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Old 08-17-2005, 06:20 PM   #1
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If you own a hybrid or light weight travel trailer by any manufacturer, you will want to check your floor for this problem.

Over the weekend, I was with some friends who own a 2002 Trail Lite Bantam. They have just recently discovered that water has infultrated the styrofoam floor. The floor has an unusually soft area from the bathtub to the sink. They believe that the water originated from the bathtub's "P-trap", and spread out, travelling to an exit point in the floor. My friend thought it was odd to find gray water dripping from the top of the black water tank when someone was taking a shower. That is how they discovered the water leak. What was actually happening was that the shower water was leaking under the tub, travelling through the the styrofoam floor, and exiting through the toilet's floor cutout.

In this area under the bathtub, the styrofoam is 1" thick and cuting out the styrofoam allows the "P-trap" to go below the floor's top surface (linoleum). Right under the tub's drain, the linoleum, 3/8" thick plywood, and 1" styrofoam is cutout to allow some extra room for the drain plumbing to reduce the height of the tub. What inadvertently happens though is that the core of the floor is now exposed to a water damage potential.

As I saw (and have pictures of) on my own, 2000, Trail-Lite 7253 travel trailer, the stryofoam was not coated with any type of waterproof protection which might prevent such damage from spreading.

So in the case of my friend's Bantam, I hope that the manufacturer properly repairs their floor. Afterall, it is still under structural warranty.

George Miklas
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Old 08-17-2005, 06:20 PM   #2
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If you own a hybrid or light weight travel trailer by any manufacturer, you will want to check your floor for this problem.

Over the weekend, I was with some friends who own a 2002 Trail Lite Bantam. They have just recently discovered that water has infultrated the styrofoam floor. The floor has an unusually soft area from the bathtub to the sink. They believe that the water originated from the bathtub's "P-trap", and spread out, travelling to an exit point in the floor. My friend thought it was odd to find gray water dripping from the top of the black water tank when someone was taking a shower. That is how they discovered the water leak. What was actually happening was that the shower water was leaking under the tub, travelling through the the styrofoam floor, and exiting through the toilet's floor cutout.

In this area under the bathtub, the styrofoam is 1" thick and cuting out the styrofoam allows the "P-trap" to go below the floor's top surface (linoleum). Right under the tub's drain, the linoleum, 3/8" thick plywood, and 1" styrofoam is cutout to allow some extra room for the drain plumbing to reduce the height of the tub. What inadvertently happens though is that the core of the floor is now exposed to a water damage potential.

As I saw (and have pictures of) on my own, 2000, Trail-Lite 7253 travel trailer, the stryofoam was not coated with any type of waterproof protection which might prevent such damage from spreading.

So in the case of my friend's Bantam, I hope that the manufacturer properly repairs their floor. Afterall, it is still under structural warranty.

George Miklas
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Old 08-17-2005, 10:17 PM   #3
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.....styorfoam is a builders nightmare...as it will acutally hold water in the spaces between the little round beads-generally because of the soap which brakes down the water's membrain tension.....coat it with laytex paint many times.....only way I know if encapulsation to pervent asorbsion.....or removal and wrap it in polyethylene plastic.....geofkaye
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Old 08-18-2005, 10:37 PM   #4
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I agree with George and also have first hand experience with leaks and styrofoam in my Trail Lite. First a leak in a clearance light and then the roof seam. The entire front end of the TT was soaked - the foam soaked up the moisture until it could hold no more and then let it into the wallpaper and then into the TT. What a mess - cost me over $2,000 to repair. Had to rebuild the entire front end of the unit on the inside. After that I decided that my next TT would not have this style of construction. See my sig for my latest TT.
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Old 08-22-2005, 08:40 AM   #5
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After George posted about that water problem in the Trail-Lite I was wondering how my Aerolite Cub was constructed under the shower area. There is a large vent cover that when unscrewed gives you full view of the area under the shower. I see on the AeroLite it appears that the cut out from the sink in the in the kitchen during construction was used along with 4 legs to support the under side of the tub. I had my wife stand in the tub and move around to see that it is solid. I also noticed that where the "P" trap is the styrofoam has been mostly cut out to allow the shower to be a little lower. And yes, the styrofoam is exposed. Since we will rarely use the shower, I will still have to check on this area to make sure water leaking from other areas never finds this breeding ground for "rot". So far from camping about 45 nights in 5 months I have not found one drop of water from plumbing or outside sources.
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