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Old 01-26-2024, 05:57 PM   #1
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1976 Argosy 28
Sherman Oaks , California
Join Date: Jan 2024
Posts: 4
Help! Argosy subfloor water damage

Hello! I'm doing some renovations on a 76 Argosy and noticed some water damage after moving the bed. The camper spent most of its time in California with less rain. I've since driven it to NJ where it's getting a lot more wet.

I think the water is coming from the belly pan where some seams need caulked. I've been waiting until we have some consecutive dry days.

The circled areas are the damp spots. The other water stained areas are dry and I've never noticed them getting damp (so far).

Any advice on how to proceed? Just dry out and caulk / monitor? At what point is the water damage too bad and needs replaced? I've also seen some wood rot restorer products. This is my first airstream and I'm living in it full-time! Hoping to keep it in good shape
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Old 01-26-2024, 11:47 PM   #2
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1969 18' Caravel
Greenville , whereEverIroam
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 1,412
Images: 20
Congrats on your Argosy. Condolences on the subfloor rot.

Real quick, you should check out the entire sub forum here on floor issues; it is completely comprehensive on whatever issue you are having. Take an hour and read some of the threads, search, become more informed -- because, for whatever good news it is, floor rot is a common problem in AS trailers, and many have tackled the issue in a variety of ways.

A few thoughts:

For a 70s vintage trailer to have the original floor intact is increasingly rare; probably due to spending most of its life in a dry environment.

Yes, you might be able to get by for now with some drying out and chemical injections, see the sub-forum for more detailed posts. But yes, you will need to find the source of the water intrusion and stop it, because otherwise the problem will only deteriorate your floor further.

Replacing the sub floor, or sections of it is also possible. It's not easy, but it's doable, and there are many, many others that have done it or paid to have it done. If you decide to go this route, make sure to do it right because the sub floor is important to the structural integrity of the entire shell. The threads in the sub forum will give lots of detail on this.

Lots of folks here to give advice, encouragement, ideas, etc. so as you get a better handle on your situation, you can ask more specific questions that will arise once you peruse the sub floor forum. Best Wishes!
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Old 01-27-2024, 07:14 AM   #3
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1976 Argosy 28
Sherman Oaks , California
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Great, thanks! I'll take a deep dive reading
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Old 01-27-2024, 09:53 AM   #4
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1976 Argosy 24
1961 28' Ambassador
1968 26' Overlander
Lakewood , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 408
Welcome to the forums. We enjoyed our time with our '76 Argosy. Looking at your pic it's hard to tell if it's the front or rear of the trailer. Maybe you have a rear bed, mid bath unit. Whichever, the water is probably not coming up from the belly pan, everything above the floor level should be suspect however. One of the worse leaks in our Argosy had been the short hose between the fresh water fill and the tank which was right under the front window, your trailer may be quite different. On that year trailer a real problem area is where the vent pipes come through the roof, there are rubber gaskets in there that need to be replaced and the whole thing resealed. Really there are so many possibilities that it's hard to pin down if not actively leaking and leaks can travel a long way behind ceiling and wall panels. A few more general pics might really help.
Good luck, Mark D
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Old 01-27-2024, 12:27 PM   #5
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,320
The typical places for the floor to rot are behind the refrigerator, at the front door, and underneath every window and hatch. The vent pipes will leak as well. Check every seal on every window, door and hatch. If they haven't been changed out in the last 50 years, then they are probably way overdue.

You should check the entire perimeter of the floor to figure out how much rot and leakage you are dealing with, and then decide a path forward. Most trailers this age are due for a full subfloor replacement, but it really depends on how wet of an environment they have lived in.

good luck!
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Old 02-24-2024, 10:07 AM   #6
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1976 Argosy 28
Sherman Oaks , California
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Thanks everyone! I went through removing other perimeter floor tiles. Lots of time with Captain tolleys and caulking. Sealing up around exterior lights and the rub rail really helped. Still getting some small water seeping in around the battery but I believe I have the fix for it. The vent above the fridge also needs some work. Having fun! Definitely encouraging that I'm seeing less leaks as time goes on
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