Scamp design flaw, floor rot? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-14-2008, 05:20 PM   #1
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The scamp floor is exposed underneath. I think I understand the design to be treated with a layer of fiberglass resin, thus waterproof. My question is… doesn’t every hole through the floor create a potential for the cheap chip-board to soak up water, then start rotting? For example, the attached photo show holes drilled for water tank, vent and sink fittings. This is is seen with the water tank removed. In other words, every other type of hole could soak road splash up into itself right? Anyone consider this a design flaw? Thanks in advance.

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Old 07-14-2008, 05:33 PM   #2
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Design flaw? Not particularly. I consider it a maintenance issue. Scamp and all the other manufacturers could (and have) done everything possible to create a trailer that is NEARLY maintenance free. But there are some owners that never clean and caulk, check snaps, pull and reseal windows when they notice a leak, or wash and wax the trailer. If these same owners owned a sticky, that type of trailer would have melted into the weeds long before a molded fiberglass trailer, with fiberglass floor would.

I wonder if the flooring is drilled, then soaked in resin? If anyone has been to the factory, please answer up.
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:10 PM   #3
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From what I've seen and heard almost all the floors that rot out have moisture coming in from the top. As Donna says things window leaks, plumbing leaks, etc. causing water to sit on top. It takes more than once or twice for water to get in to cause rot.

If it were a real design flaw you'd hear a lot more about floors rotting out. Yes, it does happen, and we usually hear about it when it does. But there's also a lot more trailers out that haven't had that problem.

Moral of the story keep water out of the inside and you'll be just fine.

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Old 07-15-2008, 01:30 AM   #4
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OSB (Oriented Strand Board), as used by Scamp for their trailer floor, comes in different grades.

Each grade is manufactured using a different adhesive material to saturate, and bond together, the many strands or chips of wood which make up the board.

Some of these adhesives are less prone to the affects of moisture, or even direct water contact, than others.
The better adhesives are used in OSB that's rated for "Exterior" application and OSB that is rated for "Below Grade" application.

I don't know just which grade of OSB Scamp uses, but I'll bet it's not the "Interior Only" grade that's used as interior sheeting in home construction. That stuff will come apart if it stays wet for very long.
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Old 07-15-2008, 04:18 AM   #5
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Just to be really clear here, the flooring that Scamp, Casita, and many other manfs use is not the cheap chip board, it is the better stuf with the good glues intended for exterior use. Prior to that, the manfs used plywood.

As pointed out above, most damaged floors are a result of persistent leakage from above, window, appliance, etc., as opposed to getting wet from beneath. Placing a totally impenetrable barrier between the floor bottom and the outside world will tend to trap whatever moisture enters from above....
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Old 07-15-2008, 06:12 AM   #6
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The flooring issue came in in the Compare Casita v. Scamp topic.
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:17 AM   #7
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Performing regular maintenance is what got me thinking in the first place. How do you maintain under the water tank is one example in the photo. I was wondering how many other holes are through the chipboard like frame mounting holes ETC. Friction from the frame and shell rubbing right through the water proof chip-board layer. I had a stick built trailer that floor rotted on me. I’m trying to make a more informed trailer purchase this time around. Looking under a scamp with the floor out in the open had me curious. But good point about it being able to dry faster out in the open like it is.

For those more familiar with the forum here… can a Scamp shell be lifted off the frame and the floor replaced? I thought I read on here of people doing that on rebuilds? I thought I read both the Scamp factory being able to do this and folks doing it at home. Appreciate the feedback.
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:01 PM   #8
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Ken, I don't think it's appropriate to use "chip board" when the material is actually OSB with exterior glues -- There really is a big difference, just as there is between plywoods with exterior and interior glues.

Yes, it is possible to replace the factory flooring with something else, like genuine plywood (Oh, how people complained when their solid wood stuf was being made of plywood instead of 'real' wood). However, rather than predicting failure, I would wait and let nature take its course -- I predict that you will be pleasantly surprised at how long your flooring lasts as long as you check a few times a season for window and appliance leaks.
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Old 07-16-2008, 06:42 AM   #9
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Ken, I don't think it's appropriate to use "chip board" when the material is actually OSB with exterior glues -- There really is a big difference, just as there is between plywoods with exterior and interior glues.
You made me curious, Pete. According to the Wikipedia, "OSB panels have no internal gaps or voids, and are water-resistant, although they do require additional membranes to achieve impermeability to water and are not recommended for exterior use." However, an OSB manufacturer states "Conditioned to perform in humid environments, SmartPly 3 is the fully certified alternative to softwood plywood. It is versatile, strong and cost-effective. Manufactured with exterior resins, SmartPly 3 is suitable for both interior and exterior structural applications." If Scamp is using this type of certified OSB (which, to be fair to Ken, I still call chip-board) it would seem to be the same as using plywood. I wonder what advantages using OSB has for Scamp?
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