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 > Ugh wet wood in Bigfoot

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noteven

Turtle Island

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Posted: 05/05/21 08:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Can you source Azdel panels to use in place of plywood?

AH_AK

AK

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Posted: 05/05/21 10:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

AH_AK wrote:

I am going to install a soft start on the A/C and then use a 2.2kW portable generator modified to run on LP.


Power on propane is derated about 10 to 15%. I suggest jumping to a 2.8 kw portable such as the Champion 3400 inverter/generator with remote electric start.


The issue here is size. The Honda will bArely fit where I plan to store it. Really it just needs to run the 11,000Btu A/C. I know several people that have done this will the old 2000W honda and a soft start on the A/C to reduce the current surge when the compressor kicks on.

AH_AK

AK

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Posted: 05/05/21 10:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

noteven wrote:

Can you source Azdel panels to use in place of plywood?


Would need to have them shipped to AK, so not really a great option for me.

AH_AK

AK

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Posted: 05/05/21 10:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Update: the source of my rear passenger side leak appears to have be the center seal. A lot of the silicone caulk on the bottom seam of the center seal is cracked/ separated. Probably not a big deal but at that exact location the top silicone seam was also separated which would allow water running down the exterior wall to go directly behind the seal.

Does anyone have a drawing/picture of the center seal construction? I was always told these seals rarely leak and that the source is almost alway something up higher, but I have checked higher up and it is bone dry. Seems like the screws on the center seal allow an easy entry point for water if it gets behind the cover. I really just want to open up that entire mod seal and look for rusty screws. Unsure how one would do that though. Anyone know?

Now the super depressing part. I found more wet luan on the passenger wall behind the kitchen counter. This will be very hard to replace without removing the cabinets/ oven. It seems pretty limited and only extends 4-5 inches up from the floor. It is wet, but I do not see any mold. I am thinking since I am resealing everything anyway, i might be able to run a big dehumidifier out there in the interim to get it all dried out. My thought is If it doesn’t present a structural threat, there is only foam behind (which appears relatively impervious to water), and no mold present, then getting it dried out seems like an acceptable solution.

Tearing apart the kitchen seems like a bit more than I am willing to do at this time.

HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 05/05/21 02:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have the fiberglassing skills, do that. I never like plyood embedded in fiberglass, it is just a time bomb, particularly if it has any screws driven in (which is usually the reason for it). A non-embedded plywood backing pad can at least dry if given a chance.

When you say center seal, do you mean the seal between top and bottom that runs all the way around? That can be an ingress point, particularly the way they sealed them at the factory. The top overlaps the bottom, so if left that way it would never leak. But then they put a piece of trim on it, drill a million holes drive in a miilion screws (which used to be steel but they do use SS now), then seal the trim top and bottom with a fillet of silicone. The last bit is the coup de grace - usually the top fillet, being exposed to more sun and weather fails first, allowing the bottom seal to collect a pool of water behind the trim, which has no place to go but through the aforementioned million holes with rusty screws. Would have been much better to let the water run out the bottom, sealing the top (though the top seal is useless after a year or two).

I think it is practically no possible to reseal the actual overlapping seam, but also not necessary. Pull the vinyl trim strip, remove all the screws, seal the threads themselves with a good marine grade caulk as you drive in new SS screws. Clean all the failed silicone off the top and bottom of the trim and do not replace it. All the trim does is hide the screw heads, it has no sealing function at all.


Bigfoot 10.4E, 2015 F350 6.7L DRW 2WD, Autoflex Ultra Air Ride rear suspension, Hellwig Bigwig sway bars front and rear

AH_AK

AK

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Posted: 05/05/21 02:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

HMS Beagle wrote:

If you have the fiberglassing skills, do that. I never like plyood embedded in fiberglass, it is just a time bomb, particularly if it has any screws driven in (which is usually the reason for it). A non-embedded plywood backing pad can at least dry if given a chance.

When you say center seal, do you mean the seal between top and bottom that runs all the way around? That can be an ingress point, particularly the way they sealed them at the factory. The top overlaps the bottom, so if left that way it would never leak. But then they put a piece of trim on it, drill a million holes drive in a miilion screws (which used to be steel but they do use SS now), then seal the trim top and bottom with a fillet of silicone. The last bit is the coup de grace - usually the top fillet, being exposed to more sun and weather fails first, allowing the bottom seal to collect a pool of water behind the trim, which has no place to go but through the aforementioned million holes with rusty screws. Would have been much better to let the water run out the bottom, sealing the top (though the top seal is useless after a year or two).

I think it is practically no possible to reseal the actual overlapping seam, but also not necessary. Pull the vinyl trim strip, remove all the screws, seal the threads themselves with a good marine grade caulk as you drive in new SS screws. Clean all the failed silicone off the top and bottom of the trim and do not replace it. All the trim does is hide the screw heads, it has no sealing function at all.


This is so helpful. All I can say is thank you so much and if you ever come to Anchorage, AK you are welcome to park your rig at my place up on the hillside.

AH_AK

AK

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Posted: 05/05/21 07:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So the shell seal was definitely the source of my leak. I found all sorts of fun stuff under there. Missing fasteners (holes appeared filled by the butyl tape on backside). Did Bigfoot use gray butyl there, or was that part of a repair? About 1/3 of the fasteners didn’t have purchase at all. Around my leaky corner the screws were nuked. Maybe 40% diameter remaining, all the threads corroded away. The butyl tape was “normal” in most places, but then watery and oily in others. Never seen that before and not sure what caused it. Only a few fasteners were clean of corrosion, mostly towards the door (yay at least I have some dry spots). It looks like Bigfoot used a construction adhesive/sealant on the shell lap (beige colored) and the screws go into that stuff where there is not wood. That sealant appears to get rubbery and expand when it gets wet. It was bulging out of my leaky corner. I pulled some of it out while cleaning up the wet wood corner beam. Didn’t know what it was. Now I know.

I am pretty committed at this point to replace the entire shell seam. I really don’t want to use the crappy trim that it came with and I am not too worried about aesthetics. My thoughts are:
1. 316 stainless strip with countersunk holes and stainless screws bonded to shell with either 4200 or 4000UV (hopefully it is never coming off again).
2. Get it all cleaned up, install stainless screws, take it to the boat yard and have them glass the entire seam and finish with gel coat. This will look a little weird and cost more, but imagine that, a 1-piece shell. Throw a transom on there and mount a 30hp and she’ll be ready to go fishing.

If 1, I will fill the holes with thickened epoxy so that I don’t need to worry about new holes lining up with the old ones.

Any other ideas for how to re-finish the shell seam?

adamis

Northern California

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Posted: 05/05/21 10:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can't answer your question but as a fellow Bigfoot owner, I would ask that you please document your repair process as much as possible! You appear to be headed were few have been before and so your experience (and pictures) will be an invaluable resource to the rest of us that may oneday walk the same path. Also, might be a great resource to send back to Grant at Bigfoot. Maybe they already know of this issue and have change procedures but having this type of feedback is always invaluable.

Thanks in advance... Fellow Bigfoot Owner


1999 F350 Dually with 7.3 Diesel
2000 Bigfoot 10.6 Camper


AH_AK

AK

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Posted: 05/06/21 02:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

adamis wrote:

I can't answer your question but as a fellow Bigfoot owner, I would ask that you please document your repair process as much as possible! You appear to be headed were few have been before and so your experience (and pictures) will be an invaluable resource to the rest of us that may oneday walk the same path. Also, might be a great resource to send back to Grant at Bigfoot. Maybe they already know of this issue and have change procedures but having this type of feedback is always invaluable.

Thanks in advance... Fellow Bigfoot Owner


I will try and document as I go. I need to streamline my documentation process. I usually just take videos in case I forget how something was installed when putting it back together. Usually I am just rambling to myself in the videos. Perhaps I will try and be more coherent and post links here.

One of the things I like about Bigfoot TCs is the community. There are some super-owners on this site (several have commented in this thread), that are DIY beasts and are very helpful. The worst thing for me is feeling alone and thinking I am going to make some terrible mistake and ruin my camper. I will try and help contribute to the community, even though my experience is fairly limited.

BurbMan

Noblesville, IN

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Posted: 05/06/21 06:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I rebuilt the Lance I used 4" Eternabond tape to wrap every corner molding. It's a similar issue: where the two filon panels come together at the corner, the seam is overlapped with an extruded aluminum molding set into butyl tape and fastened with a zillion screws. I found that the 4" tape gives a good 3/4" of sealing surface to the sidewalls on either side of the corner and completely encapsulates everything underneath. Not a crisp looking as a factory corner, but 100% will never leak again.

[image]


2015 Ram 3500 SRW 4x4 Laramie Crew Cab Long Box, Cummins diesel
SOLD: 2002 Lance 811 Slide-In Camper
2002 Lance 811 Renovation Story!
Project Complete!
Maiden Voyage!


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