Friday, February 13, 2015

Day 1 RV Repair & Renovate What have we gotten ourselves into?

Day 1 RV Repair & Renovate
 What have we gotten ourselves into?
Our 2005 Puma Travel Trailer

repair water damage RV fix flooring leaks slide out
2005 Puma 30RBSS Travel Trailer

I have always thought that this outside compartment door didn't shut good and water got in and damaged the flooring.  The compartment is under the rear bunks on the street side.  We usually store the extra electrical cords, sewer parts and cable parts in here along with a few tools.
Outside compartment under street side bunk bed water damage
 Water damage visible on the left side compartment wall and along the very front.  There is a rusty spot on the rear left flooring from a tool.  Why didn't bells go off earlier that there was a problem?
Outside compartment looking deep left and back.

The inside of the travel trailer in in very good condition saying that we have 3 kids and at one time 3 dogs.  There a few minor fixes here and there but overall in good condition.

I'm glad you can't smell the musky, moldy smell.  Dear Hubby didn't smell it as strong as I did, he always said it just smells closed up....................

The water damage is in front of the far left bunk, continuing left to the rear of the travel trailer.  There is another soft spot in the floor at the edge of the vinyl flooring and the carpet in front of the dinette.
Inside Living area of 2005 Puma travel trailer

Accessing the rear bunk was easy, just pull up a panel that was used to top the bunk platform.  Damage does not seem to be too bad, just along the wall of the compartment, under the water heater and pump area, extending out about 12" into center of trailer.
Bottom bunk removed to access storage area, hot water heater & pump

The bunk area with wardrobe and TV cabinet.  Our kids might have hung their clothes one time in 10 years in here.  There in a center post when you open the cabinet and it makes getting your clothing in and out a pain.  I am thinking of removing the cabinet and just making a night stand for the kids.  The breaker box and electrical cord are housed in the bottom so we'll have to keep something there. 

Adding a TV mounted to the wall after removing the top bunks should open this area up a lot more.
Puma bunk room with wardrobe and TV cabinet

 Here's out little helper Bojangles (Bobo).  He thinks were going camping!  In our first renovation he's so small, we had to keep him in a laundry basket so we didn't loose him,  then he broke his leg and was in a cast. 

Bobo is modeling where the soft spot in the floor is.  The bathroom door is to the left, the dinette is to the right.  Ahead in the door way into the bunk room.
Bojangles modeling the soft spot in the floor of the travel trailer

After removing the panel from the top of the upper bunk, we found the lighting wiring placed in between the bunk framing for lighting in the lower bunk. 

Since we are not going to be putting the upper bunks back, the light fixture will be moved to the wall.
12v wiring for lower bunk sandwiched between upper bunk framing.

 The panel for the upper bunk was stapled onto the frame.  Removal was easy with a pry bar and a flat chisel.  Panel was removed intact, can be used for another use later.
Removing upper bunk panel and frame

 Hot water heater and pump under lower bunk.  Water damage is along the wall.  Will have to remove both to get to flooring and see amount of damage underneath.
Hot water heater and pump water damage along wall

Once the hot water heater was removed we were able to see the damage underneath.  We poked a hole with our finger through the vinyl flooring and wood under.  This is not looking too good.
Damage under hot water heater to flooring and wall

 Close up of damage to the flooring along the outside wall where water heater was located.
Flooring under water heater along outside wall

The whole length of the damage is like this.  Crumbled wood and soft vinyl flooring.  The only positive is that all of the wood is dry.
Damage under water heater

The wall where the outside shower, water lines and pump is also damaged.  The flooring damage continues to the pump area and onto the wall on the right side.
Water damage along flooring and wall under outside shower and below water hookups.
 Water damage is less at the wall at the head of the bunks.  Will have to remove the wall to fix flooring anyways.
Head of bunk room minor water damage

Wall panel remove inside bunk room to locate wiring.  Water damage is minor along floor.
Bunk room wall panel removed

Living room side panel removed.  Wiring for outlets and lights.  Water damage is unseen on living room side panel.  Floor is not soft around wall.
Panel from wall removed

 Looking from the living area into the bunk room with panels removed from wall.
View from living area into bunk room

Removing the dinette and table.  So far removing has been pretty easy.  Nothing too hard.
Removing dinette

 Look what I found!  No wonder I never win at UNO, there's the card I always need!  With kids you will always find little stashes of junk.  The kids are now too old for crayons and army men.  They will still play cards though.
Look at the treasures I found

I couldn't believe that the sofa sat on this 2x4 frame.  Once we removed the dinette, the sofa was very unstable.  We were not able to get the sofa out of the door with the wooden frame on.  I was able to remove the legs easily since they were just stapled on.............
Framing of sofa

Dear Hubby removing the carpet from under the dinette and sofa on the slide portion of the trailer.
The carpet was only stapled along the walls.
Carpet removal under dinette and sofa on the slide

The floor in the slide looks pretty good.  Old damage along left side wall.  The floor is not soft, neither is the wall itself. 

I'm glad things are not getting any worse at this time.  It looks like the water damage is from the slide out all the way to the rear.  About 1/3 of the right side of the trailer.  It could always be worse, right?

Dear Hubby did a quick fix about a year ago on the flooring. (This is the metal piece).
Carpet removed on slide out

This is the old water damage on the left side wall area of the slide out.  The wall is solid, the floor is solid.  I am thinking of using either a bleach spray or antifreeze spray to kill any possible mold.  Then mixing an epoxy to keep the wood hard.
Close up of old water damage

Dear Hubby lifted the carpet in front of the slide out.  I can see the water damage to the padding under the carpet.  The soft spot is located under the blue screwdriver. 

Now how do we remove the carpet from under the slide out?
Water Damage on padding under carpet by dinette
Removing the carpet under the slide was a job!  Dear hubby took a long metal yardstick and slide it under the carpet and used a hammer to loosen the carpet from the staples along the entire length of the slide.  Once all the staples were loosened from the carpet he used all of his mighty strength to pull the carpet free. 
Of all the removals so far, this one was the most challenging yet. 
The floor looks in good shape from the dinette area towards the front of the trailer.  More good news!
Carpet removed from under slide out

What a mess we have!  Maybe I should have given in and let Dear Hubby trade this trailer in on something new.................  NO, we got this!  We can fix it!
What a mess we have!

 All along we thought that the water damage was from the outside compartment being left open, well we now see that our slide out is not tight against the wall when it is all the way out.  It seams to need adjusted so that the top is tight. 

I told Dear Hubby that we could take it to our local RV repair shop to have the slide out adjusted but he feels confident after a few Youtube videos that he can adjust it himself..........  Wish him luck!
Slide out need adjusting

We can really see the water damage now that the vinyl flooring has been removed.  It looks darker(wetter) toward the rear of the trailer which makes us think that the outside compartment is the leaker........   What a mess!
Vinyl flooring removed to survey water damage extent on floor

 Notice the darker (wetter) corner.  Is it the compartment?

I do notice that there is no water damage to the compartment opening wood.........  I'm thinking we have another problem area..........
Water damage under vinyl flooring in rear of trailer

The panel on the back end of the trailer is wet!  So is the insulation!

The good news is that I think we are closer to finding our problem!

The bad new is WE HAVE A PROBLEM!

 Dear Hubby is disassembling the wardrobe and TV Cabinet.  He said that of all the removal, this one is the hardest!  There must have been 50 screws holding it together.
Removing rear bunk wardrobe & TV cabinet

The frame along the roof is dry which is a good sign that the leak is NOT from the roof!

After removing the insulation, we noticed it gets wet about halfway down.  Maybe it's leaking from the taillight.........
Inspecting the corner for where the water leak is.

Maybe the taillight leaks but I am almost certain that the leak is from the corner.  On the outside we notice that the butyl tape is crumbly and dry and from the inside I can see daylight out of the corner.........

How much worse can it be?
Maybe this is where the smell comes from?

 The wardrobe and TV cabinet removed.  Water damage start located.  Heart broke but trying to be optimistic on this repair!
Wardrobe & TV Cabinet removed, water damage worse

 Dear Hubby has now removed the wood flooring.  He's a genius with a skill saw.  He cut just the depth of the wood flooring along the third joist.  Allowing an extra floor joist width for precaution.  The flooring came up easily and just crumbled along the first joist wall side.

The suds are in good condition.  The soft spot in front of the bathroom was only the flooring.  It hasn't progressed to the joist yet.
Flooring removed Floor joist in good condition

Water damage along the right rear wall.  Floor joist in bunk room in good condition.
Floor joist in bunk room in good condition

This picture just makes my heart sink!

We should have looked sooner, should have taken care of it sooner............  I guess all we can do is fix it and go on  from there.  I'm thinking of getting a full cover or having Dar Hubby build a shed for the trailer once we are done!
Water damage along rear

I think we've had enough for today.  We are ending our day with a heavy heart.  I am hoping that tomorrow will bring NO more BAD news and we'll feel a little better about making the right decision in fixing our travel trailer.

Until next time..............



  1. Water damage is the worse. Be very careful that all the water damaged areas are removed as mold can be pretty unhealthy in the small environment of an RV. We consulted a carpenter when we had water come in during a camping trip in Colorado. The whole area under the bunks were moldy by the time we got home.

    Liza Pilon @ Prairie City RV

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