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Winter TC Repair Project

NRALIFR
Explorer
Explorer
I started a repair project on my TC about a week ago. This is the rear corner on the passenger side of the camper, and I’m fixing the damage from a water leak that existed when I bought the camper about 15 years ago. I found and fixed the leak within a few months of buying it, but the damage had already been done so I’ve kept an eye on the area below the leak over the years for signs of trouble.

The leak was here, at the point where the edge trim meets the rain gutter at the top corner. It looked like a bubble had formed behind the caulking as it was being applied, and then popped before the caulk dried, which made a nice little funnel shaped opening for water to get in through.



Some non load-bearing wood up in the overhang behind the filon was rotted. I was able to replace it just by removing that one short piece of edge trim at the top, and bending back the aluminum overhang material just enough to work through. There’s a closet in that corner on the inside, and I knew the luan wallboard had gotten wet near the corner because of how it felt, but the structure seemed to be ok so I didn’t tear into it any more. Of course being a truck camper there are jacks attached to the corners, and I’ve payed particular attention to the rear jack mounts.

I’ve never liked the way Lance attached the rear jacks. As heavy as this camper is, they should have used wider mounting brackets in the rear, which would have allowed some through-bolting. That’s how the front jacks are installed, but for some reason they used narrow mounts that only use 4-5 two inch long hex head wood lags in each of the two plates that make up a mounting bracket. I’m going to change to the wider mounting brackets in this project.

There’s also a ring clamp at the bottom of the jack tube that’s bolted to a tab on the bumper, but the tab is aluminum, and is set 90° to the force that is applied to it when you’re loading the camper on the truck and the front of the truck bed touches the camper. So over the years after literally dozens and dozens of times “touching” the camper with the truck when loading, the tab bends and the jack moves at the bottom towards the camper. I want to add another ring clamp at the bottom of the jack tube, with a tab mounted in the correct direction so that the camper loading forces will be in shear, rather than a bending force.

In order to get the wide brackets, ring clamps and T-mounts I need, I had to order a heavy-duty jack mount kit from Rieco-Titan for four jacks that also included two crank handles and a drill adapter that won’t work with Atwood jacks. Because of the way these kits are packaged at manufacturing time, it would have cost more to have them open up a kit and just sell the parts needed for two jacks. The kit price was reasonable though, and I’ll eBay the unneeded parts when I finish the project. Just FYI, Rieco-Titan is a great company to deal with. I’ve always had good experiences with them, and if my Atwood jacks ever fail I will be replacing them with RT jacks.

This is a picture I took of the rear jack after replacing the skirt on that side in 2014. Notice how the gap between the jack tube and the camper is fairly consistent from top to bottom. You can also see the narrow jack mounting bracket at the top, and the ring clamp at the bottom.



I took the next two pictures just before removing the jack last week. Notice how the gap now gets narrower at the bottom, and the top of the bracket shows signs of movement. There’s also a crack forming in the filon.





In order to get to the backside of the jack mount area, I had to remove the propane compartment liner, which is a seamless plastic tub. After removing the compartment door, I can see that due to the way the liner was installed, it’s not coming out through the hole in the filon skin. So, I had to remove the bottom of the closet that’s right above it, and pull it out through there. Of course the LP black-iron pipe had to come out as well.

Since I had to pull the bottom of the closet out, I decided to pull the wall panel off too, and see how bad the water damage was. I’m glad I did. It actually wasn’t as bad as I was afraid it might be. I initially just removed the wall panel to about half way up, then took it off all the way to the ceiling. All the water damaged wood was dry, so my leak fix 15 years ago apparently did it’s job.

Surprisingly, the vertical 2x2 in the corner is about 99% sound wood. A little discoloration is all. That’s very good, because I’d have to tear up a lot more to replace that. Drilling and screwing into the 2x2 in various places for this repair has shown that it’s in good shape. I need more wood next to it in the back wall of the camper for the wider mounting brackets to bolt to, so I’m going to put a 3” wide piece next to it. I’m also going to have to move the taillight assembly over a half-inch or so to make room for the new wide bracket.



That 6” wide board running horizontally is the most seriously damaged piece, and its purpose is to be a solid mount point for the folding ladder on the back of the camper. It probably gives that wall some extra rigidity as well. The luan plywood backer on the inside surface of the filon is of course delaminated, and I’ll be scraping a lot of it off. I’m going to cut out all of the framework that’s sitting over the damaged luan whether it’s water damaged itself or not, and rebuild it.

Here, I’ve cut out the framework and scraped off most of the luan backer. About all that’s left on the backside of the filon skin is a paper thin layer of wood. The delaminated luan came off easily close to the corner, but I had to work on it harder as I moved into the areas that didn’t get wet. There’s still a little more to remove as you can see. Most of the cutting involved with this project has been done with a Rockwell Sonicrafter. If you haven’t used one, those are invaluable for making plunge cuts. With the right blade, you can even cut through screws, nails and staples.



I’ve finished removing the luan, and lightly sanded what’s left. I then covered that entire area with some thinned out urethane sealant to just stabilize the surface so adhesive would stick to it better. I also added a backer behind the outside light so the screws had something to bite into.



I’ve added a new corner board here. Rather than just having it down low in the jack area, then having to build the new framework around it, I took the new board up to the top of the corner. I used some long coated deck screws and contact adhesive to attach it to the existing corner board and the backside of the filon siding. This is when I could tell that the 2x2 in the corner was definitely not rotted inside. I pre-drilled the new board so the screws were only threading into the old wood, and they tightened up nicely and didn’t tear out.



Before installing the new corner board, I needed to make a stiffener panel for the outside of that area so the filon won’t flex as I’m working on the inside. I used some thick plywood and 2x4’s on edge for that. I have it braced against the garage wall behind the camper.





My plan now is to build a patch that will fit in the space where I cut out the framework. I have a bunch of quality 5/8” plywood scraps that I’d like to use up, so that’s what will be stuck to the backside of the filon. That should make the patch more rigid, and help tie everything together. That will still leave an inch deep cavity that I’ll fill with pink foam board instead of the fiberglass I took out.

This is the patch I made.



Fitting it in place.



Installed with contact adhesive and screwed into the framework next to it. The area from the 6” horizontal piece down is actually inside the LP compartment, and I plan to put another piece of 5/8” plywood on the inside to help tie that area together. That should help add back any strength and rigidity lost by cutting the framework out. From there up, I’ll use thinner wallboard plywood inside the closet. Once I have it all rebuilt and I’m ready to install the new jack mount bracket, I’ve also got some angle iron to go on the inside corner that the bolts will go through.



The bottom of the closet was made with a cedar faced plywood which I should be able to reuse. Since I won’t be able to match the wallboard pattern inside the closet, I’m going to face it with these cedar T&G boards that are 1/4” thick. One box is 35 sq/ft, so I’ll cover as much of the closet as possible with it.



That’s where the project stands now, and I’ve got quite a bit of work to do yet on this corner. Depending on how long it takes, I may tear into the other rear corner this winter too. That corner doesn’t have any water damage, so it “should be” an easier job. I’ll have to move the taillight on that side too, though.

There’s a layer of sleet on the ground in Little Rock today, and a strong winter storm in the forecast for this weekend. I’m glad I have a heated garage/man-cave to spend days like these in!

:):)
2001 Lance 1121 on a 2016 F450 ‘Scuse me while I whinge.
And for all you Scooby-Doo and Yosemite Sam types………..Let’s Go Brandon!!!
36 REPLIES 36

NRALIFR
Explorer
Explorer
Thanks!

I like to document these repair projects because each one is so unique. You never know what you’re going to get into, and what problems you’re going to have to solve. Some of them of my own making, like forgetting to drill the through-holes for the wires before installing the patch in the back wall. 😛

I may not be the sharpest hammer in the toolbox, but I can usually figure out a way to get things done with what I have readily available. That includes hollering for help from the boss occasionally. :W

:):)
2001 Lance 1121 on a 2016 F450 ‘Scuse me while I whinge.
And for all you Scooby-Doo and Yosemite Sam types………..Let’s Go Brandon!!!

theoldwizard1
Explorer
Explorer
Some ingenious solutions to difficult problems ! (ratchet straps on mattress, bracing, etc.)

notsobigjoe
Nomad III
Nomad III
Fantastic!

NRALIFR
Explorer
Explorer
I finished installing the cedar closet boards on the walls, and had plenty left to cover the bottom board as well. I’m not sure what I was thinking when I decided I was going to have to reuse the bottom board, but I was wrong. I was probably still loopy from the contact cement I was using. That’s some pretty potent stuff!

That is some really aromatic cedar. We’re not going to have to worry about moths getting in our clothes ever again!



I need to clean up all the mess that’s accumulated under the camper so I can back the truck under it.



Another reason I need to turn the camper around is to give me room to get the mattress out. The boss decided it’s time to replace the old inner-spring mattress with a Tempur-Pedic Cloud. That’s one of those “bed-in-a-bag” things that comes all compressed into a hard roll.

The first challenge was getting the old mattress out. I remembered how difficult it was getting it up there about 10 years ago, but fortunately I don’t have to be as kind to it this time. It’s trash, so it’s getting folded in half and strapped up so it will come out of the bed area easier.







Now I can take the straps off and get it out the door.



Haven’t seen it like that in a long time.



Take off the wrapping, and stand back! This one didn’t take long at all to fully expand.



A bed is born! :B



Now, on to more important things. The compartment door just needed some foam weatherstripping around the frame, and a means of compressing it while I put the screws in. These load bars are good for more than just securing things in the truck bed.



The bottom part of the frame needed a little extra shove where the lip had been cut out. They always do that on LP compartment doors to keep gas from pooling in the bottom, but it also weakens the frame a little.



Ok, the door is in, and it closes nice. There’s just a little caulking left to do so I’m going to call that the end of this project. To be honest, I’m ready to clean up the garage, put away my tools, and think about where we’re going to go camping next. I’m ready for a little post-project R&R! :W



:):)
2001 Lance 1121 on a 2016 F450 ‘Scuse me while I whinge.
And for all you Scooby-Doo and Yosemite Sam types………..Let’s Go Brandon!!!

NRALIFR
Explorer
Explorer
I know! Spring is rapidly sprung-ing here, and I’m doing my best to get this wrapped up soon. I’ve got weeds to kill, mulch to spread, and I’ll be mowing grass in no more than two weeks.

The near-zero temperatures we had just a few weeks ago also did a number on a lot of my growing things around the yard. It remains to be seen how much was just scorched brown, and how much was frozen to death. It’s going to be a good spring around here for nurserymen and mini-ex rentals!

:):)
2001 Lance 1121 on a 2016 F450 ‘Scuse me while I whinge.
And for all you Scooby-Doo and Yosemite Sam types………..Let’s Go Brandon!!!

jimh406
Explorer III
Explorer III
Looks good, but you better hurry with Winter over in less than a week. 😄 Otherwise, you’ll have a Spring project. 😉

'10 Ford F-450, 6.4, 4.30, 4x4, 14,500 GVWR, '06 Host Rainer 950 DS, Torklift Talon tiedowns, Glow Steps, and Fastguns. Bilstein 4600s, Firestone Bags, Toyo M655 Gs, Curt front hitch, Energy Suspension bump stops.

NRA Life Member, CCA Life Member

NRALIFR
Explorer
Explorer
I got the LP compartment back together enough that I could put the cylinders in place, and leak checked the system. I may have to wait until I can put the camper back on the truck to reinstall the LP compartment door. I usually use clamps to compress the foam seal around the door frame as I’m installing it, but there’s no lip to use a clamp on this time. Once it’s back on the truck, I can turn it around and use the garage wall to brace against.

I got the correct Zurn Pex fittings from Amazon yesterday, so I made some hot water and checked out the new faucet. I must have hooked up the hot and cold lines correctly, because it works fine.



I also sanded and painted the jack that I’ll be reinstalling tomorrow. I wasn’t going to put much time or money into beautifying a 20+ year old Atwood jack that could fail next week and no parts are available for any longer. It would have to be replaced with a Rieco Titan, so I just used some Rustoleum primer and white high performance enamel. I’ve had good luck with this in the past.



I got another wall of the closet covered with cedar T&G boards. I was hoping to get the two opposing walls done today, but as I was putting the contact cement on I realized I didn’t have enough to do both walls. One more closet wall, then I can put the bottom back in.



:):)
2001 Lance 1121 on a 2016 F450 ‘Scuse me while I whinge.
And for all you Scooby-Doo and Yosemite Sam types………..Let’s Go Brandon!!!

NRALIFR
Explorer
Explorer
Got the bottom shelf support built today.



A little extra insulation never hurts.



After laying out the T&G cedar boards, I realized that I had enough to cover all three walls of the closet if I reused the bottom board, so I did the back wall first. The clamp boards are holding the end pieces down until the contact cement cures.

I’ll do the two side walls next, then put the bottom board in. I didn’t want the bottom board to end up captured by the wall boards. I may need to remove it some time in the future.



:):)
2001 Lance 1121 on a 2016 F450 ‘Scuse me while I whinge.
And for all you Scooby-Doo and Yosemite Sam types………..Let’s Go Brandon!!!

NRALIFR
Explorer
Explorer
There’s a “gotcha” when you use some of these plumbing fixtures you can find on Amazon, but never see in the local HD or Lowe’s. They're metric.

In the case of this particular faucet, the fittings at the ends of the hoses are very close to 1/2”, but they’re straight threads rather than NPT. The nipple needs to screw into it far enough that it seals against the flat washer inside.

If you try to couple it with any metallic fitting, it will bind up almost immediately. If you use a plastic fitting, the threads will deform just enough that it will screw together and make a seal. It’s a minor issue, and I was able to install it without making any changes to the camper plumbing that would make it difficult to install a standard USA type faucet.

I’ll get the QC33T fittings I need either from Amazon or somewhere else. It’s apparently not a very common fitting because the local HD and Lowe’s don’t have it, even though they both have an extensive assortment of Zurn Pex fittings.

:):)
2001 Lance 1121 on a 2016 F450 ‘Scuse me while I whinge.
And for all you Scooby-Doo and Yosemite Sam types………..Let’s Go Brandon!!!

Yeti_plus
Explorer
Explorer
Looking at your install pictures, all you need is a nipple. Probably easiest to get a hex nipple as they have a hex in the middle to put a wrench on for tightening. Plumbing dept. of hardware/ big box store should have them.
Nice work on the rebuild!
https://www.homedepot.ca/product/sioux-chief-3-4-inch-lead-free-brass-hex-nipple/1001001937
The link is for 3/4" and from HD Canada, but US site should have 1/2" size.
Or can you drill out the back flow part so it is just a nipple?
Brian
2014 Chevrolet 3500 CC 4X4 Duramax, Tork Lift Tiedowns, TorkLift Fastguns, Superhitch and supertruss
2009 Jayco 213 SOLD
2008 Bigfoot 25C9.4

NRALIFR
Explorer
Explorer
Another part of this project was to replace the galley sink faucet. I really like the thermostatic mixing valve style faucets, and had ordered one on Amazon a few months ago. They’re great water-savers since you don’t have to fiddle with finding the right temperature. The faucet does all of that auto-magically, you just set the flow rate you want.



Because the original faucet was a “3-hole” style, I knew I was going to need to come up with a cover plate in order to install the new “single-hole” style faucet. Kitchen faucets that I’ve installed in the house always seem to come with these cover plates, but I rarely need them so I had a couple of them stashed away. I did have to do some modification of the center hole size so the new faucet could go through it and sit on the countertop. The cover is just there to block the extra holes.

Once I got the new faucet, I realized I was going to need a couple of 1/2” male/male couplings to install it. Those turned out to be difficult to first find, then to buy. I had one left over from something, but what do you call it?



I eventually found that’s it’s a “Zurn Pex QC33T” coupling. I ordered two on Amazon, and got two of these.



I didn’t pay much attention to what they were until I started installing the faucet. Those are actually Q2500 check valves. I looked at the packaging they came in, and they have both the QC33T and the Q2500 labels on each plastic bag.

I went ahead and installed the faucet, and it works ok. But, it occurred to me (again, while I was going to sleep) that if I left those like that, I wouldn’t be able to drain the water out of the lines as easily using the low-point drains. So, I’m in the process of trying to get the correct couplings. I’m betting Amazon sends me two more check valves though, since both the labels on the bags looked like manufacturer labels.

This is how it looks installed. It’s secure and stable on the countertop, the flow of water is good, and it’s holding pressure without leaks anywhere. The platform hanging above it is a cat window seat. That was one of the criteria for the new faucet. I wanted a high-rise spout, but not too high. The cats need their window seats!



The cover plate turned out pretty good.



One of the connections under the countertop. My only question now is: “did I hook up the hot and cold lines correctly?” No marking at all on the faucet, and no instructions. I’ll find out once I get the LP compartment put back together.



:):)
2001 Lance 1121 on a 2016 F450 ‘Scuse me while I whinge.
And for all you Scooby-Doo and Yosemite Sam types………..Let’s Go Brandon!!!

NRALIFR
Explorer
Explorer
Made some good progress today. I got the taillight reconnected, using NO Scotchloks. I don’t like those things.

It occurred to me that I should test them before putting the plywood over that area, so I jumped some 12 volts from the converter to each pin on the camper umbilical cord. They all work. Yea! :B



All the holes have insulation now, so I’m ready to put the plywood back on.



I used some 3/8” plywood in the LP compartment area. All the scribbling is marking where I can shoot staples, and more importantly, where I can’t.



The closet wall gets typical ~1/8” luan. This will be covered with 1/4” T&G cedar once I get the closet bottom rebuilt.



The plastic LP compartment liner got reinstalled. This was a very tight fit. I had to sit and think about what the heck I did to get it out, and then do it in reverse. Getting the LP black iron pipe screwed back in required the boss’s assistance, since my arms aren’t six feet long. The escutcheon thingy will be used to seal up the hole around the pipe.



I’ll work on rebuilding the closet bottom next.



:):)
2001 Lance 1121 on a 2016 F450 ‘Scuse me while I whinge.
And for all you Scooby-Doo and Yosemite Sam types………..Let’s Go Brandon!!!

NRALIFR
Explorer
Explorer
alexleblanc wrote:
i'm quite certain i spy'ed a 2018 Bullitt in your shop, hello from a fellow mustang and JD 1 series owner.


Howdy! That’s a 2019 actually.

That’s the boss’s ride, and she lets me drive it occasionally. And wash it. I showed her a picture of one when they were first announced, and to my surprise she really liked it.

I love the way that car sounds. No fake exhaust noise needed! :B

:):)
2001 Lance 1121 on a 2016 F450 ‘Scuse me while I whinge.
And for all you Scooby-Doo and Yosemite Sam types………..Let’s Go Brandon!!!

NRALIFR
Explorer
Explorer
Geo*Boy wrote:
NRALIFR, you do very nice work.


Thanks.

I owe it all to my OCD tendencies! :W

:):)
2001 Lance 1121 on a 2016 F450 ‘Scuse me while I whinge.
And for all you Scooby-Doo and Yosemite Sam types………..Let’s Go Brandon!!!