Another flooring inquiry - Fiberglass RV

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Old 10-27-2011, 10:44 PM   #1
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Name: Paula
Trailer: Ventura 1974
British Columbia
Posts: 20
Another flooring inquiry

New door is installed, new foam and upholstery in the works.

Next step is new flooring. Original plywood floor is covered with linoleum, and the intention was just to replace the linoleum.

However, the floor is slightly soft to walk on, and removing the old linoleum (was not glued on) revealed some wetness across the plywood. I drilled out a piece of the wood and it is a bit wet, although it appears fresh.

We think the water has come from the old leaky door, so hopefully there will be no more.

Now the question is what to do with the wet plywood? Do we need to replace it, or can it be fixed?

What can we do to add some stiffness to the floor before installing the new linoleum?

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Old 10-28-2011, 12:18 AM   #2
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Name: Roger
Trailer: 2009 Trillium 1300 "Homelet"/2014 Subaru Outback "Rosie"
Posts: 2,208
Smile Damp Plywood

Welcome to FGRV!

Can you view the rating stamp of the plywood? If it is marine plywood, or exterior grade, the glue should not let go. I would run a dehumidifier in the egg until all trace of moisture is gone, then check the plywood for soundness, and, if it passes, seal it on all six sides before placing or replacing any linoleum.

To be really safe, I would be tempted to just replace the stuff with the proper grade. Be prepared to part with some cash for Marine Grade.

See this for grade examples:

Softwood Plywood Grades

Here is a good discussion of marine plywood:

Good luck.

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Old 10-28-2011, 05:56 PM   #3
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Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
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Here's what I've seen done in houses, at least at friend's house. He had long time leak that ran under the kitchen linoleum. The flooring guy simply removed the linoleum and let the floor dry out. It took almost a month and he used a wood moisture meter to tell when it was dry enough. You could probably rent a wood moisture meter if you don't have one.
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:03 PM   #4
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Our Scamp had a similar problem. One difference was the linoleum was glued down. The problem is that water can't evaporate up through the linoleum, nor down because the plywood is coated with fiberglass resin.

So I removed all the vinyl linoleum, then painted the floor with a gray latex floor paint. We kept it this way for a couple of years, fixed all the leaking rivets window and door frames. I replaced any plywood areas that were still soft and repaired a damaged wheel well, then sanded the floor well with coarse sand paper and coated it with 6 coats of Spar Urethane over several weeks sanding between each coat. This sealed it well, filling all the plywood grain pores. All plywood smell was also eliminated.

Then I installed Allure (tm) flooring in an Oak print.

For myself, I would have just gone with a painted floor, perhaps a gray floor enamel, then used small rugs where desired. However, the oak Allure really dresses things up and is easy to maintain. I was reluctant to go back to a system that could trap moisture, though. But so far -- so good.
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:56 PM   #5
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Name: Paula
Trailer: Ventura 1974
British Columbia
Posts: 20
I guess the biggest problem for us in this regard is that we are forced to have the trailer stored in a yard where we do not have easy access to power.

Without being able to run a heater, and considering the wet, cool climate we have in BC this time of year, I'm not sure the wood will dry at all?
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