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  7. 32v: Floor Replacement (slideout)

32v: Floor Replacement (slideout)

Not at all a modification to enhance the RV, this was flat-out repair.  🙁



Discovered some sort of fungus/mushroom looking thing growing in the carpet!   
Ewww, yuk!

This was behind the couch so I have no idea how long this has been going on.  

You can see where the wall is water stained, and this is happening in the corner of the slide out.

Several videos like this one (the picture is from their video) point to how the water does not drip straight from the trailer wall to the ground, but rather is wicked across the underside, which is commonly(?) only covered with a black tarp.

When I cut away this tarp, a lot of water drained out, indicating that the barrier was insufficient AND then held water against the wood flooring.

The videos show plastic RV slideout “skis” like these to be a solution, but we had to address the rotted floor first.

Seems the worst of it is along the right hand side, but you can see water staining along the back wall too.

A view on the outside, looking towards the rear of the trailer.

I have pulled away the tarp and here you can see where the flooring is black and bowed.

The plywood has swelled from the original 3/4″ thickness to over an inch, the layers pulling apart.  

I could easily push a screwdriver into the side edge of the plywood and pry the layers apart with almost no effort.

To the left is flooring that I pried apart with the screwdriver.

A hammer made short work of the floor, easily punching through and getting me a good start on removing the plywood.

The walls in our slideout were secured to the floor from top-down, through the bottom frame sill.  I had to cut those screws off after ripping out the floor because I did not want to take down the the fragile wall panels — I never would have gotten them to look right again!

As mentioned in the YouTube videos about replacing the floor, I used car jacks (on stacks of cinderblock) to keep the walls in place while I removed the floor.   
For removal it was a mix of saws where the wood wasn’t fully rotted out, then the final 4 inches or so around the edges I pried loose from the bottom of the walls.

The replacement floor was a 3/4″ Advantech tongue and groove flooring sheet.  I knocked off the tongue with hammer and chisel, and the groove came off when I shortened the sheet by about 4″ to match the original floor dimensions (in my case, the floor was roughly 85″ by 44″).

Before installing, I threw on several coats of outdoor patio paint to both sides of the plywood, and especially to all four edges.

I wrapped the plywood in a blue 8’x10′ tarp that seemed to match the original in texture and thickness.  I did not tack it down until after it was fully in place.

I had to notch the back edge of the floor to accommodate the wire harness coming up through.  Originally it was through a drilled hole but I did not want to cut and resplice everything.  

The floor was not easy to wrestle into place.  I went from the inside – out, laying it down in the kitchen and sliding it under the walls into place. 

Not only is it very heavy but it barely fit (without hitting the kitchen island) when first laying it down inside.

I constantly moved the jacks while doing this.  First lifting the wall edges closest to the inside to get the floor started, then working the jacks out as the floor followed them.  To keep the inside edge from falling back onto the floor I used 2×4 blocks to rest the inside edges on.

With the floor in place, I adjusted the walls on top of it, trying to be sure the whole slide was as square as possible (i.e. 90 degree angles in the corners).

This took some time because I was also trying to shift it over a hair — from the factory the slide was not centered and on on side the rubber scraper thingy didn’t even touch the outside wall of the slide.

Once centered as best as possible, I ran screws up from the underside into the wall frame.
Then I drilled holes for the bolts that secure the floor to the metal retracting frame and secured those.

With the walls secured to the floor and the floor fully in place I tested the operation of the slide to be sure nothing scraped or pinched.

I pulled the tarp as snug as I could to remove most of the sag underneath.  I did leave a bit though, hoping any water that does penetrate flows to the middle and pools there, where I could poke a tiny hole to drain it.

On the inside I used a staple gun to attach tarp to floor, trimming excess and grommets as I went.


I used a spray can of Gorilla Waterproofing to add an additional barrier along the edges of the slide. 
You can see in the picture where the black of the Gorilla product ends and the blue of the tarp shows.

I used newspaper and painters tape to ensure I did not spray waterproofing on anything but the tarp.

I’m hopeful this will make the tarp more waterproof than it originally was – the factory one did not seem to do well holding water out! 
I really don’t want water laying for extended periods against the wood, painted or not.


We had a heavy rain before I got the carpet down and I was very dismayed to find water pooled on the new floor!  Argh!

Turns out the other leak was coming from the outside wall.
I have pried the strip away with a screwdriver to clean out the old caulk and add new, but you can see a bit of the old white caulk to the left edge of the picture.  There were large, very visible gaps of caulking and one was directly over where the puddle inside was (where the fungus was in the first picture).

I generously caulked inside this strip (I did not have any more Butyl tape on hand), screwed it back in place, and then caulked the top edge of it too.

The last thing(s) I did was to install those plastic ski thingies for additional waterproofing and to keep the tarp from getting worn or torn.

On one side of the slide, there is a significant gap between the bottom rail and the top edge of the ski, so I caulked that.

On the inside, I caulked between floor and walls wherever there was gap enough to do so, and ran a bead along the bottom edge of the finished wall panels and floor.  

I bought a 4×8 area rug because it is already bound all the way around to prevent fraying.  I was not concerned about fraying on the sides and back edges that meet the slideout walls, so these are the edges I cut.  I simply used the staple gun to attach it to the floor, just as it was done at the factory.