RV Floor Replacement Project Part 1: Admitting there is a problem

Author's note: I wish I could post all of the photos I took as I did this project. However, I took them with my iPhone and left it out in the rain. It completely fried the phone to the point two different stores couldn't even bring it back to working order, let alone retrieve all the photos. I'll do my best to describe everything, but I'm afraid I have no pictures. The above video might help, and in the next posts you'll see diagrams I created to further try to explain all that I did.

Step. 1: Admitting the Problem Exists
The first step in any problem, I'm told, is to admit that it exists. I failed to do this early on and paid for it because the scope of this project need not have been as large as it became. Had I tackled my spongy and discolored floor years earlier, it would have been much easier, less expensive and taken far less time than it did.

I did do a major repair several years ago. The bottom seam along the front of the camper had failed, so with my friend's help I installed a stainless steel rock guard. At the same time, I replaced the top layer of 1/4-inch luan plywood on some of the floor under the front storage area at that time. This was due to what undoubtedly was an old leak that had rotted the floor, but I knew then a more thorough floor repair was in the future. I should have set a firm timetable to it, but I didn't. And I paid for it.

But hindsight, as I'm also told, is 20/20.

We went camping over the Fourth of July this summer at Old Mill Creek Camping in Mackinaw City. It was then that I finally admitted that our camper's trampoline of a floor demanded my attention. It also happened to be our first time out this year, so this was my first chance at seeing how bad it had become over the winter. I de-winterized and cleaned the camper the day before we left, and knew then that once we returned I had a project on my hands.

 What made it worse during this camping trip was that we drove up to Mackinaw City in a hellacious storm. As anyone with a early model hybrid (especially a 13-year-old Trail Lite Bantam, as we have) will tell you, they are notorious for taking on water when towing in the rain. I wouldn't find out in Step 2 just how true this is. Actually, we didn't even need to wait that long. The entire camping trip in Mackinaw City it felt almost as if we were walking on a waterbed.

It was worst by the door, and the door side cabinetry had actually come loose from the wall. It was bad enough that I was afraid I would put my foot through the floor. If not for the vinyl, I'm sure that might have been the case.

In any event, we got the camper home. Our next camping trip (Cheeseburger in Caseville festival) was still a solid moth away, so I figured I would have no problem fixing the camper floor in plenty of time.

 Little did I know.

Next - RV Floor Replacement Project Part 2: Realizing the Scope of the Problem