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Old 08-22-2019, 12:51 PM   #1
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Subfloor Rotted -- What now? 2011 Airstream International 27 FB

We've owned our AS for 4 months now and have been full time for a month. Three weeks ago we discovered a soft spot near a wall in the bedroom. That's week one for full timing (if you're keeping track). We pulled up the vinyl and discovered the floor was rotted and clearly had been for some time. The really bad damage is about the size of a basketball and is roughly circular. We took it to Bretz RV in Missoula and they claimed to have fixed the leak. We're hopeful of that, but I'm not holding my breath. Nothing against Bretz, they really went above and beyond for us.

Now we're at the point where we're looking into subfloor replacements/patching, and I'm at a loss. The AS dealer in Scottsdale said to take it back to the mothership and that it would cost upwards of $20k. Oasis RV in Tucson said they'd likely patch it. Not sure yet on the cost. I don't want this thing done halfway, but I also don't want to sink (no pun intended) an additional $20k into the RV + a trip to Ohio. My wife and I work and live full time in the AS. Has anyone dealt with this before? I'll share some pictures in a few. Any thoughts, words of advice, or encouragement are greatly appreciated.

-Chase
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:23 PM   #2
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I cannot really help, but I was talking with some owners at our recent rally and several have had your exact issue. The floor was patched, not replaced. However, what you decide to do about the vinyl is also an issue. One person I know refused to have a vinyl patch and replaced the entire floor with an upgraded, classier look. No idea of the price, but it is not a lot of vinyl or other flooring.
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Old 08-22-2019, 02:01 PM   #3
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The Long Long Honeymoon folks had Vinnie do theirs. His shop is near Sacramento now.

I would patch. Cover the vinyl with a throw rug and enjoy your life. Reno when all good and cash/time allows.

Condolences for your issue. Leaks are the enemy of wooded structure. Pat
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Old 08-22-2019, 02:10 PM   #4
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Bummer! You need to do further exploration IMO.

Starting with the leak-fixing dealer's advice, a thorough understanding of the leak process is necessary. Was there only one leak, and where? Is there any other surface evidence of "the" leak?

Take an ice pick, or very small straight screwdriver, and see if you can stick it through the vinyl flooring and into the subfloor, in other nearby locations. Can you see the subfloor and identify its composition? If you look inside your exterior storage compartments, is there any subfloor visible, perhaps with its industry stamp identifying the thickness and composition?

Assuming you have removed the rotten parts, and can see the remaining subfloor, try sticking the ice pick/screwdriver sideways into the plies of the plywood. Does the rot continue horizontally in some of the plies?

Photos would help so other folks who know your model can offer other ideas.

If you can remove ALL the rot, patching is definitely an option with today's modern epoxies like the WEST boat-building system IMO.

Good luck,

Peter

PS -- Welcome to the forum! Sorry for your baptism by fire.

PS2 -- Good advice from Pat:

Quote:
Originally Posted by PKI View Post
. . .
I would patch. Cover the vinyl with a throw rug and enjoy your life. Reno when all good and cash/time allows.
. . .
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Old 08-22-2019, 02:11 PM   #5
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Agreed. A patch is fine. And when you get around to it, is when you get around to it.

May as well start reading up on sealing exterior. Rivers, seams, etc. Become conversant.
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Old 08-22-2019, 02:33 PM   #6
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I was at JC mothership in 2014, having a soft spot repaired. I had taken out the furniture in that end (front) to save a few dollars. I asked about replacement and our tech said the only way they do it is to remove all the furniture, lay down a new floor and put everything back. At $130 an hour I can see where that would be expensive.

Our linoleum wasn't too bad and the tech was able to clean it up very well. You can hardly see the stained area. I'm hoping they can do the same with the other end since we have a couple of soft spots back there.

If it were me, I would just patch, especially if I was going to keep the AS for a long time. With my luck, after spending a lot of money to replace it, I'd have another leak to contend with down the road. Just patch it, enjoy it.
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Old 08-22-2019, 03:26 PM   #7
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Agree with patchers.
Eventually, 10 year or more mark, you will want to renovate, redecorate, redo some of the interior. At THAT point, do a frame off and use coosa board, your great grandkids will appreciate it.
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Old 08-22-2019, 03:46 PM   #8
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I would let RV Renovator of Mesa AZ take a look at it. They remodeled our AS Classic and we are very happy with the workmanship, price, time it took, and we went to the trailer each week to watch the work. Call Jim and speak with him they are great
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Old 08-22-2019, 03:48 PM   #9
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From personal experience, I would stay clear of Oasis, in tucson! Terrible!
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Old 08-22-2019, 03:54 PM   #10
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This was our flooring [ATTACH][ATTACH]. After AS flooring cover removed, then new flooring installed (which is water proof).
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Old 08-22-2019, 04:47 PM   #11
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Thanks for the replies all. I'm attaching some images of the damage.
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Old 08-22-2019, 04:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Bummer! You need to do further exploration IMO.

Starting with the leak-fixing dealer's advice, a thorough understanding of the leak process is necessary. Was there only one leak, and where? Is there any other surface evidence of "the" leak?

Take an ice pick, or very small straight screwdriver, and see if you can stick it through the vinyl flooring and into the subfloor, in other nearby locations. Can you see the subfloor and identify its composition? If you look inside your exterior storage compartments, is there any subfloor visible, perhaps with its industry stamp identifying the thickness and composition?

Assuming you have removed the rotten parts, and can see the remaining subfloor, try sticking the ice pick/screwdriver sideways into the plies of the plywood. Does the rot continue horizontally in some of the plies?

Photos would help so other folks who know your model can offer other ideas.

If you can remove ALL the rot, patching is definitely an option with today's modern epoxies like the WEST boat-building system IMO.

Good luck,

Peter

PS -- Welcome to the forum! Sorry for your baptism by fire.

PS2 -- Good advice from Pat:
Bretz found multiple areas on that side that needed to be resealed. They started at the bottom and worked their way up, sealing and testing as they went.

I don't know about the type/make of the subfloor tho. I've been stabbing the hell out of the floor ever since we found the soft spot and it's driving my wife crazy--hopefully she doesn't turn the pick on me...hahaha.

We wanted to replace the flooring anyhow, so I guess we have our excuse (patch pending).
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Old 08-22-2019, 06:05 PM   #13
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Hi Coltnkat!,

Redirecting you a big thread in the forums ab out this with several people reporting in. Dropping you on the page where I tell my tale of woe for my 2008 FB. My wood was intact enough to use Cold Epoxy. So far, so good! Good luck! http://www.airforums.com/forums/f396...-56099-18.html
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Old 08-22-2019, 06:08 PM   #14
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Thanks, Chase, for the photos and details. In the immediate area, I would remove that bedside cabinet, all the trim at the wall/floor junction, and the flooring ASAP. You need to get a sense of how far the moisture got [all the dark staining]. If the subfloor can bear the weight of you standing on one foot, over the worst spot, then the damage may be limited to the top plies in the plywood [which is what it appears to be IMO]. Be careful with this weight test, however, you don't want to punch through the subfloor just yet.

Looks like you have a Queen bed in the front? Next . . . you could remove the mattress, unscrew the ply top of the bed platform, and lift that platform up as a unit, placing it on a saw horse at each corner. If I have guessed right on your layout, this will let you work under the bed and remove all the flooring including trim strips at the walls.

In my opinion, you need to expose as much subfloor as you can, in order to assess where this pony wants to run. If the dark staining, and any punky/rot spots go under the wall framing, this will open up a new can of worms. Good to know this ASAP.

Each day you can put the bed platform back on the floor, and sleep on it, if your full-timing requires that.

Possible saw horses which fold up and carry good weight IMO:

https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-...NsaWNrPXRydWU=

Guess I will stop here . . . lots of possible directions in which this pony can roam . . . not sure whether any of the above is possible just now for you.

You definitely need to take up some more flooring IMO . . . maybe wait on raising the bed for now? I guess the basic point is that you have the power to do more research, which will serve your decision-making well.

Good luck,

Peter

PS -- You do not need to Quote this post to maintain continuity . . . just put my name at the top.
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