New Floor for the Scamp - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-02-2018, 12:16 PM   #1
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Name: Rob
Trailer: boler & Acorn
British Columbia
Posts: 62
New Floor for the Scamp

I'm going to start a new thread.. I have read that others have replaced the floor in their little fiberglass trailers. And there's a lot of reasons for that.. but mostly rot ! The boler I restored last year had a molded fiberglass floor with gel coat on the top , plywood... and glassed in the bottom.. Even after 45 years it was still good ... Not so with my 40 year old Scamp. The floor seams to have been just 5/8" plywood held in by just glassing the perimeter top and bottom. Once the plywood got soft it just pulled out. When I brought the trailer home .. on a flat deck.. The body was resting on the frame in four places front and back where the frame passes through! Good thing the lower edge had edge guard or the weight would have done lots of damage. The wheel wells were removed and the floor pieces were loose and just sitting there.. What a challenge ! So this post is MY method for replacing the floor. Others have done it a bit differently.. Everyone has their ways..

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The Cradle

I felt that it was important that the trailer body be supported in a way that there was no twist or deform to the thin body. That was done with the cradle that I made... which holds the body by the seam.. The seam is flat.. So the shell can relax to it's proper shape. This made it easy to remove the frame... not attached anyway ! And with some wheels I can move the body around ... in and out of my small shop.

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Lighten the Load
All windows were removed and all the rivets were punched out. Next I removed the top fiberglass lip that used to hold the floor in place.

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Just the bottom lip
Now I can measure and carefully cut and fit the new front and rear upper floor pieces. These are the two places that really hold and support the body on the frame.

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New Dinette Floor
This is as far as I've got.. I need to bring the body back into the shop.. and glue and glass in these floors.
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Old 12-02-2018, 02:30 PM   #2
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Name: Daniel
Trailer: '82 Burro 13'
Northern VA
Posts: 128
Looks like some good work so far.
The more I look at my own trailer, the more I'm thinking the shell needs to come off.

Good luck with the rest of the rebuild.
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:13 AM   #3
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Casita
New York
Posts: 56
Shell off

Very interested to follow your logic. Install wood frame to support shell on shell seam and let it relax. Then if you wanted you can jack up the frame and roll the trailer out to work on it or take it somewhere to be worked on.
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:21 AM   #4
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Name: Stephen
Trailer: NotYet
Ohio
Posts: 40
I always wonder "why" use wood in an environment where the wood will be exposed to water, moisture, , etc.. In the marine world, sail boats use a product "called" "marine board. There isn't any wood in marine board, it is not marine plywood. It is made out of high density polyethylene (HDPE). If you want the warm feeling of wood to walk on use the thinner HDPE and cover the interior side with wood. The HDPE would be exposed to the exterior moisture and protect the wood in the interior.
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Old 12-03-2018, 12:49 PM   #5
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Name: Rob
Trailer: boler & Acorn
British Columbia
Posts: 62
Agreed... wood is not a good thing. But it works for the floor.. BECAUSE I'm going to split the body at the seam.. flip over the bottom half and completely fiberglass all the floor.. Then I will coat the whole underside with box liner. The only holes through the floor will be the seven hold down bolts.. and those will be sealed. I use canopy tape on the frame everywhere it touches the floor. Inside the trailer I will glue lino on ALL of the floor right to the sides. And seal all seams. That's as protected as wood can get.

I just glued the two upper floors in place..

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Next is to glass them in..
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Old 12-03-2018, 04:40 PM   #6
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Name: Tony
Trailer: In the market
Ohio
Posts: 6
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Impressive work. Regarding holes in the floor, wouldn’t you want a drain hole or two?
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Old 12-03-2018, 05:03 PM   #7
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
Posts: 1,380
When I rebuilt my Scamp 16 I fully glassed the floor top bottom and sides with 6 oz fabric and epoxy resin.
By the way Linoleum on the top with fiberglass on the bottom will NOT protect the floor. Fiber-glassing the top and linoleum on the bottom would be better. These floors rot out from the top and not the bottom.
But perhaps I read your post wrong.
I used epoxy because I had some and it is far more waterproof and bonds better to wood and fiberglass as well.
I glassed the glasses floor to the shell all the way around.
The actual support of the shell seems to me to be the area directly over the frame and what is tied to that dance floor as the sides are just sheet metal screwed to the frame and can provide little additional support.
On my trailer I added 1 1/2" square tubing bracing from the frame to the sides of the trailer for additional support. I added probably close to hundred pounds to the total weight with frame reinforcement.
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Old 12-03-2018, 05:35 PM   #8
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Name: Rob
Trailer: boler & Acorn
British Columbia
Posts: 62
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Originally Posted by Tony D View Post
Impressive work. Regarding holes in the floor, wouldn’t you want a drain hole or two?
Where would the water come from ? And if it did.. just open the door and let it out.. I keep these little trailers simple.. no city water hook up.. just the small fresh water tank and hand pump faucet. The drain goes straight out the side..

As for the frame.. I added about 50 lbs of new steel for supporting the floor.
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Old 12-03-2018, 06:39 PM   #9
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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Originally Posted by robeye View Post
Where would the water come from ? And if it did.. just open the door and let it out.. I keep these little trailers simple.. no city water hook up.. just the small fresh water tank and hand pump faucet. The drain goes straight out the side..

As for the frame.. I added about 50 lbs of new steel for supporting the floor.
The water doesn't come from the plumbing, but rather from window leaks etc.
Not to mention the vents for the refrigerator etc.
These trailers rot from the inside and top.
Fiberglass the top and the bottom takes care of it's self.
Well fiberglass the bottom too.
If you use Polyester then water will migrate through it and into the wood like almost every fiberglass boat made with wood stringers and transom ever built.
Rot from the top and inside, just like those boats.
As far as drains for really big leaks the door doesn't seal well enough to hold water anyway! At least mine doesn't
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Old 12-04-2018, 08:42 PM   #10
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Name: Rob
Trailer: boler & Acorn
British Columbia
Posts: 62
The windows will be new.. no rivets anywhere.. Not worried about leaks..

The glassing of the first two floor panels is done.. This should be enough to keep the body in it's proper shape.. and support it on the frame while I construct the lower floor in place on the frame and attach that to the upper floor..
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:52 AM   #11
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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My windows were old, but they were also mounted with screws and carefully sealed and still one leaked, but with the bolster installed around the back it showed up immediately and I fixed it. I was in Yellowstone park at the time ans was smart enough to have a tube of caulking with me.
These things bounce around a lot and keeping a perfect seal is nearly impossible.
I too thought I had it sealed perfectly, but that fiberglassed floor protected the wood.
I have also had a leak at the water pump and that also was contained.
Water WILL get inside.
I don't believe a single trailer has rotted from the bottom up, but I am open to other opinions.
Water does not sit "upside down"
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:09 AM   #12
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Name: Rob
Trailer: boler & Acorn
British Columbia
Posts: 62
They sure do bounce.. maybe more now that I have a 2000 lb axle. This is true for a lot of single axle trailers.. The new windows I'm getting clamp in from the inside.. so should do well..
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:30 AM   #13
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Name: Alexander
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1300
New Hampshire
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Originally Posted by robeye View Post
They sure do bounce..
The bouncing reduced greatly when I replaced the original axle on my 79 boler.
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Old 12-05-2018, 12:05 PM   #14
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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The new rounded windows clamp on and pretty much seal well, except for those that don't.
You never know until you see the water pooled on the floor.
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