Flooring in a moist climate - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-18-2006, 12:24 PM   #1
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Trailer: Burro 13 ft 1983
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Greetins -

I have a question about the choice of floor cover.

You'll see by my address that we live in a climate of extremes. (Its been raining for days, typical August weather.) Being tired of tracking in wet, sand, and mud, we've wanted to change out the blue rug that came with our trailer so that we could sweep up easily.

The rug at times has remained damp for days I intend to do some vigorous sealing of electrical and water ports which might in part be the cause. Have considered laying down linoleum - but if water gets underneath it won't evaporate. I'd be interested to hear what any of you have done in a wet climate.

Perhaps the ideal sollution would be a product that would easily snap and unsnap.

Thanks for your comments - Jim
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Old 08-18-2006, 01:30 PM   #2
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Hello from northwest BC!



The previous owner of our Boler installed a (floating) wood-laminate floor. Looks great, easy to sweep. It's not sealed tight around the edges so I guess it can "breathe" a bit.
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Old 08-18-2006, 01:39 PM   #3
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Breathing goes both ways, if it can get out, it can get in.

How about painting the floor? Something you'd use on a wooden deck? You could get real creative with stencils, etc. Use throw rugs to warm up the floor when moisture isn't a problem?
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Old 08-18-2006, 04:23 PM   #4
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Well Jim, you have touched on a subject near and dear to my little Burro heart! For us an entirely different climate: moderately warm and usually dry in the summer and wet in the winter so that you can drive the moisture out with heat.

I'll go at it in this sequence:

1) Make sure (and this is not always easy) that there are NO ways moisture can leak in. All leaks tracked down and sealed.
2) If you have a roof vent, get a cover which will allow you to keep it open even when it rains, and even a Maxx-whatever-it-is for a window to be able to keep it open. Air circulation is good.
3) In colder weather keep a small electric heater going on low to help drive the moisture out, and..........
4) Most importantly: As you suggested, a floor covering which can easily be removed to check for moisture is a must. While I agree with Donna that what moisture goes in can also get out, the problem is: What can leak in, in one minute, if it oozes, spreads, and gets sucked into stuff it may take 100 times (estimate) as long to get it out again. By that time you'd have a death trap of mold, mildew, foul odors, rot, and aggravation. What I did: Removed the blue carpeting (they must have gotten quite a deal on this stuff) and used it as a pattern to cut another one of some cheap Berber remnant. Utility knife works well here. If you want it bound, go to a competent and friendly carpeting place and get the information and supplies to bind the piece. Easier than it sounds. Here comes the important part: Cut an extra piece sized to cover the entire area from the door all the way to the kitchen counter, full width. Then slice the main carpet underneath with an L-shaped cut so that the joint is entirely covered with the extra piece.
5) Get some thin plastic foam-style underlayment, the bluish-greenish stuff and fit it under the carpet. It will not absorb moisture, so that when you pull it all up a small electric heater or fan will dry the moisture off the resin-coated floor with amazing speed.

We like the carpeted floor, and if you can divide it into two, three, or even four parts, you can whip the pieces out of there in no time flat. Dry using your method of choice.

Oh, by the way, Oregon does not have "wet" climate. We have other words for it here (unprintable).
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Old 08-18-2006, 05:14 PM   #5
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Oh, by the way, Oregon does not have "wet" climate. We have other words for it here (unprintable).
We grow some nice slugs too.
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Old 08-18-2006, 11:11 PM   #6
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I installed floating laminate floor in my boler. I wouldnt recommend doing this if you go camping in the rain. The floor is still fine but any real moisture getting on the floor and not wiped up immediately will swell the seams. Ask me how i know this.

If i were to do it again i would glue down proper kitchen lino .
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Old 08-19-2006, 05:40 AM   #7
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maybe this question deserves its own heading but i'll start here...

is condensation running down the walls and Under the perimeter of flooring more of a problem than water/ moisture deposited On the floor and perculating through and subsequently not drying?

i did a forum search and read all the "condensation" topics i could find, but nothing addressed this specifically.

any input appreciated.

j
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Old 08-19-2006, 04:44 PM   #8
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I just started camping this year with my 13 ft Boler and the first weekend was RAIN, RAIN, AND MORE RAIN. The inside of the Boler was like a cold sauna with all the moisture. I thought there were leaks all over the camper but it was just condensation running down the walls. I resolved to buy a 12 volt fan to hang in the window over stove. The next time we went camping it was also a rainy weekend and with all the wet cloths and us breathing but the fan running and the windows open to let the air curculate the condensation problem was solved.
About the laminate flooring Colin K is correct that this stuff is not suppose to get wet. I installed it though-out my house and on all the products I have seen it says any spills should be wiped up fast.
I have installed it in a bathroom but had to use a silicone product down in the 1/4 gap one leaves (for expansion NOT SO IT WILL DRY OUT) so not water will get down inside but the seams will lift and a potential delamination or a nasty cut from the formica top cover will come off.
This is a wood by-product and will swell and fall apart if it gets wet
Gerry
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Old 08-19-2006, 07:42 PM   #9
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I used the cheap stick-down tiles from the Family Dollar Store here in GA. (Fred's in your area) Got a box for $10 and put it down in the egg. I have been so happy with this. I did it thinking I was not out much and could rip it up if I didn't like it. I saved the extra tiles in the event that one broke, pulled up or just needed replacing. It is easy to pull up and no moisture was under the one I had to replace.

I sure have moisture here in the deep South and when you add lake water, salt water and cat-bowl spills from us tromping in and out...this has really worked great fo me.

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Old 08-19-2006, 10:10 PM   #10
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I would go with the peel and stick lino tiles, or possibly better still, a one piece sheet vinyl glued down....shouldn`t be a problem......on my 13' I have a snap together laminate and it hasn`t had a problem yet.....but after seeing some in homes that has been wet, I would be very skepticle to use it in high humidity or possible water leak situations.....it starts by swelling at the snap joints.......Benny
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Old 08-20-2006, 08:42 AM   #11
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I would go with the peel and stick lino tiles, or possibly better still, a one piece sheet vinyl glued down....shouldn`t be a problem......on my 13' I have a snap together laminate and it hasn`t had a problem yet.....but after seeing some in homes that has been wet, I would be very skepticle to use it in high humidity or possible water leak situations.....it starts by swelling at the snap joints.......Benny
For an RV I would recommend sheet vinyl as being the most practical and least likely to be affected by moisture (this is why it is used in high moisture areas in the home). The stick-on tiles allow water/dirt to get in at the seams and are not the best choice for wet areas. The sheet vinyl reminants at Lowes/Home Depot are quite economical and you can generally find pretty high quality stuff if you look for it.

We have a double-wide rental in SC that had carpet in the master bath that I replaced a year or so ago. Wet areas and dirt are about the worst applications for carpet I can think of.
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Old 08-20-2006, 10:07 AM   #12
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I'll add my piece here. We've had our Scamp for a year now and taken it out it very very wet weather. The carpet drove me crazy too, always wet and dirty. I was impressed however that the carpet cleans up surprisingly well. This said I nagged my husband to put it laminate flooring. Every time we go out now I tell him how thrilled I am with this stuff, what a breeze to take care of. We do have a runner type carpet the length of the floor and a mat at the entrance to catch whatever's on our shoes. No fuss there, just shake the whole thing out and sweep the gravel/dust out the door. If the runner gets nasty, throw it out, cheap to replace. We also have a 12v fan, I'm hoping that will help with condensation..........a real pain. One of the forums said that using an electric heater is worse on condensation though, should use your furnace with its vent.
Good Luck!
Christine
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Old 08-20-2006, 10:22 AM   #13
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My earlier post was based on the assumption that Jim's Burro was constructed similarly to mine: inner and outer shell, with the inner shell extending into and over the top of the plywood floor for a number of inches. That creates a particular situation, probably unique. The floor has an irregular fiberglass border which makes putting down a tile or vinyl difficult, because of the difference in levels. On mine the ridge is not always continuously glassed to the plywood either, so moisture from under the sink, for example, could find its way underneath and saturate the carpet from underneath.

The leak can therefore go undetected indefinitely unless checked, and since it would dry on the floor under the sink first one might never know anything was wet under the carpeting until it was too late.

The underlayment I used was also cut to fit the glassed plywood floor only, so it also serves to level the floor for carpeting. Before I fixed the leaks the water would migrate over the floor but settle under the underlayment and carpeting. The carpet would stay dry but lifting up the underlayment would reveal lots of water.

Therefore, for my floor, tiling or any kind of semi-permanent floor would require some extensive and labor intensive leveling and edge sealing, and then I still would have created permanent areas under the inner shell edges where moisture could collect and linger, possibly for months or years. I decided not to put down anything that could not be lifted and checked in less than 3 seconds.
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Old 08-20-2006, 12:49 PM   #14
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One of the forums said that using an electric heater is worse on condensation though, should use your furnace with its vent.
Good Luck!
Christine
I think you mean to say that unvented propane heaters introduce water vapor into the air. Electric heaters are great at drying the air.

Jeanne
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