New subflooring over old, or do you rip out the old floor first?


I have done floor work in many, many mobiles. I have always preferred to “fix them right” that is cut out the bad wood, repair or replace floor joists as needed & block around the edges of the patch so that the repair is solid. But I have nearly gotten over my head a time or two & wished that I had not opened the can of worms so to speak and tore up so much that I had to fix.

Having said all of that, if the floors have buckles or waves, then you may have to cut between, and parallell to the joists to let the particle board lay down flatter, to do an overlay, you may also have to shim in places where the board is rotten to bring it up level so that the plywood has a solid base.

I like to use screws to put the repair joists, block & put the plywood down

it is easier & better. I have used black drywall type as well as deck screws, but the square drive will work great but they are a bit pricey.

If done carefully & neatly, you can overlay successfully. Care taken to minimize gaps around walls & ducts will make the job better, & 1x4 or similar base will help hide the gaps. You may or may not want to caulk the edges, depending on where it is & if you will keep the unit.

There is one kind of floor that should be avoided, and that is a “honeycomb” floor. this floor consists of a paper honeycomb about 3" tall sandwiched between two layers of parcticle board, abd has NO FLOOR JOISTS. Save yourself time & money by setting the trailer and a few dozen c-notes on fire. Mostly these were late 60’s & early 70’s, I had a “Royal” doublewide (it was a royal pain).

Another type that presents problems & extra work is a trailer that has the floor joists running parallell to the frame, or the length of the box. This has the outside sill under the outside wall & no joists crossing the frame, only the steel out riggers every 4’. so if you have to replace any wood then there is nothing to fasten to along the outside wall, & you have to remove the old floor in sections & block in so that your floor has support on the outside wall.

I hope this helps,



I am old scool & I used to always try to fix stuuf the best way that I could, without “rigging” it up. As I stated I got too involved a couple of times in the past, & therefore agree that overlaying is a viable option if the floors are really bad. Now I am older & tired & would overlay one in a minute, but I would still do a good job. I have seen some real butcher jobs though, that caused much more work for someone later to have to fix.

I know someone who has a 1971 doublewide that has the original carpet in it, it has had the floors in the baths redone as well as some of the kitcken, but it is in overall good shape. Unfortunately it is not worth moving due to the age & 2x2 wall construction.

Bret, you are correct about the front & back doors, but you can check it out with a piece of scrap plywood, to see if you have clearance. If your clearance is no enough, the you can replace a square in the door swing area, & do an overlay on the rest, you can buy transitional trim for the differences in floor heights, which should be only 3/4".

If you are replacing vinyl, it is a good idea NOT TO GLUE it down, as it lays better and if you have to replace it later, it is much easier. I usually staple the edges close & cover that with trim, 1/4 round works well.

In my opinion, plywood floors is one of the most important things to look for in a home if you are buying it to move. Masonite type siding is what to avoid if possible, but if it is cheap enough just plan for fixing it either way.

Any home that has the grey polybutylene water supply plumbing lines may still be eligable for repairs, repair reimbursement, & replumbing with CPVC under the Plumbing Claims Group. There are also Siding Claims Groups for Louisianna Pacific, Masonite, & Abitibi- Price hardboard siding.

There may be enough money there to be worth pursuing, particularly if you have a park with several homes that fit the category, & have time to persue it.

Sorry, I do nothave the contact info, but you can Google for it .

Again, I hope this helps,


Rick, you wouldn’t be from Wisconsin would you. I know a Rick Lee that was in the Sparta/Tomah area.

Rich Wright


Nope, I have lived in Florida my whole life.


Not all exterior doors swing out, but most single wides do.

Sometimes you can get the toilet flange to raise up by taking the screws out of the flange & prying it up.

You can then put a piece from the center of the flange back to the wall & the other piece from the center to the front wall in front of the commode.

If you have to, you can cut the pipe that the flange is glued to & put a coupler in & that shoud give you all of the room that you need. In fact I have been known to only glue the bottom, and supporting the drain pipe with a strap or hanger(poop will not run uphill without help) the top will not leak if the pipe is inserted an inch or more, but don’t leave yourself a future problem, make sure.

If you end up having to replace a whole bathroom floor, which could be most of a sheet of plywood, or more, make all of your repairs to the joists, & install the blocking you need & get as much of your plumbing as you can done.

NOW before you put that whole piece in like you want to, figure out the best place to cut it in half or so, and install the piece that goes furthest from the door first, then you can finish the plumbing where you can stand on the ground and not have to crawl under the house. Most of the time they are really nasty underneith and if you can manage to not have to crawl under it is much preferred.

Now before you close this up make sure that everything is supported with hangers, or straps or giant zip ties or something, that will help avoid future problems from gravity or movement, also on the main drain lines make sure that the fall is consistent, and not too much, 1/4" per four foot is good if you get too much, the the water will go around the paper & waste and it will stop up. It is a good Idea to make sure you have clean outs while you are messing with the ol’ poop chute (pun intended).


The companies that I listed are the manufacturers of the siding. each brand has a unique pattern that is the company’s trademark. They may have print on the panel facing inside that has their name, & you would have to remove some paneling & insulation on an outside wall to see it.

Each company will ask you to either take pictures of the “trademark” pattern, or send in a small piece of the panel to identify the brand. When you figure out the brand they will send you a claims package.

As for flooring yourself into a corner, I guess that you could jump out of a window and pray that you survive the fall from the height (5’) kind of a wobbly box hari-kari sort of thing.


Why indeed?!

Merry Christmas