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Old 11-25-2018, 02:50 PM   #1
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Compartment rusting away

I have 07 journey The small front compartent has been slowly leaking from day one. The rug it is lined with soaked the water for years. Has anyone had this same problem. And how did you remedy it?
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Old 11-25-2018, 06:06 PM   #2
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That compartment was a problem on my coach since day one. After fighting it for a year repeatedly trying to seal inside seams, I cleaned the OUTSIDE of the compartment. I sealed every seam I could reach with fingered on silicone sealant. Then I masked the tire and everything around it and sprayed two coats of auto undercoat on the outside, including crevices where my fingers could not reach. That cured the problem. You can buy the spray on undercoat at auto parts stores ... if you do get overspray on anything it can be cleaned up with WD-40.
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Old 11-25-2018, 07:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdrtile View Post
I have 07 journey The small front compartent has been slowly leaking from day one. The rug it is lined with soaked the water for years. Has anyone had this same problem. And how did you remedy it?
Well Sir,
While it looks sort of bad, it to me, is no big deal. If the sides of the compartment are still in good shape, here's what I'd do. I'd get one of those cheapy hack saws, the ones that have half the blade sticking out of the handle and, drill a couple of holes in the rusty bottom, just enough to get that blade into. Then, I'd run that blade up and down, all along both sides and the back. Now, if the front is bad all the way to the compartment door seal, well then, you'll have to cut out all that too.

Then, I'd find an air conditioning company that makes a lot of their own ducting or, a sheet metal shop and, simply have a new bottom built to the dimensions needed. On the sides, I'd have them bent up so they rose above the bottom of the sides by at least an inch or more. And the same for the back. Then, couple the front to the door seal as needed. It would be like putting a cap on a box, only upside down.

I'd then fit the new bottom to the compartment and, I'd drill all the way around, holes for rivets. I'd then remove it, clean all the drill filings away and, mix up some epoxy or, if you like, insert some Silicone in between the lips of the new bottom and the old sides and, reinstall it. Then put in your rivets. Then, I'd maybe finger in more Silicone all around inside and outside new lips, just as a precaution.

Once that's cured, I'd cruise on down to your local Home Depot and pick up some of that advertised "Flex Seal". I's spray the outside of that compartment with a thick coating of it, making sure you hit all seams adequately. You should be good for years after that kind of repair.
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Old 11-26-2018, 11:29 PM   #4
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Depending on just how much is rusted through there you might be able to get away with a smaller 'patch' of galvanized sheet metal that covers up the rusted area from the outside, sealed with butyl tape and rivetted in place, then all coated as recommended by Scott. I did that on my left front compartment. You'd probably want to have a folded up lip for the side next to the tire and a folded down lip to attach to the existing faceframe along the bottom of the opening. If you need to cut the sheet metal I found an angle grinder with a cutoff wheel worked well (mine came from Harbor Freight).

This earlier thread of mine might help with some ideas: Compartment Rust Repair
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Old 11-27-2018, 07:27 AM   #5
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We are gradually replacing all the compartment bottom halves with diamond plate aluminum. About half of my compartments have rusted to the point they are leaking. The diamond plate is much thicker and after sealing it in we have no leaks whatsoever.

Lots of coaches that have been run in the North in the Winter, or near the ocean have this problem. I know some folks who have replace the entire compartments.
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Old 11-27-2018, 08:30 AM   #6
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My methods are a bit less permanent but much easier to do for the normal guy. I would go for treated plywood as being "good enough". Not permanent but it will likely last as long as you will have the RV? I would not bother to cut out the bottom but lay a section in that fits semi-tight, then add walls to a height that feels right, silicone it togher to seal the corners and do some really good sealing on the outside. I would use the waterproofing sealer to coat the wood, as well as the outside. While at it, I would also look at sealing the other compartments if they don't look right as preventing this is much easier than fixing.
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:40 PM   #7
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With that much rust I would drop the compartment out and take it to a sheet metal fabricator, easy fix for them...that way you know it’s repaired properly. The compartment is not that hard to remove, it’s mainly held in by four bolt fasteners...one on each top corner and various sheet metal screws around the facing. I’d replace that door seal too, it looks kinda sketchy.
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:52 PM   #8
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My same compartment also leaked from water thrown by the wheel. While inspecting it for water intrusion points, I finally looked up,then spotted a removable cover on the top side of the compartment-screws were on the inside though. I removed the screws, cleaned the mating surfaces, coated them with Permatex and screwed together as tight as I dared. It hasn't leaked since.
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:37 AM   #9
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Check out POR-15 products. Great for surface rust repair/prevention especially in bays and Winnebago steel windshield surrounds (famous for rusting out). I had leaking bays...cleaned, sealed (silicone) and sprayed rubberized undercoating on all lap joints, worked perfect...solved my hidden nagging leak when we drove during rain.
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Old 02-03-2019, 05:52 PM   #10
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I had that problem and ordered a new compartment i think it costs about 350.00 I think can't recall for sure but it was not that difficult to change. I did undercoat it well before i installed it. I go over all the underside exposed metal with POR rust encapsulator once a year.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:04 PM   #11
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Had a '94 Bounder with several compartments with rust. No holes to the outside though. All had seam leaks.

First scraped off all the big flakes, hit the metal with a brass brush here and there. And then after that slathered the rust with Jasco's Prep & Primer available in quarts at Home Depot's paint department. That turns the rust back into metal. I could have painted it at that point but didn't bother as it turned black and looked painted. I did all that when it was dry and warm and no threat of rain.

Once the rust was all taken care of, wire brushed the seams outside, and then just used my finger to push silicone into the seams wherever I could reach. And then spread another more extensive coat over that after it dried. There were a couple compartments where I couldn't get silicone on the upper seams because they were too close together but they didn't leak there anyway.

After 12 years of full timing, I never had another basement compartment leak.

If I'd had holes like yours in one of the cabinets, I would have put down a layer of 1/16th inch thick plastic held with silicon on the inside of the compartment, put a 1/4" sheet of treated plywood over that covering the entire floor, and spread silicone over the holes from the outside. After it dried, more silicone along the seams.

Pretty easy and inexpensive afternoon job.
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