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Old 08-23-2019, 11:32 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panamerican View Post
Can someone please remind me why Airstream still does not install composite floors (like the did in some of the Argosy line) or at the VERY least use marine grade plywood that would last longer than 5-10 years....oh yea and properly caulk and seal the RV would be helpful too.


Hey Panamerican, I agree with your suggestions. The concept of continuous improvement is pretty basic for manufacturing companies focused on quality. Marine grade plywood would be a good start.

I wish people that are critical of suggestions for improvement would move to a third world country. They would love it!
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:14 PM   #22
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Subfloor Repair

I had significant sub floor repairs done at Jackson center and the cost was less than $10,000. The work was done about 4 years ago. I don't remember the exact cost because I had other work done as well. Total cost was $10,000. The extra work included a new vinyl floor and a new tank monitoring system. Since the rotted area is so small I would try and repair it myself.
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:27 PM   #23
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Patch it. What they want to charge for a RE-do is criminal. We had to patch two areas in our Bambi when we owned it. Everything bolted to the floor removed (cabinets, dinette, fridge, everything!), patches done, and all replaced with new sheet vinyl overlay. Granted it was a 19’ trailer, but the total was only $4,000., work done at a local RV shop.
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:30 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by coltnkat View Post
We've owned our AS for 4 months now and have been full time for a month. Three weeks ago we discovered a soft spot near a wall in the bedroom. That's week one for full timing (if you're keeping track). We pulled up the vinyl and discovered the floor was rotted and clearly had been for some time. The really bad damage is about the size of a basketball and is roughly circular. We took it to Bretz RV in Missoula and they claimed to have fixed the leak. We're hopeful of that, but I'm not holding my breath. Nothing against Bretz, they really went above and beyond for us.

Now we're at the point where we're looking into subfloor replacements/patching, and I'm at a loss. The AS dealer in Scottsdale said to take it back to the mothership and that it would cost upwards of $20k. Oasis RV in Tucson said they'd likely patch it. Not sure yet on the cost. I don't want this thing done halfway, but I also don't want to sink (no pun intended) an additional $20k into the RV + a trip to Ohio. My wife and I work and live full time in the AS. Has anyone dealt with this before? I'll share some pictures in a few. Any thoughts, words of advice, or encouragement are greatly appreciated.

-Chase
Look for a product called "Git Rot" which I think I bought on Amazon. It was developed for the boat industry. I used it on a soft spot in the rear of my vintage rig a couple of years ago and it is holding up well. it is a little time consuming to apply but inexpensive and effective.
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:48 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by PKI View Post
The floor material is a cost issue - it works if kept dry. The leak thing is maintenance. The coach is tested in a water booth at the factory and any leaks identified are fixed.

It is up to the owner to either use their warranty to correct the leaks that sneak through and maintain the seals after the warranty has expired.

Now we all buy this coach. It's up to us to keep the coach dry. If you can't sign up for that, don't buy an Airstream or do a full Reno and replace the floor when you buy it. It's our money and our choice. No one makes anyoney buy an Airstream.

Now, tell all the newbies and suggest a visit to the sealant thread as well. Pat

I'm not sure I agree. As a customer, I expect a coach that I pay nearly $100k+ for not to leak. These coaches, a good number of them leak right off the factory floor and what if you don't see it for a year or two, or after it's out of warranty?



It goes well beyond a simple maint issue....and I also wouldn't agree that given the extreme cost of these that doing even a basic marine plywood floor would be out of the question, maybe composite, but marine plywood? Cost difference is almost inconsequential if done at the time of construction. I mean seriously, in this day and age, who buys/sells a mostly alum trailer with an unprotected wood floor, knowing the water testing tunnel can miss leaks?
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:11 PM   #26
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coltnkat => Go with the repair at Oasis. Richard does good work, and they are reasonable. I've had repairs done from accident damage (don't ask me how I did that) and Richard did a first class repair job. At the end of the day, he moved my AS to the front parking lot and gave me water & electric hookups so that I could overnight.
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:50 PM   #27
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The first thing to do is reseal all side and roof joints. Sealtec the trailer to insure no more leaks and repair the floor. Do the reseal every 5 years. Patching the floor will be fine if you add enough cleats, overlap, screws and glue to make the floor whole again. Cosa Board is the ultimate answer if you have to do the whole thing. You can work it just like wood. Expensive, but minimal compared to labor costs.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:44 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panamerican View Post
-- snip -- who buys/sells a mostly alum trailer with an unprotected wood floor, knowing the water testing tunnel can miss leaks?
Sounds like you do not want an AS. It is not for everyone. The complete design is dated. The skin is riveted, not welded or glued. There is a lot to improve.

Would I like to see AS embrace CI and EE to achieve a much improved product. You bet. However, I'm not going to buy out Thor and redesign the coach/mfg process, start up a competitor or rebuild a coach to my spec. That leaves keeping up the maintenance and enjoying the adventure.

Rltports - not moving to a third world country. Shame on you for suggesting that. Note complaining about the AS spec, just makes you a victim. If you don't like it, don't buy it, change it or maintain it.

Pat
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:01 PM   #29
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Sorry about your leak and soft floor.

Here is what I would do.
- find the leak and repair it.
- remove as much of the vinyl as necessary to expose all the damaged plywood.
- put down some 3/16” underpayment over the damaged plywood to prevent further damage when you walk on it. Just lay the underpayment on top.
- buy an inexpensive moisture meter. You can get one from Amazon for about $30.
- test the damaged area over time to verify that the leak indeed has been found and repaired.
- either strengthen the damaged floor with marine epoxy or cut out the damaged plywood and replace it. This is a judgment call. Patching the floor is not really very hard to do if you have an oscillating saw.
- install a new floor covering of your choice.
- enjoy your Airstream with your new floor.
- pm me if you have any questions or would like to talk about it.

Good luck, Dan
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:02 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by coltnkat View Post
Thanks for the replies all. I'm attaching some images of the damage.
My trailer had similar floor rot, maybe worse. I repaired it with myself using epoxy. The epoxy I used did not have terrible fumes. So I was able to work inside with just fans blowing.
If you are handy, you can take care of this yourself.

You can see what I did here>> http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...xy-108608.html
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Old 08-28-2019, 10:13 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coltnkat View Post
We've owned our AS for 4 months now and have been full time for a month. Three weeks ago we discovered a soft spot near a wall in the bedroom. That's week one for full timing (if you're keeping track). We pulled up the vinyl and discovered the floor was rotted and clearly had been for some time. The really bad damage is about the size of a basketball and is roughly circular. We took it to Bretz RV in Missoula and they claimed to have fixed the leak. We're hopeful of that, but I'm not holding my breath. Nothing against Bretz, they really went above and beyond for us.

.
Now we're at the point where we're looking into subfloor replacements/patching, and I'm at a loss. The AS dealer in Scottsdale said to take it back to the mothership and that it would cost upwards of $20k. Oasis RV in Tucson said they'd likely patch it. Not sure yet on the cost. I don't want this thing done halfway, but I also don't want to sink (no pun intended) an additional $20k into the RV + a trip to Ohio. My wife and I work and live full time in the AS. Has anyone dealt with this before? I'll share some pictures in a few. Any thoughts, words of advice, or encouragement are greatly appreciated.

-Chase

We have a 2000 34' Excella and it had water damage under armrest of front couch. The factory repaired(patched) the area and did a very good job. Not much needed to be removed only couch and narrow storage cabinet with fold out table. Not sure what cost was for just that but not much. We had our new to us Airstream checked over and installed a 2nd A/C. Total was less than $3000.

I did check all around perimeter of outer walls for evidence of other leaks and found a small spot in back. Took out twin beds and cabinets and sealed floor at least 1 foot from wall edge with a special epoxy sealer used to repair and restore old wood boats. No water will penetrate after it cures. I also replaced all storage door gaskets and made sure there was no light seen around outer edges when light was on inside. Water can come in anywhere, run down the inside of walls, fill the aluminum track that is screwed down to wood floor and sleep out in a different location than where you think water might be coming in from outside. I ended up resealing around all marker lights, seams where outside panels are riveted together, rub rails and windows. I check frequently whenever there is rain to make sure the floors are still dry.

Our trailer originally had carpet throughout entire trailer including under walls and all cabinets. It also had a very heavy duty plastic vinyl covering it which was cut off where carpet could be seen. If water leaked anywhere that the plastic covered carpet it would not dry out and get a moldy mildew smell and contribute to rot. I got rid of all carpet that i could get to and replaced with solid bamboo flooring.
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Old 08-28-2019, 11:19 AM   #32
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We had ours fixed at the factory

A year ago we had a soft spot develop a few feet from the refrigerator. Turns out the refrigerator compartment had a leak. Took it to Airstream Factory Service. They fixed the leak and replaced a section of the sub-floor that was rotted. We did not have them replace the vinyl. Cost was roughly $4000.00. We put in a new floor of vinyl planking throughout.
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Old 08-28-2019, 01:42 PM   #33
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'08 27FB, wet and failed plywood along the back. Pulled up the flooring since I was doing a remodel anyway, drilled small holes from top, pulled back belly pan, epoxied water resistant and otherwise treated 1/4" ply to the old flooring from below, went topside and poured several applications of heavily cut epoxy into the holes and on the floor, worked it in with a putty knife, redrilled holes as necessary. Rock solid.


Your area looks larger than mine. You also should take the furniture out rather than try to work around it. Plan on new flooring in the area of the bedroom at least. Carpet it, your feet will love the warmth. Don't glue it down so you can inspect the floor later.



Others will take as much as you are willing to spend.
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Old 08-28-2019, 04:53 PM   #34
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Good advice from OTRA15. After you decide what to do with the subfloor, I would recommend vinyl plank flooring to replace your existing vinyl. It has a wide temperature range and is easy to work with. A DIY project that can be done in sections. For some areas there epoxies that can strengthen moderately soft areas. Google Rot Doctor.
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Old 08-29-2019, 06:39 AM   #35
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Soft spot

Seems to me a patch will do it. $20K? That's probably a new floor. I once had a soft floor in an RV and after a little bit of research, I was brought to a Youtube that showed someone putting in a patch in their floor (DIY mind you). Pretty simple procedure. Peel back floor (two cuts with a box knife), cut enough out of the floor out so that there are enough visible floor joists to screw corners of your patch. The corners of the patch will be screwed to the floor joists. Replace vinyl. Again... this was a recap of a Youtube video. So when you bring it to an RV place... the patch work is not a $20K job. More like an 4-8 hour job at the shop rate.
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Old 08-29-2019, 06:43 AM   #36
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Floor issues

2011 Unit isn't that about time to be looking at the new models....all bright and shiny?

Truthfully this isn't a big problem all the talk about $10,000 to $20,000 to fix it.....just cut it out with an oscillating saw screw in some side supports and glue and screw in some plywood.
Put down commercial carpet squares shouldn't take more than a day or two for even a first timer. Oooh soft and warm on your feet much better.....

Most times it's just the fear that gets hold of people because they haven't done something before....

This is minor stuff guys your just over thinking it....

Oh and for you "I paid over $100,000 for this thing it shouldn't break people" this was clearly covered in your manual when you bought the thing, what part of the warning "Check for and fix leaks right away" didn't you fully understand?

All trailers are made from camel poop and glitter...built to last a lunchtime

(Isn't it about time to take our fat old retired butts to the all you can eat buffet?)
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Old 08-29-2019, 07:41 AM   #37
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Rotting plywood floors are inevitable in every Airstream Thor makes, it's just a matter of time. It's a known issue, and has been for decades

I completely agree with those who think Thor should install a better subfloor. Thor owns another line of trailers that use aluminum floors, so they have the knowledge base to do this. They could alternatively use coosa board, a proven composite product used in the marine industry that is just as strong and easy to work with as plywood, but is water proof, critter proof, mold resistant AND 30% lighter than plywood. The added cost is a fraction of the total cost of new trailer.

To those that believe that maintaining the trailer so it does not leak will prevent the floor from rotting, they are overlooking all the many other ways that water will find it's way to the subfloor and eventually cause softening and rot.

For instance, the well-known rear bumper design that channels rain water into the rear sub floor.

Or the flex in the trailer when leveling that causes the poorly designed door seals to allow water to intrude and rot the floor by the door, another common problem area well-documented on this forum.

Or the condensation that forms on the single pane windows, and even on the walls especially over winter in cooler climes.

Or spills that our ubiquitous dogs cause on a daily basis.

Or clogged AC drain hoses that cause water to spill out inside the skins and rot the floor that way.

Or small hot water, water pump, water tank, toilet and plumbing issues that can lead to standing water that will rot the floor.

Or water intrusion around the wheel wells when traveling in rainy weather on wet roads.

Or the water damage commonly found under refrigerators.

Melting snow and ice up north over winter where some of us live and store our trailers outside, where the trailers were theoretically designed to be, and evidently expand and contract with the temperature.

Or even rain that blows in from a vent or window you left open (and don't deny this has ever happened to you)

So, take the time to annually silkaflex all the seams and rivets and vents and windows and marker lights and tail lights and door handles and locks and antenna and solar and AC and evertthing else on the roof, plus do a bi-annual wax and after all that effort, your floor will still rot. Because AS uses plywood.

Camping is by nature a wet and moist and damp endeavor. It's way past time Thor uses some sense and fix this design issue with proven technology that solves it.
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