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Old 11-24-2004, 11:18 PM   #15
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I disassembled the gaucho and took the cushions and drawers inside the house to get them out of the way. Then I removed the battery and got a good look at the plywood patch. It is about three foot long, as wide as the compartment, and coveres the entire floor of the area, from fusebox to univolt. I started pulling it up and discovered it was nailed down, with lots of nails. I couldn't get it up enough to get a better look under it yet. Maybe this weekend we'll get a nice day where I can work on it from both inside and out. It's easier to reach through the access door, but tonight it was raining, so I wasn't too keen on proceeding.
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Old 11-24-2004, 11:32 PM   #16
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Do you have a cats paw?

Stepahnie,

Do you have a so-called cats paw nail puller? It is a small crow bar with a 90 degree bend on the end. You can get it to dig under the head of a nail and it is a lot easier to get nails out with one than pretty much any type of tool I have tried for the purpose. I found a photo of one type at ACE hardware so you can get an idea of what it looks like if you have not seen one before.

http://www.acehardware.com/product/i...ductId=1292189

Also a bolt cutter can help a lot if you can get the head of the nail to raise enough to get a hold of the head. Actually you do have to be careful not to cut off the head of the nail. I have a ceramic tile nipper that looks a lot like a bolt cutter but with a dull edge. I sometimes have used that for pulling nails.

At anyrate good luck on getting the nails out and I hope the problems are minor.

Malcolm
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Old 11-27-2004, 05:10 PM   #17
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the big hole!

Well, I finally got that piece of plywood up. The honeycomb vinyl flooring was glued down under it. So I pulled up the vinyl and found - a really big hole!

The wood is completely rotted away for the length of the compartment. Four to six inches of wood is just gone, and what is there just brushes apart when you touch it! I can see the bolts with their ends bent over which I assume originally went through the wood, hanging down below the frame of the compartment door. The underside of the wood seems to have an inch and a half or so of hard insulation sprayed on underneith. Does anyone know if this is typical insulation for a '68 Caravel?

At the end past the Univolt is the bad outrigger which was coming through the bellypan. The hole stops about four inches shy of it, but I can get my hand in there and touch it, and it is very loose.

So I'm thinking we have two problems still. Now that I know there's a big hole, I need to remove the univolt and fuse box out of the way (at least the univolt), and put in a patch, or a section. How do I determine how much I need to replace? I know I need to get back to good wood, but do I need to put in a piece big enough to span from the edge to the frame for support?

And then I still need to determine what needs to be done to the outrigger and look for damage on the frame. I'm thinking that if I need to take out a big enough piece of floor for the floor repair, maybe I can access the frame from above and not have to take off the bellypan at all. Or is that just crazytalk?

My husband actually looked at all this and thought it didn't look too bad to fix. How about that?
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Old 11-27-2004, 05:15 PM   #18
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Forgot the best part - pictures...
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Old 11-27-2004, 06:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
The underside of the wood seems to have an inch and a half or so of hard insulation sprayed on underneith. Does anyone know if this is typical insulation for a '68 Caravel?
That's what my 68 Caravel has as well. It's sort of orange-yellow in color. From the bottom side it looks like expanding foam sealant.

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Old 11-27-2004, 07:22 PM   #20
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So it turned out to be both an outrigger and shell not bolted down.... I would replace as big a piece as you can - also, you should check very carefully with an ice pick all the edges of your trailer.

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Old 11-27-2004, 07:22 PM   #21
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I can see a good cross section of it, and that's what it looks like on mine too.
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Old 11-27-2004, 11:25 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
So I'm thinking we have two problems still. Now that I know there's a big hole, I need to remove the univolt and fuse box out of the way (at least the univolt), and put in a patch, or a section. How do I determine how much I need to replace? I know I need to get back to good wood, but do I need to put in a piece big enough to span from the edge to the frame for support?
Since this is all easily accessible it rally is not that hard. You need to get back to solid (non rotted) wood. Place a strip of plywood under the existing floor, that will be screwed thru the existing floor to hold it on the bottom making a ledge for the new ply to sit on. Then cut a new section to fit and install it. You may need belly pan access to get the bolts tightened. This would mean dropping a wrap, but not necessarily the center section. Of course if welding is needed this is the time. Also time to wear some more POR-15

This is the recommended method I have read in the Airstream shop manuals.
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Old 11-28-2004, 01:25 AM   #23
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Well then, after much discussion, I think my plan of action will be to finish sealing the rear window in my project mustang, so it can sit out in the rain, freeing up the garage. Then I will be able to move the furniture from the Caravel into the garage where it will be safe and dry. I can then pull up the rest of the honeycomb vinyl and see if there's any other damage to repair, and figure out how to drop enough of the bellypan to see what needs to be welded.

My husband actually didn't freak out about the hole. He thought it didn't look like too big a job! Maybe he was just trying to keep me calm...

Anyway, I'll see if I can get the mustang finished this weekend so I can continue on with the Caravel.

Looks like the side benefit of all this work, aside from having a roadworthy trailer, will be getting new flooring in there I might upgrade the old univolt to a modern charging system at the same time. I always look for the bright side in these things!
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Old 11-28-2004, 11:02 AM   #24
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Well, at least it is what is considered the "off season" for camping. You will have plenty of time to get it fixed and will be happy with the repair.
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Old 11-29-2004, 06:33 PM   #25
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Ok, I have gutted the interior. I removed the gaucho, the dinette, and the water lines from the front half of the trailer. I still need to remove the fuse box and the univolt. They are unplugged. Anything I should know about before I remove the wires from them so I can remove them as well?

I will need to get a tool to take up the old vinyl floor, it is glued down, and is very brittle. I have not been able to peel up any significant areas of the vinyl, except where the floor is damaged.

This is getting really scary...
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Old 11-29-2004, 06:48 PM   #26
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Yes, dont' forget to mark the wires.

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Old 11-29-2004, 06:49 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
Ok, I have gutted the interior. I removed the gaucho, the dinette, and the water lines from the front half of the trailer. I still need to remove the fuse box and the univolt. They are unplugged. Anything I should know about before I remove the wires from them so I can remove them as well?

I will need to get a tool to take up the old vinyl floor, it is glued down, and is very brittle. I have not been able to peel up any significant areas of the vinyl, except where the floor is damaged.

This is getting really scary...
Stef,
sounds like you are on your way. Take some clear dig pics of the wiring, just in case, and label everything before you take it apart. Much like a car-resto
A broad putty knife and rubber mallet might let you do fine vinyl removal.
If your flooring is asbestos tile, then be very careful. The stuff makes you very sick if you get it in you somehow. The Uni-Volt is quite heavy, don't be surprised. It feels llke it's made of solid lead.
Good Luck!
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Old 11-29-2004, 07:31 PM   #28
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Thanks for the warning, Uwe. I will wear a dust mask. It is old vinyl sheet flooring, installed after manufacture. I have only seen original tiles left in the bottom of the closets. But I will wear a dust mask anyway just because it is very dusty/dirty in there now. It's like I let all the dirt out!

The wide putty knife sounds like a good idea.
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