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 > Ugh wet wood in Bigfoot

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Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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Posted: 05/02/21 10:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The inspecting dealer should be liable for overlooked damages.
I'd like to hear their response.
With dryrot damage there is 1 main rule.
"it is always several times bigger than you think it is".
What are you skill for DIY repairs? For dryrot who still has some structure holding, I like laminating, but that is another skill that will be needed.





bigfootford

Fair Oaks, California

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Posted: 05/02/21 10:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ugg leaking and damage from water..

I have had a couple of leaks with my BF but caught them early and fixed the issues.

One was a front running light... The factory seal of butyl tape was leaking.

How I discovered the leak was just by chance. The storage cabinet on the passenger side of the bed was wet inside... WTF! How could water be in there? I removed the trim from inside the cabinet and over the bed at the roof.... It was damp. I found that the seams of the glued foam paneling where panels are placed makes the path for the water to travel in the seams, thus it traveled from the center light across the front of the bed paneling and then down into the cabinet. I cleaned all the running lights and sealed them with a good clear sealer... Proflex.
Problem solved.

The next issue was I found a leaking window rear kitchen window. The camper was brand new, I had just picked up the camper and drove it home in the rain. 120 miles. Got home and there was water on the sink counter top and the floor.. OH I was pissed! Instead of taking it back to the dealer I removed the window and found that the Butyl tape used for the seal of the window was not even compressed where the corner passenger side curves around. UGGG. I had to build up 3 layers of butyl tape to make the seal! I contacted BIGFOOT, and the dealer. No response from the MFG...

After I realized what was going on I went around to every window and slightly tightened every screw. Most were at least a 1/2 to 1 turn loose! ****...
After doing this the Butyl tape started oozing a bit... After about a year I went around and check every screw... Some were quite a bit loose... I snuged those down. End of problems of windows leaking!

A forum member, Reddog1/Wayne and I were friends, he passed away last year, has a 1986 BF . We were out on a trip to the Dakotas, it was raining a lot. He found his bed flooring was sopping wet... I already knew about my window leaks etc so when he got home he removed the passenger side window and there it was. The Butyl tape was not even making contact in some areas. H redid that wondow and then did all of them again.

Once dirt has intruded the no sealed part of the windows it will not seal again.

Hope you can find the source and are able to fix.. The paneling/ foam are also used to stiffen the fiberglass. There are some places that will allow the camper body to sag... One member had the leak up by the bed and his camper wall on that side really sagged. He had to do a lot of work to get it stiffened back up. I can not remember who it was. Maybe someone will remember who it was.

Jim


2000 2500 9.6 Bigfoot,94 F250, Vision 19.5, Mich 245/70XDS2's, Bilstein shocks, air bags/pump, EU2000, PD 9260,Lifeline 100ah, 200W. solar, Morningstar Sunsaver 15A/ display panel, Trimetric, Delorme/laptop, Holux gps rec,led lights, Wave-3 heat.

AH_AK

AK

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Posted: 05/02/21 11:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kayteg1 wrote:

The inspecting dealer should be liable for overlooked damages.
I'd like to hear their response.
With dryrot damage there is 1 main rule.
"it is always several times bigger than you think it is".
What are you skill for DIY repairs? For dryrot who still has some structure holding, I like laminating, but that is another skill that will be needed.


I even asked them if they found any structural or water damage because they said the roof and wall penetrations needed a reseal. They said no. The roof sealant actually looked good to me. I figured I would reseal everything and was just happy there was no water damage.

There is some wet wood on the back passenger wall by the battery and generator compartment. It is the 1-1.5 inch corner block that the jack screws into. It is rotten all the way through to the fiberglass in some spots. Not sure how high it extends, but looks like it may go full up into the generator compartment.

I also found softness on the driver’s side corner (wrinkled vinyl in the shore power box on back wall). This wood may still have some integrity. Then there seems to be dry rot all the way around the back wall low down. As I move upward everything gets solid. The floor seems alright. Only a few soft spots adjacent to the worst, most wet parts of the wall.

I am reasonably handy. Access is the biggest issue I can foresee. So tough to actually get in there to work on stuff.

Honestly, the larger issue is time. I am not sure I want a big project and I am not willing to be a jerk and sell it without disclosing (like the previous seller did to me). I am also doubting the competence of the dealer. It feels like there is not a good option.

AH_AK

AK

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Posted: 05/02/21 11:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bigfootford wrote:

Ugg leaking and damage from water..

I have had a couple of leaks with my BF but caught them early and fixed the issues.

One was a front running light... The factory seal of butyl tape was leaking.

How I discovered the leak was just by chance. The storage cabinet on the passenger side of the bed was wet inside... WTF! How could water be in there? I removed the trim from inside the cabinet and over the bed at the roof.... It was damp. I found that the seams of the glued foam paneling where panels are placed makes the path for the water to travel in the seams, thus it traveled from the center light across the front of the bed paneling and then down into the cabinet. I cleaned all the running lights and sealed them with a good clear sealer... Proflex.
Problem solved.

The next issue was I found a leaking window rear kitchen window. The camper was brand new, I had just picked up the camper and drove it home in the rain. 120 miles. Got home and there was water on the sink counter top and the floor.. OH I was pissed! Instead of taking it back to the dealer I removed the window and found that the Butyl tape used for the seal of the window was not even compressed where the corner passenger side curves around. UGGG. I had to build up 3 layers of butyl tape to make the seal! I contacted BIGFOOT, and the dealer. No response from the MFG...

After I realized what was going on I went around to every window and slightly tightened every screw. Most were at least a 1/2 to 1 turn loose! ****...
After doing this the Butyl tape started oozing a bit... After about a year I went around and check every screw... Some were quite a bit loose... I snuged those down. End of problems of windows leaking!

A forum member, Reddog1/Wayne and I were friends, he passed away last year, has a 1986 BF . We were out on a trip to the Dakotas, it was raining a lot. He found his bed flooring was sopping wet... I already knew about my window leaks etc so when he got home he removed the passenger side window and there it was. The Butyl tape was not even making contact in some areas. H redid that wondow and then did all of them again.

Once dirt has intruded the no sealed part of the windows it will not seal again.

Hope you can find the source and are able to fix.. The paneling/ foam are also used to stiffen the fiberglass. There are some places that will allow the camper body to sag... One member had the leak up by the bed and his camper wall on that side really sagged. He had to do a lot of work to get it stiffened back up. I can not remember who it was. Maybe someone will remember who it was.

Jim


That is insane that it was a new BF. At least you caught it early. I did also find a bit of rot in the forward drivers side bed storage area. Looks like the plastic between the clamshells is cracked up there. I plan to seal that and also all the running lights. That damage is pretty minimal. At this point, the best play seems to be resealing everything and trying to fix the structural issues. TBH, I am also considering just selling it as a project and taking a financial hit.

Lwiddis

Monterey, California

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Posted: 05/02/21 12:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

“They said no. ”

Said? You didn’t get a written report?


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist14 yr. Army vet-11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 05/02/21 01:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It really is too bad that Bigfoot goes to the trouble of building a waterproof shell, then drills a million holes in it. Doesn't need to be done that way in most cases.

On the Bifgoot 5th wheel I had, water intruded from the awning mounts and ran down the interior paneling, rotting it. The camper I ordered new I instructed than no holes be put in the roof, they have to do some anyway. The one I have now was NOS, so far I've properly fixed all but one of the roof penetrations.

If I had to get into the panelling to fix rot, I'd be very tempted not to replace it with plywood. The BF shell is not thick enough for sufficient rigidity on its own, so the foam and plywood form a sandwich to increase stiffness. Wood is also used in many placed where jacks, tables, cabinets, etc are to be mounted. If it was 1/8 luan I'd replace it with 1/8 G10 fiberglass, a bit heavier but it is much stronger and will never rot. The places where 1/2 ply was used for backer I'd put in 3/8 or 1/2 G10. There are some places where 3/4 or 1 or 1 1/8 were used, that'd be a very heavy piece of G10 so I might stick to plywood. G10 will hold a self tapping screw better than plywood, but being considerably stronger you need to test the size of pilot hole you drill.


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

bigfootford

Fair Oaks, California

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Posted: 05/02/21 02:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

HMS Beagle wrote:

It really is too bad that Bigfoot goes to the trouble of building a waterproof shell, then drills a million holes in it. Doesn't need to be done that way in most cases.

On the Bifgoot 5th wheel I had, water intruded from the awning mounts and ran down the interior paneling, rotting it. The camper I ordered new I instructed than no holes be put in the roof, they have to do some anyway. The one I have now was NOS, so far I've properly fixed all but one of the roof penetrations.

If I had to get into the panelling to fix rot, I'd be very tempted not to replace it with plywood. The BF shell is not thick enough for sufficient rigidity on its own, so the foam and plywood form a sandwich to increase stiffness. Wood is also used in many placed where jacks, tables, cabinets, etc are to be mounted. If it was 1/8 luan I'd replace it with 1/8 G10 fiberglass, a bit heavier but it is much stronger and will never rot. The places where 1/2 ply was used for backer I'd put in 3/8 or 1/2 G10. There are some places where 3/4 or 1 or 1 1/8 were used, that'd be a very heavy piece of G10 so I might stick to plywood. G10 will hold a self tapping screw better than plywood, but being considerably stronger you need to test the size of pilot hole you drill.


Hay, don't you have some pictures of the work you did on the camper?

I remember you did a commendable job fixing the issues.

Jim

JimK-NY

NY

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Posted: 05/02/21 03:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I bought a used camper on consignment at a dealer. Sure I paid more, but the dealer had a commitment from the seller to fix any issues. The dealer was really careful because he would profit from any problems found.

mr_andyj

Georgia

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Posted: 05/02/21 08:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had to cut out and remove a lot of soggy wood from a fiberglass TC. The floor was made like a boat on this one and just held water.
Yes, first find all the leaks and repair them, not to factory standards, but to a non-leaking standard. Go over-board and be paranoid like your life depends on it as you are about to do some major repair work that you will not want to ever do again.
Expect a major renno!
Do it right, put proper drains in the floor so when water does get it it can get out fast, but no so that water can get in through the drains.
Does the repair have to be wood or can you use another material that is waterproof?
Do remove all damaged wood as black mold is something that can happen. Get it all out.
There is MOLD BLOCK spray and other mold removers you can find at HD or hardware stores to deal with any mold. Remove all mold so it does not come back, it will get damp or humid behind the walls.
Good luck, I do not envy you.

AH_AK

AK

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Posted: 05/02/21 11:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So I got after it today and started removing hatches and windows. Found more, but it seems to be somewhat lower on the back wall. Good news the floor seems ok. Bad news, the jack reinforcement is not.
PDF Picture tour of my soggy Bigfoot
Good news:
1. Grant at Bigfoot was super responsive (on a Sunday) and very helpful in describing the construction and thought on how to repair. Keep in mind this is a 19 year old camper that was built by the previous incarnation of Bigfoot...he provided better support than most companies do for new products. So I am bummed, but heartened that Bigfoot supports their products.
2. SIPS construction seems pretty straightforward to fix. Remove/replace rotten core and rebond inner and skin/outer shell to core.
3. I am already feeling more confident that I can do this. Everything came apart very easily. I am going to reseal EVERYTHING.

Bad news:
1. I have to pull the generator and remove the heat shroud to see how high the rot goes on the passenger side. All jack screws were rusted.
2. I have no clue how I am supposed to rehab the driver's side jack backing without removing the entire 1-piece bath. I am open to ideas. I would really rather not start disassembling the interior if I can help it.

I have ready about people injecting epoxy to fix cores in boats but apparently that really only works for small volumes. I am thinking stick a line in the top jack mount hole and draw epoxy (or polyester) with a vacuum pump to each of the holes until some come out. That might just make a massive mess that is darn near impossible to fix though.

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