Travelling is loved by almost all of us and me as well. I am always excited and onboard whenever it comes to going out on a trip with family or friends. In vacations, we always plan out a camping trip away from home in the hills to get some fresh air and atmosphere. Since camping trips are loved a lot by me, I want to tell you that they can also become a little bit tough in case you lack the right traveling vehicle.
In the last summer, I went on a camping trip with my friends. Being a sudden plan, we didn’t got enough time to manage our requirements but thanks to my RV we had the most basic thing with us. We packed our stuff and went for the trip. We had a lot of fun over our entire trip but on the last day we came across a problem that all of us were facing. It came to surface while we were sitting in the living room of my RV.
We found that the floor inside the living room was feeling spongy and was bent inside. Well, I kept a note of that problem and back home I searched about its causes and fixes. Apparently, what I found out was that the problem could have been due to some the presence of moisture content seeped into the floor. There were many reasons listed for this like leaky ceiling, condensation over time, a plumbing issue or repeated water contact with the same surface by external factors.
When I inquired about the fixes for the problem, there were various methods listed and described to solve each problem type. I was interested in the one where floor bends vertically down as I haven’t faced any problem like this before. Based on the problem, I got some solutions and they required some heavy tasks to undertake. Although I needed to find out how much damage was there because that may entirely change the amount of work required to be done.
RV Floor fixing procedures:
When I evaluated the problem I was sure that it could not be because of a leaky ceiling. It could have been due to the plumbing issue but even that was not the case. After removing some of the tiles, I observed that some of the sections of the wooden sheet under the tiles were moist and there was no visible water contact with them. Looking at it very closely, I assumed that it could have been due to the water gathered due condensation in the rain or cold weather. As the floor was not completely moist, it was a bit tough for me to make fixes in those specific spots. It was also not an option to leave it as it was because I may need to go somewhere again so I decided to fix the whole floor of the living room.
Although the procedures require removing and replacing various elements like tiles, plywoods, nails, etc. which is not a part of our daily routines. It is possible to perform all the required steps by a person like you and me with proper tools and instructions. I am going to lay down all the instructions and tools that I used to fix the problem that will also be helpful for you. All these procedures are performed by me but in case you are not able to understand how to do it, I would request you to hire a professional to do it for you. The floor fixing procedures included the following steps:
- Removing the furniture and measuring the place: In case of any floor problem which requires completely repairing the floor, this step is on the top. You need to remove anything that is kept on the floor. I started with unscrewing the furniture like the table and couch which were screwed to the floor and walls. I also made the appropriate marking on the wall for remembering the exact place of the furniture. Side by side, I noted down the measurements related to the placement of the furniture. These noted measurements helped me afterward while I was replacing the furniture after I completely repaired the floor.
- Removing the trims and tiles: After carefully removing the furniture, I worked on removing the trims at the bottom edges of the RV. For doing this, I used a Crowbar which made the process a lot easier, be cautious of the nails while doing this. If the trim has a good shape, take extra care while removing it because it can be used again while fixing things back. Now it was the time for the tiles to be removed. The tiles can be removed by either using a crowbar or a screwdriver. I inserted the crowbar at an angle between the tiles and applied pressure on it so that the tile loses its grip with the floor and pops out. Similarly, I removed all the tiles and what I saw was the whole floor below it damaged, although not severely on all parts. Some of the parts were clean and did not require any repairs but I considered doing the whole floor so that the problem does not pop up again.
- Removing the damaged wood and foam: Although the wooden part was not entirely severely damaged but it was supposed to be replaced. This was the toughest part as it included removing the foam also which was inserted between the bottom and top wooden planks. I removed the wood by cutting it using a saw and the foam by using a scraper tool. It became a mess as it took me some time to clean everything after removing the wood. Under the wooden part, there was a metal sheet that was the reason for the problem. During the cold days, the moisture might have gathered on the inside of the sheet due to condensation and absorbed by the wood.
- Rebuilding the wooden floor: Now to keep the problem for not happening again for a long time, it was important for me to build a strong and waterproof foundation for the floor. This means I had to add some waterproofing below the tiles. Hence, I decided to use marine plywood for making the foundation of the floor. I started by adding wood joists over the metallic part of the floor along with some on the wall also. After this, I added cross beams to the floor followed by properly joining them with adhesive tape to keep them in place. The ducts that were along with the metal sheets were insulated with Roofing felt that protected them from corroding again. Also while laying down the joists, I made sure that the floor under the sitting area was strongly reinforced. In place of foam between the wooden sheets, I used thick fiberglass insulation. Screws were used to completely join the two layers of wood and hence create a plain surface.
- Fitting tiles over the wooden surface: Now the choice of tile was also a big question in front of me as I knew the surface was not exactly straight. It had some angled regions. I chose stick-on tile for this purpose because it has the ability to handle angled and uneven surfaces, unlike ceramic tiles. It is not a compulsion to use only tiles, you can also opt for wood or carpet for covering. Another important thing before fitting the tiles is that always start fitting the tiles from the center of the place. If in case, you don’t have a perfectly square place then the unevenly cut tiles will come in the corners. This will provide a better look at the floor. Use the smoothening machine to smoothen the tiles and provide it a shiny and attractive look.
- Replacing the furniture: Post the floor was completed, I placed the furniture back on its place according to the measurements and markings noted earlier. I used a wrench to screw up all the furniture back to its place in the RV.
This is how I managed to repair the floor of my RV by myself but if you are not comfortable doing such tasks. It’s better to hire a professional. The process that included fitting the tiles may not be as easy as it seems. Be very sure and careful, before performing this process. The same is the case with the cutting out the damaged portion of the wood because there is a possibility that you may accidentally cut the underlying ducts or vents in the vehicle floor.
RV Floor Maintenance Tips:
- Cleaning: This process includes timely cleaning your recreational vehicle which will help you maintain the health of the floor of the vehicle. What happened to me was that I had not done it for a long time, which led me to this day. With the timely cleaning of your vehicle, you can learn about the problems like this before time. This helps you to manage them early and can even save you money. Had I known this earlier, I would have prevented further damage to the floor.
- Take care of the furniture and other additions: This point is also critical as your furniture is also in contact with the floor. In case your furniture faces any problem like it absorbs moisture, it can also have an impact on the floor of your recreational vehicle. Similarly, if your floor is moist due to any reason, it may lead to some adverse effects on the furniture of your Recreational Vehicle. Hence, it is extremely important to take care of the furniture in your RV.
- Keep the dirty shoes out: A damaged floor can also be due to repeated use of uncleaned footwear inside the recreational vehicle. This factor includes keeping the moist footwear outside the recreational vehicle which will prevent water contact with the floor and hence will not deteriorate as fast as it would have when wearing footwear inside the vehicle. If possible keep a rack near the door of the Recreational Vehicle for storing shoes.
- Doormats: In case for any reason, there is a need to wear shoes or slippers inside the Recreational Vehicle, try keeping a doormat the entrance of your vehicle. This will prevent the shoes, slippers and other footwear from carrying moisture inside the vehicle and will ultimately protect the floor. Also, its worth mentioning that keeping a doormat at the entrance of the RV will help maintain cleanliness and hygiene.
- Garage parking: This is also a factor that governs the health of your vehicle floor along with all other elements like the roof, machinery, etc. Always park your vehicle in a garage. This will help to maintain a dry environment around the recreational vehicle which will prevent any kind of loss to the vehicle through rain, intense heat, wind, and condensation. On the other hand, your vehicle will last for a longer duration.
Conclusion: As I have listed all the required information regarding the Recreational Vehicle, the factors that lead to damaging the floor of the vehicle and the methods and techniques that you can undertake in order to repair it. It would have become a bit easier for you to judge what you should do in case you get stuck in a situation likte his. Although I have mentioned about the whole process that I went through to get things done. It will not be important for you to do all this if you take care of your Recreational vehicle. You can choose to consider all the tips mentioned above and practically implement them to avoid a situation like this. As per my view, get your vehicle serviced and cleaned timely and you never have to worry about the issue like this. If you need to replace any RV parts, then you can buy quality spare parts form TOW-MAX, the leading trailer axles and hubs supplier.