is stretched out to its maximum. So I'm wondering if the rooftop is. By the way, nice job on that! That was a serious project.

Once I get to Washington it will be the dry season so hopefully what's there can air out. However, I will be working full time through September (right when it gets wet again). So if I can patch what's there and it can dry out it should be fine. If it is a job like what your son's needed, I'll be hard pressed to get this done while working full time. Especially since I'll be living in it full time too and would be roofless for a big chunk of time.

So that's what I'm thinking about how I'd go forward with this. If it doesn't require a rubber-off board replacement roof job I could go ahead with the Eternabond now and then reseal windows and cargo doors in Washington.
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Old 05-09-2017, 10:45 AM   #10
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Hi iambucket,

I see you have some more good pics. See comments below

Quote:
Originally Posted by iambucket View Post

I think the rubber tire tube area is near the front corners if what I'm thinking of as rubber tire tube is the same thing you're thinking when you describe it. Do you mean the sections where it feels like there's a pocket of air under it and it bounces up if you press down? The very corners feel like there is no OSB underneath and I can push it down like it's a stretch of chewing gum spread across. But right behind the left one it feel like there is an air pocket and the roof is harder and bouncy. Not sure if that is the same as your rubber tire tube.

Here is one of the rubber tire areas. There are some in the back too:



I think the topography looks more drastic than it appears in the picture.
Quote:
Originally Posted by iambucket View Post
On that link you shared about your son's T264. I know his was an extreme case but this part you wrote, "It was literally a rubbery feeling with no structure under it in the front right corner," is the same thing I have in both corners. When I push down it doesn't stop because I hit something. It stops because the rubber is stretched out to its maximum. So I'm wondering if the rooftop is. By the way, nice job on that! That was a serious project.
Quote:
Originally Posted by iambucket View Post
Once I get to Washington it will be the dry season so hopefully what's there can air out. However, I will be working full time through September (right when it gets wet again). So if I can patch what's there and it can dry out it should be fine. If it is a job like what your son's needed, I'll be hard pressed to get this done while working full time. Especially since I'll be living in it full time too and would be roofless for a big chunk of time.

So that's what I'm thinking about how I'd go forward with this. If it doesn't require a rubber-off board replacement roof job I could go ahead with the Eternabond now and then reseal windows and cargo doors in Washington.
What you are describing is, water has gotten into the roof area. The bud board has become wet and separated from the rubber. The rubber is literally that now, a 1/16" thick rubber sheet acting like a rubber band and the only thing stopping it from you pressing is the elastic end of the rubber stretching.

That wavy pic above of the roof in the rubber band elastic area, Is the rubber band area approx a 2 foot or more radius of spongy?

What we found on my son's camper, at the dealer the rubber band effect was not there. After towing the camper home 500 miles, then son found the soft feeling on the front right corner when washing the roof and after I touched it, yup the bud board is gone. It seems the bouncing down the highway 500 miles let what little structure was left, let go.

Your pinless moisture meter may or may not work. Try it. If you find it starts at 22% and then slowly goes down to 0%, you at least found the approx edge of the end of the rubber band effect and the start of the wet bud board under it. If the entire roof is 22% even on non rubber band areas, the slime mess may be affecting meter.

This pic is not good. That front seam may be affected by that cracked caulking.


The back pic, If the dealer knew enough to caulk the bad seam, and he left all the others.... that back area may not be great either. Something told someone, hey this seam is bad, we better caulk over it. It might be a real bad seam under the caulk. Try your water meter inside on the ceiling and the rear wall area. Both up high and all the way to the floor.

And yes, use the pinless water meter to scan the black membrane under the camper. It should work good down there. Better check all areas you can touch. Water from above, end up down there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iambucket View Post
Now for the roof to wall seals, which is very likely a part of the cause. In my pictures:





I had said neither side has caulk over the roof/side seam. You did see caulk. Are we referring to the black stuff between the white roof and aluminum gutter? I was thinking that was a seal because it has a totally straight line and I didn't think caulk could do that. Or is that the vinyl strip you talk about which covers the rail screws? And if so, where is the caulk?
The black, dirty looking straight almost strip on the roof that is all brittle is the caulk I was referring to. The factory was really good about being able to put the caulk bead down nice and straight.

Since you are thinking about Eternabonding, you will need to deal with the gutter rail area. Odds exist there is gutter rail screw leaks and if you do not deal with them, you can still get water into the camper when it rains as the screw becomes a hole as it is rusted badly from the top caulking being gone and the rust that comes in the end of the screw.

Suggest this after you read the whole reply, pull the vinyl strip in the gutter off. It may be caulked in both ends, you may have to cut it. The strip will lift out of the channel.

These pics are from different campers but show the problem




These are mildly rusted screws


And then here on my sons roof, we are taking the gutter rail off.




Once we lifted up the rubber, the rubber separates from the bud board which is all wet.


This is what it looked like under it. The rear corner was gone due to water leaking in the rear wall seam at the corner. Some screw wicking was also going on but I think the rear corner seal was the main issue. Also you will notice there is no OSB board up there, just rafter and bat insulation. Yours may have foam board insulation which at least does not turn into a wet mop.


Here is the whole roof off rolled up.


The front corner in his had the rubber band effect. The back of the camper did not. The back did have a piece of 1/8" luan under it for added support and that may have helped the rubber band effect.

That roll shows the one end with no bud board left and just rubber. That is what creates the rubber band effect. The area where the bud board is still intact, feels very different and much stiffer.

Now to the Eternabond.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iambucket View Post
I ordered some Eternabond tape and primer yesterday. My intention is to go around the entire roof/wall seams (another reason I cleaned it yesterday so it would be prepped). I was wondering about two things:

snip... I see that putting the Eternabond around the horizontal roof/wall seams will also cover over the moulding on the vertical seems running from the rooftop to underside corners. This means that if I ever need to take off the caps I'll have to destroy the Eternabond perimeter. I'd like to get on the tape soon because I think that will significantly block the water entering the trailer. But should I hold off in case I need to take off that moulding?
When the time comes to do a repair on the roof, the front cap will more then likely need to come off the camper, The back of the roof most likely too. This back top corner piece. The end wall may be able to stay.


And the side gutter rails will need to come off too. When you then lift up the rubber and see how bad it is, you will need to make the call,

1. OK I can patch these 2 or 3 bad corners that have the rubber band effect. I can put 1/8" luan down over the rafters, fasten it to the rafters, clean off the rubber and bad bud board and glue the old rubber to the new luan. Blend it well to the old good bud board.

2. You make the judgement call, the roof is not in any good shape, but the rest of the camper is. If I fix this roof right and seal it back up soundly, this camper can last a real long time. In this case, the camper is so small, it is easier to remove the entire roof and put 1/8" luan down and glue new rubber on and reseal everything. Then once maintained, the camper can last a really long time.

What ever you do now, is a bridge until you can lift up the rubber and do option 1 or 2. There maybe an option 3 or 4, but you have to see how bad it is first.

If you are looking for a short term bridge to get you to when you can do the roof repair, the Eternabond is a possibility and if it is put down "right" will last the longest. Sealing both wall sides and the front and rear end cap will at least help stop water from getting in. It will not help drying anything out. This patch can last a length of time, how long will depend on the bond of the Eterna tape to the roof and the sides. The bad part is, when you do the repair, all that tape has to come off and be cleaned up. It is doable with a heat gun and scraper and then solvent cleaners to get it off the camper. But it is time consuming.

A short term patch is extra wide Gorilla tape. This patch once bonded and heat gun reinforced can possible last a few months. It is faster, cheaper, easier to get off just it does not last long. They make 3 and 4" wide tape. The heat gun lightly applied (move it quick) will soften the sealant and then stick better when you press it in.

It will be a problem using the E bond or Gorilla tape on the rubber band affected areas. There is not much strength to be able press hard on the tape to create a good seal.

Another short term is just using Dicor self leveling caulk. Scrape off any crumbles completely. This is about the easiest and can last an mount of time. A year or more until it may separates again due so something let go inside. It is just not as totally encompassing as the E bond.

Sticking to the rubber roof will be an issue in some places with either E bond Dicor or the Gorilla tape. Using acetone or other high flash cleaner is a must for E bond and will help the gorilla tape/Dicor. Even the Dicor will not stick to and kind of dirt/slime. So cleaning is a must regardless of which fix. Test it on the fiberglass so it does not affect it.

What ever you do now, will need to come off when the roof fix comes. You can go over the top of good sound caulking like the rear roof seam with E bond, Dicro Gorilla tape. Any caulking that is look and crumbles, get rid of the crumbles and clean it well before applying.

The gutter rail is an issue. If you have wicking screws, that is why your are checking and lifting the vinyl cover out, then you would need to get down in the gutter, clean it spotless, leave the cover off and E bond, Dicro with "non leveling" or gorilla tape to the bottom of the gutter to cover over the screws and seal that water path out. Come time for a roof fix, odds are high you will need to buy new gutter rail as getting E bond out and Dicor out of there is extremely time consuming. Gutter rail is not that expensive in the big picture of things

This post can help on E bonding. Eternabond Roof Seal Tape on a Sunline (Lots of pics)

And this one. This is my frame repair, but I Ebonded the slide roof A Winter Project - Slide Opening, Frame Repair (Picture heavy)

"Ideally" you have time to take the roof apart and do the proper repair. It sounds like this may not be the cause in your current situation. So you have to make choices on what the next options will be.

Hopefully I have given you some "patch" options until you can find the time deal with the underlying issues. Hope this helps.

John
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Old 05-09-2017, 10:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iambucket View Post
When I push down it doesn't stop because I hit something. It stops because the rubber is stretched out to its maximum. So I'm wondering if the rooftop is. By the way, nice job on that! That was a serious project.
Thanks for the good words. Very much appreciated. The end result came out very well. He just finished last week at the 1 year mark, Eternabonding every seam to make it last. That camper can last him as long as he wants it too now. And his walk on roof is really nice. I'm envious... as mine is not.

I have a project camper, A 2004 T1950 that is very wet right now.... A new project in the making. The inside is in great shape, the roof and inside the walls, they are a "project".

Thanks

John
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:21 PM   #12
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Hi John,

This is going to be a long post but I think we're getting somewhere with the diagnosis process. There's still a lot of work to do with the repair itself but I think we're wrapping it up in terms of deciding what action to take.

I went all over the trailer (roof and undercarriage included) with the moisture meter and also found all the rubber tire spots on the roof. That is going to be what the bulk of this post is about but I had one not directly related question:

Here is the MaxxFann I put in two days ago, my very first caulking ever:


I used Dicor non-leveling. It has bumpy air pockets, possibly from me working into the rubber and fan flange. I had an afterthought to line it with Eternabond and thought I'd have to remove it. I saw on the link you gave me to your Eternabond post that you removed the old caulk and then applied new (with a disclaimer it might be overkill). Since this caulk is only 2 days old does it still qualify as new? Or would I be better off to remove it and have a flatter surface for the Eternabond? BTW, thanks for sharing that idea of you used the wood piece to apply the tape.

Ok, now to rubber tire roof spots and moisture meters.

Here is my sketch (not to scale) of the roof. Might have to zoom in to see it due to the size limitations of pictures in posts:


The XXXXs are spots that are full-fledged rubber tire roof, literally no baseboard remaining underneath. There are two, a slightly wider one one the front left and a significantly longer one on the front right. There are three other spots where I drew parallel lines: left side middle, front middle, behind AC. Those are spots where there is still baseboard but a larger gap of air is between the rubber and the baseboard than on the other roof spots. They are spots to watch.

As for the moisture meter on the roof, it was almost all 22%+ with occasional 15% spots. It could be the spreading algae as you said.

As for moisture meters on other panels, I could not do the ceiling because it did not read through the carpet. I should mention at this point that my uncle's meter, Wagner L609, has printed on it that it's calibrated for Douglas Fir (no wonder it gave me wonky readings on the cedars!!! ) so I don't know if using it on the trailer is accurate.

I did not do a sketch for the front wall because there was so little of it. The top half is carpet. Interestingly the bottom half (which goes into the storage) is almost all not picked up by the meter (which goes as low as 3%) except a small 7% spot at the middle. It stays at <3% all the until the very bottom where it rapidly jumps at to 22%+ in less than 3 inches. It's not a gradual rise to maxing out the meter. It's almost all undetectable and then at the very very bottom it maxes out.

Left wall:


As you can see, the left wall also is maxed out right where it meets the basement. It has a more gradual rise to maxing out as it starts at 5% and is still at 5% under the window. Like the front though, it doesn't get bad until the bottom. There is that one spot to the rear of the window that maxes out but it's back to 5% once below the window line. Interestingly the bathroom wall was all at <3%, which I called 0% on my sketch but technically it could be anything under 3%. Except there is one tiny spot where it maxes out which I enclosed in an oval. The question mark on the lower half of the bathroom is an area I could not access and measure. The shower was all at <3%.

Right wall:


This one maxed out at a higher level than the left and front side. Remember this is the roof side with the longer rubber tire section. This one had a maxed out section above and below the window, though it was only 4% to the front and rear of the window, and the front section is also under that rubber tire section of the roof. The section to the front of the rear window maxes out and goes to <3% in the middle of the window to the back.

Back wall:
No sketch because the only wall part was a little strip under a window. <3%. I couldn't measure above the window or below the strip.

Floor:
This is inside the trailer looking down:


All the basement is maxed out. The it's at 7% in the living space and getting lower to 5% the farther back it goes, except the maxed out section by the right wheel well (I saw that other post about the Que having a stapled on wheel well and I need to seal those). I could not get to the section immediately by the left wheel well (I should have put a ? on my sketch) but the bathroom floor is 5%.

Undercarriage:
This one requires some flipping around in the head because it's from on the ground looking up so right and left get flipped:



So the right side is maxed out. The sections are not as congregated as the floor. 15% in between two 22%+ in the front. The inverse in the middle. And then going from 10% to 15% to 22% in the back. I forgot to draw it on my sketch what the very back was and now it's dark. I know the corners were both 22%+ but I forgot to do that section of the back behind the third tank.

I hope that reveals something. It's probably not the best meter to use for this job and who know if the roof reading was accurate. However, it does seem to line up problem areas on the walls and floor suggesting paths of water flow. it's interesting to me that the front wall did not indicate anything except right where it met the floor. There's not question that seam is not secure but the water must be following a path down the corners rather than straight down the wall.

Ok, so here's what I'm wondering now. There are confirmed roof spots with no baseboard that align with areas of higher moisture on the floor and walls (assuming the meter is accurate). The moisture is spread out a lot suggesting this is a big project. It's likely that the front and back caps will have to come off as well as the gutters and rooftop and sections of the baseboard. There also is some wet floor that is not in the very middle but all the front and all sides that I could access.

So that's the trailer's situation as is. Now I'd like to factor in my situation. I bought this trailer as a means of achieving the life I want to live. My end-goal is to find a sustainable living community and settle there. The trailer is not only a way to get around to different communities until I find my home, but it's also a place I can live in the community while building my dwelling. I will be building a cob house where ever I settle and this can take a year, so trailer living it is! I no longer have a lease and all of my possessions will be in my trailer (as soon as I leave my Aunt's at the end of this week and head back to WA). I'll be living in my trailer in a friend's yard (he has lots of acreage) working at a state park for the summer and then come fall will start looking for a community. I'm trying to not make this too long but my points are:

* living in it full time, sometimes in places that have little or no tools
* working full-time during the summer (dry season in WA)
* do not know where I'll be after that
* trailer is going to be in a climate that rains 8 months a year
* will have a grace period to dry out

I'm a wary to start a major project when I get to WA and will be working full time and not have much time or tools to work on trailer. Come fall I have to move somewhere (because I told by friend who's acreage I'm parking in that I'd be out by October) so the trailer has to be in one-piece and road ready at the end of my summer job.

Fall is when the rainy season will start so doing nothing over the summer is a set up for some major problems with my trailer which is also my place of residence and storage unit for everything I own. I would like to set it up to be as rain-resistant as possible given my time limits and nomadism.

I was hoping I could do a thorough removal of old caulk and application of Eternabond to prevent any new leakage. It sounds like you're saying though that eventually it's going to need some new luan on the roof and replace the likely rusted gutter rail screws. And this will necessitate the removal of the front and back caps and the rubber roof. So Eternabond will add a lot of time in its removal when the big project comes.

Also, I'm thinking it would be a problem to start this project during the raining season as I don't think I'll have an inside place for it.

So it seems the options are:
1) Do the big project over the summer. This would be ideal but a great challenge to finish by the time I have to move the trailer. You said your son just finished around the one year mark. This took a year for the two of you experts? Or was there a long break period?

2) Save it for the fall. I may have more time then but it will be raining 5-6 days a weeks.

3) Do a good Eternabond job and hope that by not letting in any more water the water already in will not rot out the wood faster than it takes me to find a home.

Of the three #3 seems the most, I don't want to say best, but realistic. Unless I'm greatly overestimating how much time it would take me to do #1. I'm not saying there's no chance I can do this because I don't even know how long it would take. I do know myself though, and I'm a person who takes lot of time to do things. I can do good work but I am not fast. Thorough, yes. Analytical, definitely. Hard-working for sure. Organized as all get-out! But not fast.

One final consideration. I was going to stop in MO on the way to WA because I know somebody who is going to help me install solar panels on...the roof. I will be living off the grid and while I don't use things that take up a ton of wattage like microwaves, TV, 250 W kitchen appliances, AC, etc, I do have two things that are essential and two things that I'd really like to have. The most important is the MaxxFan. It is only about a 3 amp draw but I absolutely need it because I will have two cats in the trailer with me and while WA summers are not as hot in the summer as say the midwest or east coast, they're still not something you'd leave cats in the trailer with. So I have to have that fan. I also think I need lights. As for would really like items I'd like to be able to charge my phone and laptop and if there's enough, power my fridge (another project is switching out the absorption fridge for a 12 V compressor which would be less power-draw). So I'm planning to install 400 W of power (4 100 W panels) on the roof in a week. It's probably overkill for my power needs but I was compensating for the cloudy 8 months we have after summer.

However, when I planned this out I was not thinking about that I'd need to take of the roof anytime soon. Not having the power is not an option because of the cats. I can't wait until I redo the roof for that. So I guess I have to install the panels and then take them off when I get to the roof. Maybe I could do less, 300 perhaps. 200 is pushing it if I want the fridge so I have to decide if the ridge is worth it to me.

Anyway, I don't want to paint this as saying all the options are bad or ask why did this happen to me. I chose to do this so I accept full responsibility for it. I just want to be realistic about by options and needs to be able to pick the best choice for me. I'm leaning toward #3 but am open to hearing alternatives. I don't like quick fixes and I know it'd be best for the trailer to fix it the right way. I know there's no substitute for doing things the right way the first time. I'm choosing #3 only due to the circumstances.

That was long indeed but I hope it's close to everything needed to decide which course of action to take.

Thank you for all your help,
Dan
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:24 PM   #13
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I need to make a correction to my left and right wall sketches. I went out today to measure the very back of the undercarriage (22%+ all the way through except very back left corner, 5%) and realized I did not measure the front top corners of the left and right wall front windows. This is significant because they are right under the rubber tire roof spots. I did over the middle of the window and just assumed it was uniform but that is not the case.

Left wall:



Right wall:


So in both cases it has maxed out in the very front corner of the left and right walls. This makes more sense with the rubber tire spots being right above them.
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:33 PM   #14
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Hi Dan,

Great detective work! Your moisture maps tell a good story. Some comments to hopefully help.

I will summarize this for you and even then this is a long note... Things that are this detail are hard to explain in a few words to a person new to all this. Just look at how much you have learned about campers in the last week.... I can go into more detail after and glad to, just ask but I wanted to get you this much as I knew every day now is lot for you in forward progress.

The rubber tire tube effects as shown on your roof, indicates you for sure have a large roof water infection. The rest of the camper also has water most likely a majority started at the roof and went down. Window frames, cargo holes and side seams may have aggravated the problem.

Here is a picture out of the 2002 Advancer series Sunline made at the time. This construction was the early runner of the Que where is used aluminum wall studs and in this case, also floor structure. The Que I "think" has the same setup for walls and floors.


The good news on this, the aluminum will not rot like the wood studs do. And the foam board insulation will not be a wet sponge like the batt type of the stick and tin campers. (Stick is wood studding and tin is the aluminum siding.)

Something we have not yet talked about, is delamination. This is the down side to fiberglass covered walls that are not one completely molded part like your front end cap. There is a form of substrate, may be laun plywood that the fiberglass sheets are bonded (glued) to the substrate. Then the whole panel is bonded to the aluminum framing. The inside wall is also bonded to the framing. I am not 100% sure of how Sunline did the bonding. It may be they just used an adhesive that can bond luan plywood direct to the aluminum wall frame. I "think" that is the case but again, I am not 100% sure. There are very few staples or fasteners in this method like the stick and tin campers.

If you look at the outside of the camper, I would say up at the roof line is a good place to start, and look for wrinkled or non perfect fiberglass. When the glue lets go, delamination starts. As time goes on and the area gets bigger, the problem gets bigger. We did not talk about this yet, something to check.

The front end caps of the camper I think are one big molded fiberglass part. as your one pics looked like. The front more so then the back, the back may be just like the walls or they made a rear wall cap too. Delamintion would not occur in the solid molded parts. They can just about live under water just about and not be very affected.

On stick and tin campers, water at the roof area finds the easiest path to the bottom. The rear wall roof line seam and the front wall roof line seam are 2 very large hot spots for water infection on the stick and tin. Once water gets in, it can work it's way down in the corners or in the middle of the front or side wall. The corners the way the walls are butted together have an air crack or space and water works it's way down. In the middle area, it it can wick or flow over batt type insulation and follow the siding that is not glued to the insulation.

On your Que left and right walls and maybe rear wall, the inside wall board and the outside fiberglass substrate are bonded to the aluminum studs. It creates a seal that is not as easy for the water to travel down until it delaminates the glue. The corners or the wall ends may be where there is an air space for water to be easier to get down. The front wall cap I do not think is bonded to the insulation so water may flow over the foam board insulation on the way down.

Your right side wall shows moisture in a lot of areas. This may be from above at the roof or windows frame seals are part of the problem.

The end results are, the bottom of the camper is where all the water stops. Your underbelly shows wet there, the bottom of the walls, (the end of the water flow). A look for delamination inside or outside may help show something.

Where do you go from here? I see you are looking for a way to try and do the best thing to get you the longest before you have the place and time to do this right.

The solar panels create another thing to keep in mind. Let's talk more later on how they mount, but for this reply, there are on the roof.

Given all the situations you need to work around, I would say the Eternabond will give you the longest water seal. This is your no. 3 option in your note. The rubber tire tube areas you are going to have to try and press the E bond on the best you can. Using their primer is a very good thing in this case it will help big time.

I would pull off the vinyl strip over the screws in the gutter and clean all the yuk out of there, and then start the E bond at the bottom of the gutter and fold it up over the screws and over onto the roof rubber. Get any crumbling old caulk out of the joint. If the old caulk it bonded solid, it can stay but this all must be totally cleaned. Use the Eternaclean cleaner, acetone or other approved Ebond cleaner. It has to be clean to have the E bond stick.

To your new max air, for future, use the self leveling caulk on horizontal surfaces. It will flow like magic and makes it look nicer and smoother. Using the non leveling, it just stays put. But it is still good caulk and will create a seal. Did you use any butyl sealing tape under the max air flange to the rubber? If so great as that is the primary seal. If you did not add that, then yes E bond over the top of the Dicro to seal between the roof and the fan housing. And you can Ebond it even if you used the butyl tape. Ebond will go over the top of sound well stuck Dicro of either variety. The E bond will look wrinkly, but it will still work. There are tricks on the Ebond on air bubbles and large wrinkles in Ebond of how to smooth them out. The instructions inside the roll talk to them. (cut an small area, squeeze out air, seal it down and Dicro the hole if wanted) I can explain later too if needed. And yes, use the primer over the "all" areas you put the E bond on.

When you are done E bonding, use lacquer thinner or maybe even Eternaclean to get any primer off the roof up to the edge of the E bond. That primer left on most likely will attract dirt and make a problem long term. It comes off pretty easy with a rag and wiping. Also you can smear a small amount of Dicor on the exposed outside edge of the E bond to stop dirt attracting to it.

Next topic, time for a total repair. It may have been misunderstood on the timing or my sons roof. His camper is in the 27 to 28 foot long, rear wall to the ball coupler. Point being, it is smaller then your Que.

In this thread I posted our estimate time. This link should take you to the page. A Winter Project - Roof Repair (Picture heavy)

Here is what the time was for the repair.
Quote:
This concludes our winter roof project. We started on 1-2-16 and finished 5-7-16. Between a lot of other things going on, we spent 22 days across this period doing this on weekends. We put in an average of 6 hrs a day. Some more, some less, didn't keep track of exact hours, but have picture dates for every work day. 22 x 6 x 2 men = 264 hrs. We are not the fastest on doing this project but again, it is a labor of love that's for sure. It's done right and no concerns of leaking now. This camper will last a good long time.
That 264 hours made the camper water tight like the day it left Sunline and then some and rebuilt all the rotted wood. However after doing a project like this and wanting to keep the camper, well forever if wanted, we did the next step beyond what Sunline would do.

I did say yesterday that after the 1 year mark he came back and did Ebond on all the roof seams and penetrations. The reason we waited 1 year is more for the siding and corner joints and just plain timing. On the siding, the butyl sealing tape ozz'es out some around windows and corners under the hot summer sun and screw compression of the flanges. After a year, we go back and trim off any ozz and then use Dicro non leveling around corner wall seams and any exposed buytl caulk as a longer term defense. Then we do the E bond on the roof too on every seam and penetration.

By going the E bond route, yes, all the time and funds of this patch will be lost come time to do the roof correctly. But it will give you the longest lasting patch as long as it will bond to the rubber stretchy areas. If after living in your Que, you find, I really like this camper and want to keep it a good long time even after I build my new home. If this is the case, odds are high it may be easier and better to do a total roof replace at one time. Trying to piece meal the roof, will be a hard thing with damage as large as yours.

You may even need to wait until you get your land to build your house. Once you open the roof, you will find a good deal of work beyond the roof. If the roof has wood rafters, and a wood frame that lays on top of the aluminum walls, you will have to deal with the rot in that wood. I suspect this is how Sunline did your roof, but I do not know that for sure. You may also need to do something with the walls. Point being, your patch now needs to last 1 to 2 years or more. The E bond will do that as long as the bond was right to the rubber.

While the E bond will stop new water coming in, there are still other issues of the water stuck in the camper. When you get to your campsite where you will be for a while and the dry seasons comes, it may have some merit to open up the black membrane on the bottom and let it dry out. If and when this happens, let's talk first before you open it so it can be closed back up easier.

The above should help you think through what you are going to do and alter it until you create your best for you plan.

For some more learning and will help for the future is how your roof is built and maybe there is a way to help dry some of it.

When you put your max air fan in and you had the vent in the ceiling apart, did you look into the roof cavity and what was there? Any pics? This can give some insight to how the roof was made. This post will show you what I mean. I can see the roof structure in the vent hole. If you have another vent you can look at one of them on the inside. Or a shower steam dome area.
Replacing Roof Vents 101 (with Pic's)

I will type more later on your moisture meter. I have some info that night help.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 05-12-2017, 11:12 AM   #15
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Just gave it an inspection in really good daylight. I do not see any delamination, roofline or otherwise

I had a question about the vinyl strips:



This picture of the back left corner shows how the strip tucks slightly into the moulding that goes around the rear cap. Will taking off this vinyl also necessitate removing that moulding or anything else? I'm just wondering because I don't want to start a project thinking it will take a day and discover there are so many other mini-projects within that project that it sets me back from leaving on Monday. I'm wondering if I should do the E-bond before I leave or just put on some temporary waterproof tape and do it when I get to WA. If it were just applying the E-bond I could go clean it off and do it right now but I'm not sure how much time to factor in for doing those vinyl strips to. And since you're saying that there are probably screws rusting out under the strip it seems that just taping over the vinyl as-is is not a wise action to take.

I think you're right about waiting until I get to the land to build my house. I think it's so likely that I will find other things that it would be a shame to go to the trouble of taking the roof off, find more areas that need work, and have to recover it for the sake of a time constraint knowing without addressing the further discovered issues.
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Old 05-12-2017, 01:50 PM   #16
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Hi Dan,

First off, GREAT on no delamination yet, this is a good thing

The vinyl strip is only tucked under the gutter rail about 1". They tuck it back there so it will not come out. "When" ever you take that strip off, you can just use a utility knife and cut it at the end of the gutter and leave the 1" strip in place until the day come to pull the gutter rail.

Time to Ebond the entire camper roof. If you have never worked with E bond before, there is a learning curve which uses time. And then there is the time to do it. I would estimate it would take me, approx 1.5 to 2, 8 hour days to clean, prime and E bond the whole camper on every roof penetration. I would add .75 to 1 more day for learning curve. This is a doable estimate. With luck (good that is) it may take .5 days less. With bad luck, it might take 0.5 to 1 day longer.

The cleaning and prep time, takes time. And if you mess up in the middle, (it happens) you have to heat gun scrape up the E bond, stripe it down and then start over in the buggered up spot on a real bad mess up. Little mess up's you can work around.

Suggest this or a combo there of. You pick what fits you the best and your time.

1. Do the front left to right roof seam with E bond first. That is a bad place for leaks. This could be the worst leak and it is out oin the open to be able to do the E bond work

2. After you dealt with the front seam, you know how long it took you and has part of the learning curve. You can now judge what to tackle next.

3. The gutter rail E bonding will take more time then the front seam. There is a lot of cleanup that is tedious and the applying process of the E bond takes longer. Here you need to make a choice based on time.

3A. Have at least 4 to 6 hours of time for your first gutter rail to Ebond. Pull the vinyl strip, it may be shocking of the mess behind that strip, green, black yuk and lots of it. The screw heads may or may not be rusted, however that does not mean the screw thread sections are not really bad.

Suggest this as a fact finding mission. In the real bad rubber tire tube roof area, take a few screws out. They may be filled with goo of rotted wood and rusted steel threads. This is a learning to help confirm Sunline used wood to create the roof. It also gives you advance warning when it comes time to remove the entire roof you will need to do wood repair. At this point, it is up to you if you replace the screws or not. If the wood it totally gone, no screw will hold anyway. A longer screw might bite into some good wood deeper. At this point in the "patch" you can leave the screws alone or try some longer ones. The awning uses that gutter rail to hold the top of the awning and not pull out of the camper. I think the Que works like this, but maybe not.

Clean the entire inside gutter spotless and the dried up caulk that is still solidly bonded to the roof. Then prime with Eternaprime, wait the 25 minutes time period for it to dry and do the Eternabond starting from bottom inside of gutter, up over screws and down on the roof top. Use a separate piece release paper between the gutter and the exposed sealant to get started. See my post on doing my roof with E bond

If you feel you do not have time to deal with the gutter rails with E bond Or you only do 1 gutter rail Ebonded as you have no time to do the other, then try this.

4. Find some ideally 3" wide or 4", 2" will work but it is very close to working, gorilla tape. Test the roof first if the Gorilla tape will stick. That algae slime can make it not stick. You may need to use lacquer thinner to clean the roof in the areas the tape has to stick. Pending time, you make a choice to pull the vinyl strip or not. If you are "not" pulling the vinyl strip, then clean the gutter as best you can and the roof edge. Apply Gorilla tape from the bottom inside of the gutter up and over the vinyl strip and onto the roof.

If you pull the vinyl strip, then do the same thing with the screws as above on the Ebond method to check and see what you have. The difference between Ebond is working with Gorilla tape is fast and if you mess up, fast to cut off the bad, and start over. If the Gorilla tape will stick to the rubber, this "patch" will last a few months. This may buy you time to get to WA, and then do the E bond. Mineral spirits/lacquer thinner will cut the gorilla tape glue left over then you take it off.

I have used Gorilla tape before in what I am proposing above. It is a patch but it will buy you a little time. The biggest issue the the rubber slime. After I cleaned it with a high flash cleaner, and it dried, then I warmed the tape with a heat gun when pressing down on the roof to press it in harder. That helped it stick.

The issue will be in the rubber tire roof areas. It is hard to press down hard on a rubber band.

Hopefully you can do a mix and match of this to help get you going.

John


PS. if you use mineral spirits to clean with, wipe it dry but then go back and use lacquer thinner, alcohol or other high flash cleaner to remove the oily residue from the mineral spirits.
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Old 05-12-2017, 09:10 PM   #17
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Hi Dan,

When you get some free time, see this post which may be of some help. I created a post on moisture meters as this is a common topic lately.

Moisture Meters For Inspecting a Camper

The Wagner model meter you borrowed is a very good meter and much more accurate then the one I have in reading actual percent wetness in wood. My meter reads out in 0 to 100% of scale to some level of wetness. The post above explains all this.

Maybe some time in the future when you get settled in WA, get one of these cheaper meters. You can create a baseline of numbers off of it . It might see through the rug material ceiling. It is sort of a trial and error thing. I had forgot the Que had them. Sorry about that. You can use the meter to see if the wetness is changing, getting better, worse or the same.

When you get settled in WA, lets touch base on opening up the waterproof membrane on the bottom to let it dry out some. We need to talk through where to cut the membrane and how to repair the cuts after. Your Que may be a little different so need to confirm they built the floor similar to the stick and tin campers as far as the floor joists.

There is one last thing to give you a heads up on, the solar panels. Since you have the budboard roof when you mount the panels, you will need to feel to find the rafters under the budboard and attach at the rafters. It is the only thing up there that has strength to hold them.

This post may help. One of our members, EMAM added solar to his roof top. There are some good pics of it in that post

How do Isecure solar panels on my rubber roofed T30?

Hope the helps and good luck. Let us know how you are doing.

John
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Old 05-14-2017, 09:28 PM   #18
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John, I just wanted to say that I saw you replied and appreciate it. I've been running around getting everything ready for tomorrow and I haven't responded yet. I did see your estimate of how much time it would take and decided it would have to wait until Washington so I put on Gorilla route. I know it will be more to scrape off but it was worth it to buy time. At any rate, I did want to say I see you replied and thank you. I'll be on the road and settling in over the next two weeks and then starting my full time job but I'll check in once I'm ready to start the e-bonding and bottom membrane removal.

Thank you for all of your advice so far,
Dan
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Old 05-14-2017, 09:34 PM   #19
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Hi Dan,

Thanks. That was a good call on the Gorilla tape and will patch you through. I figured you where into, "get ready go overload", thanks for the note.

Let us know when you need more help. Glad to help as we can from here.

Have a safe trip.

John

PS. When the dust settles, curious on how your solar worked out. I have not taken that on yet. It may be a future upgrade. Starting research early.
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Prior Sunlines: 2004 T2499 - Fern Blue
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