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Old 07-06-2010, 08:29 AM   #1
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Need help with Floor removal information

Hello to all. My name is connor and i am a long time lurky but first time poster. I just upgraded from an 1984 Pace Arrow to a 1997 holiday Rambler Vacationer. I spent two hours goin over this unit before i agreed to purchase it, so i thought! the previous owner went to great extents to cover up the completely rotted out floor. he actually cut pieces of 1/8" hardboard and laid it over the rotted floor and then laid the new carpet over it. When i got it home and my wife started cleaning it out she found the rotted floors in the bottom of the closet unit. the more i looked into the problem the worse it got.

I am hoping to try and fix this issue my self being a very experience carpenter. However i don't have any experience working on RV's. I have tried to research this on the web and there is very little helpful information that i can find. I have read that the cabinets are attached from the outside. So how exactly do i get these cabinets off the wall so that i can replace the floor underneath? Any information that can be provided would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:55 AM   #2
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Plan to remove EVERYTHING that sits on top of the floor material.
Anything short of that is going to be even more work as you attempt to work around those things.

Bear in mind too that most of the RV "furniture" and especially the "cabinetry" are not meant to be removed and reinstalled. On more than one occassion I resorted to the Sawzall with a stiff Demo blade.

But once you do get down that far then all sorts of possibilties open up to you.
A better grade of sublorr material?
Add sheetmetal "splash pans" below the wood?
Add some good insulation?
Add wiring for improvements? (power, controls, audio, video, etc)

And of course the real benefit of all this work:
a new layout of the space exactly how YOU want the various cabinets to go.

When this situation presented itself to me I was focused on the bathroom. I said to people "Let me get this aspect of the job done and *then* I'll start other projects. So I removed only the rotten lumber where it was rotten (wheel wells and at furnace opening)... but I realy wish I had gone deeper and done it all at once rather than in pieces as I ended up doing.

Now I have the nicest shower and bathroom in the entire RV world (yeah, thats a challenge!) but I spent far too much time wresting around obstructions and such rather than just plowing in.

Have fun.

PS: You asked about cabinet attachment...
"I have read that the cabinets are attached from the outside. "

I can't speak for all RV makers but this doesn't sound right. Attached to the (very thin) aluminum tubing frame buried in the walls are additional pieces of (very thin) aluminum used as a "backer board". Things get attached to these but from the inside.
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:28 AM   #3
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Welcome Connor269 to irv2.
On my Newmar all cabinets are screwed to floors, walls and each other cabinet by 5/8" x5/8" wood strips. There are many screws into adjoining surfaces and metal studding in walls. Once screws are removed you can move the whole cabinet area with help.
Some facing of cabinets can be separated also.
I'd pull all rugs and flooring up so you really find where to most rotten wood maybe.
If its around slide areas you need to find out why and fix that before placing your new floor.
Some cabinets maybe screwed down over linoleum and rug which you may not have to do when reassembly but may have to make up difference of their removal.
Good luck its going to be a project but its in good hands.
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:23 AM   #4
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Thanks to both of you for the info. The cabinets are the only area i think i will have issues with. When i look inside the closet, drawers, or kitchen cabinets I cannot find any exposed screws anywhere. back or side walls, top or bottom. I am actually very happy with the layout of the unit which is why i would like to remove everything in tact so that it can be reused.

This unit doesn't have a slide on it which luckily helps eliminate that whole area of repairs .
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:51 PM   #5
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I too am doing some remodeling and have found that if you call the manufacturer of the rv, they will gladley give you all kinds of info on wiring and construction. Good luck on this and the guy that sold it to you should be ashamed.
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Old 07-13-2010, 10:39 PM   #6
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connor269 don't know what state you live in or which one you bought the coach in, but the seller may have broken the law by not informing you of the problem. May be worth talking to an attorney about the problem to see if you have any recourse.
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Old 07-15-2010, 08:58 AM   #7
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connor269 don't know what state you live in or which one you bought the coach in, but the seller may have broken the law by not informing you of the problem. May be worth talking to an attorney about the problem to see if you have any recourse.

I actually did talk to my lawyer and since i placed the original post i had the unit looked at at a place called Duncan RV repair in Elkhart Indiana. I found out that the floor system and walls were so rotted that the divers side wall was not being supported and all that was really keeping it in place was the kitchen cabinets and hall cabinets that were one long unit and screwed to the floor, wall, and ceiling. I also found out the the entire drivers side wall was sagging 2-3" lower than the passenger side of the unit. Regrettably when i looked at it originally it was in a gravel parking lot that wasn't very flat. I assumed it just wasn't sitting level. When it was on concrete you could really see it.

Luckily after receiving a letter from my lawyer the seller decided to do the right thing and gave me all the money back and came and picked the unit up. All i really lost on the whole ordeal was some time.

Luckily i hadn't sold my Pace Arrow yet so my wife, son, and I will be using it for at least the rest of this year.
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:15 AM   #8
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Wow.... close call.
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:38 AM   #9
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Outstanding! Sure glad you dodged that bullet. I was going to suggest that, if you have a dog, you could save up his droppings.... see where I'm headed with this?
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:59 AM   #10
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Outstanding! Sure glad you dodged that bullet. I was going to suggest that, if you have a dog, you could save up his droppings.... see where I'm headed with this?
haha.... nice. I actually have three very large dogs that could fill the need.
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:29 PM   #11
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I was trying to think how this unit could be saved- till I read your post about getting a refund. From your description, this unit was only a parts unit. Glad it worked out as the alternative, a total rebuild, would be very expensive and really tie you up in time.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:09 AM   #12
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I was trying to think how this unit could be saved- till I read your post about getting a refund. From your description, this unit was only a parts unit. Glad it worked out as the alternative, a total rebuild, would be very expensive and really tie you up in time.
The repair shop that looked at it gave me a quote the said the walls and complete floor system including walls and studs needed to be replaced. Not just due to rotted matterial but also due to a severe mold issues from the water. They would essentially have to completely dismantle the "box" and they would rebuild it from the chassis up......... The cost was ESTIMATED at a mere $23,000 which means the final cost would have been more. In pristine conditionThe RV is worth around 22-25K.
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