With the prep work finally done – after what seemed like ages – it was time to install the new subfloor! I don’t even remember what it was like to walk in the trailer without balancing precariously on steel beams.
I bought the plywood from a local lumberyard – 1/2″ 5-ply exterior-grade sheathing, cured and stored indoors – the most flat and dry I could find. After a lot of research, I opted against marine grade and instead am treating it with a borate-based (non-chemical) pretreatment from Nisus to prevent mold, mildew and insect infestation. I finished up the floor’s protection by sealing the bottom and edges with low-odor, oil-based primer. The actual finished flooring is going to be glue-down 12″ x 24″ cork tiles on top of the subfloor.
Today I borrowed a family member’s wood shop to cut the curved pieces of our floor. If there’s anything I’ve learned from renovating a 100-year-old house and now this nearly 50-year-old Airstream, it’s to never assume anything that’s old is square, plumb or level! Even after careful measurements and templates, there were a lot of adjustments to make when the time came to install it!
With several helpers to stabilize things and position the flooring, I jacked the trailer shell up off the frame a few inches to be able to get the new flooring between the two. It was a little terrifying watching all that aluminum teetering around in the air, but she’s safely back down on the floor and frame now. Installation took two days, several people, lots of wiggling, cursing, adjustments with a sander and jigsaw, but it’s in!
I’m so excited just to be able to walk in the trailer again for the first time in many months. It was also the dogs’ first time ever in the trailer, and my first time sitting or laying down on the floor!