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Old 11-13-2015, 11:02 PM   #1
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1950 21' Flying Cloud
Newland , North Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2015
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Question 1950 pipe frame ? uneven cross-member question?

I'm doing a shell-off restoration on a 1950 Flying Cloud #7002.

The pipe frame has been beefed-up with additional steel and now it's ready for a new sub-floor.

Oddly, the aluminum cross-members that are still connected to the pipe as they originally were are not all in the same plane. There is 1/2" or more variation in height from one to the next in spots.

Additionally, there is no support on the tail end and the subfloor would have to sag a good 1/2" or more from the last cross-member in the rear until it rests on the pipe in the center.

It seems the subfloor would quite uneven if I simply attach the wood to the aluminum cross-members as they are. My thought is to rip shims of pressure-treated 2x material to caulk into place and then screw through them.

These could correct all of the cross-members that are too low. Also these shims could provide extra support if used between the steel pipe or frame and the subfloor in various spots where additional support could be helpful.

Has anyone got any experience with this issue or suggestions for me?


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Ryan Franks
1978 Sovereign Land Yacht 31'
1950 Flying Cloud 21'
Newland, NC
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Old 11-14-2015, 04:43 AM   #2
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1959 26' Overlander
Western , Massachusetts
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Wow, Ryan, that is a beautiful trailer. I found your pictures in your main thread.

I'd offer two suggestions:
(1) Don't use pressure treated wood near aluminum. Assuming that they are still using high levels of copper in wood, there will be significant corrosion of the aluminum in contact with the wood.
(2) Get hold of Colin Hyde of Colin Hyde Trailer Restorations. He's a forum member, but is pretty busy lately and may not see this thread. You can also ask a question on the Vap and hopefully get an answer from him on the next show.

Good luck -- great project.

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Old 11-14-2015, 09:41 AM   #3
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1950 21' Flying Cloud
Allen , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 537
1950 pipe frame ? uneven cross-member question?

As you lay plywood lay another one foot piece on the rib that is low. I wonder if the low ribs are where plywood would abut? This underneath piece would help with the joint and being able to put bolts through to the rib. Where a joint and rib meet you need a solid piece to put a bolt through. If the low rib is not at a joint just use the same plywood as the floor.

For the back I used a short piece of steel channel I mounted to the pipe. The last 4 feet that extend past the last rib are held up by the monocoque structure of the shell. Unless you put a bath in the very back you probably will rarely stand there. I had the same reservations and after I had it all together I realized that you rarely ever stand there. Only to open and close curtains.

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