Body rot - spongy bulging sides

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visca5

New member
Joined
Jan 27, 2007
Posts
4
hi i just purchased a 1984 chevy rockwood.i paid 2000 dollars.mechanically it runs and drives fine.i noticed that the sides are soft in some spots under the aliminum type siding.you can push on those spots and it moves in and out.is this rot underneath.if it is is it dangerous?how would i fix it if it is?how much approximately would it cost to fix.it is going to be used at motocross races so im not too concerned about cosmetics.i just dont want to have a problem with it falling apart while im driving.i dont even know if that is possible.your help is appreciated.
 

Jim Dick

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Posts
7,651
Location
Titusville, FL
It sounds like your sidewalls have gotten wet and are crumbling. You should try to find out if in fact it is wet. If so this can lead to mold which can cause medical problems. Check all of your caulking around the seams, especially on the roof. You may have an area that is not sealed and water is getting inside the walls. Whether or not it can be fixed can only be determined by close inspection of the actual problem areas.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,533
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Spongy and bulging sides are almost surely a sign of water leaking down the interior of the sidewalls. The roof edge seams are the likely source, but it could be elsewhere on the roof as well. Water can travel a surprisingly long distance before finding its way down.

There is probably no mechanical danger to using it as is, but the condition will continue to deteriorate and get more and more expensive to fix. Repairs are twofold - first find and stop the leaks and then open up the sides to find out how much damage and do repairs. If it is mostly just delamination of the layers, it can be re-glued. Time consuming but not terribly difficult. But if the wood interior has decomposed or the wall studs rotted, you have a major repair on your hands.

I'd be inclined to find another motocrosser who wanted a cheap RV and sell it. There are used rigs in much much less risky condition.
 

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