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 > Rotten Ramp Ruins Relaxing Recreation - REPAIRS COMPLETE!

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portscanner

Georgia

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Posted: 06/07/09 08:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was hoping today would be a rather quiet day, a little bit a rest and relaxation. I have (fortunately) been working 6-7 days a week, so in the current economy, I have been making "hay while the sun shines."

The trailer features prominently in both our recreation and income (I go on site with the customer quite often) so I must have it in good working order. A week ago, DW noted that there was a soft spot on the ramp - near the locking mechanism - and she was correct. Water had somehow gotten in the door and the inside/part you drive on was swollen around the left middle area. so I figured with it being quiet today, I would take the circular saw, open up the door, find that a foot or so of plywood had gotten wet, replace that section of the wood, seal it up and be done in time for a couple of beers on the back deck in the after noon. Foolish me.

First thing I did was observe that the locking mechanism was loose, so I figured that the bolts had come loose, (which I discovered later that the bolts had not come loose) breaking the seal where the lock was bolted through the door causing the failure. So I took the circular saw, and set it for a shallow cut, and cut around where the bolts were holding the lock in. I did a shallow cut as I did not know how the door was constructed, so I was going to take a little bit at a time. After those first cuts, I was in for my first surprise. It wasnt plywood. It was that nasty chipboard. Using a chisel and screwdriver, I starting picking out the rotten wood around the bolts. The wood was so bad it only took me a few seconds to get all the way through the door to the outside aluminium sheathing. I then discovered wet fibreglass batting. I cut a longer area open, figuring that what I could do is find the first pressure treated stud, which would be about 10-12 inches from the left end of the ramp, cut off 10-12 inches of the chipboard, replace it with some exterior grade plywood, and break out a cold one. Note my comment above about pressure treated studs.

Surprise, surprise!! After I opened up a larger hole in the door I found that they had used cheap engineered lumber (I am shocked it was strong enough to hold the ramp together as it was) - and not pressure treated treated. so I figured, ok, I will replace the outside 2x2, put on my chunk of plywood, and still have plenty of time to sit down and have a long talk with Sam this afternoon (That's Mr. Sam Adams to the rest of you)

Nope. the second stud was rotted, so I opened it up further. Third stud rotted. I just kept going. Water filled fiberglass batts followed by more rotten studs. Top sill and bottom sill was rotton. To make a long story short, by 1:30, the only thing left of the door was the aluminium sheathing laying in the driveway and the steel frame that was still connected via the hinges and springs to the trailer. Half of the rest had came out in rotten, moldy clumps, the other half, was just cut out or unscrewed and tossed in the trash.

I had discovered in the disassembly process, strange scraps of wood used as spacers in places, wood that I wouldnt use for firewood (even before it rotted) and fiberglass batts haphazardly installed.

I decided I would rebuild the door using pressure treated 2x2's except for the outer edges, where I would use 2x6's. Originally on the outside edges they used 2x2's then used scrap chip board as a spacer for the door locks. I was also going to use Styrofoam as an insulator for the open area of the doors instead of the fiberglass batts, so that if any water got into the door in the future, it would not be absorbed by the fiberglass, which then started growing some interesting molds spores and fungous.

I did not have enough materials at the house to complete the task, so it was off to the local big box home improvement store, which did not have all the hardware, so it was off the to the other big box home improvement store across the street, which of course, did not have everything needed, but at least I had all the lumber, so it was back home (2 1/2 hours later because, well, you know how helpful and quick to respond employees are at these stores.)

Now it is getting late, but I have all of the 2x's cut to size. I am just worn out, as it was up, down, left, right, in and out all around that door, as I wanted to be as careful as possible to minimize damage. I have been successful on that part as the aluminium sheathing is neither folded, spindled or mutilated and when I get it reassembled in a few days it will look as good as new.

I need to take the wire wheel to the steel frame and then repaint it. then I will start putting things back together. I am going to use screws along "5200 Marine Sealant" that I have read about in other threads to secure the plywood to the 2x's and the sheathing to the 2'xs along with the original edge trim on the sheathing. I do have to find someone who has butyl and the 5200 somewhere here in town.

I will be posting pictures of the disassembly tomorrow - and hopefully pictures of the reassembly!

Any constructive comments or suggestions will be appreciated.

* This post was edited 06/21/09 07:50pm by portscanner *


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wayne_tw

South Dakota/Georgia

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Posted: 06/07/09 09:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I did not read where you found the source of the water intrusion and fixed the root of your problem.

aemedic

Boise, ID

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Posted: 06/07/09 09:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow! What an ordeal. I would Line-X the ramp which will weather seal it and give it good traction. Line-X wears well and is very uniform. That is what I would do...


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MadMav

Colorado Springs, CO

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Posted: 06/07/09 10:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looking forward to seeing your work!

Mav


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BIKERK9

Igo, CA

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Posted: 06/07/09 11:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am surprised of the amount of damage as your WW is a 2007.
Your misfortune reminds all of us with toy haulers to inspect the ramp door seams
for cracks regularly because the ramp receives stress and flexes from weight placed
upon it and that water from fog, rain, and washing is looking for a way to enter
exposed areas when the ramp is down.


* This post was edited 06/07/09 11:21pm by BIKERK9 *


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BobsYourUncle

Calgary Alberta Canada

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Posted: 06/08/09 12:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I like the alliteration in your title!


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sc3283

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Posted: 06/08/09 12:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

more "quality"(cough) WW fabrication! Sorry you had to go through all the hassle


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BIKERK9

Igo, CA

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Posted: 06/08/09 01:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In lieu of 2x2 wood framing, you could use plastic wood like that used in decking and benches that does not rot or weather. In lieu of fiberglass matting which absorbs water, I would use styrafoam blocks, sheets and/or expanding foam. Remember that some adhesives melt/dissolve foam and styreen. In addition, when ever I do new construction or repairs of wood subject to moisture, I use exterior grade plywood, water sealer, and only use stainless steel fasteners, i.e. screws, nuts, bolts, washers, etc. to eliminate future rust and corrosion. I never have time to do the same repair twice.


portscanner

Georgia

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Posted: 06/08/09 05:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

aemedic: I was trying to decide what to finish the plywood with. The original finish I found out was paint with sand scattered on it followed by more paint. I was considering getting some rubber mats and gluing them down. Will the Line-X adhere to the plywood? I thought that material would only reliably stay on metal

BIKERK9: I still have not figured out where the water got in, but based on where it was wet the most, I am wondering if it was condensation. The wettest areas were where the sheathing had seams, but the seams were good - approximately 3/4 wide and folded correctly so there is no way any water could have gotten in there - but when I reassemble it I will be putting sealant in those seams! Maybe the thickness of the metal + humidty + the door being sealed resulted in the water condensing? The Also, good points on your second post. I am using pressure treated lumber and exterior grade plywood. I failed to mention the stainless steel hardware - which is what took me the most time to find at the home improvement stores)

Pictures will be up this afternoon. Keep the comments coming!

aemedic

Boise, ID

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Posted: 06/08/09 07:35am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check with the Line-X dealer, but I have seen people use Line-X on exterior redidential decks.

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