I live in my RV full-time, and my floors are becoming soft in certain areas. What is the cost to replace an RV floor? Is it expensive? I am retired and live on a fixed income, so I need to know how much approximately do you think it would cost? —Diana, 2017 Keystone Bullet
The cost to replace an RV floor depends on the extent of the damage to the floor and materials. According to the Keystone brochure for your model year, the floor is a sandwich layer of double-welded aluminum floor joists with PlyVeneer upper floor decking and a third layer of plywood lower decking. This is superior construction compared to most trailers that have wood joists.
What causes a soft RV floor?
There are two issues that I have found that can cause a soft RV floor. One is the block foam insulation breaks down and the floor becomes soft as the thin plywood doesn’t provide much support. This could happen due to excessive heat. The brochure for your rig does state it has a heated basement. If the soft area is above the heater or heat plenum, it could just be that area.
The second issue is a water leak penetrating in the roof or sidewall and running down to the floor and rotting the wood and the block foam. This would be a much larger issue. Here is a photo of the ’96 Salem we worked on for the RV Lifestyle and Repair Club that had this issue.
The first step
The first step is to pull back the flooring material, which I believe is linoleum, and see what the wood looks like underneath. If it is in good condition and just soft, you can cut out the soft area and either replace it with good block foam or insert a 2×4 or weld an aluminum brace to reinforce it. Since you have a heated underbelly, there might be access to the underside of the soft area in a compartment that you can look at and maybe attack it from underneath. This type of repair should only take a few hours so, depending on the labor rate, might be a few hundred dollars.
If there is moisture damage, the repairs will be more extensive to replace all the flooring and find where the moisture is coming from and if there is any damage in the sidewall and roof. It is impossible to provide an estimate of time without seeing the damage that is hidden underneath, but ours took more than 12 hours to complete. The good news, if there is any, is that the aluminum joists in your unit will be solid as they will not rot with moisture. Our unit had wood joists that all had to be replaced.
I would start by checking underneath to see if there is access, which would be the least destructive approach. Otherwise, you will need to pull back the linoleum to inspect the area. I use a straight edge and cut a line in the fake grout pattern with a utility knife so it can be glued back down.
RV floor replacement costs
The short answer: Replacing an RV floor can cost as little as $200 or upwards of $8,000. It depends on three factors: the extent of the damage, which will determine the amount of time to repair; your level of DIY ability to do some or all the work yourself; and the different labor rates found across the country. You can get a handyman that could probably do most of the repairs for $50-75 per hour; however, some dealerships will charge $250 per hour.
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