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Old 07-25-2014, 07:13 PM   #1
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Question about handling damage from a leak.

We recently purchased a '77 Overlander that was basically a time capsule. The first rainstorm after our pulling it home showed a wet spot on the floor. We pulled up the linoleum and found wood rot and corrosion in that area. Wood rot has been removed and will be replaced, sealant has been purchased to start working on the seams and windows. The water has been running down inside the wall and my concern is can we seal the seams hopefully eliminating the leak and replace the floor without ripping out the walls? Will it dry out after leaks are sealed if we wait a bit to replace the subfloor in that area? Also is Silflex an adequate substitute for Vulkem if that is all we have available to us at this time? Yes, we are trying to avoid a huge remodel. Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 07-25-2014, 08:46 PM   #2
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Get an ice-pick or sharp little screwdriver and work your way around the perimeter of the trailer. This will help you to find how extensive the floor rot has become over the last 40 years. Pay especial attention to the front, rear, and around the door, which is where the 70's era trailers rot the most. Relatively small sections of rotten floor can be cut out, and new subfloor scabbed in. That being said many "shell-offs" were done the hard way (by replacing the entire floor with the shell on)--not recommended.

If the trailer has spent its life in Florida (like mine did), then prepare yourself for a shock. My trailer required a shell-off floor replacement, plus the last 3-4 ' of frame had to be scrapped and rebuilt.

As for how to seal it up, replace all the door, vent, hatch, and window seals, clean up all the seams, and use Parbond, Trempro 634 (Vulkem), or an equivalent to seal (this stuff can be ordered online from places like Vintage Trailer Supply or Out of doors Mart). The plumbing vent pipes are surrounded by a piece of rubber that needs to be replaced about every 5 years--yours is certain to be 40 yrs old, and leaking.

Good luck!
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Old 07-26-2014, 04:54 PM   #3
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1977 27' Overlander
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Question about handling damage from a leak.

It is a Florida trailer and is surely showing the signs of it. I bought Silkaflex at Home Depot hit realizing it may have been the wrong choice. We did pull that panel off this morning and were able to see the bolts you mentioned. We hadn't noticed them yet! The insulation was only wet in one spot and not mildewy like I worried it would be. It was very hot and humid today so that is as far as we got but as long as we are moving forward..... Thanks for the replies!
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Old 07-26-2014, 05:49 PM   #4
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Not sure what Silkaflex is. If it is a butyl or poly based rubbery sealant that remains flexible after setting, then it might be just fine. I haven't found anything at my local Home Depot that was right, but some of them carry different stuff. I did find some grey poly sealant at a local "Do It Right" hardware store that cures to be very similar to Vulkem, but it smells like chocolate fudge while drying. I also had some butyl sealant that was a "gutter sealant" from another hardware store, and I suppose it did its job, but it was messy as heck.
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Old 07-26-2014, 06:45 PM   #5
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Old 07-26-2014, 06:52 PM   #6
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Our local Airstream dealer sells sikaflex and I have used it to seal up seams. I think it is good stuff but they sell something that looks different from your pictures. Don't know if it is different for the Airstream.

Someone should come along soon with the information.
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Old 07-26-2014, 07:17 PM   #7
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That is why I love this forum :-)
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:43 PM   #8
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If u have floor rot but still sorta strong just use Git Rot!
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:31 PM   #9
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I hadn't heard of that, thanks for the suggestion!
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:57 PM   #10
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Or on slightly rotted floor you can use West System found at marine stores. It's a penetrating epoxy they use in boats and works wonders to stabilize old wood.
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:50 PM   #11
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Git rot was purchased at West Marine. The West System is similar...at least from their spec sheet I was able to compare. YMMV

It worked great for us.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:50 PM   #12
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Sweet!
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:13 PM   #13
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Marine stores have great stuff!

A lot of great stuff comes from marine stores. To name a few - West System Epoxy, Captain Tolly sealant, all kinds of caulking for outdoors (some of it is for under the waterline so it would last forever in a trailer, etc...).
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:41 PM   #14
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sealing floors

I am in the midst of a mini restoration of a 94 Excello and found some damp areas (and some small rotted areas in the floors). After removing the damaged wood, I treated the flooring with a 1 to 5 bleach mixture and let it dry for several days. I then used exterior porch paint to seal all of the subfloor. On a related note, since all of the furniture items were removed, I also took the opportunity to apply a light bleach mixture (1/2 cup to one gallon) to the carpeted walls 4-5 times over a one week period. Took out all of the musty spell from the dampness and left the walls almost new looking. I am now busy searching for the leaks and preparing to install the new flooring.
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