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Old 06-06-2013, 04:09 PM   #1
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spongy hybrid bed doors, help

I'm new to the forum and am looking for information on how the drop down bed doors are constructed. I just purchased a 2007 Rockwood Roo 23B Hybrid and thought I had checked it out thoroughly, but during setup on our second trip in it I found that the doors were spongy to the touch on the inside of the doors by the hinges. The rest of the doors seem to be solid, it's just the first couple of inches from the hinge end. And not all the way across. There was a little water on the bottom ledge of the front bed area, but everything in the area looked fine, no water stains, etc. so I think the water was unusual. Also, no delamination appearing on the outside skin.
Any help or direction would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-10-2013, 02:09 PM   #2
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Spongy Doors

Howdy Snowman.

Welcome to the nemesis of the hybrid trailer world. I just bought my '00 Roo and like yourself discovered after the purchase the door rot. I was simply going to replace them, since I thought repair was not possible, but after talking to Bobbi at Forest River, I had to find a cheaper alternative. Bobbi quoted me $330 for each of my doors, plus $40 for crating, plus shipping which could easily run another $150. That's close to $1,000 for both doors. I then researched the repair and soon learned to repair it myself. I just completed my first door. Materials were two 1/2" sheets of Polystyrene foam board and 2 sheets of 1/8" luan plus adhesives. The work is a process and can't be hurried., but after two days (overnight curing) it was complete and looking better than original. If you have some handyman sense and a weekend, you can easily do this for under $100 each door. But none of this worth doing unless you cure why it rotted to begin with. Your gaskets are probably fatigue and should be all replaced. I am also engineering a storm flap out of marine grade vinyl to ensure no water intrusion from the doors weakest seam, the top.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:58 PM   #3
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Pictures please, when completed. I have some minor issues starting as well with my 23b. It appears water fills in the bottom of the front bed near the hinge and wicks its way up starting the process. It seems to be caused by the angle of the front .
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:46 PM   #4
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Door design

Monkihead,
Can you tell me how the framework of the door was designed? Are their aluminum studs running top to bottom or side to side? I'm assuming the styrofoam and plywood is cut to fit between the studs, is that true? I'm trying not to do the whole door right now unless I find more damage once I open it.

Rrickim63,
The door wasn't soft when I bought the camper 2 months ago, but there was a big rain the night before I went camping last. Upon setup is when I noticed one bottom corner of the front bed being spongy. I'm hoping I caught it in the early stage. And now that it has had time to dry out it is barely noticable. Go figure

Rockwood replied today: $330 per door plus shipping + seals + decals. Was told these doors should be reliable because they are "improved".
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:42 AM   #5
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Door design

Rick,

You will be surprised how little their is in "structure" in the door. It gets its strength from its unibody construction. It is a simple aluminum box tubing with a single rib running down the middle centered on the long side. The foam core is one inch thick, but you won't find that anywhere. So I bought two 1/2" panels and laminate them. The foam cores are cut and sit inside each frame flush with the box frame. The luan is cut to the full length and width of the frame. This too is glued to the foam and box frame. All these materials each alone would not be able to hold up the weight of the average person, but when all laminated together, they form a unified strength is very capable. Two things you will find difficult to find, the 1/8" thick luan and the adhesive. The adhesive type is critical because it can't be one that will react with polystyrene. 3M #87 spray adhesive will not harm the foam. You will need a whole can for each panel or three for each door. The two foam panels will need a can to be clued to each other. The luan front and back of door will need one each. Also, I found the hardest part was separating the fiberglass outer sheet from the old luan. This sounds weird, but I used a long stiff machete to SLOWLY separate the two. Once fiberglass panel was removed I used a wallpaper scraper and belt sander to remove/smooth out the remaining debris. Nothing about it is hard, but it is all about process. If you were close by, for a six pack of Dos Equis, I would help you out. When I replaced the luan, I stained and sealed it in polyurethane to help its water resistance. Now I have a fine looking maple finish inside deck, rather than the chintzy vanilla wallpaper OEM uses. All entry points of the outer seal frame must be properly sealed with 100% silicone. This is important, since it's at the fasteners is where the water finds its way inside the door and begins the delamination and rot.
Front door frame | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

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Old 06-11-2013, 10:41 AM   #6
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bunk door

Thanks for the description and picture Monkihead. Why I couldn't get anything like this from Rockwood really has me wondering whether I made a mistake in the brand of camper purchased. So simple yet they could not seem to even describe it let alone send a picture. Now I know that I really can't repair just a portion of it, but hopefully I can work towards keeping any more water out.
I really think Rockwood should be backing up their product better other than recommending that you replace the faulty bunk doors. In asking for a price on replacement bunk doors I also asked what guarantee I would have that the new doors would not leak. Here's what I received from the Rockwood Warranty Advisor: "The new bunk doors are built with better sealants and a different setup for the hinge. I would also suggest replacing the seals that go around the bunk door as well. " That comment sure suggests to me that Rockwood knows their original design is faulty, but we get to pay for it.
I'm just saying......
Thanks again Monkihead. Your assistance is much appreciated.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:51 AM   #7
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soft bunk doors

Don't be too hard on them. If you search the web of other hybrid manufacturers, you'll find this problem not unique to Forest River. The design it inheritably challenging for sealing. All must be in perfect working order for it not to leak. And you know that leaks are very common to RVs regardless. It's just nature of the beast. I will post, when completed, my mod to the door. I am confidently my mod will be effective and elegant. Time will tell, finger crossed.

Juan
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:48 PM   #8
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Yep, every hybrid manufacturer has the same construction bunk doors, not just FR.
I seem to remember that they all get them from the same supplier.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:22 PM   #9
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bunk door

Maybe my frustrations with Rockwood came across a little too strong in my last post. I've read other forums and have seen that apparently the bunk door issue is one that most, if not all manufactures seem to have. I wish those issues would have popped up when I was doing my research on hybrids. I might have gone a different direction. I definitely would have checked the trailer out differently, I thought I was being pretty thorough.

If anyone from Rockwood reads these posts then I would just ask that their people be a bit more accommodating in giving out information. They could go that extra mile to direct a customer to information that can lead to more educated decisions on which way to go. Monkihead gave a great description of the door construction and how things were put together, along with a picture. It helped me understand my situation clearly and only took half a day. 3 days later I still don't have that much from Rockwood.

Thanks again
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:59 AM   #10
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This is all good information. I too have discovered problems with both ends of our '05 19' Roo. I have already had to fix a spongy floor due to previous owner's mistake. What a job that was. Monkihead's repair sounds like a good one and easier than the floor job I tackled.
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