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Old 04-12-2019, 10:06 AM   #1
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Soft Floors Need Help Please

My name is Kelley and I am a full time RV resident and brand new owner of a 2016 Forest River Lacrosse. I came to this forum through Google as my RV needs extensive flooring repair. I hope to get some good suggestions as I am temporarily (hopefully) disabled and limited on income for the time being. I was sold this beautiful RV last month and saw no problems with it. Even though it had a "salvage rebuilt" title I looked it over for three hours with a fine tooth comb. Two days after I got it here I started noticing soft or spongey spots in the floor by the front door and in the hallway back to the bedroom. The spots have grown substantially in just a short month that I’ve had it Are all the Google posts that I have read so far true? Is this really as big of a nightmare and expense as everyone says? Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I just got gouged for $500 for a set of rickety wooden steps 😔 I do not have a trustworthy handyman
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:15 AM   #2
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Not being able to see your R/V, answering your questions can be difficult.

Keep in mind, when building an R/V, the floor is the first thing to go down and everything is built on top of it. Rotted flooring can go under the walls and other places of structure.

I'm not saying yours is that way but again, without seeing it, we are only guessing.

If you are disabled and not able to do the repairs yourself, you need to hopefully find someone better than whomever took you for $500 to build you a set of steps. The repairs to an R/V floor will be way more involved than step building.

Best of luck to you and I hope you heal quickly.
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:26 AM   #3
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You're in Houston and bought an RV with a salvaged title. I'm guessing it was probably flooded.
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:32 AM   #4
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it could very well be rotted floors or it could be the laminate flooring they use this is a know issue . on the laminate flooring they sandwich Styrofoam between to sheets of 1/8 inch luan . either way no fix except cutting out and replacing . if the unit was flooded it should have been disclosed but this isn't the housing industry with rule of disclosures
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:50 AM   #5
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A salvage title means it was considered a total loss to the insurance co. Sorry
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:22 AM   #6
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Dad always taught me "you get what you pay for" The salvage title is a instant "I can't afford it at any price"
Sorry
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:10 PM   #7
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Thank you for your response. I was going to take pictures but there’s really nothing to see there is no indentations in the floor, the walls are not delaminating, they are just soft/spongey spots that keep growing one by the front door to in the hallway into in the bathroom it’s not anything I could take a picture of really. I do know the shower is leaking around the drain I don’t know how long that has been but I’m assuming it could run throughout the trailer correct ?
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:14 PM   #8
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I was told specifically it was NOT flooded and that a "Salvage Rebuild" title is completely different than just a salvage title. Is this not correct?
I was told that there was a small leak in the slideout at the dealership, but even though they fixed the leak and replaced all the floor in the slide out then they could not sell it as brand new and the banks will not finance it so they sent it to auction which is where the individual I bought it from got it supposedly
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:37 PM   #9
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I have no idea what the title means and since you bought it from an individual, you have not a lot of options.

If that whole floor was flooded, you're in for a major expense and a handiman isn't going to be able to handle the repair.

If that rig went through Hurricane Harvey, the pounding rains and wind could have driven that rain through the windows, roof, door and damaged the floor. Once the subfloor gets damaged, it begins to disintegrate and the more you walk on it, the more the floor is damaged. That sounds like what's happening to you.

In our travels, we have a small travel trailer whose entry was damaged by a leak under the door from rain. We had a friend cut out the damage and replace it with plywood. A leak in the shower could do similar damage because water can travel throughout the trailer.

There's really no way to know what caused the damage, but you need a reliable shop that does rv floor repairs to assess the needed repairs.

So sorry you're having this trouble.
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Old 04-12-2019, 01:30 PM   #10
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All excellent comments, Kelley, but at this point everyone here is in an information void.

Known fact: 2016, soft floor, new to you.

Photo’s are worth a thousand words but as the say in real estate, location, location, location.

Photo’s from above as you stated will show nothing. You need eyes on the flooring from below.

Our ‘85 TT and our 2016 5er have a layer of protection under the floor. The TT has an aluminum pan while our 5er has a plastic bottom board. Since it is a 2016, I am GUESSING a plastic bottom board. Photo’s of it are equally useless.

What you need are well lit pictures of the spongy area from below. There are a few ways of doing this without further damaging your trailer.

Check with your family, friends or your neighborhood auto store (you know the one who lends tools) and borrow a digital inspection camera. (If you must, Harbor Freight has one that costs $75. Maybe not ideal but. HAVE THEM DEMONSTRATE ITS USE!)

Take pictures close up and as wide a view as possible considering the probable light limitations. From there, Share. Maybe someone can offer better suggestions other than total gloom.

Information can be your friend, you are not totally friendless.
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Old 04-12-2019, 01:35 PM   #11
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Thank you! Everyone here has beenSo kind just to take the time to reply. Yes mine has a completely sealed underbody with aluminum to keep the pipes the same temperature as the trailer. I don’t know how better to explain it. There's not any cuts or tears in it already that I know of, but I will definitely have my son look at it when he is here again. Thank you all again so much for taking the time to reply is greatly appreciated
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Old 04-12-2019, 01:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertDS View Post
All excellent comments, Kelley, but at this point everyone here is in an information void.

Known fact: 2016, soft floor, new to you.

Photo’s are worth a thousand words but as the say in real estate, location, location, location.

Photo’s from above as you stated will show nothing. You need eyes on the flooring from below.

Our ‘85 TT and our 2016 5er have a layer of protection under the floor. The TT has an aluminum pan while our 5er has a plastic bottom board. Since it is a 2016, I am GUESSING a plastic bottom board. Photo’s of it are equally useless.

What you need are well lit pictures of the spongy area from below. There are a few ways of doing this without further damaging your trailer.

Check with your family, friends or your neighborhood auto store (you know the one who lends tools) and borrow a digital inspection camera. (If you must, Harbor Freight has one that costs $75. Maybe not ideal but. HAVE THEM DEMONSTRATE ITS USE!)

Take pictures close up and as wide a view as possible considering the probable light limitations. From there, Share. Maybe someone can offer better suggestions other than total gloom.

Information can be your friend, you are not totally friendless.
Or... buy one for your mobile phone for <$10.

Waterproof HD 2M/7mm Endoscope Lens Mini USB Inspection Camera with 6 LED Lights Borescope for Android Smartphone/PC/Lapt top

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Old 04-12-2019, 01:56 PM   #13
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X2 on the camera... I bought one on Amazon for ~15.00 and I don't know how I did without it for 55 years. I think I am qualified for Endoscopic surgery now.

Want to PATCH it on a budget? Get some 1/2" plywood. Cut to match pattern on floor/wall and glue/screw to floor(careful of screw length). Fix when the clouds and moons align.

My opinion is... If the damage has gotten "much" worse.. You have a leak. Near the bath? Hello. You know where to look.

I am fat. There are places in my RV(even brand new) that are "spongy"...but I weigh 250+/-
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Old 04-12-2019, 02:00 PM   #14
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Pictures as best I can get them

Nope. Nothing Tobe seen from this view. Only to be felt. Lol I am not a skinny person I’m afraid I’m gonna fall through one day
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Old 04-12-2019, 02:01 PM   #15
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It is really a beautiful beautiful trailer. iIt still even smelled brand new when I first went to look at it I just don’t know what’s up with these floors
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Old 04-12-2019, 02:19 PM   #16
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As was eluded to in an earlier post... some R/V floors are made up of a laminate of Styrofoam sandwiched between two layers of thin board called lauan. It looks like the first photo.

Notice there is no linoleum installed under the shower and could easily absorb water. These composite floors are susceptible to sponginess from compression (heavy weight/use) and known to get spongy even when not damaged by water. Once the inner foam core is compromised by compression and creates a hollow or cavity, the floor becomes spongy.

The second photo is a typical plywood/flake board/particle board sub-floor that has rotted.

Just giving some insight.



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Old 04-12-2019, 02:20 PM   #17
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IMO... Lets say you weight 250-300# and you find a spot or 2 where you "feel the floor" move a bit when you step on it and there are NO SIGNS of water damage then I suspect possible delamination of the flooring.

Might get some ??tissue paper or similar and wipe firmly around the suspected areas of trim and flooring to locate any moisture. Get a shop vacuum. Empty and clean and dry. Use crevis(sp) tool and vacuum thoroughly around suspect areas and immediately check for water/moisture in tank(assuming you cannot see coming out).

If you find water and it has done that much damage... Patch is almost the only repair you have. Correct repair can be MANY thousands. Real key IMO is to stop the intrusion ASAP.
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Old 04-12-2019, 02:27 PM   #18
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Soft floors

First, remove a couple of the floor registers and inspect the flooring.

You should see a 3/16” Luna sheet on top, a stiff foam about 1 1/4” thick, and a 3/16 inch plywood on the bottom. Do this inspection by sticking a flashlight in the underbelly and using a makeup mirror take a look around. If possible take a few pics.

The issue is the aluminum frame is across the camper and they are 4’ apart. The floor sags in between.

Report back for more thoughts/actions.
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:46 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Iwannacamp View Post

Want to PATCH it on a budget? Get some 1/2" plywood. Cut to match pattern on floor/wall and glue/screw to floor(careful of screw length). Fix when the clouds and moons align.
I am in the middle of doing exactly this on my TT. I just finished installing the 1/2" plywood this afternoon

As others have stated, a common floor construction technique on RV's seems to be the sandwich bonded 1/4" luan and styrofoam insulation stuff. All of the LaCrosse brochures I just googled are high on claiming their bonding system saves weight while not compromising strength. Sure. Right. In other words it's the same old cr@p. Not a brilliant idea IMO.

And what makes matters worse - much worse - is that a lot of RV's have the floor joists tossed in willy-nilly anywhere with no apparent plan, which means there can be a huge spaces with no structural integrity. All you have supporting you is a few pieces of cheap, thin plywood and 1.5" (or so) of styrofoam. The worst spot in my TT was right in front of the kitchen sink. I couldn't find any supporting joists anywhere within 3 feet (in any direction) of where you stand when using the sink. Repeated compression, over time, and you have a serious problem. I was actually afraid to step in front of the sink it was so bad.

I stripped as much of the interior in my TT as I could. I wanted each piece of plywood to span the entire width of the unit and not have any seams (that could allow flex) in the middle of the floor somewhere. I used LOTS of construction adhesive and screws to bond the new plywood as good as possible to the existing underlayment. I never did successfully locate floor joists in any logical layout in the middle of the coach. I did hit metal on the perimeter, though, and used self tapping screws to get a good attachment there. In the field I just used 1" screws to try and draw the 1/4" plywood and new 1/2" plywood up tight to each other as much as possible.

It feels substantially stronger already and I hope that the (solid stone) rigid luxury laminate flooring that I am going to glue to the plywood will add even more rigidity and strength.

Doing this was the only option I could come up with to fix this problem. Maybe someone else knows better. Even though this is the "cheap" fix, it will still set me back between $650 - $750 for materials and incidentals - - and that's not counting all the time involved.

I think this fix will last for as long as I own this TT. If I ever upgrade, believe me, floor construction technique will be VERY high on my "to check" list.

Here's a pic of the stripped trailer before the new plywood. Haven't taken any with the new plywood yet. I could post a couple later if anyone is interested. (I stuck two pics together to get this so some of the perspective lines are off a bit)
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:59 PM   #20
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It appears you have a raised shower floor. Remove the rectangular panel on the front of the raised base. There might be small caps on the screw heads that just pop off with a small screw driver. Then remove screws and panel. Check the connections on the drain line. Sometimes the connection rings are not tightened and will leak. RV leaks are very tricky. Many times the source of the leak and the water damage are a good distance apart.
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