Sealing/Repairing Underside of Floor - Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-27-2006, 10:07 PM   #1
Trailer: 1997 13 ft Scamp Deluxe and 2006 Airstream 75th Anniversary International Bambi Prototype
Posts: 43
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Hello everyone again...first off let me just say thanks again for all the posts and readings regarding my "difficult to tow" problem. I have new lug studs, bearing kits, and lightweight rims on the way...after I take it to a frame shop I'll let everyone know if that reduced my "towing fatigue" problem. to the NEXT problem. I am originally from Louisiana, and I had some floor damage due to the flooding in Katrina. My Scamp 13ft Deluxe has the front bath/shower, and as some may know, the late 90's 13ft trailers with the front bath have a subfloor under the shower. The bathroom floor is about 6-8 inches higher than the main floor of the trailer; these earlier bathroom'd trailers don't have the nice sunken floor like the new ones. For some reason, Scamp didn't seal mine at all...there was a big square hole for access to the drain I suppose, covered with a 12 X 12 piece of manufactured 1/8" pressboard. Apparenlty, the cheap plastic spout on the side of the shower drain broke and every time I emptied my sink it flooded this little subcompartment for a couple weeks. The 2X4 floor supports for the shower weren't damaged nor was the floor itself for the shower. But, the water would seep in sideways on the main section of wood for the main floor in the center of the trailer. It was under the carpet, so I didnt' see it. Now, when you walk in the trailer, I have maybe a 7" square area just at the foot of the door for the bathroom where the top 1/4" wood is gone, but the floor underneath there is reasonably solid. I just dug out the soft wood from the top. Again, the rest of the floor is reasonably solid. But, driving through the floodwaters of Katrina didn't help. My fiberglass resin on the bottom of the floor is very weathered, and you can scratch it off with your fingernails. My frame is a rusty mess. Keep in mind, this trailer has lived its life literally sitting in the swamps of southern Louisiana; constantly wet and filthy on the underside. The trailer was parked in wet soggy muddy grass, so the bottom of the trailer was constantly full of condensation and filth.

I also have a small soft section of floor in the left rear resulting from some little kid who filled my electrical outlet opening with water while playing with a hose. Its not bad, but its about a 6 inch overall diameter area, you can easiy pull the wood apart.

Dismantling the trailer and taking the shell off is out of the question.

Here's what I'm thinking of doing. Since the first soft area by the foot of the bathroom is very small and flooring seems solid, I was going to drill 3/16" holes in that area about an inch apart, not through the wood, and fill it with epoxy hardener followed by epoxy paste to level it out. I will do the same to the soft area in the left rear. Or, I may perhaps do like someone else here did and fill it with fiberglass resin and matting. I don't know what would be the best solution. Any ideas on what would be best????

I will also figure a way to apply the epoxy wood harder to the outer edges of the floorboard under the trailer where the standard floor stops under the bathroom as it is soft there. I'm referring to the edges of the wood where the 12 X 12 access hole is under the bathroom.

In the interior, I definitely will be rid of all the carpet. I was thinking of fiberglassing the entire walking area of the interior floor, and installing thin oak parquet flooring over that. That way, water won't enter the floor as easily, and the floor won't be completely sealed everywhere so water will be able to escape. Wouldn't thin fiberglass help strengthen and seal the floor??? Or, is it pointless? Please share your views if you can back them up. I'm open to any researched ideas.

As far as the bottom/exterior of the trailer, I definitely want to strengthen the section of the main floor underneath the area where its soft. Under the trailer, this entire area is squared off by the frame supports. Would it be a good idea to scuff up the original fiberglass resin, clean it well, then cut a new piece of plywood to fit in this "square", soak the top of the new plywood with fiberglass resin, and screw it in place to this squared off section of the original floor, sandwhiching the resin between the old floor and the new plywood? Then, I would fiberglass the new plywood in place, sealing it. Does this sound like a good idea??? I would also do something similar to the area in the left rear. Please let me know if this is the right way to go, or if you know a better fix.

As I stated, the original resin on the exterior floor is aging poorly, and needs to be repaired somehow. Would it be worth my while to scuff up all the resin and "re-resin" it? Or, should I actually fiberglass the entire floor, including the frame? That seems like it would pose problems with flexing and cracking...but, I don't know. I definitely need to coat at least the exterior wood with something. What's the best way to go about this???

My frame, as I stated, is rusty. If I were to fiberglass resin the entire exterior floor, I'm assuming I wouldn't want to use this on the frame. Is this a good or bad idea? CAN you coat the frame with resin??? What are the pro's and cons??? I was thinking of sanding and sealing the frame with a product like "Chassis Saver", then coating the frame as well as the entire floor with something like Herculiner. I want to do this once and be done with it. But, couldn't I theoretically just coat the entire frame and wooden floor with a product like Herculiner after I sand/scuff it up? I was under the assumption that that is what products like Herculiner were designed for. Any advice here as well would be GREATLY appreciated. I would REALLY like to be able to clean the bottom of the trailer, reinforce the soft areas, sand/scuff it up, and apply a product like Herculiner that would eliminate the need for separately sealing the rusty frame and coating the wood with more resin. Am I thinking in the right direction, or am I completely off base?

So, summing is overall what I want to do. Remove all carpet, fix both soft areas in the trailer with wood hardener and/or fiberglass, thinly fiberglass the interior walking areas of the floor, and install oak parquet flooring. On the exterior, clean/sand/scuff the entire old floor, reinforce the main square section under the entry door/central walkway area with another piece of plywood screwed/fiberglassed to the existing floor, and coat the entire exterior floor of the trailer with a product like Herculiner. Please let me know if I should use a product that converts rust such as "Chassis Saver" first on the frame, and if I should coat the exterior floor with more resin before coating the entire bottom with Herculiner or a similar product. I understand that Herculiner is difficult to use and messy.

Please, if anyone is experienced with doing any of this, shed some light and your views through experience.

Please keep in mind that I cannot remove the shell from the frame or floor. Also, this trailer is subjected to the worst environmental conditions in the swamps of southern Louisiana. I MUST do something to adequately seal the floor. If I drive through one more big rainstorm or flood as it is the floor will turn to mush.

I'm greatly looking forward to everyone's wisdom on this subject. I have to repair my floor soon as I will need to use my trailer to travel from job to job as a traveling nurse as it is now my home since Hurricane Katrina.

Thanks everyone, again!!!

Jeff G. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2006, 06:27 AM   #2
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Donna D.'s Avatar
Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 23,913

Check this stuff out: POR-15. Unlike some of the other "rust preventive" stuff on the market, POR15 gets harder with moisture.

Be careful about adding any "bed liner" stuff to the's heavy and it sounds like you've got enough of a weight problem.

Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 06-28-2006, 08:52 AM   #3
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 66
To fix a soft spot, cut a pc. of exterior ply the size of the floor area you want to replace. trace around this on the floor & cut out the old section.

Glue the new pc. in w/bonding epoxy,let set up 1 day & fiberglass the area w/bonding epoxy & fiberglass.

Don Meyer
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Old 06-28-2006, 02:17 PM   #4
Trailer: 1997 13 ft Scamp Deluxe and 2006 Airstream 75th Anniversary International Bambi Prototype
Posts: 43
Hi Don....

Do you see any problems with things that I listed? I know you did extensive work on your trailer....

As far as "bonding epoxy", what type/brand would you recommend?? What is the difference between "bonding epoxy" and regular epoxy???

Also, forgive my ignorance....when you cut out the old section after you've traced a section according to your new piece of wood, how do you hold it in place while you apply this bonding epoxy?

Also, if I were to replace the left rear corner wood, what would be the best way to cut a new piece of wood to the exact curved corner contour of the trailer???

Eagerly awaiting more replies!!


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