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Author Topic: How do you repair soft spots in TT floor?  (Read 11818 times)

magstar67

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How do you repair soft spots in TT floor?
« on: June 16, 2008, 11:19:50 PM »
Newbie here, I just bought a '02 Coleman Caravan 25'.  I knew about these spots when I bought it but would like to repair them.  It has a soft spot in the bathroom in rear and one in the front floor area of the trailer.  What is the best way to repair these?  It has a slideout on the side that has rollers on the bottom so simply adding a new layer of plywood doesnt appear to be feasible.

I know water problems are common on these things so was hoping someone here would have some insight.

Thanks,
Jeff
magstar67@embarqmail.com

Jim Dick

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Re: How do you repair soft spots in TT floor?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2008, 07:35:20 AM »
Jeff,

The first thing you need to do is find where the leaks are located and repair them. The floor will have to be cut out and replaced. You may have to remove some cabinets if there isn't enough support underneath to do the job. You may end up replacing some of the supports or adding new ones as well.  Sounds like quite a project!
Jim

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John From Detroit

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Re: How do you repair soft spots in TT floor?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2008, 11:36:25 AM »
As Jim said.. First find the cause, Then treat the problem

Generally there are two or three methods depending on what you find when you dig into it

One method is chemical treatment.. There are treatments that both stop the rotting of the wood and build it back up.. I very strongly suspect this will NOT work for you.. But I list it to be complete

Next is putting additional wood below the damaged area... This may be coupled with a wood filler product on the top side.. This MIGHT work but I'd not hold much hope.

The final method.. Replacement.. Is indicated in most cases.  You tear up the floor and cut out the bad wood, I'd go a distance into good wood, Seal the edges of the cut (paint) and replace the part you removed with new wood.  Seal and re-floor
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Johncmr

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Re: How do you repair soft spots in TT floor?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2008, 02:06:45 PM »
Jeff,

Done this a few times and it is indeed difficult, especially in a corner or in a bathroom.  Why the RV guys don't seal the edges of the flooring even where they cut for a waste pipe, is difficult for me to understand, that said, if you do the work a few tips.

Prep - remove everything that can get in your way, EVERYTHING.  Toilet, Cabinets, get it all out of the way.  My first repair I didn't do this and regretted it big time.  You'll find that the repair area is bigger than you think, like you might decide to extend the cut-out until you get to a underfloor brace. 

As mentioned seal the edges of all wood going back in.  Aluminum roofing paint works well and lasts longer than the c--- the RV guys put in.

Remember, most RV's start with a floor completely covered with vinyl flooring called "sheet goods".  Carpet, Pergo flooring or whatever is installed over this.  Sorry, but it has to go too.

Be sure to seal any place where the floor repair goes to the outside, like under the door you mentioned. 

If the bad wood goes under the outside wall, it still must be replaced, but I can tell ya, it adds a lot of time and effort to the repair.

Good luck!

johncmr

PancakeBill

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Re: How do you repair soft spots in TT floor?
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2008, 03:56:48 PM »
One harsh reality of RV building is that the flooring goes on before walls.  You can usually cut it at the wall, but be aware thet it is under. 
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

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magstar67

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Re: How do you repair soft spots in TT floor?
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2008, 10:18:50 PM »
Thanks for the replies guys, all info is apprieciated!  The leak in the roof has been repaired so just need to fix the floor now. 

I havent cut into the floor yet anywhere but it appears from looking under the trailer, that there is a vapor barrier on the outside, a thin sheet of 'paneling', about an inch of white styrofoam, then the floor.  I cant tell how thick the floor wood is from underneath.  Appears like a great place for moisture to hide???  I would really like to replace the whole floor out to the exterior walls instead of patching the two soft spots but will see how it looks once I get into it.  I think the biggest issue will be the side slideout in the middle of the trailer, the floor is bad at the front and rear but not in the middle.  The slidewout has rollers on the bottom that roll on the floor surface so I dont know if there is a way to replace the floor under the slideout or not.  I assume the slideout can't be removed???  It is a manual slide. 

Any more suggestions? ??? ??? ???

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: How do you repair soft spots in TT floor?
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2008, 09:08:59 AM »
The slide can be removed with the right equipment and help to handle it. They are heavy and bulky. Since it is a manual slide, it ought to be manageable with 3-4 people and some creative aids to fashion a cradle for it. A fork lift would be even better! Hard to give more advice without knowing more about the mechanism involved.
Gary
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Delta

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Re: How do you repair soft spots in TT floor?
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2008, 07:05:16 PM »
I'm interested in knowing how you make this repair since I have a 2003 Caravan with the same soft floors.  According to some other owners, these floors are one piece vacuum formed luan over EPS with no structural members except an aluminum frame around the perimeter that the walls bolt to.  I also know Fleetwood lifts the body off the floor when they repair these under warranty. I don't want to go to that extreme. I'm thinking of adding in some aluminum supports fastened to the existing perimeter frame. I don't plan to make these repairs until later this fall. If you make your repairs earlier, please share your experiences.

PancakeBill

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Re: How do you repair soft spots in TT floor?
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2008, 07:20:57 AM »
Quite a project.  Remember, the floors go under the exterior walls.  So, if you cut right at the wall, you still have the damaged section underneath.  You might be able to dig out the effected wood and slide something under, but the real fix is to lift the exterior walls off. 

While you have the bad section out, you will want to add some joists to support new stuff. 

Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI