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Old 12-01-2007, 09:59 AM   #1
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damp/wet carpet

hello,

need your knowledge about my '03 bambi floor. very heavy rains last night in socal. this morning my carpet in front of my fridge was wet. no leaks that i could find any where else and no water penetration but the outside compartment for the fridge had rain water and dirt in it. the compartment was the out side bottom compartment that has the door on it that opens. fridge had not been used in months. is it possible that rain water entered my trailer from the outside bottom compartment? what can i expect for the wood under neath? the GFI had been tripped and has the fridge on that circute.

been looking for a reason to pull the carpet and replace with something else. should i do this now to check the floor?

thanks for your help.

david
socal
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Old 12-01-2007, 01:32 PM   #2
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You will find a lot of discussion about such a leak in http://www.airforums.com/forums/f198...eak-30093.html .

After you read through that thread, you will have all kinds of ideas about water at that location!
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Old 12-01-2007, 02:17 PM   #3
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For starters I'd thoroughly inspect the upper and lower vents for anything obvious.

I'd suggest visiting the trailer during a storm and see what you can see. It may turn out to be quite obvious. I had a class B that leaked water around the fridge, and I caulked everything I could think of and it still leaked. When I visited it in the rain, it was obvious in minute- it was leaking in through the upper vent louvers-the slats were not angled properly to keep the water out. I doubt the Airstream has that exact problem, but if you look up through the lower compartment you may see something.

Sometimes a hose test doesn't exactly simulate mother nature.
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Old 12-01-2007, 04:53 PM   #4
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damp carpet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim A.
You will find a lot of discussion about such a leak in http://www.airforums.com/forums/f198...eak-30093.html .

After you read through that thread, you will have all kinds of ideas about water at that location!
thanks tim. i will check it out.

david,
socal
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Old 12-01-2007, 05:34 PM   #5
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First thing to do is get a wet vac and vacuum the rug as much as you can. YOU have to get the water off the wooden floor. If let go the floor will soften as it is partical board and will not take water.

Once you have vacuumed till nothing comes up geta fan on the rug.
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Old 12-01-2007, 06:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhe9
been looking for a reason to pull the carpet and replace with something else. should i do this now to check the floor?
david socal
Do it now, IMHO. Carpet is soft and warm on the feet but is the source of many floor rot, bacteria and mildew problems in travel trailers. It’s very nice in a full-time home but do you really want it in a camper? Whether you use Pergo or any other water-impermeable floor covering, it can be dried from leaks, spills or whatever. You can always use throw rugs or bunny slippers for tootsie comfort. I don't think many people use Bambis for full-timing.
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Old 12-01-2007, 08:10 PM   #7
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wet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rog0525
Do it now, IMHO. Carpet is soft and warm on the feet but is the source of many floor rot, bacteria and mildew problems in travel trailers. Its very nice in a full-time home but do you really want it in a camper? Whether you use Pergo or any other water-impermeable floor covering, it can be dried from leaks, spills or whatever. You can always use throw rugs or bunny slippers for tootsie comfort. I don't think many people use Bambis for full-timing.
well i went and cut the carpet out today. i could see that the water was coming in from under the fridge. of course the carpet is still under the fridge as i used a carpet knife and cut along the cabnets etc. plywood is damp to about two inches out from the fridge but the rest is fine. not particle board but actual plywood which suprised me. i thought there would be particle board. also had some dampness under the propane heater so must have come in the vents of both the fridge and exhaust vent for the heater.

would like to put down armstrong self stick tile. do i need to pull the staples out prior to putting down the tile, what about the screws? any cement or filler in the holes left if i pull out the staples?

thanks,
david
socal
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Old 12-01-2007, 08:28 PM   #8
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My advice, including after fixing any leaks, of course, would be to install floor covering which will not allow the water to seep through to the underlying plywood. Find the source of the leaks, correct and forego new carpeting. Seal the floor as if it were a sea yacht.
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Old 12-01-2007, 08:51 PM   #9
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If you decide to go with the Armstrong (or any other) self-stick tile check the "fine print" very carefully! Many brands state that you should not let the tile temperature get below 55 degrees at any time after installation. If you don't plan to keep your trailer above 55 degrees forevermore do not use it. How do I know for sure? I did, I didn't, and I was very sorry! All the edges curled up and the rest was extremely hard to remove. No moisture was involved as the trailer was stored indoors from well before installation until removal.

Any imperfections in the subfloor will eventually "telegraph" through vinyl and should be filled smooth.

There is a lot of good information on flooring here on the forums. Take your time and check it out.
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Old 12-03-2007, 02:39 PM   #10
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dhe9

Further to our PMs here are the pictures of what I did on our 02 Bambi with a similar leak. Sorry for the quality of the pictures we use the trailer well into the fall season and the weather rarely co-operates for an exterior end-of-season cleaning and waxing.

1) The drip rail was fashioned from typical aluminum drip rail you will find at your RV store - I had to buy a whole length which in the end worked out - I wasted a couple pieces learning how to cut and shape the ends (the aluminum cracked easily). The picture doesn't do it justice but it polished up nicely with 0000 steel wool (before installation) and fits in very well with the trailers looks. It's fastened in place with Olympic rivets. Without this any water running down the trailer drained directly through the top of the vent into the refrigerator compartment.

2) The bottom of both vent door frames also provided free access to the frig compartment to any water that collected at the bottom of the frame. Neither were caulked. In particular the joint in the bottom vent had a large cutout which I pieced back in. Both are now caulked.

3) The drain from the frig compartment into the wheel well had a large bead of caulk around it effectively damming any water pooled in the frig compartment - leaving only one place for it to go - into the trailer.

4) The caulking you see here is only a small part of what I did - I pulled the frig and ran a heavy bead across the compartment floor which I hoped would create a bit of a dam not allowing any pooled water access to the interior of the trailer - in hindsight I think I could have placed that bead farther inside the compartment. While the frig was out I also removed and recaulked the corners of the compartment floor the caulking along the bed side of the compartment had pulled away from the compartment wall (but I dont think this contributed to any leaking as none of the water damage was in this area).

5) You can only see a small portion of the foam strip between the frig and the compartment wall - this is the original strip which does not entirely fill the space and (I speculate) allows road spray to enter deep into the compartment. Next spring I am going to see if I can replace it. I'm going to try a friction fit using the foam insulating tubes that are manufactured to wrap around water pipes.

In terms of outcomes there is a tremendous difference in the amount of water that now collects inside the compartment there used to be heavy pooling after every rain (or snow melt) now there is no pooling at all. The carpet has remained dry except for one all day drive through a heavy rain and Im guessing that replacing the foam strips will deal with that.

Hope this is helpful.

Good luck,



Jay

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Old 12-03-2007, 06:36 PM   #11
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Vinyl Tile will Work

You can do vinyl tile in a trailer - you just have to prep it right to keep it in place. That applies whether your subjecting it to heat or cold.

The reason self stick tile fails most of the time is improper installation. What happens with the tile is that the adhesive on the back is absorbed when it's hot, into the wood subfloor. First use floor leveler to even out any large defects in the wood - grooves - bolt heads, etc. Then seal it withh Jasco Sealer Adhesive Primer (Home Depot) one or two coats - just slop it on with a sponge or sponge mop. It will soak in and dry without being sticky.

Snap a center line down the floor and spray it with hair spray so it will stay in place - or use a straight line and a permanent marker. Start with a small area and apply vinyl floor adhesive with a cheap paint brush. Don't try to get it all smooth - you want it to be rough. Wait 30 minutes and start laying your tile. Roll the new tiles with a hand flooring roller. Then move on to the next section. For small cracks around the edges you can use a matching caulk or special colored floor caulk from the wood flooring section of the store. The best time to apply the floor is when your going to walk on it right away.

Make sure you butt the edges of the tiles tightly against each other. Result should be a nice easy to clean floor that didn't cost you a fortune.
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:50 PM   #12
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You will need to have the leaked fixed ASAP.
Airstream floors and water do not mix.
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:25 PM   #13
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leaks

all good info and thanks for the photos ranger jay. after i know i have this leak fixed i think i will go with a pergo floor.

david
socal
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Old 12-03-2007, 10:01 PM   #14
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Pergo is beautiful. Was just looking at the installation instructions. They say you need to seal all edges of the floor so no water can get under it - including any cut out if you have any pipes, vents or lines going through the floor. They other thing they warn about is "closed house syndrome" where you get high humidity levels for long periods. It is a great looking floor in a trailer. Good luck with your leak and flooring project. Post pics when you get done if you get a chance.
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