floors ? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-05-2009, 11:49 AM   #1
Trailer: 13 ft Casita
Posts: 78
I have been noticing it looks like most eggs, basically the trailer is wood decked then a fiberglass shell sits down on it ... My Casita, however is fiberglass all the way around then a 1/2" plywood inserted on the floor then mounted to the Trailer then carpeted... are there others that have a complete fiberglass shell ? or am I missing something ..

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Old 06-05-2009, 12:07 PM   #2
Trailer: Boler
Posts: 75
I have been noticing it looks like most eggs, basically the trailer is wood decked then a fiberglass shell sits down on it ... My Casita, however is fiberglass all the way around then a 1/2" plywood inserted on the floor then mounted to the Trailer then carpeted... are there others that have a complete fiberglass shell ? or am I missing something ..
Burros also have all around, double hulled, fiberglass shell! My Boler does not. It just has plywood bottom. When we replaced it, we coated plywood with fiberglass resin to seal it.

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Old 06-05-2009, 05:17 PM   #3
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Trailer: 2008 Oliver Legacy Elite
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Olivers, as the Burros, have a complete, double fiberglass shell. The floor in our Oliver is fiberglass.
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:48 PM   #4
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Name: Ed
Trailer: 1982 Fiber Stream and 2002 Casita Freedom Deluxe,The driveway is a Dark & Lonely Place now!
Posts: 1,719
As you will notice,some have fiberglass bellies and some do not.
Before you decide that having it is better consider this.

I have had two Trillium both had fiberglass under the floor.
It is a sandwich in the Trill though with a fiberglass floor in the living area,plywood under that and through the underseat areas and then fiberglass outside.

Each of the Trill's I have had leaked from somewhere higher up and in each instead of the water draining out through the bottom the water sat there until discovered by me or until absorbed completely by the plywood,not a good thing.

In the 1300 the areas at the outer edge in the whole trailer were dipped and curved like a gutter almost and like a clogged gutter water was festering in there until I drilled small holes for it to escape. It drained for some time.

When I discovered this in the 4500 it was dry but there were obvious signs that water had sat there a long time.
It was worse than the 1300 and the plywood was rotted in spots from this.

Scamp does use an OSB board and soaks it in resin to impregnate the plywood and make it water resistant.

I don't really know yet which is better or if either one is but I imagine equal time has been put into each trailer design to make an effective barrier under it all.
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Old 06-05-2009, 11:47 PM   #5
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,014
Actually, unless the Burros are different than the U-hauls, they will have wood in the floor too. Fiberglass is strong but it is not particularly rigid, so for something strong enough to walk on, a sandwich construction (or wood alone) is generally employed.

Think about how it would feel if you walked on the roof of your trailer (it would probably collapse) and you'll know why there is wood in the floor. The "filling" of a fiberglass sandwich doesn't have to be wood (indeed, many boats use a foam core), but most of the eggs I know do use wood as the central core (Boler, Trillium, U-haul, etc.), for rigidity, and are not really a true cored construction (where the "skins" give strength).

Even the "double hulled" trailers that I have seen (U-haul, Burro) aren't really a complete double hull, as the benches, kitchen counter, and closet are molded in, so the walls behind them are "single." And the double hull part ends about 1" into the floor area (you can see the flange).

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Old 06-05-2009, 11:59 PM   #6
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Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
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Burros do not have an undershell. The plywood used for the floor is, however, completely encapsulated in resin.

This is a mixed blessing.. you really have no rot concerns this way, but the floor itself is lumpy and bumpy and putting down laminate or sticky on vinyl requires a subfloor to be put down as well.

I was lucky with my 13 footer, the previous owner had already put down the subfloor and floated a sheet vinyl on it. I was able to easily remove the vinyl and install the stick on planking from Lowes.

On my 17, I am the second owner, and I pulled the carpet to find the roller coaster effect of the factory floor. I "temporarily" (It's been 3 years now...) laid down a heavy vinyl floor that looks like wood flooring, but the unevenness is visible and apparent. I have learned to live with it..

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Old 06-08-2009, 04:50 AM   #7
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 23,914
Escape has a completely fiberglass encased floor. But Reace learned the mistakes of the past and put drain holes in the bottom so if any water came through the top, it will drain out the bottom. Not only can vents and windows leak, but so can sinks, toilets, hot water heaters and plumbing in general. Just because all these trailers are fiberglass, it doesn't mean there aren't general maintenance issues that need to be done.
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
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Old 06-08-2009, 06:24 PM   #8
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Trailer: 2005 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
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Our Surfside (with a design that is almost identical to the Trillium) project trailer also has an all-around fiberglass envelope. As Ed Harris suggested, this has trapped a lot of moisture in the bottom of the shell, causing significant wood rot damage to the plywood floor and other wood substructures. This, in turn, has allowed the floor to sag, warping the lower part of the shell, distorting the door opening, cracking the fiberglass in the upper corners of the door. All this happened despite several "weep holes" at the corners of the shell.

Getting our Surfside trailer road-ready will have to include removing all the cabinetry inside the trailer, the floor, and all the wood substructure, then re-building the substructure, laying a new subfloor, re-installing/replacing the cabinetry, and repairing the damage to the shell. Somewhere in there I will add lots of weep holes and vents that will allow for ventilation in the lower shell. It'll be a big job.

Clearly the the few weep holes oure Surfside came with were far from adequite to prevent the lower shell from retaining the water, humid air, and condensation that resulted in wood rot. What was needed, really, was some way to allow free air circulation through the subfloor spaces to keep the humidity and condensation at a minimum, but I have yet to come up with a way to do that in our Surfside without creating new problems, like making a lot of holes that could allow insects and vermin to nest in the underside of our trailer's living space.

Our Scamp, meanwhile, has a subfloor with a resin coating and fully glassed wheel wells. This approach does expose the subfloor to dirt, corrosive road salt, and water that gets kicked up while we're towing, all of which are bad things, but the lack of a shell under the floor also allows the space under our trailer to dry out when it's not being towed in the rain or snow, which is a good thing. obviously there are advantages to both approaches, the challenge, really, is figuring out which approach has less problematic disadvantages. My thinking is that, while still less than perfect, the exposed, resin coated subfloor in our Scamp is both less likely to retain the water and humidity that results in the formation of rot and easier to repair when damaged.

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