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Old 09-16-2003, 08:59 PM   #1
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Carpet Replacement with wood

We have for two weeks in a row, experienced a "soaking wet" carpet in our Safari. Apparently, our yard is sloped in the back, so that the A/S lists down hill at the galley side, leaving a target for rain into the fridge vents, travelling downward under the fridge, above the storage cabinet, but onto the rug. This is critical to us as my wife has asthma and sinus problems, so even though the A/S is only two weeks old, we must stop mildew potential. So, of course I have been hairdrying and venting the galley area, and would like to find a nice hardwood laminate, like Bruce flooring that would match the oak color of the formica and oak trim in our Safari. Has anyone done this? Is it a complicated problem? What is under the carpet, plywood? Can I use a paste adhesive without problems? It would like nice, and we can put an area rug on the wood flooring once completed.

Any suggestions appreciated.

PS I am planning on buying silver velcro to outline both fridge louvres on the outside and "capping" each with clear, but heavy plastic or canvass.....for times when the fridge is "off" obviously.

Roger
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Old 09-16-2003, 09:41 PM   #2
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Welcome Roger & Nancy!

Sorry to hear of your leak troubles, you may want to try a "lift" under the wheels on the low side of your trailer, like the yellow Lego-type blocks...it may help.

With regards to removing the carpet & replacing it with wood, several people here on the Forum have done exactly that. You may want to perform a "search" using the keywords "wood flooring", "laminate flooring" and/or "Pergo".

Enjoy!

Shari
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Old 09-16-2003, 09:56 PM   #3
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Thumbs up Shari

thanks shari, will do. pergo is ugly and very synthetic, but has flexability and maybe they have a good color and pattern grain match to the airstream oak. I will check. thanks

propping up the trailer is not feasible yet. I am going to pull up trees to make a pull through on the side of my house for later use. but for now, I will velcro a makeshift cover for the vents to stop the leakage and seepage.

roger
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Old 09-17-2003, 07:06 AM   #4
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There are many makers of laminate flooring other than Pergo. And more patterns and textures than can be imagined. I would not suggest the kinds that need to be glued together, however. Also, take into account the weight of any flooring material as it will reduce your useful load.

There are also threads on cork flooring. Many people seem to be very pleased with it.

Mark
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Old 09-17-2003, 07:49 AM   #5
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"Pergo is______" anything in that blank automatically creates an incorrect statement. its like saying "campers suck". well, SOME campers do, others don't. Pergo manufactures many different lines of flooring....there isn't any one "pergo". Ford makes the most popular vehicle of all time, the F-150...and they also made the Edsel.

Anyway, the point is that there are cheaper, less realistic versions of pergo, and there are better, more expensive ones, too. Look at my photo album to see one of their current "cheaper" lines. (still looks pretty darned good, imo...picked it primarily because of the color..matches the cabinets.). I put a different line in my house, and I swear it looks a heck of a lot more like real oak than anything that airstream has put in their late model trailers. Pergo is only one of many laminate flooring manufacturers. The quality of all of them is getting better and better all the time. The "floating" nature of this type of laminate floor is well suited to trailers, because everything in a trailer "moves" as it bounces down the highway, as well as from temperature extremes. anything glued down to the plywood subfloor is likely to buckle at some point. (this is why A/S installs carpet!). You can get away w/ a glue-down tile type product if you make sure that you don't glue anything across any seams in the plywood subfloor. (make sure that seams in the tile align w/ seams in the subfloor).
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Old 09-17-2003, 08:23 AM   #6
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Hi Roger;

I have replaced carpeting in two Airstreams so far with good results. Both times I have used oak parquet, one glued down and one with self sticking foam which was much easier. Both looked beautiful and was easily installed without filling in the rough plywood subfloor. That being said, I must admit it is not a very practical surface for a camper. Tiny bits of gravel and sand are constantly tracked in and scratch the floor. I have become clumsy with age and frequently drop things that dent the wood. If I were to do it again I would use a laminate flooring. I saw some Pergo in a ceramic tile-like pattern that looked very interesting. I dont believe the oak or laminate would weigh much more than the carpet it replaces, if any. In 3 years of use I have had no problems with either trailer as far as flexing, cracking, etc.

Good luck on your project.

Jerry
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Old 09-17-2003, 08:41 AM   #7
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I have a friend w/ a 71 safari who installed a parquet floor, and he's had buckling problems. However, he had the trailer completely gutted. he installed the finish floor first, then rebuilt cabinets and installed them on top of the floor, rather than fitting it around the cabinets. He also lives in ME, where it gets really really cold in the winter. Doesn't get that cold in Vegas, I'm going to guess "Where the trailer is going to live" is probably an important factor in deciding on flooring.

Oh, and I used 3 boxes of pergo in mine, weighing 30lbs each. So, 90 lbs, give or take. I don't know how much the carpet weighed, but it weighed something. I'd guess that I added maybe 50 lbs to the trailer...
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Old 09-17-2003, 09:51 AM   #8
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Laminate floor weight

I put laminate floor (Uniclic brand) into my Caravel and used two boxes. But because of the amount of cutting, a large portion was waste. The net from two boxes (40 sf) was 28 sf of installed floor. I didn't include the bathroom -- left that vinyl. So on a small trailer, the weight penalty of laminate is not all that much.

As far as looking synthetic, mine looks like mahogany and non-experts have to get down on their knees to tell the difference. I've yet to see a carpeting that anyone mistook for something natural ...

But Roger, the bigger issue is that laminate flooring isn't meant to get wet regularly. Changing the floor might make mildew easier to prevent/clean-up, but you'll have swapped one problem for another. Water will get under the new floor, and the laminate will fail if the leak continues. So stopping the leak is the key.

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Old 09-17-2003, 01:23 PM   #9
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Hmmm, yes, 35+ years of desert living have me oblivious to the hazards of cold and wet! An August in OR is as wet as I have been lately. Once had to deal with wet carpet from a water heater leak and that was quite enough.

Jerry
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Old 09-17-2003, 10:13 PM   #10
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Thumbs up Jerry, Chuck, and RL.....flooring

Thanks you all gave me wood for thought! (ooops I meant food)

roger

floater or foam back sounds great. I spent two hours on my knees drying out the wet spots tonight, and no smell of mildew present, thank God! I am almost positive the leaning of my parked trailer on my hilly sloped back yard gave the fridge louvres the opportunity to have excessive rain drops seeping in, down under the fridge, and onto the rug. I came up with a unique idea just tonight to stop this access through the louvres, at least for idle time on my sloped back yard. It is an aluminum baking tray, like the ones you put over sterno for a large baked ziti or sausage and peppers etc. Surprisingly the size is PERFECTO for the two louvred panels, and instead of the instant gratification of duck tape to hold it to the surface, I will purchase 16 running feet of industrial, gray colored, velcro. that way it can pop on and off, and the gray velcro will blend nicely. The cool part is that the bottom of each tray has an airstream shaped oval, so they look like a natural protrusion when looking flat dead on at them. Silvery, shiney, and very retro looking!

Thanks again fellow streamers!
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Old 09-27-2003, 03:06 AM   #11
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Luck Roger! F
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Old 09-28-2003, 08:21 PM   #12
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Smile leak source

well, after spending hours with a heater and hair dryer, getting the wet rug bone dry to prevent any mustiness from starting, we found that by moving our Safari to a more left right level position (side to side that is) no more fridge area seapage occurred. It was most likely the grilled back of the fridge that angled the rain water in and under the fridge, or left over freezer water, although we had wiped it dry, so I am almost certain it was external rains coming in due to the slant and tilt back giving rain a nice target. Since the repositioning, not a drop despite heavy rains. Thanks to all who responded to our post. I will make a winter project out of seeking a complimentary wood floor to the Safari "oak" look.

Roger and Nancy
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Old 12-02-2003, 05:29 PM   #13
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Rivet Wet rugs

Hello. I read your posts with interest. I have just finished a weekend with water water every where and wet carpet. We keep the Airstream at the beach in Western Washington and any water that goes down does not come out with any speed.

I am thinking about vinyl to replace the rug, but don't like the cold floor and have a habit of tripping on scatter rugs. the padding under the carpet kept the wood floor of the Trailer relatively dry. I am seriously thinking about pulling up the carpet, the padding, and the tack strips, drying the floor, replacing the padding with new padding that is double faced for a water barrier, and replacing the carpet itself with an industrial grade carpet like that used in offices. Instead of putting down tack strips under the edges of the carpet as is normal in carpet instalation I thought I would put strips of metal around the edges.

I am curious as to what you readers think of the idea. This would give me the option of simply pulling up the carpet if it gets wet at another time and taking it home to dry out.

One last thing. Someone told me there is a product you can buy that is a liquid sealer. He said you pour it onto your floors in the area where you see the beginings of a problem, ie. early rot, and the product makes the whole thing as solid as a rock. Does anyone know about this product or is this an old-husband's tale.

JLD
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Old 12-02-2003, 06:30 PM   #14
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"Rot Doctor" sells a 2 part epoxy, as does most Marine suppliers like Boaters World, and West Marine. You remove the rotted wood and replace it with epoxy.
Dick
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