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Old 02-02-2005, 11:59 AM   #141
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I get a lot of use out of my Dremel tool, in fact I've burnt out three of them over the years. Very handy tool to have around, get lots of bits and it seems like you can do anything with it.

The recip saw is tossing me around too! I'm doing everything I can to avoid using it!

You can always go for it and do what you can, get your hubby to help with the rest. Or do like rluhr did and find someone and write them a big check Nothing wrong with that either, if you can afford it!
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Old 02-02-2005, 06:19 PM   #142
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I had some time this afternoon to work on the trailer and got the last piece of floor out. This was the piece in front of the door, which turned out not to be held in by the three big screws, but instead by some smaller screws from underneith. This was a patch, and was just jammed in the track up against the original screws, so it wasn't inserted as far as it should have been. I always felt the doorway didn't have the proper support.

Once that piece was out the aluminum sheet came out and I got my first good look at the step from above. I thought there was damage there, a lot of rust visible from below and it didn't feel solid. Sure enough, it's broken completely free on the right. One more job for the welder.

I also saw light coming in through the front corner where the banana wrap is sliced so it will fit the curve. The slices are open to the weather. Might explain why the wood in that corner was rotted. Likewise where the main framerail come in on the right. There is a one inch gap where the floorboard was exposed, although behind the exterior trim, it still got wet.

Tonight I'm going to spend some quality time with the shop vac and get it cleaned up in there. The de-construction is done. Time to start fixin' things!

Here's a pic of the step damage
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Old 02-03-2005, 02:40 PM   #143
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Congratulations on reaching this milestone...

Stephanie,

Congratulations. It is a great feeling to get to a major milestone like you have! Also, I think a shop vacuum is an essential tool in AS restoration. I don't know how many times I have vacuumed out various areas in my AS during the restoration process and I will need it again before I am done. Did I give you the contact information for the traveling welder that I had work on my AS?

Some ramblings about people and their skills...

I have concluded from personal observation that some people are just better at some kinds of things than other people - regardless of whether they are men or women. I have encountered some men that are definitely all thumbs when it comes to anything mechanical or construction related. Most everything that a person might need to do during AS restoration is a series of small tasks that when put together produce the desired result. I think it is very important that a person be able to visualize the desired result and be able to tell when it has been satisfactorily acheived (or not). It seems like some people just don't see detail as well as other people. Knowing what tool to use for a given task and how hard to hit something are things that a person can learn but sufficient attention to detail takes a mix of patience and some natural talent. Some men and some women have the basic talents and patience levels and others just don't. It is also true that there are a few types of tasks in AS restoration where advanced skill in certain areas is necessary. Welding is one of them and I, for one, do not have that skill.

Malcolm
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Old 02-03-2005, 03:09 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
I can't seem to start a new thread, so I'll just ask this here.

I want to add external connections for power, water and cableTV like the new trailers have. Can I get those from a dealer? Are they aluminum or plastic?
You can get these in chromed brass or stainless from Marine supply outfits like West Marine either in the store or online at www.westmarine.com.

The water is a nice chromed brass with a cap on a metal chain. Their part number is PERKO 0499DP0CHR 281337 $64.99 USD

They also have the electric connection - a two pole 50 amp stainless is part number Inlet - Stainless Steel, 50A, 125V 229724 6371EL $175.99 US

The tv/cable/phone is MARINCO PH6592TV-SS 152710 $109.99 USD

You can also shop these online. West Marine is not the cheapest source but their stores are handy when you need it right away. You can try www.hamiltonmarine.com or www.coastalmarineonline.com to see if their prices are better. They also have a lot of other things that come in handy on Airstreams like a great stainless steel fastener selection and a good electronics section with marine grade electrical wire and connections.
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Old 02-03-2005, 03:25 PM   #145
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Hiw true, Malcolm. I never mind hiring out work that is beyond my skill set. There are some skills I just don't care to learn. Hot, dirty, hard, jobs, that I'd rather shell out for someone else to do. But I am a very detail oriented person, and my formal training is as a systems analyst, which is all about problem solving, seeing how things work together, and getting all the details right. If someone isn't into the details, they'd probably get terribly frustrated, and not get the results they wanted. My husband is a big picture guy, not into the details. We make a good team

Paul, thanks for the links, those are very helpful.
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:02 PM   #146
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The project continues

I temporarily took this project to a new thread "Caravel Frame Repair", so if anyone is actually reading this someday and wonders where the rest of the info is, you'll know where to go. There we discussed the frame condition, having it welded, and applying the POR-15. It went better than I was expecting.

So now I thought I'd bring it back here because I'm back to floor repair. Today I got insulation for the bellypan. I went with the pink stuff with a vapor barrier. I also bought a couple sheets of 4x8 wall panel - about $7 each, and used them to make a template for the replacement floor. I started by using the old floorboards I had saved to make a drawing of the curves on cardboard, and then taped together cardboard until I had a template, then I cut it out on the wallboard and fitted it in place in the trailer. This way I'm hoping to get it right the first time. I don't want to have to go buy another sheet of the expensive plywood!

I also bought Tek screws at HD. They are for attaching wood to metal, and are self tapping. I guess I'll use these to attach the floor to the frame.

I am thinking about cutting the floor into pieces to make it easier to lay in place. I find the template can only be worked into place because it is floppy and flexable. The 3/4 plywood is not flexable at all. I think I will cut it down the middle so each piece will cover half the center beam. Because they are also supported by (and will be attached to) the main frame beams near the outer edge and the outriggers, I think this will be sufficient support.

However, if anyone thinks this is a horrible idea, feel free to speak up. I will be playing with the template some more before I do this to make sure I can't find a way to slip it into place whole.
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:15 PM   #147
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Stephanie,

Not to rain on your parade, or start yet another raging debate, but......
I am under the impression that the reason for a single piece of plywood across the width of the coach is for strength. With the weight of the shell pressing down on the outside of the frame. the stress is balances across the whole sheet. By spiting it down the middle to fit it in you may comprise that strength.

That said, with todays knowledge and materials this may no longer be a problem. I know that Tom W did a "split repair" using "I" bolts and epoxy. So I may be way off here, but this is my gut feel.

I will look forward to the input at this point to see where the forum leans on this subject.
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:18 PM   #148
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I am thinking about cutting the floor into pieces to make it easier to lay in place.

However, if anyone thinks this is a horrible idea, feel free to speak up.
The floor is not supported by the frame so much as the floor supports the frame. The wood floor combines with the frame members to create a unified structure that then becomes the lower extremity of the monocoque assembly once the body is secured. Airstream is not known for spending unnecessary $$, but in some of the most recent models they have gone to the expense to have made special plywood sizes that allow them to put down the floor as a single piece.

Obviously the older coaches did not do this. It may be remembered that the old 9X9 tiles were laid down in a pattern to conform to the seams. But the fewer seams you have the better.

Someone recently mentioned in another thread that any floor seams should not meet on a stringer or support member as it will then become a fulcrum on which the pieces will flex. I am not a structural engineer, but there may be something to this. There should be people on the forums who can say authoritatively how Airstream did it back in those days.

Good luck,

Mark
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:41 PM   #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts

I am thinking about cutting the floor into pieces to make it easier to lay in place. I find the template can only be worked into place because it is floppy and flexable. The 3/4 plywood is not flexable at all. I think I will cut it down the middle so each piece will cover half the center beam. Because they are also supported by (and will be attached to) the main frame beams near the outer edge and the outriggers, I think this will be sufficient support.

However, if anyone thinks this is a horrible idea, feel free to speak up. I will be playing with the template some more before I do this to make sure I can't find a way to slip it into place whole.
Stef,
I can't find any other way to do it with the shell on! What I have laid out(but have not executed) is a sheet split up the middle, the 4' way, with a 45 degree bevel cut, that gives me two pieces; one for the left side and one for the right side. I am going to put a splice piece underneath the joint, attached with glue and screws. That will be stronger than the plywood itself, so I don't see how it can be a structural issue. I have done wooden boat repairs that way...

Aaron
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:48 PM   #150
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Post So the question is....

.....how do you fit a whole sheet in without removing the shell?? I'll be facing the same problem as Steph soon and I was thinking of doing this as she has suggested here. I've read quit a bit here over the last couple of months and with the exception of some folks who have seperated the rear area of the trailer to replace only the rear bath area, I don't believe that I have seen anybody describe how to work entire sheets into place short of removing the shell.

Suggestions? I'm sure this must exist in a thread somewhere, but I guess I haven't found it yet. As always, thanks in advance for the help!
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:53 PM   #151
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My old floor pieces were basically 4ft x 8 ft pieces, with the front and back being shorter than 4 ft, the centers all being 4ft. All of them were trimmed to fit the width of the trailer.
Every 4ft or so the crossmembers all had double rows of bolts, to accomodate the mating plywood pieces.
My vote goes agains too many sections, do only what is absolutely necessary.
My vote would also go againts the pink fiber insulation, seeing what it can do once it's water logged. ( which is likely to happen sooner or later)
I used Styrofoam and closed cell foam insulation on my 63 project. It floats on water, and will not absorb it. Rodents don't live in it, and it does not absorb odors. It's insulation value was similar to the fiber material. It also deadens foot step noises very well. My trailer feels much less like walking on a guitar now.
Anyways, good luck with your project, Stef.
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Old 02-14-2005, 09:01 PM   #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
.....how do you fit a whole sheet in without removing the shell?? I'll be facing the same problem as Steph soon and I was thinking of doing this as she has suggested here. I've read quit a bit here over the last couple of months and with the exception of some folks who have seperated the rear area of the trailer to replace only the rear bath area, I don't believe that I have seen anybody describe how to work entire sheets into place short of removing the shell.

Suggestions? I'm sure this must exist in a thread somewhere, but I guess I haven't found it yet. As always, thanks in advance for the help!
I can't imagine doing the kind of repair that I did without removing the shell first.
There's so much to de-rust, straighten, re-inforce, grind, weld, paint fix and modify, that it's a real pain to do with the shell in place.
I used the 1964 construction model to repair my Overlander. Frame, floor, c-channel, belly wrap, shell, was the sequence.
I replaced the rear floor under the bath on my 1971 Tradewind. It seems like it took forever, and tahnks to flexible frames, putting the wood flooring back into place was not too terribly difficult.
One can deflect the rear frame downwards, and slide the wood right into place. It really helps if you have enough of the old piece left to make a template.
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Old 02-15-2005, 01:33 AM   #153
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Splice down the middle works fine...

Stephanie,

Am I remembering correctly that you have only two sheets of plywood to put in?

The front piece can be installed cross-wise as a single piece if you set it down on the diagonal and rotate it into position. You of course have to do this before the other sheet is put in place. I think your front sheet is the best one to have be a full sheet depending on what the frame looks like underneath. In my case I had a tire well underneath my front sheet and there was no room for a splice down the middle. I installed both the front and rear sheets on my 31' AS this way. I used a block of wood and a hammer a bit to help persuade the pieces to slide into place.

The other sheet (or sheets for those who are installing more floor) can easily be split down the middle length-wise of the AS and put back together with a plywood splice. Several people on the forums (including me) have installed sheets length-wise instead of cross-wise. You can install a nearly full 4 x 8 sheet on each side this way. For your case if you only have one additional 4' section to fill in after you put your front piece in I suggest that you cut it to size as though it were to fit across from side to side and then cut it in half down the middle (in the length-wise direction of the trailer). Optionally cut it in a 45 degree bevel if you like. All you need to hold the center together is to cut some strips of plywood 4" to 6" wide to use as a splice below the floor. Use a good grade of water-proof wood glue and some decking screws. You can pre-attach the splice to the first piece you put in place if you want and then attach the other floor piece to it after you set it in place. The plywood is just flexible enough to be able to lift the center of the sheet above the other sheet and slide it toward the outer edge of the body and under the channel until the middle of the sheet drops into place. I have used this approach for plywood as well as for my more recent Polyboard floor install. A good well glued splice of this type is going to be pretty much as strong as the plywood would be if it were not cut.

A note for those that are installing full sheets length-wise... If you put your length wise seam off center to one side you can use a full sheet on one side and a partial sheet on the other. The piece you cut off of the partial sheet will be right at about 6" wide and perfect for the center splice piece without having to use additional plywood for the splice. Of course there is less sawing to do as well.

Also remember that a slight bevel on the edge of the plywood where it is going to slide under the frame helps keep it from getting hung up on the edge of the channel.

Malcolm
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Old 02-15-2005, 02:02 AM   #154
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I'm still working out some problems that might allow the front sheet to pivot into place. There are a couple more bolts I have to remove that might leave just enough room for the sheet to slide under and pivot (with a little persuasion from a soft mallet). I'm not sure there's any way to install the second sheet without cutting it.

I'm no engineer either (well, I'm a software engineer, but that doesn't really help here), but I don't think there is a problem with a seam being on a frame member if the sheet is screwed down to both the frame rails and the cross beams. That's how they did it originally. I plan on using more fasteners than the factory did.

I do understand that the benefit of doing this is to make the floor as solid as possible. Even with a seam in it it's going to be a lot more solid than it was with all the patches, holes, and rotted wood.

I'm also considering for the second piece (not the front piece with the curves) cutting it so 3/4 of it lays across three cross beams, and the last quarter could then be slid in over the last beam and the edge by the door, which has a solid framework to support it. It would essetially be the same as having a patch there, which probably wouldn't have been a problem before if the frame hadn't been broken in so many places.

I'm still trying to puzzle out the best solution.
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