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Old 09-01-2014, 10:47 PM   #1
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Unhappy Help! It all started innocently enough...

Originally Posted by MARDJ
Help! It started innocently enough... My husband and I bought a 1993 Coachmen Catalina Class A motorhome, planning to take our daughter-in-law and three young granddaughters on a 18 hour trip to see our son graduate from Air Force advanced training. I started to do a little updating on the interior so I started by stripping the wallpaper in the bedroom. When I got to the back wall, it came off much too easily, revealing a ruined wall behind it. My husband is a really handy guy, so he removed the bed and the cabinets, so we are now down to the bare wall. At this point he is afraid to continue. Has someone out there had experience with repairing the entire back wall of a motorhome? He is afraid of compromising the structural integrity (a valid concern, I must admit!) My plan was to remove the window, remove all the wetted wood down to the styrofoam, then treat all the surfaces with a chemical to kill the mold and then fill any empty spaces with insulation and glue new wood over the insulation. We already bought new seals for the window and obviously it will be important to seal every potential leak from the roof to the floorboards. He's so discouraged at this point that he is talking about cancelling our trip. Can somebody tell him the worst part is over and that we can in fact finish this project ourselves without just torching the motorhome?
Margie Flowers
Des Moines, IA

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Old 09-01-2014, 10:56 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,255
What do you mean by ruined? Just moldy? Before I did too much I would probably try and fix whatever leak did the damage in the first place.

Sounds like an important trip though. Any chance you could just tack up plastic sheeting and deal with it when you get back?

Pictures would be helpful.

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Old 09-01-2014, 11:03 PM   #3
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Location: Full Timing in South Louisiana
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I'd opt for the temp fix as well, and continue with the trip. It'll be a memory to laugh at once it's fixed. Not a total loss really. At least it's only the back wall.
John and Rebecca Dickson
Emma-7 / Little John-5 / Iva-1
Full Timing Again, Rev B
2013 Ford F-350 Lariat CC LB PSD
2015 SOB TT - With OC's Awning Poles (#8)
At least in Heaven, RVs will be perfect, and I won't have to keep fixing them.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:13 AM   #4
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Posts: 609
had the same thing happen to a TT years ago. Front wall got wet and paneling became paper. Called insurance company and they claimed repair was less than delectable which I still do not believe. I did what you are planning. Remover front bed and cupboards. Pulled out the front wall and let everything dry. Removed any compromised structure and replaced, re insulated and got a paneling from one of the box stores. When completed it looked like factory and I used it for another 15 years with no problems.

As one poster recommends find out where the water came in and repair. Could be a roof seal or running light seal. For me it was one tinny running light and all the damage occurred over one winter season. Ever since I have covered my RV in the off season. Much cheaper and less frustrating than doing a repair.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:26 AM   #5
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Location: Louisville, KY
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I don't have a motor home but did find a leak over the rear window in my rockwood. I removed the window and found a leak at the top corner where
they had not used enough putty under the window flange. I know it was leaking there because there was road grime around the under side of the window flange.
Patted myself on the back and went camping.
Next time it rained I saw more drips in the window area
I found that several of my clearance lights had water marks inside
the lens covers! Rusty mounting screws too. I put a tiny bead of silicone sealer around the rim of ALL my clearance light lenses. No more leaks!

Leaking clearance lights are a common problem for RVs of all shapes and sizes. Remember mine weren't leaking where the light mounts to the outside wall. They were leaking at the lens and filling with water and then the water got in thru the screw holes or wire hole.
Easy fix once you get started.
Only tools are a shop rag/paper towel, maybe a small screwdriver and a tube of bathroom sealer. You can use clear but I used white and it's nearly invisible once I pushed the lens back on and wiped off any squish out.

Good luck with your repair.
BTW, I also suggest dry everything do temp patch and take your trip.
Good Luck!
Dan & Rita D
2004 5.3L Silverado 1500 ext. cab 2WD
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