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Old 02-21-2015, 08:05 AM   #43
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"The styrofoam was NOT wet, however it was wet between the top layer of luan and the top of the styrofoam. Really weird"

Not weird at all. I think that water all came from your leaky toilet connection, the water sat on the luan, soaked through then hit the top side of the styro. It then ran/soaked along under the luan until it found the level spot where it pooled and saturated the luan(you big soft spot). I am sur in other places it found the seams between the styro sheets where it went down to the bottom layer of luan and did the same thing....ran along to a low spot.

That "skin" under the trailer is a vapor barrier, which has unfortunately done a great job in reverse. Not only has is prevented water vapor coming up from the ground, it has trapped that leak for years and years between the floor surface and the skin. The water could not get out so it just soaked and soaked until the luan finally gave out which means you have been basically walking around on 3/4" styro.

That steel runner with the wires in it looks like a wire chase and I bet it was built into the sandwich during construction. This is going to present...wait for it....YES another obstacle to work around since it only has the 1/4" luan skin covering it. I would set my saw to 1/4" and carefully find it's edges and cut around it to expose it. It looks like your new floor panel needs to go past that to get to that beam outlined in red.

I like your idea of going under the wall with a whole sheet, that would be the best way to repair this area. Just be careful of wires coming up from the floor into that wall. Harbor Freight makes a oscillating saw that would run under the edges of the wall and cut and metal fastener they used:
Multifunction Oscillating Power Tool - 1.6 Amp, 120 Volt

I think this blade might reach to the center from both sides of the wall:
1-1/8 in. Bi-Metal Multi-Tool Plunge Blade

They make a myriad of other blades for this tool that come in real handy for the work you are doing. I wore one of these slap out building my house and working on flip houses that we bought. I now own a air powered one.
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:23 AM   #44
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I agree about the toilet leak. Styrofoam is basically a closed cell foam. The beads do not soak up water but a small amount can soak into the spaces between the beads in a long soak test when it is submerged. Yours was not submerged but any plywood sandwiched between the membrane and styrofoam would delaminate over time as the wood plies break down.

I would think carefully about cutting the wall and trying to use one piece. You will also need clearance to lay the sheet flat before you slide it under the wall and then you will need to fix the wall. You will also be looking at a lot longer time with your floor wide open.

Before you go too far how do you plan to handle the bottom layer of plywood? Will it dry solid or is it past repair?
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:45 PM   #45
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Sorry I didn't get back to you guys sooner..... got some things going on here that take up a lot of my time.

MOTOR7:

I think that metal chaser runs all the way from the bathroom to the refrigerator.... or, under the refrigerator. I have some wiring inside that cabinet under the fridge so that's probably where it goes into the chaser. That chaser area is a good 2 to 3 inches wide and pretty darned solid, too.

I did cut that down only 1/4 inch (where the wires and chaser are) but I clipped the chaser when I did my plunge cut. I didn't go deep enough to hit the wires... at least I don't think I did. I'll get a better look once I get those 2x4's and can start working on it. For now, it's just going to have to stay "as is" for a few more weeks.

Looks like I'm not going to be able to trim that wall anyway..... there's a few more screws or whatever holding the wall to the floor so it doesn't flop around during movement and I don't want to cut those out because I won't have a way to fix it and that would be a whole nother mess. I'm just going to patch what I can, remove the squeaks as best I can, throw some vapor barrier on top and then the laminate and call it a day.

Quote:
That "skin" under the trailer is a vapor barrier, which has unfortunately done a great job in reverse. Not only has is prevented water vapor coming up from the ground, it has trapped that leak for years and years between the floor surface and the skin. The water could not get out so it just soaked and soaked until the luan finally gave out which means you have been basically walking around on 3/4" styro.
BINGO!!!!!

Because finances are so tight, it might be a few weeks before I can even go and pick up the 2/4's I want to use to box this thing in. At least I only weigh 125 lbs so it's not a big deal. If I weighed 200 lbs I might have already gone through the floor. I'm careful about where I step anyway, just in case.

nothermark:

I think that the bottom layer of luan is toast (beyond repair from what little I've seen). Maybe once the leak is fixed and all the upper flooring is complete it will eventually dry out but it's going to take a very long time since all that moisture is sealed in by the fiberglass skin.

Because this trailer is a 2003 the only way to properly fix it would be to remove the cabinets and walls and put down a whole new floor and it's not worth that amount of trouble to me.

Also, I live in here and I can't do it and still live in it with everything disconnected, not to mention I don't have a place to store anything for such a project. So.... it's just going to have to stay the way it is except for my (proposed) boxing in the current area's of concern and hopefully, if I can brace all sides the way I want to, that should take all the pressure off the styrofoam and the soggy luan underneath so they would be, essentially, expendable but left in place.

I'll be sure to post photos once I get rolling on this. I'll just post them to this same thread so you guys will get an email letting you know I did something so you can follow along or give ideas/suggestions when I get there.
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Old 02-24-2015, 09:00 PM   #46
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Just a thought to make repair easier _ I would get some angle iron or aluminum and use it to make an additional brace or two across bottom of floor. You can do from under coach - I'm thinking parallel to lengthwise of trailer from cross brace that holds grey tank to cross brace for black tank. It will help you reinforce floor and will make it less of a problem if your patch does not fit perfectly. You can even patch with strips or smaller pieces across so you can get the hard to reach spots near tanks then fill in center.
I took out a part of my bathroom floor that was rotted (OSB) from below and used this technique along with some other reinforcement to do repair. I got 1/8 thick 3x3 angle aluminum from local scrapyard for $2/lb.
If I have pictures I will send as PM. I also like the orbital tool - I got a cheep one from Harbor Freight and it does fine.
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Old 02-25-2015, 09:21 AM   #47
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Excellent idea!!!! Thanks. I will certainly look into that!!!!

Do I need any particular type of drill bit for the screw holes for the angle iron that I'll have to attach to the steel? I think the ones I have now are carbide..... too lazy to go look.
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Old 02-26-2015, 09:46 AM   #48
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Good idea KK.....

If you go that route you will need a way to cut the steel or aluminium. Harbor Freight to the rescue again:
4" Angle Grinder

Metal Cut off discs:
Cut-off Wheels - 4-1/2" Cut-off Wheels for Metal, Pack of 10

Harbor Freight rules:
-Never ever buy anything that is not "on sale"...because if you do it goes on sale the
next day..ask me how I know.
-Always use the 20% off coupon, readily available on line, in many magazines and
newspapers. Some coupons even throw in free items like flashlights, tarps, etc on
every purchase.

You can cut 1" lengths of angle iron to make tabs to screw onto the frame that the new angle rail will sit on, then screw the rail to the tab.

Any drill bit will work, frames are soft(ish) steel.
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Old 02-26-2015, 05:24 PM   #49
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Whoa Nellie!!!! I won't be cutting into the steel beams here ... no siree..... I could drill some screws in "if I have to" but I'm not cutting anything.... that's waaaaaayyyy too complicated and too much work.

They won't allow you to do "big jobs" here in the park anyway. A couple little things here and there are ok but nothing big, at least not on the outside where anybody can see.

I'm also not cutting that skin under the trailer. And before I do anything, I have to find all the beams I can attach anything to in the first place. It's going to be a couple more weeks (due to finances, or more accurately, lack thereof) before I can go any further with this not-so-little project anyway.

I had a "brainstorm" (keep in mind I was born blonde and Polish ) too that I think might be an even easier, and possibly cheaper, yet just as sturdy, fix. Needs a bit more thinkin through though while I consider the consequences of putting it into action if I'm going to go that way - when I can finally afford to, that is. I got time.

Motor7, I'm beginning to think you get a kickback from Harbor Frieght! That or you own it or stock in it or something.
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:33 PM   #50
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Actually I got a circular saw blade from Amazon for about $15 that is made for aluminum and cuts it like butter (a little noisy though...).

I would cut about a 2 inch flat off of each end and tuck the other flats up under the existing cross braces that run btween frame rails.
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:37 PM   #51
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drawing

Drwing
Attached Files
File Type: pdf cross brace.pdf (104.4 KB, 23 views)
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Old 02-27-2015, 01:25 PM   #52
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Kathy,

I just went out to get another look under my trailer and you ARE correct.... there are actually two metal "beams" between my black and grey tanks. This actually answers another question I had....

The "beam" next to the black tank that I thought was the lip of the tank, is so close to it that it's hard to see any of the silver fiberglass skin that covers the bottom of my trailer, however the beam next to the grey tank has about an inch in between the two.

When I'm filling my grey tank to rinse it and I hear that "pop" that tells me it's full (then I notice it over-flowing under my trailer) It's the black tank actually popping away from that beam that it's rubbing against (basically) due to the weight of the full tank. So... now I know what that pop is caused by.

That all being said, you're idea to slide some braces across from beam to beam on the underside will work quite well if I can get them in there. Then it will be a question of how do I keep them there (like if and when the vehicle would be moving) so they won't "vibrate" out of place?

I still want to (I think) do something with the floor on the inside as well for extra support too if possible.

I did go out to my storage area in the front of my trailer and I did find this metal strip (standing against kitchen cabinet in photo below) but it's kind of "bendy". I don't think it would be enough of a support for the floor. Its been cut on one end, supposedly by the person who owned this trailer before me. I can't imagine what the cut off portion was used for though as I haven't see it anywhere on the trailer yet. So... I will be looking for some metal strips that would be more "solid" to work with for under the trailer.

Thank you so much for your great idea!!!!! You're drawing helped me when I went under the trailer to take a better look to see what I was looking for.
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Old 02-27-2015, 01:33 PM   #53
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One more question for anybody:

I just emptied my black tank (it was only about half full but that's going to be the plan from now on) and the inside of the trailer STINKS, however the bathroom does NOT.

The floors are not wet anywhere.

The smell did not come from the toilet as I was holding the foot pedal down to refill the tank for the rinse. There was no fan on overhead to draw the odor up either.

I've noticed this happening on several occasions. It only smells inside the trailer after I've dumped the tank, not when it's full. The windows and doors were all closed and while I was outside next to the septic hose and the open valve, there was no smell outside either as it emptied.

Again, the bathroom does not smell.... its more like in the doorway between the kitchen and bath but that area is over the grey tank (which is empty).

This happens very intermittently. Any idea's why? Is this normal?
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Old 02-28-2015, 03:56 AM   #54
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a couple of things:
1. I would not fill any tank till I heard a pop and/or it overflowed. Is that water soaking the bottom of your flooring between membrane and wood?
2. The small thin metal u-shaped cross braces between frame that hold tanks in place should be carefully examined at ends where welded into frame to be sure welds are not cracked.
3. you can drill and screw L-brackets to the cross brace - then drill and screw angle iron brace to them.
4. you can make L-brackets out of the piece you have by cutting approx 4 inch lengths and bending them in the middle. Easier to bend first as you will have more leverage from length.
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Old 02-28-2015, 07:40 AM   #55
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FWIW - If you are going to try to cross brace under the tank use angle iron. I cannot see what you have for holes and access but I would look at U bolts in the hardware section and see if anything looks useful.

I think you will need to figure out how to stiffen the floor. The two layers of plywood with foam solidly between them is a stiff sandwich. One layer will be bouncy. If you can span the floor supports outside with a couple of beams inside the floor that will help a lot. To make the beams you can either figure out how to get wood the correct thickness or build them up out of strips of plywood and glue. You can use Elmers or get a tube or two of liquid nails type construction adhesive. You need wide and thin so you can overlap the old with the new.

I also think you will be asking for trouble if you do not dry out the floor before you cover it up.
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Old 02-28-2015, 01:12 PM   #56
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Animalangel, it is possible that your sewer vent is not venting properly and when you dump your tank the vacuum formed in the waste tank by the outflow of wastewater is sucking the water out of the P-traps under your sink and/or shower drains. After you dump your tank run a quart or so of water in each sink and tub and that may solve the smell problem.
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