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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers

 > Trailer Wall Rebuild

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bpmjr79

West Melbourne, Florida

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Posted: 10/01/09 11:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have put off rebuilding the rear wall in my camper as long as I can. We are going camping next weekend so I am planning on starting the project tommorrow. I have researched it quite a bit and thought I had a good handle on it but now I am second guessing myself. I went to the RV store to get the butyl tape and talked to the mechanic. He explained that I needed a special glue to glue the luan to the styrofoam insulation and the insulation to the metal siding. I thought there was regular fiberglass insulation in there from what I saw in the bottom corner where I pulled the wall back. If this is true and I need to glue it, is there any other types of glue I can use like contractors glue? Also, was only planning on replacing a couple small sections of the luan with normal wood panneling, would that work?

I would also like to run down what I belive are the steps I need to take for this project, any reccomendations are appreciated.

I am going to pull out the plastic corner trim to expose the screws and then take off the trim corner pieces. This will allow me to pull the staples out and get the siding down. I will need to disconct the wires for the lights.

Once the wall is exposed I will replace the rotten wood with PT 2x3s using brackets and screws to connect the new wood with the old wood.

I'll replace the insulation and panelling and use the butly tape under the corner moldings.

Does this sound about right? It is a 2000 Jayco Qwuest 244 and the butly tape on the corner moldings was never replaced so that is where the water leaked in.

mxsjw

Washington

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Posted: 10/01/09 11:35am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You can use a spray contact adhesive to reattach the insulation to the wall/siding. And yes, I too had the typical "pink" fiberglass insulation in my walls when I did the same thing to my TT you are about to do.

Your steps look pretty much spot on as far as I can tell from this side of the keyboard. I might suggest picking up and applying a water based protectant to the new and old wood you expose. It's a simple brush on solution that will help protect the wood from any future moisture issues, should they crop up . You can find it in pints at any local hardware store. The stuff I used was green colored and not really that smelly, just brushed it on and let it dry before sealing the TT back up.

Also, check out this link...Phred's Poop Sheet on Moisture
It helped me big time with ideas on how to fix issues and help protect against any further problems.

Good luck!


2003 Layton Skyline 196LT
2007 Toyota Tundra


JIMNLIN

Oklahoma

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Posted: 10/01/09 01:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the butyl tape has been installed correctly it shouldn't need to be replaced on a '00 unit. Many sidewall leaks at the cornors can be the result of improper instalation/sealing of the clearance light fixture. Sometimes the screws in the moulding can leak if they didn't squeeze the butyl tape out. Leaks in the roof can run from one side of the roof to the other and then down a wall.

When you reinstall the fixture be sure and butyl tape the wire hole so water can't get in. And also make sure the weep hole in the fixture lens is down. Any condensation or leak will drain on out instead filling up the lens and following the wire back through the hole into the wall.

Good luck on your rework


"good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment" ............ Will Rogers

'03 2500 QC Dodge/Cummins HO 3.73 6 speed manual Jacobs Westach
'97 Park Avanue 28' 5er 11200 two slides

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 10/01/09 03:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JIMNLIN writes "If the butyl tape has been installed correctly it shouldn't need to be replaced on a '00 unit. Many sidewall leaks at the cornors can be the result of improper instalation/sealing of the clearance light fixture. Sometimes the screws in the moulding can leak if they didn't squeeze the butyl tape out. Leaks in the roof can run from one side of the roof to the other and then down a wall."

Really? I will disagree with this, an '00 unit that has never had any caulking/sealants checked and or replaced will result in lots of water damage.

Butyl rubber has an extremely short life span, often in six months or so it will start shrinking, cracking allowing water to seap right by and follow the screws into the wood.

Take a look at my second TT rebuild, it is the result of previous owners ignoring water leaks.

My Rebuild

JJBIRISH

Butler, PA, USA

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Posted: 10/01/09 05:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don’t know I have a 90 and a 91with single sheet aluminum roofs, and neither one has had the ends, roof, or windows resealed, and there is no evidence a any leaks anywhere… they do get checked a couple times a year though…

I have no plans of resealing them any time soon if they don’t leak…


Love my mass produced, entry level, built by Lazy American Workers, Hornet


Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 10/01/09 06:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JJBIRISH writes "and there is no evidence a any leaks anywhere… they do get checked a couple times a year though…"

Glad you have no "evidence" of leaking, and good for you to at least "check" but the problem is that the water runs off the roof to the side trim.

Since the roof folds down over the side walls, the trim is screwed over top the overlap of the roof and side wall.

The trim to roof to sidewall depends on the butyl caulking to "seal" the ever so small gap that occurs at that point. The water as it flows to the trim must flow over the butyl caulking. All it takes is one small gap or even a slight crack in the butyl caulk and the water will find its way to the screws.

Once it gets to the screws it is wicked deep into the wood, this process very slowly will cause a lot of major rot at the top of the walls. Once the wood gets saturated enough the water then spreads not only down but up into the roof trusses. This all occurs without leaving a single damp spot on the paneling or ceiling. Once you see a damp, discolored or soft spot it is far too late, much damage has already occured.

After rebuilding two different TTs which actually had simular rot characteristics even though they were completely different manufacturers I feel most people tend to think they have no leaks. The truth of it is that they do have leaks, they just never seen it.

My second TT all four corners were blown out, the entire perimeter of the roof was gone. Could not save any ceiling joists, they were all rotted off at least 2-3 ft on both sides. Replaced entire front and rear of trailer, 60% of the side wall studs were damaged. Even had to replace sections of the floor, even found wet wood under the vinyl flooring that had made its way entirely from one side of the trailer to the oposite side (thats 8 ft).

Only two types of RVs one that is leaking and one that WILL be leaking.

I would suggest you take a good look at my rebuild I posted, I am very sure previous owners never gave it a thought to refresh the caulking, ever. For some folks my rebuild may be a bit disturbing, it should be although I didn't take pictures that actually would have been even worse looking. The caulking I took off was hard and crumbly, never had been touched, many of the screws crumbled.

Go ahead and bury your head in the sand thinking it isn't leaking, its yours to do what you like.

JIMNLIN

Oklahoma

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Posted: 10/01/09 07:15pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

JIMNLIN writes "If the butyl tape has been installed correctly it shouldn't need to be replaced on a '00 unit. Many sidewall leaks at the cornors can be the result of improper instalation/sealing of the clearance light fixture. Sometimes the screws in the moulding can leak if they didn't squeeze the butyl tape out. Leaks in the roof can run from one side of the roof to the other and then down a wall."

Really? I will disagree with this, an '00 unit that has never had any caulking/sealants checked and or replaced will result in lots of water damage.

Butyl rubber has an extremely short life span, often in six months or so it will start shrinking, cracking allowing water to seap right by and follow the screws into the wood.

Take a look at my second TT rebuild, it is the result of previous owners ignoring water leaks.

My Rebuild


Butyl tape goes under the moulding and then screws are added that forces excess tape out. The squeeze out is excessed off and then a sealent such as Dicor/Proseal/etc or other brands for verticle side joints may or may not be used.

I spent several years (early '60s) on a RV/mobilehome assy line and have had my own part time/weekends RV/mobilehome service repair ('70s). I specialized in structure and sheet metal repair especially roofs where the majority of water intrusion originates.

Butyl tape was used then but sealents were only latex caulk which became brittle in a few months. Sorry stuff so making sure the butyl tape had proper squeeze out was a must do.
You may be confused with water stains or light damage from condensation issues.

My '97 5er in sig has good tite joints where the tape was squeezed out. It also has a good lap sealent/joint sealent second line of defence aginst leaks. And no its never leaked as I have checked the sealent a couple of times a year and replaced or added as necessary.

My neighbor has a '70's Nomad TT with the original tape still under its moulding/windows/doors and roof jacks and roof fixtures. he has resealed the roof but this unit has no water damage as many other new and old units that are maintained properly.

JJBIRISH

Butler, PA, USA

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Posted: 10/01/09 09:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gregg

I am not in disagreement with you and have had to deal with rot before on used trailers to…

The only leak I have found in the last 5 years is on my 04 on a newly installed ( 6 months after) fantastic fan… I also found a leak in my slide… after not being able to locate the leak, I removed trim and windows and resealed it but still didn’t fix the leak… turns out it was leaking from the bottom up… caused by some carpet fibers that acted like a wicks… leaks can be really tough to find...

The portion of the tape that is exposed may deteriorate quickly, but the part not exposed (the part that does the sealing) should not… I understand any sealant can fail… I inspect it and watch for signs of leaks the best I can, but to me it is a waste of time to remove windows and trim to reseal them without cause… it is not possible to predict when or where a leak will occur, we only know where they are most likely to happen… the only way to guarantee against leaks is to garage it and leave it there…

but man what a job if you don't catch it...

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