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Jemac 01-15-2005 07:37 PM

Bambi Flood
I had my 2002 19' Bambi trailer parked in an RV park and had secured it to leave it for couple of days. I turned the water off at the outside park RV faucet and drained the tanks. Since the park was located where the temperature would get down below freezing at night, I left a small heater on and drained the inside lines and left the faucets open. Well, here is the bummer, someone turned on the water and the trailer flooded big time. I am frantically pulling out the inside furniture and pulling up the soaked carpet and padding.

Are there any secrets other than pulling out everything and letting it dry out? What can I expect below the wood floor? Do I need to pull up the wood floor?

The frantic work is keeping me from setting down and crying.

j54mark 01-15-2005 08:03 PM

The wood floor underneath the carpet is integral to the constuction of the coach and cannot be "pulled up". It is vital - absolutely vital that you get to every inch of the floor, regardless of what must be removed, and let it dry out comletely. I am not terribly familiar with the Bambi, but it seems to me the problem areas here are going to be under the floor of the galley cabinets and possibly under shower. Is there an access panel under the shower that you can open?

I should think a steady, even flow of air would be the key to getting everything dry. The furnace would be great, but a small fan, perhaps even an oscillating fan would help. Ideally you would want to air out underneath the floor, but this is more of a problem as the belly pan would have to be removed.

Someone may have a better thought on this, but I believe if it were mine I would remove any vinyl flooring. Maybe. I guess I'd have to see it and how it was installed.

You are likely to have problems with any wood or wood composition materials that contact the floor - partitions, cabinets, etc. This is an excellent place for mildew and mold to form and of course they may swell, split, and delaminate there.

Good luck,


eljay 01-15-2005 08:04 PM

Oooooh Noooo! I can't imagine! Can't offer advice but am offering a sympathetic ear...

overlander63 01-15-2005 08:05 PM


Originally Posted by Jemac
I am frantically pulling out the inside furniture and pulling up the soaked carpet and padding.

Are there any secrets other than pulling out everything and letting it dry out? What can I expect below the wood floor? Do I need to pull up the wood floor?

First, welcome to the forums!
Now, depending on how long the trailer was wet, I don't think you would have to toss anything in the trash, the stuff that comes in our trailers is supposed to be durable enough to take a LITTLE water and abuse. If the carpet was sopping wet for a long period of time you will most likely be better off replacing it. The floor should dry out again and be all right, especially after removing carpet. Just watch for separating layers in the plywood, it will be evident by a lifting, or wavy look to the upper layer of wood. Anything made out of particle board and mounted on the floor will also have to go. If it is going to be below freezing for a while, I would suggest running the heat at a moderate setting, with a vent or window open slightly to allow water vapor to escape.
If you think you should check under the floor, it would probably be easier to undo a portion of the belly pan than remove the floor. If you do this, a good-sized commercial fan blowing up into the belly pan should help dry the area out.
Now, a kind of late question, since you already have a bunch of stuff out of the trailer, what about insurance? Does it cover flooding? Sometimes it does, since this is a travel trailer, and not a permanent residence. If you get in over your head, there are fire/flood cleanup companies that can get things dried out without causing further damage. Check your yellow pages.
Good luck with it.

j54mark 01-15-2005 08:13 PM


Originally Posted by argosy20
, what about insurance? Does it cover flooding? Sometimes it does, since this is a travel trailer, and not a permanent residence.

Also, the situation you describe (someone turning on water in freezing conditions to an rv) may be considered vandalism and be therefor covered even if normally damage from a burst pipe was not.


LLB21 01-15-2005 08:49 PM

Contact your insurance company ASAP. My guess is that you will be covered since you winterized your trailer and someone turned the water on.

Safari Tim 01-15-2005 11:49 PM

Run the trailer jack up all the way and let it drain a while then run it down all the way.

Sometimes carpet cleaners/installers have vaccum machines that can suck the water out of the carpet and save it. The pad will have to be replaced.

Rent one of those high velocity turbo fans, the carpet guys have one, that will cirulate the air and dry out the trailer. Lots of times these are used on homes that have been flooded for what ever reason. Looks like this.

Good luck. Sorry this happened. time disconnect the hose.

dscluchfc 01-16-2005 12:39 AM

call the insurance a dehumidifier....turn on the furnace....strip the carpet out...

CanoeStream 01-16-2005 08:09 AM

Ditto on the dehumidifier. It will dry out areas that the fan won't reach.

Jemac 01-16-2005 09:12 AM

From the responses, it sounds like the best thing to do is to get the carpet up and then use blowers and heaters and let the trailer thoroughly dry out. I will be contacting my insurance company, but my initial effort is to do as much as I can to minimize any damage. My trailer is family.

Jemac 01-16-2005 09:14 AM

Is there insulation under the wood floor that I should be worried about?

dmac 01-16-2005 09:51 AM

I vaguely remember something about some Bambi's not having insulation under the floor... if true this will be an advantage now! Please someone else verify or dismiss this. See this thread

The cold weather will be a help in this case... less chance of mold.

I have had success with the following when I had water in the basement of my house:

1. Use a strong wet/dry vac to get up all the water you can.
2. Pull up the carpet. For the little bit of carpet in your small trailer you might as well throw it away and get new. The carpet goes under the cabinates. You may wish to loosen the cabinates enough to get the carpet out from underneath.
3. Mix up a weak bleach/water solution and mist the wet areas. This will help prevent mold.
4. Use the heater, a dehumidifier, and fans for about a week. Empty the dehumidifier water collection tub daily.

I agree that this may be covered by insurance.

Good luck!

mswartz 01-16-2005 10:19 AM

drying out Bambi

I had a minor flood in my 2000 Bambi two years ago after blowing off the freshwater filling pipe with a too-tight fill tube. Probably had 10 gallons in the forward end of the trailer. It was fall and cold but not freezing. Fortunately I found it immediately.

The first thing I did was to get a wet/dry vac to pick up all the water I could from the rug. Then I got two 42 quarts/day dehumidifiers (one rented, one mine) along with a 14-inch fan set to force air circulation down and toward the cabinets. I also put in a hygrometer (taylor wet/dry bulb type) to see how the dryout was doing.

I didn't lift the carpet, and I didn't remove the cabinets but did remove all the drawers, and removed the deck of the bed frame to allow circulation.

After 20 hours of the dehumidifiers running the Bambi was over 85F inside, but humidity as below 10%. Of course, that was the air humidity, and did not truly reflect how damp the wood of the floor was. I returned the rented dehumidifier, but left mine running. I then borrowed a lumber moisture meter from my local lumbermill and took several measurements, pushing the points through the carpet into the wood deck below, and found that the deck was showing the wood was not dry enough (over 18% MC- moisture content), although the air was less than 10% rel humidity.

I let the one remaining dehumidifier run for another four days set to the dryest setting it had. Six days after the flood, the moisture content of the floor deck was "very dry" (less than 6%MC) in all locations I tested with the air at 10%RH., and I then turned off the dehumidifier.

For the next few days I checked the floor with the moisture meter every morning and afternoon, and while the floor gained moisture slightly, it seemed to be in equilibrium with the air humidity and so I concluded that I had done all I could.

OVer that six day period I removed 12 gallons of water as measured by the quarts of water dumped from the dehumidifier drip tanks.

You can find more on wood moisture content at the site:

This year I had the opportunity to pull up some carpeting in various locations. The wood showed some water stains, and the decking screws mounting the deck to the frame showed some rusting but not to the point of failure. There has not been any evidence of mold.

Hope this helps and I wish you the best in this difficulty.

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