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Old 02-21-2018, 01:05 PM   #1
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1972 Argosy 22
Valrico , Florida
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72 Argosy rear bathroom floor rot - idea on replacing

Hi everyone!

We recently acquired a 22' 1972 argosy. Love the camper (even though she needs a bit of TLC) but we discovered that the rear bathroom floor is in pretty bad shape, as most of the campers have. Obviously I'll be taking care of the leak points in the rear as most have done on this forum, but I had a question about the subfloor itself. I see that most folks on this forum have gutted the bathroom and partially removed the interior skin to get access to the bolts that attach the subfloor to the C-channel on the rear end.

I guess my real question is, could it be possible to cut out the rotted section of subfloor all the way across the width of the camper and replace it from beneath without having to do a major gut or off-frame replacement? My subfloor only appears to be rotted back about 6 inches or so, and I'd obviously have to be careful not to cut into the black water tank, but has anyone tried (or succeeeded) in replacing it from under the camper itself, leaving the bathroom intact?

My suspicion is that the answer is going to be no, since I think the biggest issue would be gaining access to the bolts that attach the channel to the subfloor. Check out the pics below. I clearly need to replace the rear most metal cross member since it's practically non-existent at the moment. I can handle that. I'd just like to replace the subfloor without a major disassembly if at all possible.

Thoughts?
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Old 02-21-2018, 01:35 PM   #2
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1975 Argosy 28
Springville , Alabama
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You are correct. You need access to the bolts. Many do shell on subfloor and frame repairs. Taking the lower skins off is not that bad nor is repairing your damage. Shortcuts tend to Leeds to more time, work and money. Do it right the first time and it's done. Look forward to seeing the process. One argosy restorer to another
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Old 02-21-2018, 07:26 PM   #3
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Thanks Matt! Yeah, I was trying to come up with ideas of doing it from below and maybe finding a way to add bolts from the bottom up, but I was coming up with a blank. I really need to get in there and see it first hand since I'm just going with a visual in my head based on what I've read from other members on here. I really didn't want to tear up the bathroom, but it sounds like that might be the only way to go...
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Old 02-21-2018, 08:55 PM   #4
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hartselle , Alabama
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The bathroom tear out/build back isn't as bad as you have it worked up to be. If you can run a drill, rivet gun and turn a wrench, it's pretty straight forward. Take the time and refinish all of the plastic while you have it out, sanding and fresh paint makes a huge difference. New faucets improve the looks and also help on the tear out as you can cut lines instead of trying to free 46 year old plumbing fittings. Depending on your finances and time constraints it would be a great time to update the plumbing to pex if it hasn't already been done.

The one regret that I have from our rear end fix, done almost 15 years ago, was not adding a grey tank. One of these days I'll have to address rear rot again and a grey tank will be added.
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Old 02-22-2018, 09:22 AM   #5
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lacombe , Alberta
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get a small drill and buy some pop rivits

There is no easy way to repair floor rot.
you could skin another layer over top.......from the inside

or you could remove the existing floor and replace it.....from the inside.

I suppose you could screw and glue plywood from underneath assuming that there is still some of the original floor with integrity. You'd still have to fill the voids in the old floor afterwards....from the inside.

b
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Old 02-22-2018, 09:27 AM   #6
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There is a good video showing a family replacing a bad section such as yours. They did not remove the interior skins, they slotted the new plywood and slid it into the C channel.

There are lots of threads with pictures on this forum showing this type of repair you can look at too.
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Old 02-23-2018, 12:15 PM   #7
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1972 Argosy 22
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Thanks for all the great feedback!

Well, here's where I am so far. I removed the belly pan at the back and also the rub rail and the bumper storage compartment to get a better view. I guess my main question at this point is do I need to remove anything further from the outside or can I start working on the inside? I wasn't sure if it was absolutely necessary to remove the lower skin to gain better access to that rear most cross member (that CLEARLY needs to be replaced).

I like the idea of slotting the plywood and inserting it in, but I have to replace that cross member anyway, so I'm thinking there's some additional disassembly required to get better access to it.
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Old 03-27-2018, 02:43 PM   #8
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1972 Argosy 22
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March 2018 update!

It's been a little while since I updated this post. So far, I've been able to gut the bathroom (talk about a non-issue! Easily done in 4 hours, so don't be afraid to gut the bathroom if you have rear floor rot!). I've gotten a new metal crossmember made at my local metal fabricator and will be welding it in this weekend. My question now is, how the heck are folks jacking up the rear of the trailer to slide in the new subfloor? I've read about lots of folks doing this, but I can't see where the heck to do it from. The interior aluminum frame and the C-channel all look fairly lightweight to use as a jacking point. I ended up cutting the new subfloor down the middle into two halves to make it easier to insert, but I'd still like to raise the rear just a little (1/4 - 1/2 inch) to make it easier to slide these suckers in. Any suggestions?

I know pictures are always preferred, and they are coming in the next day or two. I took pictures along the way of the bathroom gut and I plan to try and post those in somewhat of a sequence/order to assist with anyone else who is curious about replacing the rear floor rot in the argosy/AS.
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Old 04-12-2018, 09:09 AM   #9
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Elk Rapids , Michigan
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Don't know if you've done it already....

I've read about people placing jackstands on the frame rails strategically so that the frame sags and leaves the shell kinda hanging in space if that makes any sense. I just did the front floor of mine and the way I had it set-up on my sloped driveway there was very little weight on the tongue. Plenty of space to get the plywood in so I think I would give that a try.

Thanks for the report on removing the bathroom, I was just under the back of my trailer and this repair is on my list for the summer.

John
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Old 04-12-2018, 08:20 PM   #10
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Well, tub was not fun. Happy I had my HF vibrating cutter, there were about one million pop rivets bedded in the strongest goop available in 1978.

Anyone have a good idea how to attach the tub again if I want to put it back?

Cheers,

John
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:43 PM   #11
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Looks like we are on the same path. I just came inside after gutting the bathroom in my 72 Argosy. Im just beginning to think about how to get the plywood reinstalled in one piece. Also what type of plywood is best along with any recommended coatings. Maybe a grey water tank....
How did your project go this weekend?
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Old 04-17-2018, 05:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squarenutt View Post
Looks like we are on the same path. I just came inside after gutting the bathroom in my 72 Argosy. Im just beginning to think about how to get the plywood reinstalled in one piece. Also what type of plywood is best along with any recommended coatings. Maybe a grey water tank....
How did your project go this weekend?
Hi there,

Well, this weekend wasn't good. Trailer is buried in snow, goal is to get the floor replaced before I leave for work again next Monday.

I've personally never done a full sheet across the trailer so can't give any advice there except to point to you toward this thread

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f46/...-100164-2.html

I'm hoping my floor is intact enough to just patch like I did the front. As for wood I've been using 1/2 pressure treated plywood. If I could get redwood ply I might use that but I kinda like redwood trees standing up in the forest....

I've seen lots of threads about coating the floor, trying to keep rot from ever happening again. From what I've seen in my trailers the cause of rot seems to be exclusively water leaking or coming in from outside. I will try to do something in the back to keep water from coming under the shell where the hose compartment is but as much as I want to do a quality job I'm not going to worry if somebody has to repair the floor again in 40 years. It won't be me

Yes, you do want a grey water tank and that may affect the extent of modifications you do. I'm trying to keep my changes to a minimum to cut down on complexity and cost. If I really want a different configuration I'll start looking for another trailer after this one is done.

Cheers,

John
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:28 AM   #13
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1972 Argosy 20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewsx View Post
Hi there,

Well, this weekend wasn't good. Trailer is buried in snow, goal is to get the floor replaced before I leave for work again next Monday.

I've personally never done a full sheet across the trailer so can't give any advice there except to point to you toward this thread

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f46/...-100164-2.html

I'm hoping my floor is intact enough to just patch like I did the front. As for wood I've been using 1/2 pressure treated plywood. If I could get redwood ply I might use that but I kinda like redwood trees standing up in the forest....

I've seen lots of threads about coating the floor, trying to keep rot from ever happening again. From what I've seen in my trailers the cause of rot seems to be exclusively water leaking or coming in from outside. I will try to do something in the back to keep water from coming under the shell where the hose compartment is but as much as I want to do a quality job I'm not going to worry if somebody has to repair the floor again in 40 years. It won't be me

Yes, you do want a grey water tank and that may affect the extent of modifications you do. I'm trying to keep my changes to a minimum to cut down on complexity and cost. If I really want a different configuration I'll start looking for another trailer after this one is done.

Cheers,

John
I'm with ya, I prefer living trees to lumber. East of me here in Fort Worth out towards Louisiana are miles and miles of trees destined to become either paper or lumber. I kind of think of them like I do a field full of cows. Enjoy it while it lasts guys.
I think I'm going to go with whatever thickness plywood Home Depot sells that fits the bill and coat it with some kind of garage floor Epoxy paint. I think coating the edges will have the most effect. Endgrain let's a lot more water in. I'm told all most all plywood these days has waterproof glue in its construction and at that is the main difference in marine-grade plywood other than the voids.
Considering I have a trip coming up in 2 weeks I'm going to avoid adding a grey water tank at this time. I'm just replacing the plywood from the bathroom door to the taillights. When it comes time to do the other floor I can add it then closer to the axle.
It's hard for me to imagine snow on the ground. It's pushing 90 here right now.
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