Bedroom Slide Floor Repair

Not sure when it was I mentioned it before, but water had got into our bedroom slide and damaged the floor.  There was a gap in silicone between the wall and the trim piece, about 5 inches, and it was enough to cause some rot to develop in the floor.

The area between my fingers is missing silicone caulk
If you zoom in you can see where the caulk is missing

This is our largest repair to date, and hopefully it keeps that title for a LONG time – preferably for always!

To answer the most obvious question, “what were the symptoms?”, how did we know something was wrong? I have will show you a few pics.  

This is the outside of the bottom of our bedroom slide looking up, our bedroom slide is much longer than most, due to it extending into the hallway (our bedroom stairs are opposite the door) – you can also see that the screws have fallen out
This is what it should look like

As you can see when comparing – the top pic shows the floor pushing up where the floor roller sits when the slide is in. This is because the wood is rotted.  

This screw didn’t fall out, but did break off when Bill removed it due to rust
This one is rusted but not bad enough to break – yet – I’m sure it would have eventually

Next trim pieces were removed


More trim to remove
After all screws were removed, Bill used a painters tool to get between the trim and wall and remove it
There was a lot of butyl caulk to remove
More caulk to be removed off slide

Front trim piece was removed also
Separating the floor from the trim piece
Breaking silicone caulk – this is the area that was missing silicone, which caused the leak and subsequent damage
Gently removing trim piece
Loosening stuck areas
Easier to remove trim now
Trim removed
First peek at damage – UGH – worse than expected!
This area of floor is literally crumbling apart!
Removing hidden trim piece
Front piece
Jacking up 2×4’s to hold the weight of the slide
We needed the weight to be fully off the rollers if there was any hope of replacing the entire floor
Bill was able to get the end slides fully off the rollers because the weight could be on the wall area, but the middle would not lift high enough. If we had a “usual” bedroom slide it would have been possible, but this slide is 13′ long. There isn’t anywhere to support the middle.
Once Bill determined he could not remove the floor in one piece (which was preferred) he moved right on to Plan B – using a router to half cut the old floor and the new floor so there would be an overlap for strength
Slow and steady!
Almost done with this piece
 

This marks the end of day one.   Bill worked on it for about 3 1/2 hours. 

Day 2:

Now that the old floor is ready to remove the inside needs to be taken apart. 

Took the drawer out to get to the floor beneath
Emptied the closet
Took out bottom pantry drawer
Pulling up the rug and vapor barrier
First glimpse of damage – not too bad
Ok – now that’s BAD – yuck!
This isn’t good either
Taking the bed apart
More bed to take apart
More damage
Brand new floor – before cutting
Transferring measurements to new floor. Measure twice – cut once!
Attaching the guide to cut away damaged floor
Setting the saw depth to 1 1/16″ the thickness of the floor
Cutting the bad part of the floor off
Bad section of floor removed. Notice the 3″ of lap on the remaining floor. This will match up with the new floor creating a strong lap joint
View from inside the camper
Damaged section removed
Close up of damage
Outside plastic covering pulled away showing totally rotted wood

Someone told Bill that the water damage you find is always WAY WORSE than you think it is. By the time you find it, major damage has been done. Much easier to prevent than to repair!

38 thoughts on “Bedroom Slide Floor Repair

  1. Amazing job! You are lucky to have someone who keeps a sharp eye on your rig! You really did save yourselves a lot of money doing it yourself. Great job!

  2. Bill and Kelly,
    You are lucky to have the skills to do your own repairs. Cindy and I have had to learn to fix things too. There is a certain pride that comes from doing it yourself. Your work looks better then the professionals may have done.

    1. You are echoing our thoughts exactly – and we saved a bunch of $$$ in the process!

  3. I’m still not understanding the reason you needed to lift the slide off the rollers. That section of the floor wasn’t under any tension was it?

    1. We originally wanted to replace the whole floor and would have needed to lift the weight off the rollers, when that proves impossible, there was no longer a need to lift the floor up.

  4. Awesome job !

    I had just found I have the same issue on my bedroom closet slide on my Heartland Sundance and was wondering what would be the best way to repair it. I knew I had a leak but kept looking at slide seals. finally found it was coming in as yours was but on the edge and wetting the slide floor down that side and working it’s way inside.

    I will attempt to repair mine in the same way that you done yours. I cant thank you enough for all the time and effort you put into documenting this repair.

  5. Nice job!! I pray I never need to refer to this article for personal use. This is why we do a good walk around with clear caulk twice a year. Another excellent article, Kelly and Bill!!

    1. Thanks! I’m not sure if full replacement of the sealants would be necessary, but probably can’t hurt, to insure your knowing it was done properly.

  6. Outstanding work! Great detail and excellent craftsmanship!
    This issue is exactly what happened on our bedroom slide on our first 5th wheel by NuWa. They gave us an estimate of over $8G for a new slide without taking anything apart. Cannot imagine what it really would have cost. In the end we felt it was not worth the cost of the repair on an 7 year old rig even though the rig was in great shape everywhere else. We traded that rig for our first Montana.
    Bill can teach those Techs a thing or two!

    1. Thanks Les! Before he even got in the phone with Heartland, he had all contingencies worked out in his head! I agree – he could totally teach at least some techs a thing or two!

  7. Incredible! We did eternabond tape on the roof and have no slides but water damage will always find a way in😩😩😩😩 I need to double check windows

    1. Seems that keeping up with inspecting everything is the best prevention for problems! Ask us how we know!

  8. Awesome blog entry. Great detail and explanation of your repair. The RV World needs more folks like you and Bill. It amazes me at the number of folks we have met workamping this summer that pay little or NO attention to their RV’s. Since ours is our full time home we conduct regular inspections.

    One of the reasons we have been loyal Heartland owners is the reasonable folks in the warranty department.

    Great repair job and fantastic documentation.

  9. You have amazing skills, Bill and a great helper. I have been a contractor for 30 years and your approach is spot on. I am doing a remodel on a Newmar Kountry Aire 5er and realize that instead of checking and doing spot repairs to the caulk, given the age of it, I will replace it ALL. Disappointed that Heartland only spent $50 for their part in this. None of it would have happened if they had done their job correctly in the first place. With what that unit cost originally, we all would expect that it would have been delivered done correctly, and when the discovery of missing caulk from their manufacturing process and QC process was documeneted, they should have stepped up more. But now we all know that Heartland has gaps in their processes, as this experience shows 2 coached with the same issue. It also was interesting to see that the framing running the 13′ length of the slide was not a complete solid framing member. Those filler blocks in the center are likely more of the reason why that slide is sagging some. Your repair will help that. Nice choice using the lap joint and adhesive and screws, esp the splices inside. Well done!!

    1. Thanks! I think you misunderstood – our outlay was $50 – Heartland sent us the floor free of charge – we suspect it would have cost +/- $800 if we had to pay for it out of pocket.

  10. Great job, Bill! Great job Kelly documenting the whole process so that anyone who might need to tackle this has a good reference.

  11. Awesome job Bill! I admire those that are willing to tackle such a complicated repair into the unknown.

    1. Thanks Steve! It took Bill a lot of hours of considering all possibilities, watching YouTube videos, talking to RV techs, etc before he decided to tackle this! He never had any doubts he could do it – but armed himself with all info he could find before the first screw was removed!

  12. Nice job on the repair! We had a leak in out Bedroom Accu-slide in our Titanium. We had about the same damage. I was not brave enough to take on that project. They pulled the slide out of the trailer. Our leak came in from the top of the box.

    1. Thanks Shawn! That’s probably what they would have done if we had brought it in to be fixed.

  13. That was a great job and Glad you were able to get it done at minimal cost. Please check the edge of the main slides under the trim. This is where I am having serious issues with my camper will have to replace large sections of on each end of both slides. As well as installing a trim piece that will mitigate the issue.

  14. I will be son tackling a similar problem with my bedroom slide on my 40′ Raptor. I was worried about how to tackle it.

    Do you think it would be better or easier to take the bed out and bring the slide in the bedroom to work on instead of from a ladder. Mine is rather high up.

    1. Mine is a bit high as well, I can walk under without hitting my head. I found that the easiest way in my situation was to complete the job with the slide all the way out. Most of the work is done on the outside. The inside work on my layout was mostly just pulling the carpet and vapor barrier back that was under the cabinetry and bed. I only had to remove the access panel at the front of the bed to gain access to the floor. Yours may be laid out differently. Take the time to get your game plan together with contingencies is case things don’t go according to plan. Good luck!!

  15. I’m surprised that marine grade plywood is not used in
    the floor. I wonder if having a vapour barrier on top and a plastic sheet on the bottom that a double vapour barrier is formed and any water is trapped in between the two.

    1. The marine grade plywood would have helped. It would have also helped if they just sealed the cut edges of the floor. You are absolutely correct in the fact the plastic floor bottom and vapor trapped the water! It’s a great system IF all the sealant is in place at the factory!

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