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Old 01-12-2010, 09:38 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1990 29' Excella
Los Angeles , California
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 19
Unhappy I'm losing a rot battle, guys.

Finished part one of my laminate install. Check out pic below. Since I'm full-timing, I decided to do the front up through the kitchen and then attack the bath and bedroom. If you check another recent post of mine, you'll see I had a small water spot in the hall carpet. That was just the tip of the iceberg. Check out the pics below for what I discovered when i removed the carpet in the rear. The question now is where is this water coming from???? All my plumbing connections appear to be close to the worst of it but none of the joints are wet. From the pics below you can see the water appears to be worst where the rear bedroom meets the closet where all the plumbing is. I'll look for evidence for a small drip in the morning and post my results.

Also, I've discovered my floor under the toilet is pretty rotten. More of what I discovered (week-old bunny poops, girlfriend's makeup applicator wedge, and space heater included in photo) below. I've never done a floor patch and I'm not sure the best way to go about it.

One method seems to be to cut out all the rotten wood from brace to brace, and attach the patch to the brace. The other method seems to be what the repair manuals say: cut to good wood, not worrying about the metal joists and make a bridge with ply and wood glue around the edge of the hole, and then patch with ply.

Any suggestions on the best way to go about this in a center bath situation? I'd hate to go careening into the black tank fanny-first after this repair This will be my first floor patch ever, and I'll prolly have to poop pretty bad soon
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:41 PM   #2
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1990 29' Excella
Los Angeles , California
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Oh, and I live in Los Angeles, so I dunno about rain wreaking such havoc, unless that carpet underlay can store water for over a month healthily. Can it?

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Old 01-12-2010, 09:52 PM   #3
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If you patch instead of replacing the whole panel (which is quite an undertaking) get some Penetrating Epoxy Wood Treatment such as Rot Doctor. It won't fix the rot but will stop it and strengthen the surrounding wood. You still will have to get out the badly rotten stuff.
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:58 PM   #4
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1990 29' Excella
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Yeah, I'd rather not replace the whole panel, and besides, I can't seem to find anywhere that my subfloor is divided. It looks like one whole guy. I'd like to just hack away the rigor mortis and splice. Will wood glue and bracing actually work? And can I get away with ply as my brace or do I need stronger, like 2x4?
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:42 PM   #5
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Aurora , Colorado
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Your leaks could be coming from a variety of locations. If you have awnings, check the awning rails. The awning is like a big sail and stresses the rivets holding the rail to the body. Level your trailer fore and aft and use a self-leveling polyurethane caulk. I've used concrete crack caulk from Lowes or Home Depot. It comes in a light grey (without sand) and it will seep in between the rail and the body for a really good seal. Make sure you are level though, or it will flow off one end or the other.

But you've got to fix the leaks before the floor or your repairs will get wet too.

A new toilet will probably fix the leak there. Your carpet pad is the worst enemy your floor can have. The underpad is foam rubber with a plastic film backing. It holds water in place without evaporating and makes even a minor leak a major problem. Likewise, you are now installing a floating laminate flooring. It does the same thing, even worse.

A leak will sometimes show up on carpet as a wet spot, but laminate wicks the water underneath to areas far away from the leak, and holds it there just as well as the underlayment, but you won't see any water. The water is held under the laminate where it does incredible damage. And all the while you will be unaware, until its too late.

Once your leaks are under control let the wood OSB subfloor dry out. Use fans and portable heaters. The sooner it drys through and through the better, but you won't know what sections of subfloor are repairable until it's dried. OSB will let you know cause it will flake apart easily with a stiff putty knife. If at least half the thickness is still solid you can fill in with fiberglass matting and resin. Some smaller but soft areas can be repaired with just resin. OSB reacts differently than plywood to wood hardeners though. So, test a small area first.

Larger areas that are damaged all the way through will have to be replaced. To work on those areas will probably require removal of furniture. And the process can be a little complicated.
Out for coffee!
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:59 AM   #6
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1960 24' Tradewind
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The connection where the flexible hose coming off the water pump ties in with the polybutelene looks very corroded--could this be your leak source?
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:26 AM   #7
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Your other post just got a good reply on where leak action occurs on your model

If the floor at the toilet has lost its temper & softened user weight may have cracked the black tank if the threaded connectors transmitted the weight to the plastic tank.

To make that floor section load bearing again will mean spanning between frame & spars; spanning is made easier by some spars designed lower by the height of a joiner plate, those that aren't do not offer much steel surface to tie into.

IF your water damage is all on one side you are not bound to 48-inch segments, you could replace the outer 25% of trailer width in one sheet six or eight feet long to retain maximum strength in the bath area.

By the look of mildew growth the pump area is the culprit - though check your through-roof vent stacks for gasket condition and if the outside metal vent cover drain holes are clear.

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Old 01-13-2010, 01:25 PM   #8
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1990 29' Excella
Los Angeles , California
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i think my toilet base was loose all along. first, as a newbie, i didn't try to tighten it down, but i think it was rotting out when i bought this thing. the ole terlit was verging on rocking chair. now i know why.

i decided to just hack out the rotten subfloor and replace it. since i'd never done this, i was obviously pretty nervous about chopping into my floor, but i cut out a little piece so i could see what vital organs were beneath. sure enough, the gray and black tanks are close at hand. one false move, and i'm up s**t creek, literally i'm waiting on a friend's circular saw to do the operation, and when i get it all done i'll post results.

wish me luck.
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:42 PM   #9
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I don’t see where anyone has really answered your question regarding how to patch the floor. Use the Cut to good wood and the plywood spline method. I think that will make quite a strong patch. If you end up cutting back to a framing member anyway, then you can attach the new plywood floor to the frame. But the plywood spline method will be quite adequate. No need to use 2x4’s. Use ĺ inch plywood, preferably an exterior grade. A good quality wood glue, like Gorilla Glue or a similar product will hold it all together. Coarse threaded stainless deck screws will keep it all in place until the glue sets up.

Use plywood and not OSB for the splines. I’d use plywood for the patch as well if you can match the thickness of the OSB.

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Old 01-13-2010, 05:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Minno View Post
[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]I donít see where anyone has really answered your question regarding how to patch the floor. Use the Cut to good wood and the plywood spline method.

I don't think I have a problem - yet = but following this thread with interest to learn just in case.

I want to understand what you mean by "spline method." I would interpret that to mean that after you have cut back the floor to good 3/4 wood, that you would use some sort of a slot cutting bit and cut a horizontal groove along the centreline of the cross-section. You would then make up your repair patch with a corresponding slot and then use some sort of thin material to make a spline that would fit the two slots and glue everything.

Is that the spline method? if so, what sort of dimensions and what material would typically be used as the spline itself?

Might it be equally good to use a router to cut a step - maybe an inch or
so wide by half the floor thickness deep - in the top of the good floor and a corresponding step in the patch piece to make a sort of half lap joint that you could secure with screws and glue?

Just trying to learn! .............. Brian.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:53 PM   #11
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Austin , Texas
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Check your bumper.

Not sure about your model. But water can come in from the rear bumper if there is not a good seal under the rub rail. Just a warning.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:14 PM   #12
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1990 29' Excella
Los Angeles , California
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you guys are all awesome. thanks for the responses. chris, thanks for the tip. i'l post some pics of the process soon, but here's what i did so far:

1. poked around for good wood
2. cursed and screamed at my floor
3. stared for a super long time
4. thought about my future, near and far
5. drilled a hole big enough to get my jigsaw in and cut myself a triangle to give myself a visual of the innards. realized that the black and gray tanks are literally an inch under the floorboard.
6. located a circular saw and was meticulous about the depth of cut.
7. realized that the circular saw was way too cumbersome to successfully cut my hole in the tiny toilet area.
8. cursed and screamed at the floor
9. stared at it for a super long time
10. ditched the circular saw for my jigsaw and cut the lines while floating the jigsaw an inch off the floor so as to not poke the black tank. this was total surgery.
11. cleaned it all out with the wet/dry vac
12. cut a 1/2" x 3" piece of pine and wedged it under the floorboard with some wood glue and pinned with a deck screw.

all in all, my hole doesn't look like a pro rectangle, but i'll trace the hole and get the best snug fit i can muster. i'm now prepared to be braced on both sides. one, with my pine board and two, with a preexisting metal rib. i'm feeling more confident now. i grabbed good plywood, not osb, same thickness, and will cut it out tomorrow when i get home and the glue has had some time to dry. then i'm going to fill the cracks, reassemble, and take a nice long doodoo.

more to come on this trial by fire.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:46 PM   #13
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1990 29' Excella
Los Angeles , California
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i think i found that giant leak. i'll know for sure tomorrow evening because i dried it out just now, but i think the t-fitting behind my water pump (see picture) is leaking verrry slowly. i guess over the course of eons it becomes a great lake when you're not paying attention. we shall see.
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:06 AM   #14
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1990 29' Excella
Los Angeles , California
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busted, i just got it on film trying to drip on the floor under the closet. it's the t-fitting with the flexi hose to the pump. question is should i replace everything at that spot or just assume it's the flexi and the hose clamps that are the culprit?

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patch, rot, subfloor, toilet, leaks

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