How is a caravan floor made? (and how to fix it)

In this article, we will explain: How is a caravan floor made? We will do our best to explain how caravan floors are made and how you can renew or fix one, all by yourself. 

How is a caravan floor made?

Caravan floors are built-in like a sandwich, which consists of a layer of very thin plywood that is painted with waterproofing paint, then some wooden slats between which high-density styrene is placed, another layer of plywood, this one is usually thicker and finally the floor that we see in our caravan that is usually made of a vinyl floor covering.

As you can see, the first layer of wood is very thin, so at least every two years we must repaint it with waterproofing paint, to ensure that our caravan lasts for many years. If the floor of our caravan begins to rot, it is a bad sign.

What materials to use to replace the caravan floor covering?

Replacing the floor covering on your caravan can be a great opportunity to switch to a different material. But what type of flooring is best suited?

Many modern caravans opt for laminate planks, which look like hardwood floors and can be used throughout the entire trailer. You can add rugs to this type of flooring in places like the bedroom and living room while maintaining a unique, stylish and easy-to-clean material throughout the vehicle. 

Of course, hardwood laminate flooring is just one option; Laminate flooring is available in all kinds of styles, including stone patterns and tiling. Either way, when it comes to recreational vehicle flooring, you’re looking for durability, ease of cleaning, and lightness… what laminates offer!

Steps to follow to redo the floor of your caravan

  1. Assess the damage: It is important that you go through this step and make sure that you know the extent of the damage before proceeding with the replacement of the floor. 
  1. Remove the areas that are badly damaged. Once you have found the location of the damage, you must remove the vinyl flooring and all the rotten wood. You may need to jack your trailer up to complete this step and make sure all the old rotten flooring is completely removed, both inside and out.
  1. Dry the wooden frame then apply a product that kills mould. After letting your trailer dry, this step is to kill any lingering mould caused by water damage. Choose a quality antifreeze to kill any mould that may still be present. 

You can do this by using a sprayer to apply the antifreeze to the surface of the wood. Then let the disinfectant solution dry for a week or two.

  1.  Seal the wood with diluted epoxy resin. To create a strong and waterproof bond, epoxy resin is combined with a hardener. This allows the epoxy to seal the area against water and strengthen the rotten wood. It also discourages the formation of mould on the surface of the wood. 

To make the epoxy cover more area, you can thin it using a thinner such as xylene, denatured alcohol or acetone. You can buy epoxy resins specially designed to repair rotten wood floors. 

  1. Add or replace the wooden frame and floor. The resin took a few days to harden. In the meantime, add new wood to make the sub-floor more solid. It is best to cut out the damaged areas, then add new cross supports.

What is the best type of caravan floor covering?

A wooden floor is not practical. One of the possibilities is to leave the classic wooden floor in the caravan. This must be maintained with care, as it could rot due to humidity. It is necessary to use a breathable coating so that the wood can breathe. 

However, the wooden floor is hard and unpleasant for prolonged walking and is absolutely not suitable if you have children who are used to playing on the floor. The only advantage is that it is easy to maintain, for example, animal hair is easy to brush off. 

It is the right choice if you are turning your caravan into a retro caravan, but in other cases, it is better to go for a more modern solution.

If you are considering transforming your old caravan, opt for the material such as PVC, lino or modular floors.

The carpet is pleasantly soft. If your floor is free from defects requiring renovation but is only cold, place rugs in front of the bed or other areas. The second option is to cover the entire floor. In any case, it is better to put the price, buy a carpet with a higher grammage, or even a heavy carpet. 

However, note that you should not be walking on the mat with the shoes on. It is not suitable if you have pets, as it will retain hair that is difficult to vacuum. Needles brought in from outside are also difficult to remove. The advantage is warmth for the feet and a pleasantly soft surface.

Lino is easy to maintain. Lino is often used for the floor of caravans. It is very easy to maintain, just wash or sweep it and it is clean. The problem is the coldness of the ground. In summer, the problem is not bothersome, but people who use the caravan even in winter end up buying a carpet. 

To walk on lino, you need to put on shoes or slippers to avoid the cold, and in summer, if you stay barefoot, all the impurities will stick to your soles.

The coldness of linoleum can be resolved by heat-insulating the floor. In any case, forget about regular polystyrene, which absorbs water. You should opt for a non-absorbent material or a classic Mirelon foam backing that you can find in stores specializing in caravans, and note that we recommend non-absorbent materials.

Fortelock PVC coating is good for insulating. PVC coverings can be used in caravans and mobile homes. They are suitable for renovating an old caravan, especially for DIY enthusiasts who want to do everything themselves. The installation of Fortelock PVC tiles is easy, only a mallet is needed for installation. 

The pieces can be easily cut to fit any corner. Maintenance is as easy as caring for lino, but the difference is in its insulating capabilities. As a result, this coating is suitable for caravans used all year round.

The bottom line

The flooring in a caravan is one of the most important elements of insulation and must be taken into account in all circumstances. This is why most caravan and mobile homeowners attach the greatest importance to them when renovating. 

But which version of flooring is best? Do I need to heat insulate using polystyrene? Is lino suitable? And the rugs? We hope that you can find all the answers in this article. But if not, please let us know if you have more queries or any suggestions!

FAQ on How a caravan floor is made?

What are modern caravans made of?

Modern caravans are generally made from the following materials: 

  • Wood;
  • Fibreglass;
  • Sheet aluminium cladding and
  • Insulating foam.

Can you put underfloor heating in a caravan?

Yes, you can put underfloor heating in a caravan. Some caravan models already have an underfloor heating system installed, so make sure you check with your manufacturer whether this is possible for the model you already own. 

What do you use to redo caravan flooring?

Many modern caravans opt for laminate planks, which look like hardwood floors and can be used throughout the entire trailer. You can add rugs to this type of flooring in places like the bedroom and living room while maintaining a unique, stylish and easy-to-clean material throughout the vehicle. 

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