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Old 06-07-2018, 08:43 AM   #1
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1968 28' Ambassador
1964 26' Overlander
1976 Argosy 26
Heber Springs , Arkansas
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68 Ambassador bathroom floor replacement

Hi all, Iím working on a 68í that had bad bathroom toilet floor rot. And I only say toilet because the tub floor is still very sturdy. I posted in replacing floor and/or frame but got nothing, so still needing some advice. Iím just wanting to remove the rear floor and I have the hold down bolts cut, and and going to remove the inner skins. Belly pan will come down too but I canít seem to remove the ďbanana wrapsĒ corner belly pan. Iíve drilled out all rivets(even hidden ones). Do the inner skins need to be removed first or is there something I am missing?? Any help would be wonderful. Thanks, Zach

And yes, thatís street signs holding up the toilet.
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:36 PM   #2
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Take a putty knife and run it between the skin and banana wraps. They put hidden rivets between them. Should come right out
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Old 06-07-2018, 05:53 PM   #3
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1968 28' Ambassador
1964 26' Overlander
1976 Argosy 26
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Thank you for your advice. I was able to find some really good hiding spots for the rivets and scrape away the think sealant between skins and wraps. The floor is out(or at least whatís left of it) and the frame is in really good shape. The spray foam seems to have done this trailer well. My galvanized box is toast right under the thetford valve as my tank had a severe crack in it. Any replacements available for the tank? And does it have to be a galvanized box for the tank? I guess any a/c duct work fabricator could make a new one correct? And with the floor not being such a great template are there any easy ways to find the exact measurements for the floor?? Iím sure from the jolting and things the shell is not in exact location at the moment. Iíll attach some pics.

And does anyone know how to change the name of the thread if possible? Iíll just continue with the thread(when I get a chance)
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Old 06-07-2018, 06:48 PM   #4
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Looks like my 68 Tradewind. I had a 2x6 holding up the black tank!!

In order to keep things original and to save time, I ordered a replacement black tank from Inland. It was expensive but constructed of thick fiberglass and I was glad I made that choice. You will have to glass in the flange for the toilet and for the vent onto the new tank (parts are included). No big deal. Tip: install the black tank temporarily in the exact spot you want it to fit under the trailer. Mark the center of the flange hole on top of the tank thru the hole in the floor for the toilet. The placement of the hole in the floor is made by positioning the toilet in the exact spot and then stepping on the flush lever and making a mark on top of the floor thru hole in the toilet. You will get it exactly where you want it. There isn't much room either way for the toilet so it is an important step. This way you will get the flange in correct spot and it is much easier than trying to transfer measurements. I also bought a new valve and fittings from Inland. Again, expensive but it fit exactly like the original and saved me a ton of time.

I made a pattern for the galvanized box out of cardboard. I put a 1/2 inch flange all round the top so it would fit flat against the bottom of the subfloor. I had my local HVAC guy cut and bend the pieces but I brought them home and riveted them together. He used scrap and did not even charge me. Took him 10 minutes to make the bends on his big break. You will have to cut the hole for the dump valve.

Final tip, make a template for the floor from 1/8 luan plywood. It will take a little tweaking to get it just right and it is so much easier than wrestling 5/8 ply. You will have to cut the new floor piece along one of the frame rails and install it in two pieces. Let them meet over a frame rails to get it in, I used street side. If you put a bull nose on the outside edge of the new floor with a router it will slide into place much easier. After you route the edge, coat the edge, top and bottom (6 in strip) with couple of coats of epoxy resin ( I like West System). That way if there is water intrusion in the future it won't rot the wood. I also epoxied a sheet of fiberglass over the plywood around the toilet flange and between the frame rails to stiffen the floor and seal the wood in case of toilet flange leak.

good luck
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Old 06-07-2018, 06:57 PM   #5
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
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Hello from Colorado: Welcome to the vintage Airstream hobby. These old trailers with rear baths have chronic problems with subfloor rot.

Also welcome to the slippery slope of Airstream trailer repair. One discovery will lead to another and another.

You might enjoy the book "Restoring A Dream" by Tim Sheppard. He renovated an Ambassador, I think it was an early seventies vintage. He did the rear subfloor and new holding tanks. I think his experience is what you are doing now.

I also recommend you study the various threads on renovating 1968 Ambassadors, or Sovereigns, or Overlanders. They are made very much alike, they are just different in their lengths.

Yep, new black tank and valve, might as will add a grey water tank while you are at it, inspect that frame and make repairs, the steel pan is needed to help hold up the tank, and much more. Slippery slope indeed.

I'm working on a 75 Overlander with rear subfloor rot and other problems. I feel your pain.

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Old 06-07-2018, 07:54 PM   #6
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1968 28' Ambassador
1964 26' Overlander
1976 Argosy 26
Heber Springs , Arkansas
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Thanks all for the great advice. I will definitely take all of that into consideration. I love the forums because their is so muc knowledge. I love reading threads of any type of trailer because each owner has a distinct way/idea of doing things. My wife thinks Iím addicted.. and maybe so since we have 3 now including our 72í sovereign we just moved into. I installed an extra tank and we have a composting toilet. We are living in it full time right now and are hoping to travel sometime in the near future(which is why I am redoing this Ambassador, to make some money). This Ambassador( we named her Magdalene) has really good bones. I have expected the frame and itís very solid. Not like our Sovereign! I was lucky that I learned how to weld a few years back and had a plasma cutter. Iím very excited about this project and want to do quality work like I did on our Soveriegn. Iíll share a pic or 2 of it here. But I definitely need to start looking into the new tank and taking over with my dad about the galvanized support(he did a/c work for about 35 years as a second job and Iíve helped make a few pans and done some ductwork with him before). Thanks again for the advice, keep it coming. I still have lots to learn.
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Old 06-08-2018, 12:48 PM   #7
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I like the tile. Is it heavy and do you tow your camper. Also tell me about your oven.
Thanks, Matt
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Old 06-08-2018, 02:13 PM   #8
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1964 26' Overlander
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So I have not towed it yet, I do have brand new dexter axles though. And a good sturdy frame. The tile is not too heavy. I used an epoxy/silicone type grout so itís flexible. I know I gained weight than originally. The oven is an electric magic chef wall oven. We went electric everything, wife didnít want chance of a gas leak(&#129320 but Iím ok with it. We plan to get solars eventually or might even do another trailer in the future to be more of a travel unit. The oven and apartment size fridge were a considerable amount of difference in price compared to an ďRVĒ fridge. Seems like how the ďairstreamĒ and ďvintageĒ market are.. just slap that in front of the name and the prices soars. We originally planned to live in trailer for about 2 years while I was in school so thatís also why itís more of a home-y feel. Plans changed on school but we still chose to live in it.
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Old 06-08-2018, 06:18 PM   #9
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Very nice looking "home base" Sovereign. Wow. The baby is very cute too.

I think you guys are very capable Airstream renovators. I thought you were just starting in the Airstream hobby. I'm going to learn from you.

David
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Old 06-09-2018, 06:41 AM   #10
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Thanks David. Very kind words. But trust me, I still have lots to learn. That’s why I am here on the forums. For advice, ideas, and wisdom.

Zach
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Old 06-09-2018, 09:39 AM   #11
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Question for you guys though, I would love for this trailer to have new wiring. But would I have to take the inner skins off? Or has anyone had luck pulling wires? Seems like it could be kinda hairy if some of those 50 year old plastic grommets are cracked and the wires get scraped. What are your thoughts? Anyone left the wires?
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Old 06-09-2018, 07:46 PM   #12
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Take the interior skins down to rewire the trailer. I don't recall anyone trying to pull wires through the ribs. And new grommets would be in order. You could pull a short wire a few feet, especially between ribs in a vertical direction.

If you pull the interior skins down, then you can do all kinds of improvements; such as sealing seams and rivets, improved insulation, repair any loose ribs, repair any exterior dents, rewire of course, seal up vent pipes, etc, etc.

It's just work...

David
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Old 06-09-2018, 08:40 PM   #13
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1968 28' Ambassador
1964 26' Overlander
1976 Argosy 26
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Thanks for the reply David. I figured it probably hasn’t been done. And yes it’s work. And time, everyone has that right?!
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:52 PM   #14
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Floor rot

Good work! Make sure you measure off all openings and vent location and take lots of before photos as this will help you when reinstalling the black tank and box. Ed
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