Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Camper

We woke up early Saturday(5/7) to pick up the camper. Usually, with the finicky jacks and the countless tries at getting the truck centered, it takes quite a while to even put the camper on. Yesterday was different. The jacks tried to give us a hard time, but luckily we have back up(hand cranks)...and Trevor was able to back the truck up, centered, on the first try. Wahoo!

Our friend Mark has been kind and generous enough to help us fix the rotted skirt section on the passenger side. Story on that...Last October, we were coming back from a pond party in Hendersonville, NC. Looking out the window, I noticed in the mirror the back of the camper flapping in the wind..."Oh no, Trevor!!The camper is coming off!!!" We took the next exit, and bought the only roll of expensive-cheap duct tape from the gas station. Needless to say, it was no good..must not have been true duct tape after seeing our turn signal cover fly off onto the highway. We ended up having to take another exit to rip the paneling off. The thought of having to fix this weighed down on us..what else is going to happen??

So, back to Mr. Fix-it(we love you Mark!) After close examination, Mark and I started cleaning out the rotted wood. These next series of pictures show the extent of the water damage:
The outer cover T and I initially ripped off is called filon, missing here :/

Removing the sewer hose container

Hmmm..where to start?

This spout is where we thought the leakage came from..Now, maybe not so much. We don't even know what this is or goes to

from the inside

Removed the jack clamp. Also pictured is the base of the ladder. Trevor also started sanding down the rust on the jacks.

What the ladder and jack clamp were barely hanging on all that dry rot!!

Mark removing the base trim. 98% of the screws were rusted and rotted.

At this point we're discovering more than what was anticipated. I noticed the outer metal sheath was also eroding from all the rusted staples and screws holding it in..yeeeeesh!

Just came right out! Too easy!

Lower back panel. Mark needed some leverage.

We determined camper's are heavy enough. Keep it light. Notice the thin plywood. We guess acts as a partial shield to the elements..but, come on! We discovered the rot didn't go all the across the base, but there is some sealing to be done once everything is screwed back into place.

exposed screws(from base of the ladder) after all the rotted wood has been removed, save the filon

last bit of rotted wood to remove under the brake light.

There was much discussion about how to go about replacing wood and where. We decided to replace all the 'dead' screws with exterior deck screws and then cover them with all weather silicone for extra sealant. The sealant is going to become our best friend. All that's left to do is install the outer template with the light and order the filon cover(thanks Daryll!). We've decided not to add back the sewer hose container. We're still keeping it, but storing it in the storage compartment.
taking measurements

Our original template(3/4" weather treated ply wood-cut from a 4'x8' piece i had to buy at Lowes). This piece has since been cut down to size

New wood framing and support for the brake light and license plate holder. Thinking of what we can add for a new inner wall.

Stopping point. Looking forward to the finished product.

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