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Old 06-08-2010, 02:01 PM   #1
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Totally ruined travel trailer

Hello All,
I'm new to the forum and what a perfect time to join! I have a 24' 2001 Kit Esprite Lite. My wife and I have wondered if we had a small leak somewhere as we kept noticing that it was damp under the dining table. Well, this spring I decided to really tear into it and determine what was going on....boy did I. The front window of the trailer had been leaking for years (well before my wife and I bought it used in 2006). I tore out the seating, tables, couches etc and then ripped out the linoleum. I found that the entire front 1/2 of the trailer is completely rotten. The subfloor is rotted completely through, the support beams are rotted out and you can't find a spot that doesn't have black mold on it, the insulation is obviously worthless as well. As far as I can tell the damage goes all way up the wall to the window as well.
I'm really not sure what to do with it at this point and I could really use some advice from more experienced RVer's! I'm concerned that I may never be able to get rid of all the black mold even with mold remedial care so then I feel like I can't in good conscience sell it to someone else. What do you all think? Do people buy trailer like these for parts?
Thanks for any insights!
Jeremy and Lori

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Old 06-08-2010, 02:28 PM   #2
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Jeremy,,your problem is not a unique one there are plenty ppl who have run into the same situation u r in ,,You have two choises,1. is to pay someone BIG bucks to make the repaires and 2. is to do them your self,,I chose to do mine muyself...since you already have torn the unit apart it makes sense to me for you to put iy back together,,,all the wood can be purchased at any home improvement store and with a few hand tools you can make the repaires yourself with the information you can get from this forum,,,,the most important thing is a lot of pics for two reasons 1. we can see wht your trying to do and 2. you will remember how it goes back together...lets get started by you posting the name ,year and style your unit ,, is it fiberglass or coragated alumn..and when removing the siding be careful not to damage it as it can be very expensive to replace,,,,dont be afraid to ask ANY question on the forum for we all have been whrere you are now..so roll up your sleeves ,,go buy a couple cases of your favorite beverage and lets get this underway,,,Terry

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Old 06-08-2010, 08:07 PM   #3
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Jeremy welcome to irv2.com and the extended family of RVers. Terry said everything to be said, everyone here is willing to help in whatever way they can, the vintage camper forum has a wealth of information from re-builders of travel trailers.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA 1SG, retired;PPA,Good Sam Life member."We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts - not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow men who pervert theConstitution. "Abraham Lincoln"
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:17 AM   #4
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Friends of ours parked a meer 34 sites away as I type inhearated a nice little TT.
They used it last summer and noticed the floor in the front half was a bit "Soft"

They just replaced the floor, the joists (Beams under the floor) and so on. Very much the same job your are looking at.

I can say this from other jobs I've done.. From where you are standing right now it looks hopeless.. But.. Once you start on it.. You will find it's not nearly as big a job as you thought.

I'd remove all furnature, lay pland down for safety (or plywood) and open the wall below the window remove the floor and support timbers and photograph EVERY STEP OF THE PROCESS.. This is important.

Now As for the mold.. GET RID OF IT.. And when you do you may wish to have the trailer professionally gassed to make sure you have all of it gone... I have no experience with that process so can not tell you much about it. But black mold is bad stuff.

Now, start lying down new timbers under the floor, use pressure treated marine grade and consider pre-painting them (Cut to size, fit in place, remove paint and then tomorrow re-install) Use a good grade of sealer on them (Thomson's water seal?) double coat.

Then do the floor, Treat it the same way, Seal well with Thompson's or equal

Once you have the floor down re-insulate the wall and re-apply it.

Do the actual flooring (The stuff you see) AND RE-install the furnishings.

I too have a repair I'm putting off.. For one thing it is outdoor so I need good weather but another issue is the old "This looks too hard" and I know for a fact it won't be,, But my eyes still see "Way too hard" no matter how much my brain says "It will be easy"
Home is where I park it!
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:33 PM   #5
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...ok, you all have me convinced

Thank you all for the responses and I apologize for the delayed response. I had to process the whole project and come to grips that I was actually going to try to do it.
The part I'm still struggling with right now is whether or not I trust myself to actually remove the siding and tear it down that far. So far, everything I've done has been on the interior, the exterior remains untouched. **If you're asking yourself, "how did he get the furniture out without removing the walls" the answer is I ripped the screws out of the wall, and yes, I have a few ugly holes but I figured you wouldn't be able to see them once I replaced the furniture (if I chose to undertake the project).
Tomorrow I'll upload a bunch of pictures of the project and where I'm at right now.
As a funny anecdote, my brother-in-law saw a picture my wife sent him and he said it looked like a New Orleans FEMA trailer.
Thank you all again for the support and I really appreciate the instruction and insights, this is all new to me!
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:27 PM   #6
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Question: would one's RV insurance cover this type of damage?

2005 Fleetwood Providence 39J
CAT C7 350, MP-8 Programmer

My wife does all the driving - I just hold the wheel...
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:40 PM   #7
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We talked with our insurance company multiple times about the damage. Bottom line, they said that unless it was something that just recently happened they would not cover it. As this has been happening for a couple years we're out of luck. While we're talking about insurance... we had a "physical damage" policy through State Farm and that policy does not cover this damage. However, a dealer we were talking to said that you can get a "full replacement policy" (or something along that verbiage) but you have to specifically ask them for the policy they won't tell you about it when RV insurance shopping. I guess this other "full replacement" policy will actually cover damages like I'm dealing with.
That's very frustrating to find out now...we just thought, well we have insurance on our RV, if something happens it will be taken care of. Not the case!
Update on the repair....
I now have half of the floor ripped up and the mold and floor rot continues, it goes past half of the trailer and we've identified at least two more leaks that have existed for who knows how long. I have to be honest, a new travel trailer may be in my future.
Jeremy & Lori - Montana (Big Sky Country)
2010 Jayco Jay Flight 26BH
2007 Chevy 3/4ton Duramax
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:47 PM   #8
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To eliminate the mold problem, you might further investigate using Concrobium Mold Control Removes, Eliminates and Prevents Mold and Mould at Home | Concrobium Mold Control
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA 1SG, retired;PPA,Good Sam Life member."We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts - not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow men who pervert theConstitution. "Abraham Lincoln"
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:49 AM   #9
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I guess it all depends on just how much sweat equity you are willing to put into the project and how are you with carpentry work. Having built houses for a living for many years I have no issue with these kinds of repairs but experience has shown me that more often then not you will have to repair more then you bargained for. Do you already own a reciprocating saw, table saw, circular saw, portable planer, all hand tools, chalk box, cats paw, air compressor and nail guns screw gun? A truck to ferry materials? A place to work? The time to invest? Allergic to dust, mold, hard work? The inclination? All that said and you are willing, some very good deals can be had on older rigs that need some work. Not all these tools are needed but without them the job will go much slower.
-Paul R. Haller-

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