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Old 02-17-2011, 11:01 AM   #1
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Question Over Cab Wood Rot

Just bought an old '97 Gulfstream and working on the interior. Noticed a "musty" smell but attributed it to age. No indication of water damage on ceiling, walls, etc. but a few areas where the wall paper was bubbled. In the cab over, found a small area of water rot by one of the side windows and most of the plywood under the cab over bed. The roof had been recoated prior to the purchase, but looks like recaulk of the trim will be a necessity. The big issue is the rotten plywood in the cab over floor. I am thinking about just "flooring over" with a 3/4" plywood and if needed bolt through the underside (with strap metal on the underside) to stablize the whole mess. Anyone have any experience or advice?? Last thing I need is to throw something heavy up there (like me) and go crashing through!!

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Old 02-17-2011, 12:48 PM   #2
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My 02.

Sounds like a potential cab over rebuild in the making - common when Class C's have cab over water issues. If your handy and have the proper space for repairs you fix yourself and save a lot of money - otherwise it may cost you several thousand dollars.

Your first priority is to find and fix the source of water intrusion into the rig. Sometimes that's easy - sometimes it's very difficult. You might consider taking the rig in and having it pressure tested - that should spot all of the air/water leaks that you need to address.

Where the water is leaking and how long it has been leaking will determine how much damage. The plywood bed is probably the strongest/largest piece of wood in the RV and is part of the structural base of the cabover - if that has rotted then chances are other less formidable things have rotted as well (interior walls etc.).

I don't think your adding another plywood sheet ontop of the rotted plywood is a good idea. The rotted plywood is what is connecting your side walls together and provides the foundation for the cab over - hard to band-aide a fix in your situation.

RV.net forum has lots of threads on this subject - many with great pics which will give you a good understanding on what's involved - worth a look.

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Old 02-17-2011, 04:25 PM   #3
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Good advice and thanks for the RV.net lead, pictures gave me a better idea of the structure. I may get lucky, found the leak location and partial tear down plus tap and ice pick inspection indicate most of the wood is sound. May get away with partial replacement.
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Old 02-18-2011, 12:02 PM   #4
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Woodless Rot

After digging, found out Gulfstream was smart enough to use aluminum square tube framing. Plywood is just a thin skin, not structural. Framing looks great, no damage. Life is good again, re-skin and seal and my fat butt will be back up in the cab over!! Not quite as simple as that, but beats the heck out of a complete rebuild.
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