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Randall
Randall, RVIA Certification
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 10336
Experience:  RVDA/RVIA Master Certified Technician with many years experience.
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I have a 2004 jayfeather exp. There is extensive water

Customer Question

I have a 2004 jayfeather exp. There is extensive water damage to the front on the floor. It has a luan floor without many joists to nail a new floor to. So far we have removed the old subfloor. Do we need to remove the luan flooring and add joists in order to put new flooring in. I would rather not take the luan out although the bottom of it is wet as well
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: RV
Expert:  Randall replied 2 months ago.

Is the luan separated and rippled up? A photo of that area would be helpful here. Use the paperclip icon to attach to your post.

Expert:  Randall replied 2 months ago.

Is the luan separated and rippled up? A photo of that area would be helpful here. Use the paperclip icon to attach to your post.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
We took the top layer of luan off which in retrospect was a bad idea. Not all of the areas had rippled up
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
we have taken the top layer off to where we found a joist about 4 feet from the front of the trailer
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I think we should have just dried it out and done the bad areas
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Now we are going to run a 2x4 across the width of the trailer so it is over the steel frame on both ends by cutting out the styrofoam and attaching it to the wood on the sides with a u-clamp.
Expert:  Randall replied 2 months ago.

I would go ahead and take that area off and then put down new luan in those areas. Use Loctite XL adhesive and some crown staples if you can. Make the joints go over the support structure or you can add some. We do both in my shop. I have one now that has the same issue. If you have a flush-cut style saw this can be done pretty easily. Or we use a very small blade (4") skillsaw set to just enough to get through the luan.

Expert:  Randall replied 2 months ago.

Did you cut all the way through the whole floor?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Just enough to add the 2x4
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
But yes cut down to the bottom of the styrofoam so we could add the 2x4 and it will be flush with the new subfloor we put down
Expert:  Randall replied 2 months ago.

If you use the proper adhesive and some deck screws you won't have to clamp it. Add some photos if you need to here.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
we were thinking of doing the same thing in the other directions using the joist we founnd 4 feet from the front of the trailer to the joist at the front of the trailer. we were going to add uclamps for extra support
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
to join the 2x4's to the existing joists
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Whoever thought of this floor system should be shot.
Expert:  Randall replied 2 months ago.

If you use the proper adhesive and some deck screws you won't have to clamp it. Add some photos if you need to here.

Expert:  Randall replied 2 months ago.

And, yes.......it isn't the best for sure! They were trying to save weight so smaller tow vehicles could tow larger trailers.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Trying to get you pictures from my cell phone but not very tech savy
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hope these pictures come through and they are the right ones
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
the luan under the styrofoam is very wet. Any way we can dry that out without cutting the bottom membrane of the trailer?
Expert:  Randall replied 2 months ago.

Leave it open and the windows open for as long as it takes to dry out. Otherwise it will dry rot.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Not sure what you mean. How will leaving the windows open dry the luan that is under the styrofoam in the floor. I am sure it is wet even under the areas we have not opened up.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
The moisture barrier under the trailer stops the moisture from drying up
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I have read that some people open the area under the trailer for it to dry and then buy special tape to tape it back together.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
What did you think of the pictures?
Expert:  Randall replied 2 months ago.

Remove any styrofoam in those squares and it will dry faster. it may take some time, but it will dry. You can open up the bottom, but that is a last resort as you can't really seal it up again as good as it is now.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
What will I replace the styrofoam in those squares with? Will I have to buy the thin luan, and styrofoam to fill them in?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
If I had my way (without husband's opinion) I would take out all the styrofoam, put in more joists, add styrofoam again and then put new floor on top.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Trouble is we really don't want to take all the cabinets out because we don't know how. For example the hot water heater.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Until we get that out we can't get the back cabinet out which only hides the electrical.
Expert:  Randall replied 2 months ago.

You can buy more Styrofoam at the lumber yard or hardware store. Luan paneling comes in 4 x 8 sheets. Taking out the cabinets would be a bad idea unless it is really bad under them. Hot water heater can come out to access that area. It is a chore, but it you can do this yourself, it will save you a ton of money! The one I just took in will be about $3,500 I suspect.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Went to 3 rv repair shops today and they suggested we take the bottom membrane of completely, weld new supports to the bottom of the trailer and put a plywood flooring system in. They suggested we treat the plywood to discourage water damage.
Expert:  Randall replied 2 months ago.

That works for part of it, but what about the part you can't access? There are surely more than one way to do this for sure.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
My husband wants to take the front have of the membrane covering off the bottom of the trailer, put it a plywood floor and then spray the bottom of the trailer with a no leak product.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
sorry front half of the membrane
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
My concern is how do you attach the membrane to the trailer bottom along the cutting line.
Expert:  Randall replied 2 months ago.

Depending on the product you use that could work. As I said before, there are more than one way to do this. We staple it and cover the joint with special tape made for repairing those.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Here are some more pics of what we have done so far
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
What would you suggest now?
Expert:  Randall replied 2 months ago.

You are going to have to find a way to get the plywood under the edge of the wall for one. And when we have a joint in the repair, we take and rout out the wood down some so that we an make a Luan plywood overlap so that is some strength in that bond. That can be 4 to 6 inches wide.

Expert:  Randall replied 2 months ago.

I will be out most of the afternoon and then checking back in this evening when I get home.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
That seems like an impossible task. Can we use clamps to attach the flooring to any wall joists?
Expert:  Randall replied 2 months ago.

Not that I know of..........and why is this impossible?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Is there a way to remove the studs under the walls since a good portion of the one side is rotten as well. We would replace them with new studs or is wood hardener a possibility.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Could we take out the real bad parts, replace it with new wood and then sister the studs together?
Expert:  Randall replied 2 months ago.

You can cut them off with a die grinder and cutoff wheel. That is an air tool, but you might be able to use a Dremel of similar tool to cut them off. You are going to have to take part of the wall covering off I suspect to get to the point where you can put some new screws in. You have to have the walls secured to the frame. If there are bolts, you can slot the wood and use that to go around them and leave them intact. I am making a phone option offer for you. I think this is much easier to resolve in that format and no time limit or on number of calls.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
If I pull the walls away are they then not delaminated?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
We are considering the phone option but not quite willing to spend another 35$ on top of the 60$ we have put out. I realize it is probably the best option but right now we will continue like this.
Expert:  Randall replied 2 months ago.

My phone option is $9........unlimited time and number of calls!

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I just reread your post. Would we be taking the wall covering off on the inside our outside?
Expert:  Randall replied 2 months ago.

The lower part of the inside wall............UNLESS you are leaving the bolts (if that is how they attached the wall to the frame) intact.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
that sound reasonable. We are done for the day but I will tell my husband about your offer and we may accept and talk tomorrow.
Expert:  Randall replied 2 months ago.

10-4

Expert:  Randall replied 2 months ago.

Just checking back in to see if you were able to resolve this issue or not? If you still need some additional input from me please let me know. Thanks!