Scamp design flaw, floor rot? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-14-2008, 04:20 PM   #1
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The scamp floor is exposed underneath. I think I understand the design to be treated with a layer of fiberglass resin, thus waterproof. My question is… doesn’t every hole through the floor create a potential for the cheap chip-board to soak up water, then start rotting? For example, the attached photo show holes drilled for water tank, vent and sink fittings. This is is seen with the water tank removed. In other words, every other type of hole could soak road splash up into itself right? Anyone consider this a design flaw? Thanks in advance.

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Old 07-14-2008, 04:33 PM   #2
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Design flaw? Not particularly. I consider it a maintenance issue. Scamp and all the other manufacturers could (and have) done everything possible to create a trailer that is NEARLY maintenance free. But there are some owners that never clean and caulk, check snaps, pull and reseal windows when they notice a leak, or wash and wax the trailer. If these same owners owned a sticky, that type of trailer would have melted into the weeds long before a molded fiberglass trailer, with fiberglass floor would.

I wonder if the flooring is drilled, then soaked in resin? If anyone has been to the factory, please answer up.
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:10 PM   #3
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From what I've seen and heard almost all the floors that rot out have moisture coming in from the top. As Donna says things window leaks, plumbing leaks, etc. causing water to sit on top. It takes more than once or twice for water to get in to cause rot.

If it were a real design flaw you'd hear a lot more about floors rotting out. Yes, it does happen, and we usually hear about it when it does. But there's also a lot more trailers out that haven't had that problem.

Moral of the story keep water out of the inside and you'll be just fine.

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Old 07-15-2008, 12:30 AM   #4
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OSB (Oriented Strand Board), as used by Scamp for their trailer floor, comes in different grades.

Each grade is manufactured using a different adhesive material to saturate, and bond together, the many strands or chips of wood which make up the board.

Some of these adhesives are less prone to the affects of moisture, or even direct water contact, than others.
The better adhesives are used in OSB that's rated for "Exterior" application and OSB that is rated for "Below Grade" application.

I don't know just which grade of OSB Scamp uses, but I'll bet it's not the "Interior Only" grade that's used as interior sheeting in home construction. That stuff will come apart if it stays wet for very long.
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Old 07-15-2008, 03:18 AM   #5
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Just to be really clear here, the flooring that Scamp, Casita, and many other manfs use is not the cheap chip board, it is the better stuf with the good glues intended for exterior use. Prior to that, the manfs used plywood.

As pointed out above, most damaged floors are a result of persistent leakage from above, window, appliance, etc., as opposed to getting wet from beneath. Placing a totally impenetrable barrier between the floor bottom and the outside world will tend to trap whatever moisture enters from above....
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Old 07-15-2008, 05:12 AM   #6
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The flooring issue came in in the Compare Casita v. Scamp topic.
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Old 07-15-2008, 09:17 AM   #7
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Performing regular maintenance is what got me thinking in the first place. How do you maintain under the water tank is one example in the photo. I was wondering how many other holes are through the chipboard like frame mounting holes ETC. Friction from the frame and shell rubbing right through the water proof chip-board layer. I had a stick built trailer that floor rotted on me. I’m trying to make a more informed trailer purchase this time around. Looking under a scamp with the floor out in the open had me curious. But good point about it being able to dry faster out in the open like it is.

For those more familiar with the forum here… can a Scamp shell be lifted off the frame and the floor replaced? I thought I read on here of people doing that on rebuilds? I thought I read both the Scamp factory being able to do this and folks doing it at home. Appreciate the feedback.
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Old 07-15-2008, 09:01 PM   #8
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Ken, I don't think it's appropriate to use "chip board" when the material is actually OSB with exterior glues -- There really is a big difference, just as there is between plywoods with exterior and interior glues.

Yes, it is possible to replace the factory flooring with something else, like genuine plywood (Oh, how people complained when their solid wood stuf was being made of plywood instead of 'real' wood). However, rather than predicting failure, I would wait and let nature take its course -- I predict that you will be pleasantly surprised at how long your flooring lasts as long as you check a few times a season for window and appliance leaks.
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Old 07-16-2008, 05:42 AM   #9
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Ken, I don't think it's appropriate to use "chip board" when the material is actually OSB with exterior glues -- There really is a big difference, just as there is between plywoods with exterior and interior glues.
You made me curious, Pete. According to the Wikipedia, "OSB panels have no internal gaps or voids, and are water-resistant, although they do require additional membranes to achieve impermeability to water and are not recommended for exterior use." However, an OSB manufacturer states "Conditioned to perform in humid environments, SmartPly 3 is the fully certified alternative to softwood plywood. It is versatile, strong and cost-effective. Manufactured with exterior resins, SmartPly 3 is suitable for both interior and exterior structural applications." If Scamp is using this type of certified OSB (which, to be fair to Ken, I still call chip-board) it would seem to be the same as using plywood. I wonder what advantages using OSB has for Scamp?
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Old 05-09-2020, 02:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ken C View Post
The scamp floor is exposed underneath. I think I understand the design to be treated with a layer of fiberglass resin, thus waterproof. My question is… doesn’t every hole through the floor create a potential for the cheap chip-board to soak up water, then start rotting? For example, the attached photo show holes drilled for water tank, vent and sink fittings. This is is seen with the water tank removed. In other words, every other type of hole could soak road splash up into itself right? Anyone consider this a design flaw? Thanks in advance.
For foam core fiberglass boats the procedure is to drill an oversized hole. Fill the hole with epoxy, let it dry. Then drill your smaller hole through the epoxy. The larger epoxy plug seals the foam edge around the hole.
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Old 05-09-2020, 04:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ken C View Post
The scamp floor is exposed underneath. I think I understand the design to be treated with a layer of fiberglass resin, thus waterproof. My question is… doesn’t every hole through the floor create a potential for the cheap chip-board to soak up water, then start rotting? For example, the attached photo show holes drilled for water tank, vent and sink fittings. This is is seen with the water tank removed. In other words, every other type of hole could soak road splash up into itself right? Anyone consider this a design flaw? Thanks in advance.

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I have owned Scamp trailers with good floors which were well over 30 years old.

Mine is 16 Years old and in great shape, I guess that means its not a design flaw.
Extra care cain't hurt though.
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Old 05-09-2020, 04:35 PM   #12
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I think the Scamp design is actually better than some. By being exposed from the bottom it’s super easy to inspect and also allows it to dry out.

Some other brands are sealed on the bottom, no way to inspect and no way to dry out. Floors tend to rot from the inside out.

An even better design would be to use a material that doesn’t rot. But Scamp is not alone in this problem.

The advantage of manufacturers using OSB is pretty obvious: cost.
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Old 05-10-2020, 09:16 AM   #13
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My experience when I had my '87 Scamp was floor rot not caused by the floor, but from water leaking to it from above the floor. I bought the trailer used and found four areas of very serious rot. The rot remained undetected because it was covered. Windows were a major cause. Around the door was another bad spot. Every rivet is a potential leak.
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Old 05-10-2020, 01:37 PM   #14
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Reading down this, saw a reply from Pete Dumbleton and then noted the thread was started over twelve years ago. Thanks for bringing it back up - Pete was one of the good guys who went out of his way to welcome a green newbie. RIP.

My 19'er is twenty years old and going strong although it does have a couple of floor repairs caused by a window leak the previous owner didn't catch.
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Old 07-09-2020, 02:56 PM   #15
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FLOOR WOOD

Hi all. i`m new to here and going to buy a scamp 13ft. next year.
I too was concerned about the unprotected floor wood. On another post (somewhere) i read a guy filled the holes with great stuff foam, cleaned everything and then sprayed the underneath with a truck bed rubber type spray.
hope you can find the post.
try this product. I am going to do it to my new scamp.
Tape up and mask all parts of the scamp you may get over spray on.
probably backing it up onto a large tarp before starting also.
https://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-ru...ercoating.html
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Old 07-09-2020, 06:44 PM   #16
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Scamp design flaw, floor rot?

Hi, Eric! Welcome, and congratulations on your new Scamp!

The bottom of the floor is protected at the factory from road spray with a coat of fiberglass resin. In any case, most floor rot comes from the top- neglected leaks from plumbing, windows, vents, even little things like taillight wires.

I wouldn’t waste time or money adding additional coatings on the bottom. Instead focus on regular inspections and timely maintenance throughout your ownership.
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Old 07-09-2020, 07:45 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Eric in mich View Post
Hi all. i`m new to here and going to buy a scamp 13ft. next year.
You may want to order soon, a friend of mine was going to buy a Scamp and they told him they're booking now for February 2021 delivery.
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Old 07-10-2020, 09:04 AM   #18
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The bottom coat of polyester resin just insures the floor never dries out if it gets wet from the top.
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Old 07-10-2020, 10:52 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Ken C View Post
The scamp floor is exposed underneath. I think I understand the design to be treated with a layer of fiberglass resin, thus waterproof. My question is… doesn’t every hole through the floor create a potential for the cheap chip-board to soak up water, then start rotting? For example, the attached photo show holes drilled for water tank, vent and sink fittings. This is is seen with the water tank removed. In other words, every other type of hole could soak road splash up into itself right? Anyone consider this a design flaw? Thanks in advance.

Attachment 14414


Attachment 14413
You are welcome to examine the floor of my 2004 Scamp13. It is in excellent shape after after over 80,000 miles and extensive use in every type of weather over 16 years.
We have had window overflows from heavy rains and even a pump failure which flooded the floor.
I don't know what "cheap chipboard" really is, but OSB is used industry wide with great results.
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Old 07-10-2020, 10:58 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
The bottom coat of polyester resin just insures the floor never dries out if it gets wet from the top.
Not so.
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