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Old 04-16-2015, 12:19 PM   #1
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Rot in underbelly

I have a 2008 Cardinal LE. Today I noticed some rust on the screws holding the fiberglass up in the external area under our bedroom (where the kingpin is). Upon further inspection, I saw the trim on the left side was beginning to sag and the fiberglass was starting to sag as well. I removed the trim and found the entire area above the fiberglass is rotted. Actually busted 5 of the screws taking the trim off. I haven't pulled off anything on the right side yet, but it appears that the rot might be confined to mostly the left side (no rust on screws and no sagging of the fiberglass).

This repair seems pretty straight forward, but I wanted to see if there is some experience out there with this.

1. When I remove the underbelly (fiberglass and plywood) will I be able to just replace the plywood (looks pretty thin) and glue the fiberglass right back to it and reinstall?

2. Should there be insulation between the plywood and floor of the bedroom? I haven't gotten in too far yet, but I can't see any.

3. Is this a repair that I should attempt or should I take it to a repair shop? I am fairly handy and willing to spend some time learning something new.
I just don't want to get halfway in, then realize that I am in too deep.

I have attached a couple pictures that will show what I am dealing with.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

OldGoat
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Old 04-16-2015, 05:38 PM   #2
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Cannot tell exactly where your second picture is from. Looks like the cardboard layer of the fiberglass cover. Above it I would think the insulation and frame will show. It's take at least two to put the piece back up.

Not sure about replacing the plywood. If the picture is it I would think it's where they glued to the wooden lats in the frame.


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Old 04-16-2015, 11:06 PM   #3
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Have you found the source of the leak? Good place to start is where the front cap meets the roof. It's a caulked seam and should it leak, any water intrusion would end up in that bottom panel.


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Old 04-18-2015, 07:23 AM   #4
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arpipeliner, Dave; Thanks for your replies. Sorry....haven't had the opportunity to respond for a few days.

arpipeliner, the second picture is a close-up (bad one) of the damage between the fiberglass and the frame. I can't see any insulation yet, but I haven't removed the entire piece yet.

Dave, I intend to get on the roof today to take a look at the seam at the roof and front cap. If it is leaking at that point, I guess I can expect the same type of damage behind the front cap, right? If so, this is looking like a RV maintenance technician job...

I will post again if I have additional issues...

OldGoat
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:26 AM   #5
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First thing first would be to remove the fiberglass and see what the damage is. Then if it is too much for you, just reassemble the unit and bring it to a repair facility.

I agree with finding the leak. The water most likely did pool on the bottom and was not able to escape. Wet wood will rot pretty quickly.

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Old 04-19-2015, 06:10 AM   #6
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I inspected all seams on the roof and cannot find any obvious leaks. I am going to clean the seams and run some water to see if I can detect anything.
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Old 04-19-2015, 10:27 AM   #7
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Some leak in the molding strip at the bottom of the front cap. Where it goes under the camper. Might not be as bad as you think.


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Old 04-19-2015, 10:42 AM   #8
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I would be looking at the area around where the pin box sticks through.That could let water splash up around and get into that part of the 5er.Not much to keep it out as your going down the road in the rain.
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