We experienced some water damage to our rig last January while staying at the Sonoma Coast State Beach (Wright's Beach). Standing outside of the vehicle and looking above the passenger side door I noticed a problem with water intrusion on my Class C Tioga. This water leak created a 1/2 inch separation of the fiberglass floor from the side trim piece. This resulted in the floor being pushed down and away, leaving an unsightly gap. We had rain the night before, but just a small amount. Therefore, I'm thinking this was a problem that had been going on for awhile
The rain became steady, and we decided it was time to head back to Sacramento. This is a 118-mile drive, so I was hoping that we could duck in between showers. As a precaution against further water damage, I used a strip of EternaBond tape to seal it up as best as I could... and made a run for it.
Our luck was not good though; it poured all the way home and rained most of the next month. I was reduced to putting a tarp on the thing and waiting until the weather improved before I could see what extent the water damage was. I was nervous because I didn't know just where the leak that caused the water damage was coming from.
The previous owners appeared to have damaged the front right corner of the cab-over by colliding with something. A repair was attempted to prevent water damage, but the external caulking they'd applied may not have been up to the task of maintaining a water barrier. Upon removing the trim piece, I also discovered more that a few screws had rusted out. It was a mess. The photo shows where the fiberglass was damaged, a result of swelling caused by water penetration.
In almost every situation, two minds are better than one. I probably wouldn't have enjoyed a successful conclusion to this repair project without the counsel and assistance of my friend, Brian. He has a knack for thinking outside the box, and the tools to back up his ideas.Because the rain delayed the repair on my water damaged class C, we had a lot of time to think about aftermarket repair products. We mapped out what we thought needed to be done and compiled a list of tools and supplies needed to complete the repair. Brian is a boat owner, therefore, he is always over at West Marine looking at stuff. They carry a selection of WEST SYSTEM epoxies. We concluded that WEST SYSTEM's G-Flex 650 epoxy would be suitable to repair my Class C., even make it structurally better than new. I think this is true in large part due to the waterproofing nature of epoxy when applied to wood.
The last piece of the puzzle was finding a substitute for silicone. Although silicone has good sealing qualities, it becomes a real bugger when it is time to replace it. This is because silicone does not stick to itself, so it must cleaned completely off whatever surface that must be sealed. Chemical removal helps, but it always boils down to a lot of elbow grease. I used a commercial silicone removal product to get the big pieces off. But, I found a common wet sanding sponge worked best to remove it entirely. I really don't like silicone.
I finished completing the final caulking with a Geocel product call PRO FLEX. Bottom line, it has all the sealing qualities of silicone, but it is capable of being reapplied to itself, or even painted, after it dries. One hundred stainless screws were used to replace the original factory screws and a 4' X 4' X 3/4" plywood board was used to help brace the repair area when applying epoxy.
Reprinted with permission of class-c-motorhome-info-made-simple.com.