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Old 06-05-2013, 08:51 PM   #1
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Surveyor 261T Floor replacement

We purchased our 2004 Surveyor SV261T in spring of 2011. It has the quad-bunks in the rear and 1 tipout bed in front. We noticed it had a slight soft-spot in the hall, and also had carpeting over the original lino. We decided to take a chance since there seemed to be no other campers made with so much capacity, yet light enough to tow with our Mountaineer. Last fall the soft spot was getting larger, so I decided to dig into it and fix the problem. Turned out to be as bad as I expected.

This thread will show my work in replacing/reinforcing the front 8 feet of flooring down to the water membrane. I decided to start this thread in Repair section rather than continue the one in the Expandable-Surveyor section.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:13 PM   #2
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This is what the floor looked like shortly after I pulled up that linolium (vinyl, whatever). I believe the moisture was in the floor for a long time, as it had wicked thru the entire camper. The previous owner (or the dealer) had repaired the roof/wall leak, then carpeted over the floor to hide the evidence. The moisture could not go anywhere. I'm fortunate it's not a mold issue.
Dehumidifier was used at all stages of removal to continue drying the next layer to be removed.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:31 PM   #3
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The first cut is the hardest one. Well, no they are all stressful. I first wanted to see what that soft spot was all about. The first layer of plywood came up, leaving a skin still stuck to the styrofoam. After peeling that off, I carefully cut and perforated the foam, not wanting to cut the thick water barrier/membrane at the bottom. In the pic with half the foam removed, you can see how deteriorated the bottom layer of plywood was. It just crumbled.
The layer I'm pointing to, I thought was the membrane (stained brown from the wood). Wrong. After drying overnight, I found out it was another thin layer of plywood! More crumbling.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:41 PM   #4
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These ultralites have laminate floors. Mine (like all Roos, Shamrocks, etc) have 1½" of styrofoam, with ¼" of plywood on top and bottom These 3 layers are pressure bonded to create a very stiff 2" structural floor. The water barrier is then glued to the bottom, the entire floor placed on the main steel frame rails. The floor is then held about every 4 feet to the frame with elevator bolts. I was told that at these elevator bolts, the foam is interrupted by a 1½" square aluminum joist. I found no such joists. The structure is fine until it gets wet, and/or starts breaking down from use.

Underneath the floor (and membrane) there is little crossmember support. Besides the crosspieces over the axles, which hold the holding tanks, there is only a single piece of angle iron at the entrace door. Then 8 feet of nothing. I decided I wanted more!
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:48 PM   #5
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I have a friend who owns a welding/fabricating business. We designed a framework of 2" tube steel (1/8" material), which you can see here before and after painting. These were welded in place, tight up against the floor/membrane, before I did any more demo.
To avoid melting the membrane, he only welded about halfway up the tube, while someone else sprayed water to keep the surrounding metal cool.
This framing will be the support for my framed wood floor.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:57 PM   #6
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Back in my dad's pullbarn, the rest of the front flooring came out. I was not going to attempt removing anything past the cabinet or in the hallway. It still seems solid and well-supported by the holding tank supports. I do not want to have any walls start to cave.
I can highly recommend the Craftsman-Nextec line of 12V Lithium Ion cordless tools. As you can see, I make extensive use of a circular trim saw, light, and oscillating multi-tool to remove sections. Most importantly is the ability to cut flush to the wall.
I will get good use of the cordless drill and 1/4" impact driver when I install the new floor.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:05 PM   #7
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Here is the current state of the job, after using the shop vac. I need to cut back just a little bit more and get it squared up before I start the wood framing. If you look close, you can see the outlines of the steel framing underneath. The main frame rails are about 1 foot in from each side.
As you can see, I will have some sealing to do, where some of the membrane has pulled away from the outside under-trim. There are also a few holes, and a 2" slice where I got a little too happy with a razor knife.
I intend to seal these with Eternabond tape.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:31 PM   #8
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Looking good, I helped my neighbor replace 2/3 rds of the floor on his Aliner. We replaced with MDO which is a waterproof plywood with a resin coating. Sealed all joints and made sure all seams were over a frame rail. Good luck on your repair, you'll enjoy it when your finished.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:15 PM   #9
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Looking good. I did a similar repair on my roo. The only problem i had was finding a styrofoam that had the same density( strength) as the original foam. Consequently, it has soft spots although i have more support than it came with. Mine was a lot of work, as im sure yours was too.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:23 AM   #10
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Rrickim63,
Did you add wood joists? I'm planning on laying ¼" plywood on the membrane and putting 2x2 headers against both aluminum floor frames at both sides, screwed every foot or so into the aluminum. Then I will have 2x3 joists going side to side every 16", screwed into those headers, with liquid nails to the plywood underneath. I found some 3/4" foam designed for 16" on center studs. 2 layers of that should be perfect, although I"m not relying on the foam anymore for structure.
I'll then glue/screw ¼" plywood on top, to match the height of the hallway. Then I'll put another layer of ¼" plywood over the entire camper floor, turned 90-degrees. Then my wife can pick out the top flooring.
That's the plan, anyway!
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Old 06-07-2013, 04:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebrakeman View Post
Rrickim63,
Did you add wood joists? I'm planning on laying ¼" plywood on the membrane and putting 2x2 headers against both aluminum floor frames at both sides, screwed every foot or so into the aluminum. Then I will have 2x3 joists going side to side every 16", screwed into those headers, with liquid nails to the plywood underneath. I found some 3/4" foam designed for 16" on center studs. 2 layers of that should be perfect, although I"m not relying on the foam anymore for structure.
I'll then glue/screw ¼" plywood on top, to match the height of the hallway. Then I'll put another layer of ¼" plywood over the entire camper floor, turned 90-degrees. Then my wife can pick out the top flooring.
That's the plan, anyway!
I added joists almost like a mini deck under the floor attached to frame for support. I like your idea of 2 sheets for support over foam. I have only 1 and over time the styrofoam compresses and gives the feeling of a soft floor. I am thinking of going over with one more layer of 1/4 inch or laminate flooring. I was concerned with floor interfering with slide out if i built it up too thick
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:41 PM   #12
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2 more days of work:
-Used a bunch of Eternabond tape to seal any holes that go all the way thru. It took my dad on a creaper and me inside, shining lights at each other. There is a lot of road rash. I'm going to consider some sort of spray-on sealant underneath (later).
-¼" bottom layer plywood, simply laid in place.
-2x2 (1.5" square) headers drilled/screwed to the aluminum base-framing on each side of camper.
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:50 PM   #13
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-2x3 (1.5x2.5") joists run side-to-side, perpendicular to the steel frame underneath. These are drilled-screwed on 45-deg angle to the headers, and glued (Liquid-Nails) to the bottom plywood.
-The insulation I found (48" x 3/4" x 13-5/8" at Lowes) is sized to go in walls between 1x3 furring strips (16" on-center). So 2 layers was perfect for my 2x3 joists. I pressed the joists firmly against the insulations as we screwed to the headers.
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:11 AM   #14
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That's looking good, it's the same area where my soft spot is, right under the window where the dinette was.... I also have one in the back under the pantry\small door at the bunk bed. Sound like I might get to replace a good bit of floor, I think I'm going to put in the vinyl peel and stick that comes in strips and looks like hardwood flooring.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:48 AM   #15
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That's the flooring we're leaning toward. We have that in our home kitchen, but it's actual glue-down (not peel-n-stick). The appraiser for our mortage refi actually wrote down "hardwood" floors. He didn't ask, so we didn't tell. You can keep extras of this stuff for damaged tiles, too.
I'm just not sure if peel-n-stick will be strong enough adhesive to handle the humidity/temp fluctuations, and flexing in transit.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:54 AM   #16
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From what it says, this kinda sounds like a floating floor.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/TrafficMa...specifications
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:10 PM   #17
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Yeah, I saw a link where some installed that stuff in a motorhome. It's not peel-n-stick. More like a sort of snap-together, interlocking, floating floor.
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:27 PM   #18
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I'm so happy to have found this thread. I have the identical trailer with very similar problems. The floor at the main door is soft and the step is barely hanging on. The floor at the rear door has significant swelling, enough to buckle the wall at the front of the bed. I can't find any other soft spots so I hope it's somewhat contained to those 2 areas. I've been trying to figure out how the floor is constructed and this thread has done just that. I plan on repairing everything myself, so I will be interested in any additional info the OP can offer. We purchased the trailer 1 year ago and new some repairs were needed. Let the adventure begin.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:02 PM   #19
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Ross-e,
Last year (before I started the big job), the same friend with the welding shop tacked in some steel supports for the step to keep it from falling out. You will find that the 2 outer bolts holding the step frame are probably still well-anchored into the aluminum frame. It's the 2 inner bolts (actually large wood screws) that are the problem, as they are screwed into 2 wood blocks that are likely just as waterlogged as mine were. These blocks were pieces of 2x4 set into cutouts of foam, sandwiched between the 2 plywood layers. As soon as the plywood starts to break down, those block no longer have support (and neither does the step.

The 1st pic is the support job we did last year, tying the step frame (both ends) directly to the main trailer frame. It is absolutely rock solid.
The 2nd pic is the new top plywood over the entryway. The foam was in good shape, and I didn't want to tear out. That first joist is positioned so that one of those wood screws will screw directly in to hold the step below. For the other side, I dropped in a new piece of 2x4 in the foam cutout. Both will get drilled and new wood screws installed.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:19 PM   #20
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Here is my progress to date. Most of the plywood is now in place. The original plan was 1 layer of 1/4" over those joists, to bring things up to original height to match the hallway. Then another 1/4" layer over the entire interior. However, somehow, the joists near the hallway (existing floor) was already to the original height.
So I skipped the 1/4" completely, and put 1/2" (actually 15/32") plywood all the way thru. This means it's actually sloping up from the front to the entry door, but that should be find. I had 7/8" to the cabinet doors, so still plenty of room for the vinyl tile.
Plywood has screws and liquid nails to attach to the joists. For the entry way and hallway, the original 1/4" plywood is not solid enough for screws. So I'm relying completely on contact cement, plus a few screws where I patched in some new 1/4" (like that entry way, and in the bunkhouse).
Still need to put in the top plywood in the bunkhouse, and bathroom, then install the new toilet. Bought a hi-profile Thetford Style II (foot-flush) today.
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