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Old 02-26-2021, 09:10 AM   #1
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Can I Caulk Roof?

Hi all,
Got my camper today! I know there is a leak somewhere in the back/roof area. I bought silicone caulk. Can I use that on the roof? And should I use it anywhere else? Its going to rain all weekend. If not, I have a tarp I can try to wrap on the back end. TIA! Obviously I'm a total newbie!
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:51 AM   #2
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Don't use silicone anywhere except maybe inside your house on countertops or bathtubs. Silicone is riding its reputation from 50 years ago when most other caulks were junk. Today, there are many far better high tech caulks to use anywhere rather than silicone.

If you have a newer RV with a rubber roof, it must be caulked with Dicor self levelling roof caulking; available on Amazon or an RV dealer.

I have no experience with older RVs and aluminum roofs, but many other members do and may post some better info. I think I would still use Dicor on a horizontal seam because it's very fluid and flows and spreads over seams unlike other caulk that lays down a bead. However, self levelling is no good on vertical surfaces as it just runs down. Dicor also makes a caulk for vertical seams so be sure to get the right one.

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Old 02-26-2021, 09:54 AM   #3
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Thank you so much for the information! It is a 2006 solaris. It has a rubber roof. So I won't have time to get any Dicor. I will tarp it for now, and then we will assess once we have several days without rain. I look forward to other comments as well.
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:57 AM   #4
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Should I use the Dicon caulk around windows and doors as well?
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Old 02-26-2021, 11:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineH View Post
Should I use the Dicon caulk around windows and doors as well?
Hi ChistineH:

There's 2 types of Dicor:

Self-Leveling - 501LSW - here's an Amazon link
Use this one on roof flat surfaces, such as over flat roof seams, around TV antenna, plumbing vent, etc. - as the name says it will self level after applying it.

and

Non-Sag Roof Lap Sealant - 551LSW - Amazon link
Use this on vertical surfaces, such as windows, doors, etc.

Both Dicor products come in different colors, such as white, tan, etc.
You'll probably want white.

And

There's Geocel GC28100 Pro Flex RV - Amazon link
That you can use around windows, doors, etc. instead of the Dicor caulk.

JohnB created this excellent post on how to prep and apply caulk on vertical surfaces (i.e., around windows, doors, etc.).
https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...tml#post137746
JohnB's post will provide great information on how to apply it.

I'm sure JohnB will provide some additional guidance for you here.

Hope this helps and good luck.
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:34 PM   #6
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Hi Christine,

For the fastest, best way to help stop/slow the leaks in a time crunch, is to tarp the back of the camper. Odds are not in your favor you can get the right caulk, applied to the proper prepped surface in time. Also, level the camper or very slight nose (front) down. Not a lot of nose down, as that pushes too much water on the front roof seam. For sure, do not have the back of the camper high as water will run under the tarp more.

To help explain some for what the others have stated, the silicone is not good for the outside of the camper, roof or siding etc. While it works for a short time, it does not hold up. I have seen it used many times by others, and as it ages a year or more, the caulk itself can still be intact in a bead/chuck, but the bond from the bead separates from the camper on one side, leaving a leak potential for water to sneak around the caulk. And once silicone is used, it is very painstaking hard to get off to use the correct caulk as nothing wants to stick to silicone.

The Dicor caulk does work well on the roof, it is made specially for the roof.

The Proflex RV was also mentioned. This is not rated for the roof as it affects the rubber. However is works very well on the siding.

The non-Leveling Dicor and the Proflex RV are options for the siding, windows, moldings etc. I have used cases of non leveling Dicor on the siding, and it does work and hold up. However, I have found in the last year or more, the Proflex works better on the siding. The link PTHutch gave you on the the application process, works for both Proflex RV and Dicro non leveling caulk.

Any of the caulks, for the roof or the siding have a one very important need for them to work correctly and last. The surface "must" be clean. Clean meaning there is no dirt or mold left, at all. This cleaning takes time to be done right. The caulks cannot bond correctly if contaminates are on the surface you are trying to caulk. The caulk will start to lift over time if there is contaminates on the surface.

On the roof, the cleaning process can take a good deal of time to get the old caulk and rubber roof clean. Start with the laundry detergent (I use Tide) and water to get the dirt off. Use a soft car brush from the side and wash it gently. Do not scrub real hard on the rubber membrane, as you will scrub off excess white layer by accident. Rinse well.

On the roof caulk, if the prior owner did not clean the roof several times a year, the dirt can get imbedded in the caulk and it may require a chemical cleaning to get it to come clean enough for the Dicor to bond. And depending how dirty it is, there may be excess mold on the rubber and caulk that detergent or chemical cleaning alone will not take off. A bleach process may be needed to kill the mold so you do not caulk over it. When you get to cleaning the roof, come back to us and we can fill in more details.

When time allows, take pics of the roof and the caulking. It is hard to tell you the best way to approach the caulk or even the cleaning. This all comes down to how well the roof was maintained, cleaned and if it was stored outside all the time with no cover on it. I have seen 2006 campers that never had any roof maintenance done to them, lived outside and those roofs/caulk need extra care/cleaning done to them to get the heavy embedded dirt out of the caulk to ever get new caulk to bond right. With time, the right treatments, I have seen them come back to healthily life, but it takes time.

You will not have time to sort out all the cleaning and caulking before your rains come. Best is tarp it and come back to this when the weather and time cooperates better.

Hope this helps.

John
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Old 02-27-2021, 12:39 PM   #7
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Ok, I have pics and they are not pretty! We looked at the roof and I won't guess as to what we have to do; I'll let you (the experts) tell me. We were able to get a tarp on yesterday. The walls in the back and side where the tub is show saturation on the meter. There is also a leak on the side wall where the bunks were. I'll ask about electrical next because I do have some concerns.IMG_0223.jpg

IMG_0225.jpg

IMG_0228.jpg

IMG_0226.jpg
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Old 03-01-2021, 07:00 PM   #8
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Hi Christine,

You provided some excellent pics. The pics show what you have. I took two of them and highlighted areas to talk about them.

Here is the left rear corner. The pic did not include the entire top corner, but there is enough to tell a story.


The caulking on the rear wall molding and the left side gutter rail is compromised. It is dried up, heavily cracked, and the few pics show little to no roof caulking maintenance was done on a routine basis in these areas. Not sure if all the roof caulking looks like this, but there are no signs of any caulk had been added since the camper left Sunline. The odds are high; there is a water leak at the rear molding. The rear molding seals the roof membrane to the back wall siding. Water wicks in the cracked caulking and works its way into the attic where it can wick across the rubber sub straight, then down the rear wall, and potentially into the left rear sidewall.

The clouded area showing the general condition of the roof indicates very few roof cleanings. The roof membrane may have some life left in it, but it needs to be restored/cleaned up and then determined if and when the roof would benefit from the proper coating system to extend its life.

Here is the right rear corner; this corner is in worse condition than the left.


The same issues exist here as the left rear, but with a separation in caulking between the rear molding and the right-back wall cornering molding. The odds are very high; there is an active leak at that split into the attic and down the back wall, and water down the right side rear wall.

The good news, the gutter spout (a plastic spout on the end of the gutter rail in the yellow circle) is intact; this helps. Sometimes, the gutter spout gets cracked off and left unrepaired. Water flying out of the gutter with no spout fitting then blasts water into the corner molding, which can leak into the corner past failed putty tape on the corner molding. See if the other corners have the gutter spout.

The yellow arrows point to something I cannot see totally, and it would be helpful if you had a picture of the back wall up by that area. Since the camper is trapped, leave it tarped, but if you have any of the back wall before tarping, that could help tell how long and bad the right rear leak is.

Here are two other campers I repaired that had similar issues to yours. The pics below are a 2005 T64SR. Before it was sold to the owner, the dealer who sold it applied some fresh caulk over some areas. You can see the new white-looking color in the pics. It may have slowed down the leaks some, but the damage was done before they ever received it.


Here is a closeup; this is what I am looking for. The rear molding has lifted some from the back wall. There is gray putty tape exposed in the circled area.


Here is a camper of my own I am restoring right now. This camper shown below is as I acquired it; it is a 2004 T1950. See inside the red circle.


A closeup, the black stuff on the roof was Gorilla tape we put on the day we towed it home as it was raining during the trip to help slow down the water getting in any worse than already had.


The 2004 T1950 damage was real bad, and it had been leaking for 8 to 9 years. The 2005 T264SR was still bad, just not as bad. That camper had been leaking for about 3 to 5 years at some level. When the rear molding shows the signs of the putty tape hanging out like that on the back top molding, it points to the wood on the top rear wall, the rafter is rotting, the molding screws are losing all holding power, and the curved molding starts going more straight and lifts.

With all the gloom and ugly, keeping in mind, this is all fixable, it will take time, and some areas may be able to be corrected in stages. Seeing what the rear molding caulk looks like raises the question, what condition is the caulking on the front roof and front wall siding molding? While you may not have noticed any leaks in the front yet, the front roof area should be checked soon if the back has this damage. Do you have any pics of the front molding and the corners like you have on the back? If there are issues bad enough at the front, sometime soon, you can do a temporary patch of sorts to help stop more water from getting in or tarp that area until you can have someone address this.

A few things for you to think through that will give us some perspective of what you want to do with the camper to suggest a better repair approach.

1. How many years do you plan on keeping the camper?

2. Will the camper be towed from camp to camp, or will you park it in a seasonal campground and not move it?

3. I had thought you mentioned you had a friend able to help you fix some of the camper damage. Do you have any idea on how much time they can help you? This work may even be on and off over a time period. For example, they work on weekends only for how many weeks/months?

4. Does your helper friend have access to woodworking tools and have used them on other projects?

5. Do you have a place to keep/store the camper while it is being repaired? I do not know if you have restrictions on your property about storing a camper.

Pending your thoughts, we can help suggest a repair that would meet your length of time needs.

I hope this helps.

John
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Old 03-02-2021, 06:57 PM   #9
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Thanks for your input, John. I do not have the additional pics you have asked for, but we are expecting several days of sunny weather (maybe even a week) so I will take the tarp off and take another look and some pics. Here are answers to your questions:
1. How many years do you plan on keeping the camper? At least 10 years.

2. Will the camper be towed from camp to camp, or will you park it in a seasonal campground and not move it? It will be towed from PA to Maine then will stay on a private lot.

3. I had thought you mentioned you had a friend able to help you fix some of the camper damage. Do you have any idea on how much time they can help you? This work may even be on and off over a time period. For example, they work on weekends only for how many weeks/months? I do have a son-in-law and neighbor who are going to do the work for me. They both work full-time. But they know that I need the work completed by the end of May so hopefully we can make that happen.

4. Does your helper friend have access to woodworking tools and have used them on other projects? Yes.

5. Do you have a place to keep/store the camper while it is being repaired? I do not know if you have restrictions on your property about storing a camper. It will remain in my driveway outside.

I would like to do whatever is the best long term for the camper because once it is moved I will not have people to help with major projects. I will only be able to maintain.
I am so grateful for your advice and for all of the help on this forum. I did study the process of your son's camper. I am interested to see how the roof actually goes on. I'll check out the other post you have.
Take good care,
Christine
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Old 03-03-2021, 08:36 PM   #10
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Hi Christine,

We are glad to help give you ideas on how to help your camper. I am giving you one perspective on doing what I "think" you want to do with your new camper. Others on the forum will hopefully give you their perspective on how to address the needs.

What you told us, you would like to have the ability to get ten more years of use out of the camper, and you would like to do the best for the camper as you will not have help readily available when you move it to Maine. You have two capable woodworkers; fixers lined up to help and you would like to get this done by the end of May. The work is assumed to be mostly done on weekends and maybe a few weeknights pending schedule. If their allowed time is less than that, let us know. There is a lot of work to do in that little of time.

I know you are new to this, and we are here to help you learn and support as we can. I forgot to ask these questions:

1. Will the camper be outside all the time when in Maine? Or will it be stored undercover, in a barn, or an RV cover over it for the non-camping months?

2. Will the camper be used as a seasonal camper (spring to fall)?

3. Please give us an estimate of how many days per month and how many months the camping season would be?

Your first need in getting up to 10 more years of use is to address the current water damage issues and "help" slow down future water intrusion. Stop the existing leaks, manage the existing damage, and prevent new damage in the typical ways a camper can leak.

Thinking about this, you do not have to undo the tarp on the back of the camper. That will save you the trouble and time of undoing it. If you can get pics of the front roof to the front wall seam, that would help, assuming it is not under a tarp.

What can help better is to get inside moisture readings. From those readings, we can see how great this effort may be, and we/I can better predict better what is going on now with active leaks. All we know now is, there is a rear wall water infection, but we do not know how large it is or if there are other areas in the camper with leaks. From these readings, we can help create options for you to consider on a get-well plan. The plan then sets the stage of what to do, in what order, about how long it may take to do it. Knowing if other roof areas are leaking will help set the stage for what options you do with the roof, replace it, or do a local repair and coating the roof as a long-term fix. The plan allows you allows you to make better decisions.

So we can talk to your camper better, here is the floor plan of a 2006 T276SR.


First, I'm assuming the weather in PA is now better during the day, and it is above freezing. Only do this when it is above freezing as we know the meter may not work right on frozen wood. See if this is something you can do. I'm assuming you can get inside the camper now.

Inside the camper, make a sketch of each wall/ceiling/floor of the camper, OR better, take pictures of the whole area and handwrite on the image the moisture readings. Like a pic of the entire front wall and ceiling, etc., then write the percentages from the meter on the pic. We need to see where the high numbers are and when they drop down to 0% dry. Then scan the handwritten picture, or take a picture of it if you do not have a scanner, and post the readings. The picture idea may be the faster and more accurate approach if the sketch takes too much time for you.

Here is a file that may help explain what we are trying to do with scanning the camper. It shows sketches of a 2005 Sunline T2363 with moisture readings instead of using pictures. You can try the picture method if it is faster. I created this file as part of a future post on understanding the moisture meter and how camper water damage happens. I never made it to the post yet, but the file may help you. The 2004 T1950 camper is my project camper I am restoring now. The 2005 T2363 camper is from a friend of mine that we restored his camper about two years ago. He did the sketch method, and we created a plan on how to repair it. This file is now in our Files Miscellaneous section on the forum called "Moisture Meter Detected Leaks – Part 1" .https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/d...o=file&id=5638

Need you to scan the inside of the camper like this.

Front wall area:
At the front wall of the bedroom, open all the cabinets over the top of the bed. Scan the front wall at the ceiling, including the ceiling and the left and right walls inside that cabinet. These readings will tell us if the front roof to siding seal is compromised.

Scan the front wall, left and right wall inside the front bedroom left and right cabinet by the head of the bed.

Scan the remaining part of the front wall between the cabinets. If you can move the mattress, scan down to the bottom of the bed.

In the front cargo storage area outside, open the left and right cargo doors. Scan the front wall and the LH & RH sidewalls from the bottom of the bed down to the camper floor. Try and reach in as far as you can.

Rear wall area:
You scan the rear wall using the same general method as you did on the front wall. Scan from ceiling to floor, moving around the bunks across the wall where you can reach. Scan the left and right side wall starting at the rear corners and scanning towards the front until the side walls go down to 0%. We need to know how far into the left and right wall the water goes. Open the cabinets in the bathroom and scan the rear wall to the floor, scan the shower surrounds outside walls ceiling to floor.

Ceiling area:
Some of the ceiling readings will show up in the front and rear wall scans. You need to know far forward the ceiling has moisture at the back wall area and where the wetness drops to 0%. The ceiling readings help tell us how much the roof has to be lifted up in the back to do the repair. Do the same scan on the front ceiling area if the bedroom ceiling comes up wet inside the top cabinets.

Scan the full length of the ceiling at the left and right wall corner junctions. On the kitchen side, open the cabinets to scan the ceiling and wall top area. On the left slide wall opening, scan above the slide opening and the wall joint all the way from bathroom to the bedroom. Gutter rails leaks show up in this scan. If you find a wet area, scan outward towards the camper's center to find out where the water stopped.

Scan the ceiling at each roof vent area all around the vent. Scan the TV antenna crank-up area. Again, if you find it wet, keep scanning to the center of the ceiling and see where it gets dry.

Do a broad scan of any remaining ceiling, if it shows wet, define how wet it is and there is stops.

Remaining walls:
Scan around each window or door in a wall. If the top is dry still scan the wall down to the floor. Window flange leaks flow down the wall and stop at the floor area. If the site is wet, expand the scan until it comes up dry.

Do a broad, quick sweep of the remainder of the walls to find any other wet areas. If they come up wet, expand the scan to see how large the problem is

The meter scanning may take you a few hours, but it tells you and us how good or bad the camper is. Later, we may need some bottom scans of the black plastic membrane under the trailer around the wet areas to tell how far the water advanced in the floor. For now, if you get us the walls and ceiling, we can ask for the bottom plastic later as needed.

I know this meter scanning sounds like a lot of work, it is, but to get 5 to 10 years more from the camper, we need to know now what is water infected so you can get it addressed.

I hope this helps.

John
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Old 03-04-2021, 07:00 AM   #11
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Hi John,
Thanks for the advice. I will scan the camper by the weekend and post results. In answer to your questions:
1. Will the camper be outside all the time when in Maine? Or will it be stored undercover, in a barn, or an RV cover over it for the non-camping months? I am trying to find an indoor storage, but most likely it will be outside all year, under a tarp in winter and if snow load is expected to be heavy, it will be cleared by my cousins.

2. Will the camper be used as a seasonal camper (spring to fall)? Yes

3. Please give us an estimate of how many days per month and how many months the camping season would be? Most likely June-October. 3-8 weeks total during that time. The next few years on the lower end, then after retirement (4 years) on the higher end.
Gratefully,
Christine
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Old 03-04-2021, 08:22 AM   #12
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Hi Christine,

Thankyou for your answers, that helps give us a perspective on how much use the camper will get.

Just a reminder, when you scan the camper with the moisture meter, make sure it is in "wall mode". The other two modes have a different moisture scales. The wall mode is what we need to scan campers.

Not sure if you found both of these threads yet,

1. Slide camper. 2006 T264SR. The back wall on yours is built like this post. The repair on the back wall would be similar. As to the roof, we will wait for the moisture meter readings to determine if you can repair and coat the old roof, or you need a total new one. https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...avy-16834.html

2. Non slide camper. 2004 T1950. This is one of my project campers I am restoring now. Rear wall water damage to the floor on non slide campers can be worse then the slide camper due to the differences in how Sunline made them. This thread shows a lot of how the campers re built, the moisture meter in use and it tracks the work hours and costs. This is a full restore on a camper and has a lot more work to do then yours is expected to be. At least at this point.
https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...avy-17684.html

Both of those threads will be helpful. The 2004 T1950 will have new updates often (weekly/bi weekly) as work is still on going. I am about 2 weeks already behind on posting the latest progress on the roof. The plan is, this camper will be ready to camp by the end of May.

I hope this all helps, I know a lot to absorb, ask any and all questions.

John
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Old 03-04-2021, 08:58 AM   #13
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Hi John,
I will ensure the meter is in wall mode, and yes I have extensively reviewed both of those threads. Very helpful information. I've taken many notes. I should have the answers and some more pics by Saturday at the latest.
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Old 03-06-2021, 05:14 PM   #14
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Here is a sketch of the front of the camper. Bedroom area. I am certainly not an artist, so please let me know if there is anything that isn't clear as far as understanding. I'll work on the middle tomorrow, then the back once the tarp is off. I hope to also get pics of the roof corners in the front tomorrow.
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Old 03-06-2021, 10:31 PM   #15
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You are off to a great start!

Need some clarifications on the areas marked in red on your sketch. I numbered them so we can talk to them. I tried to figure out the orientation of your sketch and I may have mixed it up. Comment on each numbered area and tell me if I understood it correctly. If it is not correct, tell us where the readings start from and then go to 0%. I am using the location of the readings to back into where the water may have entered the camper, and then if it ran down in the wall or across ceiling once it got in.


1. Front- Right side: Are these front ceiling, top front wall and or top right side wall readings?

2. Front - Left side: Are these front ceiling readings?

3. Front - Left side: Are these readings of the front left wall inside the cargo storage area or inside the left bed wardrobe cabinet at the bottom of the cabinet?

4. Left side wall by bedroom window: Are these readings of the ceiling above the window? Or are readings starting at the ceiling line and going down the wall above the window? Or are the readings starting under the window on the wall and go down towards the floor?

5. Right side wall by bedroom window: Are these readings of the ceiling starting at the right side bed top cabinet and going back towards the entry door? Or are readings starting at the ceiling line and going down the wall starting at the right side top bed cabinet? Or are the readings starting under the window on the wall and go down towards the floor?

6. Right side above the entry door: Are these readings the ceiling or the right side wall starting at the ceiling but are wall readings?

On the next set of sketches, you can just right the numbers. You do not have to put the % sign next to the numbers. Sometimes the % sign being so small looks like zeros for the readings. Just use the whole number and we will know they are the % meter readings.

Keep up the good work, you are doing a great job!

John

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Old 03-15-2021, 01:00 PM   #16
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Hello,
I responded with answers to the questions above, but I have no idea why it didn't post. We decided to replace the entire roof, and I suspect the front windows are leaking. I will get to that, but for now I have more pressing issues. We dissembled the back wall and back part of the roof over the bathroom. I've attached pics. We already took the luan and insulation out of the bunk room that was saturated. We think it is dry further up. The ceiling around the bathroom dome needs to be replaced but the trusses and the rest of the ceiling look pretty good. I'll get pics of the roof soon. My floor in most of the camper (through the kitchen area) is now showing high on the moisture meter which was not the case when I purchased it a few weeks ago. We are aware that we need to replace the rotted wood at the bottom back of the camper, and insulation. I am concerned water somehow ran through the darco membrane? I really need advice here. Not sure how to inspect that.
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Old 03-16-2021, 10:54 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineH View Post
Hello,
I responded with answers to the questions above, but I have no idea why it didn't post.[/img]

If you presses the submit reply button, it should of posted. Or there was an error in the internet connection etc. If and when that happens, sometime hitting the back button on your browser, the whole post comes back and you can try again. Once you leave the page, then all the data is gone and you have to start over. Since this "happens" I type longer responses off line and copy and paste them in.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineH View Post
We decided to replace the entire roof, and I suspect the front windows are leaking. I will get to that, but for now I have more pressing issues.
Doing a entire roof replace is a good decision since you have water damage up front and in the back. It will take longer to do, but in the end, it can be a longer lasting correction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineH View Post
We dissembled the back wall and back part of the roof over the bathroom. I've attached pics. We already took the luan and insulation out of the bunk room that was saturated. We think it is dry further up.
When you said you took the luan out, do you mean the wall board from the inside?

This pic looks like it is from the rear right side (door side) at the top bunk, is that correct? Did you tear out all the luan wall board already?



Trying to help give you some ideas/option on how to repair wall board/ceiling board short of total replacement. There are times you can save the wall board in place. It all depends on how badly deteriorated it is. What we do is, remove the outside siding, remove the wet insulation, let it dry out. Then access the condition of the wall board. Many times the luan wall board had some delamination and black looks to it. That level can be corrected with an epoxy resin treated from the outside. The resin bonds the layers back together, encapsulates any mold spores to not come back as dry rot. When this works, the inside of the camper is untouched and the wall board stiffened up and intact.

That said, there are times the rot totally rots the entire 1/8" luan wall board to almost nothing. The vinyl wall paper is holding on by looks. When it reaches this stage, you are forced to replace the wall board. That can sometimes be a lot more work. You still need to take the siding off to fix the wall studs also infected and fix any pin holes in the siding.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineH View Post
The ceiling around the bathroom dome needs to be replaced but the trusses and the rest of the ceiling look pretty good. I'll get pics of the roof soon.
Again, suggesting a few options to consider before you tear out the white ceiling panel. The ceiling may be able to to saved and restored with the resin treatment above. I have done this on wall board and ceiling panels all the time. That process can save you some time from redoing the ceiling panels and trying to match colors and patterns. Need more info and pics before I can tell you if the reason fix will work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineH View Post
My floor in most of the camper (through the kitchen area) is now showing high on the moisture meter which was not the case when I purchased it a few weeks ago. We are aware that we need to replace the rotted wood at the bottom back of the camper, and insulation. I am concerned water somehow ran through the darco membrane? I really need advice here. Not sure how to inspect that.
On the floor, "sometimes" the meter finds any kind of moisture and displays it. Floors under vinyl tile seems to have this issue. It takes some more investigation to sort it out.

The easy first step, does the floor have soft spots when you step on it? If yes, then that can be rot. If no soft spots, OK we will keep that in mind but trust the meter is reading something.

Next, since you have such a large area that now reads high number that before did not, you can try this. Go under the camper and scan the black Darco membrane in the area it shows high up on top of the floor. The meter will find wet insulation above the Darco. Again the meter only reads 3/4" above it, so it cannot see 3" up to the top of the floor. But if the insulation is dripping wet, it can show on the bottom. See what the Darco reads.

This much I can say, water normally does not fly up and through the Darco and infect the camper, especially if it is park and not towed.

The way the back wall leaks on a slide camper, it normally does not get up to the floor line and infect the entire floor like it can on a non slide camper. So that is good. The right side wall by the bunks leak may have some affect, buy still not the entire floor.

Try the meter tests above and see what you get. That helps add some more info. Take pics inside if you can to show how big the area is. And what are the numbers, where do they start from 0% and go up? Bathrooms can have a floor issue, but that will not be good one time and later in a week or so be all bad. Something else is going on we need to understand.

Hope this helps.

John

PS I will post some more soon on how to do a wall or ceiling panel resin fix with pics. This may help you if the option fits.
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Old 03-16-2021, 07:14 PM   #18
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Hi John,
Thanks for all of the help. Here are the answers to your questions:
This pic looks like it is from the rear right side (door side) at the top bunk, is that correct? Did you tear out all the luan wall board already? Yes it is on the right side top bunk. We only tore out that one piece. Everything else was left because it seemed ok. I really hope we don't have to take that siding off. My guys do not seem confident doing that.
Bathroom ceiling around dome: one side was completely crumbled. We need to pull the roof back a little further to see how far. The side toward the back is ok.
The easy first step, does the floor have soft spots when you step on it?
I do not feel any soft spots. I will ask my guys to double check this over the weekend.
I didn't write down the numbers, but I checked from the outside of the bathroom door, all the way down the middle to the front door (where the bedroom carpet starts) the numbers got higher the further I went. Started in the 20's, ended in the 90's. I was able to crawl under the camper to the left of the front door (maybe would be in front of the sink area on the floor? and the meter read very high. I also noticed that when I opened the cargo door on the slide side in the front, it smells like wetness. The top (under the bed area) wood looks fine. But there is carpet on the bottom so I can't see what is under it. I also suspect both of the front windows are leaking due to the meter readings. It's raining the next couple of days so I may not get pics, but hope this information is helpful for direction.
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Old 03-17-2021, 06:55 PM   #19
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Hi Christine,
Some thoughts are inserted below.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineH View Post
Hi John,
Thanks for all of the help. Here are the answers to your questions:
Quote:
This pic looks like it is from the rear right side (door side) at the top bunk, is that correct? Did you tear out all the luan wall board already?
Yes it is on the right side top bunk. We only tore out that one piece. Everything else was left because it seemed OK. I really hope we don't have to take that siding off. My guys do not seem confident doing that.
The unknown is how far down the wall did the water run? With the top of the wall being that heavy in water damage, odds exist the water went below that area down. Did you scan the wall between the bunks and then down to the floor? I know your floor plan has a big cargo door on that rear right corner. Water coming down the first wall cavity would stop right above that cargo door and maybe festering just above the cargo door. Try scanning it and see what you get.

As to removing the siding, there are a few ways (tricks) to make that more manageable. These tricks are limited, as it depends on how many wall stud cavities have water in them towards the camper's ends. The first stud cavity in the corner where you removed that wall panel is normal to have a water quantity. The second cavity down the wall may only have a little up at the roofline. Sometimes you get lucky, and the heavy water is limited to the first stud cavity, making the siding issue easier.

I need to understand how much of the roof rolled back now, 1 foot, 3 ft, 5 feet, etc.? Are the awning and the gutter rail off yet? On both sides of the camper? If you are going to replace the whole roof, those items will eventually have to come off. Maybe it is not off right now, but it will be in time. The top piece of the left or right wall siding has a gutter rail, and under the gutter rail, the siding is stapled to the wall's top plate(board). You pull those staples, and you can flex the siding without removing it to look down the wall cavity.

Like this, this is a front sidewall, but the concept is the same. With the front wall off, pull the staples out of the left or right wall folded over tabs. Then take the staples out of the left or right wall siding at the roofline. By flexing the top piece of siding away from the camper, you can look down some of the walls. You can pull out the top wet insulation while leaving the wallboard intact and not removing any siding.



If you find the water went further down than the first piece of siding, pending the floor plan, you can unbuckle the second piece of siding down from the top to get into the second piece. Like this, we had to pull the window out as it was so close, but if there was no window, you unfold the tabs on the front wall, then flex (bow out in the center) and pop out the second piece of siding down from the top one. Then take the staples out of the top sheet, and you have open access two-plus feet down the end of the wall. We did this repair and never took the siding off.



Here is the back wall of that same camper where we had to get into the first wall cavity down to the bottom. We unfolded the tabs on the back wall, pull (yanked) the staples at the corner board out, then flexed the siding open to get into the wall cavity. We never took the siding off or took the wallboard off inside.


The above tricks are just some of the ideas on fixing corners with water into the sidewall's first cavity and never taking the siding off. They are, however, limited to water in the first wall cavity.

You have the slide opening on the left side and a large cargo door on the right side on your floor plan. If water damage went into the second or third wall cavity down low, you could do this trick to help not have to take the "entire" wall of siding off.

If you find water damage into the second or more wall cavities on the slide side, you can only remove the siding from the back wall to the slide—the shorter pieces. You start by opening the slide and removing the black rubber slide seal "only" on the vertical side of the slide room's back wall. The gasket is held in place by two small screws, one at the top, one at the bottom. They are somewhat hidden but look close next to the seal bulb by flexing it back. Take the two screws out, then pull off the slide seal from the molding starting at the bottom and work up to the top. Leave it connected at the top as it goes over the top of the slide.

Then remove the rear vertical slide flange white molding. It is held on with screws under a vinyl strip cover like the rear corner moldings were. Heat gun warm the flange to soften the old putty tape, work a putty knife behind the molding, and then lift the molding off.

Then start at the bottom and remove as many short pieces of the siding as needed. See here, this camper had a cargo door and a shore power cord to come off first; your layout may have something to come off as well. The break in the slide room's siding saves you from taking the whole length of the camper siding off.


If you need to get into your right rear wall with more than one stud cavity, you can remove the bunks area large cargo door and take the short pieces of siding off. You may have to go the wheel well; it depends on how far down the water issue is. But the entire wall length does not have to have the siding come off. Any hole in the siding near the ends of the camper creates a breakpoint in the siding. Sometimes, that break helps not to have to take the entire length of the camper siding off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineH View Post
Bathroom ceiling around dome: one side was completely crumbled. We need to pull the roof back a little further to see how far. The side toward the back is OK.
OK understood the ceiling board might be really bad here. Post some pics before you tear that out. It may be easier to resin fix the old ceiling partially and install a new fiberglass panel from the lumber yard from the camper's inside to cover the resin patched area. These kinds of repair areas are where pics help so we can see what you have to help suggest options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineH View Post
Quote:
The easy first step, does the floor have soft spots when you step on it?
I do not feel any soft spots. I will ask my guys to double check this over the weekend.
I didn't write down the numbers, but I checked from the outside of the bathroom door, all the way down the middle to the front door (where the bedroom carpet starts) the numbers got higher the further I went.

Started in the 20's, ended in the 90's. I was able to crawl under the camper to the left of the front door (maybe would be in front of the sink area on the floor? and the meter read very high.
Yes, have your guys check for soft spots. Now to the water path being that long, starting at the bathroom and getting higher as you approach the entry door. I have a "maybe" idea on what that might be, but I need some more info.

Check the floor tile right in front of the entry door. Start at the door and scan towards the camper's center 3 feet or more until the counter's end. What are those approximate numbers on the meter?

Check the entry door by hand; you do not need the meter. Close the door, and see if the door wiggles in and out of the camper. Use your hand on the bottom of the door and tug at it. What you are looking for is, does the door wiggle when it is closed and clasped shut? There have been times when the door sticker plate was out of adjustment, and the door did not compress the rubber seal when the door was closed. The lack of door seal compression allows water to leak around the entry door seal and then flow all over inside the camper. Have your son-in-law look at the sticker plate to see if any witness lines show the striker plate has moved. The problem may still be there now, or someone adjusted it after a leak was noticed.

Check with the meter on the floor under the sink cabinet. See if the floor is dryer inside than outside the cabinet as this can point to a possible sink faucet leak or not. The way the cabinets are made, water on the floor can be trapped in the cupboard or sealed out from preventing water to leak inwaards. A vinyl welt bead strip at the floor creates a seal to the floor that holds water back.

On checking the Darco getting high numbers, were you near any metal when the high numbers showed up? There are metal cross braces, and you can see them under the floor below the Darco out in the open. The meter will read high if it is near metal. If you were not near metal and there was a large open area of Darco that had high numbers, that needs more investigation to confirm it is terrible or not. This area may end up being that you surgically cut open the Darco and look inside for wet insulation. Before any cutting is done, let's talk about how to cut it and the location. Cutting the Darco open a certain way makes it easier to patch closed. I can explain better after a few pics come looking at the Darco area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineH View Post
I also noticed that when I opened the cargo door on the slide side in the front, it smells like wetness. The top (under the bed area) wood looks fine. But there is carpet on the bottom so I can't see what is under it. I also suspect both of the front windows are leaking due to the meter readings. It's raining the next couple of days so I may not get pics, but hope this information is helpful for direction.
If you smell wetness in the cargo area under the bed, that is a sign of water damage in the front. As the temperature starts to warm up, the smell may begin to a mildew scent, which is a certain smell of a leak. You have high meter readings in your sketch. When they take the roof off at the front, that will expose the ceiling's left and right corners. If there are roof leaks at the front seam, it will for sure show up. Or there may be corner molding leaks causing this, both can cause the cargo area to be wet. And a cargo door seal can cause this too. If there is a front roof seam leak or corner molding leak, the front wall siding comes off similar rea wall siding.

This post may help with a front wall leak. I never made it to finish this post; however, the front wall repair is complete. I have more pics of it as needed. My son's camper also had the front wall off, and I did finish that post. This link also shows what a window frame leak can if that is the problem you have on the front left and right sidewalls. https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...2-a-18706.html

I hope this helps. I will still get to how to do a resin wallboard/ceiling fix. This note came in and put that note on hold for the moment
John
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Old 03-18-2021, 06:54 PM   #20
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Hi Christine,

Here is a post on how to help save ceiling and wall board using a resin treatment. This may help your work crew as they progress through your camper repair.

https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...tml#post155103

John
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