Soft floors on possible Casita purchase - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-27-2018, 10:59 AM   #1
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Name: Betty
Trailer: 1985 Scamp 13
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Soft floors on possible Casita purchase

Hi, I am beginner at purchasing a camper. I have never owned one. I looked at a really cute 1997 17' SD Casita today and when I stepped in, I noticed the flooring moved as I walked. I know this is bad.....but HOW bad? Does anyone know the cost of replacing the flooring or whatever else would need to be done? Water is also coming up from the bathroom sink. The owner didn't know why. Please help me. I don't want to buy something I shouldn't.
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Old 07-27-2018, 11:38 AM   #2
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Glad you caught it, and I would pass. Replacing the floor is a big job. I don't know if Casita laid fiberglass on top of the wood back in 1997, but I know they do on recent models. That would make it an even bigger job.

Either way it's a job for someone with skills, time, tools, and an enclosed space to work on it. Paying someone else to do it would be cost prohibitive.

Casita 17's are relatively plentiful. Keep looking.
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Old 07-27-2018, 11:56 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Glad you caught it, and I would pass. Replacing the floor is a big job. I don't know if Casita laid fiberglass on top of the wood back in 1997, but I know they do on recent models. That would make it an even bigger job.

Either way it's a job for someone with skills, time, tools, and an enclosed space to work on it. Paying someone else to do it would be cost prohibitive.

Casita 17's are relatively plentiful. Keep looking.
Thank you very much.
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Old 07-27-2018, 12:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by bojetty View Post
Hi, I am beginner at purchasing a camper. I have never owned one. I looked at a really cute 1997 17' SD Casita today and when I stepped in, I noticed the flooring moved as I walked. I know this is bad.....but HOW bad? Does anyone know the cost of replacing the flooring or whatever else would need to be done? Water is also coming up from the bathroom sink. The owner didn't know why. Please help me. I don't want to buy something I shouldn't.
Are you sure that the stabilizers were down when you walked around in it? Our Casita feels soft and spongy if it isn't sitting on stabilizers. You might also try to press your thumb into areas you suspect may be particularly soft and compare it to other parts of the floor.

Our Casita 17 FD is completely enclosed underneath so not much chance of water getting in from that direction. It is possible however that the sealer around a vent or AC leaked badly for a sustained period and damaged the floor from the inside. If you get someone that can look at it with you that knows something about floor construction you may yet be able to justify a purchase.

As for the sink, try checking the valve underneath the trailer on the passenger side front of the trailer to drain any water that may be in there into the holding tank. Even though the sink is much higher than the shower drain, it may just be plugged up and need a good plunging.
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Old 07-27-2018, 12:20 PM   #5
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[QUOTE=Tony O;709378]Are you sure that the stabilizers were down when you walked around in it? Our Casita feels soft and spongy if it isn't sitting on stabilizers. You might also try to press your thumb into areas you suspect may be particularly soft and compare it to other parts of the floor.

Our Casita 17 FD is completely enclosed underneath so not much chance of water getting in from that direction. It is possible however that the sealer around a vent or AC leaked badly for a sustained period and damaged the floor from the inside. If you get someone that can look at it with you that knows something about floor construction you may yet be able to justify a purchase.

As for the sink, try checking the valve underneath the trailer on the passenger side front of the trailer to drain any water that may be in there into the holding tank. Even though the sink is much higher than the shower drain, it may just be plugged up and need a good plunging.[/QUOT]

Tony, I didn't notice if it was sitting on the stabilizers or not. The owner was inside the Casita with me so I didn't get a chance to walk around much. She told me when she bought it, it had always been this way. (the floors) She says there are no leaks. I have a call into Casita to see if they could tell me how much a new floor would be. Thank you very much for answering my questions and guiding me.
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Old 07-28-2018, 09:03 AM   #6
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Crawl around under neath and look for staining. Take a screwdriver and probe the floor from under neath to see if it is spongy. If the floor is rotting I would only take this trailer on if it is very well priced. You will have a big job, or a big expense.

If it turns out that the floor feels soft simply because the material is too thin[ not uncommon] it could be reinforced from the bottom to give it more strength.
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Old 07-28-2018, 09:18 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Gerry Kiernan View Post
Crawl around under neath and look for staining. Take a screwdriver and probe the floor from under neath to see if it is spongy. If the floor is rotting I would only take this trailer on if it is very well priced. You will have a big job, or a big expense.

If it turns out that the floor feels soft simply because the material is too thin[ not uncommon] it could be reinforced from the bottom to give it more strength.
All Casitas have a full fiberglass underbelly, so you won't see any wood from that side. You may be able to look inside cabinets and benches in the trailer and see some wood. Older Casitas had an exposed wood subfloor inside, while newer ones are fully encased in fiberglass above and below. I'm not sure where this one falls.

When an exposed wood floor fails, it's a big job. When a fiberglass-encased floor fails, it's an even bigger project. Either is a reason to pass, especially for a first-timer.

Tony's point is valid, though, and it might be worth a second, closer look.
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Old 07-28-2018, 09:39 AM   #8
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Not sure why I didn't think of this earlier but you may be able to rent a moisture meter from a tool rental shop. There are various types available one of which employs a pin configuration for deep testing. I would suspect that readings taken with such a meter would rapidly indicate whether a wood floor is too far gone and needing very expensive replacement work. (Here's a good link to learn more about moisture meters: https://www.grainger.com/content/qt-...ure-meters-346

Typically, wood (hopefully marine-grade plywood) is used atop the fiberglass belly as an anchor substrate to affix cabinetry to. As well it acts as a subfloor for carpeting, vinyl or other type of floor covering.
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:51 PM   #9
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Name: Bruce
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soft floors on possible casita purchase

I had a Casita 17sd - great Camper, we would have kept it if I had a place to put it when we upgraded. The floor was not soft but if you had two folks in there and you were moving around the floor might seem like it is soft. If there is water damage it will be noticeable. Bring someone who knows camper. Do not even consider replacing the floor unless this is the deal of a lifetime that you just can't pass up. If you are not handy just keep looking.
BTW if I ever downgrade from my Escape 21 it will be to another Casita 17SD
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Old 08-04-2018, 10:54 PM   #10
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I decided not to buy it since I don't know enough about them and didn't have anyone to go with me that did. I was standing in one spot and could feel the floor move when I lifted each foot a little bit. I am still searching for one. I don't know if the whole floor was like that because the owner was in the camper with me. Thank you for your advice. I will keep searching.
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Old 08-05-2018, 09:03 AM   #11
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Wise choice I believe. I've never been hurt walking away from a deal but I sure have gotten stung a couple of times making them.
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Old 08-05-2018, 09:58 AM   #12
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FWIW, the early production years of Casita trailers, (and a vintage 1997 would be right in there,) DID NOT have the encapsulated (i.e. "resin impregnated") floors. Many early Casitas do have rotting floor problems. I'd steer clear of that one. Just my 2 cents.
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