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Old 04-14-2024, 09:38 PM   #1
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Default 2206T - found delamination

IDK if I missed this in the initial inspection, but maybe. We just got back from a 1700 mile trip that are particularly rough. Anyway, I'm looking for advice and mentoring on this up coming repair.

The delamination doesn't look too bad. It's very uniform. See picture.
Hilo_Delamination.jpg

This is not my trailer. I am not at my trailer right now. This is purely for illustration of the area and shape of the problem. I plan to get pictures, but when I found it I was on my way out and didn't think about taking photos.

I've been spending part of my evening researching repairs.

My plan of action at this point is to:
  1. remove the front end cap and see if I can see the extent of the damage
  2. remove the window
  3. use a large syringe, tubing and probe to insert the tubing and inject epoxy
  4. use a press of some design with boards to press the siding inward until the epoxy cures

How difficult is it to remove the end cap. I've seen posts about it, but have not seen explicit instructions. It looks pretty simple. Is the more to it than external screws and exterior lights?
Hilo_frontendcap_removal.jpg

One concern I have is in the area illustrated, is there any hardware I need to worry about getting epoxy on, like pulleys and cables?

If epoxy isn't the way to go, does anyone have a better suggestion?

I've got a month and a half trip planned in October. It's going to be about 4000 miles of travel. I'd really not like to mess up the trailer and not be able to get it functional before that trip in the case I find I'm in over my head. What's the outlook on leaving it until after that trip? I know delamination continues once it starts. I just don't know if it's something I need to fix before the trip.

Looking at it. Looking how others fix delamination. I'm confident that if this is as straightforward as I've researched that I can probably have this repair completed in a week as long as the weather holds. But, more experienced opinions are very much desired.
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Old 04-16-2024, 08:41 AM   #2
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The TowLite is constructed a little differently than the Classic that I am familiar with, so hopefully someone with TowLite experience will correct me if I’m wrong on anything.

The front cap most likely is siliconed onto the camper. If you remove the screws you will need to run something (i.e. knife, oscillating tool, reciprocating saw, etc.) between the cap and the wall. That will make it so that you can pull it off. (There shouldn’t be more than a couple wires at the upper left corner to watch out for.)
Once that is off, just remove the bottom and upper trim pieces along the side and you may be able to pull the ’skin’ back as far as needed.
Personally I would remove the side window first as that will give you a peak of the wall condition. Plus you will most likely need to remove it to do your repair anyway.
Once the skin is pulled back, you should be able to remove/replace the damaged plywood and glue everything back up.

There is no hardware in the upper half that you will have to be concerned with other than the cable and that should be back by the window area and is visible.

There are different types of adhesives that will do the job. Loctite PL300 panel adhesive will not melt the foam board upon contact as some types of adhesives will. I am using Advanced Polymer on my rebuild and it is doing a super job sticking everything together. 3-M also makes a great adhesive for things like this. What you want to steer clear of is an adhesive that is not mold and moisture resistant. Last thing you want after going to all that work and then having to repeat it. (Although the second time around would be easier.)

If it is only delaminated in the left front corner area, and there are no current leaks, I would think you could run it that way for quite a while. If the wall (interior and/or exterior) feel really spongey and punky you may have dampness trapped in there and mold could start to form. But, if it was an old leak, it may be dried out and still be semi-solid.

Here are a few things to consider and think about.

1. The exterior plywood most likely didn’t separate from the Filon skin. Most likely the plywood has delaminated and the outer part of the plywood is still stuck to the Filon skin.

2. Figure out the source of water penetration. Was it at the upper seem or at the cap edge, or is there some pinholes in the roofing. If your confident that the leak was an old leak and has been repaired or you repair a current leak then your wall repair will last a long time.

3. I have seen an easier repair than pulling the cap and the person actually cut the Filon skin at the edge of the cap and just under the drip edge at the top. They did the repair and then sealed it back up. (Did it work, sort of. The pin hole roof leaks were not addressed and the new plywood was soon delaminating and soaked.) So it could have worked, but the circumstances were not in their favor. It didn’t look great and actually didn’t look bad either, I didn’t even notice the Filon had been cut until I started pulling it apart, and it was functional that way.

4. If you haven’t done it yet, take Sams advice (she will chime in shortly ) and pull all the side windows to at least reseal them with Butyl tape and to check the condition of wall around each window.

Keep us all posted, every experience on here is a work in progress.
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Old 04-17-2024, 01:20 AM   #3
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Default Delamination

RahnA has given you good advice on the repairs and the glue products that will work. Check out West Marine for delamination products.
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Old 04-17-2024, 03:40 PM   #4
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Agreed, this seems like a great way to approach the problem. Window first and go from there. Based on the delamination, it seems like it is a top-down problem, so I'd especially look at the roof / wall joint and seal. If it were only around the window, that's obviously a different problem.

As you get back to the trailer, and take a look at a few things, post a picture or two. There's always some good advice and help here.
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Old 04-18-2024, 05:56 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies.

RahanA, your advice is invaluable. Thank you very much for the effort to provide it.

The front cap appears to have been worked on at some point. I can see there are two additional after market screws on the side midway down the cap. And it appears the cap has been resealed within the last year or two. There isn't any interior damage that I can detect on that side of the trailer. The interior wall is solid, not spongy. The exterior doesn't feel spongy when I push in the siding. Once it makes contact with the sub-wall it's solid too. There is, on this side of the trailer and at the top of the delamination a radio antenna. This antenna is not pictured in the first pictures that I provided. I took several more pictures of the trailer yesterday. However, I could not get a picture that demonstrates the delamination. It's really not visible unless the light is hitting it just right.

IMG_20240415_131915711_HDR.jpg

You can see in the picture the radio antenna and the additional screws in the cap.

Sam advised me to reseal the windows as soon as I popped up on the forum to announce I just bought the trailer I've already received my first roll of butyl tape. I plan to remove one of the windows within the next week or two. I'll get that experience under my belt and then go at it with more fervor.

How does one go about finding pinhole leaks in the aluminum roof?I'm picturing a magnifying glass and a lot of hunched over examination.

I went around the trailer yesterday with some new exterior LED lighting. I replaced the incandescent running lights and the tail lights. I also cleaned the lens. I took the opportunity to remove one of the tail lights and noticed that the previous sealant is crumbling. The original sealant looks like a putty of some type so maybe it's Dicor? IDK. I'm going around to all the exterior fixtures to reseal them with GeoCel Proflex as soon as I get it.If there's something different I should use here, let me know.

Just an FYI, I had the wheel bearings repacked last weekend. The tech said they looked good.
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Old 04-18-2024, 08:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaihulud2090 View Post

How does one go about finding pinhole leaks in the aluminum roof?I'm picturing a magnifying glass and a lot of hunched over examination.
On my trailer, when I had my eyes within a foot or two of the roof, I could actually see tiny pin holes. A few holes had the white powder (galvanic corrosion) present as well. It was pretty evident and I didn’t look much farther, I knew I wanted to tear it off and replace it.

It sounds like the PO did some sealing on your camper at some point, and since everything sounds/feels pretty solid, I wouldn’t worry about it and enjoy the camper this season and then later on when you have the time, pull a few things apart and repair the delamination.

Pull that front window like you mentioned, check there for moisture and if dry, seal it up and enjoy the ride!
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Old 04-18-2024, 11:37 AM   #7
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Default Resealing the windows.

I wish someone had told us to do this. It would have saved us from having to do major wall repairs. It is scary to do this. Better with two people to support the window. We placed a sheet of wood across two saw horses.. It took us about 1&1/2hrs per window. U Tube has a tutorial on how to do this. We just removed the trim ring from the inside. Then a putty knife on the outside to release the window. Clean off the old butyl tape as much as you can. It doesn't have to be perfect. When we got our second HiLo this is the first thing we did. One window was cut a little too big. The escape window had the start of delamination. Wood glue and a clamp fixed this. We also took off all the reflectors on the exterior lights for cleaning. Crazy amt. of dirt in each one.
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Old 04-25-2024, 06:19 PM   #8
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Well I got the window out where there is delamination. Looks like the water damage is all on the leading edge, a little on the top edge, a lot of the bottom edge, but the back edge looks somewhat good. The lower edge filion has moisture in it, seen when squeezed.

The roof, and the cap look sealed. I could not see any pinholes in the roof. The previous butyl around the window looked good in spots and not so good in other spots. I'm hoping it's a case that the window was not resealed properly as there appeared that the butyl was applied on top of a previous seal.

Unless I hear otherwise, tomorrow I'm going to apply new butyl and reinstall the window. A rehab of the area will wait until after the October trip.

IMG_20240425_135514966.jpg

IMG_20240425_135518300.jpg

IMG_20240425_135443879.jpg

IMG_20240425_135500743.jpg

IMG_20240425_135449731.jpg
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Old 04-25-2024, 07:09 PM   #9
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I have two different thoughts on this, or maybe one thought with two different ideas.
First thought was that maybe the wall never dried out from the previous repair. The previous owner sealed it up and the plywood never dried. Being seal up with no where for the moisture to go, it will just sit in there.
It also didn’t help if the window was not sealed very well as well. That would continue to add to the moisture. From the sounds of it, since the roof looks solid, the seams seem solid, then I would do exact what you are thinking and seal the window the correct way and use it this coming season.
The ideal situation would be to get it dried out before closing it up, but I really don’t know just how you would accomplish that.
But I sure wouldn’t be afraid to take it out and enjoy it. Once your season is over, then you can take your time and fix it the correct way.


So go be a Happy Camper!
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Old 04-25-2024, 11:38 PM   #10
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Default Delamination.

RanA has given you some good advice. Would running a portable fan near the window dry it out? I would go ahead and reapply butyl tape on the round part of the window. Reinstall the window and use Lexell caulk on the exterior of the window to seal it up. If this is not done you risk having to replace soggy walls in the fall. Would damp rid absorb some of the moisture? This can be purchased at Walmart. Best of luck with your repairs.
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Old 04-28-2024, 09:00 AM   #11
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RahnA, thanks for the advice. I went ahead, cleaned up the window and applied butyl tape and reinstalled it. I'll worry about the damage after the trip.
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Old Yesterday, 09:54 PM   #12
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I removed the rear port side window that is behind the galley and found some delamination above and below the cut out. The area feels dry. I plan to use Locktite PL300 to re-adhear the siding to the foam backing.
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