New Floor for the Scamp - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-02-2018, 12:16 PM   #1
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Name: Rob
Trailer: boler & Acorn
British Columbia
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New Floor for the Scamp

I'm going to start a new thread.. I have read that others have replaced the floor in their little fiberglass trailers. And there's a lot of reasons for that.. but mostly rot ! The boler I restored last year had a molded fiberglass floor with gel coat on the top , plywood... and glassed in the bottom.. Even after 45 years it was still good ... Not so with my 40 year old Scamp. The floor seams to have been just 5/8" plywood held in by just glassing the perimeter top and bottom. Once the plywood got soft it just pulled out. When I brought the trailer home .. on a flat deck.. The body was resting on the frame in four places front and back where the frame passes through! Good thing the lower edge had edge guard or the weight would have done lots of damage. The wheel wells were removed and the floor pieces were loose and just sitting there.. What a challenge ! So this post is MY method for replacing the floor. Others have done it a bit differently.. Everyone has their ways..

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The Cradle

I felt that it was important that the trailer body be supported in a way that there was no twist or deform to the thin body. That was done with the cradle that I made... which holds the body by the seam.. The seam is flat.. So the shell can relax to it's proper shape. This made it easy to remove the frame... not attached anyway ! And with some wheels I can move the body around ... in and out of my small shop.

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Lighten the Load
All windows were removed and all the rivets were punched out. Next I removed the top fiberglass lip that used to hold the floor in place.

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Just the bottom lip
Now I can measure and carefully cut and fit the new front and rear upper floor pieces. These are the two places that really hold and support the body on the frame.

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New Dinette Floor
This is as far as I've got.. I need to bring the body back into the shop.. and glue and glass in these floors.
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Old 12-02-2018, 02:30 PM   #2
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Name: Daniel
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Looks like some good work so far.
The more I look at my own trailer, the more I'm thinking the shell needs to come off.

Good luck with the rest of the rebuild.
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:13 AM   #3
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Casita
New York
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Shell off

Very interested to follow your logic. Install wood frame to support shell on shell seam and let it relax. Then if you wanted you can jack up the frame and roll the trailer out to work on it or take it somewhere to be worked on.
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:21 AM   #4
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Name: Stephen
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Ohio
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I always wonder "why" use wood in an environment where the wood will be exposed to water, moisture, , etc.. In the marine world, sail boats use a product "called" "marine board. There isn't any wood in marine board, it is not marine plywood. It is made out of high density polyethylene (HDPE). If you want the warm feeling of wood to walk on use the thinner HDPE and cover the interior side with wood. The HDPE would be exposed to the exterior moisture and protect the wood in the interior.
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Old 12-03-2018, 12:49 PM   #5
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Name: Rob
Trailer: boler & Acorn
British Columbia
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Agreed... wood is not a good thing. But it works for the floor.. BECAUSE I'm going to split the body at the seam.. flip over the bottom half and completely fiberglass all the floor.. Then I will coat the whole underside with box liner. The only holes through the floor will be the seven hold down bolts.. and those will be sealed. I use canopy tape on the frame everywhere it touches the floor. Inside the trailer I will glue lino on ALL of the floor right to the sides. And seal all seams. That's as protected as wood can get.

I just glued the two upper floors in place..

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Next is to glass them in..
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Old 12-03-2018, 04:40 PM   #6
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Impressive work. Regarding holes in the floor, wouldnít you want a drain hole or two?
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Old 12-03-2018, 05:03 PM   #7
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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When I rebuilt my Scamp 16 I fully glassed the floor top bottom and sides with 6 oz fabric and epoxy resin.
By the way Linoleum on the top with fiberglass on the bottom will NOT protect the floor. Fiber-glassing the top and linoleum on the bottom would be better. These floors rot out from the top and not the bottom.
But perhaps I read your post wrong.
I used epoxy because I had some and it is far more waterproof and bonds better to wood and fiberglass as well.
I glassed the glasses floor to the shell all the way around.
The actual support of the shell seems to me to be the area directly over the frame and what is tied to that dance floor as the sides are just sheet metal screwed to the frame and can provide little additional support.
On my trailer I added 1 1/2" square tubing bracing from the frame to the sides of the trailer for additional support. I added probably close to hundred pounds to the total weight with frame reinforcement.
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Old 12-03-2018, 05:35 PM   #8
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Impressive work. Regarding holes in the floor, wouldnít you want a drain hole or two?
Where would the water come from ? And if it did.. just open the door and let it out.. I keep these little trailers simple.. no city water hook up.. just the small fresh water tank and hand pump faucet. The drain goes straight out the side..

As for the frame.. I added about 50 lbs of new steel for supporting the floor.
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Old 12-03-2018, 06:39 PM   #9
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Florida
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Originally Posted by robeye View Post
Where would the water come from ? And if it did.. just open the door and let it out.. I keep these little trailers simple.. no city water hook up.. just the small fresh water tank and hand pump faucet. The drain goes straight out the side..

As for the frame.. I added about 50 lbs of new steel for supporting the floor.
The water doesn't come from the plumbing, but rather from window leaks etc.
Not to mention the vents for the refrigerator etc.
These trailers rot from the inside and top.
Fiberglass the top and the bottom takes care of it's self.
Well fiberglass the bottom too.
If you use Polyester then water will migrate through it and into the wood like almost every fiberglass boat made with wood stringers and transom ever built.
Rot from the top and inside, just like those boats.
As far as drains for really big leaks the door doesn't seal well enough to hold water anyway! At least mine doesn't
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Old 12-04-2018, 08:42 PM   #10
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Name: Rob
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The windows will be new.. no rivets anywhere.. Not worried about leaks..

The glassing of the first two floor panels is done.. This should be enough to keep the body in it's proper shape.. and support it on the frame while I construct the lower floor in place on the frame and attach that to the upper floor..
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:52 AM   #11
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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My windows were old, but they were also mounted with screws and carefully sealed and still one leaked, but with the bolster installed around the back it showed up immediately and I fixed it. I was in Yellowstone park at the time ans was smart enough to have a tube of caulking with me.
These things bounce around a lot and keeping a perfect seal is nearly impossible.
I too thought I had it sealed perfectly, but that fiberglassed floor protected the wood.
I have also had a leak at the water pump and that also was contained.
Water WILL get inside.
I don't believe a single trailer has rotted from the bottom up, but I am open to other opinions.
Water does not sit "upside down"
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:09 AM   #12
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They sure do bounce.. maybe more now that I have a 2000 lb axle. This is true for a lot of single axle trailers.. The new windows I'm getting clamp in from the inside.. so should do well..
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:30 AM   #13
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Trailer: 1979 Boler B1300
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Originally Posted by robeye View Post
They sure do bounce..
The bouncing reduced greatly when I replaced the original axle on my 79 boler.
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Old 12-05-2018, 12:05 PM   #14
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The new rounded windows clamp on and pretty much seal well, except for those that don't.
You never know until you see the water pooled on the floor.
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Old 12-08-2018, 05:15 PM   #15
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Name: Rob
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With the two sections of floor glued and glassed in place ...and the crack over the door repaired.. I rolled the frame back under the trailer and checked the fit. Not bad.. It's nice to get rid of the cradle.. it's really in the way.. The front and rear floors are enough to support the body.. I'm rolling on old 12" rims.. no tires.. This way the body doesn't need much lift..

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This is the easy way to construct the lower floor. and to make sure everything aligns proper.

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also the front to back position is proper too.
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Old 12-08-2018, 05:31 PM   #16
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I assume that the frame has been reinforced in the bends at the front.
If nit you should do that before you get the shell mounted on the frame.
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Old 12-08-2018, 05:53 PM   #17
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I assume that the frame has been reinforced in the bends at the front.
If nit you should do that before you get the shell mounted on the frame.

Yes. Did not leave anything to chance.. I know the weak parts of these frames.. And I see folks all the time replacing the axle and sticking the frame back under with out addressing the weak spots.. Just future trouble waiting to happen.
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Old 01-05-2019, 10:26 PM   #18
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I wish I knew more of how the Casita's of that vintage were constructed. I thought they were a two piece construction. Floor and bottom half all one piece. ?? Is this true? I was lucky that the trailer was not used after the floor was mostly cut out.. So by supporting it as I did from the middle seam.. everything came into alignment.
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:12 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by robeye View Post
I wish I knew more of how the Casita's of that vintage were constructed. I thought they were a two piece construction. Floor and bottom half all one piece. ?? Is this true? I was lucky that the trailer was not used after the floor was mostly cut out.. So by supporting it as I did from the middle seam.. everything came into alignment.
indeed, casitas are made from two half shells, joined at the waist seam.

those cracks in cdwebb's pictures make it look like that trailer took some serious abuse sufficient to cave in the side walls near the floor around the frame tunnels.
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:18 AM   #20
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Trailer: Casita SD17 2006 "Missing Link"
California
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Originally Posted by cdwebb View Post
Rob (or whoever may see this and offer advice), I purchased a 17' 2003 Casita a few months ago that had some "mysterious" damage to the shell directly over the tongue channel, both sides. See the attached pic. At the time I had no idea what the deal was and asked here for someone to explain.
After reading your opening post and getting into the demo here, it sounds like I may be dealing with the same thing that you're describing. First of all, there has obviously been some floor repair and partial replacement on this one before I got it, and very amateurish at that. But from what I'm finding, I have an OSB floor that's coming apart, attached ONLY to the trailer frame. No attachment to the exterior wall or anywhere else. It seems pretty apparent that the weight of the shell has caused the outer edges of the FG floor to fall away from the OSB floor at any point not supported by the trailer frame. Bouncing down the road in this shape did the rest.
My intention is to go back with marine grade plywood flooring. but I'm wondering if the frame you built and pictured earlier in the thread was to remedy the same sagging shell edges that I'm facing? Is fiberglassing the ply flooring to the wall (once raised back into place) something that should be done, and if so, is that all I should have to do? I'm also concerned that the glass shell may have been in this shape long enough that trying to push it back up into place may damage it. Did you experience trouble bringing the shell back to shape?
I'm including a pic I just took of the door threshold area that kinda shows how the wall weight seems to have pushed the FG floor down and away from the ply floor.
David, sure does sound like a Mickey Mouse fix but the shell does have to be tabbed on to the top of the floor to keep the shell from dropping like yours has. Curious if you've checked out the rear floor to see if it has been "repaired". If the rear is still good to go the fix may not be to difficult. FG can be moved back to the normal shape. Many roofs have been brought back to normal with inside braces/jacks a little at a time although warm weather really helps. A cradle like Rob built should allow you to lift the shell enough for the correct height to reshape/glass the shells lower front lip. Then replace the floor and glass in the tabbing. Without that tabbing it wouldn't make any difference if it's OSB or Marine ply from dropping again.
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