sub floor - need help! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-03-2014, 02:21 PM   #1
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Name: Chris
Trailer: Amerigo
Utah
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sub floor - need help!

Hi All,

Almost have the interior gutting completed, except I am stuck on the subfloor. Not sure how it's anchored down, as I am worried about damaging the bottom shell of the fiberglass in the process of removing the old plywood. I have located the anchor bolts that go through to the frame (which are rusted out) so I took a cutting wheel to those and they popped out no problem... BUT THE SUBFLOOR STILL WON"T PULL UP....... the front portion of subfloor in front of the trailer is glassed around the sides, so obviously I will have to deal with that before the front section will come up, however, the back portion is not glassed in and still won't pry out..... Any one had experience with this....? I'm wondering what else is anchoring it down, as I don't see any screws, bolts, etc...? Not sure how to proceed (like I said, I am just paranoid about damaging the bottom fiberglass shell before I start using 'force' to pull it up).... Any advice here would be greatly appreciated.

Secondly, what is the best way to 'unglass' the sides on the front portion subfloor... cutting wheel....? Any tips or tricks on this as to not plunge a hole into the side walls...?
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:24 PM   #2
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I have pics but not sure how to post them....
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:51 PM   #3
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Name: Eddie
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I find cutting out tabbing is best done with a multi tool and a vacuum nozzle held next to the cutting blade. That really helps with the mess. Big round blades work good, you can hold them tight to the wall to control blade angle. After a while you can your cutting judge depth, but starting out use a magic marker to mark the desired cutting depth of your blade.
With a bathtub bottom trailers where the wood is bonded to the glass bottom if the wood is good just leave it alone. Just cut out the bad wood and piece in good wood. Again the big round flat blade keeps the blade level with the glass bottom.
I try to stay away from floor repairs on bath tub bottom trailers they are a real PIA unless the floor is completely rotted out.
Eddie
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:05 PM   #4
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I've got an angle grinder with cutting wheel, and dremel, so I'll take your recommendation and try the dremel first (assuming this is what you mean by a multi tool...?). Do you cut directly at the bonded seem between the wood and fiberglass, or do you cut solely the wood while leaving a gap around the perimeter to avoid the risk of cutting the fiberglass shell....?

Also, the wood is pretty rotted and will be needing a total replacement sub floor.... I'm in for it with this one.... I assume it's being held down by some sort of epoxy/adhesive to the bottom.... so do I go for the pry bar and slowly/as gently as possible, try and pry it out....?
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:51 PM   #5
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The grinding wheels make too much dust and are hard to control. The orig. Multi tool is made by Fein but most everyone is selling a knock off now, even Dremmel. The least expensive is sold at Harbor Freight.
In the bath tub trailers the bottom of the wood is usually bonded to the shell with resin. If the wood is still good it is very difficult to separate it from the fiberglass tub and very easy to punch through the fiberglass. Others and I have opted to leave the good wood trim it with a good straight edge and bond the patched wood to the existing good wood. I will tell you a wonder bar will go right through the fiberglass tub bottom when trying to separate good wood from the shell, but some floors are poorly bonded and the will easily separate you just have to see how it goes.
I usually cut the tab between the shell and the wood. Usually there is a void and you can feel it when you have cut through the tab with a multi-tool not so much with a grinder.
Eddie
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:16 PM   #6
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I agree with Eddie, use a multi tool. I have done many repairs and mods on fiberglass dune buggies and only use the multi tool anymore. The grinder only comes into use for feathering an edge in preperation for glassing in a fiberglass patch for joint strength.
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Old 03-05-2014, 02:14 AM   #7
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Yep. I used a dremel oscillating multi tool on mine. I cut the flange almost completely off.

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Old 03-05-2014, 11:15 AM   #8
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For our bathtub-bottom Surfside, similar to your Trillium, I started by setting a circular saw so its cutting depth was very slightly less than the thickness of the plywood in the floor, then cut a grid of two-inch squares. From there mu wife and I used a mason's chisel and a multi-tool with a 1-1/4" x 2-1/2" flat blade to cut out the squares.

Not a fun job.
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:42 PM   #9
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I still have one more bathtub floor to rip out. Rockwell makes a small circular saw with about a 1" cutting depth. It has a very fine depth adjustment and a dust collection port. I bought the saw for cutting straight edges on the good floor wood or if I had to resort to Peters removal method. I bought the saw at Lowes.
Eddie
http://www.amazon.com/Rockwell-RK344...i+circular+saw
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:10 PM   #10
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Trailer: Amerigo
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Thanks for all the info and links... this is great stuff and has given me some good ideas. I am pricing out the multitools and small circular saws, as mine is a larger one without a depth control, and will proceed as soon as I can get a hold of these tools..... About half of a section of the plywood as separated from the bottom layer of ply with my previous efforts to pry it up, so as of now my plan of attack is to try and cut the floor section lengthwise every two inches and then try and see if it will pry up in smaller strips that run the length of the trailer. If not, looks like I am going to have to continue cutting horizontally to the trailer into small blocks and multitool out as Peter did. I will def use the multitool to cut out the border as shown in Jared's pic....
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