1997 Sun Ridge, need help with water damage/front wall repair

Discussion in 'Roof/Floor Repair & Maintenance' started by Gigs, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. Gigs

    Gigs New Member

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    Dec 28, 2015
    We have a 1997 Fleetwood Coleman Sun Ridge that we bought used. It’s our first pop up, but we’ve owned it for about three years and camped in it several times, including a cross country trip.

    The front box is in terrible shape and the worst part is that water has gotten in and damaged the front wall of the camper. (What’s the right term for that wall? I believe I’ve seen some call it a bulkhead and others call it a firewall)

    Well, that wall will need to be rebuilt. It has torn away from the sidewall. That led to extra stress on the bunk slide out, causing the rivets that hold the small wheel to the bunk to shear.

    I’ve also got some softness in that corner of the main camper floor, and I think I can handle replacing that when I’m working on the front wall.

    My plan at this point, after reading a lot of forum threads, is to rebuild the front wall out of wood and not try to fix this storage box, at least not now. I’m not sure about the best way to go about riveting the bunk rail back together. I’m also concerned about making the front wall connection sturdy enough so that the bunk is held up safely. Finally, I want to make sure the covering I make for the front wall is waterproof so I don’t run into water damage again. I was considering sheet aluminum or perhaps aluminum diamond plate. I’m also considering a sheet of FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic).

    I’m looking for advice on any of those concerns and for any input on what I have failed to consider and should look out for. Thanks to everyone who has posted valuable info in the past. I’ve already learned a lot. But, I need some more help. If people are interested, I'll add some photos.
     
  2. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    Well I can tell ya that the Lid needs new seals and the water heater seals were probably the first place to start leaking. Your going to open a Big can of worms when you start this project. I don't recommend doing it in stages. There are very detailed treads on complete front box rebuilds.
     
  3. Gigs

    Gigs New Member

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    Dec 28, 2015
    Thanks, JNC. For now, I’m looking to remove the box, rebuild the bulkhead, and make it watertight and useable. Maybe, later on, I will add a storage box of some sort that is separate from the bulkhead.

    I’m going to try to upload some photos of my current situation. I hope these will help make it a little more clear what it is that I’m dealing with.
     

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  4. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

  5. Gigs

    Gigs New Member

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    Dec 28, 2015
    As long as the weather is fairly dry tomorrow, I plan to start disassembling the box so that I can get to the bulkhead/firewall/front wall and rebuild it. If anyone has got some words of wisdom for me or info that could address some of my concerns in my initial post, now is the time!
     
  6. Gigs

    Gigs New Member

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    Dec 28, 2015
    A67D7DCF-82E8-4F37-AA1E-B790D2512A7C.jpeg B45255A9-EE59-46FB-A335-9EACB2F60296.jpeg AFD92BE2-24A4-4A7E-B9C4-25F6A62E18A4.jpeg Making some progress.
     
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  7. Gigs

    Gigs New Member

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    Dec 28, 2015
    Front of the box is detached.
     

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  8. Gigs

    Gigs New Member

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    Dec 28, 2015
    99C69B8E-C29F-4B13-BFE5-71DE9C31E8B5.jpeg Now the floor is out.
     
  9. Gigs

    Gigs New Member

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    Dec 28, 2015
    The wall is out. I decided to tear it out rather than unscrew it because I noticed the screws go through a metal brace into nuts, but the nuts aren’t held in place by anything. If I unscrewed it, I may have lost the nuts.
     

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  10. Gigs

    Gigs New Member

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    Dec 28, 2015
    Here is my template for a new front wall out of some pretty thick plywood, 3/4” or slightly heavier. I clamped down what was left of the old wall, and drew my pattern. I had to use a square to fill in for the missing parts. But, I’ve got the wall cut now except for the small cutouts in the top corners for the wires. That’s all I could do tonight with it getting dark, so I closed things up as best I can. I am hoping to make a lot of progress again tomorrow.
     

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  11. Gigs

    Gigs New Member

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    Dec 28, 2015
    I’ve got the new front wall in, and I’ve make it so it is pretty easy to remove for the time being because I may want to make some more changes. I haven’t dealt with the floor yet. I think I can leave it as is unless the softness in an osb floor. I would like to hear some opinions on that. It is a fairly small spot in the corner and I don’t want to rip up part of floor if I don’t have to. I’m considering reusing the front abs plastic piece from the storage box as the new front of the camper. I’ll need to trim, cut, repair, and paint it, but I think that might beat the prices I was quoted for aluminum diamond plate plus bending. I’d love to hear advice or feedback. I’m still unsure about a lot of th remaining parts of the project.
     
  12. Gigs

    Gigs New Member

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    Dec 28, 2015
    48FAEE76-8D4A-4A90-A16C-328220497236.jpeg
     

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  13. Gigs

    Gigs New Member

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    Dec 28, 2015
    005F7960-AF35-45D2-8196-810361431BC5.jpeg
     

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  14. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    May 31, 2018
    Nj
    Wow , what a job. I don't have any help on this as I haven't done it yet. I will say make sure you seal the top well. As for covering material, if something is too expensive , go the cheaper route. As long as it's sealed. And extra caulk , as the wind driven rain , when driving will get in. Good job so far. Im watching!
     
  15. Gigs

    Gigs New Member

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    Dec 28, 2015
    Thanks, I sure appreciate the encouragement. After tearing things apart and doing a lot of staring at the guts of this camper, another idea for the front of the camper has occurred to me: re-using the front of the box. I'm not 100% certain yet that it will work, but I think I can do it. It will require some epoxy and fiberglass cloth to patch holes and rework some spots, but it may be the least expensive route and it will look more original than my other two options.
     

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