If you look at some of our latest pictures you can see that we are down to the bare frame now. After I get the frame sand blasted and repainted then the floor goes back on.
Originally the Terry did NOT have an exposed wood floor. The bottom of the trailer was actually made up of the trailer siding. Then there were 2x2's for structural support with some insulation. Then they mounted the wood flooring on the 2x2's.
I am going to put an exposed wood floor on the bottom then the 2x2s and then the wood floor with the sheet insulation in between the sandwiched wood. Now I need to protect that exposed wood so all of my hard work does not rot out from underneath of me.
I know that I can seal this wood and that is a good idea. I have also thought about covering it with metal siding again, but I am not sure that even if I seal it will it collect moisture between the metal and the wood and rot the wood still.
Another option MIGHT be to spray or roll on that truck bed lining stuff to protect the wood if that idea wood (pun intended) work.
My other question is how do camper manufacturers protect the bottom of the new campers? I haven't looked close enough at the bottom of new trailers, but when I have seen the bottom they are colored black. I haven't been able to tell if that is a sealant on wood, if it is a spray coating, if that is a metal bottom, etc.
This is a big decision because the floor is my whole foundation for the rest of my work. Any and all input would be greatly welcomed. Thanks all!
Craig & Lisa
Hi Craig and Lisa,
The new rigs either use Coroplast plastic cardboard like stuff or black woven sheeting on the belly. If the woven material gets ripped, there's a special sticky tape to repair it.
You are correct that metal causes rot. Most vintage trailers with a metal belly pan have major floor rot. If there's a leak anywhere above, it eventually ends up in the belly, making a nice warm soup to rot the floor joists...
Another idea is to go to a good paint store and find out what they recommend for outdoor plywood. I'm thinking of a marine type product, too; maybe similar to Varathane. I have used rubber undercoat spray on plywood as well as Herculiner on the edges. It seems as if it will do the job.
I've also seen roofing paper (the black stuff) layered between the metal frame and plywood bottom. My 54 Bellwood was that way and had a very sound floor.
Hope this helps. VK
I am thinking that rubber undercoating spray would be an excellent fit. I was just wondering if anyone else has had some success with it. From what I read it sounds like it has worked for you which is what I was hoping to hear. Thanks for the feedback VK.
Hi Craig and Lisa,
In the marine industry we use a two part epoxy to seal plywood. "West system" and "System Three" are the two big names. Fairly simple to use but rather hard on you, wear a mask and gloves. The stuff wears off your hands. If you cut the first coat with 10% acetone it will soak into the wood and then later coats will make a 100% waterproof seal. Endgrain is where rot usually starts. So make sure it gets extra coats. Also anyplace anything goes through the floor/plywood, bolt, pipe ect. Bore the hole over size and fill it with thickend epoxy. Once the epoxy goes off and is solid then drill your correct size hole through the epoxy. It is a bit of work but it will never rot. I would also paint it with an epoxy paint before install and put tar paper between the frame and subfloor.
Epoxy is a two part plastic mostly used in the marine and aviation industry. It is degraded by sunlight so it must be protected by paint or some other coating. It is 100% waterproof! W/S and S/3 both have good info online and in books. Any book on "Stitch and Glue" boat construction will tell you more then you want to know about sealing plywood. If you decide to go this route and have ???s 541-290-9631 Happy to help. Hope this helps, Fair winds, Tony, Joy and Cool Paw Luke.
Thanks for the update. I had forgotten all about stitch and glue methods. I have never done that but I have looked into it because I had wanted to build a wooden boat from Glen-L. I also like the vintage boats as well. I will have to read up on that because you make a very good point that if this method is good enough for a boat... it should be good enough for a camper floor.
I think I may have some questions for you here in a couple of weeks. This next week I am going to try to get the trailer to be sandblasted and then I am going to seal the frame. So it may be a few or three before I can actually get back to working on my trailer just based on my work and family schedule right now.
Thanks for your input.
Hello Tony. I think I may be giving you a call this evening if I remember. I do have a couple of questions for you regarding the floor and the two part epoxy.
I guess I am kind of confused regarding the stitch and glue and the two part epoxy. You are saying to only apply the two part epoxy, but not to actually do the stitch and glue process which would involve rolling out fiberglass, correct?
Thanks for your help Tony.