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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Wood Rot Around Windows
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2001 02:11:11 -0400

Bill Tolle wrote:

> According to an article at
> not only does the rot need to be removed, but treat the wood to stop further
> rot.
> "Once rot gets a toehold in wood, it is difficult to cure completely, like a
> cancer. Digging out the rotted wood will still leave spores and water in the
> sound wood. After these cavities, produced by the digging, have been filled
> with material such as epoxy, rot will continue to flourish underneath. Some
> products purported to make rotten wood sound and prevent future rotting,
> penetrate only until they meet water. Generally, under the repair, the
> rotting continues."

I haven't seen any evidence of that since I used Rot Doctor on a
window sill on the outside of my building.  All Rot Doctor is is
conventional epoxy dissolved in acetone and toluene.  Acetone mixes
with water so it penetrates even into the wet wood.

If you use this stuff in an RV, be aware of the strong solvent and
what it will do to polymers.  The reason I bought this stuff was to
firm up a little spot on my rig where the AC had leaked.  I shot it
in, then propped the ceiling up with a jack.  I removed the jack the
next day and found my vinyl wallpaper ceiling covering drooping a
foot or so!  I resisted the temptation to try and "fix" the problem
and within a week or so the solvent evaporated and the vinyl shrunk
back into place. The only residue is that the vinyl is a bit shinier
in that spot.

> The article goes on to mention a couple of ways to stop the rot that are
> inexpensive, such as soaking the area around the rotted area with common
> ethylene glycol anti-freeze.

Copper sulfate or one of the organo-copper complexes that they sell
for the purpose will work well too.  The copper sulfate will stick
around forever as long as the spot stays dry.

> I am not an engineer, but the article makes some common sense points that
> seem reasonable.
> Incidentially, it seems to me that an alternative to the expensive "Rot
> Doctor" products might be fiberglass, depending on the situation. I have
> used fiberglass to replace rotted wood with good results. Fiberglass is
> cheaper and relatively easy to work.

I've done that too but I don't think polyester resin will address
the problem Rot Doctor is designed for where one can't get to the
rot to work it.  Perhaps dissolving some resin in acetone might do
the job.  I'd want to experiment first though.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Problem with Scamp 16' trailer, please advise!
Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 15:20:55 -0400

On Mon, 15 Apr 2002 19:32:47 -0400, Lon VanOstran <> wrote:

>Steve wrote:

>> I wanted to go camping, not work on a trailer.
>Check this out.

This stuff is pretty worthless.  It's about 95% solvent.  When it dries, the
tiny bit of epoxy that remains imparts no perceptable strength to the rotted
wood.  Meanwhile the solvent damages anything plastic or otherwise

These guys make a 100% solids penetrating epoxy that actually deos what Rot
Doctor claims they do.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Problem with Scamp 16' trailer, please advise!
Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 22:55:12 -0400

On 16 Apr 2002 19:42:50 GMT, (Dfrenchy) wrote:

>>These guys make a 100% solids penetrating epoxy that actually deos what Rot
>>Doctor claims they do.
>John, do you think this would work on rotted window sills?
>Don in NH

Yes.  That's exactly what I used it for.  I tried that other crap on another
windowsill.  It penetrated and looks to have stopped the rot but it added
absolutely no strength to the wood.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: camper floor repair
Date: Thu, 24 May 2007 20:42:21 -0400
Message-ID: <>

Hi Bob and welcome to the group.  As you've seen, there are some folks here who can't
do anything for themselves and assume that applies to everyone.  Meanwhile the rest
of us carry on doing things.

You have a job on your hands but it is certainly doable.  The first thing I'd want to
do is to investigate further and see if the floor is rotted or merely softened from
the moisture.  If it's only softened then you may not have to do much of anything.

I had a water leak around my AC several years ago and the water softened and bulged
the plywood of the ceiling.  It looked to be a major job to replace the plywood so I
did some research on the net and learned about the various epoxy-based wood
restorers.  These are basically water-thin epoxies that can be injected into the
wood using a hypo syringe and needle.

I ordered some, injected the wood, then using a 2X4 and a bottle jack, jacked a piece
of poly plastic-covered plywood up against the ceiling to push the plywood back into
place.  The poly kept any epoxy weepage from sticking to the plywood.  I left it
overnight and the next day, all evidence of damage was gone.  That was probably 5-6
years ago and the ceiling still looks like new.  I don't recall the brand name I used
but I did write a post about it so maybe you could find it on google groups.

If you do decide to replace the wood then, like most repair projects, you simply
reverse the assembly process.  Unfortunately that means taking most of the interior
out, as they usually lay down the floor (and carpet) and then build the RV on top of
it.  We got into that mess replacing the carpet with vinyl in mom's MH.

Since you bought the thing to use instead of to work on, I'd concentrate on getting
the job done with the least amount of effort.  Make sure the leak is stopped and then
fix what bothers you in everyday use and let the rest go.

On 24 May 2007 16:20:34 -0700, Bob <> wrote:

>Thanks for your input, this is my first time on this group. It amazed
>me how many people assume the camper is shot. Not one person has told
>me in person this is not fixable. The only problem with the floor is
>it is damp under the layment and I will fix the roof first by caulking
>and follow up with taking out the cabinets etc. My neighbor has done
>this on a fifth wheel successfully.

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