Dismantling & Damage Evaluation

Analysis for Water Damage Assessment

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"If you are going to fall, Fall Forward - At least you are gaining"

Lets go for a walk through the inside first. Take a look around, and yeah, poke your finger into it here and there, if you dare!

We're going to do a bit of preliminary dismantling to peek inside things and see how it looks.

Click on Images to Enlarge

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Bathroom Ceiling:

You can see the sagging from the water leaks. The ceiling vent was already removed. Looks pretty grim in there.

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Main Area Ceiling:

The only thing holding whats left of the panel up there is the vinyl skin.

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Ceiling Delamination:

This is the worst leak area. There is much delamination here. It is literally falling to pieces.

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Ceiling Above Head of Bed:

The battens were not even there any more. This is right above the head of the bed, so when water poured in that one and only night I spent in it, guess where the water wound up hitting.......

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Wall behind Stove:

Rusty water stains are visible on the kitchen wall paneling. Water came through the roof, into the overhead cabinets, through the range hood and ran down the wall from there.

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Floor Under Vanity Area:

There is a nifty little vanity desk across from the bed. I pulled a drawer out to have a look and spotted the lino looking pretty bad in the corner.

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Floor under Vanity area:

A closer shot of the last pic.  Definitely a problem going on here. This area is on the other side of the wall on the right in the next pic of the storage compartment.

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Storage Compartment:

After I stuck a bar in there at the edge of the compartment floor, I flipped back the lino effortlessly to reveal this grotesque mess. Ugh, very rotten.

Rotten storage compartment

Storage Compartment:

Same as last pic, but viewed from the inside after removing the linen / storage area bottom shelf in the bathroom.

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Bathroom Linen and Storage Area:

These 3 pics show the back corner of the trailer inside the storage area. The first pic was before I pulled at the paneling. It came apart in ribbons to expose a lot of mushy black wood.

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OK, There's most of the inside after pulling a few things out and apart for a closer look. Yeah, I hear what you're saying right now. Bob!! Come to your senses! Scrap it, get rid of it, it's too far gone!  You're right, I know, but I didn't listen.........

Let's have a look up top and around the outside to see what it looks like.

I didn't take pics of simple things such as removing vents, the AC and other stuff attached. Let's get into the meat and potatoes...

The single hardest thing was getting all the hundreds of screws out in order to separate the various parts. They were all so badly rusted and/or filled with rock hard sealant that it took massive tedious hours and a lot of patience to do it. I had to painfully dig out the head of each screw with a utility knife, then had to very carefully tap a driver bit in there prior to attempting to remove the screw. Letting it slip out and round the socket out was not an option. Surface screws on the roof skin were filled with goop. The ones holding the roof down were buried deep into the wood. A lot of them broke off when I turned them. Some I had to drive a wedge between the roof and the wall and cut the shank with a metal blade in a recip saw. Bottom line, major pain in the rear.

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Roof, the Source of the Misery:

In order to get some sense of the extent of the water damage, I had to dismantle the whole thing in a major way. The more I got into it, the more I realized what a huge mistake I had made in buying this old carcass!

But heck, people call me Bob the Builder, so let's go!

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Rotten Roof:

I started off with the roof, thinking that once I fixed that up, the rest should be OK. Ya right....

I removed the poorly designed edge trims, took out the roof vents and dug in to see how bad it was.

"This would have been a great time to tow it to the dump!"

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Roof Rolled Up:

Every single last screw was rusted beyond any hopes of getting a screw bit in there to easily take them out. And every screw head was full of caulking, hardened in there from years of being out in the weather.

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Sardine Can:

There's my sardine can imitation.

Come to think of it, it kinda smelled like a can of sardines too....

Wow, this thing is soaked inside. The roof paneling is so badly rotten that I don't think a sparrow could stand there without falling through.

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Back Corner:

I saw that the back of the siding bottom trim was crushed down into the frame. Hmmmmm...

I pulled the siding off the lower rear to have a look and I shook my head in disgust. The more I pull apart, the more rotten damage I find.

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Front Corner:

The more I got into this mess, the more I realized what a rotten old hulk it was.

I was beginning to realize that I was in for a major total teardown.

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Rear Corner Coming Apart:

After days of painful work, I managed to get the screws out of the wood where the roof was screwed down to the top of the walls. What a chore!

You can see that rounded corner trim and how it was destined to fail.

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Roof Loose, Lifted Up:

It took a long time but I managed to get the whole roof dis-connected from the tops of the walls.

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One Roof Panel Out:

This is the new skylight look! Wide open to the weather but hey, at least it lets in a lot of light....

Note the wrinkles in the ceiling panels. That is delamination from getting wet.

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Main Cabinets Loose:

I figured out that the various cabinets and furniture were all screwed in from the outside of the trailer framing.

So that means if I am going to take it apart, all the siding has to come off the outside.

What a task that turned out to be! The shop monkeys building this thing obviously loved excessive use of the staple gun. Then a large amount of them only had one leg of the staple hitting the wall stud.

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Siding Removed:

The intention was to reuse the siding, so I very carefully took it off so I wouldn't damage it.

I took hundreds of pictures, documenting everything along the way. Things like the location of the plumbing where it is fastened to the wall, location of electrical wires and components and much more.

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Lots of Pics!:

Good thing for digital cameras!

It was only a year earlier that I bought my first one, a Canon G2 Powershot. That's what all these pictures were taken with. So easy to document everything with pics when you don't have to consider film development. A little hard drive space and I can take all the pics I want.

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Major Appliances Out:

It is a lot harder than it looks to take something apart with the intention of salvaging it for re-assembly.

There are so many hidden fasteners, screws going every which way and more. It was a huge challenge, a lot of time and patience to take things apart with the intention of re-using it. But I pulled it off.

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Kitchen Apart:

It was so critical to document it every step of the way for future reference.

Here and the previous pic you see the now dismantled kitchen and vanity areas.

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Locations of Components Noted for Re-Assembly:

Locations of plumbing and electrical, all noted for future reference. That brown box with all the wires is the converter. It takes the 110V and converts it to 12V, and also keeps the onboard batteries charged.

Fresh Water Tank and Pump:

There was no way I was going to remember where everything went, so I made sure I took pictures, lots of pictures. They will be very valuable for putting it back together.

Did I mention to take lots of pictures?

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Let's see how observant you are... Take a look at the 2 pics for Locations of Components. Look close, do you notice anything?  Ahhhhh, good, grasshopper! New plywood! Yes, these 2 pics were taken later, after I had rebuilt the floor, but before I had decided to rebuild all the walls too. Hence the little ratchet strap holding the converter up off the floor. Yes, I actually got this far before I decided that the walls were also too far gone to re-use.

And some homework for you - scroll up to the two pictures in portrait mode, the ones with the big floor to ceiling cabinet moved out to the middle. Look close, let's see if you really are observant. Notice anything?  Report your findings back to me! First one to see it and meet me in Calgary gets a free coffee! Might even buy you a health ring too....  (a donut)

Well folks, that's the end of this chapter in the ongoing saga of "This Old Heap"  Next up, I take you on the journey through the rot rot rot and more rot. Water Damage! Yeah, the dreaded thing that makes all of us shudder. The thing that creeps in and rots out our rigs, undetected, until that day you notice the soft spot in the floor, the ceiling bubbling, the wall coming apart. Oh horrors!

Yes, I know, I should have my head examined for even thinking fixing it was somehow a good idea. Oh well, I always liked a challenge, and a challenge it was indeed! Never say die!!

There's the initial assessment on the damage. Not looking too good. Next up, we will get right into all the water damage. Grab a cold one and some popcorn, this is where you will think I should be committed!