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Old 08-18-2013, 09:23 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 3
Best way to dry out flooded floor + underbelly?

Hi Everyone,

I just joined the forum ... this place ROCKS!! My name is Wanda, and I have been an avid RV'er for 2 weeks.

I just bought a beautiful '06 Salem Sport TT NW edition T26 28' trailer to live in for about 6 months while they gut and rebuild my home after a house fire.

The previous owner did not have the manual or any instructions, but set it up for me and walked me through most of the systems so I am kind of figuring it out as I go.

The first time I filled the tub I thought "wow this is bigger than it looks" .... but apparently it just takes longer to fill if you also fill the space between the sub-floor and that underbelly tarp oops!

My first day with fresh water too ... I was really looking forward to clean!

I am good with the drain repair but not sure where to start getting that underbelly dried out. I could surely use some sage advise.

There are absolutely no signs that the drain gasket has leaked before. verything (except the gasket) is pretty much pristine ... just dripping wet. No mold, no smell, no stains, so far no swelling.

Only access to a square foot of the subfloor right under the drain from inside... so guess that means major surgery from below. So far I just soaked up everything I could inside and poked a hole in the center of the bulging tarp below. Total area is about the size of a queen size mattress and right between the I-beams of the undercarriage at the very front of the trailer. Plus a strip down one side between the edge of trailer and the I-beams.

RE: structure There is a wooden floor w/ linoleum, then wooden beams with fiberglass batting between them, then wooden sub-floor w/ more fiberglass under it and finally the underbelly tarp which sits on top of metal I-beams. The tarp is sealed around the edges where the metal siding is bent around the bottom edge and then finished with a bead of sealant.

Most of the water ended in the tarp right under the bed at the very front of the trailer. The bed lifts up for storage so I have access to a large part of floor above where the water ended up .. just not sure how much stuff got wet on top of the sub-floor in the process. I'd like to think the water found the first hole in the sub-floor and dropped onto the tarp from there ... but what are the odds?

I'd like to have an overall plan before I start because I suspect this might be bigger than it looks too .

Any advise about where to cut and what to look out for would be an incredible relief right now. Can I use a stud finder to avoid electric wires??? I also have a laser surface thermometer and a contact sensitive hydrometer if those would help.

I don't have a lot of knowledge but I know how to swear, I am good with my hands and I can follow instructions.

Oh and also... since I will be here (Oregon) during the winter I thought I'd build a skirt around the perimeter with foam insulation boards to help keep plumbing (and me) from freezing. So I am trying to view this as an early start on that project. I might as well replace the wet fiberglass with something more efficient and waterproof like foam insulation board while I am at it .. unless that would be bad... would that be bad? Does the floor need some air circulation or anything??

Thank you to anyone who has made it through my tale to this point. I look forward to looking back on this and laughing with you.

Wanda Marie '06 Salem Sport Toy Hauler NW Edition T26 28'
MODS: 6v dual battery w 4000w rapid chrg inverter *LEDs * Fridge electronics upgrade * 40 gal fueling station *santiflush

"I don't say we ought to misbehave, but we ought to look as if we could." .. Orson Wells
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:30 PM   #2
jdadoug's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Ks.
Posts: 172
Flooded basement

First off........... wow! You got yourself quite a mess! Do you have a shop vac?? That will do a lot of the cleaning you're going to have to do. You might want to contact some sorta "house cleaning" place (wasn't sure what they are called) The kind that does clean up after a flood/fire.........
I'm sure there will be more qualified answers coming soon.

On a sour note, I had a small leak develop this weekend while camping. I usually use a pressure reducer when we go camping. This time I just didn't.
Well I just happened to be in the basement yesterday and felt water on the carpet. Got to looking and it didn't look like a big deal, as luck would have it, I had forgot to pack my tool kit that I always carry. I then put the pressure reducer on and the leak looked like it went away........NOT

I'm glad I waited till I got home today before I tore into it.
When they build these things they use clamps instead of "hose clamps".
So that means they have to be sawed in half to get the clamp off and then the hose off.
Try that in some place that you cant get to very good.
But after several hours I got it down to a drip every once in a while..........
It looks like I need to go to BeNards and get some new Pex tubing and clamps. Hose is old and kinda brittle after 13 years.
My little leak looks small compared to what you face.
Good luck! jdadoug

By the way, we are living in the camper because of a kitchen/bathroom remod!

"Aint never nuthing easy"
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:07 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southeast Wisconsin
Posts: 6,951
Welcome Wanda Marie! Glad you found us and good to have you here!

I'm really sorry to hear about your problem. So, as I understand it in a nutshell, you are looking for advice on how to dry it out and how to improve your insulation in preparation for winter?

I've not personally flooded my camper but have read cases where others have. Do you happen to have insurance that would cover this kind of flooding?

As you know, its imperative that all wet insulation be removed and replaced as soaked insulation will take literally forever to dry out in an enclosed environment (and will not dry before mold sets in). Also, make certain that all pockets of water are removed and the inside is then allowed to get bone dry before you reseal that underbelly. As for drying, a good dehumidifier and fans for air movement will help.

Hope others can provide more help to you.

Good luck!
DW, 3 Kids and our Goldens

2012 Shamrock 233S
2008 Toyota Sequoia 5.7L 4WD
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:31 PM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 3
Thumbs up that would be soooooo ooooo hohohoh

ooooooohohohohoho THAT would be perfect Scott LOLOLO .. snort!

What a great suggestion! I will get a few estimates before I cut into anything!

It's a long story, but my insurance adjuster sorely deserves to get the bill for this!

I will look into dehumidifers just in case.

Either way ... I can't thank you enough you made my day!

oh yes it does!
Wanda Marie '06 Salem Sport Toy Hauler NW Edition T26 28'
MODS: 6v dual battery w 4000w rapid chrg inverter *LEDs * Fridge electronics upgrade * 40 gal fueling station *santiflush

"I don't say we ought to misbehave, but we ought to look as if we could." .. Orson Wells
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:40 PM   #5
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 3
Hi jdadoug!

Thanks for the info, I do have a few mitigation companies on speed dial from the fire... they do have dehumidifiers and they probably charge so much the insurance might just total the trailer...that would be perfect!

Thanks for taking the time from your projects to post a reply. Sorry about your clamp cramps!

Dremel type tools are great for cutting in tight places... I don't have an oscillating tool but I tried one out at a tool store once and those cut wood like butter might cut metal with a different tip !! Gotta git me one when the dust settles.
Wanda Marie '06 Salem Sport Toy Hauler NW Edition T26 28'
MODS: 6v dual battery w 4000w rapid chrg inverter *LEDs * Fridge electronics upgrade * 40 gal fueling station *santiflush

"I don't say we ought to misbehave, but we ought to look as if we could." .. Orson Wells
Wanda Marie is offline   Reply With Quote

dry out, flood, wet floor, wet insulation

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