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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Replacing the bathroom floor in our motor home

This is a project we worked on a few weeks ago, but I thought I would post it here now…. (seeing as it’s another rainy icky yucky day!)

We noticed some softening this summer to our bathroom floor, along the cabinetry on the passenger side.  So we pulled back the vinyl flooring, only to find our subfloor was rotting out froreplacing bathroom floor 5m the bottom up!

  Upon further inspection, we had three sources of water intrusion. 

  • 1. It turns out that the wheel well area  had a leak from the outside and was exposed and it seems it was kicking up water when driving in the rain.  
  • 2. Our washing machine had never been winterized properly by the previous owners.  We found out it had a cracked pump, and replace it, but not before the damage was done with with leakage over a year or so? When winterizing, you have to not only get antifreeze IN the hoses going in, but also IN the pump for the water that goes OUT. Lots of folks miss that step.  
  • 3. the worst intrusion was along the three horizontal bands of aluminum on the exterior.  The top edge of the band allows water in if the clear caulking has worn away.  We sealed it up again with ProFlex clear silicone, that is UV resistant.  It's a good idea to recheck these three bands of trim around the sides of the Safari motorhomes of our vintage. 

 This was quite a project!

The bad part of the floor was easy to pull the vinyl flooring off of, but the rest was stuck firm with glue!   In the photo above is on the driver’s side of the rig, where it was glued down tight and firm.  So it meant we had to be down on the knees and using a putty knife for a few hours to get it all torn out.
We did not have to pull out the toilet, we had to just remove the pedestal housing that surrounds the actual base.  That made the job even easier!
(did you know RV washer/dryer combos have CEMENT block weights inside to help with counterbalancing the spinning action? So they are MUCH heavier than household washing machines... ack! )

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Now for the messy part:
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The wood was more and more rotten, the deeper we dug.  We were finally down to the chassis frame and insulation.  From the bottom up, outside, we cleaned and seal the wheel well with spray-on pickup truck bedliner.  We will be sure to keep checking it for any future leakage!
After ripping out the rotting wood, we also realized the washer/dryer combo was sitting on just ONE brace of the chassis frame, so we beefed that up too with more bracing before sealing all the bottom up and laying the subfloor and underlayment.
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Once we got all the bad wood out, we coated the leading edge of the good wood with this hardener product, just to be sure no rot would spread any further.  The wood was now dry and ready to lay in the sub floor and underlayment, also both of treated wood. replacing bathroom floor 14
We worked like a team, (just like when we built our house together)  and it was a fun project, once we got the rotting wood out!
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Now the fun part starts!  Laying on the new flooring!!  It’s a laminate product similar to the new hardwood floors, but this in a faux ceramic tile design… almost a match for the previous color of vinyl we had in there, and it matches our carpeting very well too.
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It was just measure, cut, click…  what fun! 
The angles around the shower/tub and sink were a bit complicated, but we used paper templates and transferred the angles onto the panels.. Easy Peasy!

But for extra peace of mind, now the whole washing machine is going in a heavy duty *drip pan* to prevent any future possible damage too.  It allowed us to slide it in the cabinet easier without damaging the new flooring too.
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It sure made a huge difference in the stability of the flooring through that whole area.  It must have been rotting away under there for years, each time we drove in rain or snow!
Steve finish-nailed the trim thresholds back into place on both doorways, and added new quarter-round trim behind the toilet and in front of the cabinets.  We put the base-surround on the tub again, and the pedestal to the toilet back into place.
It looks as good as new!


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  1. It looks fabulous! You made it look so easy to do. If we have problems, I know who to look up for help! Thanks so much for posting.

  2. Aww thanks guys... It was one of those things that *needed* to be done, or else compromise the integrity of the coach.

    And Dee... is $100 an hour about right? LOL

  3. Great job & you made it all sound so easy, fun, & exciting. However, we mechanically challenged people might see it as hard, gruelling, & tedious. So many of you folks out there are so fortunate to have the patience, skills, confidence, & determination to do your own work. I am always envious of your talents.

  4. Oh, yes, it looks familiar! We have come across, and replaced rotten floors in lots of RVs. Especially the vintage ones.
    Jolly good job. Happy Trails, Penny, TX

  5. It was mostly hubby's talents! I am his *gopher*. With all his construction and mechanical background, he can do ANYTHING! Good knowledge base for work-kamping in the future if we chose. The University is sure gonna miss him in 2013.

  6. WOW what a great job! It looks so very good. It pays to be so handy.

  7. Great job! I picked up your blog from the Bayfield Bunch this morning. We are getting ready to rip the carpet out of the older motorhome we purchased and install laminate wood flooring, much easier to keep clean with a pooch. Enjoy your remodel!

  8. Hey Janna.. I just went and checked out your blog... went back to your first post. You sound just about like us! I take goofy pics of the dogs on the deck, the squirrels on the railings and the birds at the feeders. We live in a log home, and hubby is always doing projects. Saw the one about the spare tire carrier tha Mike was working on. Guess what my Steveio is working on this week? A spare tire carrier too.. LOL .. will go read more on your blog.


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