Mike Holmes Would Cringe at This

Starting to tear into the Motorless Home

The biggest enemy of any RV is water. The sealants on the roofs of RVs deteriorate in time, and they eventually crack and allow water to penetrate.  When we bought the Motorless Home (when it wasn’t motor-less), we knew that it needed repairs due to water damage.

What I didn’t know was the extent of the damage. It looked like the damage was confined to the area above the shower.  With the recent rains in our area, the need to stop the leaks and repair the damage has become more urgent.  I’ve also located leaks at the front and rear of the roof, where the fiberglass endcaps meet the main body of the motorhome.

So, I started tearing into the ceiling in the bathroom.  The wood above the shower was so rotted that it was mush.  The laminated plywood panels that form the top and bottom of the ceiling panels had completely delaminated. I removed the plastic surround from the skylight and from the vent over the toilet and started pulling off the rotted material.

That dark-colored material is actually water-soaked wood. It should be a very light color and quite rigid.  It’s not.

All the stuff I pulled out of the ceiling landed in the tub.  It’s quite a mess in there now!  Aside from a razor knife, I did not need ANY tools to remove any of this. The wood was so rotted that the screws pulled right out.

Using just my hands, I was able to remove a section of the rotted wood all the way to the underside of the metal roof.  Basically, in that part of the coach, there is no real ceiling support.  It’s a good thing that I stayed off that area when I was up on the roof!

Here you can see the pile of crap that came off the ceiling.  I will be taking all that junk and putting it into contractor bags for disposal.  The only salvageable items that came off the ceiling were the plastic trim panels for the skylight and the vent fan in the bathroom.

Further inspection revealed that the ceiling in the entire back end of the motorhome has significant water damage, requiring full replacement of the ceiling panels, and probably most of the structure, too.

It’s going to be a lot of work. I have to empty the bedroom completely, and also figure out how to remove the cabinets, since they seem to have been screwed on from the outside before the endcap was installed.

Since only Linda and I will be living in this space, we will take the opportunity to redesign the space a bit.  We both feel that the queen-size bed in there is too small for us.  So, we plan to free up as much space as possible when we remove the interior to hopefully get a king-size bed in there.

I’ll take pictures and post more as this goes along.  This is bound to get “interesting.”  RVs have both 12VDC and 110VAC electrical systems.  Making sure that I have the right kind of power routed to the right locations with the right kind of switches is something that I’ve never done before.

GAME ON!

About Chad Douglas

My wife and I are planning to go off-grid and move to the Texas High Desert. We intend to "lose" the rat race.
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