Beaver Water Intrusion - Side Molding
I found major water intrusion in aft section of motorhome on bedroom floor.
1998 Beaver Monterey 36í
Hey all. I began waking up the motor coach from its winter hibernation and I found this major water intrusion. Not good.
Now I donít know if this is a common problem on just Beaver coaches or itís a common issue on lots of other coaches.
The culprit was found to be failure of the exterior body molding sealing. And what I found was a very minimalistic approach from the coach manufacturer to seal this area. But I find this an unacceptable cost cutting approach as the consequences of water intrusion are devastating to our coaches.
In my opinion, there are multiple design flaws leading to this water intrusion.
1. During construction of the coach, the exterior fiberglass walls should have extended down past the area of plywood floor decking. With this approach, a seal failure could occur with minimal water damage to the wood.
2. Also, a bead of caulking between the inside of the exterior fiberglass wall surface and the plywood floor decking would have created another line of defense to prevent water intrusion. Mine had none.
3. The foam seal was found to be waterlogged. Apparently once water intrudes under this molding, the seal turns into a sponge and has zero sealing ability. I feel a better material should have been used, especially if this is the only seal keeping the water out of the coach.
Now on to the rest of my story.
When I removed the plastic trim to access the screws which holds on the molding, I found several screw heads broken off, as you can see in the photo.
So, what caused this?
One of two things comes to mind:
These snapped off due to the twisting and flexing of the coach and once this occurred, the sealing surface was compromised and the water intrusion caused the screws to become rusty and weakened to the point of snapping off?
Or did the sealing surface just deteriorate with age causing water intrusion and the screws became rusty and weakened to the point of snapping off?
My plan of action is to thoroughly dry out the wet wood and possibly treat it with something to prevent further deterioration. Does anyone know of a product for treating water damaged wood? It appears to be structurally sound enough for now if I can buy some time.
Iím also going to use Dicor Sealant to seal between the between the inside of the exterior fiberglass wall surface and the plywood floor decking.
Then Iím going to seal the bottom edge of the exterior fiberglass wall with a strip of Eternabond Sealing Tape.
Iíll also replace the deteriorated molding seal with a high density, closed cell seal.
This will give me triple protection. Overkill? I donít think so.
Lastly, Iíll install new molding attachment screws next to each one of the broken off screws.
Sorry for this long winded post, but I want to bring attention to this issue as it might benefit some other Beaver coach owners out there.
1998 Beaver Monterey 36
300 Cat & Allison 6 spd
Looking forward to retirement so I can get busy...