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Ask Dave: RV’s entry floor soft from leak. Who can fix it?

Dear Dave,
We had a leak that has resulted in a soft floor around the entry to our camper. The dealer replaced the door gasket and added some sheet metal over the soft part but the soft area has grown. To repair a floor, does the camper need to go back to the manufacturer typically? Or can a fairly handy guy manage it? Or can such a repair be handled by some RV techs?  —Ed, 2018 Riverside Retro 189R

Dear Ed,
I don’t think the rig needs to go back to the factory as the repair should be fairly easy to do by a dealer or service technician. I would start by going back to the dealer that did the original repair, as they obviously did not pull the flooring back to inspect the severity of the damage.

From what I can tell by photos and other info in brochures and such, the flooring is a chipboard design that can separate when it gets wet. I cannot tell if they also have the floor insulated and reinforced with either wood or aluminum framework.

Rotten floor from roof leak

We had a similar situation with the 1997 Forest River Salem we renovated for RV Repair Club. This unit had a huge roof leak that ran down the front seam and ruined the flooring in the front kitchen area. When George peeled the flooring off, it was quite a sight of rotten particle board and wood joists.

I’m not sure how the dealer added sheet metal without looking at the wood and substructure.

As I stated earlier, contact the dealership and have it inspected, they should rework this the correct way. I would peel the flooring back, cut out the soft material back at a supporting frame on all sides, and replace it with superior wood flooring.


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Ask Dave: What’s the cost to repair a water-damaged floor?

Dear Dave,
The floor in our bedroom has rotted out due to moisture. The problem was fixed but we need the floor repaired. What is a ballpark figure cost-wise on doing this? Thanks. —Connie

Read Dave’s response.


Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the author of the “RV Handbook.”

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DW/ND
2 months ago

If Ed has a Winnebago, he can contact the factory for a solution. I had this problem with our 94′ Class A Vectra. Jay Swaringen (Sp) factory rep. sent sent me the repair procedure explanation complete with pictures on how repair should be done. Excellent factory support. Not necessarily easy – but can be done at minimal cost by a capable do-it-yourselfer!

Also, some years ago I replaced a section of flooring in our former 1985 El Dorado Encore. They mounted the potable water tank under the couch without any vapor protection. Fill the tank with cold water – sweat – and rot underneath!! There was a large storage bay underneath which was supported by this piece of flooring! I noted one corner of the bay hanging down and the rest of the story was a weeks job to properly repair! (Photo’s available on request).

John Irvine
2 months ago

Don’t think I’d go back to a dealer who just threw meral over the problem.

Crowman
2 months ago
Reply to  John Irvine

I was going to write the same thing as that was a hack repair and I’m using the word “repair” extremely loose.

wanderer
2 months ago
Reply to  John Irvine

Amen. It’s a low-tech flooring issue, best to avoid the RV shop and go with a good local tradesman or handyman, or roll up your sleeves and get a pa-in-law or buddy to help you, start ripping. Of course, be sure you know where the gas, water, and power lines run before you do.

Spike
2 months ago
Reply to  John Irvine

My thoughts exactly!

I saw a video of two techs from Lazy Days at one of their Florida locations replace a rotten slide floor. I was impressed. They used heavy marine grade plywood and a heavy duty material to further protect the exposed bottom. In short I thought: That’s how it should have been built in the first place!!! IMO, cheap particle board isn’t an appropriate material in QUALITY RV construction.

bill
2 months ago
Reply to  Spike

I agree, but have had no luck in finding “quality” construction.