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Old 12-14-2014, 02:40 PM   #1
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Oh no! Water trapped under the floor!

We were expecting a very cold overnight low temp and I was worried about the water supply hose freezing up. My first thought was to fill the fresh water tank and just disconnect & drain the supply hose. So I filled the tank, but then the water pump wasn't working on my 5-month-since-new 195RB (more on that later.) Plan B was to crack open the bath tub faucet a smidgen so that there would be enough water movement to prevent freezing. This probably would have worked just great, except that I forgot to open the grey water drain valve. Before morning, the tank and bathtub both over filled and water had leaked out all over the floor. The trailer wasn't quite dead level, so all of the water flowed along the left wall towards the front of the trailer and was trickling out from behind the wall panel to the ground. Oops! Can't blame anyone but myself for that!

It looked as though the water had mostly leaked out leaving only a little to mop up on the inside. WRONG! Instead, I found that there were several gallons of water trapped between the underside of the floor, in the insulation and the black plastic sheeting. There was no way for the water to escape without cutting into the plastic underneath.

Is this a construction flaw? Surely no one would design the trailer in such a way that any water spill (even a dropped water pitcher or kicked over mop bucket) would result in damaging water trapped beneath the floor? Should the plastic sheeting have been stapled to the INSIDE of the floor framing and not on the OUTSIDE so that any spill would leak under the side walls and inside the plastic sheeting?

This water must be removed and the underside must be dried out completely or there will inevitably be serious damage (I'm sure there's likely some damage already).The only way I see to fix this is to completely remove the plastic sheeting underneath the camper to allow the whole thing to completely air dry and then staple new material in its place - until the next time there is an accidental leak or spill.

OK, I was careless; can't blame Jayco for that. But should I discuss this design problem with them? Shouldn’t the floor openings be properly caulked to prevent leak through, and shouldn't the plastic be attached INSIDE the wall's edge so that leaks don't end up trapped under the floor?
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:18 PM   #2
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Yes, open it up and dry it out.

No, it's not a design flaw. They chose to design it to be water resistant from the outside ->in. RVs have been setup like this for a very long time.

Drains would be a nice feature for just these emergencies, but it's one of those choices they had to make: setup the trailer for 99% operation, or set them up for those 1% occurances?

Is your trailer the type with "ultra lite" floor that is plywood/styrofoam/luan? Or is it the type with floor joists?
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Old 12-15-2014, 06:44 AM   #3
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It's built with floor joists.

I understand the need to build so that the trailer is waterproof from the underside, but there needs to be two design objectives here, not just one; protect the underside of the floor from water intrusion from either above or below.

I'm off from work the last two weeks of the year, and the weather is pleasant (in Florida), so I'll cut the old liner away and give the underside a few days to thoroughly air dry while I brainstorm for a better solution.
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Old 12-15-2014, 07:14 AM   #4
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Oh good. With joists you'll be OK. if it were the super ultra lite weight style trailer you'd be in trouble. (I speak from experience, trust me.). . In fact, this is a huge reason why we purchased the jay flight as our second rig. A "real" floor.

Now that you've been down this road, you'll never have this problem ever again. You know, being that far south you were probably going to be ok anyways freeze wise. It takes quite a significant cold snap to do any real freeze damage. A single night dipping into 30 deg for a couple hours isn't enough to freeze solid the piping system. You need a good solid 24 hours at 30 degrees to wreck it.
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Old 12-15-2014, 09:12 AM   #5
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The water should have just ran straight down the wall and then gotten traped on top of the underside. Prolly didn't soak all the insulation. I would cut a couple small slices at low sag point and let drain. You can pull back one corner and use the outlet side of your shop vac to blow fresh air in for a day or more to remove it all.
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Old 12-15-2014, 10:49 AM   #6
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Yes we just finished repairs on an older Wildwood that our customer did the same thing. (Let the bathroom faucet on and forgot to open the grey tank). We ended up replacing the entire floor/and coverings, new wall studs in the bathroom, new wall boards/covering in the bathroom, new bathroom vanity, new underpinning material, partial insulation (walls and floor). (Im sure there is something I forgot here). However his total bill. (Our labor and parts) was close to $15k.

Now to each their own, but his was an early 2000s with wood framed/aluminum sided TT. We sell new wood frame/aluminum side TT for $16k ---- I know what I would have done, but he chose to repair, so I hope he has many years of fun left in it.
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Old 12-15-2014, 11:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qwed94 View Post
We ended up replacing the entire floor/and coverings, new wall studs in the bathroom, new wall boards/covering in the bathroom, new bathroom vanity, new underpinning material, partial insulation (walls and floor). (Im sure there is something I forgot here). However his total bill. (Our labor and parts) was close to $15k.
Yep. I was told by Forest River that my previous trailer was totaled due to this same exact error. I don't doubt it would take at least 10 days in the shop, and at $95 per hour for an RV shop, 10 days is close to $10k. then materials... yikes. I did my own floor rebuild, it only took me three years.

Makes ya want to install those push-button type faucets so the kids don't make this mistake, too.
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:55 PM   #8
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On the bright side...insurance still pays for stupidity.
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Old 12-15-2014, 01:18 PM   #9
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I wish!

Quote:
Originally Posted by qwed94 View Post
Yes we just finished repairs on an older Wildwood that our customer did the same thing. (Let the bathroom faucet on and forgot to open the grey tank). We ended up replacing the entire floor/and coverings, new wall studs in the bathroom, new wall boards/covering in the bathroom, new bathroom vanity, new underpinning material, partial insulation (walls and floor). (Im sure there is something I forgot here). However his total bill. (Our labor and parts) was close to $15k.

Now to each their own, but his was an early 2000s with wood framed/aluminum sided TT. We sell new wood frame/aluminum side TT for $16k ---- I know what I would have done, but he chose to repair, so I hope he has many years of fun left in it.
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Originally Posted by Texashighsheriff View Post
On the bright side...insurance still pays for stupidity.
I wish. I had the trailer fully covered comp and collision. "Water Damage" for an RV was specifically not covered under my policy unless "act of God" such as flood/tornado/hurricane etc. I ate it.
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Old 12-17-2014, 11:49 AM   #10
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Just so everyone knows, my Geico policy covers this type of water damage.
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