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Old 04-27-2005, 11:34 PM   #1
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2/3 rds of the floor out.

Just a quick update. I have the back two sections out. The frame looks real good, except for one broken weld. The current plan is to do the back half and then tackle the front. I need to get the back done before they finish my shower enclosure. Mainly because I have no place to store it. Turns out my floor was dry rotted around nearly all the edges. Not sure why that is. I don't have that many leaks !!? I am thinking they kept filling the battery never bothering to find out where the water was going ! Arrgghh ! and plumbing leaks too ! Lots of corrosion around the edges too. I have to replace both wrap sections on the rear sides. The good news.....what I do from now on is an improvement. Now its just repair and replace. The taking apart is over for the most part. Deep breaths........it'll be cool when I am done !! And solid as a...old Airstream can be !! Oh yeah... Harbor freight tools rocks !! lol
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Old 04-27-2005, 11:39 PM   #2
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Chin up! Sure does rain a lot in your part of the world - maybe you just have a horrible case of condensation???
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Old 04-27-2005, 11:43 PM   #3
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Good job, Chris! Keep it up! Once youve got it torn apart, it goes back together a lot faster, and everything is new and easy to work with. You'll be a happy camper again in no time!
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Old 04-28-2005, 01:29 AM   #4
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Yes, It does rain a lot ! Its slowin me down ACK !! I worked on it in the rain last Saturday. Its a good thing there is lots to do inside.
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Old 04-28-2005, 01:31 AM   #5
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Thanks ! I will take you word for it. One I get the welding done and the frame painted I think I will feel quite a bit better about my progress. IE, once the major hurdles are over.
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Old 04-28-2005, 01:10 PM   #6
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are you taking the whole sub floor out at once and did you end up bracing the shell? Send us a pic if you can. We are going to start taking out our sub floor this weekend and don't know if we should do it all at once and brace, or do it piece by piece. figured it is easier to do it all at once that way frame repair/painting can be done all at once also. Any direction would be helpful. Thanks and good luck. Stacia and Martha
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Old 04-29-2005, 12:42 AM   #7
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Hi, I am doing the back and then the front so I can minimize the bracing. I wanted to try and get away with as little extra work as possible. I took the floor out and put spacers under the bows. So it is like the floor is still there. I have braces putting upward pressure on the roof bows since they aren't bolted down to the frame at the moment. I have to get a welder over to my place, so things are stalled right now. I have one broken weld on a cross member. IMO, I think its better to do a section at a time. So its not really a frame off, but very close. You don't have to do the painting all at once, just make sure that all your welds are good. You only want the welder coming over once !! If you pull the bellypan off you will be able to see them. My BP looks like swiss cheese. So I am replacing much of it. I have to replace the wraps on the sides at the rear because of severe corrosion of the aluminum around the edges. I will have to take a pic in the daylight and send it to ya. Good luck and may none of your cross members be broken !
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Old 04-29-2005, 11:22 AM   #8
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I pulled out the floor from the front to just behind the door, and didn't brace the shell at all. I also put spacers under the ribs around the shell while I was working on the frame, but when I went to install the floor I discovered the shell hadn't sagged at all, not even enough to put any weight on those spacers. So I think doing a smaller area at a time is the way to go, and the shell is strong enough to handle it without moving. Plus you don't have to work in there with all those crossbraces you would need if you took the whole floor out, which would be pretty hard in such a confined space.
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Old 04-29-2005, 05:12 PM   #9
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Hardest part we found so far was getting the board away from the shell. Since the bolts are pretty much rusted in place, there was no easy means for removal, even when the bolts were cut/broken off (since they didn't come out, they still held). I suppose had the floor been rotten in these places, pulling it off wouldn't be so hard (so far, the problem we've been dealing with is chemical corrosion to the frame, not rot to the wood).

We haven't needed put in braces yet, but probably will this weekend when we take more out. We also expect to remove sections in both the front and back simultaneously, though. This weekend we take on the bathroom area. We figure we shouldn't have too many problems, since the middle appears solid (I have a couple of feet more than a Caravel to play with, too).

Hang in there, Chris! You're not alone!

Mary
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Old 04-30-2005, 08:40 AM   #10
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I found I could cut through nuts with the dremel and lever the remains off with pliers, and then tap an icepick like tool through to knock the rest of the bolt out, or use the recip saw to cut through between the wood and the outrigger or frame below and seperate the connection to the wood/frame that way. That part IS very tedious. But once that stuff was out, I was surprised the remaining floor slid right out of the track in one piece, and I was able to use it for a template.

Don't forget to tie down the nose of the trailer somehow if you're working front and back. I found mine got very light in the front once everything was out, and stepping towards the back past the axels was dicey at best!
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Old 04-30-2005, 11:13 AM   #11
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Good tips! Was it the frame or shell that became unstable? Would tying the hitch (ie, frame) to some concrete blocks work? I'm not thinking of any way to tie down the shell, though...

I am really lacking motivation this morning. I should be out there tearing away at stuff, but it's wet and rainy, I have a pollen headache, so have been procrastinating. I will get going after lunch I think.

Mary
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Old 04-30-2005, 11:37 AM   #12
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Mary,

I would suggest that what you want to do is but some sort of supports under the back end of the trailer. That way with the frame supported at both the front and the back it should stay reasonably straight while you work on the floor. My AS is parked on a sloped driveway and the back is supported about 3' up in the air to get the trailer more or less level.

Malcolm
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Old 04-30-2005, 12:32 PM   #13
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Supports under the back would be the best idea (thanks malcolm), as it was sort of a teeter-totter feeling. Definitly could have gotten ugly!
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Old 04-30-2005, 12:43 PM   #14
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I kept a couple of bolts in mine when the floor was out - when you remove the floor and bolts, you basically have a shell sitting on a frame - scary......

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