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Old 07-17-2006, 09:45 AM   #1
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Hi, I'm WildernesStacey...and I'm a new USED camper owner.

I've been camping since I could walk. Mostly around Michigan, but we ventured to other states ocassionally. As a kid, my parents had an old pop-up (actually they still have it!) But as a parent myself, we've been tenting it for years...until now.

A couple weeks ago my parents gave us an old 1978 Wilderness. They bought it about 8 years ago and haven't used it in 5 years. It's in fairly good shape, well after I spent two weeks cleaning out mice nests and disinfecting every inch of it. But I haven't tried out the water system yet or the stove. However, my big concern is that the roof leaks when it rains hard. It's been leaking right around the air vent thingie (yes, I'm a newbie to this) but not limited to just that...the whole area around there. Any suggestions?

I'm taking a week trip next Sunday and I noticed that there is rain in the forcast.
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Old 07-17-2006, 09:45 AM   #2
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Hi, I'm WildernesStacey...and I'm a new USED camper owner.

I've been camping since I could walk. Mostly around Michigan, but we ventured to other states ocassionally. As a kid, my parents had an old pop-up (actually they still have it!) But as a parent myself, we've been tenting it for years...until now.

A couple weeks ago my parents gave us an old 1978 Wilderness. They bought it about 8 years ago and haven't used it in 5 years. It's in fairly good shape, well after I spent two weeks cleaning out mice nests and disinfecting every inch of it. But I haven't tried out the water system yet or the stove. However, my big concern is that the roof leaks when it rains hard. It's been leaking right around the air vent thingie (yes, I'm a newbie to this) but not limited to just that...the whole area around there. Any suggestions?

I'm taking a week trip next Sunday and I noticed that there is rain in the forcast.
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Old 07-17-2006, 11:01 AM   #3
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Welcome to irv2 Stacey! There are many knowledgable people here who can help in many ways. With a trailer that old and not used (or maintained apparently) for that long, there are many items you should check closely.

Concerning your leak. Are you talking about the crank open vent in your ceiling? If so, is the leak coming in through the actual vent (like a crack in the cover) or is it coming in around the vent where it meets the roof? My guess would be that it's leaking around the vent where it meets the roof. A concern would be "How long has it been leaking like this?" Water getting in can cause rot and mold growth, not just in the roof/ceiling area, but in the side walls and flooring as well. Water always seeks the lowest point. Is the area around the vent soft?

You need to check the roof for cracks around the vent and also along all the seams. If you are not sure of the roof's condition, I would use a ladder to inspect it instead of climbing on the roof.

At a minimum, the water system needs to be sanitized. There is plenty of information in other threads, just do a search. I would get a propane detector, turn on the propane tank, and use the detector to check for leaks inside of the trailer as well as using a soap and water mixture to check the outside connection for leaks.

BTW, when I was growing up my parents had a 1978 Nomad TT. We had some great memories.

I'm sure you'll get more assistance from better minds than mine. Again, welcome and happy camping.
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Old 07-17-2006, 11:01 AM   #4
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iildernesstacey, Welcome to the IRV2 website, probably your problem is that the old caulking is dried up and as cracks or voids in and around the air vent(thingie), scrape the old caulking off and replace with fresh caulking, which you can get at your local RV dealer. See if that will do the trick. Ed.S
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Old 07-17-2006, 11:09 AM   #5
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Well I'll admit I mistakenly posted this before I looked around the other forums. I'm finding some great advise and ideas.

But yes, the ceiling is soft in some spots and will probably need replaced.
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Old 07-18-2006, 12:51 AM   #6
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WildernesStacey, welcome to iRV2.com. We are glad to have you join us here and we look forward to reading of your adventures and experiences. I would go easy at spending a lot of money on the reconstruction of the roof as you may never be able to recoup the cost. Maybe if you could just seal the water out and use it as it is. I am sure you will enjoy the forum. You will find we are a group of fun loving RVers that like to help each other where we can. Any questions you have, just ask. Good luck and stay safe.
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Old 07-18-2006, 05:48 AM   #7
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Welcome Wildernessstacy, I agree with RV Wizard, please do NOT spend money on the trailer. We used to have a wilderness, and it took lots of money to keep it going. Another thing you should check is the TIRES. If they are old they will have cracks on the side walls and you may not be able to tow it. Or you could be driving in this heat and they will blow. Be careful about them. Good luck, and stay safe.
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Old 07-18-2006, 07:23 AM   #8
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Thanks for the suggestions.

The tires are fine, they're fairly new. And we've already towed it 4 hours to get it to our house, and then we took it for a weekend camping trip last weekend.

We paid nothing for the trailer, besides the cost of title and license plates. My parents gave it to us. We're not in the financial position to buy a new one, so I think any money put into this one will be worth it (I'm not talking big bucks here, but if I have to spend $500 and it only lasts me a couple years, it's worth the money to me and it's an improvement from our TENT ).

So I talked to my husband last night and we're going to try to seal up the roof this week with maybe some Plas-T-Cote? I think that was one of the suggestions I found in an old post.
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Old 07-21-2006, 03:32 PM   #9
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Wildernesstacey,
Read the previous posts and I'd like to add my 2 cents. Only you can determine how much and what you want to put into the trailer. My input is directed at keeping you safe. Previous posts have mentioned tires and a propane detector. Please do not overlook these items. Consider putting a propane detector inside the trailer.

On the topic of tires, I'd like to expand on what has been suggested. If the tires were resting on an inert surface (like plastic pads) and covered, they may have suffered minimal damage. Any other surface (dirt, concrete, gravel, grass, etc) covered or not, I'd be very concerned about their health. If theye are over 5 years old, please consider replacing them. Tires need to be flexed to stay in shape. We don't need you birthing any road gators, we got enough of them all ready. If you do not know for sure how old the tires are (age not when they were purchased) the manufacturer date is on the side wall.

Bear with me as I am doing this from memory. To find the date of manufacture look for the DOT number. The last grouping of numbers to the far right. The first two number are the week and the last two number are the year. An example is 4200. This would mean the tire was made the 42nd week of the year 2000.

Prior to 2000 the DOT number had only three numbers.

Please consider carrying spare tire.
Thanks for listening.
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