Absolutely Floored

Absolutely Floored

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!



“Measure twice, cut once” kind of goes out the window when you’re dealing with a non-uniform, 50-year-old trailer

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!


Using sheets of foam insulation as a template for cutting the rounded floor corners. It was easier to insert the insulation and make adjustments to the curvature with a knife than to keep cutting the plywood to fit.


The first piece of floor in place, in the rear of the trailer!

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!


Doggos’ first Airstream visit! The masking tape is to roughly determine the layout of the bathroom walls.


Floor, sweet floor!


  1. Cameron
    Aug 30, 2015 / 2:33 am

    What is that black spray you used on the seams? I have been looking for someone who has had luck with something like that before I put my inner skins back up. Thanks in advance!

    • Kristin
      Aug 31, 2015 / 6:30 pm

      Hi Cameron! I added some spray on rubber that’s used for lining leaky gutters on houses. I’m not sure how much good it did since I didn’t have any major water leaks even when the skins were out, but I figured it couldn’t hurt. Then I sealed the exterior seams as needed where the caulk had cracked with this clear sealant http://www.captaintolley.com/.

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