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Old 08-14-2014, 09:59 AM   #71
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So I was grinding out some of the body filler that I used to fill the holes in the aluminum... in preparation of trying the Duraglass product. I opened up one hole to a fairly large size and went all the way through the luan... it's wet inside, and the luan is soaked thru.

What's weird is that the RV has been inside since the first of may. I have no idea where the moisture is coming from, unless it's been trapped in the wall for months... but I do not think it's worth doing any body work to the existing panels... not with soaked luan as the backer.

At some point I am going to remove the two windows and the door so I can remove the smallest panel on the RV... it's about 8x4... this will likely tell a story.

...

-cheers
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:56 PM   #72
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exterior siding wet luan

Piker, I am sorry your RV is causing you so much grief. We had to do major repairs in our RV. 1990 HiLo. A couple panels we had to rip back to the fiberglass. The wall consisted of 1/8th vinyl paneling/1/8th luan and a sheet of foam insulation. You have to rip everything out until you find dry material. We used 3M bondo to seal the inside of our fiberglass. It made a nice hard finish to seal up any holes we couldn't see. The other thing we did was to take out every window and reseal with butyl tape and lexel caulk on the outside. It took all our spare time for six months. When we were burned out we would just not work for a day or so. It is impossible for all the layers to dry out just sitting there. Chin up. Keep us posted.
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:21 PM   #73
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Well, I had some ambition tonight... I started by taking the windows and the door out. Note the self portrait...





In this next photo you can see a good cross section of the construction. Aluminum glued to luan... attached to aluminum/steel frame... with a foam panel for the interior that has cardboard on one side, and thin wood paneling with vinyl over top for the wall covering.



And this picture shows the fiberglass insulation between the aluminum frame members...


And finally, what I believe is the culprit of the corroding aluminum... wet, soggy, luan plywood... I'm not sure if it was the windows that were leaking or if there's a leak at the roofline. The windows had a rubber gasket sealing them on the outside... no caulk or anything.


So there you have it. At this point, I honestly don't know if I'm in the process of restoring this old beast... or working on parting it out. I am uncertain if I can stomach throwing any more money at it, given all we've been through with it so far. I'm looking at probably another $6,000 to fix the engine and restore the outside... not counting all my labor. That said... what a joy RV-ing can be...

It is of note, that the luan WAS NOT glued to the framing... just riveted. There is no evidence of any adhesive on the aluminum or the back of the luan. I suppose if I reskin this thing, I will use filon instead of aluminum. It's cheaper, and won't corrode. I thought about just peeling the luan off the back of the aluminum... and reusing the aluminum along with some body work, but it's in bad shape. When I start peeling off the luan I find huge pockets of powder where it's corroded paper thin. Not worth the effort to try and reuse it.

So once again... for now... I'll sit and wait until the moment moves me to do something else. Whether that be continue restoring... or continue disassembling... I don't know yet.

-cheers
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:38 PM   #74
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Sad news. Maybe time to cut your losses? Part it out and find a dryer one. You'll be time and money ahead.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:07 PM   #75
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Sad news. Maybe time to cut your losses? Part it out and find a dryer one. You'll be time and money ahead.
Ya, I dunno. It's a tough call. Money-wise, it's probably a little better to restore this one. If I bought another one like this I'd spend probably $15k or so for one in good shape. I might get $5k out of this one parting it out... which puts me at $10k net... and I would be starting all over again with working bugs out of the systems... which costs $$ too. Time-wise it's probably a wash... disassembling it will take a long time, and I'll be even longer trying to get everything sold.

I just dunno. Sure wish I had known what I know now when I bought the thing... But I didn't, so I gotta roll with it. Somehow, this will all be ok... it might not end up how I had planned, but life goes on.

Maybe I just buy some of that green outdoor carpet to hang on it and call it good. Or blue tarps...

Time to just sit and take it all into consideration...

-cheers
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:15 AM   #76
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... and I would be starting all over again with working bugs out of the systems... which costs $$ too.
That is the million dollar question. And how do you know if the next one is just a few years behind this one, with the same problem. While I lean toward cuttting your losses and moving on, how does one know your not dealing with the same thing
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:41 AM   #77
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What really kills me... is the fact that luan is still used in manufacturing exterior RV panels. What a horrible material to use for this purpose.

There are composite materials available now that don't rot... you would think the price of these would have come down by now. I can't even get Crane Composites to talk to me. They must only sell to manufacturers... and their dealers won't talk to me either...

blah.

-cheers
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:43 AM   #78
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Lazy Daze makes their motor homes with aluminum siding in a similar fashion. Several years ago they switched their process to use composite backing to the aluminum siding.

I remember talking to the owner of the factory and he told me they also had to switch bonding agents as the one they traditionally used was no longer available. In the end he felt the new process was many times better than the old, even though they resisted the change.
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:25 AM   #79
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Lazy Daze makes their motor homes with aluminum siding in a similar fashion. Several years ago they switched their process to use composite backing to the aluminum siding.

I remember talking to the owner of the factory and he told me they also had to switch bonding agents as the one they traditionally used was no longer available. In the end he felt the new process was many times better than the old, even though they resisted the change.
I would love to know where to source this composite backing...

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Old 08-15-2014, 09:37 AM   #80
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This is over the top.

I don't want to sound like a "told you so", but any kind of water intrusion issue, inside or outside, will cause me to keep looking when I'm hunting for a new coach. I've learned this lesson the hard way as well. This is exactly the kind of position you want to avoid at all costs.

Even if you are being paid to fix something like this, it's a HUGE project, and the person responsible for the bill in the end will barely meet the shop's expenses on something like this.

Piker, I don't throw the towel in easily on my projects, but between this AND the engine? I'm afraid this call is one that would not go well financially. I'd bail on it. You'll spend time licking your wounds from the loss of course, but the recovery may well be quicker than what it might take to see this project through to the end. Worse, even if it all turns out nice in the end, it's still not going to be worth a lot, or be easily sold.

Regarding a replacement, after locating a coach with a solid body (you are now an expert regarding this), after a solid pre-purchase inspection, I would much rather roll the dice on any remaining repairs I happen to run across. My 2c. -Al
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:48 AM   #81
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This is over the top.

I don't want to sound like a "told you so", but any kind of water intrusion issue, inside or outside, will cause me to keep looking when I'm hunting for a new coach. I've learned this lesson the hard way as well. This is exactly the kind of position you want to avoid at all costs.

Even if you are being paid to fix something like this, it's a HUGE project, and the person responsible for the bill in the end will barely meet the shop's expenses on something like this.

Piker, I don't throw the towel in easily on my projects, but between this AND the engine? I'm afraid this call is one that would not go well financially. I'd bail on it. You'll spend time licking your wounds from the loss of course, but the recovery may well be quicker than what it might take to see this project through to the end. Worse, even if it all turns out nice in the end, it's still not going to be worth a lot, or be easily sold.

Regarding a replacement, after locating a coach with a solid body (you are now an expert regarding this), after a solid pre-purchase inspection, I would much rather roll the dice on any remaining repairs I happen to run across. My 2c. -Al
Ya... this really stinks.

Weird thing is, there is no evidence anywhere inside of water infiltration. When I bought this, I didn't understand what was going on with the skin... but I thought "oh, it's garage kept now... the corrosion won't get any worse..." WRONG.

Ugh...

Just gonna sit on it for a while.

cheers
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:20 PM   #82
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Don't bother with any kind of luan or composite backing. Just use thicker aluminum and call it good. Glue it directly to the frame. Rivet the edges to the rest of the siding. Thicker aluminum is going to be ridged enough without any backing.
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:28 PM   #83
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Tough call

Rip the RV apart some more and see how much damage you have. It will require an extensive amt. of time and materials. If all else fails you can part it out. Best of luck in what ever you decide.
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:32 PM   #84
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Or...

Realise it is a basket case and just put it back together.

Seal up what you can and just use it.

You would otherwise spend a ton of money and not really gain anything.

Save up and look for another one
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