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Old 01-26-2018, 05:42 PM   #29
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1970 29' Ambassador
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Gen Thoughts

David, I also own a 70 Ambassador that was very similar to yours when I purchased it. I was able to replace the back 4' of the floor along with the door area and front two corners with the shell on. Pre cutting the marine grade plywood replacement with the use of patterns was a key to installing new subfloor All smells were removed when pulling pink insulation from floor and bathroom area. Could not have restored without all the great advice from some of the "old timers" who were actively posting about 8 years ago. Perhaps that was a time period when more of the 60 and 70 trailers were being restored. It took me two years to finish 90% of the rehab and I kept the original look. It sure sounds like you have the potential to do the same. I am glad I did not put myself under any time limits which would have taken some of the joy away. John
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Old 01-26-2018, 07:33 PM   #30
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Hi 02sheds: My Overlander didn't have any critters under the subfloor. I don't smell any dead ones in the trailer. My Limited and my Trade Wind did have mice infestations. A good cleaning starts from the bottom.

You have the floor covering is up. But one big job for you is to drop the belly pan aluminum. Jack up your Ambassador and make it absolutely safe to be under it. You will have to drop some of the propane lines. Drill out every rivet you see that holds up the belly pan. When you get it removed, pull out the pink insulation. Now you can see the subfloor, crossmember and frame rails. I only did the rear of my trailer from the bumper to the axles. And that's all I plan on doing this year.

The old stinky insulation is in the trash. I have repaired the rotted subfloor at the rear of the trailer and repaired the rear end separation. I cleaned and coated the floor, and painted the frame rails. Next is new insulation and new belly aluminum.

I understand your time constraints. I'm just describing what I did.

David
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Old 01-26-2018, 10:15 PM   #31
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Hi John, David,
Thanks for the responses! John, when you replaced the bath floor, did you remove the banana wraps, remove all bath fixtures, jack up the end of the Ambassador and then slide new plywood in?
And David, if I jack up the Airstream in order to get at the belly skin are there certain jack points that will still allow me to remove the belly skin? and will I need to us Olympic rivets to re-attach, or can I use sheet metal screws?
I removed the Pergo today, and found less water damage than I feared. Still, I would feel better if I start with a clean (and as dry as possible) Airstream, so I think I am going to go the route of removing the belly skin and all of the insulation underneath. I will replace it with 2" rigid foam.


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Old 01-26-2018, 10:37 PM   #32
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The floors look really good except where the rot it is. I'd cut out the bad and patch.

Most insulation looks really good from the 2nd panel up. May I suggest removing only the bottom interior panels and replace the insulation only there unless it looks like critters when farther. The bottom panels will have to come anyway to repair the floor. The least you disassemble the quicker you rehab goes.
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Old 01-26-2018, 11:26 PM   #33
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Hi Matt,
Thanks for the response. I will follow your and John's advice on the subfloor. Regarding the interior panels, I would love to go the route that you describe, but I know for a fact that the critters were in the ceiling because I had the distinct pleasure of hearing them as I walked through the AS just before it was towed to our home... I am just glad that they moved out! I will be patching every entrance I can find, that is for sure ...

Thanks,
David
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Old 01-27-2018, 06:17 AM   #34
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and will I need to us Olympic rivets to re-attach, or can I use sheet metal screws?

There is a special, large head, rivet for belly pan skins. VTS has them.
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Old 01-27-2018, 06:35 AM   #35
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Hi Mimi,
Thanks for the tip! I am possibly going to change the layout at some point -- sooner, if the bath fixtures break as easily as I have read here :-) In that case, are sheet metal screws used/recommended?


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David
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Old 01-27-2018, 06:53 PM   #36
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Hi 02sheds: Here is a photo of the jackstands I use to support the trailer just behind the rear axle. Yes, you and remove the belly skins with the trailer supported on the frame rails behind the axle plate as shown in the photo. I just trimmed around the belly aluminum at the jackstands. Of course, the A frame jack at the front of the trailer is the third weight bearing point. I also add additional screw type jack stands just for a safety back up.

Belly pan rivets are "pop" rivets as installed at the factory. Belly pans are not "bucked" riveted. The large flange rivets are what the factory uses, and so do I. They are readily available, even at your hardware store. There are lots of rivet suppliers. Sheet metal screws are used in the trailer also. My bath fixtures had more 1/8" diameter rivets holding it together than screws. Most of the cabinets are screwed to the subfloor or interior walls.

I might add I used 4" of the rigid foam insulation. It depends on where the trailer will be used. 2" is fine for warmer climates. You lose a lot more heat and cold through the windows and walls than you do the subfloor.

David
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Old 01-27-2018, 08:14 PM   #37
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Hi David,
Thanks! My path is becoming more clear...I will drop the belly pan, remove the insulation and install the 2" rigid foam, which should work in our climate...
I still hope to replace the rotten pieces of floor without removing the shell. I am quite apprehensive about removing the bath fixtures. I hope to reuse them, and I just know I will break them as they come out...


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Old 01-28-2018, 06:07 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2002sheds View Post
Hi David,
Thanks! My path is becoming more clear...I will drop the belly pan, remove the insulation and install the 2" rigid foam, which should work in our climate...
I still hope to replace the rotten pieces of floor without removing the shell. I am quite apprehensive about removing the bath fixtures. I hope to reuse them, and I just know I will break them as they come out...


Thanks,
David
I just removed the fixtures from the bath of my 70 Overlander without damage. Take a deep breath and go slowly !
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Old 01-28-2018, 06:44 PM   #39
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Hi B,
Thanks! Did you remove everything in the bath and the closet walls -- basically everything until the bed/s?
Any idea of around how many hours it took?


Thanks,
David
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Old 01-28-2018, 09:33 PM   #40
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David, I did not use jack stands. After removal of old original floor the gap was large enough to persuade the new floor in. Yes the banana wraps and all bathroom parts were removed along with the interior bathroom wall skin, bottom half only. There was a cross member in the steel framework at just about 4' forward from back floor edge. I was able to use a splice from under the remaining original floor to the new floor which tied the two pieces together. I also added two new outriggers to each side of the original frame and replaced the metal support at the C channel in the lic. plate area. I can look for pics tomorrow as you can tell, many things will be done to correct the separation/sag issues and you want to do this only one time. i have not noted very many 70 amb owners so I want to help as much as I can
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Old 01-29-2018, 09:47 AM   #41
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Hi Tx,
Great info! It sounds as if you did not drop the belly pan either -- is that correct? Or did you drop only the rear section?
I am very encouraged by the idea that I might be able to get that piece of replacement plywood in there!
Do you recall if it is 5/8? My floor is so rotten in some areas that is is hard to measure. Was it one piece that went in? I am still mystified by the process, but it sounds as if it will be much more clear as things come out.
And pictures would be very welcomed


Thanks,
David
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Old 01-29-2018, 10:17 AM   #42
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David, I have the pictures but having trouble posting for you and others to enjoy. I may have to wait on technical help from my daughter. I could do private message sooner if I knew how to do that. Working on how to now, especially since I have pulled the pictures and are on my desktop, John in TX
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