Repair RV leak damage

Discussions about Camper, Trailer and RV repair.
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realraeann
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri May 17, 2013 12:33 pm

Repair RV leak damage

Post by realraeann » Fri May 17, 2013 12:46 pm

My 5th wheel camper has fiberglass siding. It is a 2005 camper. We recently noticed water damage on the inside of the camper. We would like to attempt to repair the camper ourselves but looking for some suggestions as far as how to approach it? Do we tear into it from the inside and perform the repairs and hope to track the leak or do we attempt to repair from the outside. We now have separation along the back corner of the camper on the outside. My husband is a carpenter and very resourceful. We would like to save thousands in repairs by doing this ourselves but not quite sure how to remove the fiberglass panel on the back of the camper, or even if we should. Any insight, links, resources would be helpful.

techman
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Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:49 am

Re: Repair RV leak damage

Post by techman » Sun May 19, 2013 10:09 am

If you can get it inside, out of the weather, going from the outside in is the best.

Normally the panels are held in place with screws. That plastic trim on the corners covers all the screws. The first thing to remove is the very top trim and the side wall trim. This will reveal the top screws and the side screws. Then you can work from the top down, removing the panels, if it has multiple fiberglass panels. Otherwise, it may be one single fiberglass sheet on the side. In that case you may have to remove the whole side. Or peel it back carefully.

If you cannot get the camper indoors, such as my situation, you have to work from the inside. This is harder, but possible. It requires the removal of all interior cabinets and walls. Work carefully and slowly to prevent damage.

Once you have the interior framing exposed, remove all rotting or wet wood and fiberglass insulation. Take out all insulation. If there is some wood that is just damp, but not rotting, you can leave it exposed with a fan blowing in it to dry it out thoroughly.

When the wood is dry, then replace the damaged areas with new wood. I get my 1x3 and 2x2 at Home Depot for my camper framing.

You may be lucky and have aluminum framing. Then just replace the insulation.

You can get new insulation at Home Depot as well. Do not make the same mistake I did and try to stuff in more insulation than is rated for the space. For example if the frame is 3 inches deep, use 3 inch insulation.

Foam insulation is even better and mouse proof to a large extent. Mice love the fiberglass insulation and chamber through your walls giving you that funky old camper smell a lot have.

If you have to replace inside panels, you can also find some thinner paneling at Home Depot or Lowes.

An RV shop will carry the trim you need to cover all your screws on the outside when you are done. It is best to use new trim if you can.

louwho57
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:00 pm

Re: Repair RV leak damage

Post by louwho57 » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:09 pm

I just bought a TT and discovered the front end is all rotted, I tore out the walls and ceiling and now am getting ready to remove framing, etc..I have to do this from the inside as the TT is sitting outside and can't be taken inside anywhere. My question I see the framing is held together by staples. How do I join together new framing when I replace? Can I use liquid nails and l brackets??? Will that be strong enough joint cause I can't hammer them together Thank you Cindy

techman
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Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:49 am

Re: Repair RV leak damage

Post by techman » Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:32 pm

I used screws where I could and brackets where I could not reach as well.

In some cases you can parallel a good piece of wood across the good remaining ends of a piece you cut out. Screw the one to the other. Once its covered up nobody will ever see it anyway. As long as they are secured strongly.

And yes, liquid nails but use screws and glue to best strength. Dont rely on glue alone. My experience is it pulls apart under stress.

Dragon93
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:27 am
Location: Maine for now

Re: Repair RV leak damage

Post by Dragon93 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:51 pm

I got to do some leak repairs on my 83 Winnebago Brave. I just bught it a couple of months ago. got a lot to do to it but the price was right. Soon it will be used as my off grid home in Arizona.

techman
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Posts: 1323
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:49 am

Re: Repair RV leak damage

Post by techman » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:17 pm

Dragon93 wrote:I got to do some leak repairs on my 83 Winnebago Brave. I just bught it a couple of months ago. got a lot to do to it but the price was right. Soon it will be used as my off grid home in Arizona.
Cool, nice catch. Hope you get all the leaks fixed up.

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