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Old 06-09-2014, 10:35 PM   #1
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Default 05 FF T139 Previous Water Damage - Front Skin Needs Help

Hello Fun Finder family, I need some help.

I purchased this 2005 T139 several years ago. I bought the trailer knowing it had previous water damage (but I got it for a great price). We discovered the caulking around the seams was never, ever replaced and it leaked in the front of the trailer. There is slight rippling of the wallpaper on the left side (you can hardly notice). The biggest issue I have is the front of my trailer looks like absolute hell. Buckles, ripples, etc.

HERE'S A LINK TO THE PHOTOS: http://www.tciwest.com/Funfinder-Damage.jpg

HERE'S THE PHOTO (apologies for the large image, I just want you to see close up):

The good news is the trailer has been in Arizona for years (it rains, what, 10 times a year in Phoenix at best). We stripped and replaced the caulking, absolutely no leaks whatsoever.

I need to figure out what to do with the front. Some ideas given to me were to wrap it with some crazy design to lessen the rippling/buckling. Someone else suggested putting a thin sheet of aluminum diamond plate on the front to cover the ripples (not fond of this one).

What do you think? The trailer lives in Lake Havasu City now. The worst we ever get are the monsoons in August, and the water leaking is no longer an issue anyway. It's 103 right now at 9:20 pm.

Does anyone have any ideas? Should I dig into this, spend some money and pull the front off? What I really want to do is literally cut the top of the skin off at the roof line and replace the entire thing.

I have no idea what the skin is made of or who could do something with it. Thoughts? Ideas?
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:42 AM   #2
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I'd be a bit concerned that there is some structural damage underneath there. In Lake Havasu there's got to be several RV repair outfits that will give you a quote. Once you know what the pro's will charge you can decide if you want to spend the $$ or just do something cosmetic.
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:12 AM   #3
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I bought a 2004 T139 with same apparent damage to the front cap. I assume it was the result of a water leak from where the roof and front cap connect.

I have the same concern: could there be wood rot to the frame? How much does it typically cost to replace the front cap and underlying layers? Has anyone had had good or bad experience with this type of repair?
Thanks.
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:22 PM   #4
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I have first hand experience repairing water damage. I assure you there is damaged wood underneath the skin. Possibly some mold or mildew also. I thought my repair was going to be a simple fix and now it's a year later and I'm still not done with it. I had more of "siding type exterior" so I wouldn't know the procedure to removing the skin. Check out my thread "water damaged in ceiling" and you will see that you find a lot of bad things when you start tearing into things. Not saying don't fix it just I think it will be more involved then just replacing the skin.
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:59 PM   #5
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looking4fun- I've seen your remarkable pictures on your thread; you and your wife obviously are very hard working dedicated folks, good with your hands... and must have a good marriage!

I am really hoping that the leak and damage was just limited to the front cap since that is the only place where the fiberglass has become buckled. Maybe if the leak occurs in a flat part of the roof, not at the front seam, it is more likely to spread all over the frame. And maybe the aluminum siding is less likely to buckle and delaminate than fiberglass... so one has less of a clue of the extent of damage.

Total wishful and unknowledgable thinking on my part. I'm taking my T139 out for the first time this weekend and if a sudden gust of wind makes it go poof... well.. you were right!

It would be great if this website had some professional RV repairmen to give us advice. And after they see your workmanship on your thread, you'll probably be getting a lot of job offers.
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Old 07-13-2014, 03:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Gettin'_there
looking4fun- I've seen your remarkable pictures on your thread; you and your wife obviously are very hard working dedicated folks, good with your hands... and must have a good marriage!

I am really hoping that the leak and damage was just limited to the front cap since that is the only place where the fiberglass has become buckled. Maybe if the leak occurs in a flat part of the roof, not at the front seam, it is more likely to spread all over the frame. And maybe the aluminum siding is less likely to buckle and delaminate than fiberglass... so one has less of a clue of the extent of damage.

Total wishful and unknowledgable thinking on my part. I'm taking my T139 out for the first time this weekend and if a sudden gust of wind makes it go poof... well.. you were right!

It would be great if this website had some professional RV repairmen to give us advice. And after they see your workmanship on your thread, you'll probably be getting a lot of job offers.
Yes lots of time have been put into our project but hopefully I will be finished soon. Just posted more pics from work I did recently. For our camper the used Styrofoam to insulation most of the camper except for the very front. They used regular fiberglass insulation and that just holds the moisture. I hope its just the fiberglass skin that damaged for your sake. Also check the entire front edge of your floor for soft spots. I'm by no means a professional trailer/camper technician, but if you have any questions I will do my best to answer them.
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Old 10-01-2016, 04:24 AM   #7
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Well, we learned something from you. Even though your 2003 is older than our 2008, it probably was constructed in a similar way. You said the front is not laminated to foam like the sides are, and that it is just insulation under the skin. No wonder by 2010 they went to a plastic front cap. The number of people coming forward with bubbling problems on the front of their trailers is telling. Ours did not come that way but it certainly is showing it now. Putting more money into our trailer may not be an option for us. Despite no visible signs of water damage, we must have some somewhere. I would love to see an exploded view of the front construction of the trailer. I'm not sure where to find your thread with the photos that someone mentioned. But thank you for the information.
EDIT: I did find the threads talking about your amazing reconstruction project. What a great job you did, especially considering that you had changed jobs and had a new baby! The photos were excellent as were the descriptions of your project. I'm pretty sure our front cap is the same as yours. Maybe next year we can tackle a redo of just the front using the same siding that Johns trailer has and removing the front window we never use anyway. Thank you!!
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:55 PM   #8
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Do you have pictures of a inside constructed head of that rv
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Old 04-07-2017, 08:02 AM   #9
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Well, we learned something from you. Even though your 2003 is older than our 2008, it probably was constructed in a similar way. You said the front is not laminated to foam like the sides are, and that it is just insulation under the skin. No wonder by 2010 they went to a plastic front cap. The number of people coming forward with bubbling problems on the front of their trailers is telling. Ours did not come that way but it certainly is showing it now. Putting more money into our trailer may not be an option for us. Despite no visible signs of water damage, we must have some somewhere. I would love to see an exploded view of the front construction of the trailer. I'm not sure where to find your thread with the photos that someone mentioned. But thank you for the information.
EDIT: I did find the threads talking about your amazing reconstruction project. What a great job you did, especially considering that you had changed jobs and had a new baby! The photos were excellent as were the descriptions of your project. I'm pretty sure our front cap is the same as yours. Maybe next year we can tackle a redo of just the front using the same siding that Johns trailer has and removing the front window we never use anyway. Thank you!!
False alarm. She looks fine after taking her out of storage. Go figure.
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Old 04-07-2017, 09:43 PM   #10
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I have damage similar to the OP, and mine looks to be due to whoever did the wrap on the trailer didn't reseal the upper running lights on the front cap very well. My local tech had pointed out the buckling (which I thought was mainly just a bad wrap job) and then when heading home from NOLA last moth I looked in the mirror to see both lights flapping around, only holding on by the wires. I used duct tape for the rest of the ride home and plan to remove the wrap and re-seal the lights to prevent further water damage. Scared to even thiink how much the repair work would cost.
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Old 04-07-2017, 11:33 PM   #11
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I have damage similar to the OP, and mine looks to be due to whoever did the wrap on the trailer didn't reseal the upper running lights on the front cap very well. My local tech had pointed out the buckling (which I thought was mainly just a bad wrap job) and then when heading home from NOLA last moth I looked in the mirror to see both lights flapping around, only holding on by the wires. I used duct tape for the rest of the ride home and plan to remove the wrap and re-seal the lights to prevent further water damage. Scared to even thiink how much the repair work would cost.
I do the winter covering myself, that way I either do it right or I blame myself. IMO, leaving it up to someone else to do it is asking for trouble.
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Old 04-08-2017, 09:49 AM   #12
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I do the winter covering myself, that way I either do it right or I blame myself. IMO, leaving it up to someone else to do it is asking for trouble.
I think he is talking about the front cap? But I'm wrong a lot.
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Old 04-08-2017, 01:07 PM   #13
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I thought he was talking about one of those plastic wrap jobs they do with boats, but I could be wrong. Thing is, unless it is stored in a building, I would never trust anyone to cover or wrap my camper and leave it outside in the elements. A good cover costs about $150-$250, is breathable and will last for about 3 years. I covered my camper in early November and it when through the winter without a scratch and that takes into account the torrential rains, snow and 50 mph winds we had in MI.
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Old 04-08-2017, 02:02 PM   #14
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Oh, you think he meant shrink wrap. I don't know why the shrink wrap would have anything to do with the running lights unless they didn't shrink wrap over them. I wouldn't think they would seal the lights st the same time. Confused.
"I have damage similar to the OP, and mine looks to be due to whoever did the wrap on the trailer didn't reseal the upper running lights on the front cap very well."
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Old 04-08-2017, 03:19 PM   #15
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I was talking about a vinyl wrap, like companies do on cars and vans to advertise. The previous owner of the trailer owns a go-cart place and had a vinyl wrap of the company name and logo all over the trailer. I have circled the lights that weren't sealed well. You can also see the wavy front.

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Old 04-08-2017, 03:44 PM   #16
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I was talking about a vinyl wrap, like companies do on cars and vans to advertise. The previous owner of the trailer owns a go-cart place and had a vinyl wrap of the company name and logo all over the trailer. I have circled the lights that weren't sealed well. You can also see the wavy front.

Oh! That's a wrap!!
John C on here had quite a lot of work done on his RV but I believe it was only roof work.
I think you need a whole new cap and possibly some internal work as well. Pricey. And a lot of work.
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Old 04-08-2017, 04:12 PM   #17
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WOW!!! What a mess! Cool graphics, though��
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Old 04-08-2017, 07:11 PM   #18
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That is certainly different!

A word of caution about using something like that or even tarps is that it does not breath. What I mean is that moisture will get trapped and form condensation which creates a great environment for mold and mildew. How do I know that? I used tarps one year on a popup trailer and sealed it pretty tight. Next spring, when I opened it up it was a fungus farm.
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Old 04-09-2017, 08:35 AM   #19
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WOW!!! What a mess! Cool graphics, though��
My friend make all kinds of graphics like those and maybe even full wraps.

He is going to make new decals for a friends mini motor home since the originals are faded and starting to peel. He will remove the old ones and make a new updates style, slightly larger, to replace those removed.

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Old 04-05-2020, 12:13 PM   #20
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When we bought ours, it had a lot of mold and damage in the front from leaks. We found the biggest leaks were where the diamond plating meets the shell of the camper. We caulked it like crazy but it does not leak now. It took us about a week only working a few hours a day to strip the front wall and replace the insulation. If you have any DIY skill you can do it. I think the repair cost maybe $200 give or take a bit. The two most expensive items were the foam insulation and the 1/8" thick luan board. Good Luck
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