Leak Repair & Best Way to Attach Modifications - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-17-2009, 02:31 PM   #1
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just purchased a 1983 13' scamp. that's the good news, LEAKS everywhere
stripped the little scamp, put a new floor in, rhino hided the underside, now all these nasty little screw holes that leaked, fiberglass from the inside?, something from the outside so I do not have the pull up "elephant skin", can I find new material? Then after completing that I would like to have a cabinet inthe rear, I read about re-usung the curtain rod holes but how about the top? Any help would be greatly appreciated suger

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Old 10-19-2009, 07:33 PM   #2
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just purchased a 1983 13' scamp. that's the good news, LEAKS everywhere
stripped the little scamp, put a new floor in, rhino hided the underside, now all these nasty little screw holes that leaked, fiberglass from the inside?, something from the outside so I do not have the pull up "elephant skin", can I find new material? Then after completing that I would like to have a cabinet inthe rear, I read about re-usung the curtain rod holes but how about the top? Any help would be greatly appreciated suger

Suger,

I replied to your post on the "Upper cabinet" thread. But I'll repeat it here:


Hello Suger,
As an owner of a 1988 Scamp, and given the amount of water damage you have already discovered, I would recommend inspecting (and replacing as needed) every rivet running through your fiberglass hull/shell. If it were my trailer, I'd pull everything out of the inside: furniture modules, wall coverings, as well as all of your windows. This way you can see exactly where all of the damage exists, as well as the possible source of water leaks.

This may seem like more work than you're willing to do. But your upper cabinets, kitchen/galley unit and vertical cabinet are all held onto the shell with rivets, which over time become primary sources of leaks. I replaced all of my rivets with stainless steel bolts and nuts. Plus, generous amounts of butyl putty to insure a good seal. (In fact, you can use butyl putty for ALL of your sealing needs. Don't use silicone!)

About your upper cabinets: the originals already have appropriate holes (top and sides) for hanging. There really isn't any good reason to use the curtain rod holes, UNLESS (as Larry did) you are replacing the original upper cabinets with something completely custom.

RJ
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:12 PM   #3
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Suger,

I replied to your post on the "Upper cabinet" thread. But I'll repeat it here:


Hello Suger,
As an owner of a 1988 Scamp, and given the amount of water damage you have already discovered, I would recommend inspecting (and replacing as needed) every rivet running through your fiberglass hull/shell. If it were my trailer, I'd pull everything out of the inside: furniture modules, wall coverings, as well as all of your windows. This way you can see exactly where all of the damage exists, as well as the possible source of water leaks.

This may seem like more work than you're willing to do. But your upper cabinets, kitchen/galley unit and vertical cabinet are all held onto the shell with rivets, which over time become primary sources of leaks. I replaced all of my rivets with stainless steel bolts and nuts. Plus, generous amounts of butyl putty to insure a good seal. (In fact, you can use butyl putty for ALL of your sealing needs. Don't use silicone!)

About your upper cabinets: the originals already have appropriate holes (top and sides) for hanging. There really isn't any good reason to use the curtain rod holes, UNLESS (as Larry did) you are replacing the original upper cabinets with something completely custom.

RJ
thanks for the reply robert, and yes I have gutted the little scamp,

to date I have pulled up the elephant hide/skin and located that the table support board is shot/ a leak, a leak in the belly band area by i think you call it the street side (sink side), so the wooden fiber glassed bech supports ar shot, and when some one installed the vents for the frig (Dometic, gas, 12V & 110) it leaked around the metal access panel and the floor is damaged.
I am beginning to suspect those pesty curtain rod holders too.

My continual mentaldebate is I like that rubber type covering and would like to find a source for replacing it, well leaks first and I have time to figure out the covering
I replace the floor and it was really tough to fit it in between the fiberglass channel but it workrd and I have re-glass over that. Fiberglass is new to my repertoire, so I am taking baby steps,
the little scamp was made into swiss cheese with screws and silicone (what were those people thinking?) I plane to fiberglass on the inside and use a 3m product I found at the boat store. I am sure after plugging up all these holes I will be gun shy about drilling any. that is why I have been reading up on the proper way to attach stuff.
My husband, Adrian wants some type of awning and maybe an outside light and shelf.
I have been thinking of ways to change sleeping positions so you don't have to crawl over each other
I have taken photo's I'll try and get some one to teach me how to up-load them Thanks for helping suger
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Old 10-21-2009, 05:02 PM   #4
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Suger,

Here's another suggestion that may be applicable to your situation:

I picked my 1988 Scamp from a guy who left it unprotected for many years. The original gelcoat exterior was beyond recovery, so I decided to have it professionally painted. The body shop was able to fill all the holes and potential leaks before applying the paint. Turned out great.

In a way I envy your circumstances. Starting from scratch allows you to make all of the design decisions. Also, having the unit gutted, you can attach a variety of mounting brackets on the inside of the shell with fiberglass, and avoid the necessity of drilling holes through the shell.

RJ
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:26 PM   #5
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500
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Suger,

I replied to your post on the "Upper cabinet" thread. But I'll repeat it here:


Hello Suger,
As an owner of a 1988 Scamp, and given the amount of water damage you have already discovered, I would recommend inspecting (and replacing as needed) every rivet running through your fiberglass hull/shell. If it were my trailer, I'd pull everything out of the inside: furniture modules, wall coverings, as well as all of your windows. This way you can see exactly where all of the damage exists, as well as the possible source of water leaks.

This may seem like more work than you're willing to do. But your upper cabinets, kitchen/galley unit and vertical cabinet are all held onto the shell with rivets, which over time become primary sources of leaks. I replaced all of my rivets with stainless steel bolts and nuts. Plus, generous amounts of butyl putty to insure a good seal. (In fact, you can use butyl putty for ALL of your sealing needs. Don't use silicone!)

About your upper cabinets: the originals already have appropriate holes (top and sides) for hanging. There really isn't any good reason to use the curtain rod holes, UNLESS (as Larry did) you are replacing the original upper cabinets with something completely custom.

RJ
Hi there - reading up here out of excitement on just retireving my Trillium 4500 from AZ via CA - home to Texas. Enroute the belly band bulged out and when I got it home we re-riveted a number of spots under the bulge and then (oh no!) put silicone in the little holiday around the band on the worst parts. That was before reading here comments to not use it! Well it was a quick fix before putting it in storage till more work can be done.

Have I messed up? Will it be hard to pull silicone out and put in the Butyl Putty you speak of? Guess I get that at a marine store?

Thanks - ready to tinker and roll - oh yes and camp.
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Old 11-04-2009, 08:26 AM   #6
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Hi Sadie,

On the Trillium belly band, you might want to search out some past threads we've had here. They did a really good job of describing how the band is constructed, why and how it fails (explaining your bulges), and options for fixing it.

I do think that removing the silicone is going to be a real pain - it not only sticks tenaciously (without actually sealing, much of the time ), but it leaves behind an invisible contamination of silicone oil that makes it very hard to get anything (especially paint, but other things too) to stick in the future.

But at least now you know not to use it again. Can't blame you, really, because for some reason so many people recommend it

Raya
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:50 PM   #7
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Hi Sadie,

On the Trillium belly band, you might want to search out some past threads we've had here. They did a really good job of describing how the band is constructed, why and how it fails (explaining your bulges), and options for fixing it.

I do think that removing the silicone is going to be a real pain - it not only sticks tenaciously (without actually sealing, much of the time ), but it leaves behind an invisible contamination of silicone oil that makes it very hard to get anything (especially paint, but other things too) to stick in the future.

But at least now you know not to use it again. Can't blame you, really, because for some reason so many people recommend it

Raya

I have the same problem with silicone, however I found a product that is said to remove the residue left from silicone. It is available at Vintage Trailer Supply and from all that I have read it looks like it will work. Whoever had my Boler before me must have had a supply of silicone and decided to use it all on the trailer, windows doors belly band and wherever else they could find. Hope this helps. K.Slade
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:33 PM   #8
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Once more I will recommend pulling all of the lights on the outside and putting butyl tape in the wire holes and screw holes.
My old Burro had rivers coming in that way. Thank goodness it lived in Arizona before I got it and dried up pretty fast so the floor didn't rot.
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:43 PM   #9
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K,

I would love to hear back from you on how well this works. People in the boat business would love it.

One test I know of to check for residue is to -- once you have the surface clean -- put water on it and see if the water "beads" or wants to stay away from a given area. That would mean residue, whereas a consistently wet surface would indicate cleanliness.

Raya
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:45 PM   #10
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Once more I will recommend pulling all of the lights on the outside and putting butyl tape in the wire holes and screw holes. My old Burro had rivers coming in that way.
I agree that's a good idea. One thing to Suger's advantage is that as far as I know, the Scamps only have clearance lights at the bottom (and not up at the top, too, like I think the Burro's have).

Still important that they not leak, but there are fewer, and at least any leaks wouldn't droozle down the entire wall.

Raya
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:32 PM   #11
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I agree that's a good idea. One thing to Suger's advantage is that as far as I know, the Scamps only have clearance lights at the bottom (and not up at the top, too, like I think the Burro's have).

Still important that they not leak, but there are fewer, and at least any leaks wouldn't droozle down the entire wall.

Raya
yes Raya, the little scamp only has lights on the bottom, and that is about the only place I have not had some leak issue. the previous owner also must have had stock in silicone too, the belly band was chocked full of it. I used a product call "orange goo" to remove the silicone from the belly band, spray it on and then let it sit, seems to practically melt it. Well after a few minutes, a small screwdiver pushing a rag and a big strip comes up, repeat all the way around, I am going to repaint the outside so I will wait till after the paint job, I have this stuff from 3M marine sealant in white I was going to apply after the painting, is this the right stuff? or should I use something else?
As an update, I am enjoying this project, floor finished, re-worked the benches, started to re-wire, moved/replace power port toward the front, moved circuit breaker box to front storage area(street side? i think the term is) Finished all the fiberglass work on the inside, After following peter's lessen on the power port, went all brave like and cut a hole for outside access in rear were the original power came in ( used the butyl around the frame.
Decided that I should follow the advice to replace all the screws holding the overhead cabinets and closet with stainless with caps. Just picked up those items today. Made cardboard templates for the re-work of the cabinets.
Still haven't figure out how to get my progress photos off my camera to here
Well thanks for listening, and I am always up for good sugestions suger
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:41 PM   #12
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K,

I would love to hear back from you on how well this works. People in the boat business would love it.

One test I know of to check for residue is to -- once you have the surface clean -- put water on it and see if the water "beads" or wants to stay away from a given area. That would mean residue, whereas a consistently wet surface would indicate cleanliness.

Raya
I will let you know as soon as I get a chance to use it. To busy picking up leaves right now from an overabundance of Maple Trees
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:43 PM   #13
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Suger,

In my opinion there is no reason to caulk the belly band of a Scamp at all. The band is only decorative, and, unless there is a specific flaw (that you would want to fix), the holes for the belly band fasteners do not penetrate the camper shell at all.

To picture the joint, think of two boler hats with their brims set down onto each other. Then go inside the hats and fiberglass the crack where the joint is, so that it is bonded.

Now, go to the outside, and you have two rough "lips" at the edges of the hat brims. They are no longer performing any structural duty, but to smooth them out would take a lot of labor time. So instead, you take a band of metal, fit it over the raw edges of the brims, and rivet top to bottom through the brim (but not into the "hats" themselves).

This is how the Scamp is put together, and why, to my mind, there is no particular reason to caulk the belly band.

Granted, you will get some dirt accumulation on the top of the lip by the band, but I don't see cauik as really solving that, and then you have caulk to fail, get dirty, and maintain.

Raya
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:14 PM   #14
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The bulk of the silicone can be removed with a razor blade or sharp chisel. Then dip a scotch brite pad into lacquer thinner and scrub away any residue.

When repainting the area, the auto body supply shops sell an additive that will keep your paint job from pin holing.

Better not to use it in the first place, but there is a way to deal with it!
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