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Old 01-25-2004, 10:47 PM   #1
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Aluminum floors?

We have an aluminum composite floor in our Argosy and it seems like a good idea - no rot issues. So... I got to wondering...

Are aluminum floors in use currently?
Where they used on models other than Argosys?
Are there drawbacks to aluminum floors?
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Old 01-26-2004, 01:04 AM   #2
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Aluminum floors

Our little '79 Argosy Minuet has aluminum floors. As far as we know these floors were one of Air Stream's weight saving attempts for the Argosy Minuet line. They don't seem to have transfered to the full size Air Streams.
Some of the problems that have been noted in these forums have been:

Sagging in the floor between the cross members. They are approx. 4 ft. apart.

The feet or mounting points of refrigerators, and cabinets where they meet the floor wearing or dimpling the floor allowing wall sagging and misalignment of cabinets on the interior.

Heavy traffic and bad axles seem to have the effect of stretching the aluminum/insulation sandwich that made up these floors.

We are still trying to decide on a fix for ours. They have seen heavy traffic which has created a wash board effect on the floors.

Larry and Lou
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Old 01-26-2004, 08:05 AM   #3
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Aluminum floors?

Greetings Janet!

Quote:
Are there drawbacks to aluminum floors?
Beyond the wear issues mentioned by Larry and Lou, the one drawback that caused me the most trouble was the limitation placed on floor covering selection. Too keep from violating the maximum GVWR of the coach it is quite difficult to find a floor covering other than carpeting that won't violate the GVWR due to the necessity of using some kind of underlayment to cover the rivets that attach the aluminum composite to the frame. I couldn't tolerate carpeting in mine, so when the Fowler's refurbished the interior, the least weight addition was realized by going with Armstrong Laminate flooring with an extra layer of Quiet-Step Laminate Floor Padding - - added approximately 100 pounds to the trailer's weight - - I really must pack carefully now to avoid violating the GVWR of 3,200 pounds. When I had my new axle installed two months ago, I did go with a 3,500 pound rating on the new axle - - but there are still limitations to what the frame and floor system can accommodate.

Quote:
Where they used on models other than Argosys?
The Aluminum composite wasn't even used exclusively in the Minuet line given reports from several Minuet owners. It seems to be universal or nearly universal with the Minuet 6.0 Metre, with at least a few of th 6.7 Metre coaches having the composite flooring, but so far I haven't heard any reports of the 7.3 Metre coaches with the composite flooring (there may have been one, but I don't have access to my notes on the subject at this time - - I do remember at least one report of plywood floors in a 7.3 Metre coach).

Quote:
Are aluminum floors in use currently?
If they are, I haven't heard any reports of their use. I suspect that the wear problems encountered in the 6.0 and 6.7 Metre Minuets may have disuaded Airstream from using them elsewhere in the line where the floor width would have been 6" or more greater than in the Minuet series.

Kevin
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:06 PM   #4
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I have aluminum floors on my 77 argosy minuet 20 and i'm in a debacle as to how to fix the floor sagging. I cant believe the floor supports are 4' apart without any cross supports. What were they smoking!!
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Old 10-26-2009, 10:56 PM   #5
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You know!

It was the 70's........you KNOW what they were smokin'!!!!
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Old 10-27-2009, 06:02 PM   #6
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loudruff, in the five years (!) since your earlier post in this thread, did you do anything to fix your washboarded floors?

Tom
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Old 10-27-2009, 07:35 PM   #7
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washboard floor

Hi Tom,
Sorry we don't have a better fix. We have sort of a temporary fix. Still have not decided what to do about the whole mess. We do think that eventually the belly pan has to come down and new cross members need to be added underneath.
What we have done so far is to cut foam underlayment material in progressively bigger rectangles to put down in the depressions, built up to the level of the top of the dips. Then we put down new carpeting over the top. It is way better, but not THE answer. We spent some time looking at some type of lightweight honeycomb type aircraft fabricating material. It is sturdy and lightweight. The only drawback was that one guy that was using it said that if it is pierced it cracks and goes to pieces. Not sure how that would hold up. Very pricey too. Replacing the floor from the top down to get at the new crossmembers would be difficult. We are pretty sure that the floor was installed before the walls and carries underneath the C channel. I think most of the depression is from the disappearance of the styrofoam in the middle of the aluminum sandwich. This may make it difficult to work from the bottom up. But perhaps once supported a heat gun might allow the aluminum to shrink back to its prestretched dimensions. The foam would be gone. Need more input on the metalurgical properties of stretched aluminum.
Since we bought the 29 ft. 1989 Excella 1000 in March we have been out camping and have not found much time to be at home fixing!!! LOL
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:26 PM   #8
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FWIW, I installed a laminate floor in our 6metre. Did it in 2004 and still fine. I'm sure it added some weight, though.
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:24 PM   #9
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IMHO putting a laminate floor in an aluminum floored Minuet is almost a necessity, especially if the aluminum is in good shape. The laminate will distribute weight over a larger area and might forestall the dreaded washboard floor.
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:32 PM   #10
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We have a 78 Minuet 6 meter with laminate over alum. floors and they work very well. There's a little waving but you can hardly tell. I like the fact that they can't/won't rot and weight is very important to us as we are towing close to our limit.
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:54 PM   #11
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Actually, curnes, your particular model of Argosy does NOT have aluminum floors. There was a short period in 1978 that used an aluminum sandwich-type material, but yours definitely has marine-grade plywood under that Pergo laminate.

And people are wondering, "How do YOU know?" Well, I replaced some of the rot around the entry floor on the very Argosy that curnes bought from me. I replaced it with water-proofed plywood, myself.

Do keep watch, curnes, for any future rot. That floor is most definitely plywood. A quick look under the front goucho where the water pump and tank are will confirm what I'm saying.

Enjoy!!
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