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Old 05-14-2022, 12:16 PM   #1
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Default Rough winter - bubbled front and torn flooring?

We just picked up our 2008 189FD from a very cold winter storage and discovered that it looks like someone unzipped the floor, curving from the corners into the center. The actual wood floor seems okay, but the vinyl is ripped in a curious pattern.

Here's the view from the center looking back towards the bathroom:

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Here's the view looking towards the front... same pattern, though only one side is ripped:

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We also have a bubble where the front surface is puffed out a bit... not sure if this is delamination or something else:

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We plan to replace the flooring with sheet vinyl - sounds like other options don't hold up at all to the weather changes we have here - and not tack it down fully so it will deal more gracefully with temperature changes down the road. Do you think this was just temperature related, or something more complex/serious?

And for the front, the surface of the fiberglass is even in terms of color and texture... it's just puffed out a bit in a couple of spots. Any idea what the issue is and if anything need to be done to treat it?
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Old 05-14-2022, 05:40 PM   #2
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Wow. What a strange pattern! Wild guess -- if this was a very, very cold storage area, I suppose it is possible that the flooring material contracted due to the cold and that the glue failed. The wooden underfloor would not be affected in the same way -- plastic gets brittle, and wood does not.

The fact that there is a similar pattern of damage at both ends of the trailer would indicate a pervasive temperature-related failure, rather than a single patch of water damage.

But these are just guesses -- I have never heard of a problem like this, and lots of folks have their trailers in cold storage in places like Winnipeg (where it gets down to 50 below zero).

Where do you live, and how cold did it get this winter??
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Old 05-14-2022, 06:02 PM   #3
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It doesn't look like any water damage (no stains on the wood) so cold was the only thing I could think of... or perhaps dramatic changes. I'm in southern Alberta (it was stored near calgary) and it was outside for what were record-breaking cold temperatures this past winter, plus we have huge swings (can change by 30-40 degrees Celsius in just a couple of days). I take some solace from not being the only one surprised by this, at least!
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Old 05-19-2022, 11:14 AM   #4
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Wow - never seen anything like that caused from cold weather.
I've stored mine in unheated storage buildings and the past couple years outside over the winter and never had any issues....and here winter temps of 20 below zero are not uncommon.
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Old 05-20-2022, 10:26 AM   #5
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Yeah, that's why I'm puzzled. It's 15 years old and, as far as I know, always been stored outdoors in this part of the world. It was parked on grass, not far from a river, but with Temps that low I can't imagine humidity being an issue. I just don't know what else it could be...
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Old 05-20-2022, 01:21 PM   #6
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The reason that I suspect the cold is that the flooring is not bubbled, as it would be if there had been moisture. Instead, it is torn, as if the material had contracted while it was brittle. Other than being sliced with a sharp object, contraction would be the only mechanism that would account for a linear material failure.

And piling guess upon guess, my guess is that this failure is precisely because the flooring is 15 years old. A new floor would be more flexible and would not rupture. An old floor that had gone through many thaw and freeze cycles would be more prone to failure.

This same phenomenon -- cumulative material fatigue -- is often observed in connection with pressurized aircraft fuselage failures. See this article, for example:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...uminum-cracks/
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Old 05-27-2022, 08:33 AM   #7
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Default Same trouble

You're not alone, cold winters here in Northern New Brunswick, Eastern Canada, opened door to a ripped floor.
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Old 05-27-2022, 09:37 AM   #8
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I took the trailer in to get some work done (repack the bearings, troubleshoot an electrical issue where shore power works but battery doesn't) and had them look at the bubble on the front and the ripped floor at the same time. They used a little handheld monitor to look at moisture levels and it appears that we do have some moisture inside the front cap and walls that may have caused the cardboard-like backing material to change shape, so they're checking for possible leaks in the roof that may need to be patched, but doesn't sound like any action will be needed beyond that.

For the floor, their take was that it's due to the cold weather and how the floor was installed: if it was fixed on the edges and tried to contract in the cold, it couldn't pull the edges in towards the centre, but had to split in the centre to pull towards the edges. On our first trip out this year, though, we just used duct tape to get it all down again and put some hallway/entrance type rugs (durable and with a rubber backing) down through the trailers and it was actually quite nice, at least on a dry weekend without mud to worry about.
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