Today I was removing cabinetry and trim around and near the entry door so I can begin repairs around the door frame and to the floor at the entry. I also took off the aluminum rain drip cap that was above the door as well as all the screws that were holding the door trim in place. This lead to the discovery of yet more causes contributing to having some rot on the plywood floor. Yes I am using the plural, it was not leaking from just one source it was multiple sources contributing to the problem.
When I pulled the rain cap off I discovered the fiberglass shell is cracked diagonally into the upper left corner of the door area see photo above. I will have to add layers of resin and tape on the inside and outside to reinforce that area. As you can see I will have a lot of holes to fill in as part of the repair. A new rain cap will be purchased but installed with 3M VHB tape and no screws near those weak corners that like to have cracks run out from them.
The second issue (shown in the photo above) is also a major one that was created by the Trails West
employee who trimmed the shell to create the door opening. They cut the opening a little too tall. When the door jamb was installed the upper aluminum jamb extrusion only overlapped the fiberglass by a scant 1/4". The putty tape is not getting enough coverage area to keep it sealed up tight as nothing is pulling the fiberglass shell tight against the jamb. You can see the putty tape in the photo, it is just sitting there exposed and it is mostly not even in between any materials. The rain cap was having to do the work of keeping out the water but it too was damaged and no longer sealed properly. I am going to have to add some additional fiberglass material along the top of the door opening. I am removing and not reusing the original one piece fiberglass kitchen surround so I can cut some of it and use it to extend that upper area. It is going to be handy patching material for filling in other unwanted openings such as the old electrical
Now for the problematic threshold. The photos below are what was under the aluminum extrusion to support it. Vinyl flooring was under there forming the support. They covered it on the backside with big beads of construction adhesive sitting on top of the fiberglass bottom of the shell. This is not something done by a previous owner, this is the factory install job.
When I removed the threshold there was a hidden surprise. Under the threshold was a piece of the old vinyl flooring it spanned over a gap of an inch or so with the fiberglass shell as the bottom curving up just slightly at the outside edge. They ran 12 volt wires through that gap.
They squirted construction adhesive in the gap to provide support for the vinyl flooring and the aluminum threshold.
Then they ran screws through the aluminum threshold on into that gap. The screws missed going into the fiberglass which meant the construction adhesive was the only thing holding those screws in place. The screws cut through the sheathing on the wires in various places exposing the copper strands. Didn't someone just talk about a "hot skin", well there is a good source for how it could happen. Fortunately those wires were no longer in use. What a mess, no wonder the treshold was sitting crooked, leaking and coming apart from the rest of the door frame. Remember this photo below of the lower corner with the big gap? Now we know why it looked that way and why they had to add corner angles to try and support it.
I will be thickening some epoxy resin with wood flour and glass fibers and filling that mixture into the gap between the shell and the plywood at the doorway thereby building up a solid base for the threshold that won't rot and it will grip screws nicely. It will no longer be used as a wire chase. I will show that threshold building task later in this thread since it is going to take a while to get the doorway rebuild done.
The other thing I will be doing after fixing the above issues is adding some wood to create an inner frame around the door opening, it too will get fiber glassed in. The doorway really needs that strength as the shell is simply too floppy in that area which is the cause of the corners of the jamb frame coming apart from each other which of course creates more leaks
. While the Campster is a fun little trailer it was "built to cost". Each of these tasks takes a while but none is truly difficult.
My break time is over, back at it, I still have that kitchen cabinet to get removed so I can get to the backside of the door threshold. I had to wait for my friend to arrive as it would be a struggle to pull it out on my own. He had to help me remove the door as well as it is heavy and I did not want to risk breaking the glass or bending the door jambs.