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How to Repair or Replace RV & Camper Trailer Floors

Updated on March 25, 2016
Randy Godwin profile image

Randy is a lifelong lover of the outdoors and especially camping. This article is intended to help the RVer save money and time on repairs.

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Soft Spots on the Floor?

A soft spot in the floor of your RV— whether it's a motorhome, pop-up, or camper trailer— is something you simply cannot ignore. The soft spot usually means a leaking roof or perhaps plumbing problems, either now or at some time in the past. Either way, a repair project is in your near future.

But can a DIY owner handle an RV floor repair job? Of course you can, and I'll show you how, from start to finish.

Dutchman travel trailer with a damaged floor.
Dutchman travel trailer with a damaged floor.

Assessing the Damage

This Dutchman camper trailer had at least two previous owners and has been in the hands of the present owners for two years. Shortly after the purchase, soft spots were noticed in the kitchen area floor. These spots have gotten worse and have spread almost into the carpeted sitting area. The table base was screwed to the floor which was so soft the table was barely supported.

At some time in the past, there was a plumbing leak. It is suspected a waterline supplying the sink or water heater had ruptured and soaked the floor. This was probably due to freezing temperatures while the camper trailer was left with the water hooked up. Whatever the reason, it thoroughly soaked the particleboard used as a base for the floor covering. A look inside of the base cabinet revealed the original vinyl floor covering which had been replaced by vinyl stick-on tile.

This quick fix might have been satisfactory on some models, but not in this case. Particle board is notorious for falling apart if exposed to water. In fact, it can swell just from the moisture in the air over a long period of time.

Removing the Bad Flooring

Badly deteriorated floor.
Badly deteriorated floor.
Booth unscrewed from the wall and floor.
Booth unscrewed from the wall and floor.
Rotten wood and styrofoam removed.
Rotten wood and styrofoam removed.
Floor cleaned and ready for repair.
Floor cleaned and ready for repair.
Joining point between new and old flooring.
Joining point between new and old flooring.

How to Replace the Floor

Before the floor could be removed, the table and booth had to be dismantled and stored elsewhere. The position of each bench was carefully marked and measured to ensure proper position when replaced.

The bench with the back to the bar top contained electrical wires for the running light wires which were cut and would be spliced after the repair job was completed. The tiles pulled up easily, as the glue had deteriorated on the damp particleboard. After removing a section of particleboard with the reciprocating saw, it was easy to see what had occurred.

The only support in the floor consisted of a few 1 ½ inch square wood beams with Styrofoam in between them. Beneath this was only thin metal over a few sparsely-spaced steel support bracing. There was a steel beam under the booth/table area which had not been used for a wood beam floor joist. Very poor management of floor support in this design.

A reciprocating saw was used to cut the particleboard away from the walls and cabinets. Care is needed to keep from cutting through the outer sheet metal on the bottom. A floor heating ventran the length of the unit and was flattened by the weight of those walking on the soft floor. It was almost impossible to keep from cutting this aluminum vent during the floor removal but this is easy to repair.

Tip: Cutting a straight line into the area separating the sound wood from the bad will make matching the new wood edge easier.

The removal of the Styrofoam was the worst part of the job as it was glued to the metal covering and to the particleboard. A small scraper was used to remove the remnants and the whole area was vacuumed clean.

The stick-on tile had sealed the moisture into the floor and had slowly deteriorated the particleboard. There was no place for the moisture to go. This moisture had been trapped inside for years and finally the damage became noticeable.

Corroded heat duct repaired with aluminum sheeting. Extra floor joists added.
Corroded heat duct repaired with aluminum sheeting. Extra floor joists added.
Repaired duct and joists.
Repaired duct and joists.
Insulation added and duct protected by roofing felt.
Insulation added and duct protected by roofing felt.
Attaching the new plywood flooring with screws.
Attaching the new plywood flooring with screws.
Ready for the floor covering.
Ready for the floor covering.

Finishing the Job

Rebuilding

  • After the cleanup, the rebuilding process begins. Extra wood floor joists were added over the steel beams beneath the floor. Joists were also added beneath the cabinets and along the line of the remaining floor at the sitting area. It is important to support every edge of the new plywood for greater strength and stability.
  • Extra joists were screwed along the walls into the old, but still solid, wood beams. Cross beams were also added to further strengthen the floor support. The old heating vent was straightened and reinforced with sheet aluminum and self tapping sheet metal screws.
  • Aluminum adhesive duct repair tape was used to seal all repairs and to repair the cuts made during floor removal. An extra wood joist was added along the side of the vent to prevent the damage happening again.
  • Roofingfelt was used to cover the aluminum heating vent because the treated plywood used for the floor replacement will corrode aluminum over a period of time. The Styrofoam insulation was replaced by ordinary thick fiberglass insulation. Any rusted spots on the floor was treated with a good quality paint to prevent further corrosion.
  • Coated deck screws were utilized to attach the ¾ inch plywood to the beams and to match up with the remaining ¾ inch particleboard. The screws were countersunk and filled with putty so as not to show beneath the new floor covering. It may be necessary to sand or otherwise flatten out uneven areas, as these floors are hard to get completely smooth.

Recovering

  • Because of the many different angles and protrusions, stick-on tile was the easiest and most mistake-free covering to use. Unless you have a very square and angle-free area, it is hard to cut solid vinyl flooring without making a mistake. If you desire this type of flooring, it would be best to hire a professional to do the job for you.
  • Ceramic tile is not recommended because of the flexing of the unit while in transport and because of the excess weight involved. Other coverings, including carpet and wood, may be used if desired. If vinyl tile is used, be sure to plan the edges carefully to avoid having to cut tiny slivers of tile along the walls. The molding will only cover about ½ inch when put down.
  • A carpet bar or wooden threshold may be used to cover the joint between the new wood and the old. Often, this joint is uneven because of the swelling of the old floor but the aforementioned products will hide the difference. It only remains to replace the booth and table and cover the cracks around the floor and walls with quarter round molding to dress up the new floor.
  • The floor in your particular model may be constructed differently, but the method of replacement is basically the same. Use as much support as you can to support your new floor and you can enjoy the fruit of your labors for many years to come.

Installing the Tile and Other Finishing Touches

Installing the tile.
Installing the tile.
Fully tiled floor.
Fully tiled floor.
Booth and table back in place.
Booth and table back in place.
The finished floor.
The finished floor.
Joint between new floor and carpet.
Joint between new floor and carpet.

Any questions you have or problems you may encounter may be addressed here.

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    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 4 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Marsha, having a metal covering under the floor is not a necessity, and is sometimes susceptible to holding moisture. If the camper roof is sound then the chance of the floor being exposed to moisture is very low.

      Randy

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      Marsha 4 weeks ago

      Thanks for such a great resource! I bought a Zeppelin Z310 recently to live in for a while and discovered after connecting and running water through the lines that there were several leaks (new and old). I cut away the splash guard under the RV to find no metal, only plywood, all of which appeared to have been wet for a loooong time. Basically, I have to replace the ENTIRE floor throughout 60-70% of the RV. Your instructions for replacing the floor show you had a metal bottom in your RV. Any advice on this repair job, given there's no metal and everything has to be replaced?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 5 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Page, I don't believe there would be any advantage to having the trailer on jacks other than being steadier to work on.

      Randy

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      Page 5 weeks ago

      Maybe the wrong thread for this question, but can you tell me if we need to level our trailer on jacks or have it resting on tires to put all new siding on?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey JSD, coating the hambox with a good wood preservative is the best way to go, but still I'd protect the exterior by storing it under a shelter during the off season. If possible, use PT or marine plywood for any replacement of the old materials.

      Randy

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      JSD in Montana 6 weeks ago

      Hey! Great convo below. I'm redoing a 1965 Forester 14' and I have been doing the same jacking the shell off the frame to fit the floor properly underneath. The whole floor was rotten. The next project is going to be removing the interior AND exterior walls for the purpose of going all wood. Eventually I'll get to my question... I want to use 1/4" tongue and groove both interior and exterior. The exterior is my concern. I was thinking about laying out tar paper over the top of the frame and overlap over the sides some. As I connect the boards I'll lay a bead of clear silicone between them. Then I'll finish the job with deck waterproofing stain. My question is - will that be enough to prevent water damage in the future? Or should I go crazy with sealing it? Also, it appears some of the edge framing is made out of some junky oldschool plywoodish material and it's not in the best shape. What do I do about that? It's in the canned ham style so I am concerned about getting it right to shape.

      Thanks!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Mark, I usually add some "L" shaped steel brackets along the exterior walls and to the new flooring to increase the stability of the walls when traveling. This allows one to simply replace the flooring up to and not beneath the walls.

      Randy

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      Mark Henley 2 months ago

      Randy, great article, thanks for posting. I recently replaced almost my entire floor in a West Coast Trailer toyhauler which had many weak spots due to water intrusion. The roof appears to be recently repaired, so I assume the damage has developed over time. I used a toe kick saw to cut the flooring away from the walls, and replaced with some 5/8 plywood coated with Thompson's water seal on both sides, to offer some protection in the future. My floor is now nice and solid, but I'm wondering, have I compromised the structural integrity overall ? All appears fine sitting in my driveway, but rolling down the road at 55 mph is not when i want to figure out there's a problem ! I wonder if I should have jacked up every wall and laid the new flooring underneath it. That would be a huge job, but much easier now than later..

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Maryann, you'll have to remove a section of the bad flooring to see how much area to remove. There's no easy way to tell unless you have the specs from the maker.

      Randy

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      Maryann 2 months ago

      I have a 2008 Denali camper with a weak floor in my kitchen. The water holding tank is under this area and need to know how much room I have to cut to replace the weak area

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Mary, your husband is right, this is a time consuming and often labor intensive repair job. Nevertheless, if you have the time and energy you can repair the floor yourself. As for the floor under the walls, you can simply go right up to the walls with the new floor as long as you add some L shaped steel brackets to hold the walls down to the new floor. Good luck!

      Randy

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      mary 2 months ago

      our floor is rotten including the side areas under wall how do we replace this with new floors. The are from bath room is most likely bad and extends to area under fridge cabinet and stove most likely so should we remove them and do whole flooor or just rweplace up to this area. Iam beside my self husband says we cant do that i say we can still unsur about the rotted wood along camper edge?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 3 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Mikai, what info do you require?

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      Mikai 3 months ago

      Hi, I need some advice. I'm replacing the floor in my 1971 camper

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Wayne, the only way to replace the floor joists under the walls is to jack up the walls one section at a time. I assume you have aluminum/Styrofoam sandwich type material used for the walls. Just be sure to use plenty of "L" shaped brackets to securely reattach the walls to the new floor.

      Randy

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      Wayne IL 4 months ago

      Hi Randy,

      I have an 89 Play Mor. The floor in the bedroom is completely rotted out. How do I replace the rotten joists under the walls? The joists under the walls are in extremely bad shape.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 5 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes you can remove and replace the counter and the floor underneath but it may be a lot of work to do so, Brandon. Good luck on the repairs. :)

      Randy

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      Brandon Sparks 5 months ago

      I have a 09 hideout . The slide out has been leaking all winter long which has warped my floor under my slide out and under my counter which has caused the counter to raise up . is there a way to take a section of my counter out so i can cut the old flooring out and replace it ?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 5 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Deb, try looking on EBay at campers for sale. There are usually some old ones with pics of the interior inmost cases.

      Randy

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      Deb 5 months ago

      Hi RANDY just bought a 1977 Jayco trailer how do I find out the original design as several have pondered in it How do I obtain pictures?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Kimber, you may have to use a strip of carpet to cover the area where the slide comes in. I have little experience in using stick-on tile in slide-out applications of this sort.

      Randy

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      Kimber 6 months ago

      Sure! Thanks for asking. I put down vinyl stick tile on the flat part of the slide and now am putting on the repaired part of the main floor. The transition, or mechanics where the slide comes in ( the metal black hump that the slide comes over when we bring in the slide) is what I don't know how to cover. It was originally carpet. I have seen where some who used laminate flooring put a transition board. However the peel and stick is only 2mm thick. I think if I put another piece over the transition it would just roll up or break when we pull the slide in.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Kimber, I don't understand your question. Can you give me a bit more info?

      Randy

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      Kimber 6 months ago

      Hello Randy! I am replacing the flooring in my 2006 Crossroads Zinger. My husband already did the hard part of tearing out old floor and replacing (using some of your tips). My question is when using stick on vinyl plank how do I cover the edges of the slides? Thanks!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Chris, it depends on how your slide-out is constructed. There are several different types of construction used in slide-outs.

      Randy

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      Chris 7 months ago

      Hello,I have a traveling trailer and the slide out in the living room floor has water damage How is the process to fix this?. Do I have to disconnect the arms that hold the slide out or it can be repaired without disconnecting it.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Donna, as you found out for yourself one has to really check out a used camper no matter how good it appears to the naked eye. But you also learned a bit about the construction of your camper and like I do in most cases, improved it during the rebuilding process. The best thing of all though is you can enjoy the end results of your work. Thanks for visiting and relating your own experience, Donna. :)

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      Donna Sears 8 months ago

      I just recently bought a camper " as is " with the info that it previously had a small bit of water damage by the window in the aft end . They sooo sugar coated the leaking problem.After getting the camper home I had noticed a soft spot by the door ,,.This is were it all begins lol . Atearing up 85 square foot of flooring ,2 cabinets and 1 closet ,along with the dinette area ..what was left was floor studs that were so water soaked they crumbled in my hands ...Oh but this is only the beginning .lol some of the studs look as if they had been caught in a fire . when removing the studs I noticed these big black ants scattering .Once I had googled them I found out that the sub floor was completly infested with carpenter ants ......But since I am a glass is half kind of girl ...I just grinned and said to myself ...of course it is ...Then googled how to get rid of them. Now that I have found the leak ( busted pipes ) and fixed the problem . The fun begins ..I replaced the studs plus added a couple extra .I replaced the flooring with a thinner plywood ,in order for me to lay a click together wood floor ,OMG it is soooo beautifull . I am changing up the configuration of the floor plan which will ad more seating and sleeping area ...of all my projects I finally remembered to take lots of pics...once it's all done every says that I am soooo spoiled , cause it is just beautifull ...

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      Pam 8 months ago

      I was taking a trip with my family this past summer and we used a trailer. It was so fun! We had nice breaks and were able to get to so many places and have some great bonding time. I would do it all over again, but maybe next time rent a trailer that was more up to date to see what features were available and to make it more comfortable.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 9 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Gerald, yes it is much better to replace the floor under the walls if possible. If the new floor only goes to the wall instead of under it then L shaped steel brackets are required to attach the walls securely to the floor for added strength.

      Randy

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      Gerald johannes 9 months ago

      I've read alot about wood floor replacement, i want to know, does the new floor go under the outer wall? Alot of comments express the guy goes up to the outer wall. No one talks about going under the iuter wall, when u build a house, the wall sits on the floor, which should b the right way i have a 30'0 camper, I'm changing the whole floor, I'm going to jack up the outside wall, n slip the new wood under the wall, i don't care what anybody says, that's the right way to do it

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 10 months ago from Southern Georgia

      BGE--It may be easier to work from the inside rather than having to remove the exterior metal panels. Is there any way to place a wooden support in the corner? If so, you may be able to jack up the corner enough to replace the support. Have you considered using thicker plywood to support the corner?

      Feel free to ask for more info if I'm not understanding the problem correctly.

      Randy

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      BGE 10 months ago

      Hey Randy. Great site. I purchased a 1990 32' Skyline Weekender. Leaks have been stopped, but the upright support in the front driver's side corner is nothing but powder. It's bad enough that the corner has dropped down an inch or so and caused the plywood in that area of the wall to roll down with it. This has been replaced before because the plywood is new with screws in it. Basically, it seems that corner of the trailer is resting solely on the plywood floor and bending it. The question is this better approached from the outside corner or inside? How do I jack up the corner without bending the outside tin panels? FYI, there is a wall-to-wall built in bench couch in the front. Thanks in advance

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      Vanessa 10 months ago

      About how much would that cost to do on a 22 foot trailer?

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      Randy Godwin 11 months ago

      Brenda, you may have to drill some holes into the bad places in the floor to determine what wood needs to be replaced and what thickness the replacement flooring needs to be. Then you can figure the materials needed for the repairs. Feel free to ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

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      Brenda Hawkins 11 months ago

      What can I do to figure out how much damage and the amount of flooring I will have to replace?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 13 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Carol, we didn't go under the walls but used plenty of L-shaped steel brackets to attach the walls to the new floor. We added floor supports around the edge of the walls for the new floor to attach to. The bottom of the brackets are screwed to the floor while upper part of the bracket attached to the wall. Hope this helps!

      Randy

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      Carol 13 months ago

      Can you explain to me how you attached your floor to the walls. Talking to an rv guy and he said we would have to get the new floor under the walls of the camper. Seems like an impossible task.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 13 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Carol, yes I'm aware that some campers have very few floor joists to support the floor. Welding extra beams to support the floor would be great if you cannot add joists any other way. Any way you can add extra supports to the floor will be fine.

      Randy

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      Carol 13 months ago

      We have an o4 Jay Feather Exp. The floor at the front of the camper is rotted. We have taken much of the old composite floor out (where it was rotten on both sides of the flooring) down to the outer membrane. As you are aware, these trailers have no joists to lay a new floor on. Not sure how you added your extra floor joists. You mentioned clamps but not sure where you put them. We can add a joist running across the floor over the metal under the trailler that runs the length of the trailer but how do we attach from front to back. There is a joist in the front of the trailer and one about 3/4 of the way down. We are thinking about having a welder add extra beam across the trailer so the joists we add from front to back have some support under them. So confusing for novists.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 14 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Pat, if you can replace the bad flooring from the topside then I'd suggest you do so. As you can see in this article, we added more floor joists than was originally used in the floor construction. In my experience, these Styrofoam and luan floors will eventually degrade over the years so it's better to use a more reliable flooring material during repairs.

      If the flooring underneath the cabinets is solid I would merely replace the damaged areas up to them. Ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

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      Pat 14 months ago

      Hi Randy, I have a 07' Aerolite cub 160 that I have kept dry for 3 years but the floor was wet in several areas when I purchased(i presumed from lack of maintenance and from sitting outside). I already had to repair floor(from underneath) where folding step was partially supported from styrofoam floor(bad design). I accomplished this by replacing luan and panning that corner of floor with aluminum and added a little square stock(like factory) to support entry step which the factory should have done. But hears my question: The floor is getting soft now further in and got the dreaded purple spot in vinyl and not sure how to attack this from the top(inside camper). Do i remove all rotten luan and styrofoam up to cabinets and walls then add wood joists between frame rails or what? Do you think theres a way to just add said joists(or plywood) between frame rails from underneath and leave styrofoam in place. Then remove the vinyl and replace any loose luan and then put down new floor covering. I guess all this is dependent upon how much damage is there and accessability to supporting from underneath. I cant really see how they support the floor other than 4 pieces of angle iron attached to frame at each corner(really?) or do the tanks hide more?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 14 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Michael, if the leak is stopped I'd simply keep an eye on the area in question and wait and see for now. It may be okay to leave it since it's in a place where foot traffic won't further degrade the area. Sometimes it's simply easier to let things be for awhile.

      Randy

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      Michael 14 months ago

      Recently purchased my first used trailer (24') and I have found that the floor is soft along the wall under the stove and sink area. (approx. 10' x 1') The good news seems to be that it is an area where there is no foot traffic. The bad news seems to be that replacing it will be complicated and more expensive because of the location. If I can determine that the cause of the leak has been fixed, will I be able to live with the damage or is it just going to get worse?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 15 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Dan, I'm not familiar with that model so I cannot advise you on the construction methods used. I'd be interested in seeing some photos of it if you have the time.

      Randy

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      Dan 15 months ago

      Looking at completely lifting a 2001 r-vision B17 hybrid body off.

      Ever seen or dealt with the aluminum frame / construction of these?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 15 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Janice, I'm sorry but I cannot advise you on asbestos related products used in your camper. I do not have the expertise required to help you in this matter. Sorry!

      Randy

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      Janice Henning 15 months ago

      What about asbestos? I had my 1979 flooring tested (did myself) and there are two layers of linoleum. The backing of the top layer is 50% Cyrstaline asbestos. So now, I don't know what to do. There is a soft spot but I don't have the funds to do an asbestos floor removal. And what about the loose linoleum that has asbestos backing that is lying loose under the bedding?

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      Randy Godwin 16 months ago from Southern Georgia

      I really don't know what to tell you without seeing it for myself, Bev. I'd simply go ahead with the tile and let the kids worry about it. Sorry I can't be of more use to you than this.

      Randy

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      Bev 16 months ago

      The carpet is above the lino so the slideout can move in easy without wrecking the lino. I have 6 wee grandchildren and the carpet in the kitchen is disgusting and I want to get it out and replace with vinyl but I still need to be able to move the slideout if I ever sell it. The carpet is put in in two pieces. The first piece is on top of the slide out with a slight hangover so when they put the second piece of carpet in it lays underneath the first one. If you lift the carpet up there is a piece of plywood and then some sort of plastic tube that is slightly raised - I am guessing that is what pulls the slide out over and in to the trailor for transport. It is not an RV trailor and is parked at a recreation lot at Glennifer lake in Alberta. It is not likely we will move it but should something happen my kids might want to sell it and it would have to be moved. I can lay the vinyl and a seem and just unsnap it as it is a snap in vinyl but the pull out area is about 1/4 of an inch higher when you get to the pullout plastic thing - sorry but I don't really know what it is called - hope this makes sense - Bev

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 16 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Bev, is the problem that you can't find any tile thinner than the carpet you removed from the slide-out? Am I understanding your problem correctly?

      Randy

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      Bev 16 months ago

      Hi Randy - I have a mobile home that has jut outs and I want to replace the carpeting with vinyl tiles. The cut out has carpet and is laid on top of the jut out to allow it to go in and out if it needs to be moved. When I lifted it up there is a rod - I assume to allow the movement - so if I law vinyl it will be higher than the lino floor in the kitchen part. How do I lay the vinyl to allow the jut out to move should I decide to sell it and have to pull it in for moving. No one I know has a solution so hoping you can help me - thanks - Bev

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      Randy Godwin 16 months ago

      Hi Janice, I've never encountered asbestos in any flooring job. Repairing the floor in a Serro Scotty shouldn't be a big job because of its size.

      Randy

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      Janice Henning 16 months ago

      Hi, what about asbestos in the flo0ring? I just purchased a 1979 Serro Scotty with two layers of linoleum and needs to be pulled up. There is a soft spot in the center of the floor.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 17 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Kristin, it's really hard to give you reliable advice without personally examining your camper. One needs to do their homework as far as figuring material and labor costs before attempting floor repairs. Tearing out a small portion of the damaged flooring is the only way to see what is required for the repairs as each camper is somewhat different than other models.

      Be sure to check out any used camper or RV for both floor and roof repairs before you make a purchase as these are the two most expensive parts to repair. Thanks for the question. :)

      Randy

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      Kristin 17 months ago

      Hi Randy- thank you for this great information. We are new to campers/trailers. Here are two questions- how can I estimate the cost to replace flooring for a 23 foot trailer (current two sections seem to be soft with past water damage so a good portion of floor likely to be replaced. How long would it take to remove flooring, add subfloor,etc. If repair to a trailer has been done but past floor damage in spots would you even consider buying a used, discounted trailer (no other signs of any damage or water damage). Any things to consider or look for? Thank you

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      Randy Godwin 17 months ago

      Wayne, you have to remove a small section of the damaged floor to see how it is constructed. Every RV seems to be a bit different as to the construction of flooring.

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      Wayne 17 months ago

      Floor is weak against far wall from door, it has a couch on the back wall, how do u suggest to replace floor

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      Randy Godwin 17 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes Cory, I attached the brackets to the new floor before screwing them to the walls. This will prevent the walls from coming loose from the trailer floor. Feel free to ask for more help as always. :)

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      Cory 17 months ago

      I was wondering what you used to secure the walls to the floor. Did you connect brackets to the wall studs and to the 3/4" plywood? Thanks again for your help.

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      Randy Godwin 17 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Pleased o assist you, Cory. Let me know if you need more advice. :)

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      Cory 17 months ago

      Thanks so much for your quick reply!! This job has turned out to be way more work and thought than anticipated! I was actually concerned about the walls as they appear to be sagging slightly. I have used floor jacks on the outside to secure the wall before I go on to add joists, it just seemed like a good thing to do. Thanks again and keep up the good work.

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      Randy Godwin 17 months ago

      Hi Cory, you have to wing it as far as adding new joists and brackets to the floor and wall are concerned. I fastened the brackets to the new floor surface--in this case it was to the one inch treated plywood I used as replacement for the previous floor. We also added extra joists to support the new floor better than it was previously.

      The brackets are a necessity in order to anchor the walls to the floor so do the best you can to do this securely. Feel free to ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

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      Cory 17 months ago

      This trailer, 2004 Aerolite, has the floor construction which I have seen mentioned by others that is plastic membrane underneath, sandwich of thin plywood and styrofoam, only supports seem to be trailer rails 1' in from walls running lengthwise, and a 2 cross beams (width of trailer) one towards middle, and one under fridge cabinet and closet/furnace/power box (same beam running under fridge cabinet). So now trying to figure the best way to configure and fasten the new joists. I am building the new floor frame from where floor starts under bed area, all the way back to kitchen cabinets along the back wall. This is pretty much all of the floor area inside the trailer, except for under cabinets that cannot be removed. thanks in advance for any insights you can give me.

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      Cory 17 months ago

      I to am in the process of repair of a 2004 Aerolite trailer floor.

      I am wondering do I add the "L' brackets to the new joists and to the the aluminum wall joists? Or do I add the brackets to the new 3/4" plywood I will be placing on the new joists and then to the walls. One side of the floor has plastic conduits up against the wall, so there is nothing solid to attach to. I had the idea of adding brackets on this side to connect the bottom wall frame(which is 2" above on this side) to the new joists. Any help would be great!!

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      Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey JR, and thanks for visiting. I've heard of some using a floating floor with good results, so I see no problem with this aspect of your plans for the Indian. As I'm not familiar with what sort of roof supports this particular model utilized I hesitate to advise you on the weight distribution for this project. You'll simply have to wing it and as a roofer should be able to figure it out. LOL!

      As for the walls, yes weight is always a consideration for a moving object, but the difference in types of wood--depending on the thickness of course--may be negligible. With any RV restoration project, the fun is in the experiments. :)

      Feel free to ask for any advice you deem necessary JR, and I'd like to see some photos of the rebuild. Thanks for the questions and your time.

      Randy

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      JR Grissom 19 months ago

      Randy,First of all thank you for sharing this info,I'm getting ready to restore a 1972 Indian Winnebago.I've got it gutted atm.would a floating floor work.also my roof leaks.I'm thinking instead of going back with metal,I'm going with TPO,It's lighter and if applied right will withstand winds of up to 300+ mph.(if i get a leak I can just weld a patch on it.lol,ima roofer so that's not a problem)Any suggestions on how to keep the weight distributed out.Suggestions on the walls,I'm considering knotty pine.Any Nput whatsoever would be greatly appreciated I wanted to do Oak but that would be to heavy wouldn't it...again thanks and any and all nput would definitely be appreciated.again thank you for this site...

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      Renae Roberts 20 months ago

      Thank You!

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      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Renae, I don't think the road noise will be much louder with the tile in place as there should be insulation beneath the floor which will deaden any sound the removal of the carpet may cause. If the carpet in the driver area is in good shape I would leave it in place. Ask for more info if you need it and thanks for reading. :)

      Randy

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      Renae Roberts from TX 21 months ago

      We have a 96 class C RV that has some really dirty carpet in all but the bathroom area. I would like to replace the whole floor with stick down tiles, as has been recommended. We have DIY tools & ability to get this done , especially with the good info here. However, my husband wonders if the carpet is insulating us from a lot of road noise & if we will really notice that? Also, should we leave the carpet in the front driver/passenger area? Thank you for any advice.

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      Randy Godwin 23 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Ivan, take in consideration that a bad rubber roof will cost $3000+ to replace at the very start. And I suspect the flooring is damaged also. Depends on how much money and time you have. :)

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      Ivan 23 months ago

      I have my eyes on a 1998 32 Ft Gulfstream Travel Trailer, but the condition is listed as salvage for parts and it also has a bad roof. I'm worried about water damage with the bad roof. My question is... Can it be saved, or is it a lost cause?

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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Jon, what did the access door attach to originally? Can you also use adhesives to reframe it?

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      Jon Woods 2 years ago

      thank you! I hadn't thought of using const. adhesives. that will work perfect on the walls. good to know I was over thinking the resealing of the covering. any tips of reframing that access door frame?

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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Jon, I've used construction adhesives--such as Liquid Nail--to attach wood to fiberglass before and it seemed to work well. as far as the insulation is concerned, any good repair tape--such as duct tape--should work to reseal the covering as long as it stays dry.

      Randy

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      Jon Woods 2 years ago

      We have an 04 weekend warrior toyhauler with a front bedroom. in the under bedroom storage compartment there is a soft spot in the front passenger side corner. it measures about 2 ft square. also the access door frame screws into this soft spot. there is linoleum on top of the wood with a joining strip so I don't need to cut the linoleum to make the repair.it seems to me that the entire bottom of the access panel door is attatched to rotten wood. the soft spot goes from midway in the opening forward. it contacts both the front wall and side wall. is there a way to reframe the access door mount? also how would I attatch the replacement joists to the exterior wall? This is a fiberglass walled unit.

      I noticed the interior paneling is rotten as well but im not concerned with the cosmetic appearance when I replace that. we know the source of the water damage was a roof leak that has since been repaired ( I hope ) at a dealer. I noticed you talk about not going to deep to puncture the trailer floor... I see a black plastic bag material under the whone trailer that feels as though it contains insulation. its almost like tyvex house wrap? if I puncture that is there a good way to reseal it?

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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      JD, You can send me an email by going to my profile page and clicking on fan mail to get in touch with me. :)

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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      JD, I assume your RV uses a layer of Styrofoam sandwiched between two pieces of plywood as in the camper I show on this article. It seems to be a common material used in many campers of the past. I don't know how you would be able to check the bottom layer of plywood to see if it is still in good shape without removing a piece and seeing for yourself. If it is still in fair shape you may simply add the top layer of plywood using a good adhesive such as Liquid Nail as you suggested. with the new layer of flooring placed atop the laminated foam it should be even stronger than the original flooring.

      Randy

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      J.D 2 years ago

      Randy, I am not sure what is underneath the the form and aluminum crossbeams but i can assume it is another thin layer of thin plywood that formed some sort of laminated assembly for strength. Do you think I can apply replacement layer of thin plywood using liquid nail to adhere to the form and the aluminum beams and then add the top finish wood floor? Is there a way to send you a photo of my flooring problem?

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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello J.D., Since I cannot see what sort of support you have beneath the floor I hesitate to advise you how to go about replacing the plywood. However, if the plywood is strong when replaced and you add another layer of the prefinished wood floor it should be strong enough. If I misunderstood your question, please feel free to contact me anytime and I'll try to assist you with the repairs. :)

      Randy

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      J. D. Williams 2 years ago

      Recently purchased a 2004 24' Zepplin by Keystone and I guess we were fooled by the cleanliness and the fact that everything worked. As we began doing more cleanup we found a lot of soft spots in the floor mainly around the toilet and front door. We went on line and read your advice about repairing the floor. Feeling about the fact you said it can be done by a DIYer we proceeded to remove the vinyl and then the plywood which only 1/4" thick and appeared wet and originally was glued to the star-form and aluminum cross beams. No wood joist. running front to back. Would it be better to replace the thin plywood and glue it back to the foam or take some other approach. Our plans are to have some type of prefinished wood floor as the finished surface. Please make any suggestions as to the repair and finished flooring.

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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Zingy, I really have no experience with installing vinyl tile over OSB, but I believe if you use an adhesive activator it should be okay. You might try a spot to see how well the tile adheres to the surface. Smooth particleboard will be no problem though.

      Randy

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      Zingy 2 years ago

      Hi Randy, first thank you so much for all the helpful advice I have found here! We have a 2010 travel trailer with mystery water leaks in a few places. We have removed a lot of floor in the front and back of the trailer. We have removed some of the damaged floor from under the walls and are bracing those sections. We plan to put in peel and stick vinyl planks, and will go with your adhesive recommendation. We are replacing the removed floor with plywood and possibly styrofoam insulation. My question is given part of the floor will be new plywood and part will be the remaining undamaged particle board/OSB, do we need to go the extra step and put some thin luaun over it all to create a smooth surface for the vinyl planks, or is it okay to just put them over the new and old surfaces? Thanks!

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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Matt, some campers have the walls attached to the floor after the floor is installed. If the floor is bad the walls tend to come loose from the floor and any repairs to the floor requires using steel brackets to assure the walls are firmly reattached to the floor. Good luck with your repairs. :)

      Randy

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      Matt 2 years ago

      I have a 2006 aerolite the rear p/s wood is rotten which allowed my fram to pull from the wood do i have to cut out the floor from the top to replace the wood underneath also i have read that aeolite camper frams have hardley any support under there how do i get started on repairing this please help

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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Charmaine, I don't know what the floor in your camper is composed of, so I cannot advise you on the repairs. You'll have to tear up the damaged spots to see how the floor is supported and what material was used in the construction of your RV. I'll be glad to assist you when you have a look-see.

      Randy

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      Charmaine 2 years ago

      We have a Montana High Country fifth wheel (2012). In the pass through area the floor directly in front of each door is soft. What would be the process in replacing the floor.

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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Well Jeff, you can only determine the correct thickness by removing a section of the floor which you'll have to anyway. If you're only replacing a bad section of the floor then be sure to measure an undamaged piece of the floor to use as a guide to what thickness to use.

      Randy

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      Jeff Fildes 2 years ago

      I have a 1999 sprinter by keystone with a soft floor, how do I know how thick of plywood to repair it

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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Rudi, yes the floor is put down before the walls are added. Fortunately for this floor repair project, the material beneath the walls was still in good shape.

      And yes, you will have to jack up the walls a bit at a time to get the new material beneath them. Just be sure you use plenty of L brackets to reattach the walls to the new floor.

      Randy

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      Rudi D 2 years ago

      I have a 1998 Dutchmen Lite travel trailer. The front 6 feet of the floor is shot. I see how to repair it. The question I have is about the what I would call the sill plate. It is also shot from the fender wells to each front corner and across the front side. This board is wrapped with under cover and linoleum between it and the bottom plate on walls.How can we get a new board in under the walls. Apparently we need somehow jack up the walls to get this board in place. Did the floor originally go between these 2 boards?

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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Sorry Bones, I neglected to address the insulation issue. Yes, styrofoam is the perfect insulation for this project as it will not degrade or compact as other insulating materials can. Any insulation is better than none in these situations. :)

      Randy

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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Bones, as you found out the hard way, there's more to buying a used RV of any kind than simply looking at it. And also the veracity of some sellers is supect when they're trying to make a sale. Too bad for the buyer in most cases.

      It should be illegal for makers of RVs to use some of the materials they do because just a small amount of moisture will start the flooring to degrade and eventually disintegrate when walked on very much,

      I'll have to take a look at the Nylosheet as it sounds like has the potential for a great replacement flooring. As for getting the correct thickness, you can either have the new frame constructed at the correct height which will eliminate the problem or either use a layer of pressure treated plywood to achieve the same results.

      I'd like to see the completed project when you're finished with it, of course. Feel free to ask for more info if you require it, and thanks for the question. :)

      Randy.

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      BonesDC 2 years ago

      Randy,

      I purchased my first camper with no knowledge of possible problems to watch out for. Needless to say I purchased an RV off craigslist from a seller that claimed the discolored linoleum was from his daughter spilling water on the floor. The floor was fine for the first year but then started to sag and is very bad now. After reading as much as possible from this sight and others Ive discovered my 2001 Aerolite Cub has a sandwiched floor with no support structure other than the trailer frame. I am beyond perplexed as to why they would construct a floor this way and how it could even remotely be safe. My plans to replace are to have a friend fabricate either aluminum or galvanized framing to attach to the trailer and then use a product called Nylosheet as my plywood. This product although expensive will not rot and is not affected by moisture in any way. It is made from nylon carpet fiber and some fiberglass. It should make for an amazing replacement that will never cause issues. My question is, since it is so expensive how do i work around the thickness issue of the previous sandwiched material and should I add some kind of Styrofoam for insulation.

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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Since I live in the deep south I cannot vouch for vinyl tile's longevity in colder climates, Dave. We did use a glue activator on the tile in this article's project and it was very difficult to remove some mishapen tiles during the installation. We had to remove them a few little pieces at a time because the glue worked so well. I highly recommend using a glue activator with vinyl adhesive tile.

      Randy

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      DaveB 2 years ago

      Thanks again Randy,

      The camper is used and stored in Wisconsin so hot humid summers and Frozen Tundra in winter. I was thinking about using vinyl tile but after reading here about the concerns about adhesion in cold climates I am rethinking this option. The camper will never be used or moved in the extreme cold and I really don't want to do battle with a roll of vinyl so if you hear anything about adhesive backed vinyl tile success in extremes please let your readers know.

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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Dave, particle board is notorious for becoming soft over the years especially if one lives in a damp or humid climate. As in the above camper the moisture has nowhere to go and eventually breaks down from the pressure of being tread upon.

      This is the main reason we used treated plywood to prevent this from happening again. You'll have to decide the best replacement material to use depending on where you will have the camper stored. Good luck on your repairs and feel free to ask for more info if needed. :)

      Randy

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      DaveB 2 years ago

      I have a R-Vision 2002 trail-lite B21 hybrid TT (the ends pop out like a pop-up). We are the only owners and it has served its purpose and our family well. That said we started to notice "soft spots" in the floor last year and mistakenly figured it was just age and a sheet of plywood over the top would fix the 3ft area under the table. This spring the soft spots spread to the entire front of the camper - the enterance door, in front of the sink and down the hall now joined under the table as sagging and soft.

      A little research brought me to the conclusion I needed to replace large sections of flooring. More research and videos showed me I can handle the project but it will not be easy.

      I removed as much frame/cabinets as possible and noticed a good clue as to where to find rotted wood - if the screws were completely rusted off or heavily corroded then the floor was probably not good in that spot! Looking over the open space I still don't know where the water came from. The water tank and hot water heater were removed with no evidence on the surface of leakage. With the front seats removed I can see the front wall panel of the camper has some rot at the bottom but it looks more like it was from contact with the floor than from water coming down. Maybe during demo I will find more clues.

      Started the first phase (there will be 3 due to size) of demo and after peeling back the vinyl I was shocked how wet and rotted the particle board was. This floor section is constructed (bottom to top) steel frame, barrier plastic, 1/4" particle board glued to 2" foam glued to 1/4" particle board, vinyl surface. There was literally no where for moisture to go but to spread out! Anything I do HAS to be better than this! My debate is to use treated plywood or epoxy sealed plywood over felt for the top layer. Thought or concerns?

      Thank you for this invaluable resource!

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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      @firefox--Removing the slide-out is not necessary if you can replace the floor beneath it without removing it. Otherwise, there's no alternative.

      RG

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      firefox3021 2 years ago

      I have a 2004 Rockwood Roo 232 with a small slide out. Do I need to remove the slide out even though I'm not replacing the floor on it? The floor on the slide out is solid, I just need to replace the water damaged flooring in the main part of the trailer from the front to about half the length of the trailer and the entire width (about 8ft excluding the slide out). I've never posted a comment before, so I don't know if I'll be able to retrieve it. Please e-mail me firefox3021@gmail.com