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Pretty much everything is rotting, now what?

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Pretty much everything is rotting, now what?

Unread postby alsmith162 on Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:22 am

I once lived in a 5th wheel full time & missed it greatly. I now rent a room and live a normal, dull life working in a job I hate, probably until I die. In an effort to improve my mood, and with a severely limited budget, I began searching for an rv of some type on Craigslist, eBay, RV Trader, and the like to recapture those days gone by. I planned (and plan) to go out on some of my three-day weekends, when I can. The rv in question turned out to be a 1993 24ft Dutchmen travel trailer. Decent layout, everything works, at least so far as I've been able to find out in a week of owning it, and it even comes with a mattress better than the one I sleep on in the house, albeit a bit small.

When I bought it, I noticed some soft areas by one window and forgave it in favor of the low price I paid. The hail damage to the exterior was forgivable, and hadn't pierced the skin any place I could see. I've worked for a remodeling business in the past & fig'd I could deal with it. I caulked around the exterior windows & seams, mebbe $40-$50 all told for some tubes & a spare caulk gun. Then I took a closer look at the water damage and noticed the floor was water-stained (but solid). In the bedroom when I took the bedding off & pillows out to clean, I noticed more on the forward wall below the front window, spreading back the sides some on either side. The roof is also fairly uneven on the outside (but flat inside) and made of what appears to be aluminum sheet. After a more thorough inspection, I found more discolored spots in the linoleum as well. True, I should've paid a higher price for something better, but when the choice is buy something cheap or sit in your rented room and never go anywhere, what are you gonna do? I suspect the windows may have been left open during a rainstorm during some point in the trailer's lifetime, though I really don't know.

I've read plenty about the RIGHT way to fix this and what I SHOULD do, but the trailer isn't worth what it would cost in time & money (that I don't have) to basically gut the interior and replace the walls, roof, floor, and essentially everything except the tires & hitch. Add to that the landlord may be selling in a couple years & I'm not sure I'll be able to find a place to park it, and I'm not sure what it's worth putting into it. My landlord got some sort of 12x12 laminate tile that was pretty thin for the entryway and put it right over the linoleum there & it looks great. How bad would it be to do the same to the rv floor to make the floor at least look better? It feels solid enough, but the stains on the floor look ominous. What about paneling over the damaged walls? What can I do around the windows so it still looks decent? I've liberally caulked the exterior with clear silicone caulk any place I can find a seam, save the roof, so theoretically it shouldn't leak through the windows, but with the level of damage there, how can I be sure where the leak was? What ever was used to caulk the roof last looks & feels about as easy to remove as cement. Plus, while the roof looks disturbingly uneven from the outside, there's no visible defects of any kind from inside. I'm aware it's probably leaking everywhere, but what can I do, realistically? What sort of compromises exist that a non rv technician such as myself could do for a reasonable amount of money? I did get insurance on it the day after I bought it, but I'm guessing it wouldn't cover pre-existing damage, if it covers water damage at all.
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Re: Pretty much everything is rotting, now what?

Unread postby frank on Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:51 am

Well I really don't know what the say I personally would not bought something like that. So that's about all I can say except good luck and welcome to the form :o
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Re: Pretty much everything is rotting, now what?

Unread postby Zinger on Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:43 am

I would get a couple friends and a garden hose and start looking for leaks start low and slowly work your way up hopefully you can find a general area its leaking and get a good repair done just be careful mold can be dangerous get the leak stopped and move on to the next phase of the rebuild

good Luck
Have a good one
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Re: Pretty much everything is rotting, now what?

Unread postby Ontariofarmer on Sun May 06, 2012 10:48 am

If you can't afford to fix it and you haven't gone to far in taking it apart......maybe you should see what you can get for it and cut your losses.

You might be further ahead in the long run.
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Re: Pretty much everything is rotting, now what?

Unread postby frank on Tue May 08, 2012 8:54 am

:cry: I think Ontariofarmer has some very good advice. If it's as bad as you say, you may want to think about it. Good luck
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