New floor and way more - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-06-2013, 10:03 PM   #1
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New floor and way more

I've been procrastinating this job. I repaired the floor of my 1991 Scamp 19' fifth wheel back in 2007. To my chagrin a small but persistent plumbing leak went undetected all winter causing new water damage to the wood floor. Last time I patched the floor piecewise. This time I'm redoing the entire rear dinette area. The scope of work is more ambitious than you might guess. More on that later. Meanwhile, today I got started in earnest by purchasing the new vinyl flooring.



I always liked chessboard. Today I found some in Flushing, MI where I'm staying with family. Tomorrow I get brave with demolition. I thought I'd try sharing this project as it happens.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:47 PM   #2
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Hey, that floor looks familiar!

I caulked mine all the way around the dinette area to keep any plumbing leaks from going underneath. That proved smart the night after I did it when I found 2" of water in the back of the camper, from the belly seam leaking.

Also as an FYI, the cabinets are different width side to side. I centered the floor between the cabinets, which puts it a bit off under the dinette. I think I would have preferred it being centered under the dinette, because the table leg points it out, and the dropped part of the floor is so varied anyway with over hangs, etc...

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Old 08-07-2013, 07:03 PM   #3
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Thanks Jared!

Today the whole dinette area was stripped down to bare floor. Water damage hidden under the old vinyl was a mess. Ugh! I needed something cheerier to float my spirits. So before ripping out the old wood I trimmed the new vinyl to fit. Now the finish line in view early. Moreover, the new vinyl now doubles as the template for the new plywood. Bought that today along with steel box tubing to beef up the frame while it's all open. Yup - new floor and WAY more. LOL
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:33 PM   #4
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I'm Old Skool and love the look of black and white flooring, etc.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:37 PM   #5
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Bob
On my first floor repair I used your website as a guide. I think I have replaced about five since then. Attached is a helpful trick to get the floor glassed in when doing the entire rear dance floor. Also make sure you seal the drop floor upper metal lip to the new floor with adhesive calk.
Eddie
Scamp floor repair tips
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:44 PM   #6
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You may already be sure you don't have other leaks, but mine was caused by the belly seam leaking behind the board for the dinette table. It ran down under the ensolite and ruined the floor. I pulled clumps of wood out by hand, no idea how the table had stayed there.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Eddie Longest View Post
Bob
On my first floor repair I used your website as a guide. I think I have replaced about five since then. Attached is a helpful trick to get the floor glassed in when doing the entire rear dance floor. Also make sure you seal the drop floor upper metal lip to the new floor with adhesive calk.
Eddie
Scamp floor repair tips
Thanks Eddie - good tips!
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:18 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jared J View Post
You may already be sure you don't have other leaks, but mine was caused by the belly seam leaking behind the board for the dinette table. It ran down under the ensolite and ruined the floor. I pulled clumps of wood out by hand, no idea how the table had stayed there.
Mine too Jared. I found the belly band leak immediately after the first repair (in 2007) when it got rain tested. Last fall a broken rivet created a leak in an overhead cabinet. This spring a window started leaking (butyl dried out - that's silly coned now). My access hatches developed a warp issue with shell curvature so they'll be reworked in concert with this repair. The killer leak was under the water tank which started settling into the floor. Removing the tank I discovered the outlet fitting worked loose.

I also wonder if there might be a leak elsewhere in the plumbing. If I leave the pump on it cycles after a while. I just don't know if it's losing pressure back past an imperfect check valve at the pump or if there is a dribble somewhere else. I had to replace my shower faucet recently so that gave me a chance to eliminate that end. But the lines getting there run a good distance buried along the edge of the shell out of sight so inspection is hard.

Last time I skimped on the vinyl and used scraps to overlap and patch together coverage under the benches which I figured didn't show anyway. Now I realize (bang head here) those overlaps left pathways for unseen leak water to get under the vinyl. This time I'm sealing up the whole rear area tight. One piece vinyl. Caulking every screw. Etc. So that ANY water will have to pool on top and HOPEFULLY get my attention sooner than later. Call that a hard lesson. (shrug)
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:24 AM   #9
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What year is yours?
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:49 AM   #10
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what year is yours?
1991
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:35 AM   #11
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Demolition

Yesterday was dirty work. Under the old vinyl water damage was bad. First I used a hammer to chip away rotted flooring. The damage area was extensive. What solid wood remained I cut away in sections using a SawzAll. The top of the floor was fiberglassed to the shell around the edges. That was removed with a Dremel reinforced cutoff disk. The frame was then cleaned smooth of broken old hold-down screws.
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:52 AM   #12
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New plywood

Using the new vinyl as a template worked great for cutting a new piece of plywood for custom fit. A circular saw worked fine for approximating edge curvature. I just made short forward strokes, backed up, adjusted course to follow next arc tangent, and proceeded.

Wrestling the new floor in place was not as bad as I feared. My cargo access hatches had to be removed anyway since they protrude enough inside the shell to interfere with the plywood dropping down below their frames. As it turned out having those large holes in the side of the shell to reach through to "help" the plywood into place was invaluable. I could put one hand on top and one beneath. Working by myself that helped a lot.

The new plywood fit so snug and well. What a relief as I had anxiety about that part of the job. If I had to I would have cut the floor outside and pieced it back together inside (jigsaw puzzle style). I'm much(!) happier with one solid piece of flooring material. Which BTW was 3/4" 5-ply CDX.

After dry fit I removed the new plywood to proceed with frame mods.
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Nice fit.JPG  
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:05 PM   #13
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Beefed up frame

In for a penny, in for a pound. I wasn't happy with the frame sag. The doubled up frame was straight ahead of the dinette. The bumper dropped about 1.25" over the single beam section.

The shell is mainly supported at the front and rear ends only. Cantilever effect along the sides does not add much structural support. Some sag is normal and not a problem. That's my opinion anyway. Full disclosure: mine was worse because I overloaded the hitch then witnessed the frame flex too much so most of my permanent set was my own fault. Yes embarrassing to admit but if this is gonna add value to the community I may as well share the good, bad and ugly. (shrug)

My so called "improvement" was to both straighten and stiffen the frame. I did that by adding another 1.5x3" box beam splinted along side (most of the length of) the other wise single beam dinette area. Each "scabbed on" piece (48" each BTW) also extended forward for attachment. The curvature is evident in the first attached pic below.

Once the front was attached clamps were used to "spring" both towards each other. In addition a cantilever bracket was added behind the wheel wells at the dinette transition where double beam construction ended. The last two attached pix show that best. The frame is not perfectly straight now but it's better than when I took possession at age 16 so I'm ecstatic.

The cantilever brackets are key. They bears weight where the cabinets end over double beams before the dinette section. And I'm not quite done. I also plan to add diagonal prop supports tied down to lower corners to make it even stiffer. Words to describe that are even harder but hopefully the pix help convey the idea until that's done. Hopefully tomorrow. (Had to see doctor for eye injury today so that needs rest first.)

I know this project presents both whacky problem and solution. Don't be shy with questions.
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Reinforcement started.jpg   Both reinforcements started.jpg  

Reinforced - above.jpg   Frame reinforced - below.jpg  

Cantilever.jpg  
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:28 PM   #14
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Wow, KB, that is some major surgery. Looks like it is going to turn out real nice. You must have had some pretty beefy clamps to get the new and old steel line up!
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