Flooring Question - Fiberglass RV

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Old 02-25-2020, 12:51 AM   #1
Warren Wilson's Avatar
Name: Warren
Trailer: 1979 17' Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 31
Flooring Question

I bought a Boler two years ago from an unscrupulous fellow in Chetwynd BC. I failed to notice his fresh vinyl floor had been installed right over the rug.

This spring I thought to replace the flooring and found the wet rug sandwiched between a fibreglass “underlay” and the vinyl flooring. It certainly explained the elusive musty odour. It was consonant with his general maintenance ethic, however.

I have had to rip out the rug and the thin fibreglass “underlay” mat, leaving me with a plywood subfloor that has been coated with fibreglass resin. That surface is dotted with the resin and is uneven. When I have installed wood floors in houses, we have always ensured a very flat surface (after removing squeaks!) using a cementatious compound that could be leveled nicely, but it has no flex.

I am pondering doing a similar thing to prepare the subfloor surface for a fresh vinyl floor. I believe I would benefit from using a resin as it seems to retain some flexibility, necessary, certainly, on the roads where we take this Boler.

I am concerned about getting a nice finish and would appreciate any thoughts or experiences anyone could share: brands, open times, effect of heat, recommended tools or trowels, all insights are welcome!

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Old 02-25-2020, 01:34 AM   #2
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Glenn Baglo's Avatar
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
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Originally Posted by Warren Wilson View Post
I bought a Boler two years ago from an unscrupulous fellow

You expect perfection in a 41 year old trailer?

What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:06 AM   #3
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 2,659
Whatever you do, removing, replacing, and repairing any and all rotten wood in the flooring is a must.

One reason you will see carpet in some brands of trailers is that the floor surface does not have to be as smooth. New plank vinyl flooring can handle imperfections in the floor as well (but not rot).

I used the Shaw branded product because Lowes carried it. A lot of people use Allure, which is another brand.
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Old 02-25-2020, 10:40 AM   #4
Warren Wilson's Avatar
Name: Warren
Trailer: 1979 17' Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 31
Thanks for the comments, guys — after 10 years of owning Bolers, I know not to expect perfection and to anticipate regular maintenance. In fact, it is the relative simplicity of the design and systems that makes them easy to maintain.

I have installed a fair bit of solid hardwood flooring and a few rooms of vinyl. Perhaps I just have to investigate the tolerance of the vinyl flooring product to irregularities in the subfloor.

But I would still appreciate any insights anyone can offer into using fibreglass resin as a levelling agent. Other than tiny projects, my experience has only been with the West System, an epoxy. I believe, however, that I can use either that or a polyester over the existing — as long as I can remove the amine blush.
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Old 02-25-2020, 11:11 AM   #5
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Name: Justus
Trailer: Hymer Touring GT
Posts: 250
I'm with Bill. Vinyl planks don't need a perfectly level subfloor. Even the click lock laminate I installed in our house had a tolerance of something like an inch over six feet, which I took full advantage of to save time and labor.

I was able to tackle some of the more severe warped spots (again in my house) with a combo of sanding high spots and filling low spots with a few layers or roofing felt tacked into the subfloor, which I'll say up front would not be my first choice next time but it worked. The tar smell dissipated eventually.

A fellow Hymer owner tore out his water-damaged subfloor and installed vinyl plank directly on the fiberglass and from photos (and his reports) it looked great. This replaced the old floor, which was thin plywood (not positive but I think it's less than 1/2") with a peel-and-stick-type veneer pasted over it. Very tacky for an otherwise nice looking trailer, but not the only place Hymer saved a buck. I plan to do the vinyl flooring upgrade myself at some point. My point being the vinyl lays fine on the mostly flat fiberglass shell, so it should be fine on a mostly flat subfloor.
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