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Fixing a camper.

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by smokinj, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Anyone replace this board before? Seems to be rotted all the way across. You can see it in the second pic.

    photo (25).JPG photo (22).JPG

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  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Jay - is that board glued or is it mechanically fastened? I have never done a repair like what you are asking, but did play with a buddy's old pop-up, trying to limp it along for another year or two.

    Be aware - the skin on those is all but brittle. What ever you do, go slow and in small increments or you will simply tear the skin.
    smokinj likes this.
  3. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    The board feels so rotted that I can pull it out in dust. This thing is a 2004 and traded for it and everything else is close to new. I will have to get into it more to figure out if it is glued. Its going to be the 2012 Deer battle wagaon.
  4. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    If you can get the rotten board out in pieces, you know what to do after that. Construction adhesive can be your friend when working with these campers.;)
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  5. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    That puts me futher ahead than where I was...
  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Again - be real careful with that aluminum - it will tear and split on you in a heart beat. Be gentle.
    smokinj likes this.
  7. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Oh Wow, You do know me....lol probally better let the gf do that part. lmao
  8. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    I had an old pop up and the roof supports pulled out of the roof because the wood was rotten.
    I patched in a new piece of plywood on the really bad side(PITA) and on the other side I put stainless plates(painted white), then ran down to the dealer and traded it. Camper constuction is marginal at best, and when they leak its usually too late. Oh and thats probly not aluminum, but it will be brittle as all get out. I see its ripped already. Good luck...
    smokinj likes this.
  9. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    Is it rotten on the left side (spot in 1st pic) and on the back? All the way around? I've never done this kind of repair but it might be easier to pull the whole skin off the bad side/sides. When you get under the skin it should be all wood framed (some have a steel frame with wood over it). Regardless if you can get to it, it shouldn't be too bad to fix. +1 on the construction adhesive.
    smokinj likes this.
  10. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    If it really comes down to it I will re-skin it. It books out over 20 times what I have in it. (It would even be worth putting a/c in at 500.00)
  11. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Yes it is rotten you can tell they put a quick fix on it.
  12. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    You can redneck a $100 window unit in it, if you don't care what it looks like (could be a challenge in a pop-up). Just make sure it's sealed good or you'll have more water damage.
  13. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Man I have 100.00 in this thing with a nice a/c unit and that spot fix right it should be worth north of 4500.00. and I should not have more than 800.00 into it. So, it is really worth it to me to do it right. (And use it for a year)
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  14. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    Agreed, too nice to redneck.
    After thought: A friend called a camper dealer to have the ac worked on, they told him 90% of camper ac problems are solved by a good cleaning/wash-out. That worked for him and the price was right.
    smokinj likes this.
  15. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    if'n yer gonna flip it next year then workin in a patch is prolly not a bad idear. I very much dislike the panelling they use on campers. If you were gonna keep it for the long haul I'd suggest stripping it down, keeping the molding, put up new ply and slather it with marine paint, add a steel rock guard to the front and enjoy forever. Did this with a friend in highschool on his dad's pop up from the 70's....we saved it from becoming a utility trailer. I have been working on a design for the "Ultimate Teardrop" for some time....need a bigger drafting table.
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  16. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I hope its not to tough but I think I can pull it off. The guy even gave me the plywood for the repair. Cant think that even a new piece of skin cant be that much.
  17. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    the real problem is that once you get in there, you'll find the cause (bad rubber, crack somewheres) and you'll keep having to work towards the source, then, when you finally get there, you got half the dang thing on your garage floor. I swear its by design. These type of things are rarely "hard" to do...just terribly time consuming. There's enough dying trailers out there with good appliances that you can find an AC for that pretty cheap without having to "redneck" it IMO....though rednecking awards you more points for creativity.
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  18. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    It's really discouraging how chitty built most campers are. They are slapped together in a hurry and if you get 3-4 years out of it before issues your doing pretty good.
    My folks have a nice ~30ft camper, it's 4-5 years old and already the roof is leaking somewhere over the master bedroom (yeah.. it has an actual bedroom with door and same with a bathroom).
    It gets pulled out during the summer and that's it. Stored in a building otherwise. Taken very well care of.

    I stayed in there the last couple weeks and while I didn't go over things with a fine tooth comb it was amazing the lack of attention to detail when it was built. Just slap it together in a hurry and send it down the line. Vents put in crooked, even simple things like the thermostat, light switches, outlets, etc.
    The shower is amazing that it works and doesn't leak water all over. If it was slapped together with 35$ of parts I'd be surprised.

    The big one my Dad had trouble with was when they cut the hole for the toilet, they just let that 4" or whatever round disk drop in the tank. Had so much trouble to get the tank to drain until he figured out the issue.
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  19. jeromehdmc

    jeromehdmc Member

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    I'm in the process of rebuilding the roof on two pop-up truck campers.
    I've found alot of useful information on popupportal.com
    Your best bet would probably be to take all the back side out and put in new plywood, glue the skin back on and seal everything up with silicon.
    Don't get discouraged if you find more when you open it up.
    Again be sure to seal everything water plays heck with the cheap wood they put in campers.
    smokinj likes this.
  20. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Those panels are fiberglass, and are typically bonded to plywood. If it is no that old, you should be able to get a replacement panel at the dealer. They will prolly have to order, or may even have a spare piece laying around that may work. Usually, the panels are a complete panel with the inner & outer skins bonded to a wood core.
    smokinj likes this.
  21. Utilitrack

    Utilitrack Feeling the Heat

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    North of $4500...doubtful given water issues and size of box... Just my opinion.
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  22. Bocefus78

    Bocefus78 Minister of Fire

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    I agree that once you start taking it apart, you will see the construction process. (Or lack of in most campers lol) You may have some flooring issues there as well depending on how long it sat in the rain. For the $$ you have in it, it's worth fixing right. Buy plenty of GOOD caulk/sealant and redo the roof while your at it. It appears to have a seamed roof which is the downfall of 99% of campers.
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  23. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Some do it that way Hogz, but some use an aluminum "wrap" that appears to be made out of old corroded Budweiser cans. Actually, it appears to be a low grade version of aluminum that will tear like a potato chip bag. Helped a buddy strip one down and took the aluminum to be recycled (he made a light duty utility trailer out of it).
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  24. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    You really cant find a total piece of crap around here under 700.00. I already have a good outboard motor so next is a run down poontoon. Oh I got to the damage yesterday its really not that bad. This camper been under a car port since 2004 used two times.
  25. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    So did you get it all fixed up, or just getting to the issue?

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