Darco tape / Darco wrap / floorbrace
Thought I would re-post this from the rv guy. Figuring some may not have seen it.
Essentially, there are three different types of slide floors that we use at Prime Time and all of them are being lumped into the same conversation on this thread.
1) Darco wrapped - This design is primarily used on Crusader and Sanibel sofa/dinette superslides. Basically, we wrap and glue the underside of the wood floor in a breathable, durable fabric that provides protection to the underside of the floor. This material is commonly called Darco. A huge percentage of the industry uses this application. It's lightweight and durable, but does have a tendency to tear and rip. This is a one-piece type of application that will NOT have the tape edges that are fraying in some of the above posts. For our first couple of years, we used Darco wrapped slides on all of our superslide floors, but we have transitioned away from this design in our travel trailers and will eventually transition away from this design on fifth wheels, too.
We do experience warranty claims on this material, but at this point, we don't think the Darco-wrapped floors are showing excessive wear as it pertains to this thread. The claims we receive on Darco are for tears and rips.
2) Pre-Engineered Board - Most of our travel trailers use a Pre-Engineered Slide Floor for their sofa/dinette superslides. This is basically a board that we buy pre-cut that already has a sealant applied to the bottom and edges. The benefit to this application is that the applied sealant is much more durable than the Darco and eliminates warranty from tears and rips. Even though this Pre-Engineered Board does have sealant applied to the edges and is fully warranted as it comes to us, we have chosen to apply an extra measure of protection for the edges in the form of Darco tape. This is a product very similar to what is used in application 1 above, but it has an adhesive applied on one side. This tape is what is fraying in many of the pictures above.
We feel strongly that the extra layer of protection afforded by the Darco tape on the edges is beneficial. Obviously, having it fray and look like it does in some of the photos is NOT desirable. We are looking at different tapes and different methods of wrapping the tape to eliminate the fraying causing by the friction. What we are recommending at this point, is to trim the tape flush with the slide floor edge so that you will retain the extra layer of moisture protection and eliminate the excess on the bottom that is fraying. Keep in mind, the edge is sealed and warranted without the tape. It does not have to be there - we just like the added protection.
This type of Pre-Engineered board is likely being used when one of the "L" shaped pieces of plastic molding is applied on the edges of the floor. This was referenced several times in previous posts on this topic. We DO NOT recommend this molding as a cap. It has the potential to dig into your carpet and linoleum.
3) Laminated - Most of our Kitchen slides in all brands are made in-house using laminated construction due to the increased weight loads. With a laminated floor, the bottom exterior layer is a product called FloorBrace. FloorBrace is comprised of multiple layers of cross-weaved polyester fibers designed to breath yet provide moisture protection. Adding the laminated layer of FloorBrace increases the strength of the floor as well. The inner layers of FloorBrace are white. The manufacturer has applied a cosmetic layer of black material on the outside simply because leaving it white makes no sense in any applications in our industry. In order to seal the edges of these laminated floors, we apply Darco tape. Again, this is what can be seen fraying in several of the pictures.
The Darco tape can NOT be totally removed from the edge of a laminated floor (like you can on the Pre Engineered Board) as it provides the primary moisture barrier. However, it can be trimmed back to be flush with the floor edge which will eliminate the fraying aspect.
The wearing of the black top coat on the FloorBrace seems to be the biggest issue outside of the fraying tape. We don't have any conclusive answers on this yet. Samples have been sent to the manufacturer and they are actually flying in to see us this week from Seattle for more conversations. We will keep you updated on what we find.
Next year is here - GO CUBS- 4 more WINS to go
2014 LaCrosse 323RST-TE-C
2009 CHEVY 2500HD Silverado Z71
2016- 89 nights of camping