Imagine my surprise - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-07-2008, 06:51 PM   #1
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Imagine my surprise at finding rotting flooring underneath the back dinette area of my "practically new" Scamp.

A little bit of history, I purchased a 2002 Scamp two years ago from a man who had used it only twice before selling it. It was it pristine condition except for the two patched holes where the previous owner made a mistake attaching the awning. The patches looked good and there was no evidence of any water leaks from the holes.

I've been very careful to watch all the rivet covers and have re-caulked them when needed. I've used the camper with my family at least a dozen times since then, sometimes staying weeks at a time with no problem. This recent trips was a little different, though. We had rain every night for almost a week and the camper began to smell a little "wet", if you know what I mean. I chalked it up to being lived in with the windows closed for too long so I just opened the windows and aired it out when I got home. It didn't get any better, though.

So, it was a detective job finding where the source was coming from. I finally found out and I'm sharing this with all of you so you don't make the same mistake I made.

When getting a new camper, check out every single possible source for a leak, whether it looks obvious or not. In this case it was several sources. The leak was coming firstly from the rubber latch down of the awning when not secured to the ground. One side had the rubber gasket attached (no leak) the other side was missing it's gasket and there was no caulk around the seam or in the screw holes. The next source was the rear lights, one side had caulking in the screw holes (but no gasket, we got lucking on that side since there was no leak there) the other did not have any caulking or rubber gasket and it did leak.

So, don't assume that the person who owned your camper did a good job of weather proofing the outside of your camper.


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Old 07-08-2008, 03:49 PM   #2
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Anyone one else have this same problem?

Hopefully I've plugged all of the sources of water penetration. But, the next rainstorm will tell me for certain.
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Old 07-08-2008, 04:13 PM   #3
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Trailer: 17 ft 1986 Burro
Tennessee
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You can be as diligent as you want ,but water will find it's way in. After you own it a while you will get to "see" the leaks when camping if you're lucky, then you can attack the area.
Mine had waterfalls coming from where all the outside lights attach. A little Butyl tape between the lights and wall and shoved into the wire holes solved that one. Next was the rear window leak which I discovered while camping during monsoon week in Ohio.
I put a huge tarp over the trailer and removed and replaced the window with my trusty butyl tape. No more leak. This was not a big problem as all it did was rain and it gave me something to do besides watching the stream next to us rise.
I can't wait to find the next one.....

It's odd that one so new would have leaks though.
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:34 PM   #4
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Apparently the guy did some of his own handiwork on the camper and just forgot to include the gaskets. Most likely he replaced that taillight and happened to lose the included gasket or it wasn't included with the purchase.

I hadn't thought of butyl tape but that's a lot less messy than caulk. That stuff gets everywhere!
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Old 07-08-2008, 11:23 PM   #5
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WOW SURPRISE! Bummer...I would take a hose and run it over the trailer or put a sprinkler on top...I'd rather do a repair while its warm and sunny than wait for the soggy times....I've had to fix a number of leaks and suspected leaks to come...never a dull moment. Good luck
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:02 PM   #6
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Good idea. The problem right now is that it won't stop raining! The midwest is having a record rainfall year so I won't be needing that water hose. It rained again today so it's time to go out and check it again.

Hmmm...I wonder if the air conditioner was the culprit. It's factory installed and there is a plug to the wheel well that lets the water run out. But, there could be a problem in there somewhere.


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Old 07-11-2008, 09:37 AM   #7
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There are many threads on spongy/rotten floor over the years in the forum here. I personally like the design of the scamp…. that the floor can be replaced by taking off the shell. In contrast, the Casita is encapsulated in fiberglass. A nightmare to replace. Scamp factory has taken off the shell and replaced floors before. The cost? I have no idea.

There is a marine product people have used here to paint over rotten wood. It then creates a hard shell strengthening the rotted area like fiberglass. I don’t know if it would help in your case. I dont remember the name of it.
Take care.
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Old 07-12-2008, 05:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
There is a marine product people have used here to paint over rotten wood. It then creates a hard shell strengthening the rotted area like fiberglass. I donít know if it would help in your case. I dont remember the name of it.
Take care.
Thanks for the information, Ken C! In fact, my husband has decided to take the whole seat section out and has been probing around very carefully. Unfortunately, he has found even more soft spots. We still have not discovered the source of the leak but have decided to go ahead with the repair, thinking that there were probably several sources. After meticulously recaulking every rivet hole and screw into the shell, as well as the window, we are using the wood hardening product (epoxy) on the soft spots to strengthen the area. Fortunately the spots are rather small and replacing the whole floor isn't necessary.

We have the Easyup Gazebo up and over the top of the camper just in case it rains while I'm still putting on the new rivet caps. I want to refinish the gelcoat this next week anyways, so that will keep it in the shade. By the way, I was completely surprised that the gazebo fit over the scamp and I've decided that this is a very convenient solution for keeping the interior cooler, the inside drier. It, also provides a little shade right outside the door just big enough for two chairs and maybe a small table.
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