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Friday, October 23, 2009

Is It Wood or Is It Metal?

Is the floor of the typical Tioga motorhome from the 70's wooden or metal? Should I use linoleum, hardwood or carpet to cover the sub-floor? This is my first RV.
Stephen, (La Mesa, CA)


Stephen, the flooring on your motorhome, as well as those on the majority of coaches built in the 1970’s, is definitely plywood. There would be a covering of aluminum on the bottom; that portion exposed under the rig and on top of the frame rails. Yours originally came with carpeting in the living area of the coach along with possibly linoleum in the lavatory and galley areas. As long as the plywood underlayment is properly prepared and there is no water damage or dry rot, it is possible to refinish the floor with any of the materials you mention, or even tile in some cases. Proper preparation includes making sure each section of plywood is flush at the joints and all the screws or staples are fully seated and well below the level of the top of each sheet of plywood. Common wood filler may be used to close cracks and fill holes. A final sanding to make the floor as even as possible is yet another step in the process. Finally a clean sweep will have that old flooring ready for any type of top floor material you choose. Of course, if there is any evidence of water damage, that will have to be taken care of first.

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