Camper floors are prone to water damage, especially if the camper is old or has not been sealed properly. This can result in rotting wood, soft spots in the floor and mold. Other damage campers are susceptible to includes tears in carpet or linoleum, stains and lifting or peeling linoleum and carpet. Repairing the floor of a camper is something you can do yourself with some simple carpentry skills, a handful of helpful tips and a few handy tools.
Things You'll Need
- Measuring tape
- Carpenter's pencil
- Circular saw
- Table saw
- 2 x 6 studs
- Metal brackets
- Safety goggles
- Disposable mask
Determine how much of the floor needs to be replaced. If there is a soft spot in the floor you may only need to replace that one section. Pull up floor covering to view damage to sub-floor plywood in the problem area. If damage extends beyond the initial problem area, continue to remove the floor covering until you see unharmed plywood.
Use a circular saw set to the thickness of the plywood to cut around the problem area. If the entire floor needs to be replaced, unscrew all sub-floor plywood and remove.
Measure sub-floor plywood to determine the thickness of replacement plywood.
Look for signs of corrosion or rotting in the supports under the sub-floor. If there is extensive damage, remove the supports.
Inspect floor insulation for signs of mold or water damage. Remove if damaged.
Apply an epoxy resin to the wood if the exposed wood support damage is minimal. Allow to dry completely.
Measure the existing studs. You will probably need to rip the 2 by 6 studs down to 2 by 3 to match the existing floor joists. Run the stud lengthwise through the table saw evenly through the middle of the stud.
Add reinforcement to the treated wood. Measure the space between existing studs. Measure and cut studs to form a rectangular frame that will fit in the space. Screw the frame together. Screw the finished frame to existing studs on each side.
Measure the length of the area where supports must be replaced. Measure and cut studs to fit. Screw studs into place, using metal brackets to attach studs to edges of metal framing if necessary.
Replace floor covering according to manufacturer's instructions.
Fix the initial leak to prevent future problems.
Tips & Warnings
- Thin the epoxy resin with alcohol, acetone or xylene for best results on mildly damaged wood. The mixture should be 50-50.
- Make sure wood is completely dry before coating with epoxy resin.
- Check with the camper manufacturer to ensure the original flooring is still available. If it has been discontinued you may have to recover the entire floor with a different type of flooring.
- Drying time of thinned epoxy resin will vary with temperature and humidity. Cooler air will require a longer drying time while hot weather may speed the drying process. Test the epoxy before applying to the camper structure to ensure proper drying.
- Wear safety gear to protect yourself from toxic chemicals in epoxy.
- Watch for hidden wiring when replacing the floor.
- Photo Credit Tiled floor image by Simon Amberly from Fotolia.com
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