Questions about wood problems - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-12-2003, 07:57 PM   #1
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Questions about wood problems

Ok here we go.. We brought our 'new' trillium home today and are very excited about it. Our neighbours came to have a peek and some freinds came as well. (we have been talking about it all week). The outside is excellent and we knew it needed some major cleaning but we didn't know that the floor was in real bad shape.
It appears that I have to take the plywood floor on half the trailer up and replace it. I have two problems with that. First it means I have to take the cupboards out and don't know how to do that. Secondly the plywood (or what is left of it) comes up in little pieces and leaves lots stuck to the fiberglass under it. Is there a way to get all the old stuff off the fiberglass so I can replace it with new wood. I am guessing it was glued on originally.
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3e98b4bcc514dIMG_0015 (Small).JPG/>
Next problem seems that one of the window has been leaking and the wood on one side is gone or punky and I want to replace it. I am guessing I have to take the window out and then dig out the old wood peice, then make a new peice the same size and try to get it back into the same place. Is this glued in or fiberglassed in or screwed in or what? The whole trailer has this neat coating on the inside. Sort of spongy. It appears to act as insulation and can be wiped off with soap and water. I hope I don't have to take that off to replace the wood on the window.
Any ideas would be helpfull.
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Old 04-12-2003, 08:28 PM   #2
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Another small problem

I also have a small problem with the rail that holds the canopy. It was installed using screws (which are all rusted now) and some of the screws came right through to the inside of the trailer. I would like to remove the rail and reinstall it without the screws coming through. Is there a better way to install it? Stainless Screws? Rivets?
Then I will try and fix the holes where the screws came through.
Here is a pic.
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3e98bd1461569IMG_0012 (Small).JPG/>
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Old 04-12-2003, 10:09 PM   #3
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Leaking window

Hi Wayne
You don't have to take the window out to replace the wood but it's leaking because the seal is no good anymore. To do a proper job, take it out and use the flat RV sealer. Comes in a roll and is about an inch wide.

Just carefully peel back the ensolite (wall covering), it is glued onto the wood but where the wood is rotten it should be loose. We used 1x2" hardwood to match the original when we replaced the rotted side on our front window. I would suggest caulking all your windows, if one has leaked to the point of rotting, the others may not be far behind. We only removed our front window but scraped as much of the old caulk off the others and added new exterior flexible caulk around them. Almost 4 years and no leaks.

Our awning rail is on with rivets through the fiberglass only. I bet once you take those screws out the holes in the ensolite won't even be visible.

I don't know how the Jubilees are built but the only way our Trillium 1300's floor could rot would be leaky windows or leaky plumbing. Our plywood is sandwiched between the inner and outer shells. Can't even see the plywood. So I guess I can't be any help on the floor issue. You say there is fiberglass underneath the wood so I would assume the rotted floor is from the window?

Post more interior pictures. Everybody would love to see the inside of a Jubilee. Especially me!:hap2

Nancy
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Old 04-13-2003, 05:25 AM   #4
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Rotten Floor

Hi!

Sadly, theses things happen. I have the same problem than you with some portions of the floor, in the compartements under the table seats and in the one under the front bed. On my trailer, there is a thin quarter inch sheet of white foam install over the plywood in those areas and the plywood itself is not covered with fiberglass but only with a kind of green rubbered paint. I found a lot of water under that sheet of foam and at one place, about one square feet the plywood is (still) completely wet and rotten. This sheet of foam is really helping keeping every thing under it humid all the time since it will not allow air cirlulation. I removed it and will not put it back.

Instead of removing the rotten portion of the floor, I wish I could find an epoxy product that will soak and penetrate the rotten portion and will stablelise (?) everything.

Is there somebody knowing if such a product exist!

Alain
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Old 04-13-2003, 06:39 AM   #5
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Hi Alain
What differences between years. Our 75 has no plywood under the benches. The plywood is under the floor of the trailer only so therefore if water does come in it pools on the fiberglass and doesn't go near the plywood. Plywood under those benches would sure make for a neater, level storage area though. Is the foam on the plywood the same as the walls? Our wall covering stops at the top of the benches.

"This Old House" is always using some sort of wood epoxy to repair rotted sills and window frames. It must be sold somewhere.

How did the water get in? It often is not noticable that the windows are leaking as it runs between the ensolite and the fiberglass.
Nancy
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Old 04-13-2003, 08:12 AM   #6
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Okay, it took a little hunting, but I found it.
if just spongy there is a resin you can get to soak into the spongy wood and it will harden.
check this one out by Charles
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/read.php...780&page=1#6400
That may not be the one I wanted you to see. look at this one too
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/read.php?TID=430
this whole thread has good stuff
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Old 04-13-2003, 08:17 AM   #7
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leaking sink drain

Hi Wayne & Alain
I forgot to mention that the drain on our Trillium leaked also. After the windows were sealed we still had water coming in but not when it rained. Couldn't figure it out until we took the furnace out (which sat under the sink) and discovered that the plastic part underneath the sink was cracked. We replaced it with a metal bar sink drain.
Nancy
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Old 04-13-2003, 01:23 PM   #8
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Rotten Floor

I include a picture from my scanner of the white foam I was talking. It is not one quarter inch thick but more like one sixteen of an inch thick.

My trailer is equiped with six drawers, 2 on each compartments. This foam was put on the plywood before installing the framing for the drawers and the plastic thing for storing the toilet.

For now, my trailer is leaking from about everywhere it is possible to leak. It is leaking from under the seats, from above, from the roof vent, from the intakes, maybe from the belt and who knows from where else.

I am in the process of trying to find those leaks. This is the first nice weekend that I have to work on this.

BTW, just for the experience, this morning, I tilted the trailer until the ball housing touched the ground. About a 15 degree tilt I would say. To my big surprise, a lot of water came to the front of the trailer in an instant. I would say about a quart and half to two quart. This water was somewhere under the floor. I leaved the trailer tilted and water is still comming slowly in the front.

What a surprise!!:omy

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3e99ab2261c8bfoam.jpg/>
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Old 04-13-2003, 02:26 PM   #9
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Yikes!
Water, water, everwhere and not a drop to drink. I was feeling rather smug about our dry trillium till I read the part about the water running between the liner and the wall. If you have this problem how do you know?
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Old 04-13-2003, 03:18 PM   #10
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rotten floor

Hi everyone:

I've spent most of the day just getting the cupboards out of the trailer. My floor has two levels. At the front it goes about 2/3 back and almost all of that is rotten. The floor below the rear dinette (2 person bed) is raised about 3 or 4" and the water tank is under that. The floor in that section is fine.
I have a friend that does body work and he feels that the window might not be the problem but the seam that goes all the way around the trailer half way up. He feels that it can be taken off and resealed then put back on. I know one of my back windows was leaking some but not any serious damage except to the wood around the window itself.
My wife has been pulling the bad wood up from the floor and has some of it down to the fiberglass but most of it is stuck real good to the floor.
Our ensolite goes all the way to the floor all the way around the trailer and the plywood is also under all the cupboards and bed.
One of the cupboards has the fridge in it which is the only one I havn't got out yet. I think I also have to take the whole door frame out as well.
Anyhow once all the cupboards are out and the old plywood is removed then the rest I think will be fairly easy. All the old fittings are rusty so I am going to replace them. The 2 burner stove is also very rusty and I don't know of any way to fix that so will most likely replace that as well. Any nut, bolt, screw or whatever will be replaced with stainless steel or aluminum.
Is there anything out there that will eat or loosen the wood from the fiberglass without hurting the fiberglass?
I will post some pics of the mess it is in now.
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Old 04-13-2003, 04:10 PM   #11
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rotten floor

Here is a picture of the floor where we are taking the wood out. Robin has been very busy with a chisel but it is a hard job and very time consuming. I hope we can come up with a better or easier way to get the old wood out.

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3e99d20eb67b4IMG_0017 (Small).JPG/>
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Old 04-13-2003, 06:25 PM   #12
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Hi Wayne & Maggie
The belly band is probably not the problem. The two haves of the shell are fiberglassed together then the band is riveted on.

Do you have bunks at the front. We have noticed that very often it's the front windows that leak first. We assume it's because the bunk is attached to the wooden window frame and the weight and movement on the bunk breaks the seal on the caulk.

When the windows leak the water usually runs between the fiberglass and ensolite so in your case with the ensolite going right to the floor the leak would be almost impossible to verify except for damp plywood. Another way is to do like Alain and drop the tongue down. If any amount of water has leaked in it will run to the front.

We thoroughly check the caulk around the windows, outlets, and lights every year and scrap off and replace any that looks the least bit bad. We learned this lesson the hard way when we had to replace the sides of the roof on our former tent-trailer because they had rotted away due to faulty caulk.:cry

Nancy
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Old 04-13-2003, 09:19 PM   #13
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rotten floor

Hi Nancy:

We don't have bunks. Only a small dinette that goes down to a single bed. If the seam (belly band) is fiberglassed then it can't leak unless it cracked. We thought it might be leaking there because a previous owner has caulked the top of the belly band all the way around the trailer and on the front right above where the worst part of the floor is the caulking was cracked and a space could be seen there. If I run a hose above that spot and watch inside for water that should confirm for me I suppose. I could also do that for the window. Taking the window out and resealing it dosn't appear to be a big problem so maybe I will tackle that first. I know for sure I have to do that to one of the rear windows. Maybe I'll have to do it to all of them to be satisfied.
Thanks for the tip. I didn't know how the two halves were attached.

Wayne
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Old 04-13-2003, 10:31 PM   #14
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Wayne,

If it's hard don't take it all out. It looks to me like you have removed most of the rotten plywood. I would just take out what is loose and sticking up and clean and let the area dry well. Fill in the hole to level it with some plastic patch. Then glue down another layer of 1/4 marine plywood on top of it. That will give you a good strong smooth surface for carpet or tile.

If it ain't broke don't fix it.

Good Luck
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