Need to replace rotten side
Side rotted away from floor while driving down the road. Only second time we took it out in the month we bought it. Neighbor sold it to us. It is a little guy 5 wide 2006 model. Don’t know if we sell it as is or try and have it fixed. Any thoughts ?
I guess it would depend some on what it would cost to repair and what you've got into it. I think I'd want it to go away.
I always wonder if mine would leak with normal use and washing, but it's a 2016 and kept in garage.
I just experienced the same issue on an 07 Five Wide. Side walls settled about 1/2 inch behind the fenders. When I removed the edge trim, I found rotted plywood. I also noticed 3 of the four self tapping screws that secure the wall to the frame were missing. (They're located at the front/rear edge of the fenders. My plan is to cut out the rotted wood and biscuit in some 3/4 oak boards, seal them with bed liner or Red Guard and NOT put the bottom trim back. I think the trim is the culprit! I will reinforce the joint with metal plates on the inside. Not sure yet whether I can peel back the filon to expose the wood or if I have to cut the filon our higher than the damaged wood and re-seam.
Did you decide on a plan of action for yours
I have a 2005 Little Guy 5 Wide. I think in 2015 I found the rear side walls had rot. The self drilling screws holding the sides to the frame had rusted completely and let the body sag. I used hyd jacks inside under the cabinets to raise the body back to original height. I then used a probe, either 1/8 th inch weld rod or 1/8th inch drill bit, inserted from the bottom to see how far up the side wall the rod was. I added two inches to that to make sure I was into solid wood where I planned to cut the wall. Then I added two inches to that where I planned to cut the composite siding. The rot on my trailer ended lust at the rear of the fenders so I removed the fenders. Next I used a vibrating multi tool to cut a horizontal line and vertical line just through the composite skin. Then used the same tool to peal it off the wall. I think I used wide putty knifes also. I then cut the wall out 2 inches inside the skin removal area. This over lap helped stabilize the seams between the new and old plywood. I used pressure treated plywood and coated it with epoxy resin to make it more resistant to rot. I used epoxy resin on the joint between the new and old plywood. And used a jack to push the new plywood up to ensure solid contact and left it to cure overnight. And used C clamps along the bottom to hold it tight against the frame. Then I coated the inside of the composite skin with epoxy resin and put it in place. Using C clamps along the bottom and probably 2x4 at 45 degree with weights to hold the upper section in place. After that cured I drilled 1/4 inch holes at the bottom of the wall and through the wall and frame. And installed 1/4 inch stainless steel bolts with stainless fender washers to attach the side wall to the frome. Using lots of caulking to make sure everything was water tight. Then to cover the seams in the skin I used 1 1/4 inch aluminum trim from the local hardware store.
Then 2 -3 years ago I found rot around the front side of the doors and the floor at the front wall. I removed the doors and did a similar repair. And I bolted a piece of plywood to the underside of the floor, sealed with lots of caulking, and filled the rotted area with epoxy resin. this penetrated the rotted wood and prevented further rot.
So, yes it's repairable. not too expensive if you do it yourself. I'm not sure if it would be cost effective to pay someone to make that repair.
But I could help. either physically or just offering advice. I do enjoy helping people with projects.
Hope this helps. I took a lot of phots but have changed phones twice since then. I'll post them if/when I find them.
@tnboatman We approached the rebuild almost the same way. I ended up replacing the lower front plywood section as well. I used a rotary tool to cut through the laminate and peeled it off. Carriage bolts through new oak board and the frame. Carriage bolt countersunk a bit so laminate reinstalled smooth.