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Winter 2024

ISSUE 8

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Touch wood, I have now fixed the soft patch in my floor

Fixing a soft floor on a UK Caravan

Graham Leslie

UK caravan floors sometimes get spongy or soft in high traffic areas due to delamination of the floor. A UK caravan floor like mine is made of about 30 to 40mm of foam sandwiched between two thin (about 4mm) layers of plywood. Touch wood, I have now fixed the soft patch in my floor, and I found the repair job relatively simple to carry out. 

ONE

I started out by watching some YouTube videos to see what others had done and found this very useful. I recommend you watch lots of these videos to gain a consensus on the best technique. 

TWO

I ordered a repair kit online that came with resin and wooden dowels.


THREE

After removing the caravan’s carpet mats I carefully cut the vinyl floor along the lines of the floor board wood pattern with a fresh sharp-bladed craft knife. 



This is made it easier to hide cuts when I put the vinyl back. In my caravan the vinyl is not glued down (I don’t know how common this is) so once cut, it was easy to lift up and peel back the vinyl from the area of spongy floor. When you cut out the vinyl for the area you want to treat, allow a border around your treatment area of at least 5cm. I also only cut out 3 sides of the square and carefully folded the vinyl back to make it easier to reinstate later. 

FOUR

Next job was to drill holes in the floor. These are to pour resin in and plug with the 8mm wooden dowels. It is important not to drill right through the floor, so I set up a spacer on my drill to limit the depth. Calculating the floor thickness can be done by measuring through a ventilation hole or holes cut for wiring or heating, probably found under one of the bunks.


The drilled holes are laid out in a 5cm by 5cm grid. Sweep up the sawdust after drilling the holes.


FIVE

Then it is case of filling and refilling the holes with resin until it stops running into the floor. On my floor I had rows of six holes, and I would fill a row several times, then fill the next row and then come back and refill the holes again and keep refilling them until the resin was overflowing the holes slightly and the resin stopped disappearing down the holes.

Where the floor was particularly spongy it took a lot more resin and I repeatedly refilled the holes. Some disposable gloves are handy when it comes to this stage, and I recommend you mask the vinyl edges with masking tape to prevent getting resin on the vinyl. I tried cling wrap to protect the vinyl and it did not work. 

SIX

Once you have filled a row of holes so that they don’t take any more resin push the dowels down into the holes like plugs. The repair kit came with 30mm-long dowels which pushed down flush with my holes. I ran out of the kit dowels and continued with some 40mm-long dowels I already had. These sat proud and had to be trimmed off later — not really a major problem. I found having something like a spatula or putty knife to push them down was handy.

SEVEN

I worked my way down the caravan floor towards the door. As the resin goes off it foams (like Gorilla® glue or polyurethane glue) up and around the dowels. Some of the YouTube videos recommended I put a flat board with weights on it over the floor while the resin went off to stop the floor bowing upwards. I could not see how I could do this without then also ending up with it glued to the floor. My floor still feels flat to me, so I don’t think in my case it was necessary. 



EIGHT

We then left it alone for 48 hours. When we came back it had all set hard and we just needed to clean up the resin that was sitting proud. This was fairly easy with a multi tool to trim the bulk of oozed out resin and then a bit of sandpaper to finish things off. 

NINE

We have laid the vinyl back down but have not glued it down yet in case we want to lift it again for other bits of floor. The joins along the side are invisible but there is a 1 or 2mm gap at the far end as if the vinyl has shrunk slightly long ways. I am not sure what is the best option to re-secure the vinyl. Two options spring to mind.

a. Lay some sticky tape on the floor, sticky side up. Lay this tape under the edge of the vinyl still on the floor and then lay the raised vinyl back onto the other half of it and effectively join the bits of vinyl.

b. Glue the vinyl back down with coloured silicon “no more gaps” type sealant. Wood coloured versions are available and will hopefully hide any damage or gaps in the vinyl.


The repaired floor looks good at the moment, not secured, and now the carpet mats are back on top. However, I think it could get ratty if left unsecured long-term.


All images ©2024 Graham Leslie

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8 Winter 2024

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