Best/worst floors? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-02-2009, 10:24 PM   #1
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I have searched around on the forum, but I don't have a clear understanding on this question. Of the 13-foot trailers (primarily Boler, Trillium and Scamp), are any of them more or less likely to get rotted floors? This is the issue I am most worried about in a future trailer purchase, living in a wet climate and all.
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Old 11-02-2009, 10:38 PM   #2
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I wanna answer! Any brand of trailer that has through-hull openings whether through rivets, vents or windows will have a propensity to leak at sometime in the future. This is a maintenance issue, not a brand issue. Now... you can eliminate some of the problems by purchasing a trailer that doesn't have rivets.. because there are fewer through hull intrusions, but most leaks happen from vents and windows and all trailer have those.

Rotted floors will happen in all brands if water intrusion is ignored.

Since I live in Portland, I understand your concerns.
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:31 AM   #3
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On the older 13-ers, I would say that Trillium might be the least likely to have floor-rot damage.

That's not to say that it can't happen, because it surely can, but I would deem it least likely.

The Trillium floor's wood is pretty much fully encased in fiberglass, top and bottom, from what I've seen. Now if water gets in there, you'll have problems. And it could find its way in with long term, serious leaks (if there are penetrations in the floor - there probably are a few - more likely on a bathroom model). But casual leakage into one of the older Trilliums would probably not find its way into the floor core.

Also, the Trillium cabinetry is not installed with rivets, but is glassed in. As Donna points out, there is nothing wrong with rivets if they are maintained, but we all know that people don't always maintain (and in my book, a glob of silicone is not "maintenance"), and if the rivets are not there to begin with, they can't leak.

Trills can still leak at the windows, the roof vent, and (if the mild steel plates have rusted and swelled) the belly band, etc.

But to my mind, the main thing is that *any* individual trailer could have floor rot (or a host of other problems), and if you are buying used you are looking at individual trailers, not brands. Rotten floors will probably not be undetectable. The same goes for other problems.

So I would say the most important thing is to learn how to be an informed shopper, and make sure you look for, and know how to identify, problems - whether they be floor rot or any of the other possible issues.

Once you own a trailer, regardless of its construction, just keep it maintained and dry and you shouldn't have rot or floor problems.

Raya
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Old 11-03-2009, 08:30 AM   #4
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Hi: Amy M... Our former '77 Boler floor was fully encased. Light wt. wood between 2 layers of fiberglass. I think of all the floor problems I've seen discussed here most have been Scamp... but then there are a lot more of them out there, and still building today!!!
"Our Escape Hatch" floor is fully enclosed inside the trailer and much less prone to water damage. IMHO!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:52 PM   #5
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On the older 13-ers, I would say that Trillium might be the least likely to have floor-rot damage.

That's not to say that it can't happen, because it surely can, but I would deem it least likely.

The Trillium floor's wood is pretty much fully encased in fiberglass, top and bottom, from what I've seen. Now if water gets in there, you'll have problems. And it could find its way in with long term, serious leaks (if there are penetrations in the floor - there probably are a few - more likely on a bathroom model). But casual leakage into one of the older Trilliums would probably not find its way into the floor core.

Also, the Trillium cabinetry is not installed with rivets, but is glassed in. As Donna points out, there is nothing wrong with rivets if they are maintained, but we all know that people don't always maintain (and in my book, a glob of silicone is not "maintenance"), and if the rivets are not there to begin with, they can't leak.

Trills can still leak at the windows, the roof vent, and (if the mild steel plates have rusted and swelled) the belly band, etc.

But to my mind, the main thing is that *any* individual trailer could have floor rot (or a host of other problems), and if you are buying used you are looking at individual trailers, not brands. Rotten floors will probably not be undetectable. The same goes for other problems.

So I would say the most important thing is to learn how to be an informed shopper, and make sure you look for, and know how to identify, problems - whether they be floor rot or any of the other possible issues.

Once you own a trailer, regardless of its construction, just keep it maintained and dry and you shouldn't have rot or floor problems.

Raya
Raya

On the two Trills I have had the floor is only encased in the living space of the trailer.
Also in both Trills water did get in through window leaks and stood inside the storage and perimeter of the floor and commenced to work on the wood there.

To elaborate somewhat,there is wood showing when you open the seat lids and look down.
The fiberglass belly also has curved sides where water can get a few inches deep under the wood,very ugly!

I had to drill drain holes in these spots on both trailers and water drained for a good long while till it stopped.

Fixing the window leaks did stop leaking in both trailers but I think every one of us needs to be on the lookout for leaks from higher up causing standing water somewhere we can not see it.

Any floorpan that is sealed from the outside will also seal it inside.

Ed
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:47 AM   #6
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Ed,

That's interesting. I thought in the one that I owned (briefly) that the storage areas were still encased in fiberglass, but that it was just not molded/gelcoated (i.e. it was just "raw" fiberglass). Maybe I am wrong, or maybe they added that at some point in time (mine was a 1976 if I remember correctly).

The Boler floor is a nice arrangement in regards to that. At least in the ones I have seen (my guess would be that most of them are this way but not all), the entire floor molding is one piece, meaning that the insides of all the lockers (the floor anyway) is molded/shiny/finished gelcoat.

Of course on the other hand, that means that the outside/bottom/underneath the trailer is not molded, and is the "raw" fiberglass (the Trillium is molded underneath).

Also, on the Boler, the molded inside floorpan stops just short of the wall. I think that joint should be completely glassed from the bottom, but I have never tested it (and hope not to!). If there were gaps, there could be potential for water to run down behind the Ensolite and get under the molded floor. That said, it's less likely for the floor to sustain water damage than a Scamp floor, which just has a resin coating (but then a Scamp floor is easier to repair/replace). Most places on the Boler, water would just sit on top of the floor (there are a few penetrations of course, for fasteners, and unless you take the time to overdrill/fill/redrill them with epoxy, they could wick water into the rest of the core.

I think it really goes back to what I mentioned earlier (well of course I do, that was my opinion ), and that is that if you are buying used, you just need to look at EACH trailer, and it's individual floor. All of these eggs have wood parts that are vulnerable to water damage*, and none of them are going to fare well if they've had long term leaks that were not addressed.

Raya

*Maybe the Oliver does not have wooden parts, but if you are looking for an older used trailer, you probably won't be looking at one of those.
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:27 AM   #7
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Water is invasive. It wicks into places through the smallest cracks or breaks. Any trailer will leak in time or water will come in through that open window.... Keep an eye out for leaks and do a through inspection twice a year.
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Old 11-05-2009, 12:43 PM   #8
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From Raya: "That's interesting. I thought in the one that I owned (briefly) that the storage areas were still encased in fiberglass, but that it was just not molded/gelcoated (i.e. it was just "raw" fiberglass). Maybe I am wrong, or maybe they added that at some point in time (mine was a 1976 if I remember correctly)."

The floor in the EggCamper is enclosed in the "raw" fiberglass. You pull back the rug and you can see the OSB wood underneath. You have to look closely to realize that you are looking through a layer of clear fiberglass.

Also, EggCampers are all molded inside, no rivets holding cabinets or furniture in place.
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