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Old 03-31-2014, 08:51 PM   #1
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Maybe I am in over my head

I just bought a 1979 Winnie Minnie.
I thought all I was going to do was to paint the walls change the cushions and away we go.
I then looked at the bunk and it was all bad with wet wood. Looked at the window and that has to be taken out and replaced and I know the clearance lights must be caulked.
What I am really concerned about is replacing the bunk board. I have no clue what is under there as far as support.

I dont know if I should peel off all the wet wood and glue new over the insulation or just glue new over the old.

I have looked at some threads for bunk replacement but if anyone has any picture to help me it would be great.

Thanks for your help.

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Old 03-31-2014, 10:11 PM   #2
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Good luck with your new found project.

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Old 04-01-2014, 08:08 PM   #3
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I'm sure each manufacturer is different but I had to rebuild ours last summer when I discovered the rotted wood.
First, you must stop all of the leaks. After that would depend upon your individual skills.

To be quite honest, I am a terrible carpenter and I really, really, hate carpentry.

With that said, if you have basic carpentry skills and basic tools, (drill, circular saw, hand tools) I'm pretty sure you can do this project by yourself.

Mine was just a layer of 1/2" plywood sandwiched on top of a 3/4" piece and had long 3/8" carriage bolts bolting it to the cab.
Some pieces I had to cut with a jigsaw because of the shape of my cabover, but most where simple mark and cut with a skill saw.
I was fortunate enough to be able to salvage my old pieces after they dried and use them for patterns.

The whole project took me about 4 evenings after work, working about 2 hours a night. Total price was around $100.

Your Mileage May Vary and good luck!
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:20 PM   #4
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Wet wood is a pain. But its the accompanying mold can make you sick.

Do it right. Pull out anything wet. Kill the mold and then rebuild.
Tom and Katharine
'07 Winnebago Tour 40TD, 400hp Cummins
RVing for 19 years & 150,000+ miles
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:25 PM   #5
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Please don't be afraid to repair the damage alot of the repairs are not that bad or hard. I to am new to this rv thing but I have already been doing some work just take your time and you will find that you can change some things to the way you want them to be. Good luck
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Old 04-22-2014, 10:41 AM   #6
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I'm afraid you need to remove ALL the wood in the bunk area until you have revealed every bit of the interior structure and can find and pull out all the wet stuff. Wood rot is a cancer and if you are seeing the bunk deck wet it is highly probable that the plywood or studs below it, which provide structural support from the side walls, are no longer able to do so. When I pulled out the soggy moldy plywood in the overcab bunk of my 1977 class C most of the wood was nothing but handfuls of soggy black shredded stuff like garden mulch, full of dead bugs. And there was termite damage and dead termites in the walls. There are a lot of videos and photo journals on the web of people doing the kinds of rebuilds I am doing. It would cost thousands more than your unit is worth to pay a dealer to redo it, but with basic carpentry tools and a lot of patience and sweat you can do it yourself for a few hundred dollars. Get yourself a large flat prybar and a smaller one with a nail pulling slot in it, a good straight claw hammer and a circular saw with adjustable depth. You will need all these tools to remove the wood -- probably have to saw the sliding bunk section in half to remove it and will have to pull the padded covering from the lip of the bunk to get to the wood edge. Just be patient and do it step by step. If a lot of the side wall wood is rotted you will have to pull off the panelling and possibly the outer aluminum skin. I know it sounds horribly complicated but if you look at the videos on line you will see a lot of average people with little or no mechanical skills have managed to do it.
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:49 AM   #7
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83 Tioga

I am recently bought a '83 Tioga that has the same issue. I found a good bit of wood rot and moisture. I got all of the wood out....not in one piece, but maybe enough to form a pattern for replacement. Lucky for me, it has metal framing that is in decent conditioin. I am taking off all the exterior trim, cleaning, and re-sealing. I am also going to clean and reseal the windows. I have a LONG way to go, but everyday that I make a little progress I feel better. If you come across tips, I would love to hear them! I am hoping to get it all checked out, repaired, and on the road before July 4th.

This is our 1st RV and were stressed out to the max initially. We have spent a lot of time on youtube and forums. Keep your head up! I bet you can do it one step at a time!
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:59 AM   #8
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Glad to have you here with us. I'm sure you will find a way to make all your repairs easily, and then you'll have great times with it. Happy Trails!
Tony & Ruth........... FMCA#F416727
Newmar Dutch Star 4320, Spartan MM Chassis, Cat C9, Jeep Grand Cherokee,with Hemi, hooked up with a Blue Ox Aventa LX, and Brake Buddy.
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Old 04-30-2014, 03:03 PM   #9
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Bean King-- Take your time and do it right. Once you get it 100% a rainy day in your rv can be a pleasant experience. Our 2003 Minnie Winnie had the beginings of cab over issues. I removed and re bedded all the exterior cab over trim with 3m 5200 caulk. It has been bone dry ever since. Recently I rebuilt my over cab entertainment system to house a newer TV. I replaced some dry but past damaged paneling and sealed the cabover deck ply with epoxy. The more you do to your rig the better you will like it.

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Old 05-01-2014, 06:37 AM   #10
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Sealing things up

When rebuilding my over cab, the biggest problem I have (in my head) is adequately sealing all the seams. I am thinking about using butyl tape or endurabond under the metal trim and sealing with 3M caulk over screws and edges. Any tips on how to make this extremely waterproof? I would rather go overboard with it than just do it adequately.....it is possible I may have an issue with over kill when doing these things.
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Old 05-04-2014, 05:47 AM   #11
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How is your project coming along? I replaced my overhead on my 1988 Minnie Winnie, yes it was a pain, but well worth the trouble, I had estimates for $4000, some dealerships wouldn't even touch it.
Document your repair with pictures

Good luck
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:27 AM   #12
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The end of demo....

I finally got plywood in the over cab (will post pic of that later). That was a big job, but rewarding. I think/hope that we are at then end of making discoveries that need to be attended to. I think that was the worst part. Now we can make a plan on what to fix.

We have removed all of the windows. We are cleaning them up and will put them back in with butyl tape & silicon. We are thinking of also using endurabond too-any suggestions on that?

We are removing/cleaning/sealing every possible seam and using butyl tape and endura bond. We are planning to use Henry's roof sealer fro HD (our local RV dealer's parts dept said that is what they use).

Any suggestions? Thoughts?
Hoping to get her on the road, 100% ready by July 4th.
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Old 05-05-2014, 01:40 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by RVThere View Post
Wet wood is a pain. But its the accompanying mold can make you sick.

Do it right. Pull out anything wet. Kill the mold and then rebuild.
You do not kill mold, you either remove it, or encapsulate it.
There are certain specific conditions where it forms, and interfering with those conditions halts it,
It is an extremely interesting opponent, easy to control, but always waiting for conditions to be right to start up.
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:15 PM   #14
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Did you mean Eternabond? That's the micropolymer sealant tape that everybody swears by, in fact I understand at least one manufacturer is using it in their factory construction because it is the closest thing to a permanent sealer.

I have heard from numerous rebuilders that you should NOT use silicone sealant. It doesn't go well with butyl tape and if you do decide at some point to use Eternabond you will have to chemically remove ALL the silicone. I can tell you that the silicone the previous owner used on my 1977 Class C has failed in numerous areas and is a real pain to remove. I purchased the 1" double sided Eternabond tape which is what is recommended for resealing around windows and penetrations like AC units, roof vents, etc. Also got a 50' roll of the 4" single sided Eternabond to cover the corner seams of the cabover once I attach the new skin. Eternabond is costly, but I found the most reasonable source is RVupgrades.com. In fact they gave me a discount for buying three Eternabond products. It is recommended that you buy their heavy duty steel roller to press the tape firmly into place.

If you use the butyl tape you will need to replace it eventually in a number of years as it dries and contracts. From what I understand, that will not have to be done with the Eternabond. The stuff is even used to connect rubber roof membranes on commercial and industrial buildings -- it is serious sealant.

Besides the seams around the edge of the window units you also need to carefully inspect the seam where the glass goes in the frame. I determined that the front window in my overcab bunk was leaking water profusely thorough BOTH the outer frame where it was set into the wall and around the sealant of the glass. Like many Class C owners I have decided to eliminate the window entirely by replacing the skin from the roof to under the cab overhang with a new piece of solid painted flat 18 gauge Aluminum sheet. I mean, who needs a picture window in their bunk anyway and it is just a source of more potential leakage and failure. I am hoping the new smooth metal nose also acts as a better airfoil on the highway.

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