Subject: Pop up camper questions
Date: Sat, 08 Jun 2002
I have several questions for you about redoing a popup camper and using your products.
All four corners of the trailer box and much of the wooden roof supports have some rot. The rear corners (sides and back) on the trailer are the worst and I think the best thing there will be just simply replacing the rear wood, because at least in the corners where the sides meets, there seems to be very little wood fiber left. I assume from the descriptions that there must be wood fibers for the CPES to bind to and have some structural support (other wise I would assume it would just pour out.)
You are correct.
Now the part you can help me with, in the four corners in the floor, the floor is very soft and brittle, really the only thing holding it together seems to be the aluminum backing underneath and the linoleum. The first question that I have for this area is should I leave the linoleum on the floor and inject the material through the flooring? I am not worried about pulling up the linoleum, because it will be replaced. But I am afraid that when I do pull it up, I will pull up large chunks of the wafer board material and have little for the CPES to work with. If I inject the material through the linoleum, will it still be possible to pull up the linoleum or will the CPES hold the flooring to the wood. Also, how sound will the floor be after applying CPES to the floor. The wafer board is becoming very dry and appears as though it would absorb huge amounts of material, but it is extremely soft and if there is a question of strength I would rather just replace that section of the floor. Making any sense yet?
Yep, you’re making sense! I know just what you’re looking at. Pull up the linoleum, and see what comes up with it. Evaluate what remains. I doubt that much will be salvagable…but you never know until you look.
I would think about replacing the flooring with exterior grade ply, untreated, cut and trimmed for installation, and then thoroughly treated with CPES. This can be laid down over the old flooring, or the old flooring can be cut away and the ply replace it. If you decide to go this route and have questions about bonding the new floor, come back and we can discuss. There are various ways to do it.
It would be possible to inject CPES and then Layup & Laminating Resin through the linoleum and probably salvage the flooring. But it would take large amounts of the L&L Resin, and that stuff is expensive!
Now for the front corners where the sides meet. They are quite soft, about 3–4 inches back, but on one side there is a strong amount of the wood material left.
Dry and treat with the CPES. Fill any cracks or voids with our Fill-It Epoxy Filler. It may take two applications of the CPES if the wood is really soft. Allow 3–4 days between the application of the CPES and the epoxy filler.
On the other side from the corner back the wood is missing, maybe 1/2–1 inch on each of the sides from the corner. I am planning on making brackets that will cover the entire corners, sandwiching the wood material from the inside and the out. The question I have here is, what to fill that void with. With the bracket there the material will not be under much stress, but I don’t want a big void there that could possibly fill with water. Do you have a material that would fill this void and be water resistant. I assume the CPES with saw dust mixed would not make a viscous enough material, so what would you suggest?
You can use the L&L Resin and sawdust, or the Fill-It Epoxy Filler. Either will be structurally strong and totally waterproof.
Finally, the wood supports in the roof have a fair amount of rot and softness. I am going to take the roof off and turn it upside down in the garage. Let it dry and then inject the CPES into the inside of the roof (so the material will be working with gravity and flowing toward what will be the outside of the roof. Now the question becomes. I will need to drill holes (I do not want to pull the outside material way for fear again that I will loose a lot of wood fiber), how close would you suggest drilling the holes.
Five to seven inches apart. They can be filled afterwards with the Fill-It Epoxy Filler or the L&L Resin/sawdust mix.
The wood is low grade pine and wafer board in the roof. It seems very porous and I am sure when dry would be very absorbent.
Yes, this is true, and so you should apply the CPES generously to the surface of the wood as well, allowing the wood to absorb all that it will. In this case, I would apply the CPES the first time, wait for a couple of days (or longer), and then apply it again. Much less will be absorbed the second time, but it will add strength.
Also how much material do you think I will need. I know it is very variable, but I would like to really coat or soak this material, so that I don’t need to do this again (I am even thinking about coating all the remaining unaffected wood).
Yes, do so! It won’t take much CPES, and it will protect the wood from deterioration.
The overall size of the trailer box is 12 ft x 7 ft x 26 in and the top is 12 ft x 7 ft x 10 inches. The material thickness varies from about 1 1/2 inches to about 3/4 inches. I really want to soak the floor and all of the roof materials the rest will get what is left.
I would probably start with the 2-gallon unit and see how it goes. As you progress you will get an idea of how much you are using and about how much more you will need. You can always re-order if necessary.
For the L&L Resin and/or the Fill-It Epoxy Filler, this is pretty much your call. It’s basically a volume-related issue…so as much as you anticipate you will need.
Finally one last question. I realize that you recommend this material for home and trailer use, but what about off gassing. Does the material smell for really long periods of time or if we pop up the camper for a few good sunny days will it air out pretty well.
The way you are going about this, most if not all of the off-gassing will occur before you get things glued back together. Whatever little odor that remains will quickly dissipate when the trailer is aired out. It’s not a major issue after application, just during application. If you are doing this is your garage, have the door open and a fan for cross ventilation.
Thank you for any information and I will definitely be calling with an order in the next few days. By the way I saw your product used on a home improvement show of some type and that is how I found out about it. Although I don’t remember the name of the show. Your website was easy to find and the information is great. You and your web designers have done a wonderful job, putting together an attractive, useful and easily navigated site.
Thanks for the compliment on the website. I’ll pass it on to the guys and gals who really did it.
Also, feel free to come back if you have questions…and I imagine that you will have. We are prompt with our email, and willing to help our customers with every step of the repair process.