Originally Posted by beautysbeast
As far as our camper reno goes - where do you think we need to start?
Where to start on the renovations, this is how I would approach it.
First, inspect the whole camper to assess how much water damage is present and where. The first time doing this, it will take some time. There are two ways to do this.
1. The ideal way is to use a moisture meter. They now cost about $45. This tool is a real need for anyone owning a camper or thinking of buying one. The meter can scan walls, floors, and ceiling from the camper's inside without removing anything. The meter scans about 3/4" deep into what is behind it and creates a percent of wetness. From the meter number, you can tell how much is damaged and what is not. This link will help some on which to buy and some on how to use it. https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...per-17613.html
Here is some more on the meter to a fellow new member wanting to buy a camper. Lowes now sells the meter I list as well.
2. The second way is to strategically remove some screws outside the camper in the right place to look for rusted screws. When water damage happened inside a camper's wall, it starts rusting the screws on the threads from the wet wood. Over time, the rust continues to grow on the threads. As the rust advances, it will result in rusting to the outside of the screw head. That may sound strange as one may think the screw exposed outside will rust first at the heads. The threads of the screw sitting in wet wood 24/7 nonstop rust faster than the head of the screw exposed part of the time to rainwater.
The back and the front wall of the camper at the bottom of the wall has a series of screws holding the bottom siding piece. You can remove the screws and have a look. Then put the screw back in, assuming the screw is still intact and the wood it is screwed into has enough strength left to accept a screw. See here.
These screws are at the back wall. Your camper should have them too.
Here they are at the front wall
This picture shows mild rusting screws. They all started rusting from inside the wall. With advanced screw rusting, there are no threads left, or brown rust goo comes on the threads from active wood rot.
This is a goo'ey one. Active rot ongoing.
Ideally, when you remove them, place the screw next to the hole it came out of and take some pics of how bad or good the screws are in relation to the camper. You may find, one end of the wall is rusted, the other end not.
See here, this is on a roof molding, your camper does not have the molding, but it shows the water damage on the left and then stops towards the center of the camper
This screw removal method tells you the wood behind this area has had a water infection.
The corner moldings have screws that can tell the same thing about water infection behind this area. The corners have different ways they leak, but the result is wet wood rusting the screws. See here on a rear corner molding. Your camper is built like this too. The screws are behind a vinyl screw cover if your cover still exists. The cover gets old and brittle and falls out sometimes. The odds are you will break the old cover getting it off. A roll of new cover stip is about $15 to $30 for 50 feet of it pending style and brand.
The same screw removal method can be done to doors, older style camper windows with screws outside, etc.
The screw removal process does not cost any money as the meter does; removing the screws helps tell part of the story. The method is limited as you cannot tell how far the water damage went up or down the wall, just that you have the problem.
Using the moisture meter, you scan the entire camper, make a sketch of each wall, and write the readings down on the sketch. You can see almost everything with the moisture meter.
The goal of the inspection is to tell you how water infected the camper is and where. From the inspection and understanding of what you found, you plan how to repair the camper. The info you find may tell you, this repair is too much for us. You learned this before you started tearing into the camper. You may want to try and sell it as is, still intact.
If you have the ability, time, and "want" to fix the camper, have basic knowledge of wood tools, and use them, you can fix the camper. It will take time and lots of time. But, you may be able to repair it in sections, splitting the time up. Fix the worst area first, seal the rest of the camper to stop leaking, have fun camping. Then come back at it again and do the next big section. It can be gratifying seeing your hard work in the campground sitting around the campfire admiring your hard work.
We can help you interpret what the inspection means, what it will take to correct it, and we have many posts of club members with many pictures of how they fixed their camper, all willing to help.
One thing I suggest, do not start the project by ripping the camper apart from the inside. Campers are not built like houses; they are assembled at the factory from the inside out. The cabinets are screwed in from the outside and the ceiling down. You cannot get to those screws from the inside.
Many times, pending the water damage, it is better to take the siding off first, remove/repair the bad wood studs, etc. and leave the inside wall board intact. If the wallboard is rotted out gone, the wall studs behind them are also, and the siding still needs to come off to repair the wall as the siding is stapled to the wall studs. Taking the siding off may look daunting at first, but it comes off relatively easy with some understanding. We can help show you how to do that.
Once you know where the water damage is, we can show how to take the camper apart and what area may be easier or harder to do.
Hope this helps.