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Old 09-02-2012, 09:12 PM   #1
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Class C Bunk Rebuild

I'll start with an apology for being long winded.
We purchased a '95 Gulf Stream Conquest 102 Limited Edition last weekend with the knowledge that the bunk had water rot and needed to be rebuilt. Our intention was to have it done at a local RV dealer for $4,000. We had taken it to 2 dealers prior to purchasing it and had estimates from each for the same amount. We brought it home Saturday evening and by Sunday morning my wife had decided we were doing the repair ourselves and using the extra money to remodel the rest of the camper.

We tore into it on Sunday and made good headway. Unfortunately the damage was as bad as suspected. The upside has been that we have found several rebuilds on-line that have been very helpful. We (and I do mean we) have progressed to the point of dropping the bunk on Thursday. Without a garage large enough to accommodate the camper and Isaac due to visit on Friday, I'm not sure it was the wisest decision but we decided to soldier on.
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:26 PM   #2
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Friday and Saturday were spent sourcing materials and spending some of the "extra" on a couple of new loveseats for it. I'm colorblind so I spent the day saying, "If you think it will match it's fine with me."

Today was more productive and rewarding. I chose to work on the bunk frame instead of untarping the camper with a forecast of scattered showers. It turned out to be a wise decision. It was nice to be putting something together rather than tearing things apart and finding more damage. The aluminum frame is weak to begin with and was covered in rotted material. I spent 3 hours scraping and removing staples. I was able to apply a light coat of Rustoleum to most of the frame. I'll finish painting and put the frame back together tomorrow. The frame is currently in three pieces. I'm using T, flat L and inside L brackets to strengthen it up. I'll put on an additional coat of paint once all the brackets are on.

Wednesday I'll begin peeling back the fiberglass on the bunk sides to replace both pieces of luan and the insulation in the sandwiches. I have several plans to strengthen them up as well.

I'm open to questions, comments and suggestions.
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:38 AM   #3
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Hi ya, writing from Indy. Thought we might commensurate a bit on our efforts if you'd like. I have a 24' Coachman Santara Class C. with water damage in the bunk, and also in the stages of rebuilding. No one wants to do repairs twice, so I assume you would like to figure out the source of your leak and make permanent repairs. Both of our bunks have the front window, with two side windows that slide open. Both our rigs likewise have a trim seal/seam around the outside left & right edges. I have two addl joints that traverse the width of the bunk where the roof attachs, and below the bunk where the front fiberglass sheet tucks under and connects to the bottom of the bunk. Lastly a vent, and 4 running lights above the front window complete the list of possible places where water can leak. Amazed and the low quality of materials used in OEM construction. Would ya mind my giving you a call and sharing some ideas and solutions I have in mind ie Fire&Ice, use of PVC materials etc. Names Dan Meno, I can be reached anytime at 317-352-0062 or I'm happy to call you. Thanks
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:29 AM   #4
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I'll give you a call this weekend. I have some more photos of the rebuild as we have continued to tear it down. We are in the process of putting it back together now. We decided to take out the front window. We are covering the bunk nose with a sheet of aluminum.
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdosha View Post
I'll give you a call this weekend. I have some more photos of the rebuild as we have continued to tear it down. We are in the process of putting it back together now. We decided to take out the front window. We are covering the bunk nose with a sheet of aluminum.
Please post more pics of the rebuild. We've been doing some ourselves on our 28' 1993 Ford Dutchman.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:35 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by IndyRV-Dan View Post
Hi ya, writing from Indy. Thought we might commensurate a bit on our efforts if you'd like. I have a 24' Coachman Santara Class C. with water damage in the bunk, and also in the stages of rebuilding. No one wants to do repairs twice, so I assume you would like to figure out the source of your leak and make permanent repairs. Both of our bunks have the front window, with two side windows that slide open. Both our rigs likewise have a trim seal/seam around the outside left & right edges. I have two addl joints that traverse the width of the bunk where the roof attachs, and below the bunk where the front fiberglass sheet tucks under and connects to the bottom of the bunk. Lastly a vent, and 4 running lights above the front window complete the list of possible places where water can leak. Amazed and the low quality of materials used in OEM construction. Would ya mind my giving you a call and sharing some ideas and solutions I have in mind ie Fire&Ice, use of PVC materials etc. Names Dan Meno, I can be reached anytime at 317-352-0062 or I'm happy to call you. Thanks
I too once owned a 1999 Coachmen Santara 24 foot class C. I had a leak over the bunk area that I finally gave up on. I used Eternabond, caulk, etc. I even spent 4K and had the entire roof replaced. You're the first person I've heard from with the same problem and same model. I sold my to a friend for a give away price and after a year, he still can't find the leak. I wish you the best.
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:31 AM   #7
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Wow looks like quite the project but have to commed you for taking it on. Wish you all the best and hope it all turns out great as I'm sure it will. Post some pics of your progress if you can. I'm sure down the road it will help out some future rebuilds for some other folks. Good luck!
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:46 PM   #8
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I posted some more progress pics in the photobucket album for those that are interested. I took some pictures of the frame reinforcement that I did before reassembly. You might also notice the addition of an extra crossbar in the frame. We added it since we are wrapping the nose with a new piece of aluminum and this will give us a new place to attach the aluminum since we are going back further to cover the existing seam. I need to get some pics from this weekends work. The bunk is trimmed out now and the DW is painting it. She has decided we are putting in a new headliner while we have it torn down this far.

If there is anything specific that you'd like to see, just let me know.
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:45 AM   #9
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I too once owned a 1999 Coachmen Santara 24 foot class C. I had a leak over the bunk area that I finally gave up on. I used Eternabond, caulk, etc. I even spent 4K and had the entire roof replaced. You're the first person I've heard from with the same problem and same model. I sold my to a friend for a give away price and after a year, he still can't find the leak. I wish you the best.

We have a 2000 Tioga which seem to have developed a similar leak. I resealed the side windows, cleaned out the old sealant from around the bottom of the frames as the water seemed to be not draining good and added some stick on gutter material above the windows. So far so good. Unfortunatly a new problem has happened, the fiberglass in the front is cracking and pulling the seam apart where it meets the rubber roof. The camper is covered now, but I am thinking of doing a large "patch job" in the spring with a sheet of metal roof. I'd really like to see how your aluminum shell turns out!
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:47 AM   #10
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Nice job. When I went through a similar process I was so paranoid about water damage that I applied a varnish based primer coat of paint to the new wood - doesn't cost much and didn't slow down the repair process much - something to consider.

I used some wallpaper on the side walls around the windows - large selection that allowed me to do a close match to the rest of the rig.
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Old 12-23-2012, 02:27 PM   #11
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Boaters have simulator problems, especially with transom bolt holes
and encapsulated stringers under the floor.

Do a web search for do for a boating product called:
“Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer”.
Restor-It Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer, is a good brand.

The rotted area will soak this up like a sponge, as the epoxy is water thin.
Then you can drill it, cut it, whatever, but it will never again soak up water.
That area will be stronger that the wood around the repair.

Stay AWAY from "Elmers Rot Repair" that you find at the the box stores.
It is junk, nothing but thinned white glue.
I tried it.
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Old 12-25-2012, 06:59 PM   #12
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If you need to use a epoxy I highly recommend you use the West System. Keep up the good work. I just recently purchased a 1995 minnie winnie 30 ft. It has some minor dry rot here and there but I will take care of that problem as we go. The price I guess was ok. we payed 7800 hundred for the rv with 66,560 miles. It was well kept inside.
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