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Old 03-18-2011, 04:54 PM   #1
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1986 32' Excella
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1986 Excella 32' Refurbish / Repair Project

I have been on another forum here and did not know about this one more applicable to my trailer. I will move over and start posting here. This is a great site with it seems a lot of great people willing to help me get my feet wet. Thanks to all that have helped so far. Kelly
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:22 PM   #2
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I posted n the other thread that I had concerns about the lower panel / curved strip along the exterior wall base which is painted black. In four places the Aluminum has been eaten through by the iron floor joist causing a 1/2 X 4" strip opening. There is rust on the floor joist but it does not seem to go far into the trailer. Should I be concerned enough to take this piece off and look further inside. The floor above seems solid and without damage. One area has me a little more concerned and it is at the rear of the black water storage tank on the belly. There is the strip opening on the side of the panel but it also has about 4 rivets in under the trailer that have corroded also. How far do I need to go to correct this problem. I feel the leak that caused this is from the toilet water line leak over time. The floor is rotten around the toilet and I will be removing and replacing the floor and toilet ASP. Should I be able to see enough in this opening to know if there is structural damage in need of repair? I am approaching most of this from what I know from home repairs realizing there is a lot I don't know about AS. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Kelly
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:49 PM   #3
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Kelly the real issue is leaks. The belly is insulated with fiberglass insulation and once this insulation gets wet it holds the water and causes the rusting of the frame crossmembers and corrosion of the aluminium belly pan while in contact with the steel of the frame. If the floor is not rotted, left unchecked it will only be a matter of time before the wet insulation laying against the wood of the floor will rot out the floor. Most often the floor rots from below up. If the trailer does not have leaks to the inside the lower beltline trim is allowing water under it and into the belly. You can seal this trim and patch over the belly openings but this kind of repair is only a stop gap measure and to fully correct it the belly should be dropped, remove the wet insulation and replace with an alternative choice after repairing any frame rust. The frame can be painted with a rust preventative paint and replace the corroded belly pan with new.
Secondly once you have the floor up around the toilet you may be able to see how much damage there is to the frame but the black tank itself may obstruct any view you need. You can drill holes and install new rivets near the old corroded ones to hold the belly up there.
essentially it's the same as home repair unless you open it up fully you will never really know how bad it is. I knew I had some crossmember damage on mine but once I opened up the belly I discivered how bad the frame really was. It ended up being easier and better to pull the shell and build a whole new frame.
Here is some information for you to look at regarding products.
POR15, Inc. - Stop Rust Permanently - Repair Gas & Fuel Tanks

Insulation for Less : Prodex : Reflective Insulation : Pole Barn Insulation : Metal Building Insulation : Bubble Insulation

Inland RV Center Inc.

Inland RV Center Inc.
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Old 03-20-2011, 02:14 PM   #4
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I also have concerns about the battery storage compartment on the curbside. There is a 4" X 6" rotten area at the side of the case and along the front wall. It is enough that I can see through it. All the rest of the floor seems to be in good condition and no problems from below. Should I have concerns enough to pull floor or belly in this area also.
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Old 03-20-2011, 02:23 PM   #5
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It is essentially the same issue, leaks. The battery box door gasket may be dried out and allowing water in or the battery box frame connection to the shell sealer has failed. The battery may have boiled over and caused the corrosion. From everything you describe I would drop the entire belly and do a thorough inspection of the frame and floor. Then fix/paint the frame, replace the insulation and do it properly. I tried at first to patch my small areas of floor rot but once I opened the belly i discovered just how badlt rotted the floor was. I ended up with a whole new floor to put on my new frame. Is your floor plywood or OSB?
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:52 PM   #6
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It is wafer board. The worst sub flooring that can be used. But saying that it is quick to show problems.
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by kellywood View Post
It is wafer board. The worst sub flooring that can be used. But saying that it is quick to show problems.
Yeah I guess that is it's one redeeming quality.
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:42 PM   #8
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Well it's off this weekend to get the new laminate flooring and upolstery fabric. I have checked the sub-flooring out as well as the floor joist and all seems to be good. I will patch the floor in the bathroom where the toilet sits and at the side of the battery compartment. The rest is good condition for the new laminate flooring. I will post more pictures as I get in to the patching and then the flooring install.
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