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Old 04-28-2022, 12:17 PM   #1
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Multiple new problems - skills or tools needed?

Our 2014 Keystone Passport is in need of some TLC. Some I think I can do. Some may need professional service. I'm hoping to get some insightful input from the members here.

Soft floor - next to the bed and in the adjoining flow through front storage area. The cause was a bad seam seal on the storage area hatch. Water seeped into the storage area and wept back into the living area, which caused the 1/4" plywood under the vinyl flooring to delaminate. Under that is 1.5" of styrofoam and a 1/8" wood layer. I imagine that these three layers were bonded at the factory and laid over the frame. The water caused the lower 1/8" wood layer to warp into a wavy shape as the wood absorbed the water and expanded.

I was able to carefully cut the vinyl flooring along the walls and roll it back. The plywood had completely disintegrated. In the storage area I cut a 36" square section of foam and lifted it out. The layer below was like a washboard with wavy peaks at 1.5" intervals. It is a 1/8" single layer of wood. Below that is only two layers of woven plastic sheeting.

What to do next? I left that to dry out for several days and found that it flattened out about 75%. Hmmm. I really do not want to have to remove that layer because I have no idea how I will replace it, as I'm pretty sure it sits on the main frame of the trailer.

What would you do?

I'm less concerned about the pass through than the living area. The section of soft floor inside is along the side of the bed, between the bed and wall. It is an area about 26"wide ( wall to just under the bed ) and 58" long ( along the wall towards the rear of the trailer ) that tapers to about 9" at that rear end. Sort of a triangular shape.

My concern is, the original construction of Ply/Foam/wood glued together is strong enough to support walking around in the trailer where the cross frame members under the floor are 40+" apart. I can glue a new layer of 1/4" plywood to the foam and hope that the lower layer will offer enough support to prevent my wife from falling through the floor when she gets out of bed. It's on her side. Will that be a reliable repair?

Today I noticed the ceiling has fallen away from the ceiling rafter, which is aluminum. It seems like it just dropped about a 1/8" - 1/4" along a couple of seams. I can see that the tiny brad nails have pulled down. I'm puzzled by how this happened. Perhaps the snow this winter forced the roof and ceiling to bow down????

I have an air powered brad and staple gun, but I 'm not sure it will pernitrate the aluminum rafter.

Has anyone taken care of this, diy?

Saved the best for last. The fiberglass nose has delaminated. I believe I found and fixed a leak along the top seam. The damage is not severe, just some waviness on the surface and softness when pushed.

I think for this I should take it to a professional. Do any of you have suggestions or experience with a shop capable of repairing it?

It's heartbreaking to see the damage a leak or two can do to a camper. And wallet draining.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-28-2022, 11:33 PM   #2
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Fixing the floor will be the hardest in my opinion. I am not sure how to do it well. Floor construction is called a sandwich panel. To function correctly, the two face sheets (plywood) and core (foam) have to be glued together well. You cannot glue to one side and expect it to work. To figure out how to fix the floor, I would want to understand the original construction. Like how how is the floor and wall connected? I think to fix it right you will need to remove the bed and pass through, fix the floor and tie it into the existing floor and walls. The tying in is really important structurally.
The ceiling is cosmetic if the roof isn't rotted. I'd just screw it to the beam.
The front cap is most likely a thin plywood with fiberglass glued on and the bent over a 2x2 frame and stapled to it.. The glass might be debonded from the plywood and staples pulled out or rusted. Fix by re stapling or screws.
Fix all leaks before any repair and let everything dry really well.
A lot of work ahead of you. Good luck.
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Old 05-25-2023, 03:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Tomahawk View Post
Fixing the floor will be the hardest in my opinion. I am not sure how to do it well. Floor construction is called a sandwich panel. To function correctly, the two face sheets (plywood) and core (foam) have to be glued together well. You cannot glue to one side and expect it to work. To figure out how to fix the floor, I would want to understand the original construction. Like how how is the floor and wall connected? I think to fix it right you will need to remove the bed and pass through, fix the floor and tie it into the existing floor and walls. The tying in is really important structurally.
The ceiling is cosmetic if the roof isn't rotted. I'd just screw it to the beam.
The front cap is most likely a thin plywood with fiberglass glued on and the bent over a 2x2 frame and stapled to it.. The glass might be debonded from the plywood and staples pulled out or rusted. Fix by re stapling or screws.
Fix all leaks before any repair and let everything dry really well.
A lot of work ahead of you. Good luck.


I wanted to write to thank you for your help. The floor was a challenge. It was as you described. The flooring was easy to cut along the walls and roll out of the way. I had to remove the bed frame. And wow!, under the flooring was completely delaminated plywood. After cutting along the still solid edges, the layers peeled off like sheets of paper. The foam was fine, but the layer under it was like a washboard. It was a single layer of wood, about an 1/8 thick, that expanded by trying to grow longer, but could only warp in a wavy shape. This could be felt clearly by running my hand against the plastic tarp/barrier on the bottom of the trailer.
I decided to cut the foam along the same lines of the removed top plywood. It lifted out easily, no longer adhered to the bottom layer.
I let this alone for several days while I decided what to do next. I closed the trailer and ran the dehumidifier 24/7.
To my surprise, after several days the bottom layer flattened out almost completely. To my surprise, it even felt fairly solid once dry.
I bought some marine grade plywood and glued everything back together and used paving blocks to hold it in place while the adhesive cured. I was able to secure the new plywood to the frame along the walls and over two cross members. It feels very solid. The flooring layer back in place with a barely noticeable gap along the walls.
It took a week or so, going in stages, but Im pleased with the result.

I decided to let Lees in Ellington, CT fix the cap.

Thanks again for your feedback. It helped me decide which I could tackle and which I should pay to have done. Im sure I saved a bundle doing the floors myself.
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Old 05-30-2023, 10:34 AM   #4
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Sounds like you did as good a job as possible on the floor. I assume the leak source was identified and fixed? Don't assume there was only one!

As for the ceiling you might be right about snow load. I saw that once in someone's trailer. What does your roof look like? I would assume there is a flat spot where it sagged. With the snow off of it has it rebounded to near normal? If so I would try screwing the ceiling back up to the joists/trusses. I think round head screws and washers are indicated. Any other type of screw without a washer will do no good. They won't look pretty but short of tearing the whole ceiling off I would give that a try first.
Obviously you won't let it sit unprotected out in the snow next winter, right?
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