Rear Bath Floor Rot

I needed to get the toilet out to find out where it was leaking. This was one impossible task–no room for hands, much less tools, behind the toilet. A hammer solved that problem, but I’ll probably be looking at the sink drain line as a result. Once I got the toilet out, I realized that I could fix the floor rot easier from the top than the bottom, so out comes the fiberglass surround that was under the toilet. I had to remove one side of the under sink cabinet, then unscrew the toilet flange (using a homemade tool from a previous restoration).

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With the fiberglass out, it was a snap to remove the black tank, just a few screws in the Thetford dump valve, so the valve is out and in the shop for repair. (I hate the think that things are moving right along…Murphy might read my mind.) The next step was to cut away about 10″ of the floor, forward to where the wood was sound. You can see the rot in the photo below, about 6″ of the rear edge of the floor was essentially dust. As you can see, I still need to remove more floor toward the street side.

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To my surprise and dismay, the toilet was basically sitting unsupported on the fiberglass surround. There was a piece of warped 5/8″ plywood on top of the black tank, but it had no edge support at all. I’ll have to see if there is space between the tank and the surround to add some support when I reinstall it, but I will be using 3/4″ treated exterior plywood, the same as in the floor.


It’s been a 9-day struggle in the heat to get the floor repaired. We are just not accustomed to this kind of heat, especially in June. It’s evidently not good for the rest of the ecology, either–view of Waldo Canyon fire from the Safari in the Monument RV storage area.

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I put the floor back together with four pieces that were jammed under the “C” channel with a small mallet. They are all held together with a large 3/4″ plywood splice piece and 54 #12 screws.

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The toilet support, which was literally non-existant, was a tight fit (that sucker probably isn’t coming out unless the closet wall comes out first) but I’m happy with it. The big puzzle for me is that the black tank isn’t very square–it’s 1/2″ less tall on the curb side, which makes for a long reach to screw the toilet flange in. But when I took it out, I don’t think it was in more than 1-1/2 turns, anyway. All in all, a pretty bad (may I use the word “crappy” here?) original installation.

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Now for the best part. I’ve got Safari II home and hooked into 30-amp power. The air conditioner and fridge work! Yippee. What this means is that I can now work in air conditioned comfort!! We don’t even have air conditioning in the house!

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The down side is, I can see Safari #1 not getting much attention until the fall…


Besides replacing much of the tail end floor, there were a couple of bad spots under the kitchen cabinet. After a few probes with a screwdriver, I decided to fix these problems in place with fiberglass. You can see that the rotten areas have been filled with a light brown mixture of resin and wood dust, which makes for a very strong filler, then covered with glass cloth and resin. The floor is now very stiff and I expect it will be good for years to come. The total fix took about 15 minutes and with the current hot temperatures, it cured in less than 6 hours.

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