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Old 09-09-2013, 09:29 PM   #15
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Before starting I checked the wood's moisture content to make sure it was less than 17%, as stated in the instructions. It measured from 11% to 15%, checked at several locations.
The instructions for the penetrating epoxy says to use equal measured parts of A and B, so I poured about an ounce in each cup. Then I poured both into the a small squeeze bottle, which was not part of the kit, and shook until mixed. The holes near the edges soaked up a lot of material, one or two tablespoons per hole. The holes an inch or two away took less, about a teaspoon each. I injected more than 26 ounces into the holes over a two hour period.
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After filling the holes with as much penetrating epoxy as they would absorb I plugged the drilled holes with filler. Then I filled the opening where the wood was removed with the alternating layers of fiberglass/epoxy, and filler. Then I wet the patch with epoxy and smoothed it with a plastic putty knife. I will sand it tomorrow.
About 3 hours after this photo the patch is solid.
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I'm not sure if or how I will finish this area. I may leave it as is or paint it a light color so I can see better inside the storage areas. I will have to use some shims or blocking to support the bed since the carpet has been removed.

I will continue to monitor the patch for as long as I own the trailer. If anyone has questions now or later I will be glad to share information.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:34 PM   #16
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AW

The wood damage does not look that bad. I would be inclined to try the epoxy repair. Especially since the damage is right next to the c channel. Replacing plywood there is not so easy. I am not sure I want to get into the belly pan. Might be opening up a new can of worms. You can always do this later if needed.

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Old 09-09-2013, 09:56 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by TouringDan View Post
AW

The wood damage does not look that bad. I would be inclined to try the epoxy repair. Especially since the damage is right next to the c channel. Replacing plywood there is not so easy. I am not sure I want to get into the belly pan. Might be opening up a new can of worms. You can always do this later if needed.

Dan
The damage was not as bad as I thought it would be when I first discovered it. I am really happy that I chose to go with the penetrating epoxy. I could have left most of the plywood and it would have been ok for several years. I am not positive the fiberglass patch will hold up in the long run, though it sure was a lot less work and expense than removing more.
We are going to tow several hundred miles next week. If the patch is going to crack, it should show up soon. If it does not hold up, I will remove the bed and replace the plywood back to the first stringer.
We'll see how it goes!
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:37 AM   #18
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It will probably out last the rest of the floor.
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:40 AM   #19
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Just wondering, have you personally had a bad experience using epoxy in this type of repair?
Everything I have read has reported excellent results when installed correctly.
It has been my experience that when you have wood rot in the front or back you need to remove the lower interior walls to get at the C channel. You then find rusted through bolts that bolt the floor and C channel to the frame. I doubt that the epoxy will wick it's way, all the way, under the C channel and you will still not have a good connection of shell to frame. My personal opinion is that it is best to open up the floor, deal with the rusted frame, and replace the bolts that hold everything together. Without taking it apart you have no idea if the hold down plate is almost rusted through, and how rusted the frame is. Good luck, I hope your repair works for you. Brian
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:10 AM   #20
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I have worked with lots of epoxies and fiberglass in restoring old boats. It looks like you did the correct procedure, cleaning it and letting it get dry then repairing. West System epoxy even illustrates the hole pattern type repair you did in their catalog. Obviously ripping the whole floor out might have been better but a lot more work. On my trailer the wood damage was fairly recent and I inspected the C channel/etc. when I replaced a water tank and the metal underneath was fine.

The damaged layer looked like it was only one layer you removed and the floor is pretty thick, I think you will be fine as long as you have correctly identified and corrected the leaks that caused the damage to begin with.

My shower pan area had similar damage and I did a very similar repair to yours using epoxy and a few layers of kevlar/fiberglass to reinforce it. It wasn't that large an area and not worth ripping it all up/out.

Since I had the epoxy with me and all carpet removed, I coated my entire floor with epoxy resin!

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Old 09-10-2013, 11:28 AM   #21
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It has been my experience that when you have wood rot in the front or back you need to remove the lower interior walls to get at the C channel. You then find rusted through bolts that bolt the floor and C channel to the frame. I doubt that the epoxy will wick it's way, all the way, under the C channel and you will still not have a good connection of shell to frame. My personal opinion is that it is best to open up the floor, deal with the rusted frame, and replace the bolts that hold everything together. Without taking it apart you have no idea if the hold down plate is almost rusted through, and how rusted the frame is. Good luck, I hope your repair works for you. Brian
You have to remember my trailer is not quite 14 years old, so it does not compare to older trailers with regard to deterioration.

When I removed the loose wood, that allowed me to see the bottom edge of channel at the base of the wall. I could touch the exterior skin by sliding my hand beneath the channel, where I removed the soft wood. It also allowed me to see the fasteners that penetrated the base of the wall. They did have some rust, but surprisingly not to bad. A couple months ago I had to repair the belly wrap so I had the belly pan loose. That allowed me to see inside the belly from the curb side where I did the repair. The frame and outriggers did have some rust spots around the welds, but for the most part all paint was still on the frame.
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:54 PM   #22
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update-epoxy repair

It has been about 10 months, but only a little over 1,200 miles towed, since I repaired the rotted trailer floor with epoxy. While getting ready for our next trip, I removed all the accumulated junk out of the rear storage areas so I could see the repairs. The trailer has been outside all this time. I am happy to report there have been no leaks and the floor looks exactly like it did when I finished the repair last year.
We are going to tow 6,000+ miles in the next few months. Hopefully we will get on the road after the July 4th weekend. (if DW's health continues to improve) I'll try to remember to report the condition of the repair when we get home.
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Old 10-10-2014, 09:08 AM   #23
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13 months - 1,800 miles towed

We did not get to do the trip out west this year. DW got sick with the Norwalk virus early this summer, and took most of the summer to recover. We did get in a few weekend trips, so we only towed about 600 miles since my last post.

The epoxy impregnated floor and patch have held up well! There is one gouge in the patch were I threw in a wheel chock then some wood blocking on top. The vibration or bouncing as we traveled gouged into the patch.
I took these photos last week when I was cleaning/winterizing at the end of the season. That glossy spot beneath the pressure regulator is from the epoxy, not wetness. I have not seen any moisture inside the rear storage due to leaks. I had to pack up in the rain one time, so there are a few puddle stains on the patch.
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Old 10-10-2014, 09:58 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
We did not get to do the trip out west this year. DW got sick with the Norwalk virus early this summer, and took most of the summer to recover. We did get in a few weekend trips, so we only towed about 600 miles since my last post.

The epoxy impregnated floor and patch have held up well! There is one gouge in the patch were I threw in a wheel chock then some wood blocking on top. The vibration or bouncing as we traveled gouged into the patch.
I took these photos last week when I was cleaning/winterizing at the end of the season. That glossy spot beneath the pressure regulator is from the epoxy, not wetness. I have not seen any moisture inside the rear storage due to leaks. I had to pack up in the rain one time, so there are a few puddle stains on the patch.
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Looks pretty good.

But, a far more permanent and much more reliable patch is to use fiberglass resin.

It penetrates the wood, which adds to the strength.

Epoxy works OK, but it does not penetrate the wood.

Andy
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Old 10-10-2014, 10:40 AM   #25
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AW.. Same here. I have had a couple leaks return but the wood is dry!

I suggest you cut some in/outdoor carpet and throw down as a protector...

If I have to do a frame off I will Saturate with epoxy as you did.

After a year and several thousand miles, etc... Looking great!
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Old 10-10-2014, 11:50 AM   #26
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Does the subfloor extend underneath the shell? If that part is wet do you drill holes at an angle to get the epoxy in the wood under the shell?

I looked at a preowned 2005 or 2006 25SS a few months ago and when I opened the rear storage hatch it had the same issue. The trailer was stored outside. It was on consignment at a Camping World. I told the sales staff about the damage. They already had two deposits on the AS sight unseen.

I have a 2008 Classic 25fb and its been out in a few rains plus exterior washing and I haven't detected any leaks with my Sonin detector. However today the AS is out of storage and its been raining here for a couple of days. I'm going to check tonight after work again. So far I haven't seen any posts from Classic owners having this problem. I hope I'm not the first.


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Old 10-10-2014, 01:38 PM   #27
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Looks pretty good.

But, a far more permanent and much more reliable patch is to use fiberglass resin.

It penetrates the wood, which adds to the strength.

Epoxy works OK, but it does not penetrate the wood.

Andy
The epoxy I used had a pretty long work time and it has a consistency just heavier that water. It really soaked in. I was able to get almost a quart into the wood. I have worked with fiberglass resin before and I really could not tell a lot of difference. But, from what I understand the epoxy is stronger.
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Old 10-10-2014, 01:48 PM   #28
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Does the subfloor extend underneath the shell? If that part is wet do you drill holes at an angle to get the epoxy in the wood under the shell?
Kelvin
Yes, the subfloor does extend underneath the wall.

Before using epoxy the wood has to be extremely dry so that it is very absorptive.

When drilling those holes they do not go through the floor, just through the upper plies of wood. I used a piece of tape on the drill bit as a gauge so that I left the bottom layer of wood untouched. Those drilled holes act as a well. I filled the wells with a plastic squeeze bottle with a narrow tip. From the well the liquid will wick into the wood fibers about 2" to 3" in diameter around the hole. So drilling well holes along the edge of the wall, spaced about 2" apart, will let the epoxy wick to the outer edge of the wood. The manufacturer says the epoxy bonds the wood fibers together in a way that the plywood is stronger afterward that the original plywood was.
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