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Old 05-02-2009, 08:50 PM   #1
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Vinyl Floor Buckling

Our Airstream survived its first winter. When we checked on it during the winter, we noticed the loose-lay vinyl floor buckling. We expected this and were impressed that it didn't crack as some cheaper floors do. The weather has finally warmed up and we expected it to lay down by now. We've been pushing it to the sides and stepping straight on it trying to encourage it to slip back under the furniture, but it hasn't budged. This seems to be common with new Airstreams up here. What can we do to promote its flattening? The dealer had no advice for us.
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Old 05-03-2009, 05:33 AM   #2
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Is the vinyl buckled all over or in one area?
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:10 AM   #3
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I have a 23 foot side bed, so there isn't much vinyl between the bed and bathroom, and that area is fine. The rest of our trailer (kitchen, entrance, table, etc) has buckled flooring. Our neighbours bought a 2008 model too and this spring they have the same problem. Their trailer is a 25 foot front bed. It has affected their whole trailer, except for the bedroom which is carpeted. The dealer (we dealt with the same one) told them it'll go down when the weather gets above freezing. It's been above that for a while now and it is still buckled. We have extremely cold winters here (it can reach -40F). There are even people who have businesses that go around and replace vinyl floors on SOBs that are still new and on the lots because their floors have cracked. Luckily our floor is very pliable, but we can't seem to encourage it to go back under the furniture. We hope we won't have to remove the screws and lift the sofa, dinette, and kitchen to get it to lay flat underneath. Hope you've heard of the same problem...
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:18 AM   #4
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This is the second floor issue I've heard in 3 days now, both fairly new trailers.

Here was the other:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...fix-50904.html

Though I don't have any answers as to why except somewhere there may be an installation problem (go figure!), I would contact your dealer and/or Airstream directly and send them pictures of it.

I would also highly recommend that you post your findings and pictures, including any follow up info of this to the 2008 model year quality thread as it is a great central location for all QC issues both good and not so good. That thread can be found here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...ity-31210.html
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:46 AM   #5
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If these Airstreams are still under warranty, won't the dealer repair/replace the flooring?
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:50 AM   #6
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The simple answer is yes, however that's the simple answer....there are some authorized Airstream Service Centers/Dealers that I wouldn't take my niece's Big Wheel to....... while other dealers/service centers are top notch....the trick is to find a good one that can do some higher end type stuff and do it well. The factory is one such place I am aware of, some place in Texas, I think it's Roger something Airstream, Airstream of Arkansas, Ace Fogdall in Iowa, Inland RV in Corona, CA...there are perhaps a handful I have left out and for that I aplogize, but as you can see, of the quasi large dealer/service network, a handful isn't really all that big.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:08 PM   #7
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Picture of buckling vinyl

Thanks Silvertwinkie. I will post in the forum area you suggested. I know it's probably covered under warranty, but as you implied, not all dealers are capable of handling it. I'm too afraid to take it in. The dealer here is new and has probably not done any warranty work yet. I am posting one picture and I'll post a couple others in the 2008 forum.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:31 PM   #8
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Wow!! I thought mine was bad you should send that picture to the warranty dept at Airstream. That's ridiculous. I would bring it to the factory in JC if you can.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:37 PM   #9
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I dont mean to hijack here, but I have been following several threads lately where quality of work in JC has been discussed and I have to ask- do these people not know about the economy? Do they not feel the slightest pressure to step up the quality control? Maybe I am naive, but I would be doing everything in the world to make customers happy right now.
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:01 PM   #10
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Hi bolerama.
My floor looks alot like yours at timers. By midsummer it seems to have settled down although it returns each winter. I was just down south where the winters don't get that cold and say at least 2 new trailers in a dealers lot that had the same issue.If you persue this and get any answers please post them.
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:43 PM   #11
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Wow! That's REALLY bad... I thought it'd be just a bump. Seeing how you're in Canada... are you close to the NW? I know it's a drive, but Airstream of Spokane could fix you up...

Seems like the vinyl wasn't glued down at all?
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Ms75Argosy View Post

Seems like the vinyl wasn't glued down at all?
Marc
If the flooring is glued to the subfloor, it could crack or tear the vinyl where the joints in the subfloor are. The subfloor moves more than you realize when the trailer is going down the road, and the pieces don't all move in the same direction at the same time.
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:07 AM   #13
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When the tech at JC fixed the floor in our bathroom, he told me he glued it. That says to me the floor does not float, but is glued (unless he didn't know that). I think the vinyl is too thin to float; flooring like Pergo is relatively thick and does float. If the vinyl and the subfloor expand and contract at different rates, I would think they have to be glued to prevent problems. Aren't the subfloor joints filled to prevent cracking? Can vinyl stretch and if so, how would it shrink, and how could subzero temps stretch it? If the subfloor contracts more than the vinyl I suppose the vinyl would have to go somewhere and the only direction is up, and then most of the time it would stay there unless you stand on it for a few weeks. Vinyl experts please explain this.

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Old 05-04-2009, 06:27 AM   #14
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Just wondering if people who have replaced floor with vinyl have had the same problem. Could it be a flaw in the supplier? Your picture made me realize this is a severe and dangerous problem. Maybe just painting my floor wasn't such a bad idea.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:09 AM   #15
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Bolerama.... I would definitly follow-up and get Airstream to resolve the problem for you. We had the vinyl floor replaced in our 2007 25' due to a water leak and it is a major job, as everything on the floor of the trailer was removed from the trailer and then replaced after the new floor was installed. The flooring is not glued down to the plywood as some folks have suggested. It is stapled down to the plywood floor along its entire perimeter and around any access holes made in the floor. It is also secured to the plywood flooring where some of the cabinets are attached to the flooring. I would be very careful standing on the floor in its raised position as the vinyl flooring is very thin and probably will not react well if your walking on it with the hope of getting the raised sections down. My guess is that Airstream got a bad batch of flooring from their supplier. I hope your able to get it resoved and be able to enjoy your trailer.
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:49 PM   #16
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In one of our SOB trailers we used self stick tiles - worked fine, went throught the winters without lifting. In another SOB trailer we had a glued down vinyl floor we replaced with another glued down floor (had to replace some subfloor due to rot), and had no problem afterward. We don't get quite as cold as Canada, but close.
Maybe AS got a bad batch? We were planning on putting in vinyl as part of our renovation.....
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:11 AM   #17
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Hi Minno, we put peel and stick in one of our little fiberglass egg trailers and it was a good choice. It continues to survive our winters after 10+ years. In our other fiberglass trailer, we laid a cork floating floor. I highly recommend this for your reno. It is easy to cut (laminate is way harder to cut) and clicks together nicely. Plus it resists mildew, and best of all it is really warm underfoot. If our Airstream continues to give us troubles, we'll consider installing cork in there.

Today is Saturday, so we're going out to talk to our dealer about the floor again. Hopefully they'll have some advice.
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:31 AM   #18
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Thanks Bolerama. We'll have to look at cork. Hadn't thought about that one. We've been talking about possibly putting masonite on top of the the subfloor before we lay vinyl, too, since Masonite is very stable and doesn't do the movement thing that plywood does. We looked at new AS's a few weeks ago, and saw one with vinyl buckling by the door. So, it's not just you...
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:43 PM   #19
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Flooring Update

We went to see the service manager at our dealership today. She said that she has been in contact with Airstream since many others have the same problem. Airstream said that the floor must stay unglued. The service manager assured us that the floor will flatten (hmmm....). Quite simply the word is that that's the way it is. It isn't a warranty issue. We'll let you all know when the floor flattens. I guess this is something we'll experience every spring. I just hope isn't doesn't take too long to flatten. Summers are short here!
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:34 PM   #20
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The vinyl floor is glued only around the perimeter. The buckling will probably not go away. Vinyl contracts considerably in the cold, but because the perimeter was anchored by furniture and glue it stretched. Now that it has warmed up the material expands, but remains stretched, thus the puckering. In Colorado there has been some similar problems, but due to altitude instead of extreme cold. The vinyl is laid at the lower altitude of Ohio and even though there is only a small amount of air under it (toward the middle of the floor - where there is no glue) when the trailer is brought thousands of feet higher to Colorado that air pocket expands. The result is a big bubble in the middle. If left like that long enough the vinyl becomes stretched and will no lay flat again. Owners here have had their entire vinyl floors replaced. All furniture is removed to do this, but under warranty.
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