Why do Campers Get Soft Spots in Floor?

An RV can be a fantastic traveling home, with all of the amenities that can be found in a house; however, as with houses, campers can have problems that require repairs or even replacement. We will take a look at one such issue–soft spots in the floor.

What exactly is a soft spot? 

This is a soaked area commonly caused by a leaky floor or faulty plumbing. The floor of your camper features just plywood and is often protected using vinyl covering. However, for older campers, there is a high likelihood that the plywood is not protected.  

The trapped water will cause the plywood to begin rot, hence the soft spot. If not detected early, the entire RV floor may require replacement. 

The soft spot does not look pleasant and when you step on it, it gives, which is not good at all. In that regard, it is necessary that you tend to the soft spot immediately.

How Can You Detect a Soft Spot?

When purchasing a used or brand new RV, it is important to inspect it for any defects. A common defect is a soft spot. Detecting the soft spot is not as hard as it may seem; use your hands to simply push the floor. Alternatively, walk around and be keen to detect any give. If you notice a give in the floor, or if the floor feels mushy, chances would be that the spot is rotten, and requires immediate replacement or repair.  

Alternatively, if you have access to the underneath, check for any rotten material. You can use a small screwdriver to pick or push underneath to check. 

Those simple steps to check for a soft spot could save you a costly RV repair.  Resolving the issue immediately will stop the damage from spreading to the other sections of your floor.

How Can You Repair the Soft Spot?

There are four steps when it comes to repairing the soft spot on the floor of your RV.

1. Start by Assessing the Damage

Upon noticing the soft spots in the trailer, the next step is assessing the damage. Soft spots will most likely spread, so you need to identify where the leak starts. 

Note that if any area is left without ensuring it is properly repaired, then the entire floor will soon soak up more water. Mark the affected area before starting repairs.

2. Remove the damaged parts

Carefully get rid of the deteriorated floor. Make sure the rotten wood and the styrofoam are removed completely. The floor should be cleaned appropriately without applying water to the areas that are still intact.  Protect the undamaged floor appropriately.

3. Apply product that kills and stops spread of mold

A soft spot not only damages the floor, but it can encourage mold. Therefore, use a mold-killing solution and disinfect the area.

A solution of borax and hot water can be used to kill and stop the spread of mold, or you can purchase mold-killing sprays to take care of such issues. Whatever you use, practice caution when applying the substances used for killing mold.

Rebuilding the Floor

After cleaning the damaged area, the repair task begins immediately. Remember that the objective is to restore the floor to the original look. In that regard, be sure to replace any damaged wooden parts, and provide adequate support. Strengthen the floor, and repair any broken plumbing pipes.

Restoration of the soft spot requires skill and use of the right tools. Make sure that you inspect the whole floor to identify all affected areas so that you don’t have to go back and replace the entire floor.

Tips for Checking your RV for Water Damage

1. Be Thorough

Checking for water damage in an RV involves using your hands and feet to check the entire floor, even under the furniture. Run your hands along the window seal and the slide-out seam. This should be done on the outside and the interior as well. 

While checking for water damage, be sure to press gently with your fingers to see if you are able to find any holes or notice soft spots.

2. Inspect your Rig for Water Damage Regularly

When it comes to the maintenance of your RV, it is necessary that you keep checking the rig on a regular basis. Water damage is a common sign to watch. Therefore, keep conducting a thorough investigation after an extended camping season. 

If you are parking the RV for a long time, look for any indications of water damage. You will want to perform checks at regular intervals, as soft spots may not show immediately when water leaks. An inspection at least once a week will help you to find whether there is water damage.

3. Be Prepared

The probability of a water leak or water spill on the floor of the RV is always high so long as you are using it. Therefore, being prepared for an eventuality is the best thing to do. Get the right tools for the job so that you will be able to patch any small leaks quickly. Read and watch videos on how to repair soft spots.

Key Takeaway

Water damage is a common problem that owners of RVs have to deal with. Therefore, learning how to repair soft spots is important to make sure that your floor stays in good shape and that you avoid mold.