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Old 11-26-2012, 09:02 PM   #15
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Looking good!
The PB account works great...
Not sure if you knew this...
All of the pics I post are from my PB account...
In the index page, you move your mouse pointer over the pic you want, and a box appears...
Then move your mouse down to the lower box labeled IMG code... and click within the box, and it copies that link...
You then just paste that jumble of code into your post draft and the picture appears when you post it!

Like this...!
Thanks for the info Keyair.
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:21 PM   #16
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Hi all

Yes it has been a while since I have posted my progress on the Mistress as there has been none due to the cold, white stuff and lots of work which keeps the Mistress happy.
So this weekend has been the very first chance to give her a good going over, with a mixture of good and bad........First the bad.

My airride works but my air tank is leaking. I have ordered a new aluminum tank with 9 ports. The original air compressor is missing, the replacement Vair is seized and a P/O plumbed in a portable compressor to supply air but it too is on its way to the compressor gods in the sky. I do have a twin cylinder ARB unit which I will mount inside the coach.

I removed the two couches in my covertible rear lounge to find the floor rotted completely away on the fill side of the potable water tank. It was dry but obviously a pretty substantial leakage had occured years ago.

There was worst to come. I removed the passenger couch, lifted up the linoleum flooring to find the plywood underneath just soaking with water and black as Hades. Now, one of my daughters had left the window open an inch or two, for how long I don't know.

This means I need to replace the floor......and this is what I found to replace it with. Has anyone used this stuff before? It can even be ordered with an anti-microbiotic ingrediant.

King StarLite® XL | King Plastic Corporation

I think the plywood used by Airstream was 5/8 so I could use 1/4 and 3/8 sheets or a 3/4" sheet and router the sheet down to the channel thickness.


The Good......

My frame is rust free and even though my dash air doesn't work right now, there is a sticker on the A/C box firewall that states this system was retrofitted to H134a standards.

The work now begins.........I will take pics along the way.
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Old 05-05-2013, 05:46 PM   #17
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Day 1

Removed all cabinetry right up to the shower and bathroom except for the two upper wardrobes. I managed with a fair amount of blue words and banged up arms and knuckles to get all the Phillips screws out of the tops of the lower cabinets. Once all the screws were out, just slide the tops out which then gave me room to lift out the lower cabinets leaving the upper wardrobes in place.

Note to Airstream....You made everything out of aluminum and 14" Luan except for the folding rear table which is a knuckle busting 60lbs!!!

God I hate Phillips screws....Robertson are the way to go. With that statement you can tell I'm a Canuck, well at least a transplanted one.

Too tired to post pics. I will post when I have the plumbing out of the way.
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:27 PM   #18
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Second wind with pics.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:43 PM   #19
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Yup I have water coming somewhere. Both sides of the floor on the rear side of the side windows in the rear compartment are wet after a recent rain.

I have been scratching my head at what to replace the plywood with, that wouldn't absorb water, rot, mildew and be 5/8" thick.

Here's what I have gleaned so far..........

HDPE plastic sheets like puckboard are fairly inexpensive, but 5/8" sheets are hard to come by and these sheets can be heavy and harder to work with. Kings Starboard are high quality marine boards with their Starlite XL line being the lightest of the HDPE boards I have found but the only way your going to get 5/8" is a 3/8" and 1/4" boards laid together. Starboards are very pricey and still heavier than plywood. I have the link in my previous post.

Coosa composite boards come in 5/8" thickness, are a foam core with wooven glass fibre mat giving it strength. Very easy to work with and 35-45% lighter than plywood with great compressability. Hard to find as only three distributors in Canada, shipping sheets can be expensive.

Nylosheet is green and made out recycled carpet fibres. Easy to work with but I'm still trying to get info on weight and cost of these sheets for 5/8". Hard to find anyone with stock.

Here's a new and out of the box idea.......Hurriguard. A double cell clear plastic sheet that weighs 16 lbs or so for a 48x96 sheet. Easy to work with, good fire resistance, waterproof and no mildew or fungus. Easily found at Lowes and compared to other products, CHEAP!. Fill the exposed ends with Marine 5200 silicone and aluminum tape......

http://gallinausa.com/wp-content/upl...stallation.pdf
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:55 AM   #20
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Just a thought but something to cover windows might not be the best thing for flooring. The way I see it bare plywood has held up for thirty years, with all the high tech epoxy coatings available today I would go with coated plywood. If you get another thirty years out of it you probably won't care anymore.
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:28 AM   #21
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LOL Steve I was wondering what kind of comments I would get about the Hurriguard.

Question....

I'm going to replace the whole flooring section from the wheels back. I have been to other sections of the forum that have dealt with replacing floors in trailers. They caution to remove plywood out of the channel and replace in sections, or the body weight could collapse the channel.
I found a U Tube video on Airstream building our motorhomes. The flooring framework is welded to the chassis frame and then a sheet of aluminum is rolled out over the flooring frame. The body is then carefully dropped onto the flooring frame and aluminum sheet. The body is only picked up by the front and back, stressing the rigidity of the bodyshell itself.
Since the plywood hasn't been installed until after the body has been lowered onto the flooring frame, would I not be able to remove all plywood and then replace?

Vintage Airstream Classic Motorhome Factory Production 1980's - YouTube
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:20 PM   #22
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LOL Steve I was wondering what kind of comments I would get about the Hurriguard.

Question....

I'm going to replace the whole flooring section from the wheels back. I have been to other sections of the forum that have dealt with replacing floors in trailers. They caution to remove plywood out of the channel and replace in sections, or the body weight could collapse the channel.
I found a U Tube video on Airstream building our motorhomes. The flooring framework is welded to the chassis frame and then a sheet of aluminum is rolled out over the flooring frame. The body is then carefully dropped onto the flooring frame and aluminum sheet. The body is only picked up by the front and back, stressing the rigidity of the bodyshell itself.
Since the plywood hasn't been installed until after the body has been lowered onto the flooring frame, would I not be able to remove all plywood and then replace?

Vintage Airstream Classic Motorhome Factory Production 1980's - YouTube
It's kind of hard to be sure but at 2:40 into the film it says the fuselage and floor are bolted to the frame. Maybe Brad can give us some insight as to what is attached to what from his demolition of a 34.5. I don't think there is too much concern of body weight collapsing anything as the shell is structurally rigid without the inner skin installed. With the inner skin and walls/bulkheads I don't think anything will move.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:25 AM   #23
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After looking closely at the 345 shell it's my opinion (and I mean opinion only) that the shell is built around the wood floor. I think the construction starts with a full sized sheet of plywood (or OSB) (we're talking classic motorhomes only at the moment). There is a special aluminum extrusion that has a channel made for the plywood to fit into and the outside of the extrusion extends up a couple of inches for the side walls to rivet to.

I believe the aluminum extrusion is basically wrapped around the entire wood floor starting at the rise up to the cockpit floor. Then runs all the way around the floor and back up to the rise in the cockpit floor on the other side. The only breaks in this are for the entry door, wheel wells, spare tire compartment and any side compartments that rise higher than floor level.

The aluminum ribs are then fastened to this extrusion and after that the skin is put in place. What that means is when the shell is lifted up and placed on the chassis the wood floor is part of the integral shell. The extrusion is then bolted in place with long 5/16" diameter bolts screws that run through the extrusion, through the wood floor and through the metal tubing grid that is welded to the truck chassis.

In the later motorhomes the wood floor is not only screwed down with 1/4" flat head screws but is also nailed in place with spiral shanked nails.

I had a bear of a time getting the wood floor removed from the truck chassis because of all the nails. I had to use an acetylene torch to burn the heads off and then I used my front end loader with pallet forks to rip the floor up.

Recently someone mentioned to me that the shell would collapse if the wood was pulled out of the channel. After thinking about it I'm not sure that is the case. The top edge of the channel doesn't support anything. The ribs which are riveted to the side of the extrusion won't cause the top of the channel to collapse.

I'll see if I can find some pictures of the shell/floor construction and post them.

Brad
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:49 PM   #24
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Brad

John (Shepherd57) came up on Sunday after his meet and greet with you in the States. We both watched the video again and he was of the same position as you and Steve that the plywood was already in place as the body is lowered into place. I was skeptical at first, as having almost 8' X 31+ feet of plywood just hanging there would bow in the middle, unless they added supports to the ceiling beams, (which they may have done); so I'm inclined to believe that your right.
I'm also agreeing with you that I should be able to cut the bolts holding the channel and floor to the frame, remove the damaged plywood sections without the channel collapsing. However I think the bolt removal should be only done in sections as to keep the body from bulging out.

Pics would be great as no images of the plywood floor/channel and bolts exist for the moho's on the web.
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:32 AM   #25
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Brad

John (Shepherd57) came up on Sunday after his meet and greet with you in the States. We both watched the video again and he was of the same position as you and Steve that the plywood was already in place as the body is lowered into place. I was skeptical at first, as having almost 8' X 31+ feet of plywood just hanging there would bow in the middle, unless they added supports to the ceiling beams, (which they may have done); so I'm inclined to believe that your right.
I'm also agreeing with you that I should be able to cut the bolts holding the channel and floor to the frame, remove the damaged plywood sections without the channel collapsing. However I think the bolt removal should be only done in sections as to keep the body from bulging out.

Pics would be great as no images of the plywood floor/channel and bolts exist for the moho's on the web.
I'm certainly no expert but reading between the lines on the trailer side it seems that the shell without the floor is pretty stiff if the inner and outer skins are in place. If you remove the inner skin you have to brace the shell before removing from the floor and frame. It just makes sense that the floor is in the moho shell because there is no inner skin.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:35 PM   #26
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I would lay odds that the shell won't collapse or change shape if the wood floor is removed. In the following pictures you'll see how the shell is constructed for the Classic motorhome and I'm assuming from what I've seen of my Argosy shell is the same way.

In the first picture you can see the profile of the extrusion that wraps around the wood floor.

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Now looking at this next picture you'll see how the outer skin is attached to the outside of the extrusion.

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In this picture you can see the overall construction of the wall, ribs and lower extrusion. In these last three pictures the bottom of the channel is somewhat deformed. It took a LOT of effort to get the wood out from between the channel formed by the extrusion. There were a variety of fasteners holding the extrusion to the chassis ranging from 5/16x18 bolts to 1/4" lag screws plus lots of little sheet metal screws. I think the small screws were used to hold the extrusion in place on the plywood while they assembled the shell around it. Just when you think you've found all the screws you'll most likely have missed a bunch. I know I did

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It would take a downward an outward or inward pressure for the extrusion to collapse. I'm not sure where that force would come from. I'm going to be replacing the floor in my 20' Argosy and at most what I might do is add a cross brace running from side to side in the off chance the walls might want to spread outwards.

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The only way to get to any of the bolts, screws etc is to remove the lower section of the inner skin. I've read on the forums where people have more or less just dug the wood out from the channel, made notches in the new wood to clear the existing screws and slid the new wood floor into place.

I'm not thrilled with the idea of removing the lower inner wall skins, just that much more work. One possibility I've been thinking of is cutting the old floor all the way around about 1/2" from the inner wall which would leave all of the original floor in place inside the extrusion and the 1/2" strip sticking out. The new floor would butt up to the remnants of the old floor. If there are some really rotted sections of floor inside the extrusion those could be replaced on a case by case basis.

I'm going to wait until I'm at the point of ripping the floor out to decide which method or combination of methods will work for me.

I hope the pictures help!


Brad
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:37 PM   #27
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The pics were greatly appreciated and reveal what I suspected.......It's going to be a PITA job to do either way I do it.

If you take the wood out and replace the floor, notching around the bolts that run through the channel into the frame below; wouldn't the only thing stopping the walls from moving out would be the 1'16" aluminum plate the bolt is drilled through? I guess it would be okay to do this as long as the section was fairly small.

I thought about cutting the floor either just inside or outside the channel but leaving something that is half dry rotted or full of fungus without protection just means I will have to do it over again one day. I guess if you were to sell your rig in the near future, this would be the way to go.

I'm still thinking.........
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:13 AM   #28
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Been there, done this...

A couple of years ago I had the experience of replacing everything from the driven wheels to the back bumper. It was quite a project. As you go about pulling up the subfloor, you'll eventually get a rare look at the top of your fuel tank. This will be an ideal time to put in a new sending unit or perform any needed maintenance. You might even consider leaving a top access door for future use since dropping the fuel tank on these things can be a pain.

First off, get hold of a compact angle grinder with a cut off wheel. For this job it is far better than a Sawsall. I use a Milwaukee that has twice the power of most other brands. It is the fast easy way to deal with the rusty fasteners that you will encounter. It will also allow you to reach the fasteners that are holding the bottom wall plate (channel) of the shell down to the floor should you decide to proceed this far. BE VERY CAREFUL IF AND WHEN YOU'RE DOING THIS! A high speed cutting wheel will easily slice through the aluminum skin of your shell.

And just to keep my conscience clear, I would add the following ...
A high speed angle grinder with a cutting wheel can easily hurt you. NEVER PUSH IT INTO THE WORK!! IT WILL COME BACK AT YOU WITH A VENGEANCE!!! USE IT ONLY IN AN ORIENTATION WHERE ITS CUTTING ACTION IS PULLING IT AWAY FROM YOU! If you don't know what I mean by this, you'll find out in a hurry.

Back to the repair.... How big a job do you want to undertake? Do you plan on removing the inside skin, or lifting the shell? The video we've all watched shows an outer shell being landed on a flat deck. Keep in mind that your coach is now fully wired and plumbed. There are a lot of things connecting top to bottom.

For me, what started out as an effort to fix a couple of soft spots was quickly getting out of control. Its funny how that can happen when you're dealing with decaying particle board. To keep a lid on things I tried to avoid getting any further under the sill plate than necessary when working around the perimeter. As much as possible I used adhesives and resins to bond the new flooring to the old existing material under the sill. I'm satisfied with the results that I got, and expect it to hold up fine.

Since my coach has a rear garage, the pics show a recessed area in the center that was framed out to house a ramp that pulls out from beneath the floor.
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