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Old 09-01-2010, 07:55 PM   #1
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1982 31' Airstream 310
Dayton , Tennessee
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Posts: 81
Floor removal

I've read many, many posts about flooring types & installation techniques but

haven't seen any info on sub floor removal. What shall I expect & any tips

on tearing up the bad plywood? This is only a 4'x4' section under the two

swivel chairs in the salon of our 1982 '310' mh. Removed the old vinyl today

& will attack at dawn.

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Old 09-01-2010, 09:03 PM   #2
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There are plenty fo threads on floor (what you call sub floor) replacement under the forum title replacing rotten floor/ frame repair. It is a common problem and has been done by lots and lots of people.

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Old 09-01-2010, 11:36 PM   #3
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1989 37' Airstream 370
marshfield , Massachusetts
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Hi Woodja,

If you find any sign of plywood you'll be in better shape than me. When I began to lift up the corners of the carpet on my recently acquired 1990 325 for a "look/see", I was surprised to find that the sub floor consisted entirely of water soaked flake board. Once the water gets into this stuff, it acts like a sponge, swells up, and begins to deteriorate. The sound deadening matt beneath the carpet on top, and the sheet metal layer that separates it from the truck frame below, pretty much prevent the trapped moisture from ever evaporating. I have to say that my view of Airstream quality was diminished a bit after seeing this. At times, I felt as if I was looking at the floor of a rotting garden shed.
My expectations of a minor patch job involving some epoxy resin and plywood quickly went out the window. Since you can't bond to anything that is wet and falling apart, the quick repair evolved into the removal of the entire forward deck on both sides. This included removal of all carpeting, door panels, seats, pedestals, and seat belts. Chasing the rot also brought me under heater/vent box on the passenger side floor. It really got to the point of wondering if it would ever stop. Ultimately, I had to remove another four feet of the main floor beneath the gaucho, and then another section by the bathroom, and finally the entire rear-most ten feet of floor where the bed room would be.
You will discover that the entire sexy aluminum frame/skin assembly of your M/H is sitting on top of, AND FASTENED TO, a flake board deck, which in turn sits on top of a sub frame structure, that spans across and sits on top of the main frame rails. I think a "body off" would have been simpler in my case.

The most used tool on the job was an angle grinder with a cut off wheel. It worked great for cutting off the fasteners that held the flooring to the frame. New flooring was all 3/4 inch exterior grade plywood bedded on construction adhesive. I used the best "wood to metal" self tapping flatheads that I could find from Lowe's. They come with a "Phillips ll" tip that provides great driving power. Even so, I most often had to pre-drill because the steel frame is too hard to penetrate easily. It is damn hard to drill as well, so be prepared to burn through some bits. Watch out where you're drilling, there are lots of things running around beneath the floor.

Good Luck!!

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Old 09-02-2010, 06:43 AM   #4
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1982 31' Airstream 310
Dayton , Tennessee
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 81
The only good news is that I really do have plywood. Apparently the old mh do. 5/8th I've been told. And my bad area(unless it spreads) is behind the passenger seat in the wide open in front of the sofa. Result of a window leak & about 4'x4'. I'll know more in about an hour because I'm ripping into her this am.
Thanks for the info on fasteners, etc. I'll get a couple of pics this am.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:06 AM   #5
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1982 31' Airstream 310
Dayton , Tennessee
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One day later & the rot is removed. Not too bad, although I'm not sure I would be so happy if I hadn't had the use of my neighbors 'Multi-Master'. Great tool that I'd never used before.
And the bad area did NOT grow bigger as I got into it. Living right!! Pretty much cleaned up & will cut & fit new 5/8th plywood this AM & then will epoxy coat entire piece to seal.
The grinder worked great to cut off rivets too. I would like to seal edges & bed in 3M 5200 but can't get locally so will settle for trip to Lowes.
And we're moving right along----Pete
Have pics, tonight.
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:23 AM   #6
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1982 31' Airstream 310
Dayton , Tennessee
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On & on it goes

It took me a few days to post these pics as my old dig camera retired.
I am ready for new flooring, which I have purchased, & also finished the rebuild of the forward passenger sliding window.
Both projects going well & rewarding------Pete
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:55 AM   #7
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Speedway , Indiana
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Looks good!
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:30 PM   #8
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1982 31' Airstream 310
Columbia , Tennessee
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 167
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Hey Pete, looking good! What are you going to put down for flooring?

Was you able to clear out the drain hole in the front window track?

Spray the fuzzy seal with CRC Heavy Duty Silicone, that will keep the window sliding good.

Chris & Brenda, Members of the Christian Motorcyclists Association
AIR Member 12654
1982 310 MoHo
Many Years ago, 1972 Argosy 24' trailer
Our Toad, 96 Saturn SW2 (263,000 and still going )
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