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Old 06-10-2012, 11:01 AM   #29
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dkottum, there's Flor. Not sure about breathable, but it's industrial strength carpet, and you can replace a square any time. *Any* carpet as the main flooring in something mean for camping just seems like trouble to me, though.

I hear a lot of talk about the potential of nyloboard, but has anyone actually installed it and travelled for a while with it? I haven't found a single post about that. I'd be afraid to use it until I hear that there aren't any unexpected consequences from real life use. If there are some threads from those who've actually tried it, I'd really appreciate being pointed in that direction.
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:18 PM   #30
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The thread was started to explore a better floor material. Supposing why airstream uses plywood is not really relevant. They apparently still do not choose to use the highest grade plywood available or to treat it in a way that might make it have a longer service life.

It seems unlikely that anyone has used Nylosheet on their trailer as it is a relatively new product. Ken and I are exploring its feasibility as a substitute for plywood. If you go to their website and look at the photos from their tests submerging it and other composite sheet goods in water you might be as impressed as I am.

The testing results and specifications for all of these materials are readily available for review on their websites or the web in general. These can be compared to the plywood you are planning to use to get an understanding of how they are similar and different.

Ken, the HDPE sheet cost that I posted was just an example, the first one that popped up when I searched. Thinner sheets are cheaper. If thinner would be acceptable, then cost will go down. The furniture I referred to uses about 1/2" thick sheet and it is extremely strong. I just do not know how it goes into the edge at the walls in the Airstream yet.

One place you have all seen HDPE sheet is in newer commercial bathroom stalls.

Here is another link to an HDPE sheet supplier with additional info:

SHEETS AND APPLICATIONS

Two sheets of thinner HDPE or Nylocore with a sheet of high density XPS insulation between them is another possible solution that would give you some insulation as well. Kind of like a thin SIP.

I have used Warmboard in a home. » Warmboard-R » Warmboard Radiant Subfloor » Archive They now have a panel that is 13/16" thick and comes in 2'x4' pieces. It is plywood that has an aluminum surface with imbedded grooves for radiant tubing. There are now on-demand hot water/space heating units that are designed for RV's that could be used to supply the hot water if you wanted a heated floor!

PrecisionTemp.com: For Recreational Vehicles and Boats
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:57 PM   #31
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Bunk', present subfloor is 5/8", but they have used different thicknesses at different times.

The subfloor seems to do 2 things—one is to keep you and the fridge and bed from falling through to the ground. The other is structural—to keep the shell from collapsing inward. Could the structural part be accomplished another way—stronger cross members and a stiffer lower section of shell? Then the subfloor could rest on the supports and not have to hold the shell apart, but just support the interior and people. This is the way houses work—it is the joists that keep the walls from collapsing inward, not the subfloor (it does help, but is not primary). Maybe a thinner, lighter, waterproof material could be used for the subfloor if Airstream's equivalent of joists are strengthened.

I've never taken one of these things apart, but the connection between the shell, frame and subfloor seem to be difficult to visualize and deal with when replacement is necessary. Can't this be simplified? If the subfloor just rested on the frame, it would be simpler. Maybe it would be easier to isolate water between the skins (leaks and condensation) and provide weep holes.

The edges of the subfloor are very vulnerable to water. Removable flooring will tell you about water on the surface, but not whether it is infiltrating into the edges (or bottom) and rotting from the middle outward or downward.

Nyloboard looks pretty good and I seem to remember it is a lot cheaper than HDPE. Their website indicates it is used in highly stressed boat parts, but are these the same stresses a trailer faces?

Gene
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:20 PM   #32
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Different treatments for putting in a new floor and for sealing an old one—

For many years contractors told me Thompson's was a terrible product, but CR recently rated it very highly. But I think you get a more impervious surface with an exterior urethane (spar urethane).
.................................................. .................


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While I will admit that we live in a fairly dry climate, I would like to offer this testimonial.

We moved here in the summer of 1993. One of the first things we did was purchase a very inexpensive wooden picnic table kit. Before I assembled it, I coated all sides and ends of all the parts liberally with Thompson's Water Seal. In spite of the fact that it is in the shade most of the time and the fact that is gets thoroughly soaked each time the sprinkler system runs, It is still 100 percent rot free including the bottom of the legs. I had originally hoped for it to last a couple summers.

Ken
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:48 PM   #33
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You might want to take a look at this thread, where Nyloboard is discussed:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...lts-88013.html
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:40 PM   #34
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Beckybillrae,

I just read the whole thread and so far I am still interested in the Nyloboard. Just have to wait and see if the factory contacts me or not. That was the main rub in the thread as I read it.

Thanks for the link, though!

Ken
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:01 PM   #35
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I suspect Airstream uses plywood because it suits the construction better than anything else. The floor rot happens when the water gets trapped under the vinyl and cannot dry out. I would like to see a selection of breathable carpet sections that could be removed for cleaning or inexpensively replaced, no vinyl. Easy to inspect for leaks.

doug k


Doug,

For the inside?

I used this in the trunk,storage compartments and the bottom of the tongue tool compartment.

Bob
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:30 PM   #36
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Why go to all that bother Bob? Just leave the bare subfloor where it isn't visible. You can coat it with a spar urethane.

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Old 06-11-2012, 03:18 PM   #37
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This thread started as a discussion about sub-floor not floor finish, FYI.

I heard from Nyloboard. Their 3/4" thick material is 2.5lbs. per square foot. So, a 4x8 sheet weighs 80 lbs.

Seems like there are at least two other threads with previous discussions and experiences.

-Mark
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:47 PM   #38
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I am also looking at composite solutions for floor decking. I have sent email (but no reply yet) to this manufacturer of aluminum panels with aluminum and nylon honeycomb interiors. Looks like you can get panel with aluminum on one side and stainless on other which would hopefully eliminate galvonic reactions.
Honeycomb Panel, Aluminum Honeycomb Panel, Aluminum Honeycomb Core Manufacturers and Aluminum Corrugated Panel, Nanocore Panel, Aluminum Honeycomb Core
With the caveat that I am not a PE, I believe the 4mm thick alum clad alum core panels would be all you would need for subfloor. My math a little rusty but believe 4'x8' sheet of 4mm panel weigh somewhere around 22lbs.
Remember please, I know next to nothing about restoring Airstreams.
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:11 PM   #39
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Why go to all that bother Bob? Just leave the bare subfloor where it isn't visible. You can coat it with a spar urethane.

Gene
Gene,

Carpets......gone now.

That would have only protected it on the top surface, the moisture we had was all soaking thru from the end grain. The leeks are sealed the floor still dry, and we are now armed with a moisture meter. SFSG.

Mark,

How do you plan to "finish" your nilo-bored?

Bob
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:11 PM   #40
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Will these aluminum boards transmit heat or cold? Is the core some insulator? The tanks are heated by a duct from the furnace or heat strips, but how much heat comes through the floor–probably not much, but just a thought. Would the use of a reflective, thin metal surface reduce or increase heat in the tanks.

If they are 4 mm thick (.15"), and you are replacing 5/8" or 3/4" and you need to make up the space somehow or things will have to be built up to fit where they are supposed to.

And last, everything has a span where it deflects too much. You have to compare this product with plywood and see if there is a difference.

If I had to replace the subfloor, I think wood is still a great product and can be sealed very well. We know it works in this application except for water issues and they can be solved for a reasonable time. It isn't that hard to do a better job than Airstream.

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Old 06-11-2012, 10:39 PM   #41
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Gene, they claim that both the aluminum and nylon core panel have both insulating and vibration dampening properties. I am not an engineer but the specs seem to be less deflection than 5/8 ply even at 4mm thickness. 15/16 cork flooring ought to make up the difference.
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:03 AM   #42
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Why not aluminum sheet?

This may have been discussed before, but I was wondering why plain aluminum sheet would not work for a subfloor. Here is a table I put together with data from the internet comparing weight and span for plywood and aluminum sheet at different thicknesses.
Al ply floor table.pdf
The sheet is pretty inexpensive and would only add modestly to the weight.
It would seem that 3/16" would be comparable to 5/8 in a lot of ways.
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