Trailer Life Magazine Open Roads Forum: Water Leak, Repair Update Feb 12th
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 > Water Leak, Repair Update Feb 12th

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JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 01/22/18 04:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BurbMan wrote:



Once again, that Darco is bad news. Just like on the slide out frame, they wrapped the outer 2x3 of the frame, and once the water got in there was no place for it to go.

I would like to figure out a way to put drainage slits in the Darco so if water did get in it could drain out, but I also need to prevent road spray from getting in. Ideas welcome on this one....


Hi Don,

Using Darco is a double edged sword. You are right, once water gets in, it often has no way to get out. That process was what rotted out my slide floor. But the real issue was the holes drilled in the Darco at the factory to put the screws in to hold the slide floor on. And, worse, they never sealed up the holes....

But... the problem was really not the Darco, but the leaks getting in, in the first place. The Darco does exactly what it was put there for, to keep water out. It just happens to keep it in too....

On campers, we really need a better sealant system from day 1 and a few other well known design issues with camper moldings. Like the gutter rail.... and the corner molding.

OK, now to your quest of letting the water out and not let road splash in. I have thought about this myself before and I found a simple device that would do this. I was cleaning the air filter on my tractor and the concept was staring me in the face on the side of the filter housing... Yes, that would work.

Search for "Duck Bill Drain". It is a rubber flap that is closed flat. Water can flow out in one direction and water has a real hard time getting back in. It is like a simple check valve.

I did some digging and they seem to use them on boats too. Here is one at Eastern Marine. https://www.wholesalemarine.com/th-marine-duckbill-overboard-drain-scupper.html

I picked that one as it has flange to make mounting it easier.

They make them cheaper without the mount, if for $5 you can create a mount, then the duck bill drain is cheaper. https://www.westmarine.com/buy/rule-indu........heck-valve-for-shower-drain-box--4353553

They also make condensate drains for electrical boxes. But I'm sure these are out of the cost range you want to spend. Condensate drains by Eaton

Now the issue is how to make sure you have created Darco low spots to put the drain in after you figure out how to mount the duck bill. This is where I stopped in the draining process. How to practically create low spots that the drain can be installed in and how many does a 32 foot camper need...?

And then there is the batt insulation that even if you let the water out, the insulation being wet is still a big problem. And even water collection pockets in the wood, and OSB...

I came to the conclusion I need to create a better leak resistant camper. I'm gaining on mine. Putty tape has to go and relying on Dicor caulk as a primary roof sealant has to go. I Eternabonded all the roof seams and one by one every screw on flange, widow, corner molding, cargo hole etc using putty tape is removed, replace the putty tape with high grade butyl as a primary seal and then on the outside exposed butyl edge, use Dicor non sag caulk as a secondary seal to keep the dirt off the butyl. This is a process...but the outcome has been good. The camper is 14 years old, and the inside is pristine still and I can't find a better replacement new with what is available on the market right now. So like you, we keep fixing....

Hope this helps

John


John & Cindy

2005 Ford F350 Super Duty, 4x4; 6.8L V10 with 4.10
CC, SB, Lariat & FX4 package
21,000 GCWR, 11,000 GVWR
Ford Tow Command
1,700# Reese HP hitch & HP Dual Cam
2 1/2" Towbeast Receiver

2004 Sunline Solaris T310SR
(I wish we were camping!)


BurbMan

Islip, Long Island

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Posted: 01/22/18 04:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Got the new framing installed this afternoon. The 2x3 under the wall only ran from the water fill to just ahead of the slide, so at 41" it was easy to replace.

[image]
[image]
[image]

Here is what I took out of there, the right end of that long piece is what was closest to the slide, and the short piece is what it attached to:

[image]
[image]

The bad news is that the rot over time had allowed the framing to sag. There is a steel outrigger off the main frame beam just ahead of the slide out that the 2x3 bolts to. As the 2x3 had deteriorated, it had allowed the framing connected to it and the floor on top of it to sag. I doubled up on the 2x3 that goes inward and sits on that outrigger to provide additional strength.

With the new framing in place, the gap between framing and wall was only 3/8", meaning the wall had dropped 3/8". Using a series of shims and a 3-lb sledge, I was able to get the new 3/4" plywood floor in and everything lined up.

The slide has been groaning more than usual lately, and being that the floor allowed it drop on this side, the rack was scraping the frame as it passed through.

So this hopefully will solve multiple issues.


2001 Suburban 2500LT 8.1L/4.10
2008 Terry TT
Hensley Arrow Hitch
Dill TPMS, CorrecTrack alignment, LT tires


JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 01/22/18 04:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The rebuild looks good Don.

I also noticed Terry ran the floor joists front to back on the camper frame. I thought that was odd, but maybe you have in floor heat ducts and they needed the floor joist cavity as a heat duct.

Our camper has the floor joists running left to right so every joist is holding up the walls. The metal frame outriggers help hold the house above the frame to the frame but are not really wall supports. I have round heat ducts off the furnace that run through cabinets and then left the heat out a round registers all above the floor. I also have 2 duct pipes that go down through the floor through the tank compartment and come back up through the floor. They heat the tank compartment on the way to bedroom and bathroom register.

Keep up the good work.

John

DiskDoctr

PA

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Posted: 01/22/18 04:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice work! Glad you are getting it fixed up, before any damage gets the runaway [emoticon]

BurbMan

Islip, Long Island

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Posted: 01/22/18 04:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are steel cross pieces welded across the frame to form a ladder, so to speak, and the front-to-rear 2x3's sit on those. Yes, the ducted heat runs in the floor in a joist cavity.

The tanks sit in between the main frame rails which is where the heat duct runs, so there's no direct tank heat per se, just residual from the warm duct. But the coroplast between the frame rails and under the tanks keeps the cold air out, and there is a layer of reflectix in there also, so the tanks stay usable in pretty cold weather.

Coldest we camped was 5* and still had running water and flushing...I went through 100 lbs of propane in 10 days on that January trip, and that was Murray KY, not the Adirondacks LOL. Also went through about 12 gals of unleaded with the extended run tank on the little 2000w Honda powering a 1500w space heater all night.

BurbMan

Islip, Long Island

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Posted: 01/28/18 07:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Progress continues with some warm weather this weekend. Got the floor patched inside, I used some floor leveler where the plywood didn't meet exactly with the OSB.

[image]

Had a heckuva time finding a replacement for the side wiper seals. The inside seals are still OK but the outsides on both sides are getting dry from UV damage. From what I can tell the original mfr of this seal is Trim-Lok, but I could only find it in 125' lengths (not ideal @ $3/ft...)

I finally found something similar at McMaster-Carr and I could get a 25' roll. Here are the two side by side, original on top and new replacement on bottom. The new one is EPDM "foam" instead of rubber like the original. The foam is supposed to be more durable and stay more pliable over time. I put one side on today and it seals great.

[image]

I got the Darco wrapped back around the new framing and sealed in:

[image]

I sprayed everything with this to seal up the staple penetrations and seams. I had to cut the Darco in a few places, and I found the best thing to repair it is Gorilla Tape...I spray the edges of the tape with rubber where and that keeps water and dirt from getting under the tape and lifting it.

[image]

I some areas I spray the rubber right on the CPES-treated wood in lieu of the Darco...I did this on exposed framing when I replaced the slideout floor in 2015. If the wood gets wet, water won't penetrate, and there is no place for it to get trapped....it will drip off.

It was late when I finally got the aluminum fender skirt back on...I'm also replacing the bottom wiper seal which is arriving tomorrow, so more work to do and more pics to follow.

DiskDoctr

PA

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Posted: 01/28/18 08:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You are going to have it nicely sealed up. Hopefully avoid any future leaks [emoticon]

Got a link or part number for that seal?

Replacing seals are on our list for this spring [emoticon]

JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 01/28/18 09:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looking good Don,

I like your can of rubber spray. I'll have to get a can for pin holes in the Darco. I now use stainless staples if they are exposed to the weather. Found them the last time I was at the lumber yard.

I have found this product works really well repairing torn or cut Daro. Comes in various widths. I just ordered a 4" and 6" roll. I have used this on the bottom of my slide floor and still perfect since 2010. If you want it permanent, warm it with a hair dryer, and press firm. It is not coming off. Do not overheat or it will shrink it.

Flex Mend belly repair tape.

They use this in the manufactured housing industry where the entire bottom of the house on a slab is covered with Darco for patches.

I do use Gorilla tape some time too, all depends where I'm, using it. The warm it and press trick helps on the Gorilla tape too. The Flex Mend is thinner than the Gorilla tape but it is very hard to tear if you can.

BurbMan

Islip, Long Island

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Posted: 02/07/18 12:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, the weather hasn't been the best here in the northeast, but I did manage to make some progress. The fender skirt is back on and the water fill re-attached. The side wiper seals on the slide have been replaced and look to be positioned well.

[image]
[image]

On the rubber spray, that corner block was wrapped in Darco from the factory and had a zillion staples in it. I coated it with CPES, caulked up the screw holes and then sprayed with the rubber coating. If the wood gets wet, it won't absorb the water and water will roll off. The horizontal piece was patched with Gorilla tape and sprayed with rubber seal.

[image]
[image]

On to fix water damage #2...this I actually caused a few years ago when I left the storage hatch open. The door was not hooked open, but it wasn't latched either, so it was dangling. We got a bad blowing storm up by Lake Erie back in 2014, and water blew in and soaked the floor. It dried out but eventually crumbled due to dry rot. Fortunately the frame was still solid.
[image]
The carraige bolt that fastens the wood frame to the steel outrigger went through the floor, and with the floor gone the bolt is dangling
[image]
[image]

I added a corner bracket to the framing and some plywood scraps under the seams to attach the new floor

[image]
IPlywood installed and seams taped with Gorilla tape.
[image]

I should mention that the vinyl floor in here tore at the same time it tore by the main entry door during our first "arctic blast" in Louisville. I have some trunk liner carpet in this storage area so was never too concerned about fixing the floor until the OSB got wet....

I had a tube of this MHRV sitting around so I used it to seal the flange around the baggage door. It was originally installed with some type of sealant, not putty tape, because the screws go through the jamb of the frame and not from the exterior flange.

[image]

I still have work to do on the slide, so more pictures coming, but find myself on the bench with the flu this week...ugh...

JBarca, you mentioned the Belly Tape....I found that stuff on a mobile home repair site a few years back and bought a roll. It's tough like you say, like a roll of Darco with an adhesive backing. The issue I had with it was adhesion...I thought I had the Darco cleaned well, the Belly Mend tape went on great, and when I was under the TT doing a routine inspection the following season, half of it was gone and the other half was hanging off.

So far, the Gorilla Tape has held up well for several years.

JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 02/07/18 03:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Don,

Your progress looks great!!

The FLex Mend, h'mm I have had good luck with it. It is on my slide floor since 2010 and still bonded well. Also used it on the bottom of the main camper where a rip was. Wonder if your roll was old before you got it or something. I have not had that issue.

I also use Gorilla tape too. I used it on my bottom cover, the chloroplast plastic corrugated looking stuff. Put some on last year and I even used Naphtha to clean the surface before putting it on. Mixed results. Some bonded well, other areas let go by the wheel wells. Maybe spraying up road water got it?? And I even did the heat and press trick on the the gorilla tape too. Adhesives are a science all their own. Sometimes the margin for error is very small.

I for sure like the looks of your rubber spray. If it will stay bonded, that would be a real good fix. Your right, a zillion staples go in these things.

Thanks for sharing.

John

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