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Old 08-15-2012, 10:09 PM   #1
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1975 31' Sovereign
Olympia , Washington
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1975 Sovereign, shell-on subfloor repair...

So I've got a partially rotten subfloor. Here's a picture!

I'm feeling it out, bashing the subfloor with a crowbar to see where the rot is, and then after digging the rot hole wider, I determine if any part of the frame is in the way, and then chop it off with a reciprocating saw.

I will then cut a piece of plywood to fill in the new hole.

Should I be removing the whole subfloor? How do I do that?
I can't seem to find anything like a "c-channel" or "rub rail."
I'd like to remove the floor so that I can coat resin or something waterproof on the bottom, to keep this from happening again. I just can't see how to remove it...

Thank you for your time!
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:38 PM   #2
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Is the body perfect on that trailer? No dents? All good screens with clear windows and no fogging of laminated glass?

By the looks of your picture, you're going to need frame repair . . if not frame replaced.

If the frame is bad, it's gonna cost ya $20,000 above purchase price to end up with a $12 - $14,000 trailer.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:39 PM   #3
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
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Firstly Welcome to the forums! My TT has a very different style of C channel but I believe yours wraps around the outside edge of the flooring. I am sure somebody with more personal knowledge will chime in soon. Probably only visible when you remove the lower section of the inner skin.
If the amount of rotten floor is fairly small it can be replaced without completely dismantling your AS but be sure that you remove the remaining wood between the shell and frame, remove also the bolts that go through the plywood then replace the plywood all the way to the C channel. Dont try a short cut here or you will regret it later.
From the amount of rust visible in the first picture I would suggest taking a good look at the frame at this point.
I do have one completely off topic question after seeing your third pic. DID SOMEONE SHOTGUN YOUR TRAILER?
Tim
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:52 PM   #4
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1975 31' Sovereign
Olympia , Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splitrock View Post
Is the body perfect on that trailer? No dents? All good screens with clear windows and no fogging of laminated glass?

By the looks of your picture, you're going to need frame repair . . if not frame replaced.

If the frame is bad, it's gonna cost ya $20,000 above purchase price to end up with a $12 - $14,000 trailer.
The body is very far from perfect. I just hammered out some massive dents the other day after removing the old insulation. I'll include a link to my work blog in my signature!
The windows are pretty alright. They don't fog up, but one of the lower ones that doesn't open has a bizarre mark inside it.
But what you're saying about the frame has me very worried.... Can't I just get rid of the rust? Put some rust protection on it? I can't afford that at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rumrunner View Post
Firstly Welcome to the forums! My TT has a very different style of C channel but I believe yours wraps around the outside edge of the flooring. I am sure somebody with more personal knowledge will chime in soon. Probably only visible when you remove the lower section of the inner skin.
If the amount of rotten floor is fairly small it can be replaced without completely dismantling your AS but be sure that you remove the remaining wood between the shell and frame, remove also the bolts that go through the plywood then replace the plywood all the way to the C channel. Dont try a short cut here or you will regret it later.
From the amount of rust visible in the first picture I would suggest taking a good look at the frame at this point.
I do have one completely off topic question after seeing your third pic. DID SOMEONE SHOTGUN YOUR TRAILER?
Tim
Haha, this trailer apparently saw more than one hailstorm in Idaho. I'll take the floor apart tomorrow!
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:05 PM   #5
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1975 31' Sovereign
Pierre , South Dakota
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Drop the belly pan(that's the piece of aluminum pop riveted to the bottom of the frame) then you can take a look at what you have. It ain't gonna be pretty.
Your going to have to do it at some point so you might as well get the shock and nasty part over. There's going to be 37 years of everything from frame parts,material left over from original construction to rats nest and poop.
Do a lot of reading in the frame and subfloor section on this forum.
Good luck,
Jack
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:12 PM   #6
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It may be a little rare to have wood floor damage with no frame damage. Usually the wood and the frame go together unless there's early intervention including leak repair.

In my opinion, that body's not worth spending too much on. The reason we don't fix up bad body trailers is when they're repaired we're not proud of them and they won't bring enough (if any) of our repair money on re-sale.

If I'm looking for a project, I'd be much better off spending 10 or 12 grand on a nice clean body trailer with a good frame. Then I can spend a year of weekends and 3 or 4 grand in improvements like some new fixtures and a polish job, and get most or all of my money back on a re-sale.

Just my .02

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Old 08-15-2012, 11:18 PM   #7
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
mapleton , Utah
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When you say that your trailer was previously owned by meth heads do you mean that it could possibly have been used as a meth lab?
If this is the case you really need to remove anything organic or permeable which might have absorbed toxic vapors-namely the whole floor Follow up with a thorough pressure washing of the shell and frame and you should be ready to start fresh.
Dont panic about the cost of replacing the frame yet. Do take a really good look at it and evaluate the overall condition then factor in your willingness/ability to tackle this project. If you think you can handle the long haul it will be worth it! From what I am seeing in your pictures and blog this is not going to be either quick or easy but is probably doable.
The general rule here is that it will cost at least twice as much as you budget and take at least 3 times as long as you have allowed but that can vary depending on your dedication.
most importantly- this is all about having fun, so have fun
tim
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:00 PM   #8
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1975 31' Sovereign
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Thanks for the advice, y'all.
There wasn't a lab in here, as far as I can tell, but my girlfriend did find a meth pipe buried in the insulation behind the walls.
I'll get the floor out today and see what's what, I suppose!
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:25 PM   #9
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If you want to get the entire floor out, you might as well go all-in and do a shell off (because the plywood is sandwiched between the shell and the frame). To do so, you need to pull the aluminum trim pieces that cover the rivets that connect the shell to the C-channels on the outside, and drill out the pop rivets that hold the banana wraps and edges of the belly pan on. At this point, you will be able to look into the belly of the beast, so to speak, and have a little better idea of what is going on.

If you decide to proceed, you need to drill out the bucked rivets that hold the shell to the C-channels, and then lift the shell off the frame. I would then pull all the plywood off the frame, and flip it over before drilling out all the rivets that hold the bellypan on. It is not unusual for '70's era trailers to rot out in the back, and this is usually accompanied by disintegrating frame. I replaced about the back 4 ft. of frame and cross members in my '73, and had to repair most of the outriggers, but it only cost me ~$450 to do that.

If your frame is just rusty, and your floor isn't rotten all over, then maybe you can just patch it and avoid the shell-off. Judging from your picture, though, I would bet you'll have to do some welding on that frame.

Good luck.
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