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 > TT flexing/sagging floor repair help needed

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RVchick57

Plainview

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Posted: 12/17/12 12:20pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We own a 27' 2008 JayFeather LTG, Model 25F. We bought it used, in excellent condition in 2010. We are the second owners so everything would be out of warranty. A couple of months ago we noticed a few soft spots of our floor, one next to the dinette, and one in front of the sink in the kitchen. We have verified that it's not a water damage problem. It's a problem getting increasingly worse. The floor flexing badly when we walk on it now.
We have surmized that it's a floor structural problem with Jayco using lightweight materials of 1/8"luana plywood on the top, 1/1/4" styrofoam in the middle, and again 1/8" luana plywood on the bottom. We DIY are trying to figure out the best way to fix these "soft" spots before the linoleum in our TT cracks. So far it hasn't, but it will be only a matter of time before it does if we don't fix this.
We want to repair this problem from the bottom of the trailer, removing the underbelly coroplast, then inserting aluminum angle braces in the areas that are affected by this flexing/sagging.
I am asking for any advice or suggestions to fixing this problem or if any forum members have had any experience with fixing this problem. Or, if Jayco was of any help in suggesting a fix to this problem to forum members. It would seem like Jayco would have a fix since it is a structural design problem inherent in their product.

downtheroad

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Posted: 12/17/12 12:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Since you are certain it's not a water intrusion issue but rather a structural issue your plan sounds like that's about all you can do and sounds like a good plan.. Just make sure that you have something solid to attach the additional floor joists/bracing to.

ultra -lite units have their positives and negatives. To save weight structural support and integrity are sometimes sacrificed.
Good luck with it all.


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brownieab

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Posted: 12/17/12 01:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the styrofoam is compressing, supporting the bottom will not help, unless the whole area is "bending".

BillB800si

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Posted: 12/17/12 01:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not sure if an 2008 Jay Feather has an enclosed undercarriage or not. If it doesn't then just get underneith and take a look at the flooring. If it is covered you will need to remove it and start looking were the soft spots are AND if water has been the cause. If it's water damage you will notice the water marks in the area and you will need to fix that leak problem first. Then tackle the floor. If the flooring has soft spots it looks like you'll need to replace it. Not an easy task but necessary.
I do wish you good luck,


Bill B. (Michigan)
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Gdetrailer

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Posted: 12/17/12 01:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RVchick57 writes "A couple of months ago we noticed a few soft spots of our floor, one next to the dinette, and one in front of the sink in the kitchen. We have verified that it's not a water damage problem. It's a problem getting increasingly worse. The floor flexing badly when we walk on it now."

How did you determine that it isn't water damage?

Are you basing this on your PLUMBING not leaking?

If so you are dead wrong since the majority of water damage actually happens from water intrusion from the OUTSIDE of the trailer.

Most likely you have water leaking in from the outside, often from windows, roof, vents, water heater, water fill door and any other item that creates a hole from outside.

Water will wick a LONG, LONG way from the original source of the leak. Often times will start at the roof line along the trim that covers the roofing material on the sides. The water will find very tiny cracks in the caulking and travel down the wall and when it gets to the floor will spread across the floor damaging the flooring and structure as you have noticed.

The problem now is the water damage is extensive, it will be a lot of work and may require working around cabinets or removing them all together.

"We have surmized that it's a floor structural problem with Jayco using lightweight materials of 1/8"luana plywood on the top, 1/1/4" styrofoam in the middle, and again 1/8" luana plywood on the bottom."

Wrong, even IF they used 1/8"luan it WILL stay strong AS LONG AS IT NEVER GETS SOAKED. Although I doubt that it is only 1/8" luan, most likely 3/8"-1/2" plywood (or strand board).

"We DIY are trying to figure out the best way to fix these "soft" spots before the linoleum in our TT cracks. So far it hasn't, but it will be only a matter of time before it does if we don't fix this."

Forget about "saving" the linoleum, it simply is not salvageable.

Take this as an "opportunity" to "upgrade" or "remodel" your trailer.

"We want to repair this problem from the bottom of the trailer, removing the underbelly coroplast, then inserting aluminum angle braces in the areas that are affected by this flexing/sagging."

You simply can not make repairs to the top part of the floor from the underside. While you could possible add bracing from the underside, you will find that the trailer frame, braces, tanks, plumbing, wiring will all be in your way. Not to mention you will be cutting stuff having to lay on your back with all the dust, and stuff falling on your face. Truly THE HARDEST way to repair.

What you will find is that not only the top plywood but the bottom plywood will be GLUED to the Styrofoam insulation. By gluing all the layers together it creates a strong yet light weight panel.

YOU WILL HAVE A MESS no matter what you do.

"I am asking for any advice or suggestions to fixing this problem or if any forum members have had any experience with fixing this problem. "

My advice is to FIND the OUTSIDE water leak FIRST, then once the leak is fixed then procede to repairing the floor from the INSIDE (TOP of floor down to the underside).

"Or, if Jayco was of any help in suggesting a fix to this problem to forum members. It would seem like Jayco would have a fix since it is a structural design problem inherent in their product. "

It is not a materials or workmanship of said trailer, Jayco can not and SHOULD NOT be held "responsible" for water damage which happens well outside the warranty period.

There only two types of RVs, one that IS leaking and one the WILL be leaking.

You as the owner BEAR complete responsibility for routine maintenance THIS IS EVEN SPELLED OUT IN MOST WARRANTY CONTRACTS), this includes inspecting and replacing any and all caulking from the roof down to windows, doors and anything else which has an opening to the outside.

I know this is not what you want to hear, but you need to fix and move on and quit blaming the manufacturer.

I am well aware of the heartbreak, my first TT I bough used, saw several small "spots" of water damage. Turned out to be a total interior gut job in order to fix the damage to the roof, and walls (I was lucky that there was not floor damage). Took 6 months to repair and ended up making all new cabinets since the old ones ware beyond hope to boot.

You have a lot of work to do, it WILL be far more extensive than you think.

This is from the voice of experience..

Bumpyroad

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Posted: 12/17/12 01:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

if it is at all feasible and assuming that it isn't all rotted out, etc. I would just put another layer of plywood over the old floor and put new vinyl/tile/etc. in.
bumpy





batman99

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Posted: 12/17/12 02:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One can remove the under belly materials, do a visual inspection (to ensure underside isn't rotten), and add custom horizontal supports from the underside. Assume all is dry and its simply weak floor area - horizontal supports work great. Especially where someone often stands doing the dishes or some other "on that same spot" physical weight task. Bracing from the underside on a white board picture does look easy. Then again, many TT upgrades are NOT easy.

If that floor soft spot is between the floor and an underbelly tank (like grey, black or fresh water tank), then that tank must be dropped as well. Dropping tanks is the advanced DIY skills area and can get complicated. For this case (re: tank is below the soft spot), adding more plywood "on top" of the existing floor is an easier fix.

If wondering, my 2006 Jayco has a soft spot on its floor. Exactly where someone often stands - doing dishes. And, this spot is above my TT's holding tank. Thus, I cannot get at it and cannot do easy visual inspections (of that underside spot). For us, I simply put a large 1/2 moon shape plywood above the soft spot. And, I put a rug on the plywood. Thus, creating a nice "soft surface" on the feet and still have it removable - incase something spills stuff on at area. This works for our TT. Perhaps a removable 1/2 moon shape plywood over your TT's soft spot might work as well.

Hope this helps…

RVchick57

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Posted: 12/17/12 03:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

downtheroad wrote:

Since you are certain it's not a water intrusion issue but rather a structural issue your plan sounds like that's about all you can do and sounds like a good plan.. Just make sure that you have something solid to attach the additional floor joists/bracing to.

ultra -lite units have their positives and negatives. To save weight structural support and integrity are sometimes sacrificed.
Good luck with it all.


Thank you for your encouragement!

RVchick57

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Posted: 12/17/12 03:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

brownieab wrote:

If the styrofoam is compressing, supporting the bottom will not help, unless the whole area is "bending".


That's a very good point and one that my husband has already thought of. If the styrofoam is compressing, then it would be useless to add additional support from under the floor. From other posts of people with this similar experience, it seems that the "whole area is bending" as a unit. But, we still have this question in mind, and we won't know for sure until we start fixing it. Thank you for your input.

* This post was edited 12/18/12 05:39am by RVchick57 *

RVchick57

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Posted: 12/17/12 03:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bumpyroad wrote:

if it is at all feasible and assuming that it isn't all rotted out, etc. I would just put another layer of plywood over the old floor and put new vinyl/tile/etc. in.
bumpy


This is also an option that we discussed, but a question to this is: When we bring our slide in, would it be able to clear the additional height of the floor? We have thought about putting a piece of plywood down on the floor just to experiment with this idea.

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