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 from 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! )
Now for the messy part:
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!