Sub floor protection?? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-15-2011, 02:03 PM   #1
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Name: kevin
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Sub floor protection??

How do I prevent my subfloor from getting wet and slowly rotting out?

I read somewhere else about painting it with two part epoxy like West systems, but that seems like a real mess! Also will it seal in the water?

I will also spray rust reformer on the metal frame to fix any rust.
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:17 PM   #2
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I didn't see in your profile what year have, if it was new or used but the floor is soaked in resin at the factory. Por15 seems popular for frame rust.
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:25 PM   #3
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I didn't see in your profile what year have, if it was new or used but the floor is soaked in resin at the factory. Por15 seems popular for frame rust.

I have a 1991. It looks like the plywood was maybe coated with something but it is pealing. Not looking forward to sanding it down and spraying or painted with West System epoxy. I was hoping for a better way...
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:37 PM   #4
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Scamp Bottom

We have a 1991. I can not see any damage after 20 years. I was worried about ours when I bought it and considered painting it with Herculiner Truck Bed paint, planning to use white.

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After a while from reading this forum and looking at my rig, it became apparant that floors mostly fail from the top and not the bottom due to window or other hole leaks. To improve that situation I spray painted the under cabinet sections of my floor white.

While I was at it I also sprayed the underneath of the Scamp's floor white, mainly because I like white.

I'm pretty sure that it's the top side that you need to worry about.
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:06 PM   #5
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Thanks

Thanks, good to know
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:30 PM   #6
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What about using a bedliner material? They sell a roll on version that is easy to apply and cheap, who cares what color as it is a subfloor. I used a rust-o-leum product that was like $15 for a quart and I think $50 for a gallon, you would need a gallon to do the floor.
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:33 AM   #7
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I'm assuming this conversation is about the inside. The two part resin would be the best and most permanent protection. The thing is, if you are vigilant about leaks, there won't be any water. Every floor that I have seen that is rotted has been from leaks either from the plumbing or through windows and doors over long periods of time. My experience is with aluminum trailers, but I'd imagine these are similar. One easier measure to give the floor some protection is a coat of Kilz primer followed by an exterior house paint, or floor paint. Sherwin Williams sells a precatalyzed epoxy paint that works great. You just stir and brush or roll it on like any other paint. I've used gallons of the stuff.

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Old 11-16-2011, 06:51 PM   #8
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I have a 1991. It looks like the plywood was maybe coated with something but it is pealing. Not looking forward to sanding it down and spraying or painted with West System epoxy. I was hoping for a better way...
When you say a better way that could have two very different meanings.

If better way means more protection, then coating with epoxy and fiberglass will give much better protection than just painting with epoxy but it will be a lot more work since there is no way to really seal the bottom of the floor without removing it from the frame.

If better way means easier application, there are lots of easier things that you could do, but all the ones I that can think of would not protect the floor as well. The easiest way would be to do nothing and that would give you no more protection than you have now. The level of protection for the most part will be proportional to the effort you put into it.
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:14 PM   #9
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Every floor that I have seen that is rotted has been from leaks either from the plumbing or through windows and doors over long periods of time.
Most of the rot in my Burro 13 floor was because of water soaking into the edges of the plywood around the wheel wells. Water also soaked into the plywood edges at the doorway and where the wires and propane came through holes in the floor. Water also entered where the screws that hold the floor to the frame penetrated the fiberglass on the bottom of the plywood. I addressed all those leakage locations when I replaced the floor. There were no signs of significant leaks around the windows or from plumbing. I suspect that many Burros with rotted floors had similar water entry points.
The Burro floor was coated with fiberglass both inside and outside, unfortunately they did a poor job of sealing the plywood edges. Just painting the bottom without getting between the frame and the floor and without being careful about little details like the edges of the plywood will not offer the kind protection that most people hope for.
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:10 PM   #10
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This is why one of my spring projects is to seal up the couple of exposed edges on the underside of the 2012 13' Scamp we just bought.

The holes for the shower drain and the black water drain have very exposed OSB edges with no resin. 20 minutes with some epoxy now should prevent that and one or two other spots from ever being a concern in my lifetime I hope.

Yet another thing that 10 minutes at the factory could save headaches down the road...sigh.

My past experience owning a 1976 sailboat has proven to me that epoxy for fixing leaky deck holes and preventing water spreading in the balsa sandwich layer is fantastic.
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:26 PM   #11
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Let's make sure we're all talking about the same thing... it will help the archives and Search. Scamp doesn't build a trailer with a "subfloor." It comes with a "floor" that's OBS (?) soaked with resin. If there's a subfloor, it's been put over the top of the original floor by someone other than the Scamp manufacturer.

Rot in these trailers happens from the top down. Any water that's left constantly on the floor will eventually create dry rot.

Unless you use your trailer like a boat....
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Old 11-17-2011, 05:05 PM   #12
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Let's make sure we're all talking about the same thing... it will help the archives and Search. Scamp doesn't build a trailer with a "subfloor." It comes with a "floor" that's OBS (?) soaked with resin. If there's a subfloor, it's been put over the top of the original floor by someone other than the Scamp manufacturer.

Rot in these trailers happens from the top down. Any water that's left constantly on the floor will eventually create dry rot.

Unless you use your trailer like a boat....
To clarify what the term subfloor means... a subfloor is a rough floor beneath a finished floor. So Scamp has a subfloor unless the OSB floor is showing on the inside of the trailer and there is no other flooring on top of the OSB.

OSB stands for Oriented Strand Board, it is made by orienting wood chips in one direction in each layer and then many layers are pressed together along with wax and resin to make the panel. OSB is not recommended for exterior use, it needs to be kept dry. A quote from a web page about OSB... "The major disadvantage of OSB is that if it gets exposed to significant amounts of water or moisture, the edges expand by up to 15%. . .especially if they are cut edges. This swell will then telegraph onto the shingles or some flooring. When plywood gets wet, it expands evenly throughout the panel, dries more quickly and shrinks down to its original size more rapidly than OSB." Most of the web site was promoting the use of OSB, but they recognize the issues this type of panel has with moisture.
Many years ago I used OSB for a garage roof and also built a shed from it. I found out first hand about the swelling and will never use the product again if I can avoid it. The edges of the OSB on the shed swelled to twice the original thickness, a lot more than the 15% quoted above.
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:44 PM   #13
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To clarify what the term subfloor means... a subfloor is a rough floor beneath a finished floor. So Scamp has a subfloor unless the OSB floor is showing on the inside of the trailer and there is no other flooring on top of the OSB.
And the OSB does show through on the inside. No other flooring... just carpet or lino, or...
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:51 PM   #14
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Also dont forget the drain holes for water tank overflow hose, grey tank vent and water tank drain, if equipped, Just fixed a issue with my 96 scamp which had soft wood around water tank overflow hose, which on my trailer is right behind the curbside wheel, a soft spot , after some digging out turned out to be a dinner plate size repair...........
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