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Old 04-06-2011, 04:12 PM   #1
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Please forgive me

I am trying to alleviate some sick feelings and think that by *getting this off my chest* I will feel a little better. Course, after I hear your replies, I might feel even worse... but since I'm trying to get out of the office and off the pee-ute-r, I'll save those worse feelings for tomorrow when I check back in...

I've joked about it a bit - my fears of rear end issues. A couple nice souls inspected my rear end in January and didn't think there was any real concern about seperation. I also tore up the carpeting during that same time because my toilet fill valve stuck and overflowed (clean) water. At that time I examined the bath floor and it was solid without any signs of previous water damage.

However, yesterday I found some rotten wood at the back when I was cleaning her up. It's dry, but has been structurally compromised along the area of the bumper. I know that it WILL lead to problems in the future - even though nothing is obvious yet.

I have spent some good dollars, time and love on my Silver Olive over the past year - new axles, converter, seals, etc. I am mostly working on her by myself and I just don't think I can perform the flooring repair. I do think I can perform the sag fix (adding brackets as delineated by Andy on other threads) - but that won't fix the rotten plywood.

So, what happens now? Do I make the sag repair as a proactive step? Do I sell her? What happens if I don't fix the plywood - will my rear end be dragging behind? Shesh, and I was just ready to get into the fun cosmetic stuff.

Laura


I am so sick because I've been reading about rotted flooring, rear sag, leaking bumpers for a couple years. Thanking my lucky stars that I wasn't having to address those issues.

PSS - you know I'll check back in before tomorrow. Silly me.
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:17 PM   #2
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I worked on the very same model a year ago. Her name is Rosie and it was the bumper hatch that did her in. You can see it on my FTW blog from a year ago if you want.
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:24 PM   #3
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Laura,

How deep is the rot? It's possible it is not very deep and may not compromise anything. There are epoxies made to restore rotted wood and that may solve small areas without you having to rip out the plywood. We would not want your rear end to drag.

Gene
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:27 PM   #4
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Here is what I have learned about restoring a vintage unit

Its always darkest right before it turns pitch black
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:31 PM   #5
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Gulp. Why didn't I just go home like I said... I just had to look at Rosie's surgery to remind myself that it's too much for me...

Gene - it's deep. Clear through. Not much solid wood at all along the rear bumper. sniffle, sniffle. She's bad, real bad. I don't know what is holding her rear end up. I stood on the bumper (like the guys at the january rally) and the bumper only moves about 1/4" on the street side. Curb side doesn't move at all. She's trying - really trying to be good. Okay - this talk is giving me some courage to fix her - since she's trying so hard and all.


Laura
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkill View Post
I have spent some good dollars, time and love on my Silver Olive over the past year - new axles, converter, seals, etc. I am mostly working on her by myself and I just don't think I can perform the flooring repair. I do think I can perform the sag fix (adding brackets as delineated by Andy on other threads) - but that won't fix the rotten plywood.

So, what happens now? Do I make the sag repair as a proactive step? Do I sell her? What happens if I don't fix the plywood - will my rear end be dragging behind? Shesh, and I was just ready to get into the fun cosmetic stuff.
Do you know of any other damage back there? How's the frame? I'd guess that an awful lot of 70s trailers have a lot more than some punky wood back there. In other words, you very well could still be ahead of the curve.

But the bigger philosophical question - do you sell her? Heck no. My impression is that you're fond of Silver Olive. Like you said, you put a lot into her. Unlike me, your attention doesn't seem to waver toward the temptations of newer trailers with shiny interior walls and lots of vista views and IKEA colors.

I wonder if there is a business model for a place where you could take your trailer and work on it with the assistance of a shop. You could utilize their skills, tools, and (maybe most important) confidence while you helped out with some grunt work. Sort of like the Car Talk garage when it started out. (I thought I heard of a place in Florida that did just that with GMC motorhomes.)

Or you could arrange the "fix my rear end" rally - a weekend-long rebuild session

Tom
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:40 PM   #7
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The good thing about the rearmost area is that to replace that wood you probably wont have to take the shell off or anything. If the wood is rotten, so much the easier to get it out, and you may be able to slide a new piece right in.

In my mind these are once in a lifetime jobs and they are not complex, they just take a little patience.
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:48 PM   #8
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Its fixable. I payed to have it fixed on mine as it was a bigger job than I wanted. Dont fall for the elephant ear fix though- it is a half#ss solution, have it done right.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:19 PM   #9
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Laura,

How deep is the rot? It's possible it is not very deep and may not compromise anything. There are epoxies made to restore rotted wood and that may solve small areas without you having to rip out the plywood. We would not want your rear end to drag.

Gene
Sorry Gene.
Epoxy will not fix the issue. It will only cover it up. To use epoxy you need more access than just replacing the rot involves. The exopy will never bond in a structural manor. Someone will disagree with this and tell you how well it worked for them, but I would never repair something that way.
Getting to the problem area is a big job. The entire bathroom module must come out. Sorry, telling it straight up. Not trying to freak you out, but there are other areas just like the rear.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:19 PM   #10
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My 73 27' rear bath had leakage wickedly wicking up that whack fiberglass compressed between floor and frame so truly spread the misery around. Please note I had to pull the overhead lockers, beds (your gouchos) and bath sliding door partitions to begin pulling the bath built-ins.
If you pull the rear trim, bananna wraps, drop the back pan and find it structurally stable I’d be doing the quick-patch boogie in a heartbeat if I had it to do again. You will need to double up the shell-frame attachments, add fresh wood, insure the outriggers truly clamp the shell down and patch holes in floor, POR-15 the rust, put the pans and wraps up, caulk and go camping. (< slightly abridged version)

The back full-sheet change-out is a very large job - break it down to phases, smaller hourly, 1/2 day, daily- goals, and take care not to lose momentum. Have a LOT of dedicated storage to keep items as-removed in logical sets. Keep hardware together in zip-locks taped to items. A notebook with a page for each phase w/ digital pictures (numbers) indexed for later reference. A job timeline on a dry-erase board might be a great help, punch list updated daily etc...
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:30 PM   #11
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This is a rampant issue with the 1973 units. The water is directed right into the space between the plywood and frame. The rear sweeps in and so does the water. To compound all of this, there is a steel plate and more aluminum sandwiched together under there too. I used a rubber membrane to act as a gasket and to separate the different metals. And then to make it even better, the electrical system is all right there. The grounding is right there and you have a perfect formula for galvanic corrosion.

Sorry to freak you out. I recommend you pour wine now.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:39 PM   #12
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Dear Laura:

Rotten luck. Maybe your local WBCCI club can help you as a "chapter project" some weekend?
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:53 PM   #13
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Well, I'm back - beer in hand. Think I'll need something stronger. Okay, I'll start with wabbiteer's thoughts and :


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbiteer View Post
... pull the rear trim, bananna wraps, drop the back pan ....
and see what the frame looks like. I can probably do it this weekend. But if I find something alarming, I will probably just slap it back together and bawl like a baby.

With thoughts of relocating for a job (that is, if I am lucky) then it's the wrong time to undertake a project like removing the guts. Hate to think how much I already did only to see her disintergrate. Maybe I'll end up in an area that has a A/S restoration shop.

Guess I'll report back after I take a look. I can wonder and speculate till I'm really useless so I'll grab the Kindle and turn to chapter 2 of my newest book --- Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10.

Laura
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:57 PM   #14
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This is a rampant issue with the 1973 units. The water is directed right into the space between the plywood and frame. The rear sweeps in and so does the water. To compound all of this, there is a steel plate and more aluminum sandwiched together under there too. I used a rubber membrane to act as a gasket and to separate the different metals. And then to make it even better, the electrical system is all right there. The grounding is right there and you have a perfect formula for galvanic corrosion.

Sorry to freak you out. I recommend you pour wine now.
Freak me out? Oh dear sir --- you definately did --- pull the bathroom. Ha. Thanks though - I need it straight - don't want to dive into something and end up with even a bigger project. Much appreciated - wine works wonders but usually results in a cry-fest all on it's own. Add it to my concerns for my ailing Silver Olive and it could be a very ugly time.

Laura
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:05 PM   #15
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The good news is you have a great book. I had to read it in a single sitting.
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:37 PM   #16
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Got rot?

Hey Laura,
I'm not too sure how bad your rear end is, but I'm sure if three guys said it was OK, then you shouldn't worry too much. I recommend removing the rear banana wraps to get a good look from underneath. If it looks like this you have a problem.
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This is the street side rear corner of Abby. I have seen the fix as described above. If you look on Abby here, you'll find that the angle iron would be placed in an area that isn't really affected by the perimeter rot. As Frank stated it is the bumper hatch funneling water into the wood floor at the rear. Wish you the best with whatever is to be.
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:39 PM   #17
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Laura we have a 73 Tradewind and face the same issues. We are going to have to replace the floor as itches rotted in several places though not along the entire rear end. The constructor cannot do it this summer so he has band aided and we are hoping for the best. And will take it easy on the road keeping a close eye on the structure. Our axles are in the right position now but we know that is a matter of time and may ground us at any time.

We are in New Smyrna, have family and friends that work at the Space center so understand your employment issue.

Would it help if you called Frank or someone else you check out completely and discuss cost of repair and ideas for temp patch ? Though this economy stinks we are seeing a few improvements. I am hoping things work out. You offer so much to the community with your organization.
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:40 PM   #18
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But if I find something alarming, I will probably just slap it back together and bawl like a baby.
Bawl like a baby, but don't slap it back together. It may look better after you've had a good cry. Sorry to hear it wasn't just on the surface and Frank's right—epoxy won't do it for a big hole. I was hoping for better for you.

Keep saying—"someday this will make a good story".

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Old 04-06-2011, 06:47 PM   #19
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[QUOTE=Top;975067]Hey Laura,
I recommend removing the rear banana wraps to get a good look from underneath. If it looks like this you have a problem.
QUOTE]
Laura just make sure you remove the battery first before drilling out the rivets to remove the banana wraps. Ask Lance why and I'm sure he will tell you.
Sorry Lance I couldn't resist.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:07 PM   #20
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Well... I'm not going to rain on your parade.. but knowing that you're facing unemployement, and a possible move.....

I say just deal with it for now, enjoy the trailer as is... get your finances and job situation settled first.

Is it bad, yeah, probably will need to do as Frank says. Can it wait? Sure, it's probably been like this for a few years.. rot doesn't happen overnight. Peak at it.. sure, but only if you want to do something with it now.. which it doesn't seem like you can.. or should.

Plenty of trailers have moved around as is.. or worse condition. You won't fall through the floor on your toilet... if you do, send pics! I think you'd be the first! I wouldn't worry about camping or traveling now. Just empty your tanks first (grey and black) prior to travel....

Drink some wine, smile, and know you'll have a fun project to do... in the FUTURE! Everything in due time...
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