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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > '03 Lance wing dry rot - pics

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Eric&Lisa

Scappoose, OR

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Posted: 10/09/07 10:27am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks like it is my turn to have problems with my Lance camper. [emoticon]

Last night I was doing an inspection under the camper after taking it out last weekend. I noticed some loose insulation chunks under the left wing by the tank access door. I pulled them off. Each is about an inch in size:

[image]

That is not insulation. It is fungus growing under my camper. Uh-oh.

So I pulled off the lower trim piece to discover:

[image]

I removed the door, more of the trim and peeled up the siding to expose:

[image]


I think heartbroken is the right word to describe my feelings right now. A bit of history...

I purchased this camper used from a dealer in July '06. Since then I have taken two 2-week road trips (Sept 06, July 07) and about a half dozen weekend outings. The rest of the time the camper has been stored in my shop. Not under a tarp, not in a shed, in an enclosed shop which is heated in the winter.

It appears the inner lip of the trim piece is not factory sealed against the inside of the wing. I suspect water gets in there and eventually wicks its way into the wood. Maybe a tablespoon every time it gets wet. The moisture has no place to go and simply sits on the trim. Then the fungus sets in. The camper has only been in the rain infrequently, but it has been washed (including underneath) after every trip.

Given the extent of the damage, I suspect the problem preceded my ownership. Heck, the camper is only 48 months old - there is no way that amount of damage started when I took ownership 15 months ago.

So now what?

I have emails out to Lance and to the dealer. I did buy the extended warranty, and I do not know if this damage is covered or not. I have no expectations that Lance will be able to do anything for me given the camper is an '03 model. That said, in my business we say 'Problems are nothing more than opportunities to win customers'. We will see what happens, and with low expectations I have everything to gain.

I am going to proceed under the presumption this will be my issue to resolve. Tonight I am going to tear into it some more. Right now, my tentative repair plan is to take apart the wing at this joint:

[image]

The wood above this joint is solid. Even the wood piece below is solid, and is only soft at the bottom. The wood which is just starting to get affected, I plan on treating with some sort of repair epoxy (like what The Rot Doctor sells). I can attach a new lower piece using some dowels & glue.

Beyond that tentative plan, I am wide open to options. Anyone have any suggestions? Questions I have at this time...

- How much do I need to remove in order to get at the wings? Does the insulated tank cover need to come off, or can I work on the wing without removing it?
- Has anyone used some of these wood rot repair epoxies before?
- What type of wood should I use? I am thinking about simply using two pieces of wood which I can laminate together with opposing grains. I can plane the final piece to the proper thickness. Of course whatever wood I use will be fully treated & sealed before installation.
- There is some sort of foam material between the aluminum siding and the wood. Reuse? Replace? If so, where do I source it from?
- Can I reuse the metal strips which are under the wood panel and are on the lower door edge?
- What else should be replaced while I am at it?


Hopefully this post will be incentive for all the other Lance owners out there to check their wings. I did take note of one easy indicator. Obviously, soft spots are a dead giveaway. Before it gets that bad, pull a few screws out and check them. Here are all the screws I have removed so far. The rusty screws were all in dry rot. The clean screws were all in solid wood.

[image]

Note the rear trim piece (not removed yet). I pulled the screws loose. The bottom screw would not come out - no bite in the dry rot to make it come loose. Second screw up is heavily rusted. Third lightly rusted. Fourth is clean.

[image]

I have pulled a few screws from the right side wing. They are medium rusty. I am almost scared to pull that trim off and look. No soft spots though. Maybe I can get away with some of the dry rot repair epoxy...

Thanks,
-Eric


Eric & Lisa - Oregon
'97 Silverado K2500, New HT383 motor!, Airbags, anti-sway bar
'03 Lance model 1030, generator, solar,

EricCO

Colorado

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Posted: 10/09/07 10:56am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That royally sucks big time. Why wouldn't the extended warrenty cover it?


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Kenneth

Washington, the state

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Posted: 10/09/07 11:04am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Pull out your contract for your extended warranty and read all the fine print. If there's anything in that contract you don't completely understand 100%, ask the dealership or the issuer of the contract what it means in plain language.

You might not like what the contract says, or you might like it, but in any case you need to know in order to plan.

Please post again and let us all know your results with both the repairs and the response provide by the warranty company. Give us the name of the warranty company when you make a report on how they treat you.

* This post was edited 10/09/07 11:14am by Kenneth *


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phonemanT

Warner Robins,Ga

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Posted: 10/09/07 11:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Eric&Lisa
I'm in about the same boat youre in I have a 97 Lance that I purchased used it has alot of rot on the right rear skirt area.Im in the process of trying to rebuild myself.Ive been looking on the forum to try and pick up some ideas on how would be best to tackle my mess.

EdFil

Sarasota, Fl

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Posted: 10/09/07 11:11am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Eric, it makes me sick to see that rot. I've seen it on many other Lance Campers. I saw one being repaired with a Lance replacement wood wing, but I could not tell you how far to cut for it. I would try to get the extended warrantee to cover it first. I'm sure you'll get help here. Good luck. Ed


Ed and Fran

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serpa4

East Coast

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Posted: 10/09/07 11:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the pics. Although I don't have a lance, it reminds me to check every seam on my TC, esp the wing area to ensure all is sealed. Good luck.


Love the camping life. 06 Host Rainier SS, 07 Classic GMC Sierra 3500 DRW.


Eric&Lisa

Scappoose, OR

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Posted: 10/09/07 11:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Round one with the dealer...

Called up and spoke with the service manager. Explained the situation. His reply, "99% of structural damage such as dry rot is not covered by the extended warranty. You can check with your sales rep to be sure." He further elaborated that he frequently sees campers *newer* than 48 months old with dry rot.

I guess I am a little bent on the whole situation. Would it be acceptable for the quarter panels to rust out in 48 months on a new car? Would it be acceptable for the eves to rot off a new house in 48 months? If this was a 1993 camper which lived its life outside, I could see this as normal wear & tear. But four years old, at least one year of which was indoors?

Email to sales rep was sent earlier this morning, but no response yet.

Contract is at home. I will review it this evening and post additional info as I uncover it.

Thanks,
-Eric

Greg B

Minnesota

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Posted: 10/09/07 12:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorry to hear of you problem.
By the looks of it, that things been leaking since day 1. Id try to see if Lance would be willing to help.


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30yrtc

Monson,Me

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Posted: 10/09/07 01:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Been there ( Alpenlite) same old problem, Small area open to water, acts like a straw, sucks in water, no where to go; Filon siding does not allow it to evaporate.

If screws rusty , most likely some water intrusion.. Could poke with an Ice pick
see if any soft wood under trim...

My advice, anyone with this type construction ( Filon walls capped with trim )
should remove , inspect and reseal...

Note: I had wood root in the main wing framing ( support ) removed the rot and
cut wood pieces to fit and fiberglass mat/resin in the affected area,
Restored structualy, but a long tedious job. Also where ever I could get at I added additional support braces ( triangle wood pieces )and where the surface area were dry rot I sandwiched addition 'wood panels. , again with Fiberglass mat/resin.. Probably stronger than when new .

jgorm

san diego

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Posted: 10/09/07 02:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Eric&Lisa wrote:

If this was a 1993 camper which lived its life outside, I could see this as normal wear & tear. But four years old, at least one year of which was indoors?

Yeah that sucks. mine is not that bad and its a 91 that lived outside for its life.


'97 C3500 4 door dually with big heavy camper The Camper My Ford EFI Tuning Website


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