Repairing the roof on a 99 Fleetwood Wilderness

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csdude

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I'm helping my mother in law with this one.

She and her husband bought a 1999 Fleetwood Wilderness M-721G several years ago. The roof had a leak at the horizontal seam near the roof window, which he patched with some sort of tape.

He was diagnosed with colon cancer about 2 1/2 years ago, though, and the camper was parked, covered, and not used again. He passed away last year, and her health is declining, so I'm trying to help her sell off some things to fund her retirement.

I'm looking at this roof now, and I can see that it has sunk in further; probably from water weight sitting on top of the tarp. There are white particles everywhere that look like tiny styrofoam balls, so I'm guessing that the roof is insulated with something like styrofoam?

The cosmetic part of the roof and ceiling looks OK, other than where it separated at that seam.

I can imagine that a proper fix would be to have some sort of truss run down the length of the roof to add support, and maybe push the roof up a little to make it convex so that water runs off instead of sitting there. Then I'm guessing that the part of the roof that has been pushed down would need to be replaced, or maybe just the insulation part?

Any other suggestions on the repair? Or is this something that I should really take to a professional? If so, any guesses on how much I should expect it to cost to repair?
 

Ex-Calif

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What you can see is probably about 10% of the damage done. Water gets in between the walls and migrates and rots from the inside out.

The fact that the roof is sagging does not bode well. You need to take a screw driver or a marlin spike and poke around from the inside feeling for soft spots. Start at the seams and corners.

Take some photos to share and we may provide better guidance.

A trailer of this vintage in "good" shape will probably draw $5-$6k. Unless you have mad skills and do it yourself I don't think there would be any way to make any money on this.

You best bet is to advertise it as is on Craigslist or FB market place for a couple grand noting that it is a project trailer and see if you can get someone to take it off your hands.

Sorry to be such a Debbie downer but I am going off what you wrote.
 

csdude

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Haha, you're not being a Debbie downer, just honest! And that's what I need :-D

Last month the NADA value in this condition was $5400, but today I see it dropped to $4850 :-O


That 10% drop in value hurts!

I have it advertised locally for $4500, which I thought was fair to allow $900 for the repair, but so far all of the potential buyers have been scared off because of the roof. I'm not afraid of doing a little work myself, though, or paying a pro to do it, as long as the cost of the repair is low enough that I can still reasonably sell the camper and recoup the cost.

I'll try to get some pics of the damage tomorrow, all I have on hand are pics of the outside:

IMG_3829.jpgIMG_3830.jpgIMG_3831.jpgIMG_3832.jpg
 

Kirk

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The outside does look good, but if the roof is sagging it probably has structural damage and no experienced RVer is at all likely to buy it for anywhere close to the prices you listed from NADA. What we need in order to give a valid assessment is pictures of the roof, ceiling, and interior. The outside looks nice but what does the inside look like?
 

JayArr

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I have it advertised locally for $4500, which I thought was fair to allow $900 for the repair,

I think you're under on your estimate. To fix this properly you're going to need to remove the whole roof, peel off the plywood, fix the trusses, lay down new plywood and then put a new membrane on.

It's not rocket science, google RV roof replacement and watch some videos.

You could spend 2k and two or three weekends of you life replacing it but that may only get you back up to 5K. Re-roofing is a great idea on a trailer you own and are going to keep, it rarely satisfies a potential buyer because they always wonder if it was done right.

You could also open it up and find that the rot is so pervasive that there isn't enough structure left to save.

If you can get 2K for it as-is and walk away then you get your life back and have no risk.
 

csdude

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North Carolina
Here are some pics of the damaged area:

20220508_172446.jpg

You can see wrinkling in the panel with the window; I have another pic with my hand to show you the actual size of the wrinkled area. It stops about 7" from the seam.

20220508_172540.jpg

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csdude

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North Carolina
The front window gasket needs to be replaced, too, and you can see that the plywood beneath the window is damaged and should be replaced.

There's also water damage in the floor at the bathroom toilet, so that wood and linoleum probably needs to be replaced.

I don't feel soft spots in the floor anywhere other than at the toilet, so I think that those two issues are mostly just cosmetic.

The description for "Low retail value" on NADA says:

A low retail unit may have extensive wear and tear. Body parts may have dents and blemishes. The buyer can expect to invest in cosmetic and/or mechanical work. This vehicle should be in safe running order.

so I honestly thought that $4500 was super low for this camper! LOL
 

Ex-Calif

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As others have said it is a "nice" looking camper at first look. Any potential buyer who asks around here is told to walk away from water damage. It is one of the worst headaches.

The toilet soft spot could be a different leak from the toilet but most likely is water that migrated down through the walls, likely involving rot inside the walls.

Again unless you are skilled and committed you are looking at a lot of drama fixing this.

Did you ask any of the potential buyers what they would be willing to pay for it?
 

Isaac-1

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I vote with the others, expect to be lucky to get $2,000 for it this is a MAJOR repair project, I would expect over $900 in materials alone and countless hours of work to fix just what is obvious in the photos. Any shop would tell you it is a total write off given labor rates these days as they would charge considerably over $5,000 to fix that. I honestly feel that if you can get anything at all for it you are lucky, and even if someone were to offer to haul it off for free I would suggest to take them up on it, as then you will not have to pay to dispose of it.
 

JayArr

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Now that I see your pics I'd say it's a write off. Unless you are a decent woodworker and want to spend all summer working on it.

Your value now lies in the appliances and fixtures and lastly the trailer frame.

Sell the Fridge, Oven, Water Heater, Furnace, Air Conditioner, Toilet, Battery Charger, Batteries, Fuse Panel, Propane Tanks, Carbon Monoxide Detector, Lights from the inside.

From the outside you should be able to sell the awning, the windows should be easy, maybe the running lights. If your handy pull the door with it's frame, at least strip the lock/latch hardware - people ask about vintage door hardware all the time.

When that is all done remove the structure from the frame and sell the frame to someone who wants to haul their 4x4s. It's probably a great frame with electric brakes that will sell easily.

Parted out you may still get 3-5K but it will take some extra time and work.

Or sell it as-is to someone else who will scrap the house portion and turn it into a 4x4 hauler - $1000?
 

csdude

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North Carolina
Well... double ouch! LOL

I know the MIL isn't going to believe me on this one. They gave around $7,000 for it with what they were told was a "minor" leak in the roof, and in her mind her (deceased) husband fixed it (with caulk and tape).

But since it's been under a tarp, that soft spot at the toilet has to have come from water damage from before his patch. Which means that damaged walls and floor were also present, just not noticeable yet.

From everything she's told me and from everything you all have told me, there was a lot of damage already done before they bought it that they just didn't know :-( So it wasn't worth anywhere near $7,000 when they bought it!

If I didn't have my own job to do then I'd just haul it over and spend the summer working on it myself, but that's just not practical. Which is why parting it out really isn't practical, either; I just don't have the time to do it.

Blerg.

I'm going to send her the link to this thread so she can read everything you've all said. I know it's going to hurt, but I think we should just be honest about it and post it locally for $1,000. That's a big loss, but it's better than it sitting there and rotting away.

Thanks for all of the advice, I really do appreciate it!
 

Kirk

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I know it's going to hurt, but I think we should just be honest about it and post it locally for $1,000. That's a big loss, but it's better than it sitting there and rotting away.
I think that is by far the best approach. No experienced RV owner is likely to buy it except to part it out. I think that you have far underestimated the work that would be involved in repairing the damage, assuming that no major structural parts need replaced, which is a bit assumption.

Remember that this is a 23 years old RV. I bought a 20' travel trailer new in 2012 for a total price of $12,000 including tax, title, and license.
 

Isaac-1

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Sounds like a good plan at $1,000 - $1,500 or so and it will probably sell to someone that will put an ugly bandaid patch on it to use it at a hunting camp until it completely falls apart in a few years.
 

COCJ

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Montrose, CO
Worst case scenario, you might be able to find an RV salvage yard that might give you a few hundred bucks for it.
 

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