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Old 01-06-2008, 05:34 PM   #71
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MOST excellent thread, Craig, thank you. I just got my bath bellypan off today and found a mountain of very nasty FOAM insulation. don't think this is original, probably from a prior renovation. think i'll follow your lead and remove foam, replace with that nice board you used and seal with Gorilla Tape. this thread alone has filled in a lot of missing info for me. not doing a shell-off but bath floor, tank supports, etc. must be replaced. thanks again
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Old 01-06-2008, 05:58 PM   #72
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Belly Pan

So I started the belly pan and it's going slow.

First - With 2 days of Category I Hurricaine winds, it's not a good time to be outside with a stack of 4 x 10 aluminum panels. If I didn't previous mention, I got .025" panels from Alreco, I don't know which alloy. Then, the "weatherman-predicted" 50-degree sunny weather instead was 4-6 inches of heavy wet snow. But, this is Colorado .

Second - I'm not complaining, just venting, but only about 20% of the frame's crossmembers and outriggers are "true". That is, parallel to each other or square to the rails. Maybe the newer frames are better in this respect, but it makes it tough. Each piece of insulation was a custom fit and the belly pan is no different, especially when it comes to the curves.

I was only able to get about 1/4 of the belly pan done.
  • I chose to wrap the belly pan over the U-channel like it was done originally. I simply cannot envision how to do a complete belly pan and drop the shell over that, without it being secured to the U-Channel in the process. Clamps and clecoes would obstruct the shell coming down, tacked rivets would remain hidden (..and we know how we hate those). In the least, I could "unwrap" the tabs before putting the inner panels back on.
  • I did cleco the first tab, as this was a critical point I didn't want moving. You can see in the pictures how I used it and clamps to hold things in place while I folded over tabs.
  • I used a 2x2 (supported with that stool, real high tech, the other support is a toilet plunger .. seriously, no joke) to hold the pan to the outriggers as I worked.
  • I bet this is a lot easier if you could flip over the whole thing. Those airstream technicians in that vintage production-line picture wouldn't be wearing white jumpsuits and looking so happy if they had to do this lying on their backs while grinding aluminum shavings into their shoulder blades! Sorry, just an observation. Plus, I bet they never had the ingenuity, or stupidity, to used a toilet plunger for a critical procedure.
  • The oversized rivets are from VAS and they work great. The bonus it that when you make a rather ugly rivet hole, it covers your mistake nicely.
  • Thanks again to Zep for loaning me those tools. Air snips are fun.
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:09 PM   #73
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Thanks Rick! I appreciate the support.

I chose the Gorilla tape (Home Depot, etc) because of how "tough" it's supposed to be. But, I do wish it was more "Sticky". I think it'll weather great, but it alone will not support the Tuff-R foamboard. I resigned to simply use it to seal in the gaps. If you find a similiar duct tape that has a better grip, then use it. Time will tell, maybe it will bond better as it warms up. It's been on a week and it's still in place. I have been working in 20-40 degree weather, so that will certainly hinder or lengthen the time the tape glue would take to bond. Possibly in warmer conditions, this Gorilla Tape would stick-like crazy.

The Tuff-R board is nice. Zep has something similiar on outside of his house that is completely exposed to the elements (sorry to dime you out on this Zep). It's been there for years and hasn't disinegrated yet.
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:27 PM   #74
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Job well done, you have done work to be quite proud off.
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Old 01-16-2008, 05:13 PM   #75
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more panels in...

It got down to the single digits and has been snowing, but I try to get out there when at least the sun is out.
The 4th and 5th panels are in, but just cleco'ed in place.
  • Seems when you have 2 overlapping panels, and they have to curve up to the u-channel together, it's better to have all the flat sections in place and then curve them up together, instead doing one complete and then starting the next.
  • If you try to do them one at a time, it's tough to match the the same arc of the curve. The first pic shows the best I could get when I did the first panel, then wrapped up the second and it was hard to close the gap. The second time I waited to get both panels on, then wrapped them together and got a tighter seam. Not a huge difference, but enough.
  • All seams open toward the rear so when going down the road, water/air isn't forced in.
One panel left to do, of course it's the front one and getting those curved sections will be fun.
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Old 01-16-2008, 07:20 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2333
I chose the Gorilla tape (Home Depot, etc) because of how "tough" it's supposed to be. But, I do wish it was more "Sticky"...Possibly in warmer conditions, this Gorilla Tape would stick-like crazy.
I skirted my trailer with pink foam before winter set in and used Gorilla tape. It has not budged and we've had a lot of snow and rain and cold! Check out my blog for picts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2333
The Tuff-R board is nice. Zep has something similiar on outside of his house that is completely exposed to the elements (sorry to dime you out on this Zep). It's been there for years and hasn't disinegrated yet.
I'm sure the building inspector in knocking on his door as we speak.
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Old 01-16-2008, 08:02 PM   #77
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Great idea on the pink skirt and a good testament for gorilla tape. I bet it warms up pretty nice ....but not so good for ventilation using that paint stripper or POR-15.
Are you repainting the inner panels or going to leave them shiny?
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Old 01-20-2008, 07:21 PM   #78
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...belly pan done.

Well, it ain't pretty, but it's done.
  • Those curves are a pain.
  • Your not supposed to have a watertight belly pan so that when water gets in, it will drain out. I was very successful in leaving numerous gaps and holes for water to drain out. Most were unintentional.
  • Used about 150-160 rivets, broke or wore out a few drills bits, and clamps were extremely handy. Cleco's are great.
Pulled it under the shell and will pray that it fits tomorrow.
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Old 01-20-2008, 07:26 PM   #79
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Wow, nice work. I smell campfires in your not too distant future.

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Old 01-30-2008, 07:36 PM   #80
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Lowering Shell

I disassembled the towers of concrete brick and began to bring down the shell. I ran into a few issues:
  • Pic 1 shows how I lowered it. At that point I had removed the majority of the bracing. This allowed me to "mold" the shell to get it to fit.
  • You can see how the cross-brace 2x4 is sitting on the bricks, each with a smaller length of more 2x4. This actually made it easy to take a rubber mallet and tap the brace, moving the whole shell millimeters at a time, to get it exactly where I needed it.
  • I did one corner at a time and it actually fit. As I let down a corner with one hand on the jack, I would use a length of 1x2 to hold out the corner with the other hand. I also used some wedges to guide the shell as well. This took a full day.
  • Pic 2 shows that I seated the 4 main ribs at each corner. These 4 ribs are the ones that sit inside the U-Channel. Since they are the same width, I had to bend out the U-Channel and later I removed about an inch of that inner lip.
  • Pic 3 shows that even with the ribs seated, there was still areas that didn't line up. This is the back left corner and either the shell is one inch too high, or the corner is 1 inch too low. After a lot of debate and re-seating etc, it turns out that the corner was low.
  • I used leveling jacks in the back as this is done to keep the frame straight, but regardless of that, the corner still sagged. Fortunately I realized it was really simple to just lift that corner with my hand using surprisingly little force.
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:51 PM   #81
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Cleco'ed in place

Once again, those cleco'es are cool.
  • I am doing one section at a time. It pleasantly surprised me that it all didn't need to line up at once. I started at the door and worked back and forward.
  • The orange strap was an attempt earlier to seat the shell better. It's over the main ribs and well, didn't work. I also didn't want to put too much force and dent the top.
  • So the shell is flexible enough, and the floor/bellypan/frame is flexible enough too, so that you can line up 4-6 feet at a time, cleco that, and then move to the next.
  • I used the existing rivet holes to drill into the new U-Channel and Sky is making sure I am hitting the center of the channel.
Right now, the curb side is cleco'ed and I hope to complete the street side over the weekend. It's below freezing, but the heater helps. Once cleco'ed, then it'll be time to rivet.
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Old 02-10-2008, 07:10 PM   #82
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Riveting

As stated before, in some sections the shell didn't come down far enough. Problem solved when I slightly jacked up the outrigger. I'm sure over 46 years a few weren't exactly straight, but fortunately, a little nudge, and it's all good.
  • pic 1 - the mechanism used to straighten the outrigger.
  • pic 2 - solid rivets are a 2-person job, and it turns out that Marie loves air-powered tools, who knew? She refused to trade for the bucking bar.
  • pic 3 - Aerowood pointed me in the right direction for solid rivets and they are working great. The gold coating comes off with bucking and polishing.
One section left to rivet and the wheel wells. Now I sleep easier when those 60mph gusts come thru and I don't fear the shell blowing away.
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Old 02-10-2008, 07:22 PM   #83
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Preping for new insulation

I've decided to pull all the inner panels off and re-insulate and re-wire.
  • pic 1 - I was debating on whether or not to pull the endcaps because the insulation to this point looked pretty good.
  • pic 2 - I'm glad I did. I really thought this would be spotless up here.
  • pic 3 - Just like it does it under the floor, the fiberglass can hold water from a leak and the corrosion begins.
  • pic 4 - All the panels off and I decided for now to work around them rather than figure a way to get them out the door.
Insulation - going with Prodex throughout.
Electrical - I'm a newbie at this part, well all of this actually, but I need to read the electrical threads and see what's the best approach when starting from scratch.

Shout out to Zep for the brainstorm and help with that last corner!
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:19 PM   #84
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Door rebuild

There are steel plates within the walls, these provide strength for the door hinges. Unfortunately they also corrode.
  • Pic 1 and 2 show the steel plates on and off. These will be cleaned and painted and re-used. The clecos are there because the hinges were being held on by a couple rivets and some rusty screws. I drilled them all out and will be riveting solid ones back in.
  • Pic 3 The door is off, you can see that while the door handle is vintage, it's not original. One of the PO's put a deadbolt lock in as well.
  • I don't think this is original either, but a wood block was used here, probably for strength? ... maybe when the deadbolt was put in?
Will post the rebuilt pics next.
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