Wherever the Road Leads

The Sky Is Falling

With the floor not far behind.

When I was shopping for campers – or ‘coaches’, as everyone down here seems to call them – I saw one on the internet that seemed perfect for me. The salesman at the dealership said, “I’ll be glad to show it to you but it’s got a soft floor.”

He weighed more than I did and walked on it but I experienced a ‘soft floor’ for the first time. A soft floor means water is getting in somehow and has made the plywood floor mushy. I had a mushy spot by my front door. I thought it regrettable but didn’t do much about it.

Then I noticed splotches of the linoleum were starting to darken and I couldn’t ignore it any more. I thought that it was mold forming on the wet floor and I knew that I couldn’t live like that.

I googled “RV Mechanic St Augustine” and came across Lee Vaillancourt. I did a search for “reviews Lee Vaillancourt” and came up with a couple of excellent recommendations. I called him and he came out to take a look at the ‘coach’. His diagnosis was not dire, though not good news, either. It was going to be costly to fix.

I was very impressed by Lee. He has been in the business a long time. Coming from Indiana, home of RV production, he started working building coaches a long time ago. He worked as a troubleshooter on warranty work, covering the country for one of the manufacturers. Never home, he decided to pack up his family and move to St. Augustine where there is a need for an RV Mechanic year-round, opening his own business.

We talked about the wisdom of pouring money into this camper. He suggested I check around the local dealers to see what they had to offer, trading this ‘coach’ in. A dealer a mile away has the PERFECT coach for me. A beautiful 29′, 2008 Rockwood, dinette slide, making it light enough that I could pull it. This coach was magnificent. This coach was perfect.

I gave its condition a cursory look as I knew I could get Lee to come to give it a good going-over, and made an offer. I couldn’t wait. I called Lee and we went to the Dealership. Lee came, Lee saw, we walked. He showed me all the places where the water damage was visible. We climbed onto the roof and he showed me where it needed its roof redone… at $100 per foot, on a 29′ coach. He told me, “Your coach is in better shape than this.”

I thought about that comment for a few days then gave him a call. “Come on out, let’s start pulling up some carpeting and linoleum to see what needs to be done.”

Before: The “jack-knife” sofa that folds down into a bed, in the very nose of the trailer……..



After: The sofa, carpet and linoleum were removed to expose some serious water damage…….


Lee had a good look on the roof. “All things considered,” he said, “your roof is in pretty good shape. I think I know where the water is getting in and it’s an easy fix to stop the water and the damage.”

The proposal to fix the floor was to dry it out completely, remove the mold and treat the existing floor. On top would go 1/8th inch hardwood plywood, then a laminate flooring known as “LVP” – Luxury Vinyl Plank, which is lighter and easier to work with than standard laminate flooring. He quoted me his price for his labor, then an approximate price for the flooring which I could go to pick out. Once the paramedics had sufficiently revived me and I was able to speak, I told him to go ahead with it.

The floor is dry. A layer of plywood has been scraped off and the mold treated…..

The floor is dry. A layer of plywood has been scraped off and the mold treated.

The new plywood is being screwed and glued to the existing floor…..

The new plywood is being screwed and glued to the existing floor.

The new layer of plywood is complete. The Laminate is being laid…


When the floor was finished, the ‘coach’ looked fantastic. It looked so ‘open’. For me, the sofa was near worthless except for leaving things on that should have been put away properly. But I do need the storage space underneath. What we are going to do is to build a side-facing ‘chair’ in the corner, with storage space underneath.


I pulled the sofa apart, then took the fabric and the foam to a lady here in St. Augustine who does a lot of custom work on boats. She made me a seat cushion and a back rest, each 30″ wide, with velcro strips on the back. I will have a fair bit of storage and be able to use the area to watch the television that I will set on the small table opposite.

What a huge difference! I am really thrilled with the way it looks. A perfect match!!


  Related Posts
  • No related posts found.


  1. Alistair Mair  August 11, 2014

    Looks great. Similar ro our issue up in the north country.

  2. Barbara  August 11, 2014

    WOW – what a difference….looks really good.


Add a Comment