View Poll Results: Guess the tongue weight
under 250 lbs 3 9.68%
250 to 275 lbs 1 3.23%
275 to 300 lbs 5 16.13%
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Over 350 lbs 11 35.48%
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Old 07-29-2010, 07:38 PM   #1
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The Fun Begins

Well today I decided to dive in and start removing the banana wrap and belly pan. Much to my surprise the floor that I thought was solid was rotten at the rear curbside. From inside the unit it felt solid. I started at the rear because that is where I suspected the most frame or crossmember and outrigger damage. The pink s**t was sopping wet and has wicked up to rot the floor. The trailer is leaking at the back bumper cover inwards. It seemed to flow only to the curbside. I pulled the wrap from the roadside and the floor there is fine. I only pulled the wrap from the bumper to the wheels on the curbside so far. Frame is pretty good. It is rotten around the jack and in between the trailer shell and the bumper. All the outriggers look ok to me. POR-15 will save them.
Question does anyone know if the wrap is riveted under the entry door frame. Can I remove it without having to pull the door and frame. It seems to tuck up under the lower part of the door frame. At the water heater the wrap was also just up under the lower lip of the water heater. I remembered that when I changed the heater the wrap was loose under there so it just slipped out.I need to pull the wrap on the curbside all the way to the front next to inspect the outriggers and frame. I know that the step outriggers are shot (on order) but I have to see how bad the rest are.
Just a few quick shots. Its quite surprising how bad things actually are once you open them up. My floor felt great and strong but was actually rotten.
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Old 07-29-2010, 09:03 PM   #2
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1986 25' Sovereign
Calgary , Alberta
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Hi wasagachris,

I feel your pain, I too thought I had a strong floor and the PO (a friend) told me he had beat on them with a hammer and were solid, as the laminate floor had to go I began to peel the glued not floating floor up and low and behold I can see the pink 's**t' also from the hole.

Will follow this thread for tips..
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Old 07-29-2010, 09:31 PM   #3
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Emergenct exit

I had a new friend Doug drop by and apply two part epoxy to the sections that I knew were soft. I thought all was good. This section did not even feel soft from the inside. After I pulled out the insulation the bottom of the wood in this section just fell away in great chunks. As soon as I touched the wood from underneath it just peeled off. I think I have no choice but to replace the back section of the floor.
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Old 07-29-2010, 10:50 PM   #4
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2007 27' International CCD FB
Manhattan , Kansas
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How difficult was it to remove the banana wrap/belly pan and what tools were required?

I just bought a 2007 27' International, and after reading several threads on here about the rear bumper leaking on many similar models, I'm inclined to investigate my trailer's "current situation" as much as possible. I've got two pages of to-dos and this seems like a pretty important one to add to the list, just in case.

Josh
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:52 PM   #5
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Worksology: there is a thread from someone with a new airstream that fixed the problem like this. look under bellypans & banana wraps & do a search. I used a drill with one eigth bit to drill out rivets holding on lower trim rail. This will expose rivets holding banana skins and wrap. Drill them out then look underneath and drill out rivets holding skins and wraps to belly pan. Some rivets were larger and still had there pins sticking out. I had to chisel the heads off them. Mine were qiute old and badly corroded as was the skins and wrap. Yours should still be like new- a lot easier. If you have no floor rot just reinstall everything and seal up the gap between the bumper door plate and the rear skin. Seal up the upper edge of the trim rail as well to stop any water from getting down there. You should also use sealant on all rivets to stop water from entering thru there. Your unit will have chipboard floors and will not last long if it gets wet. Good luck I hope you have no damage. Airstream should sell seperation H to seal the rear end and fix this problem LOL.
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Old 07-30-2010, 02:15 AM   #6
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2007 27' International CCD FB
Manhattan , Kansas
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Thanks wasagachris! I don't have any real reason to suspect damage on our trailer, but it sounds like most people, including yourself, are surprised at the extent of the damage once they get inside. As a new Airstream owner, I'm just excited to learn as much as possible about our new home by risking irreparable damage by undertaking as many projects as possible.

Can all these rivets you're drilling out be replaced by Olympics with a manual hand riveter? Will you need to shave any heads, or are they all underbody/under the lower trim? I don't have any of this equipment and would prefer to buy as little as possible, but I still want to tackle it efficiently. Thanks again.
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:52 AM   #7
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2007 27' International CCD FB
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After a good deal of research, I have answers to my own questions:

No Olympic-type rivets are necessary for the belly pan/banana wrap, so no head shaving! Also, most of the rivets are the standard 1/8 rivet, but like you mentioned, you'll run across several 3/16" rivets with a larger flange. I wonder if you had bumped your drill bit up to a #11 (or 3/16") if you wouldn't have had to chisel any heads off?

Two little questions if anyone's got answers:

1) Are the 1/8" rivets used on the belly pan the same as the ones used on the interior panels?

2) Everyone says to coat the replacement rivet in Vulkem when reattaching, but will Sikaflex do just as good?
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Old 07-31-2010, 08:19 AM   #8
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I use these rivets on the belly pan:
Large Flange Rivets

I do not see any reason to seal the belly pan rivets when you install them.
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Old 08-03-2010, 03:46 AM   #9
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Cancer Victim

I got some time today to remove more of the wrap and remove the wet insulation. Pulled all the wrap from the curbside from the door to front and the wrap from the front to the wheels on the roadside. There is extensive damage to the frame rail itself at the door and for a few feet in front of it on the curbside. There is aslo damage to the outriggers there as well. A couple of the outriggers on the roadside has damage as well. The pictures are of the damage to the curbside, by the time I got the wrap off the roadside it was too dark to get any good shots. I hope to get the rest of the wrap on the roadside down tomorrow and try to get the belly pan out also.
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:35 PM   #10
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Smelly Pan Removal

Well I got the rest of the wrap off today. Very dissapointing the main frame rail on the roadside is rotten around the fresh water tank. Looks like I'm going to have to pull the tank to repair the frame. I also dropped the front belly pan or that is to say after removing a few rivets it fell out. What a mess. I think a whole family of chipmunks has been living under there. The rear pan is not going to be as easy. I've chiseled off all the rivets but the pan is only half down and it is wedged under the axles and won't budge. I had to give up and leave the campground in a hurry this afternoon. I got a call from the nursing home informing me that I should come over right away because they think my step father is dying. I spent several hours there and just got back. He is stable for now and my mother is coping. I just can't be away from the business right now. I posted a few pics of the front pan and will post more of the rear pan and the frame damage tomorrow. So much for camping in my a/s this winter.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:20 PM   #11
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TADA the pan is out

Well I got the rear belly pan out today. What a F&^%$#ng mess. The pan was sandwiched between the frame and the axle brackets. I will have to drop the axles in order to reinstall the new pan. One bit of good news the crossmembers are all fine. The ones between the black and the fresh tank above the axles are shiny and black, just like they were when installed 37 yrs ago. QC issue though when they dropped the floor onto the frame the small 2" duct to heat the black tank box was crushed between the frame and the floor. Never did a bit of good except to heat the area between the two tanks. I posted some more pics of the frame ,outriggers and the crushed duct. A/S is now mobile again and has to be moved to make way for a park dinner this weekend. I will be gone for a couple of days to make final arrangements for my step father. Will post more next week after I try to drop the fresh water tank. From what I read this will be no treat as well.
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Old 08-05-2010, 02:05 PM   #12
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1986 25' Sovereign
Calgary , Alberta
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Hi wasagachris,

Sorry to hear about your step-dad.

AS seems to be in rough shape - I suspect that I will have the same issues, found that I have a leak that has rotted the plywood along the front window and door frame.

Amazing though how some of the frame is completely rusted out and other parts good as new....

Kx2
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:08 PM   #13
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Morphed into Shell off

Well it's been a few days since I posted anything new. Friday I was dealing with my stepfather's funeral arrangements.
John Thomas Spence DOB Jan 23 1928 DOD Aug 5 2010 RIP.
In memory of my step father I am naming my A/S Spencer.
The welder was in over the weekend to look at the frame repairs. MUCH MUCH worse than I thought. 20' of main frame rail rotten on road side and 12' rotten on curbside. This minor repair to the frame and renovation has just become a shell off restoration. I ordered new crossmembers and outriggers yesterday. One of my campers is going to make the new frame rails for only $150. The welder thinks about $750 to do the welding so plus parts the new frame should be about $1700. Not a bad price I think. However I now have a heck of a lot more work to do in order to lift the shell off. Anyone have any good links to threads for this. I have been searching but the thread search never pulls up good results. I started pulling apart the rest of the interior today, yesterday we were rained out. I pulled out the pantry and wardrobe on the roadside as well as the kitchen counter, furnace, water pump and convertor. A couple of bathroom walls came out also. All that is left is the shower and water heater. Still have to pull all the lower skins inside and drop the tanks(3) and start drilling out rivets and grind off all the elevator bolts. I've added afew pics of the interior so far.
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:15 PM   #14
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Houston We Have Lift off

Well Since I lasted posted I have finished gutting Spencer. It took two days to remove the kitchen, bathroom, wardrobe and pull the lower skins. I only got the sawhorse built on Friday because of business concerns. I still have to run the campground while I'm doing all this. Saturday was very productive. One of my campers helped me to crib all the shell and we got the outside skins on the roadside freed up. Today I got the curbside skins released and drilled out all the rivets for the front and rear holddown plates. I then released all the bolts holding the shell to the floor. They were either ground off with the grinder or just snapped off with vise grips. The shell is now about 6" off the floor using two bottle jacks and still has to go up another 10 to 12 inches more to rest on the sawhorses and clear the wheelwells. It groaned and bonged a couple of times but all went well. Once the shell is resting securly on the horse I can then pull the frame and floor out from underneath.My nerw frame rails are here. Made by the same camper who helped me on Saturday. I'm just waiting for the crossmembers and outriggers now. Of course I still have to remove all the tanks and the floor and cut the new floor pieces yet. I will do this while I wait for the parts to arrive.
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