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Old 10-10-2017, 07:07 PM   #1
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Severe rot on your slide? You don't have to pull the slide and replace the floor.

I have waited many months to post this to make sure my fix worked, and it did. Beautifully in fact. After thousands of miles and over one hundred openings and closings, my main slide works beautifully. Let me detail this for you all to hopefully save future people thousands of dollars and a lot of heartache. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of pics right now, but I can take some and add them to the post later if needed.

Backstory: I bought a 2002 Monaco Monarch from a guy that seemed really honest. Unfortunately the front right of the main slide had the classic Monaco / Holiday Rambler leak and rot going on. I didn't realize how bad it was until after I owned it for a few months. I poured through the forums and saw post after post from people who said the whole slide needed to be removed for the repair to properly occur. This could cost from $4,000-$8,000, which is an insane amount of money for an older motorhome. I decided that I would try to find something that would work and cost just a fraction. I'm glad I did, because my repair has been fantastic and the floor is solid as brand new.

Overview: when standing in front of the RV and looking at the main slide, the underside of the slide had some rot. The previous owner assured me that it had been fixed, but all he had done was add a second floor on top of the existing floor, then laid laminate on top of it. So, essentially, he added another sheet of plywood on top of the original (rotted) plywood that comprised the floor of the slide. He then put laminate on top of it. From the inside it looked just fine, but outside I could tell things weren't great after I spent some time poking and prodding. That white laminated plastic that coats the underside of the slide was rippled and torn in a few spots. I stuck my fingers in there and could feel wet, pulpy wood. I tried a few fixes, like drying it with a hair dryer and then adding tons and tons of Git Rot (injecting it) into the rotten areas. It didn't work, and in fact it made things worse because I put so much in there that when it slowly cured, it created a rippled surface on the remaining white wood and I knew it would really start to tear up when it slid in and out. So I was faced with one final fix, or hiring someone to replace the floor. My fix cost about $250 and 4 hours of my time.

Here are the steps:

1) I cut away all of the white laminated plastic from the rotten wood. This was VERY scary because as soon as I started cutting it away I was essentially committing to the project, knowing I couldn't put the slide back in anymore. I would say that the rotten area extended a good 10-12 inches in from the outside wall of the slide, as well as the smaller, forward facing wall. The total rotted area was probably 12 inches by 20 inches. A substantial amount, but when compared to the overall length of the slide, perhaps about 10%. The rot was very deep in some areas, and in fact I removed some areas of rot that was so deep that it was essentially the entire depth of the original plywood. I could literally touch the new plywood the PO had laid on top. After cutting away all of the white plastic until I hit good wood, I chiseled out all of the loose rot. There was a ton of it and it made quite a mess. After doing this, I sprayed the remaining wood (some was 100% solid, other was still kind of soft and affected by the rot) with antifreeze in a spray bottle. I soaked it quite well. I then put a fan on it for a solid day, blowing warm air right across the wood to dry it out.

2) After the wood was dry, I sprayed it with the CPES epoxy sealer. This helped to seal and shore up some of the remaining rotted wood that hadn't completely deteriorated.

3) Next I started layering on CPES Epoxy Filler with a drywall knife, layering on a bit at a time and letting it cure. This slowly filled all of the voids (some were very deep) from where the rotted wood once was. I ran out of CPES and so I went to Home Depot and bought Minwax High Performance Wood Filler, which hardened the same as the CPES but the working time was shorter, so I wasted a lot of it. But it's cheap and easy to buy. Patience is key here, you will continue to layer more of the filler on top of the dry filler until the voids are filled and the surface is slightly above the rest of the remaining good slide. Of course you are doing this from below so the filler will actually be hanging down a bit below the rest of the underside of the slide.

4) Sand it so it's flat. It is HARD now, at least as hard as the wood that surrounds it. I found a belt sander was much easier than doing it by hand.

5) Ok, so now you have repaired it, but it will do a number on the slide and inside floor if you let it sit like this. I am not sure of the integrity of the wood filler if you let it slide back and forth. So, here is the last step and it is an important one.

6) Find a machine shop that will bend two pieces of steel for you. I basically made a sandwich out of two pieces of steel, with one on the underside of the slide and one on the interior of the RV. In between these two pieces of steel will be the slide floor, the repaired rotted wood, as well as the wall. Please note: the PO added a second floor on top of the existing slide floor, and I am not sure this repair would work if you don't do the same. It helps to reinforce everything as well as creates a place where you can add all of the wood filler.

The steel sandwich is essentially two pieces of steel that are bent into an "L" shape. The holes of the outside piece of steel were drilled and countersunk so that no boltheads would stick out. This is ESSENTIAL for the outside floor of the slide...which slides back and forth over an angled hard piece of plastic that helps guide the slide. If there are bolt heads that aren't flush, they will catch on this angled plastic and the slide could get stuck. The bold heads on the underside of the slide MUST be flush. I sunk bolts up through those holes into the steel plate on the inside and secured nylon lock nuts from the inside. I also secured bolts through the outer wall of the slide and into the inside because the rot had gotten so bad that the floor was separating from the outer wall. This fixed the floor separation issue completely.


That's it. I know this is a LOT of text without much in the way of photos, and I hate that I didn't take them when I was doing this project but I am the type of person that just wants to work and work on something without stopping and taking photos throughout. I definitely don't mind taking photos of the finished project to give you all some visuals.

The result: everything works great. The slide goes in and out as it should, and the interior steel plate is practically invisible because the sofa sits on it. An added plus is that the sofa is bolted to the bolts coming through the floor, so it is more secure than before. The wall separation is fixed. The underside of the slide is solid as a rock and that steel plate, in conjunction with the ridiculously hard wood filler, has made the floor completely solid. I did this repair back in May and we traveled throughout the US and Canada all summer, stopping almost nightly, so the slide has gone in and out many many times without a problem. I fully expect it to be a lifetime repair, but if something goes wrong in the future I will update this thread.

Synopsis for those that don't want to read all of this: you can repair your slide, even if it is really rotted, for about $250 and 4 hours of your time. Don't freak out when you see other people saying the ONLY thing that can be done is removing the entire slide and paying $4,000+ to get it professionally done. If my motorhome was still worth its original purchase price of $135,000 then maybe it would be more reasonable to have it professionally repaired, but when you have only spent $20-30K on your rig then it is crazy to drop that kind of coin on a repair. This is proof that it can be done.

I'll try to answer your questions, but for future people who find this thread your best bet is to message me because I am not on the forums a whole lot. I will try to help you any way I can.
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Old 10-10-2017, 08:28 PM   #2
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I suspect your ingenuity and explanation of repairing your slide floor may be adapted to other brands as well; Thank you for sharing your "how-to" with our community! I've bookmarked it for future reference.
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Old 10-10-2017, 08:44 PM   #3
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Pics are worth How Many Words???
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Old 10-11-2017, 05:23 AM   #4
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Pics are worth How Many Words???
Agreed, and I will update this thread with pics the next time we use the motorhome. I will also sketch out the basic repair and upload it. I hope this thread can be used as a reference for others and hopefully save them a lot of $$$.
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Old 10-11-2017, 05:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
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I suspect your ingenuity and explanation of repairing your slide floor may be adapted to other brands as well; Thank you for sharing your "how-to" with our community! I've bookmarked it for future reference.
Thank you Ray, glad I can help and give back since this community has helped me quite a bit.
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Old 10-11-2017, 05:26 AM   #6
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Here is the underside after I cut away the plastic covering. It is a bit hard to see but you get an idea of where the problem was. I will sketch out my solution and upload it soon.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:06 AM   #7
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I took the liberty of enhancing your photo. Hope you don't mind.

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Old 10-12-2017, 10:05 AM   #8
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So what exactly caused all of the problems to begin with, you mentioned it was a common Monaco Problem, but I have not heard of it yet.
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:44 AM   #9
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For some good information and repair parts go to Talin Manufacturing HOme of the Guardian Plates. Watch the videos and they will show you the problem and how to repair it.
It's on my todo list...
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Old 10-13-2017, 07:47 AM   #10
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So what exactly caused all of the problems to begin with, you mentioned it was a common Monaco Problem, but I have not heard of it yet.
Essentially, on the Monaco and HR slides, at the very bottom there is a lip where the wall meets the floor. The floor actually wraps up around the wall, and it is sealed. The slide goes in and out and the wall flexes, so this seal fails. If you don't regularly keep it resealed then it allows moisture to intrude and since it has nowhere to go once it is in the floor, it just slowly rots it away. When I discovered my issue I got on Google and found many many people with this problem. The general consensus is that it will happen to ALL slides eventually if they aren't maintained. I also found that many people paid upwards of $8,000 to have the slide removed by a forklift so the floor could be repaired. No way I was sinking that kind of money into an older motorhome, so I fixed it this way instead, and I hope I can save others a lot of money.
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Old 10-13-2017, 07:52 AM   #11
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Here is a sketch that might be helpful. I will add pics at a later date
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Old 10-14-2017, 05:31 AM   #12
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So, your observation indicates that the water may have entered at the bottom of the slide maybe midpoint of the slide? The reason I ask is I have the 2002 Diplomat, and ocassionally depending on the way it's sitting, I see water dripping off the bottom edge of the outside wall front corner with slide open(living room slide behind the drivers seat.). It's really had to tell where the water is coming from against the white background. Some times the dropping appears to be coming from behind the metal strip at that front outside corner.
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Old 10-14-2017, 05:54 AM   #13
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Mutt-

Monaco slide floor rot is caused by the design of the floor-to-side joint. It affects many models and model years. Here is a link to the Talin RV educational videos "" and "." ("Dennis K" gets credit for linking there first)

I found rot on the front, outer corner of the living room slide (driver's side), just as the video predicted. The white plastic under the slide had separated from the plywood floor, and the plywood floor had delaminated and become spongy with water. In my case, the rotted section was about 6 by 2 inches and was easily repaired. I then applied the Guardian Pates to both slides on the coach.

Here is a link to a Google search of iRV2 posts with the term "Guardian Plates" in them.
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Old 10-14-2017, 06:40 AM   #14
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I don't seem to have any soft places or separation that I can see/find, but knowing what water can do makes me a little nervous. Just have to watch and see I suppose.
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