Kiwi 23b Side Floor/Wall Support
We recently purchased a 2001 Jayco Kiwi 23b. When I looked at the trailer there was evidence of a roof leak in the front right corner. I saw the wall covering damage. I found the leak in the roof. There was also a bit of discoloration on the floor vinyl. I figured I could repair the wall and roof damage. In my inexperience I didn't recognize how bad the water damage might be. They saw me coming, I bought the trailer. I'm certain similar stories have been told here many times. Anyway, I now own the camper and we will make it work for us. It looks decent cosmetically. No apparent rough use.
When I started working on the trailer it didn't take long for me to find that the roof repair and wall damage was a minor issure. The water had gotten down to the floor and followed along the outside wall. I removed the vinyl in the storage compartments to find things wet. The top layer of flooring seems OK. The lower layer shows the belly cloth wavey and when I slit the cloth I found the lower layers delaminating. At this time complete or even partial floor replacement is not an option.
The step bolts showed that they have been pulled up snug. The step was basically solid, but the carriage bolt heads had pulled down into the flooring. At this time the structure of the wall and alignment of the door looks to be fine. I want to keep it that way so I decided to install a sheet metal channel support for the outer floor area and wall support.
Personal Information: I've done most all my floor repair to date without needing to go to a hardware store. I once considered myself a cute cuddly little packrat and I was OK with that. Then those darned reality TV shows came on and revealed me to be the ugly hoarder that I really am.
Back to topic.
I had stowed a 5" galvanized sheet metal channel in my garage. It is maybe 16 gauge, at least 18 gauge metal so it is fairly strong. I drilled for the step position and set the step for dry fit. I wanted to be certain that the step went back in the same basic postion. After the channel was hanging in place I used 1 5/8" Unistrut channels in the storage compartments to support the lower galvanized channel. The Unistrut is very strong. I positioned it above the frame rail for additional support.
Some Unistrut Info is here:
After I had the lower channel dry fit I disassembled, applied polyurethane sealant to the channel and bolted it up into place. The support has taken any bounce out of the step. I feel much better now that I won't have trouble with sagging as (hopefully) my floors dry over time.
A local sheetmetal shop can easily bend up a similar channel as I used. Another alternative would be to use 1 x 6 or 1 x 8 pressure treated lumber. I believe that would be strong enough with no problem and what I would do if the sheetmetal channel were pricey. A cleat board could be added to the pressure treated if you feel more strength is needed (I don't). In my opinion a 2 x something would be overkill as it adds considerable weight with little structural gain.
Anyway, I thought that maybe someone else might find my methods helpful to support a trailer floor which is in similar condition as mine. FWIW. vic
Some additional info about my wet floors can be found in the thread.