Some readers might be thinking that I am living in an Egyptian river since I haven’t really talked much about the floor in the over cab bunk. It’s been foremost on my mind. I’ve just been waiting to make a full assessment before blogging about it.
Last night, I pulled up the flooring in the wet corner of the loft to see how the floor is put together and to help me determine if I need to replace it, too. The most important thing I learned with my house is that a soggy floor needs to be replaced. It can’t just be ‘dried out.’
The top layer, thin paneling, was dry and solid. Under it was a clean layer of styrofoam. Under that was a section of sodden paneling. Under that was wet but clean styrofoam, and under that was the exterior shell.
I peeled back the top layers of paneling and styrofoam only as far as needed to expose the entire extent of the rotten second level of floor, which is a section about 1′ x 1′, and the floor was damp about 3′ x 3′.
The floor of the over cab bunk in a class C RV can be an integral part of the front end structure, depending on how the rig is built. In Miranda’s case, she’s a higher end unit with a steel frame. The floor in the bunk literally floats. The bottom layer of styrofoam isn’t even glued to the shell. I was able to saw out a chunk of both layers of insulation and paneling and just pull them right out with no resistance.
Since the rest of the flooring is fine and dry, I’ve decided to only replace the wet section the same way it was originally built–styrofoam, paneling, styrofoam, paneling. I don’t see any logical reason to pull out the whole flooring and replace it; it’s just not needed. However, I am going to replace the top layer of paneling with a layer of 1/2″ plywood. There’s no need to go to 3/4″, the 1/2″ stuff will already be about four times thicker than what’s there already!
Because of the tight quarters in here, I’ll need to do the flooring in chunks. Like most class Cs, the floor is C-shaped:
I would have loved to divide the floor into six manageable panels, but the gaping hole over the cab makes that impossible. Instead, I’ve decided on four easy to install sections and one big panel:
The drying out process is going very well. I’m alternating between the dehumidifier and the heater. It also helps that I pulled out all that sodden paneling. I’m hopeful that I will be able to get up there to work on Tuesday; I don’t want to rush the process. Monday, I’ll go to the building supply centre that Donna mentioned and see if they can cut my plywood and paneling for me so I have less to do when I get the materials home.
Donna also gave me an alternate solution to the pallets, but I’m not willing, or able, to invest along the lines at this time. The loft floor is going to be 1/4″ to 1/2″ lower than what it presently is with the piece of plywood covering the centre hole and it will be all on one level, which means I can lose the bottom layer of the pallets and gain another inch and a half or so of space. So, that’ll mean nearly 2″ of extra head space when I get the bed put back together. That’ll be worth the work!
Until I know for sure that the leak is fixed, I’ll follow my readers’ suggestion and paint the floor instead of applying vinyl.
Sleeping in the study is going to be a trial. This mattress isn’t meant to hold an adult weight and I’ll admit that I’m combing the classifieds for a twin-sized mattress. 😀 Otherwise, the rig is reasonably livable right now even though the library is stuffed to the gills. I spent a couple of hours today moving and organizing things so that the kitchen, entrance, and dressing room are clear and easy to navigate (the study’s fine). Because the loft is a project that will drag on for probably two weeks, it’s imperative that I keep the rest of my home functional. It’s been my habit in the past to use renovations as an excuse for keeping the home in a dysfunctional state that justifies eating out, but this time I’m breaking the cycle. And I’m off to make dinner, all this work makes me huuuungry!
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