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Old 02-19-2013, 02:01 PM   #1
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buying a water damaged wanderer 36ft 5th wheel

We are buying this trailer and I have to replace the roofs on two of the slide outs and the floor under the one slide out. The third slide out is completely rotted away so we are going to eliminate that one and close in the hole. I also will have to patch in the fiberglass siding on that side. My biggest cobcern is that that slider is the front one on the top of the 5 th wheel and the main wood support under the floor is rotten. Im not sure how to fix it its rotten on top so I was thinking of putting fiberglass on it to make it ridged again. Any suggestions would be appreciated. We are only paying 1800 dollars for a 2001 36ft 5th wheel with three slide outs (well now two slide outs). Where can I get the siding and parts? I buil d houses for a living so I figuee I can do this. I hope. I hope im not buy something I will end up having to junk.

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Old 02-19-2013, 02:22 PM   #2
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the slides are easy to take out if you have a crew for building houses...i see them do it all the time at the service center here ....then you could it proper..

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Old 02-19-2013, 06:12 PM   #3
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Personally, I'd pass on a trailer in that condition unless you are looking for a large project.

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Old 02-19-2013, 06:17 PM   #4
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Its the stuff you can't see which might be problematic. I agree with Ken, theres likely damage you can't see and it could be throwing money into the black hole.....
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:49 AM   #5
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Ok now Im scared im making a bad decision. I just my wife and daughters love the space and that it looked relatively new besides the obvious damage I have to fix. Also I forgot to mention it wasnt winterized and it needs a new wayer heater. All the electrical works. And I have to put new flooring through out the camper. Im suppose to meet this guy tomorrow to sign over the title. Im very worried now. I just couldnt find any trailers in our price range anywhere.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:23 AM   #6
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You will most likely have to rip some walls out to replace all the water lines throughout the motor home. I feel in the long run you will spend more money on repairing it than you would have to find a good motor home. I have been there and done it with cars, some times loosing thousands.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:29 AM   #7
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Two words: Money Pit

Oh, another two: Black Mold
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:49 AM   #8
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Personally, I'd pay the guy $1800 to KEEP it. Unless you have unlimited time and material to spend on this thing, it's a bad investment as far as I'm concerned.


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Old 02-20-2013, 08:59 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by bluepill View Post
Two words: Money Pit

Oh, another two: Black Mold
Three words, BIG money pit!!
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:03 AM   #10
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I've got to agree with most posts here. You're probably only seeing 10% of the rot.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:56 AM   #11
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If you decide to go with this as a project, good luck. I acquired a 1986 prowler 5th wheel. It is only 21.5 foot and I was working mostly by myself. It had some floor rot and leaks here and there but I was determined to repair it. It also had all working appliances (yea right). Then I found I had to replace the obsloete axles (no brakes). It is not fiberglass but I read all I could and now 1 year later I am ready to stay in it while I rebuild a house I purchased. Glutten for punishment I guess.

Some people told me to go purchase a better trailer but I had this one and I was not going to be beated by it. It did cost a little more than I had planned but I spent the money over a year instead of up front.

My advice, think long and hard about it, talk it over with the family and if everyone thinks it is worth it - go for it. It will be a good project to be proud of when completed.

My next project after the house. 1970 Airstream Overlander TT. Had to stop working on it while I finish these two projects.

Good Luck.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:19 AM   #12
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This is a sucker play, designed to take advantage of the uninitiated. Unless you plan on selling it for parts, or spending a LOT of time and money fixing it, you should walk, no run, in the other direction. Somebody that already knows what they're doing, has a place to work on it out of the weather/comfortably, and has a lot of time on their hands that they don't need to justify, MIGHT make out OK.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:17 PM   #13
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Keep in mind this one thing. The floor/subfloor is laid on the frame after holding tanks are placed within frame rails, next water lines installed, then everything else is added, interior walls next, outside walls third, then roof, then slides last. You quickly get the picture; to remove rotted flooring back to good wood you may need to remove an interior wall to expose rotted wood. Cabinets are attached to walls, then to the ceiling/roof after it is laid. In short form, RV trailers are built from the inside-out.
I'm not going to discourage you from this project, (you may have the knowledge to overhaul this trailer correctly) just conveying what little I know about trailer manufacturing.
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:38 PM   #14
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Well.......My daughters and wife talked me into buying it. So we had it moved to the campground and I figured I would start working on it.......well I should have listened to you guys. I got ripped off really bad. By the time I was done paying for the trailer, taxes, tags, tarps to cover roofs while I fixed them, 240.00 in everbond tape i figured I would need, 360.09 for the guy to move it for me, 120.09 in fuel. Come to find out while im up on the roof that its completely rotted. ( the main roof). Found rot on the back main floor along wall (I can put my fingures right through it). The electricak was akl hacked up, my wires are all laying on the back floor connected to breaker boxes and converter laying on the floor that the guy had hiding behind the matress laying up against the floor. And tons of other stuff. Only good part is all the appliances work. Anyone need any appliances? Norcold fridge lp, dc, ac. Magic chef stove and oven, sharp microwave or parts or wants the whole damn thing. The hydrolics all work good. Ac works. Everything must go. Worst lesson learned. Worst weekend ever. Should have went with gut feeling....

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