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Old 05-04-2009, 10:09 AM   #15
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Bolerama.... I would definitly follow-up and get Airstream to resolve the problem for you. We had the vinyl floor replaced in our 2007 25' due to a water leak and it is a major job, as everything on the floor of the trailer was removed from the trailer and then replaced after the new floor was installed. The flooring is not glued down to the plywood as some folks have suggested. It is stapled down to the plywood floor along its entire perimeter and around any access holes made in the floor. It is also secured to the plywood flooring where some of the cabinets are attached to the flooring. I would be very careful standing on the floor in its raised position as the vinyl flooring is very thin and probably will not react well if your walking on it with the hope of getting the raised sections down. My guess is that Airstream got a bad batch of flooring from their supplier. I hope your able to get it resoved and be able to enjoy your trailer.
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:49 PM   #16
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In one of our SOB trailers we used self stick tiles - worked fine, went throught the winters without lifting. In another SOB trailer we had a glued down vinyl floor we replaced with another glued down floor (had to replace some subfloor due to rot), and had no problem afterward. We don't get quite as cold as Canada, but close.
Maybe AS got a bad batch? We were planning on putting in vinyl as part of our renovation.....
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:11 AM   #17
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Hi Minno, we put peel and stick in one of our little fiberglass egg trailers and it was a good choice. It continues to survive our winters after 10+ years. In our other fiberglass trailer, we laid a cork floating floor. I highly recommend this for your reno. It is easy to cut (laminate is way harder to cut) and clicks together nicely. Plus it resists mildew, and best of all it is really warm underfoot. If our Airstream continues to give us troubles, we'll consider installing cork in there.

Today is Saturday, so we're going out to talk to our dealer about the floor again. Hopefully they'll have some advice.
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Old 05-09-2009, 12:31 PM   #18
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Thanks Bolerama. We'll have to look at cork. Hadn't thought about that one. We've been talking about possibly putting masonite on top of the the subfloor before we lay vinyl, too, since Masonite is very stable and doesn't do the movement thing that plywood does. We looked at new AS's a few weeks ago, and saw one with vinyl buckling by the door. So, it's not just you...
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:43 PM   #19
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Flooring Update

We went to see the service manager at our dealership today. She said that she has been in contact with Airstream since many others have the same problem. Airstream said that the floor must stay unglued. The service manager assured us that the floor will flatten (hmmm....). Quite simply the word is that that's the way it is. It isn't a warranty issue. We'll let you all know when the floor flattens. I guess this is something we'll experience every spring. I just hope isn't doesn't take too long to flatten. Summers are short here!
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:34 PM   #20
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The vinyl floor is glued only around the perimeter. The buckling will probably not go away. Vinyl contracts considerably in the cold, but because the perimeter was anchored by furniture and glue it stretched. Now that it has warmed up the material expands, but remains stretched, thus the puckering. In Colorado there has been some similar problems, but due to altitude instead of extreme cold. The vinyl is laid at the lower altitude of Ohio and even though there is only a small amount of air under it (toward the middle of the floor - where there is no glue) when the trailer is brought thousands of feet higher to Colorado that air pocket expands. The result is a big bubble in the middle. If left like that long enough the vinyl becomes stretched and will no lay flat again. Owners here have had their entire vinyl floors replaced. All furniture is removed to do this, but under warranty.
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:46 PM   #21
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Just to clarify, as one post said that glue is not used. Glue is used in spots where there is no furniture to hold it down, such as in front of the entry door. How else could it be? All vinyl flooring instructions specify using glue though. Vinyl flooring is not designed to float (although I do remember seeing a new very expensive type that is very heavy and thick that doesn't need glue, but that isn't what Airstream uses.) Airstream may have its reasons for not gluing down every inch, but I'd be speculating to say what those reasons are. As for me, I glued down every inch of my Armstrong vinyl floor in my Globetrotter 5 years ago and have had no problems. But don't take my word for it. Read the instructions that come from the manufacturer.
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:05 AM   #22
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bolerama, your post is very interesting since we were just at JC and the floor was newly glued where it expanded which is not what you were told by your dealer. That was right in front of the bathroom cabinet.

Since we live in Colorado, Forrest's post about altitude is also interesting. If it happens to us again, I hope it's soon before the warranty is up.

I can't see how the vinyl would easily contract once it's expanded. It's the kind of substance that will stretch, but it would almost impossible to make it return although summer heating might help a bit. I imagine they don't glue the whole floor because putting down some daubs is less labor than doing it right.

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Old 05-24-2009, 07:03 PM   #23
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Update

It is now near the end of May and the floor has flattened somewhat, but there are still some waves. I'll keep you all posted as the summer progresses. We went on our first camping trip last weekend, and that activity (big dog sleeps there) might have helped out. I'll keep putting my big dog's bed over the worst areas...he's needs to start earning his keep, so flattening the floor will be his job! Now, what to do with the fluffy dog. She needs a job too, and she's not too good at dusting the floor with her fuzzy tail.
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:36 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post
The simple answer is yes, however that's the simple answer....there are some authorized Airstream Service Centers/Dealers that I wouldn't take my niece's Big Wheel to....... while other dealers/service centers are top notch....the trick is to find a good one that can do some higher end type stuff and do it well. The factory is one such place I am aware of, some place in Texas, I think it's Roger something Airstream, Airstream of Arkansas, Ace Fogdall in Iowa, Inland RV in Corona, CA...there are perhaps a handful I have left out and for that I aplogize, but as you can see, of the quasi large dealer/service network, a handful isn't really all that big.
Roger Williams RV is in Weatherford Texas, near Ft. Worth. They put disc breaks on my 2008 International, and I would trust them to do most anything to an Airstream.

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Old 05-24-2009, 08:40 PM   #25
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We also have had similar vinyl flooring issues. Our floor buckled for about 6 feet running from in front of the closet down the hall towards the kitchen and a small lifting next to the door close to the cabinets. I covered up the buckle down the hall with a rug runner 2X8 foot, and unless one is looking for flooring flaws, this one is covered OK. All of this does not mean that I like it, but we covered it up.Did any one consider that the trailer might be shrinking when cold, and expanding when warm, encouraging dissimilar expansion and compression of its parts? If the vinyl does not shrink much when cold, but the trailer does, this may explain the buckling when cold and the relaxing of the vinyl when in warm temperature when the trailer expands. Our Classic’s flooring buckles run from front to back and not across (curb to roadside).The PEX plumbing is installed to accommodate expansion and contraction, perhaps the flooring is also designed to move.Steve
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Old 05-24-2009, 08:57 PM   #26
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buckled vinyl flooring

The temp is 80F inside and out of our trailer, and has been all day and the time is 7:00PM. I just walked down and took a look at the vinyl floor, and the buckles are relaxed some, but I can find them easily by pressing the flooring with my fingers. We have carpet strips on both buckles, and if one is looking for the flaws, they can be found. Steve
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:36 AM   #27
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Vinyl not installed properly!

Without checking all the threads, it seems that a lot of the reported buckles run front to back. In ours, the vinyl floor stops at the bedroom where there's carpeting—any expansion in that direction goes under the transition piece. But side to side there's plenty of furniture and partitions to lock down the floor when it expands (or the trailer shrinks).

When you put down a floor properly, you allow a space all around the walls for expansion, and then put trim down at the junction between wall and floor. Even with a tile floor, you are supposed to leave some space for expansion—even hard floor tile can expand. In the trailer, they just put down the flooring and then put the walls on top of it. Of course there will be problems, and it seems worse the colder the climate. The cold thing doesn't make sense to me, but it doesn't matter.

The problem is the vinyl is improperly installed not allowing for expansion. I've installed flooring and subfloors in a couple of houses, and you always leave expansion spaces, including in the subfloor. Even plywood can expand, though very little. Somehow I missed the obvious. When our buckle was repaired, the tech cut a little off the vinyl in front of the bathroom cabinet and then put quarter round trim over it. Problem solved.

However, in the corridor, there may be no space for quarter round because of all the doors and how close they are to the floor. You can buy pine trim about 1/4" thick and 1 1/2" deep (not sure that is exactly right dimension, but close) and rip it to smaller pieces and nail it down with brads to cover a space you create by cutting the vinyl at the edge to leave an expansion space. Nail the brads to the subfloor, not the vinyl. It's tricky, but you don't want the vinyl pushing the trim into the wall; you want the vinyl to slide under the trim. Better yet, if under warranty, have the dealer call in a floor guy to do it because floor guys would understand this.

It's easier to lay the vinyl first and put everything on top of it, but it doesn't work because floors aren't done that way in the real world where things expand and contract.

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Old 06-27-2009, 07:17 PM   #28
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Update and pictures

It is June 27, and we just returned from a trip to the Saskatchewan badlands. The near 100F temps on one day did wonders for our floor. It has mainly flattened in the entrance and kitchen area, but the area under the dinette has only a bit of improvement. That's ok since we don't walk there and won't trip over it.
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