Floor damage - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-28-2015, 09:33 PM   #1
Member
 
Name: Wendy
Trailer: Burro 13 ft, 1984
Massachusetts
Posts: 31
Floor damage

Hi - I'm a new owner of a 1984 Burro, yay! I took it to an RV place and they said there's water damage in the floor. But they didn't put it in a lift or anything, just looked through the wheel well. The previous owner said he added a layer of 3/8" plywood over the existing floor when he got the trailer in 2000 or 2001, I don't know how thorough a job he did but the floor doesn't feel spongy to me. I don't know how big a problem this is, or what to do about it. I'm not looking to do a complete and perfect fix, but I do want to be reasonably sure I'm not going to put a foot through the floor. Also, I'm wondering if the underside should be sealed in some way. Any advice would be welcome!
__________________

__________________
wenrob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2015, 10:57 PM   #2
Commercial Member
 
Name: Mike
Trailer: Boler13/trillium4500/buro13
Ontario
Posts: 657
Congrats Wendy on the new burro.i don't want to discourage you on the repair of your floor but most burros in wet climates will suffer a lot of damage to their floors . The poor brand of plywood coupled with no sealing of the perimeter edge of the plywood will cause rotting from the outside in most of the damage might not be apparent as it will be under the cabinets and benches. The only true fix will be to remove the frame and then the rotted floor completely and replace with a better ply or marine grade ply and at least seal the edges with fiberglas. It is not a easy repair but many here have done it. Check the burro posts for more info on how it's done,lots of info there. Hopefully your trailer is not that bad and you can use it as is. Try to keep any floor work you do keeping in mind you may have remove it later ,no glued down vinyl or carpets,use something you can take out and reuse later.
__________________

__________________
Mikmay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2015, 07:51 AM   #3
Member
 
Name: Wendy
Trailer: Burro 13 ft, 1984
Massachusetts
Posts: 31
Hi Mikmay! Thanks for that info, I guess that's the fix the RV place said wasn't worth doing :-) I'll check the burro posts and and see how to proceed, but in the meantime I'm pretty sure it's OK to use as-is. I didn't know the Burros were vulnerable to floor damage, and just jumped on this one since it was the first fiberglass trailer I've seen in a reasonable distance from where I live.
__________________
wenrob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2015, 09:01 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
Posts: 4,323
Most RV places don't want to, or know how to, work on these little campers. And if they do any work it can get quite expensive.
__________________
mary and bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2015, 10:29 AM   #5
Member
 
Name: Wendy
Trailer: Burro 13 ft, 1984
Massachusetts
Posts: 31
Thanks for the lead on other posts about floor repair and replacement. Some very great and detailed information there. I'm both daunted and excited about starting in... and finding someone who can do it for or with me. It sounds like quite a project, but I think worth it!

Question... I haven't determined how bad the floor is, but how unsafe is it to tow the trailer if it has extensive damage? I read something about the shell possibly falling off the frame because it's attached by the floor (that may be an oversimplification), is that really a possibility?

Thanks!
__________________
wenrob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2015, 11:23 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Green Frog's Avatar
 
Name: Charlie
Trailer: '83 Burro
Virginia
Posts: 331
Registry
Wendy, when I bought my 83 Burro a few years ago, the PO had just completed a frame-off rebuild of the floor. It was difficult and time consuming, but I don't think I'll ever have another problem in that area! I'll try to come up with a link to his (archived) pictures and descriptions from back then. Meanwhile, I agree that replacing a section or two of the floor will probably be a difficult and unsatisfactory undertaking... trying to make a match up with the old and new segments will also be pretty tough. If you only have one small, specific area of damage (say, under the skylight, for instance) it might work, but otherwise, I wouldn't be too hopeful. Anyway, I wish you success and enjoyment on your "Burro ride."

Froggie

PS Here is the link to the old thread about my Burro from ShaneO.

1983 13 Foot Burro

Unfortunately, it appears that he has taken down the photo bucket pix of it by now. I may have them archived somewhere... I'll look.

Here's another;
'83 Burro Floor Replacement
__________________
Green Frog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2015, 12:02 PM   #7
Member
 
Name: Wendy
Trailer: Burro 13 ft, 1984
Massachusetts
Posts: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
Wendy, when I bought my 83 Burro a few years ago, the PO had just completed a frame-off rebuild of the floor. It was difficult and time consuming, but I don't think I'll ever have another problem in that area! I'll try to come up with a link to his (archived) pictures and descriptions from back then. Meanwhile, I agree that replacing a section or two of the floor will probably be a difficult and unsatisfactory undertaking... trying to make a match up with the old and new segments will also be pretty tough. If you only have one small, specific area of damage (say, under the skylight, for instance) it might work, but otherwise, I wouldn't be too hopeful. Anyway, I wish you success and enjoyment on your "Burro ride."

Froggie

PS Here is the link to the old thread about my Burro from ShaneO.

1983 13 Foot Burro

Unfortunately, it appears that he has taken down the photo bucket pix of it by now. I may have them archived somewhere... I'll look.

Here's another;
'83 Burro Floor Replacement
Froggie - thanks for those links. I had found the floor replacement one but not the sad one about selling the trailer after all his hard work!

What about the idea that the trailer could fall off the frame while towing if the floor rot is really bad - do you think there's anything to that?
__________________
wenrob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2015, 12:30 PM   #8
Commercial Member
 
Name: Mike
Trailer: Boler13/trillium4500/buro13
Ontario
Posts: 657
Wendy don't know on your burro but on mine the floor rot was so extensive that I had to strap the shell to the frame when I towed it home as a believe one bad bump in the road and it would of sepperated. When I got it home I lifted the shell of the frame with very little resistance
__________________
Mikmay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2015, 12:53 PM   #9
Member
 
Name: Wendy
Trailer: Burro 13 ft, 1984
Massachusetts
Posts: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikmay View Post
Wendy don't know on your burro but on mine the floor rot was so extensive that I had to strap the shell to the frame when I towed it home as a believe one bad bump in the road and it would of sepperated. When I got it home I lifted the shell of the frame with very little resistance
Yikes! I won't tow it anywhere before I figure out how bad the floor really is! And the more I read the more I think I'm probably looking at replacing the floor. It will be a learning experience :-) I'll post updates!
__________________
wenrob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2015, 01:59 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Green Frog's Avatar
 
Name: Charlie
Trailer: '83 Burro
Virginia
Posts: 331
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by wenrob View Post
Froggie - thanks for those links. I had found the floor replacement one but not the sad one about selling the trailer after all his hard work!

What about the idea that the trailer could fall off the frame while towing if the floor rot is really bad - do you think there's anything to that?
Shane O apparently got a good job offer way far away from his then-current home outside of Chicago. He decided to divest himself of several such projects to make the move more easily accomplished. I can't say I was in the "right place at the right time" as I had to drive up from Central VA to buy it, but it was certainly the right time for him and me both, and I've never regretted it. I don't think I could have done the floor repair he did, and I know I couldn't have done it as well, so I will always be grateful to him for making it available to me.

I think a lot of the answer to your second question depends on how badly the floor has rotted around the edges and how far/over what kind of road you will be towing. I'm guessing one of those big nylon straps from Harbor Freight or Northern Tool wrapped across the top (frame to frame) would hold it for a reasonable distance on a smooth road, otherwise I would probably put it on a rollback or flatbed trailer and tie everything down well. Once you've broken the shell, you've pretty much destroyed the Burro, so be safe rather than sorry!

Good luck!
Froggie
__________________
Green Frog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2015, 03:44 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Timber Wolf's Avatar
 
Name: Tim
Trailer: '88 Scamp 16, layout 4
North Florida
Posts: 1,440
Off topic but I can’t help but tell a story from my younger days. Long-ago-a-time, in a land not far away I got forced out of the trailer park I had infested for a while. The park had sold and the new owners did not want my kind (of trailer) in their establishment. I don’t know why, my old 1953 Travelo Park Model was perfectly comfortable. At any rate, a decision was made to pull it up to some rural property I had recently purchased. The tree down that was growing through the tongue was cut down, and the trailer eased down on the axles/tires (by smashing the concrete blocks supporting the frame with a sledge hammer) and we were close to ready to tow the old girl to the next county (literally).

Except, when the rig plopped down it kind of blew out around the middle, I guess the bottom wall framing separated from the frame. I looked the sorry situation over and quickly wrapped two, 2” ratchet straps around the trailer. I then slipped a 16’ 2X4 inside the straps on each side and tightened them pulling the sides (somewhat) back in. I hooked up to my 1970 Chevy one ton truck and off we went for the eight mile trip with a buddy bringing up the rear.

As we say around here, a friend will help you move, a good friend will help you move a piano. This fellow has not only helped me move (three times!) but helped me move a piano. Some guys just never learn. But I digress.

About a mile up the road he flashed his lights for me to pull over. I complied and noted the rear tire on the curb side had thoroughly shredded itself. Dang poor service out of that old dry rotted tire to be sure. As I had no spare anyway, darkness was fast approaching (did I mention no lights?), and the county line beckoned I made a quick executive decision to complete the next and last seven or so miles on the rim.

The balance of the journey was completed without further incident or drama (save for a few sparks), but there were two slight grooves about a rim’s width apart cut in the oiled road that were visible for many years until they resurfaced it. If you doubt any of the story just come on down and I will introduce you to my chase team who I am sure will corroborate the events as I described them. I can also show you the trailer still sitting out in my back forty with one sorry looking rolled up rim. Good luck!
__________________
Timber Wolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2015, 04:35 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Green Frog's Avatar
 
Name: Charlie
Trailer: '83 Burro
Virginia
Posts: 331
Registry
TW, I knew I was ready to buy my Burro when my old "stickie" that had been sitting in one spot at "Ft Shenandoah" near Winchester, VA for about 20 years washed off its blocks in a flood. Three corners jacked back up OK, but when the last (LF) corner was tackled, the floor rose up, but the top of the trailer didn't... that corner went all accordion on me as the internal wooden framework just gave up. It was recycled and Frog's Egg was brought in as its welcome replacement. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Froggie
__________________
Green Frog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2015, 12:06 PM   #13
Member
 
Name: Rick
Trailer: Burro
Massachusetts
Posts: 76
Hi Wendy,

I also have an 84 Burro (also in Mass.) and last year we replaced the entire floor because it was rotten to the point of being just spongy, soggy wood fibers sandwiched between fiberglass sheets. It is a long messy job and should not be undertaken lightly. But any experienced carpenter/builder/engineer type of person, with a helper should be able to do this after reading the extensive story about doing this found on this forum.

However, whether you want to do it is another factor. If the PO indeed did put an additional layer of plywood over the existing floor, you can make it safe by drilling down through this new layer, into the steel frame and bolting the whole thing to the frame. The original floor is the only contact point with that the shell has to the frame. If the floor is rotted to mush in many areas it is possible for the shell to blow off of the frame on the highway. But bolting or screwing the new floor down through the old floor, and into the frame will make it safe. But you will have to live with the screw heads on top of the new plywood floor.

If your goal is just to make it safe and campable, I would do this. But if you are trying to "restore" the Burro, you will need to do a full floor replacment.

To test your existing setup for attachment to the frame just put a jack under each corner of the shell, with a 6"x6" piece of wood (or equivalent) between the jack and the bottom of the floor. Then jack it up and see whether the shell/floor assembly separates from the frame. Do this on all 4 corners. If any of the corners show separation between the frame and shell then you should fix the floor, one way or the other.

The condition of the wood floor in an old Burro will always be worse than it seems because the wood is hidden between the upper and lower FG sheets. You can test for soggy wood by driving something like a flat screwdriver into the floor in various spots (with a hammer), looking for places which allow it to go in easily, after penetrating the FG layer.

By the way, where in Mass are you? We are in Palmer (Springfield). I will show ours to you if you are interested.

Rick
__________________
rick.a is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2015, 08:06 PM   #14
Member
 
Name: Wendy
Trailer: Burro 13 ft, 1984
Massachusetts
Posts: 31
Hey Rick,
Thanks much for that advice. And wow, you're in Palmer! I'm in Northampton, not so far away, and I'd love to see your Burro. I'd be happy to drive over sometime if it's convenient. I'm waiting to decide what to do with my floor until I have someone look at it. There's a "fix it" guy in town here who's agreed to come look at it but he's booked up now so it will be a couple of weeks before he gets to me. I'll probably go with whatever he thinks once he's diagnosed it. I do like your workaround idea and I'll certainly consider it. I kind of like the idea of doing a proper restoration, but on the other hand I don't want to get into a project that will bankrupt me! I'm not experienced enough to do the work myself, so I'm hoping the fix it man will agree to do it, maybe with me helping or at least watching so I know what's going on.

Cheers, and Happy Fourth!

Wendy
__________________

__________________
wenrob is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Gelcoating Burro Floor to prolong floor life? not-very-clever Modifications, Alterations and Updates 12 11-23-2013 10:29 AM
Where do I start when assessing floor damage? Shelley D Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 5 09-09-2013 10:53 PM
floor damage Sandra Lair Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 9 06-09-2012 07:25 AM
Scamp '13 Rotten Floor and Frame damage. Oliver P Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 12 08-22-2009 06:35 PM
5th wheel bathroom water damage Paul and Libby Smith Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 2 09-19-2006 07:45 AM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.