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Old 08-20-2020, 03:22 PM   #1
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Question Water damage under rider's side window

Looks like I got a basket full of trouble.

I opened the mug-holder in front of the rider's seat and the thing came off the wall. That's when I noticed that the wood under the window on the rider's side was soft. I peeled off the wall paper and this is what I found. (see images below)

After peeling back the wall cover, I got the ladder out and made sure that the seals around the window were waterproof - used same sealant as the window installers used. Then re-sealed the seams between the front cap and the roof.

The images show (and a little digging with a knife) what looks like 1/4 plywood stuck to Styrofoam.

Has anyone else had to deal with this situation and what did you have to do?

Do I have to dig out everything up to the fiberglass exterior in order to replace it?


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Old 08-21-2020, 08:43 AM   #2
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Up S**ts Creek and Finally With A Paddle...

Hey JJ!

Man, I'm in it thick myself with very, VERY, similar problems, literally at this exact moment... so I feel your pain, and I'm happy to do Facebook chats, or whatever to help share the experience (Its nice having perspective, especially with one that is literally in the same sinking boat!).

Mine started with roughly the same symptom. We decided to install bunks in the slideout where the dinette is, and move the dinette to the passenger side, forward of the galley. We have the 395 model, so we have a lot of space, so it just made good sense to us.

SO, I removed the dinette (no problem), built the bunks (no problem), and went to start planning the dinette in front of the galley (insert beginning of the problem). I noticed the interior wall in front of the kitchen base cabinet had a little bubble. I pushed on it and it was mush. I peeled the paper back, it was black. Then I followed the softness, and you may have guessed... behind the cabinets . So we removed the entire kitchen to get to the water damage.

When I had full access to the damage under the window(s) (thinking it was seals gone bad on the galley and forward windows), I started working my way up... and up... and up... The lap seal bead had failed between the roof covering and the rain gutter. And water was just cascading down the inside of the wall.

So, we are remodeling our coach! Literally, because the damage is so much and we had to pull the kitchen cabinets out, we're using it as an opportunity to remodel.

Now what to expect --

You are correct- there is 1/8" or 1/4" plywood with a factory-applied covering over it that is adhered to the styofoam insulation. That insulation is then (from what I can tell) adhered to the outside shell. I would not be inclined to remove the styrofoam, if you can prevent it.

Instead, what I've done-- I've peeled and crumbled off all of the old plywood as far as it is soft, and even a little more, all the way down to the tiny layer that is glued to the styrofoam. From that point, run a fan and a dehumidifier on it. I found that in a day with the dehumidifier, it looked significantly better already.

Styrofoam is practically waterproof-- the physical qualities of the foam make it so water generally beads off and goes somewhere else... like wood. So, thats where you are in luck... because you should be able to just peel off as much as that water damage as possible and find some sort of fix. For us, we are remodeling the entire kitchen, and stripping all of our cabinets to repaint and update the coach. So we're in VERY deep in our project.

I seriously thought this was going to be an easy job... build bunks, move dinette. Now we're gutting the bus and remodeling it!

So after you peel everything back and allow it to dry, get a quart of Kilz for safe measure and that whole area. This is why I found it particularly useful to leave that little bit of what was left glued onto the styrofoam.... you will have a surface to apply the Kilz (liberally).

I found myself to be pretty certain that the water damage attacked the plywood, and did not go down the exterior sidewall, because the foam is still VERY well secured to the outside wall. This meant to me that the water simply found the best route downward to create as much destruction as possible, was to let the wood absorb it, and do its dirty little ninja-like deed.

So I'm going to shamelessly add photos... but also note that I did inspect the frame and did not find anything OVERLY concerning. There is some superficial rust, and Im going to take care of that. But I'm going to the RV shop today to get new Dicor and I'm gonna do a reseal of the lap seal around the roof, and re-seal the windows. (Mind you, Im thinking I will have to remove the galley window in order to re-seat, re-secure, and re-seal that window.)

I hope you found this helpful...I do all of the work to my coach by myself, and I always aim at learning 100% of everything about it so I know. This job has already taught me a lot. But, as a contractor, and my wife being my designer- we're coming up with some really cool ideas to update our coach with this remodel!

Let me know if you want to connect on Facebook or something so we can keep in touch. I do that with Dave and Linda through here also. He also does most of his work on his Tradewinds. They are extremely nice people. -- I love our Tradewinds community. I love the coach, and the people are always willing to help each other.

I'm in pretty dire straits with my coach right now. Had I not built these bunk beds, I may have never known the extent of this damage... so... I'll count that as a blessing?

Take care and good luck!
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Old 08-21-2020, 09:32 AM   #3
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First thing is to remove the window and properly reseal it before the finish repairs.

Ken
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Old 08-21-2020, 11:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
First thing is to remove the window and properly reseal it before the finish repairs.

Ken
I should have specified that to JJ lol -- I thought my leak was originally a window issue, so I was going to treat accordingly. Now its a different leak that will likely require me to pull out at least one window and re-seal it, and maybe two.

I'm a bit intimidated pulling windows out, but Youtube suggests its fairly straight-forward.
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Old 08-21-2020, 12:55 PM   #5
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@JPaTV
Do you happen to have pictures of your project? I am debating putting bunks in my 2000 SeaBreeze.

Did you ever figure out how the water was getting in?

-J
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Old 08-21-2020, 01:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miatawnt2b View Post
@JPaTV
Do you happen to have pictures of your project? I am debating putting bunks in my 2000 SeaBreeze.

Did you ever figure out how the water was getting in?

-J
Absolutely! I've been documenting the progress - albeit, I had only "roughed' the bunks in - now we're going to empty the bus completely, finish pulling the cabinets, and do a complete remodel with new paint, panel in the kitchen, new backsplash, new sink position, and all sorts of other modern upgrades! I built the bunks in 3 components and left it 'unfinished' because I am going to run new power and lighting to each bunk yet.

I dont have any pictures on me now, but I can put together some as I go and go over how I planned it and such. I'm also going to document it with a youtube video of what we did, how we did it, and go over some pretty key things that I've learned already thus far.

As for the water-- I did find it. The roof lap seal dicor bead at the rain gutter above the galley window went bad, and water was running off the side of the roof, getting into the separation and flowing down the inside wall.

To be honest, it was pretty damp and in a pretty inconvenient place- but we're in a cool position to update the coach. So we have some pretty cool ideas.
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Old 08-21-2020, 08:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPaTV View Post
Absolutely! I've been documenting the progress - albeit, I had only "roughed' the bunks in - now we're going to empty the bus completely, finish pulling the cabinets, and do a complete remodel with new paint, panel in the kitchen, new backsplash, new sink position, and all sorts of other modern upgrades! I built the bunks in 3 components and left it 'unfinished' because I am going to run new power and lighting to each bunk yet.

I dont have any pictures on me now, but I can put together some as I go and go over how I planned it and such. I'm also going to document it with a youtube video of what we did, how we did it, and go over some pretty key things that I've learned already thus far.

As for the water-- I did find it. The roof lap seal dicor bead at the rain gutter above the galley window went bad, and water was running off the side of the roof, getting into the separation and flowing down the inside wall.

To be honest, it was pretty damp and in a pretty inconvenient place- but we're in a cool position to update the coach. So we have some pretty cool ideas.
such a tease! I can't wait to see any pics you have. I don't do Facebook, but I'll hit you up on PM and we can exchange info.
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Old 08-22-2020, 10:45 AM   #8
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Thanks for the reply and description of your project.

The first thing I did was to get on a ladder and reseal the seam between the front cap and the roof & side wall. I had already reinstalled the down-spout at the end of the mini-gutter and I checked to insure that it was still water tight. (BTW not having the down spouts at each corner of the MH will lead to water intrusion, so don't go without them - they tend to be clipped off by branches. (Camco 42452 Gutter Spout)

We went to FL to have the front driver's and rider's side windows removed, cleaned, re-sealed and replaced - cheaper than putting in new ones. I saw that the windows are screwed into a frame, from inside the coach. They also advised that I check & reseal the windows about every 6 months.

After a night with .5" of rain, I checked and there was no evidence of water leak on the wood so now I can try to deal with it.

I found that I can use my Harbor Freight "oscillating Multi-tool" with the toothed blade and slice out 2" strips of the wood. I place the blade between the plywood and the Styrofoam and peel the damaged board away from the Styrofoam. The idea being the water hasn't hurt the foam, but the wood has to go.

What I'm anxious about is the location of the aluminum frame "studs" so that I will have something solid to screw into when I replace the wood.

I'll try to take videos & pictures of what I've done so far and post them here and elsewhere.
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Old 08-22-2020, 12:34 PM   #9
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The 'studs' are illusive, lol - Im 3 days into the project and still havent come across one
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Old 10-03-2020, 05:51 PM   #10
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The "studs" were so elusive they weren't even there! There is a metal (iron) angle iron on the top and bottom and "I" (?) vertical supports, one even with the edge of the front windshield and another half way along under the riders' window. I drilled a pilot hole and used self-tapping metal screws to hold the 1/4" replacement plywood in place. I did prime & paint the wood before I put it in place. Picture to come.
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