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Old 02-27-2012, 08:13 AM   #1
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Ruggedjeep3's Avatar
1967 17' Caravel
whitmore lake , Michigan
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 4
Lightbulb Caravel Floor rot insulation debate

Ok so first I want to say hello everyone as a newbie to the site and airstreaming. My first AS was purchased a month ago from a friend. After removing the blue shag carpet that was installed sometime in the 70's I found a few small places with ant infestations and moisture. Nothing too bad. I had taken the carpet out in the first place because it seemed to hold moisture and rot the bottoms of the furniture. After deciding to put in a maple hardwood I decided to gut the furniture to put the floor under it. Here starts the fun. Of course after wrestling out a bunch of 45 year old screws I find the fun of the airstream floor. ROT All OVER! The whole front of the trailer under the water bladder was soaked. The floor under the electrical transfer switch was gone. I obviously have some serious leak detecting to do, but i am writing this to throw out an idea of how to minimize the rot. After finishing for the night I read other threads on rot for a few hours last night. This is obviously an AS problem and the weakest link of the camper that I have found so far. Here is the debate. Insulation vs no insulation. The insulation constantly dripping condensate onto the floor provides a moist environment. If there was no insulation in the cavity you would still have an air gap in the Caravel to slow heat transfer. I just wonder how well the insulation is even working if it is full of moisture. Insulation needs to be dry in order to work.
Is there anyone out there that has gone without insulation in their older AS and what have they found are the positives and negatives of doing such?
Is there a temperature that appears to be too cold to live in it without a really good heater? (which mine does not have) The original 6k BTU furnace works so that is all I use. In my head I would rather have no insulation than wet saturated insulation that is going to promote rot on my floor. I will be trying to make the next floor bullet proof with epoxy and some weep holes in the C-channel. Keep in mind I do live in Michigan and I have not really decided that this is only going to be used in warm weather. Am I an idiot for thinking that no insulation might be the way to go? I hate things that are constant problems that don't seem to have a great solution. I almost think Styrofoam would be better than Fiberglass since it wont absorb water. and condensation would drip right off it and roll down the wall to the floor.
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