Scamp Floor Replacement - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-23-2003, 10:02 PM   #1
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Scamp Floor Replacement

Before my purchasing a used Scamp, I was concerned about the possibility of critical wood components being rotted. I contacted the Scamp company by phone to inquire about the relative liklihood that the wood might be rotten and was told that it was unlikely since the wood was 'impregnated' with resin. (They just waved the resin over the board really) It was only after buying the trailer that I discovered the 'OSB' flooring was rotted. With a great deal of work, I replaced the entire rear deck (under the dinette) with epoxy fiberglassed 3/4" plywood and also that deck under water heater! Now I have found the floor to be rotted and soft as well, so am planning on ways of replacing that.

Is there some clever way of doing this so as not to involve plywood or other moisture sensitive materials? Has anyone else on the board successfully replaced one of these crummy floors? Any suggestions?
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Old 02-23-2003, 10:41 PM   #2
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Hi Steve
Welcome to this forum.Great place to be.
I redid my floor in my Boler with Hardwood flooring.My floor was spongy but not rotting.It worked good for me.Some photos of Boler on the Modification&Alterations Disscusion.
:wave
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Old 02-24-2003, 08:01 AM   #3
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if just spongy there is a resin you can get to soak into the spongy wood and it will harden.
check this one out by Charles
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/read.php...780&page=1#6400
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Old 02-24-2003, 09:04 AM   #4
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Steve ... I'm sorry you were mislead by the factory ... like the old joke goes ...

How do you know an RV saleman is lying? When his lips are moving!

(No, I don't mean all salesmen lie! Some just occasionally gloss over the facts!)

Scamp, like Airstreams, and 99 percent of the other trailers out there are shells attached to a resin-coated floor.

There are many old Airstreams, Scamps, Bolers, etc, which, because their owners took care, will never experience floor rot of the original floor.

But, unfortunately, if something breaches the integrity of the floor (road debri, rocks, errant pieces of metal) and isn't repaired, or if someone doesn't fix an interior leak, particularly over the course of a few years, well, the wood is going to rot.

Floor rot sends more RV's to the junk yard than any other cause.

You are not the first person to encounter this. And you won't be the last.

That's the bad news.

The good news is you found this website!

There is a wealth of information, talent and advice on this website.
I'm sure we can help you overcome whatever you are facing.

Just take it a step at a time. There are many, many 30 year old fiberglass wonders still running down the road.

The really, really good news is you purchased a fiberglass trailer!

The integrity of your walls, roof, cabinets and benches is strong!

Several folks have done "frame off" restorations ... look through the old posts. Frank's A project begins is a good primer, if you want to go this route.

Rather that us repeating everything, I suggest you go back to the beginning of www.fiberglassrv.com (by clicking on the little numbers at the bottom)(there are lots and lots of pages, so you have lots to read!)

But have no fear, we'll help! Post some pictures. Ask some specific questions.
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Old 02-24-2003, 09:16 AM   #5
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Note to anybody looking at any old trailer:

Take a small screwdriver with you! From both the inside and the outside of the floor ... the interior and exterior ... try to push the screwdriver into the floor.

If there is a problem with the floor, the screwdriver will easily push into the wood.

Now, this is not advice that is specific to our little Fiberglass wonders. Do this if you are considering any trailer.

Some, like Airstream and Bigfoot, have belly panels, which make it difficult, if not impossible to access the exterior floor ... and it's doubtful if the seller will let you remove them anyway. So do your investigating from the interior of the trailer.

Make sure you check in front of the door, under the windows, and the back of the floor cabinets, along the walls ...

Unlike traditional stick-built trailers, our beloved fiberglass trailers will not experience any rot in the walls or ceilings, so we are way, way ahead of the game.

But it pays to check before you buy.

If you are buying sight unseen ... specifically ask the seller if there are any signs of floor rot. I'd probably even ask for it in writing! That way, when you pick it up, you'll have an "out" if you decide not to undertake the repairs.

If you do find some floor rot, and choose to purchase the rig (hey, working on these is half the fun!) ... you might be able to get the seller to lower the price.
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Old 02-24-2003, 09:17 AM   #6
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And Steve,
take pictures, lots and lots of picture. you want a quick reaction post a picture of the problem. most of these people can't stand to see something wrong and not tell how to take care of it. :lol :duck anyway, you might come up with something we all want to try so we need pictures. :)
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Old 02-24-2003, 09:30 AM   #7
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Even older Casitas ... with their solid fiberglass bottoms ... should be checked out thoroughly.

In the early 80s, Casita attached a resin-coated top-coated board to the solid fiberglass floor ... an unchecked, unfixed interior leak can cause this board to rot also!

If you find this interior floor rot, you'll probably have to remove the interior benches and install new wood ... but the floor will still be strong.

Newer Casitas have wood sandwiched in solid fiberglass ... but where ever this solid floor is breached (for plumbing, etc.), should be checked.
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Old 02-24-2003, 10:00 AM   #8
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Flooring

All very good points, Charles. And thanks for bringing that up about the older Casitas.

I have an '89. When I first got it, I had some elusive leaks. They realized they had a leaked somewhere and replaced the rotted area so that was not a worry to me. What was, however, was the leak they never found. The offending leak was not where they thought. On my model, the city water inlet is under the side dinette...which is next to the bathroom. They did some plumbing work (which I also redid because of a slight drip), but that was not the major source of their problem. They had acres of caulk all over the trailer, but had failed to notice the major offender. It was around the exterior vent pipe collar over the bathroom. It was pouring in, soaking the carpet then running down between the bathroom wall and the exterior wall. Where was it landing? Right under where they thought the leaks had been. There were a couple of more, but that was they key one. All has been dry since the repair was made.

Leaks may not always be in obvious places, so make sure they are all taken care of before you repair your floor.
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Old 02-24-2003, 10:06 AM   #9
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Another good point

>>Newer Casitas have wood sandwiched in solid fiberglass ... but where ever this solid floor is breached (for plumbing, etc.), should be checked.

Charles, this is also a very good point. Especially the shower/bathroom floor. This can be kept as dry as the rest of the trailer, if you take the time to inspect it ever so often.

As an older unit, it is not that hard to remove my shower drain, so I plan on keep a close watch on it. Make sure the plumber's putty is still good and I put marine silicone around the inside to form a seal.

Just a suggestion.
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Old 02-24-2003, 10:59 AM   #10
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Floor Rot

Unusual situations aside - I personally don't see how floor rot can become an issue. Obviously from leaks - but how hard can these things be to find anyway??? You'd think people would be seriously motivated to find the solution long before wood rot is an issue. One night's wet bunk would be sufficient for me...

Thinking about it - I think that one of the reasons for less problems with glass campers is that our roofs are rounded and not flat. Comparing things to roofs on homes - I've seen sloped roofs that leaked. The hole has to be pretty significant though since the water tends to run off before seeping into small holes. However - I've never seen a flat roof that DIDN'T leak. I don't care how much someone tended to it - glued rubber to it - went up every summer to patch. Flat roofs leak because the water ALWAYS pools and has lots of time to find little holes to seep into.

I had some minor leaks in the Boler around the rear window gasket. Took me about a week to find them and they're gone now.

As far as floor rot - I had plenty of chance to check when I had all the old flooring removed. I found one small (maybe 2 inch diameter) spot near the door which I smothered with fiberglass resin before putting in the new floor tiles.

mkw
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Old 02-24-2003, 11:49 AM   #11
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>>people would be seriously motivated to find the solution

Well, I agree. Most owners would be motivated to constantly check and fix leaks or floor damage.

I think the problem occurs after the owners stop actively camping ... or circumstances change, a death or something, and the trailer just sits unused for an extended period of time.

Getting the floor wet for a day isn't going to cause the problem. It's having the floor wet over a period of years.

One of the really, really great things about our fiberglass rigs is that a leak isn't hidden in a wood-trussed roof or wall like a traditional stick built trailer.

If your rig is leaking, you are going to see it ... and be able some sort of remedial action.
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Old 02-24-2003, 04:37 PM   #12
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Mike, my experience, including personal, observation and anecdotal from groups like this, is that most of the rotted floors in RVs come more from *internal* leaks than external leaks (this may be because the external leaks get your bed wet and you tend to notice them quicker - grinz). Things like leaky water heaters, shower pans, toilets, drain pipes, fresh water tanks and air conditioner drains tend to be low and unnoticed (and possibly hidden), altho Suz's leaky drain vent is an exception to that.

My 13' Scamp is a 1991, and I check the underside occasionally, but have found no faults from exterior water.

I personally don't think there's much functional difference between OSB and plywood as long as they are both exterior grade, meaning waterproof glue (seems like early applications of OSB and chipboard used interior glue and gave them a bad name). Ask the owners of plywood boats who have a plywood floor sandwiched between sealed fiberglass -- if the wood manages to get wet, thru a hole or crack, it will expand and break the fiberglass, just like freezing water breaks rocks. Unfortunately, fiberglass alone isn't strong enuf economically for open spaces like floors. The best solution is to keep it all dry in the first place.

Pete and Rats
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Old 02-24-2003, 09:19 PM   #13
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Floor Replacement Options

Wow, what a lot of replies. Thanks for the interest. Make no mistake, I have a great deal of admiration for the essential design of this sort of trailer. If I had the time and money, I might try to build one from scratch, only using an aluminum frame and fiberglass floor, too eliminate any possibility of rot whatsoever.

The reason I despise OSB is that from what I have seen, it is far more sensitive to moisture and delamination than plywood, but that really is water under the bridge. Right now I am considering the various options for replacing the floor. By the floor, I mean the lowermost section.

In order to replace the floor with a one piece section, I would fiirst have to remove the bathroom and stove fiberglass components, then remove the secondary section of the floor OSB under them. This is a great deal of work, especially since the bathroom section would not be able to be removed from the interior, and would require quite a bit of fiberglassing. I have determined that I can insert 18 inch wide 44 inch floor sections one at a time through the doorway, then laminate them together once inside. Right now, I am trying to decide whether to use Plywood for this, or simply get some oak, possibly even salvaged pallet lumber. At the seams, maybe biscuit joints would suffice.

What I was hoping to find were clever methods of replacing the lower floor wood with the largest piece and fewest joints possible. Has anyone on this board replaced a Scamp floor?
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Old 02-25-2003, 09:05 AM   #14
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There are two or three here who have taken their TTs down to the axel. and started back with new floors. I know at least one took the whole box off because they showed a picture. I have always wondered how they lifted the thing. Hiring Sman <img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3e5b8633aec36tman.gif/> seems a little far fetched. maybe they would be so kind as to tell us their method. I know one was a Boler, but they are mainly alike..?
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