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Old 04-21-2012, 07:07 AM   #1
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Question to Anyone Who Has Tried to Repair Delamination

Much to my dismay, I missed a virtually invisible crack in the skylight above the shower and now I have a long narrow run of delamination going down the sidewall. The coach is a 2001 Itasca Sunrise 32T.
My question is this..... Do I really need to be concerned about using an adhesive that may potentially not react well with the styrofoam in the wall. It seems to me that if I use the drilling holes method described elsewhere in this forum, the adhesive will never contact the styrofoam. Directly behind the sidewall is plywood. The styrofoam is behind that. I am considering using the low expansion version of the foam adhesive, Great Stuff. The plywood seems to be intact. I can push on the raised delamination area and it feels solid behind it.
Winnebago suggests going into it from the inside but I lack the confidence to do so. I'm afraid I'll make a big problem even bigger. The method of drilling holes and injecting adhesive then putting pressure on it seems to be more realistic for me.
Any suggestions would be appreciated. I'm just sick about it. I can't look at the coach sitting in the driveway without seeing the bulge. It just jumps out at me.

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Old 04-21-2012, 07:23 AM   #2
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The problem is that usually the plywood (a very thin Luan) is deteriorated and is porous. Any glue you inject is very like to reach the underlying foam.

I tried to repair a delamination under a window on a 1989 Pace Arrow and never could get it to re-attach to the wall.

You do need to use a glue that is compatible with the walls foam core.


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Old 04-21-2012, 10:54 AM   #3
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I have been told folks use Epocy because it will not attack the styrofoam and cures without excess heat. The method I have heard of is to predrill holes througout the delamination area. Mix the Epoxy to a slow cure and inject it into the holes until it runs out. Attach a piece of wood to the outside of the delamination area, and screw it tight to hold the wall together. When the Epoxy is cured, remove the wood, sand and re-paint. I have not done this myself, but sounds like it might work,. If I were to do this I would probably place wax paper beneath the wood piece and the outside of the wall to keep the Epoxy from sticking the wood and fiberglass. Don't know if this will work, because I have no experience with it, but it sounds like it might. Good luck.

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Old 04-21-2012, 11:55 AM   #4
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The wax paper "release" agent won't work as a release on the epoxy side. I mix epoxy on wax paper cuz its a cheap throw-away, and the epoxy sticks well to wax paper. However it would provide for easy release from the clamp piece you'll need to press out the bulge.

IIWMI'd rig a large clamp for this exercise using lumber. Its what I saw a repair joint do replacing an entire side wall skin, but on a smaller scale to fit your repair area of fix. Use 2x4's or 2x6's (Hem-Fir kiln dried will work well, lighter weight, dry, easy to handle, usually surfaced but that's not needed per say), and some 3/4 plywood cut into pads to press against coach wall. 2x's have to be long enough to protrude ~8" above & stand on the ground below. This will take an assistant or two to make it simple & avoid incidents w/other coach finish. Assemble the repair side of this clamp first, using the 3/4 ply cut into pads and fixed to the 2x (2x is leg of a Tee and plywd is top of the Tee) so that plywd will press against the coach wall where needed; double thick them or triple as needed to stand the 2x off the coach wall avoiding trim & other obstacles as may occur (might need thicker standoff assembly where topper awnings & such would interfere). Assemble w/countersunk screws using the 2x's longer width perpendicular to coach. You can use a microfiber rag on the plywd pads against the coach finish. Then assemble the opposite side 2x & its pads which are just to allow back pressure on your repair side. You could make assembly easier by rigging a cross-roof 2x w/zip ties on ends to hold the verticals from falling over; could even get to a one man show, but you'd be up & down the ladder A LOT w/out help on the ground. This is a multi-six-pack job anyway and those work better w/a crowd, right?

The trick w/the clamp (and i'd recommend a dry run to get it right) is to make the repair area pads enough thicker than other pads so that the bend you'll make in the 2x's when you tension will even out the sidewall press to all pads. Should take 1/4" of shims at the repair, maybe? This is why I'd dry run it w/a bunch of shim stock on hand and apply full tension to check out the 2x deflection (2x4 will deflect more & need more shim than 2x6).

Now apply your glue to the repair area in whatever fashion works best, noting the working time for glue (don't use quick setting glue). hold the two clamp legs against the coach, then progressively tension between the upper extension of the two 2x's above the coach and the lower extension below the coach. You can use whatever method of tensioning works for you- ratchet straps, cable w/turnbuckle, fence wire, etc., & pull till you get the desired press on the repair area. You may have to release tension & reposition once or twice to get it right on. If you drill from outside, you will (or should) get some squeeze-out; IIWMI'd use good masking tape around the holes for pulling off the mess.

Sounds like to glue from the inside, you'd have to remove the shower? That's not as daunting a task usually as it might seem. A buddy just bought a wrecked coach he is rebuilding. Shower removal takes him ~20 minutes now that he poked his way thru the process & knows what fasteners are where, yours probably would take a few hours first time, way less to put it back. Then you'd need a good measurement of wall thickness, which you can get at an open window. Use a drill stop to avoid drilling out thru siding. Use a piece of paper grocery bag w/tiny pilot hole against any finished wall surface on inside to avoid the "spin" mark of the drill stop on your wall.
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Old 04-21-2012, 04:58 PM   #5
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Not likely that it is plywood behind it. More likely, 1/16" wood backing behind the fiberglass. First what I would recommend is contact the builder and get the prints for the sidewalls. When I got mine from 4winds, I knew exactly where the framing was and in some cases, plywood, but not often.
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Old 04-21-2012, 05:59 PM   #6
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Pirate is right on. I had the same thing happen. Contacted the manufacturer and they emailed the prints for the section I needed. They also gave me the recomended adhesive info and instructions on how to repair
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:06 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone!! Great forum!
Sorry it took me so long to say thanks.
Great advice! It gave me some confidence.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:23 PM   #8
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You can try a product from Composet Products. It is an injectable/pourable 2-part epoxy that is compatable with styrofoam. Solidifies delaminated and rotted wood too. I used it on a couple of minor delam issues and it workes good. The website is www.delamrepair.com

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