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Old 10-05-2011, 09:16 PM   #1
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Doing full monte on my '58 Traveler

I started a thread under general repair, but it seems that thread should be here. I bought a Traveler in terrible shape back in January, and only now have the energy get to it. It had a fire in it, and someone stabbed the interior skin with a knife. The fire melted the interior front end cap and part of the ceiling. Then it was painted orange. Needless to say, I just gutted the whole thing.
Then I discovered that the floor I have been taking up has asbestos. So now I have decided that the floor has to go, and I will take the shell off to get the floor out with the least amount of friction to the floor.
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:47 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Chlyman View Post
I started a thread under general repair, but it seems that thread should be here. I bought a Traveler in terrible shape back in January, and only now have the energy get to it. It had a fire in it, and someone stabbed the interior skin with a knife. The fire melted the interior front end cap and part of the ceiling. Then it was painted orange. Needless to say, I just gutted the whole thing.
Then I discovered that the floor I have been taking up has asbestos. So now I have decided that the floor has to go, and I will take the shell off to get the floor out with the least amount of friction to the floor.
I'm assuming you are referencing the Vinyl Asbestos Tiles? I may be less than conservative on the topic, but I was able to remove them 99% intact by using a heat gun and a flexible metal scraper to peel them from the plywood. I also only did it along the J-bolt areas and down the middle of the trailer where I had to actually cut the wood. This allowed me to pull out the subfloor without actually breaking any tiles.

Not trying to say you should do it that way, because there are also other advantages to a shell off, and if you have the room, I don't see why not. I just thought I'd throw in my experience.

I'll be following this thread though since your trailer is very similar to mine. Good luck!
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:47 PM   #3
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Well today I am bracing the trailer, ready to jack it off the frame, when I realize that there was a repair done on the street side. The repair was to lay a new sheet of metal over the old one! The original skin is still riveted to the wheel tubs, and I can't access the rivets! Now I will have to go and remove this panel at least at the bottom to access these rivets so I can lift the shell. I thought this was going so easily, and I jinxed myself!
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:50 PM   #4
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Hi Peter,
I have been watching your progress. I am committed to the shell off now. This trailer is such a mess, I might as well do it all and get it over with. I just need to take my time and not rush. Not one of my strong points! Thanks for the advice!
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:09 PM   #5
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I just need to take my time and not rush.
Stay with that. Don't ever hurry. Keep reading other threads so you can plan for the future, like holding tanks. Don't set dates to be done by. It'll get done--I'm proof!

At some point at this early stage, try to template the front and rear curves in the subfloor, 'cause you still may end up hacking up some of the old as you go along.

cheers,
steve
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:01 PM   #6
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I have removed all the rivets I am certain, but I am not able to lift the shell! What am I missing??? Very frustrated! I did not remove the bolts from the c channel, since I was planning on leaving that behind on the floor. Now I am thinking I don't care where the c-channel goes, I just want to get the shell off!!!
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:46 PM   #7
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Probably more rivets.

When they made these, the bellypan got riveted onto the C channel and then the shell was riveted on after that.

I used a drywall spatula with a blade sharpened with the grinder and a metal handle I could pound on. You can slide it from the inside betwee the shell and C channel and cut those rivets you can't see.

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Old 10-07-2011, 08:15 PM   #8
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Chlyman,
I had the same problem, then i found that the banana wrap was folded over the c channel, then covered with black undercoating. This made it really hard to remove.
Hope this helps.
Tim
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:21 PM   #9
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Thanks Tim and Steve,
It was those pesky hidden rivets under the shell skin, but through the belly pan and into the ribs. But like you Tim, now that it is off, I see the belly pan is wrapped like yours with that black undercoating. That looks like just a joy to get the c-channel out!!! I guess I am really committed to doing the whole thing, I hope I can get this all back together someday! It was so easy to take apart so far.
Carolyn
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:01 PM   #10
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Belly pan off

Yesterday I unfolded the belly pan from the c-channel. I thought it was going to be really difficult, but it wasn't so bad once I figured out the best way to do it.
Today I took the belly pan off. The messiest job by far! Clearly a mouse had made it's home there for some time. Lots of shells from nuts and snails. Plus one tiny skeleton. Looked to be a very long time ago that the mouse was there.
I started trying to remove the elevator bolts. Not an easy task. I have read a few threads about this step, so I snapped off the bolts underneath, sprayed with some penetrating oil and tried to unscrew them. I have had about a 50% that came off. The others just turn in place. I have seen Uwe suggested drilling them out from the top, I was avoiding that method, since I am trying to not disturb the floor. But I am now thinking if I can't get my sawsall blade between the floor and frame, I will need to drill out from above.
It sure it a dirty job!
Carolyn
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:08 PM   #11
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Carolyn,
Looks like you got the shell off! Nice job. I didn't have much floor worth saving on the Bambi. I used the Sawsall and an angle grinder on those elevator bolts. Make sure you make a lot of measurements and mark the c channel so you get it back in the same position. Soon the demolition will be finished and the rebuild starts.
Tim
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:52 AM   #12
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Yikes! Good reminder Tim! I have been so eager to get the floor out I have not measured ANYTHING! What was I thinking? Will go do that now!
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:44 PM   #13
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I removed all the bolts today. I guess I should have tried grabbing the nuts on the bolts and trying to break them there. It worked for the ones that wouldn't unscrew. I think it would have been impossible for me to get the floor out without taking the belly pan off. There are several bolts through the c-channel that can only be accessed from below. I don't think I read anything about that on the threads I have read. I need to read a lot more before I start putting this back together!
Hopefully to tomorrow I can pull the floor off.
Carolyn
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Old 10-18-2011, 09:03 PM   #14
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I think my frame was built on a Friday!!!

Now that I have my floor removed, I can inspect my frame. It looks like someone took a shortcut! The cross member is clearly too short, so instead of getting a new one, they made a patch out of a flimsy weld on top, and a small patch on the bottom! American craftsmanship, not at it's best!

My body has had some panel replacements, and they are not well done at all. I can see light around the end cap replacement piece.

I hope I have a friend coming over to do some welding for me, so that I can add grey water tanks in the frame. Then I will POR-15 and get the plywood for my floor.

Carolyn
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