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Old 01-31-2010, 11:28 AM   #29
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Well...a bad weather day here yesterday...with having a cover for the Beast, decided to start on the project of removing slide trim molding and the remainder of the interior paneling to open it up.

Quite a bit of work to remove the gaskets, a bunch of screws, cut back into the under layment to remove the 'lag bolts' and remove caulk that wouldn't let go. Luckly I have a ladder and scaffold system that made working on the outside much easier. As one would guess, depending if I was working on the inside or out.....it had to be moved many times.

As I have a slide topper, decided to pin the awning roller tube...move the slide in to allow slack in the fabric and removed the gutter/rail at the wall. With the awning removed...completely removed all the surround for the slide opening. Luckly there was enough room to remove them from the walls and expose the end wall sections.

Wasn't able to remove the section of paneling between the entry door and slide without damage. As I needed to varify what was within the wall....had to destroy it to get it off. Was surprised to see someone had spent the time to make a good repair....but still wonder why they didn't repair the section above the door while the panel was open. Confused. Disappointed that someone would have just left the existing damage to the slide header.

Also disappointed that I have had to spend so much time repairing water damage to this unit. Take away the compartment doors, slide wall damage, two slide ram skirts and now this project....it has been maintenance free and everything has worked as it should. Can't imagion what life would be like if I didn't have the experience, tools/equipment and the patience to make the repairs so far. What an expense that would be.

Here's a few updated photos....the header above the slide has damage for the first 8 feet, the last 4 good. Looks like three sections of material to make the header height.

Have a plan of action to make the repair and make it better than it was. Now, just need the time to do it.











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Old 01-31-2010, 12:58 PM   #30
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Chris, you are the exception -- most folks would be out several thousand dollars to repair the damage. Its best if I leave it at that and move on -- I'm sure others will chime in.
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:46 PM   #31
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Thanks for the update. Holy cow, Chris, what a bad deal. On a positive note, at least this keeps you busy and out of those pesky beer joints down there! Good luck and hope you continue to update us here. You know we live vicariously thru your posts and pix! :-) rockin'
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Old 01-31-2010, 07:18 PM   #32
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Question???

Have been trying to determine if the wall framing between the entry door and the slide is original or a repair. As I haven't been on a factory/plant tour to see how the walls are made...have been trying to determine the flow of moisture within the wall between the entry and slide header. Maybe I'm to anal, like someone else, and shouldn't care.

The detail of the framing and the fit makes me wonder if this was a repair or original. Does anyone who has taken the tour know?





....What I don't spend on repairs...I spend on cheap beer so I can complete them.
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:34 PM   #33
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Looking at all of you pictures I would say it has been repair. That is based on difference of looks between apearance of the wood. The wood that has went south shows by looking like dry rot. This appears to be in decent shape compared to the header wood.
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:21 PM   #34
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My thoughts also Still, a repair.

I understand the difference between the header and the wall section and guess it doesn't make any difference at this point. Guess you would have to be here to see who much the repair looks to the area above the door and to it's left. The color, size and 'cut' are very simular. Even the ply panel behind the repair is in better shape than the area behind the insulation above the door.

If it wasn't the original wall...I have a hard time understanding how someone would do the detail to fit the light switches, outside light and recess the lock set and then not replace the two boards above the door, at the corner. That would have been the simple task. I know why they didn't open up the header..... Who wants to go there.

Removed old caulk and cleaned the exterior areas so the scaffold could be removed. At 42 degrees today....almost to cold to do anything else.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:22 PM   #35
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Chris...How disappointing it must be to see the condition of that header! I question the quality of the lumber used by PI when they built your unit.
My last trailer was built with aluminum studs and headers. I know there are a few disadvantages, but I would like to see PI switch over to all 2" aluminum framing and use the Dow Chemical blue styrofoam insulation. I believe the end result would be a lighter and stronger unit.... that would never rot.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:00 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camperguy View Post
Chris...How disappointing it must be to see the condition of that header! I question the quality of the lumber used by PI when they built your unit.

My last trailer was built with aluminum studs and headers. I know there are a few disadvantages, but I would like to see PI switch over to all 2" aluminum framing and use the Dow Chemical blue styrofoam insulation. I believe the end result would be a lighter and stronger unit.... that would never rot.
camperguy...Yes, disappointed that this is something that I have to contend with.

As to the quality of the wood used....for me to say negative things about my unit that I fine...I also have to give PI it's due when I find things I like or approve of, like the 12v/120v comments I have made in the past.

Another due, I can't fault the quality of the lumber that the header is made of. As someone who works with lumber all the time, the header is close grained with few knots and the only problem it had was being satuated with water for years...thus rot to it and the the ply backer on the fiberglass panel. With the design, as with the compartment doors, once it gets wet, it will never dry out completely.




Even though visually it looked good....could only save the last three feet. Needed to save this section to tie into to start the repair...the header is tied into the wall studing and this repair would be stronger than taking it to the wall once it is completed.




After two $19. router bits and on my third $17. blade....decided to chisel out the remainder of the header. Screws everywhere at this point. Four feet to go and will be glad when it's done.





On the other hand....it's interesting what one finds. In the '101' postings I've done, Post #20__A question of elevation: Not always as it seems......I chased what I thought was a slide that was out of aligment vertically, found a trim flange on the slide not installed correctly. Still seemed somewhat out visually when all was done. Wonder how the trim will fix and the spacing will be when the excess is removed and the trim sits flush with the wall when installed? Better I quess?









As far as aluminum framing....my prior was a 1989 Newmar Kountry Star, aluminum framing. Bought 2 years old and had few problems with. I will never buy another unit with a wood frame....unless I buy it new or knew the owner and knew it was maintained. This unit has been everything we could ask for except for the moisture problems.

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Old 02-09-2010, 07:38 AM   #37
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As the fun continues...will have to say it has been interesting. When broken down into small projects it hasn't been that bad. Well if you call removing everything from 1/3 the length of the camper's wall.

Thought it was a good idea to brace the ceiling/roof when taking the wall support out. Have been surprised that I haven't made more of a mess than I have. Just have to clean up as one area is done.






After getting past the fact that I had this damage, and having a few cheap adult beverages....I assessed the prior repair again and decided it didn't provide proper support for the header or provide the strength to the short wall that was needed. Nor was it as good a repair as I had initally thought.





Where the framing/header was removed...the ply backer for the fiberglass was damaged or had deteriorated because of the moisture. Same as with the compartment doors and slide out repair. As with those, a thin panel, called a door skin was adhesive to the fiberglass to 'build' up and strengthen the outside panel.










New framing and header...dry fit. Still a few minor things to work out before taking it apart, before using an adhesive and fasteners to put it all back together. Will do that when I have more time. Even when complete, reinstalling the inside panel, which I haven't got and need to figure out how to make it 'Look Good' as the paneling won't match...there is a lot of 'putting it back together.








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Old 02-09-2010, 08:22 AM   #38
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Again, my hat is off to you Chris Other folks, including myself, would have thrown the towel in already. When you finish rebuilding your Excel, it would be a shame to get rid of it!!
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Old 02-10-2010, 12:04 AM   #39
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Sorry to see the previous owners left you a mess the clean up. As you have pointed out you are fortunate know how to do the repairs and have the tools to do so.

I had a post over in the TT section asking about stick n’tin vrs. alum and fiberglass. I think you just solved my dilemma on what unit to go with. A lot of “wet” here in Oregon so will just start off with the aluminum!

Great thread and good luck with the rest of the restoration.
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Old 02-10-2010, 05:22 AM   #40
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When we were coming north through I-25 in New Mexico one sunny Sunday summer afternoon in 2007, a 3/4 ton truck pulling a 40' rig passed us a 80 MPH (we were going 55 MPH as there was a 20 MPH cross-wind). There was a ton of traffic on this 4-lane road at this time of day.

About 1/4 mile down the road from us part of the driver's-side front wall came apart and flew off the S.O.B. 5er, maybe a 10-foot section. Fortunately the gel fiberlgass broke up into a half dozen pieces and there was pink fiberglass scattered all over 2 miles of air space over the road. It took about a mile for the driver to look behind him to discover something unfortunate happened to him, but he was fortunate nothing substantial hit anyone (although for a moment it looked like a crackup at the Indy 500).

When we caught up to the rig we could see it was aluminum-framed, but there had been an obvious water leak from all of the water stains on the inner wall that was still in-tact on the framing. That repair with the 10'+ hole was going to cost a big penny no doubt. That would surely ruin your weekend and more, he was lucky not to have caused a serious multi-car pile up with serious injuries ... not to mention pulled a 40' coach with a 3/4-ton truck!!!

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Old 02-10-2010, 10:49 PM   #41
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Wall blowout

I had a similar experience while towing my just-bought 22-foot 1999 Keystone Bobcat hybrid travel trailer. Going down the hill from the north into Moab, Utah, at 65 per in a rainstorm with a stiff headwind I noticed something flapping on the side of the trailer. I thought it was my awning, but no. A water leak in front of the roof for years had oozed down the walls into the luan ply, which disintegrated and caused the front 6-foot section of the curb-side phylon to delaminate and rip off. I found and saved the ripped-off piece and taped plastic over the front roof and exposed wall during 3 days of riding dirt bikes. We set out pots to catch the drips inside the trailer. My sweet wife smiled and said everything would be fine.

Back home I peeled back the roof and walls (both sides), replaced the rotted structural wood and ply, and glued on new phylon. The whole thing took about $450 and a week of labor. I was too inexperienced to recognize the signs of water intrusion when I bought the camper. Believe me, I keep the roof well sealed now!

It still gives me the willies to remember first looking at the damage to my "bargain" trailer.
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Old 02-11-2010, 07:59 AM   #42
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Chief....we have been looking at smaller/lighter units, where we should have been all along, or a 2010 F350 DRW, located one in Orlando. If we were going to be changing units, I wanted to replace the panel above the slide. Just didn't know what I was getting myself into. Once open...I could have done as the prior and covered it up or do the right thing and make the repair either for myself or someone else. One thing about the '101', there isn't anything that's a secret about this unit.

Rained on Tuesday, so rained out at work. Decided to work on the Beast instead. With the lighting control switches for the living overhead, curbside scrare light and step light located on the short wall and having the panel removed...decided to run a switch wire from the roadside scare light over the this area. This way I can control that light from the entry door area as well.

Removed the header and related framing and prepped them in the shop for pocket screws. The 'flat bars' were installed earlier. Pocket screw along with the construction adhesive will provide a very stong fastening system. Love those things. Just need to have a plan for installation once the adhesive is applied.




















Glad this part of the project is done. Now need to figure out the paneling.

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