Greetings,

I've seen a number of posts on remodeling or even rebuilding campers.  This blog is really no different.  The subject is a 1983, 29 foot Coachman Travel Trailer. 

I'm no slouch when it comes to carpentry, so when I had a friend who had this 29' coachman travel trailer that they quit using a year ago due to wood rot I jumped at the opportunity.  It cost me a set of new tires and the fuel to haul it from Brainerd Minnesota to Cannon Falls Minnesota.  About 150 miles.  It pulled beautifully! 

The camper sat and served as overflow sleeping and gathering space for a friends cabin for the majority of it's life.  It probably has not been pulled over 2,000 miles.  I pulled the hubs, bearings looked ok, and added some new grease to get it by on the trip to Cannon Falls.  I stopped a number of times to see if they were getting hot, and they did just fine.  I will repack them next spring.

I began the demo, and the rot was worse than I anticipated in some areas, and the floor surprised me.  I could use some advice regarding the floor. 

The beams that the camper sits on are just over 70 wide and the flooring cantilevers about a foot beyond the beams.  The flooring is 1 1/2" high density foam, with 3/8" plywood laminate.  The foam laminates buts up to the rim beam that the walls sit on.  Interesting the walls are not on top of the laminate floor.  there is little supporting the exterior walls from below.  Has anyone encountered this?

In pre-planning the floor replacement, I will be replacing the outside (on a house would be a rim-joist) beam, but in the camper it doesn't appear to tied into the flooring.  Yes, odd...  There is a galvanized pan that the high density foam sits in.  I will post some pictures this week. 

I understand that the high density foam laminated with plywood is not only very strong but also light weight.  I'm wondering how they tied it into the walls and strengthened the supportive rim joist that the walls are anchored from below.  The metal beam only cantilevers over to the exterior wall at the wheel well and end of the trailer.  Nothing in the middle...  Again odd... 

If anyone has encountered this I would be glad to hear about it. 

It's going to be a fun project!! 

Views: 220

Tags: Coachman, demolition, rebuild

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Comment by Lakota Wolf on August 27, 2014 at 10:14pm

I have repaired flooring where it was spongy right up close to a wall. I have fabricated a butting plate with the use of angle aluminum, (lightweight). Making sure the Upright studs are in good shape. Ive put down good quality flooring deck,and made sure I put a good seal along the line where wall and floor meet.

Comment by Kevin on August 27, 2014 at 9:31pm

Lakota,

Thanks!  That was very helpful.  I believe what Coachman was doing was creating a very strong floor that could span as far as possible with little weight or substructure support.  I've seen where some have really beefed this up by adding welded bracket.  But i think if i replicate what the engineers designed i won't need to do this.  The trick will be to figure how they tied it in to the outer wall.  I think your comment about contact attachment is spot on.  I may also replace the bottom wall plate with a wider board and tie that into the laminate.  I'm not 100% sure yet.  But plan to have the floor replaced this weekend! 

The bad thing about this design is that when the laminate fails due to rot, and the high density foam gets wet it looses it's integrity.  Then becomes squishy and soft.  Frankly the only thing preventing anyone from falling though this floor in the front was the vinyl flooring.  

Comment by Kevin Crowley on August 26, 2014 at 7:47am

Looking forward to following this. Best of luck with the project!

Comment by Lakota Wolf on August 25, 2014 at 11:30pm

On several flooring replacements I have come across, and thats been quite a bit. I have noticed that sometimes the walls are NOT attached to the flooring along the whole bottom side,, concerning attachment points. I have come across every couple of flooring joists a contact attachment point.securing the sidewalls to the flooring.And some have undercarriage angle brackets welded to the frame which support the outter walls.

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