How to Repair Dry Rot in a Travel Trailer

Written by lynda altman Google
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How to Repair Dry Rot in a Travel Trailer
Water leaks cause dry rot in travel trailers. (lake mead national recreation area 14 image by Jim Parkin from

The term "dry rot" is a misnomer. Dry wood does not rot; wet wood does. Dry rot is caused by water penetrating the wood and causing it to decay. When the wood eventually dries out, you are left with partially decomposed wood that breaks easily and is structurally unsound.

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Safety glasses
  • Dust mask
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Pry bar
  • Cordless drill
  • Wood screws
  • Exterior-grade wood

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  1. 1

    Locate the damaged wood by gently poking a screwdriver into suspected areas. Soft or spongy areas indicate dry rotted wood. Mark these areas with a pencil.

  2. 2

    Remove wall covering, drywall, headliners or flooring to reveal the wood structure. Dry rotted wood is usually discoloured by mould or fungus. White or black streaks or discolouration indicates water damage. Dry rotted wood is soft, and it will sometimes crumble when touched.

  3. 3

    Expose all of the damaged wood. Measure the size of the wood that requires replacing. Write the measurements down. Put on safety glasses and a dust mask. Remove dry rotted wood with a reciprocating saw or use a chisel and hammer. If removing portions of a wall or ceiling, be sure to brace the area to prevent collapse.

  4. 4

    Measure and cut exterior-grade wood to the exact size of the damaged area. Attach the new wood to the travel trailer with wood screws.

  5. 5

    Check for signs of water leakage before closing up the damaged area. Look for leaking water lines, AC condensation, and leaks from the roof or lights. Repair or seal leaks, if any are found, to prevent further damage.

  6. 6

    Replace drywall, ceiling material or flooring to complete the repair. Exposed wood should be painted or stained to extend its life and protect it from the elements.

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