Kiri and


Our floor-less (flawless?) Bertha

May 28th, 2013 (by Steve)

After two and a half months away from Bertha, we were excited to see her again this weekend. When we last saw her, she was very damp and a little unhappy, so we patched her up and left her with a heater and dehumidifier inside to see if we could dry her out and cheer her up. When we arrived on Friday night, we were very pleased to see that the floor was indeed dry, but still very rotten. There was just a little damp patch on a batten in the top rear corner that we’ll have to attend to at some point soon.

First job on Saturday morning was ripping up the floor and removing the top layer of plywood on the walls. As there’s not really space for two of us to work with sharp tools in that little corner, Kiri set to it carefully with a chisel whilst I had a look at replacing the lighting above the bench. Our previous lighting above the bench consisted of some rather dated plastic spotlights, so I unscrewed those, wired in a new switch and an adhesive strip of 12v LED lights. These look more stylish, whilst using less power. Simples!


It took most of Saturday and Sunday to remove the whole section of flooring that was rotten, cutting through the top layer of plywood, the polystyrene and battens below, then what remained of the de-laminated plywood underneath. Whilst Kiri and I hacked away at gently removed the floor, our brother-in-law skilfully replaced the some rotten wood around the step to get into the motorhome, and the fold-out step which had clearly passed its heyday! Finally, we were left with a clean hole where a rotten floor had once been:


A trip to Homebase on bank holiday Monday is not the most pleasant of experiences, but it was necessary in order to get exterior plywood for the new floor, which was duly coated with timber care before we cut it to size and laid it. With holes needed in the floor for the fresh water inlet and table base, we did some precision measuring and some not-so-precise drilling. Add a few battens to the top, and we’re vaguely water-tight – just some polystyrene and a top level of ply still needed.


It’s a big psychological boost to know that we have a solid floor once again in the rear – all of the other jobs (replacing the rear walls, fixing the leak in the boiler, replacing the gas system, fitting a solar panel, fitting a bike rack, making new curtains, re-upholstering the cushions, etc)…hmmm, I was going to say that they will seem minor in comparison, but actually there’s still a lot of work to do!

4 Responses

Looking good little fella!

Once the rear wall is replaced and providing the source of the leak has been correctly identified and made good….. the rest will be a doddle 🙂

Wow, your Brother In Law must be a very competent joiner?! 🙂

Thanks Sean – I hope so!

Jonno, we’ll see how long the step lasts before we comment…!!!

‘The contractor accepts no liability for any future damage or failure of said ‘Step’ that arises from ‘inappropriate’ use. The ‘Step’ is to be used primarily to ease entry and exit of ‘Bertha’. Any other use of the ‘Step’ such as for dancing on, jumping on, using as storage etc will not be considered as appropriate use and will not be covered by the contractors liability’.

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