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Old 05-28-2015, 04:45 PM   #1
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Floor Rot Repair

Excuse my newbie questions, I'm groggy from staying up reading posts about floor rot, which I have in my 08 safari 22'. I plan to fix myself, frame on, but really need some help. I assume the gray philips-slot bolt heads sticking up through the floor are the elevator bolts I've read about. I will attempt to remove with impact driver. I assume that the floor acts as a structural diaphragm, and that all the bolts are important! I notice that the most intense damage is towards the center-front (not at perimeter), and that the water looks like it has migrated on a line, presumably along a structural member underneath. I'm planning to cut out the rotted sections in the center with my track saw, but I'm thinking of leaving the perimeter ply (6 to 12" worth of it) in place, so I don't have to peel up skin and mess with c-channel.
Does anyone have a recommendation of how I can stitch/secure the replacement panels into the floor to preserve the structural integrity?

My second question is more conceptual. I've worked in a buildings a long time, and it seems the key to the problem is letting water have a way to get back out once it inevitably gets in. I don't understand how the AS system allows the plywood to breath? Should I drill some drain holes in the belly pan? I'm going to replace the flooring, and a vapor barrier is recommended, which will trap water and create rot in the plywood and cause the same problem I'm trying to fix. Any recommendations or links to previous posts which address my questions would be greatly appreciated - Thanks so much!
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:53 PM   #2
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That doesnt look rotten to me- just nice and stained. Is it soft and spongy? The line across is because water is running along the frame cross member. Is it near where the exterior endcap meets the fuselage? That seam is notorious for leaking and will run right across the cross member.

If that floor isnt spongy or soft, I'd leave it and focus on the leak. Cutting up the floor and splicing in can easily become a huge job. Dont open that can unless you have to.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:03 PM   #3
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I've used auto antifreeze on spots like that. Prestone, or whatever your vehicle requires.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PerkOL8 View Post

My second question is more conceptual. I've worked in a buildings a long time, and it seems the key to the problem is letting water have a way to get back out once it inevitably gets in. I don't understand how the AS system allows the plywood to breath? Should I drill some drain holes in the belly pan? I'm going to replace the flooring, and a vapor barrier is recommended, which will trap water and create rot in the plywood and cause the same problem I'm trying to fix. Any recommendations or links to previous posts which address my questions would be greatly appreciated - Thanks so much!
Ahhh you've hit on the Airstream dilemma....do I epoxy the plywood to encapsulate it against moisture, but if I do screw through it and moisture gets in, the epoxy won't let it out and the wood will rot faster.......

So screw wood and go man made......40-45% lighter than the equivalent sheets of fir plywood but just as strong, waterproof, mold proof and easier to machine than plywood. If I were to order a trailer today I would deliver this product to Airstream to use in my trailer.

Specialized Structural Panels - Coosa Composites

Problem solved forever. I used Bluewater 20 for my subfloor project. Well worth the money in piece of mind as you never know when the next leak will occur.
Cheers
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Old 05-28-2015, 10:03 PM   #5
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How much are 1/2" 4x8 sheets of the coosa?
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Old 05-28-2015, 10:50 PM   #6
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I did as above mentioned.. killed the mold then I repaired using 'Git Rot' product.... It totally saturated the wood, filling voids left by the rot... I drilled many and many 1/2" apart holes, half way thru the floor then injected the Git Rot until fully saturated... 2 years.. no problems...
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Old 05-29-2015, 09:36 AM   #7
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I'm checking out the Coosa panel today - thanks for the tip Isuzusweet. Did you replace all around - how is it under compression of the shell at the C-channel?
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Old 05-29-2015, 09:48 AM   #8
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Thanks for the info cwf - I posted my reply in the wrong spot. I may well try the epoxy since I'm hoping to work only in a small area.
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Old 05-29-2015, 10:32 AM   #9
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What is the black stuff around the perimeter? Is that glue or missing floor?



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Old 05-29-2015, 10:52 AM   #10
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What is the black stuff around the perimeter? Is that glue or missing floor?

Perry
My 2006 23' is the same way, black stuff all around the edges. I figured it was just some kind of sealer. I'm not equipped to work on it so we're taking it to Jackson Center in less than 2 weeks. Our "low spot" is so bad I'm pretty sure I can just punch through it. I think ours is leaking around the window. AS can pressurize it and hopefully plug them, wherever they are.

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Old 05-29-2015, 10:23 PM   #11
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How much are 1/2" 4x8 sheets of the coosa?
I used 3/4" thick Coosa and machined a profile into the edge of the board to allow it to go into my 5/8" C channel. I didn't mind using 3/4" as I ended up drilling drainage holes through the C channel after I installed the Coosa and since water doesn't run upstream it (water) would find the drainage holes before travelling into the coach.

A 3/4" 4x8 Coosa board ran me around $275 Canadian. I have no doubt you will be able to find a marina close to you that can order it in for you a lot cheaper than what I paid, as the distributer for Coosa in Canada is in Halifax, 2000 kms away from me.

As for compressabilty, I would say it's far in away better that the plywood it replaced, as the plywood left in the channel was compost. Coosa is very tough and will not compress. As a test for a friend who was very interested in Coosa but suspect of its toughness I took a 4 1/2"x 4' strip off cut and placed it in between two saw horses. I then stood my 6'3" 260lb frame in the middle of the strip; the Coosa bent but didn't crack......I then started to bounce with increasing force and after 6 or 8 bounces the strip cracked but didn't break and still supported my weight.

Cheers
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Old 05-30-2015, 09:40 AM   #12
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I'm pretty sure the black stuff around edges is a sealer. Good luck with repairs. I opened up my floor and found that water was trapped underneath this area by a foil insulation in the belly. My model has the spare tire underneath the front, and the sheet metal pan is directly underneath the plywood - no place for water to go, no way for plywood to dry out. When you're at Jackson Center, ask them them the philosophy of this construction for me!?!?!?!?
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:44 AM   #13
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I'm pretty sure the black stuff around edges is a sealer. Good luck with repairs. I opened up my floor and found that water was trapped underneath this area by a foil insulation in the belly. My model has the spare tire underneath the front, and the sheet metal pan is directly underneath the plywood - no place for water to go, no way for plywood to dry out. When you're at Jackson Center, ask them them the philosophy of this construction for me!?!?!?!?
I have the same setup on the spare tire, don't know about the insulation. A PO has placed some kind of black tape in the left front and left rear areas. I don't know why, I'm going to ask about that too. I think they were trying to stop the leak by keeping road spray out of the area. I'm pretty sure my leak is elsewhere, we haven't towed in much rain and yet the floor is pretty wet.

This will be a learning experience but I guess they all are.
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:02 AM   #14
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I sealed all around the perimeter of the spare tire "compartment" with Sika...between the frame members and the aluminum "under floor" as a preventative measure.
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