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Old 01-18-2005, 09:29 PM   #113
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Thanks, I'LL be in awe of me if I ever get it finished

Today I got another chunk of floor cut out. Now I am getting towards the doorside or the trailer, which has a couple more patches going all the way back to the fridge. Lots of screws to work around. Ugh!

I revealed this rats nest of wires. Some are even disconnected. Is there any kind of wiring diagram, or color coding to indicate to me what they are? I see the blue and white wires which come out on the other side by the Univolt, but there seem to be more smaller wires in a bundle that continue rearward. Could these be the signals and running lights?

Lots of nasty dirt and crumbled insulation in the bellypan, but no mice nests yet!
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Old 01-18-2005, 09:31 PM   #114
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Forgot the pic...
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Old 01-19-2005, 02:08 AM   #115
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Keep it up Stef, I'm rootin for ya;

Until I finally got a good peek into the belly pan, everything that fell on me was potentially a dead mouse. I did a lot of inner shrieking. Banged my head on the frame once or twice and said bad words. But; no mice. I hope you're as lucky!
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Old 01-19-2005, 08:52 AM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
I revealed this rats nest of wires. Some are even disconnected. Is there any kind of wiring diagram, or color coding to indicate to me what they are?
These are the connections from your trailer umbilical line (from the hitch). They are color coded, thank goodness, but the bad news is that I left my color coding at home. The diagrams on the Airstream.com website are not entirely accurate for our model year, I've found.

I do remember that on my trailer the blue wire was the charge line, and the others were easy to figure out with a voltmeter and the van connected. Just test each signal (left/right, reverse, brake) and measure the current. If you remove the cover of the 7-way plug you can see the colors of the wires and test the voltage right there. It's easy.

You might have some disconnected from corrosion, or because your Caravel lacks certain optional lights (like mine): backup lights and front clearance lights. These were apparently an option on the '68 Caravel.

The rats nest is a spot you should consider re-wiring, just for long-term durability. I found extensive corrosion on the connections on mine this summer, and it's a lot easier now with the floor up than it will be next year. I used marine-grade butt splices (from West Marine) and waterproof sealant on each connection.

The wiring might seem a bit screwy to you until you realize that 12v power flows from the trailer battery to power the break-away switch.

You'll also find an automotive-type circuit breaker in there, probably riveted or screwed to the belly pan. I'd replace it too (cheap at the auto parts store).

As far as critters go, we didn't find any mouse nests either but we did find a complete bird in the fridge vent and evidence of prior mouse visits near the wheelwells. If people knew what they were toting around in their vintage trailers, everybody would do a frame-off restoration!
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Old 01-19-2005, 10:52 AM   #117
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A BIRD in the vent?!?! That IS disgusting!
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Old 01-19-2005, 02:28 PM   #118
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A BIRD in the vent?!?! That IS disgusting!
We have a Beehive 24x24 inches in ours when we pulled the floor up.

I'll find the picture of it.

Let me ask you something:

Was ther patch the previous owner did in the same area where the outriggers were broken?

I bet the patch was seamed along the frame rail. If so then it was a weak point. The frame rail is a fulcrum point. If the plywood extended all the way to the center then lapped to join the other section of plywood it would put less stress on the outriggers.
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Old 01-19-2005, 03:26 PM   #119
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Actually so far one broken outrigger was under a rotted area, and the forward outrigger was under the very front corner of the patch which stretches across the whole front end of the trailer, about a foot wide. I am getting to two more patches on the door side, one forward of the door, and another in front of the door, and I'm interested to see how the outriggers are under them. I'll also be able to repair the step at the same time which is pulling away.

I am going to replace the floor with solid sheets all the way to the center, so there will be no patches after I get done.

I remember the picture of your beehive. It was huge!
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Old 01-19-2005, 08:32 PM   #120
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Here's a critter remainder for you

We have lots more pictures like this: mouse nests, snake skeletons, etc. This one is from the underside of one of the removed floor sections.
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Old 01-23-2005, 08:08 PM   #121
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Lots of progress today! I now have removed most of the rotten floor and the patches. I haven't taken out the middle of the floor yet, because then I won't have a leg to stand on - so to speak. I need to get some wood in there to stand on where I've taken the floor out. It's getting very awkward to move around!

Good news, the outriggers on the door side of the trailer seem to be solid.

I have been taking the floor out in small pieces, cutting long cuts with the circular saw, and finishing up with the jigsaw. Being a small person, I find the big tools are unweildy to use. I am much more comfortable using the little jig saw. I did fine except where I hit the bellyskin with the blade in the front corner where the floor comes up to meet the banana wrap. It's just a nick. Cutting the floor into small pieces also makes it fit into the trash better!

I am ready to start cutting away the bolts around the perimeter so I can get the wood out of the channel. I'm not looking forward to using the recip saw, it looks big and scary. I really want to make sure I don't nick the outer skin!

I'll be SO GLAD when this is back together!!!

PS: I know the PO has been checking in here to see how it's going. Hi, Mr G!
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Old 01-23-2005, 11:10 PM   #122
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Right on!
I am watching your posts and cheering you on. Progress and letting it sit both feed on themselves, don't they!
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Old 01-29-2005, 03:31 PM   #123
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Well, I made some more progress today, I have now removed the wood far enough to see the condition of the main crossbeam, which is under the first seam in the floor. It looks good, no major rust problems.

I am having trouble with the recip saw. I am trying to use it to cut through the bolts holding the wood in along the front edge. Most of them were already replaced by the PO when he did his patches. There are only four bolts left to deal with, and several small staples. I tried cutting through these, but the saw bounces around and is very hard to control. I get it under the U-shaped track, and it comes back out. I am probably being too cautious as I don't want to cut through the outside wall, so I am trying not to get in any deeper than I have to. Any advice for using this thing?!

I also noticed that there is water in the bellypan after a hard rain. Interesting because the trailer is under a cover! It must be blowing against the side and getting in somehow. I'll have to find and stop that before I put the new floor in.
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Old 01-29-2005, 06:15 PM   #124
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Stephanie,

You go girl! Great progress!



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Old 01-29-2005, 10:05 PM   #125
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Saw Blades

If your reciprocating saw is bouncing on metal try a smaller toothed blade - one that looks like hacksaw teeth. Use the metal cutting blade to get through the bolts, then switch to the wood blade.

Selling my old 1917 vintage house where I used lotsa tools - probably explains why I bought a NEW A/S!

Paula & Tin Lizzie - coming soon!
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Old 01-30-2005, 12:28 AM   #126
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Stephanie,

I found it was pretty hard to get to the bolts properly along the edges with my recip. saw. I used a combination of a cutoff wheel (an air powered one - but your dremel could work too) and a hack saw blade. You know, the kind of hack saw blade in a handle-holder that lets the end of the blade stick out?. I just took my time with the hack saw on the few I had to use it on. Bolts actually saw off suprisingly easy with a hack saw. I did find that the hack saw blade that came with the handle was pretty cheap and a new higher quality one made a lot of differenc by the way.

A couple of thoughts on the recip saw use:

The blade has to be free to travel its full length without bumping anything at the long end of its strock.

You definitely want a fine tooth blade for metal. But you might want to try one of the abrasive type ones instead. I had to do that with some bolts I had in the middle area of my AS that were put in by a PO. The metal was too hard for standard tooth type blades. The kind I am talking about look a bit like someone glued sand paper particles to the edge of the blade.

If you are trying to cut the metal at the same time you are cutting wood around it there could be binding caused by the wood. A fine tooth blade for the metal does not cut the wood very well. The more clearance you can get that is wood free the better.

Can you cut off the bolt below the floor? If the bolts are newer is is possible to unbolt them rather than cut them off?

Malcolm
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