Well, the first big problem is your rig is filon sided. This stuff if vacuum bonded and glued on, so yer going to need a covered work area, and yer going to need to really stabilize that camper.
Then, yer going to have to work out how to get all that filon off because you're really going to want to do a complete structure inspection at this point. Odds are in favor that little of it will be reusable, so you might want to price out what new filon would cost in that square footage.
The heck with the filon, I'd use aluminum sheet on that side....
Given that he's had structural failure that has torqued all of his corners, he needs to deskin the entire rig, not just the one side or the corner where the damage is, odds are his coachmen has a reasonable amount of rot in a lot of corners given that from the sounds of it the previous owner did squat in terms of maintenance.
Fair enough. Use aluminum sheet for the entire camper then, instead of just that side.
How well I know the feeling of despair when looking at rotted flooring, support timber, etc.
There will be numerous solutions of which several will be very good - so hang in there.
First, I would not remove all the skin just yet. I'd get a small router or similar tool and cut away (using a straight edge) the filon around the break, peeling it off, so as to get a look at what is really going on.
It might well be possible to remove only the rot and patch in good material.
At the same time this might give you an excuse to purchase a few new tools to accomplish the work.
Your next and immediate step will be to delve into damage assessment, which will require removing some of that skin.
You've got plenty of advisers here looking over your shoulder, so sleep on it and start in the morning.
Post pictures of what you find and check back later.
I feel yor frustrations, I'm new to RVing....well My folks were avid, and traveled weekly. I purchased a Fleetwood Elkorn 11X Truck Camper, on Good friday. I nearly lost it when unloading, when @ home. The fronts were loose, I figured It would need help, and it did. Most of the damage was water intiated, and the camper had taken a fall once prior. I knew this, but was willing to tackle the project. June 5 now, It sits on it own, and is rock steady. I rebuilt 75% of the camper, the back wall, and over cab floor are original. New floor, bed side, over the rail, front cab wall, two sides, rear roof section, and nose are all rebuilt. After all this, first loading in the truck was nerve racking! Although it was a solid frame, it would lurch side to side, when bumping the jacks. I have Atwood 3500lbs jacks on the corners, rear seemed ok, but the fronts were wobbley. I re-used the original Atwood jack mounts, to my surprise they were insuficient, to support the beast. I Fabded, up some new 3/8 Aluminum T6061 plate, and 4" T6061 Aluminum angle brackets. I fashioned them after the Atwoods, but made them wider, and longer, to increase the load area. Last night was the first time, jacked with them, Night and Day difference. It will sit on three legs and be just as steady, as all four, minimal side to side, with just the tubes wandering. I sleep with ease now that it's done, I will be adding a wobble stopper of sorts soon as well. Being newly reconstructed, I want it to stay this way. Weather was my worst ememy, time off for the project was the other, the rest was money, blood and sweat. My wife still loves it, so it better last us. Good luck on your repairs
I had one like that too... It didn't collapse, but could have. I peeled back the Filon, and the layers to get down to wood, then cut out what I could and filled with Rot Doctor. I layered up with plywoods a new support for the corner and used epoxy to set the layers together over a period of days with heat to help set ups. End result, it was likely the strongest corner of the whole rig. I reset the Filon back into place, again with glues and epoxies and the end result was cheaper and better than a whole wall reside.
Mike and Carole
2007 Snowbird 9'6" Super Slide
2005 16.6 Double Eagle
2000 F350 7.3 SC 4X4
previously 8'10" Snowbird Camper
2006 Triple E Regency 27 foot SXL SOLD!
Sorry to see your situation. I have a similar camper, the 10 foot model. I had to tear into the rear of my camper due to a leak and wood rot. I really got a grasp for how these things are put together. For the most part the floor is 1 inch square steel tubing. The side walls and roof are all 1 inch square aluminum tubing. The aluminum is very thin walled and can be damaged very easily. The wood that I found was primarily blocking and paneling, I did not see any wood that was structural around the jacks. I would say that from what I have seen, your jack probably did not collapse due to a leak/wood rot alone. I would guess that at some time in the past that jack was involved in a collision, and over time it loosened up. That jack is through bolted through the aluminum framing with a large bolt with a large built in washer on it. It looks like it pulled the whole side wall out. The front Jacks are easy enough to get at to remove for repair. But the rear jacks may be a little hard to get at. On my camper, you have to remove the propane tanks/and compartment. On the shower sided, it will be real hard. I think you have to pull the tail light and some compartment doors to get your arm into the back side.
Those bolts have a carriage bolt style head on them. When you start to loosen them they will spin out and there is no way to hold them with a wrench on the back side. You will have to cut the bolts out, and then replace with a standard bolt. Access to the back side will be your main dilemma behind the shower.
I did see problems with manufacturing on my camper. I just wanted to say “why did they do that?”. But overall, I think that Coachmen is a pretty well built camper.
Problems areas that I know of for leaks in this camper are rear tail lights, front window, corner edging, and seams on bottom of entry door.
Seem my rig in my signature.
1999 Chevy 3500 SRW 4x4 Crew Cab Long Bed
1996 Coachmen Ranger 100SD
Tork Lift Front Tie Downs
Happijac Rear Tie Downs
Ride Rite Air Bags
Polar Cub AC Model 9201a-776 8,300BTU
Honda EU2000i generator
Started digging in today, my first step was to remove all the weight I could from the rig. I took EVERYTHING out... if it wasn't nailed down, it came out. I bet I took 500 lbs of stuff out of there, made sure the tanks were empty, removed about 300 lbs of batteries, etc. I figured it would only help while trying to muscle this thing back onto the pallets, plus it needed a good emptying out and cleaning anyway. With some help from my brother, a friend, and a small tractor, we got the front end back on the pallets nice and square and safe.
Then started digging, I didn't want to de-skin the whole camper just yet, so I cut just the bad parts out, just to see what I'm working with here...
There are 2 vertical aluminum pieces that were bent/crunched/broken off. The rest of the frame actually looks pretty good (salvageable)
The 2 pics below are with the bent and broken piece shoved back in place, so you can see how the damage was done.
That's as far as I've gotten so far. If I had a way to weld new aluminum stock in there I would be golden. I know a place I can bring it to, to have it welded but I have no way to get it on the truck to transport it!
That's really thin metal. I don't think you are going to be able to add much strength with a weld. I know that some campers use wood inside of aluminum. I'd try that and reinforce the corner similar to how you'd do a junction of beams for a house.
'06 F350 Lariat Supercab SRW, 6.0 PSD 4x4 Long Bed, Intake Elbow, Walker Big Truck Muffler. '06 Host Rainer 950 Double Slide, Fastguns. Firestone Air Bags, Rancho 9000s, Vision 19.5s with Hankook DH-01 245s, Energy Suspension bump stops.