Fiberglass rigs with plywood bottoms - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-12-2015, 04:46 PM   #1
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Fiberglass rigs with plywood bottoms

It makes intuitive sense that an all fiberglass rig would be more water tight (thinking Scamp with its marine plywood bottom versus others like Escape and Casita), but have any of you experienced a problem with newer constructed trailers?


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Old 09-12-2015, 05:23 PM   #2
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Whatever material is used in the floor I think all manufactures encase it in fiberglass. I am actually not sure what Scamp uses, there is no mention on their website, From personal experience my previous Casita used OSB (which I am not a fan of), my current Escape does use marine grade plywood in the floor fully encased in fiberglass
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Old 09-12-2015, 05:35 PM   #3
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The Hc1 does not use any plywood in its construction except for the cabinet doors and the tabletops the floor is 1 inch thick corrugated fiberglass and is designed to get wet
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Old 09-12-2015, 06:44 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ian G. View Post
Whatever material is used in the floor I think all manufactures encase it in fiberglass. I am actually not sure what Scamp uses, there is no mention on their website, From personal experience my previous Casita used OSB (which I am not a fan of), my current Escape does use marine grade plywood in the floor fully encased in fiberglass
Oh, thanks, Ian. I've got a Camp-Inn teardrop, aluminum sided but with a wood frame and marine plywood bottom. Never forded any high water with it yet, but no leaks in seven years.
I thought some of the fiberglass trailers are not complete 'eggs' made of two complete shells glued together, but in some I thought the bottom half of their shell was open and had a wood floor actually exposed to the outside. Dunno why I thought that, but I stand corrected!
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Old 09-12-2015, 06:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mikmay View Post
The Hc1 does not use any plywood in its construction except for the cabinet doors and the tabletops the floor is 1 inch thick corrugated fiberglass and is designed to get wet
Thanks, Mickmay!
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Old 09-12-2015, 06:54 PM   #6
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Oh, thanks, Ian. .... I thought the bottom half of their shell was open and had a wood floor actually exposed to the outside. Dunno why I thought that, but I stand corrected!
You are correct that some of the early versions did have exposed plywood floors, as an example late 1960's and early 1970's Boler's but these are not very plentiful.. You will run into some problems where a previous owner has compromised the fiberglass skin encapsulating the floor, when this happens water can penetrate the core but will not dry and therefore can accelerate the damage and decay. When purchasing a used fiberglass trailer in most cases floor problems can be identified just by walking on it, if the floor feels soft or flexes under foot take a closer look
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Old 09-12-2015, 06:57 PM   #7
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Plywood floors!

My old 1978 13-foot Scamp had/has 1/2-inch plywood floors, that are attached to the side walls with fiberglass tabbing.

There is no fiberglass on the floor except where I added it.

Bill
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Old 09-12-2015, 08:21 PM   #8
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Fiberglass rigs with plywood bottoms

Except for Happier Camper and Lil Snoozy, which use a structural honeycomb floor, all the others use wood in some way to provide support. A few, like Scamp, use exposed plywood (or OSB on newer units), coated with fiberglass resin on the underside. Others, like Casita, have a wood floor with a fiberglass underbelly. A third group, Trillium and Escape, encapsulate the wood above and below in fiberglass.

Treated wood floors are the simplest and least expensive. I'm pretty sure the switch from plywood to OSB was cost-driven. Adding a fiberglass underbelly increases protection from road spray and makes a cleaner appearance, but adds weight and cost, and can trap moisture that leaks from above. Fully encapsulated floors are the least susceptible to rot from leaks, but costlier to build and, once compromised, more difficult to repair.

All have stood the test of time. All can last decades with reasonable maintenance. Any can fail with neglect or abuse. Leaks from windows, vents, and plumbing are the main cause of floor failure.
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Old 09-12-2015, 08:51 PM   #9
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It's all about care. My 1973 Hunter still has the original plywood floor and was "skinned" with 1/8 Luan hardwood plywood for cosmetic purposes only
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Old 09-13-2015, 07:55 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bill Nolen View Post
My old 1978 13-foot Scamp had/has 1/2-inch plywood floors...

Half-inch? Are you sure? I've never heard of anything less than three-quarters used for the floor.
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Old 09-13-2015, 08:38 AM   #11
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Scamp uses plywood and sprays it with a coating of fiberglass resin
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Old 09-13-2015, 08:48 AM   #12
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My 1999 Scamp's floor was exposed OSB. and I believe it was 1/2" thick.
Never had an issue with the floor.
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Old 09-13-2015, 09:51 AM   #13
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A related question I have been wondering about..
Does Scamp treat the floor before they drill the holes (for the black water tank drain, etc.)??
If so, do they treat the cut surface or leave it untreated?
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Old 09-13-2015, 10:45 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
My 1999 Scamp's floor was exposed OSB. and I believe it was 1/2" thick.
Never had an issue with the floor.
Interesting… must have heard wrong or misunderstood.
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