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Old 12-27-2018, 02:50 PM   #15
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1976 27' Overlander
Smiths Grove , Kentucky
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The journey continues after a couple of weeks away. Iíve removed the black and gray water tanks and the rear subfloor.
Tank removal was straightforward, except for having to cut off the POís welded on hitch contraption. I canít imagine what one would want to tow behind an Airstream. Anyhow, a bunch of bolts around the tank pan were removed, vent pipes wiggled free, and the Thetford valves removed. The pan out the back.
The tanks appear in good condition. I think with new dump valves, they will work out fine.
I then set to work on the floor. The sawzall came in handy to cut the bolts off. It still took a lot of looking and fiddling to free everything that holds the floor and walls together. The only tough thing is that it appears the center outside panel has to be partially removed to replace the steel angle/channel that runs under the rear hatch. I can barely tell what itís supposed to look like due to rust.
The frame looks in decent shape. Most of it just needs POR-15 and will be fine. A couple of spots will require more attention.
Also removed the bathroom interior end cap. I didnít know there was nothing under it. Rookie move. But, it was bulky and not what we want, so Iíll replace it with aluminum or copper for far more headroom in the bath.
This is definitely a bigger job than i imagined, but itís coming along well. Everything is fixable.
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Old 12-27-2018, 07:15 PM   #16
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Happy Holidays Sinking76: You have made good progress. Your rear bath looks like mine did last year, holes in the floor and all. I ended up replacing the waste water tanks on my trailer as I wanted more water storage capacity. I moved the grey tank forward for a bit better weight distribution.

The rear cross member was a U shaped channel. I replaced it with a piece of square tubing. From the rear cross member on up, next comes the subfloor, then the rear body hold down plate, then the "c" channel. I replaced the cross member, the subfloor at the rear, and rear body hold down plate. I did not have to remove any exterior skins under the cargo door. I did remove that dang sheet of aluminum that bridged the body with the bumper hatch.
That piece is a main cause of the rear floor rot.

Here is a photo of the old rusty parts and then the three new parts I made to repair the "rear end separation".

David
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Old 12-28-2018, 06:48 AM   #17
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1976 27' Overlander
Smiths Grove , Kentucky
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Happy Holidays to you too David-

Thanks for the description. I’m not finding anything that looks like the c-channel along the back. The hold down plate is present, but needs replacing. That’s the piece that is impossible to remove without pulling the skin back, unless I remove the entire rear frame crossmember. It looks like mine goes crossmember-subfloor-hold down plate- then aluminum channel. The aluminum channel looks ok (it may not once I get the hold down plate out of the way).

I also removed the 4” wide aluminum that causes the end rot and plan to leave it out. My question is, what keeps the water out of the bumper storage compartment without that piece? My tank pan extends all the way back to the bumper. It looks like I’ll need to do some re-engineering to shorten the tank pan, otherwise, water will run off the back and straight down into the pan?

A better option would be to create a bumper storage compartment that is separate from anything forward, but then, the waste dump pipe would be in the way.
I think once I get everything out of the way, I’ll have to do some head scratching and figure out the next move.

Being that this is my first coach, I’ll consider replacing the tanks, but I’m kind of guessing, as I don’t know how much waste storage we really need.

Thanks again for the help
Mark
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Old 12-28-2018, 09:03 AM   #18
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1972 25' Tradewind
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Dealing with similar problem on my 72 Safari. Water leaked from the back end and we tore out flooring and had to build new frame support and seal off the back. My removed parts look like yours.
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Old 12-28-2018, 07:10 PM   #19
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Conifer , Colorado
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You are wise to leave out that decorative piece of aluminum in my view. Let the rainwater run off the rear of the body and not be directed to the subfloor. I am doing the same thing. I expect lots of rain water in the bumper "storage compartment". But on our trailers, it isn't a storage compartment, it is a "waste water drain pipe" compartment. I don't care if my sewer pipes get wet. I have before, and will drill 1/4" holes in my belly pan to let the water drain out. Here is a photo of the "gap" that leaving that aluminum piece out will create.

I also moved the dump valves in such a way that they do not penetrate the subfloor. So I will reach into the "waste water drain pipe" compartment and pull open the dump valves.

I added a barrier along the rear cross member to keep varmints out of the belly pan area.

Maybe my approach will give you some ideas.

David
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Old 01-01-2019, 11:05 AM   #20
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Both end caps inside the trailer have no support ribs behind them. Something to keep in mind when you're planning, especially to "hang" something there. We lucked out and were able to snag a new front end cap from Out of Doors Mart, last one they had a few years ago on clearance. We reused the rear one minus the cabinetry that was originally on it for more room.
I've seen some beautiful aluminum or wood pieced end caps people have done.

Kay
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Old 01-27-2019, 07:05 AM   #21
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The cold rainy Kentucky weather has slowed progress a bit, but I caught a good weekend to POR-15 the rear section of the frame. It had surface rust, but I couldnít find anything that needed replacing, so the POR coating should do the job fine.

New plywood, just A/C 1/2Ē ply was used and cut to original specs. The original tanks will be reused with new gate valves, although, I will move the city water inlet to a more practical location.
So, new plywood, and new rear hold down steel are installed, bolted, screwed, and sealed. Rear-end sag has been eliminated.

Along the way, the rear hatch door was cleaned and new weatherstripping installed. I found a drill and a round 3M Roloc Scotchbrite Pad made short work of cleaning the old rubber adhesive from the hatch. The rear should be sealed up now, except for the tail light assemblies, which will get a good complete rebuild.

Now, on to the front floor section. Gotta replace a couple of outriggers there...

New bathroom floor shot-
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Old 01-27-2019, 07:38 PM   #22
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Good job! I believe repairing the infamous rear end separation in these old 70s trailers greatly enhances their value. It is a tough repair to make, and most buyers don't want the hassle or expense. Most buyers are impressed with a solid frame and an Airstream that is ready to use.

I found POR 15 difficult to apply. It is very thin and runs everywhere. Maybe you will have black spots on your hands for 3 weeks or more.

Maybe your subfloor is 3/4" plywood like mine, not 1/2". Half inch ain't enough.

David
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Old 01-28-2019, 06:16 AM   #23
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Thanks David.
I thought it odd, but my flooor is really only 1/2”. That’s dictated by the channel in the straight section of the camper. Even 5/8 subfloor wouldn’t fit, so nominal undersize 3/4 ply (23/32) was out of the question. Measuring a good chunk of the original floor, it’s only about 17/32. I wonder if other ‘76 models are the same. Seemed thin to me too.

I could laminate an additional layer of plywood in high stress areas for reinforcement. May be worth considering.

Thanks for the encouragement.

Mark
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Old 01-30-2019, 03:44 PM   #24
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Thanks to Colin Hyde, my shiny new running gear showed up today. The coldest day of the year... theyíre 3500# with 12Ē brakes and a little steeper torsion angle. Should give me many years of service.

The original ones are beyond worn out. New axles seem like the best money you can spend on a 42 year old Airstream.
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Old 01-30-2019, 06:12 PM   #25
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Sinking76, What round 3M Roloc Scotchbrite Pad did you use fine, medium, or coarse. I am fixing to start on my window and door gasket removal on my 71 Sovereign and this sounds pretty easy to use. Did you soak it in any type remover before starting.
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Old 01-31-2019, 05:14 AM   #26
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Cole3444-
I used the maroon roloc pads. I think they are the medium grit. The old glue is pretty dry, so I didn’t use any solvent that would have made a gooey mess. A corded 3/8 drill and firm pressure worked well to get back to clean aluminum.

Mark
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Old 01-31-2019, 12:14 PM   #27
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Thanks for the info. Will get started when it warms up again.
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