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Old 04-28-2012, 12:56 PM   #1
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Interior wall replacement...Need help!!!

Hello all,

Well, I just picked up our Big Baby from the RV hospitals. We had left her at the body shop this winter for a liittle mishap that hubby had with a gas pump stantion last summer and the baggage compartment door looks as good as new...YIPPEE for that one...

We then had the Body Shop drive her down the road for the next stop in her "rehab and recovery". The Norcold recall finally caught up to us and we had to have the fridge retrofitted with new parts. I asked the shop to give me the standard spring check up...oil change, filter change, lube, etc...and general all-around check up... He found a few small issues, a few small hoses to be replaced and he replaced the outside faucet and shower because it was leaking (we knew about that but very rarely use the outdoor faucet...still it was good to finally have it repaired...)He also found that our hot water heater bypass valve had a small leak and replaced that.

Now for the not so good news... He was concerned about a situation that we knew about but did not understand the full impact of. When we first purchased the RV, we had an RV inspection company go over it with a fine tooth comb before purchase. (The rig was in FLorida and we are in New England. I needed to have someone else check it out and it was well worth the money. We had the seller fix a few small items at their cost before the purchase was completed) At that time the inspector said that at some time in the past, the roof must have had a leak and there was evidence of water damage within the roadside slide area (behind the driver). Nothing was visable from the outside, but the interior wallpaper in the upper area of the slide (the wall area directly below the ceiling that is visable when the slide is extended) showed signs of cracking wall paper due to water damage. We saw the damage, but since it was such a good deal and no other issues presented themselves, we decided to purchase it. We have had it a year now and have loved every second of use. It has been the most perfect layout for us and I have never loved another RV like this one.

Today the RV repairperson informed me that he feels that the "rot" is very bad in the interior. Although he feels that the RV is mechanically sound and is safe to drive, we should think about repairing this some time soon. He says that his shop can do the work but it would probably be scheduled as a winter project. He projects $5-7 thousand for the work.

My questions to all of you are these....

1. Is this really a problem to be fixed right away? If the roof leak has been sealed (which it has...), is this a repair that I can put-off until the winter so that hubby and I can enjoy this summer season camping?

2. Will we damage the RV further by driving it and enjoying it this summer?

3. Can I expect a small, but reputable general RV repair facility to be able to handle this job, or should I take it to a larger place?

4. Any suggestions as to where else we should consider taking it? Does Fleetwood handle this? We will be in Indiana at the rally this June....maybe I should stick around in Indiana a little longer to have it fixed there.

5. The Body Shop indicated no exterior damage to the outer shell. So is the repair going to consist of removing the interior wall and insulation out to the outer metal?

6. Lastly, is the figure of $5-7 K a reasonable figure?

I am a very nervous nelly, but I really love our Big Baby and want to make sure it is safe and well taken care of...

Hubby is not well and I am trying to handle all of these decisions on my own, but would love some of your more experienced opinions.

Thanks in advance...


Faith and Bob, Bitsy the Papillon and Bosco the Chi-weenie....RIP Truffles
2005 Revolution LE - 2008 Honda CRV Toad
Northern Massachusetts and the rest of the Country.
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:30 PM   #2
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Do a little exploring with an ice pick. Start at the floor and see if you can penetrate the wall in increments as you go up in the affected area. If your icepick reaches hard wall behind the paper, you can see how large the damaged area is. Check also the floor. If your icepick has a lot of resistance then you can isolate the area. Driving the coach should have no negative impact on the damaged area. Can you post photos so that we may see better? Ernie

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Old 04-28-2012, 03:07 PM   #3
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Well, some of the potential issues could be the metal framing starting to rust. Have to catch that , neutralize it and go from there. Most shops would include the remove and replace of items in the way etc. Some ice pick exploration is a good idea. Currently resolving water leaks from a roof and window issue. I have all the tools and talents to fix these things myself luckily .. So I see lots of hrs ahead of myself. That said....$5000 is a protective quote as no one can say exactly until one exposes all areas of concern. Yes a small shop guy woud be away to go.
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Old 04-28-2012, 04:26 PM   #4
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I have never attempted to or needed to do that type of repair so no specifics will come from me. However, that kind of money would send me to another qualified shop for another quote!
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:45 PM   #5
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I would get a second opinion, hard to tell what is behind. I would think a small shop that you are comfortable with should easily handle the job.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:19 PM   #6
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I totally agree about getting other opinions. I had worked for the state of Texas and one of the things we ALWAYS did---which I carried on to my personal life was, that if a repair was going to be expensive, I would always get three bids.

This way, you feel pretty sure that having that many people look at a situation, you tend to get it spot on.

Also, get the bids in writing. This way you can better insure that the bid is more secure and that things will work out better. There may be instances where, once they have torn into the problem that undiscovered trouble might show up, but you are in a better place to negotiate.

Good Luck!
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:33 AM   #7
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I had a situation like that in my fiver. Since the wall panels from the factory aren't available anymore, and similar replacements were over $100 a panel, I replaced the damaged wall panels with door skin panels from Lowe's, which were first painted with bathroom and kitchen enamel and covered with vinyl wallpaper and beadboard wainscoting. It looks so close to factory that people say they are amazed that the interior is so well preserved. At $100 plus an hour, I can believe the quote you got for labor. I work for free and I adapt things to make them work. Being a retired military guy on a fixed income, I have to be creative. If you are fairly handy in carpentry, you could probably do the work yourself and save a bunch of money.
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:24 AM   #8
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Your guy may be fine, but a small shop will not have as much experience and expertise as a larger or more specialized shop. Since you are going to be in Indiana this summer, I would schedule an appointment with a shop in Elkhart and get an assessment from them. We had a lot of remodeling done last July at Master Tech RV in Elkhart and after watching them tackle many repair jobs, I would be happy to have them address any issue I had with my coach. They are friendly and accomadating
while also being very professional. Call Jack Harris at 866-895-4556 and explain your issue. They also have hookups and we spend all but 3 nights in the coach. As full timers, that was important to us.

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