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Old 12-06-2009, 05:02 PM   #1
Taken' Time
1978 25' Caravanner
2001 31' Land Yacht
Palm Bay , Florida
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Posts: 6
Engineered Wood Floor Got Wet...

I have a 1986 Sovereign with the chip-board floor. On each side of the couch it has gotten wet and is desolving.

Has anyone faced this before? I would apprecate any "lessons learned."

How do I go about relacing it? Must I replace with this stuff or can I use PT plywood of the same thickness?

How far into "good flooring " do I go? Since this was one single piece, are there supports under it for fastening?

This is my first post, and I can use any advice I can get. I know the first step is to find the source of the water, and I am working on that. The next part, replacement, seems huge, but I hope posisible. Or is this one where I should call in a pro?


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Old 12-06-2009, 05:20 PM   #2
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Grand Junction , Colorado
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Don't replace with the same subfloor—sounds like it's OSB (oriented strand board). Once it gets wet, as you now know, it dissolves. Airstream (when it uses plywood) uses one grade below marine grade; marine grade would be better.

Can you do it? Depends on your skills and whether you are willing and able to learn new skills. It's an opportunity to buy new tools too. There are lots of threads on floor replacement—check them out.


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Old 12-06-2009, 05:27 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Softtalk View Post
...I know the first step is to find the source of the water, and I am working on that.

The next part, replacement, seems huge, but I hope posisible. Or is this one where I should call in a pro?...
welcome aboard (pun intended)

2nd step is pull the sofa and peel the carpet back.

depending on how much is rotted and your skills/pocket book,

diy OR hire a fix.

100s of threads here on floor replacements,

here's ONE 2 get you started...

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 12-06-2009, 05:34 PM   #4
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You'll need to cut back to the last support or you will have a weak spot where the two materials meet. The floor will also flex somewhat weakening the joint if not over a support. You should be able to see the line where the existing is attached. You can also attach a lathing strip underneath and attach to that, but I would recommend going to the support.

Definitely dont use OSB. Marine grade is the way to go....

Do you know where the water is coming from?

Can you attach a pic, it might help

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Old 12-06-2009, 07:03 PM   #5
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My 86 did the same thing. We replaced the OSB with marine ply from the front wall back to just aft the door. Scribe the curve and you are on your way. The hardest part was locating the proper fasteners to go into the steel frame (well, getting the old ones out wasn't exactly a cake walk).

You'll need to replace the insulation while the floor is open -- once it gets that wet it starts growing things...

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Old 12-06-2009, 09:29 PM   #6
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Our '86 did the same thing too. This was a job for the hubby. He cut the rotten pieces to about 6" past where it was soft. He then cut a piece of marine plywood to fit in the hole. He kind of whittled away the edges so they fit in the channel along the edge of the trailer. This is called a "c" channel. Before he put the fitted piece in place, he screwed two or three small boards under the hole from the top. This was so there would be something to screw the fitted piece to once it was in. (I know, it sounds confusing, but it's pretty simple). He then slathered the lower piece with gorilla glue & fitted the upper piece to it & screwed it in. Of course, we had to take the couch & carpet out to do this stuff.
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:01 AM   #7
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Floor replacement

We were at the factory (Jackson Center, Ohio) last Summer. There were several units there for floor replacement secondary to water damage. As a rule, the water damage was broader than the owners had anticipated and the floor replacement required removal and reinstallation of various pieces of cabinetry. The repairs took several days, in some cases, at considerable expense. If you are not an experienced woodworker, take it to a pro.

Once you have a solid plywood base, you can finish the project with commercially available, pre-finished flooring. I just completed covering our Safari's floor (undamaged) for cosmetic reasons. I used Bruce "click and lock" flooring available at Lowe's or Home Depot. It looks and feels great and was fairly easy to install and trim out...see my posting on this forum for pictures. Be aware that the thickness of you finished flooring will alter the height of brackets for things like your dining table. If you are a woodworker, you will have the opportunity to replace and upgrade things like cabinets, table, etc.

Good luck!
Dick and Claire Wiklund
North Falmouth, Massachusetts
"Judgement is based on experience and experience is based on poor judgement"
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:04 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Alwhisman View Post
... The floor will also flex somewhat weakening the joint if not over a support. You should be able to see the line where the existing is attached. You can also attach a lathing strip underneath and attach to that, but I would recommend going to the support...

In my experience I have found the opposite to be true. A splice made between supports, with a good sized doubler GLUED and screwed to the backside makes for a flatter joint. The flexing of the wood near a joint on a support causes a peak at the joint, quite noticable in my trailer.

Others may have better luck splicing on the support, I'm just relaying my results.

Hi Ho Silver RV! Vernon, Sarah, Mac the Border Collie -
A honkin' long 34' named AlumaTherapy
and a 26' '63 Overlander, Dolly
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