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Old 12-17-2010, 10:19 PM   #71
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It will be better than what was there before, and that has already lasted how many years?
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Old 12-18-2010, 01:20 PM   #72
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Hi Daniel,
If your crossmembers are spaced at 48" on center and you want to lap the seams from one sheet to the next you will need plywood that is slightly wider than 48". I went with 5/8" exterior siding with 1/2" lap joints on the long edges only. It comes in 48-1/2" widths, so it fits the spacing perfectly. I glued the laps together when I laid the floor, and then I bolted through the seam into the crossmembers. The construction is the same as original for my model and year with the addition of waterproof glue at the seams. The seam at the door was rotten from the doorway to the center of the floor, because the seam acted as a wick and allowed the water to travel along it almost 4'.
I also sealed the sheets on all surfaces with water-based floor finish and exterior latex paint on the bottom and edges as well. Water-based floor finish is very good at holding up to water exposure and readily available.
For bolts I used the ones from VTS and I installed them with large flat washers, to back-up the thin steel of the crossmembers, and then locking washers and ny-lock nuts. By tightening them with an impact driver I was able to pull the large boltheads into the plywood surface flush in most cases. Where they went through knots in the surface ply they have to be drilled in with a spade bit a little more than 1/16" so they will sit flush or lower. On some of them the flat head of the bolt cupped down in the center and left the edges above the surface. I whacked those with a hammer to set them, and then went back down to the basement and re-tightened them.
I feel no need to bend the bolts over with this set-up.

Best of the holidays to you,
Rich the Viking
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:21 PM   #73
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Thanks Rich. I didn't even consider exterior siding. I've been preoccupied with being baffled by why the tongue in groove flooring breaks on 47 1/2", and complaining to everyone who would listen (and some who didn't) how ridiculous it is for them to make it like that when all house floor systems are 16" oc. The guy at the lumber yard said that you have to lay the t.i.g. long-wase.
Anyway, exterior lap sheathing just might be the trick. To Lowes with my tape I go..
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Old 12-19-2010, 04:54 PM   #74
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Rich, was this T1 11 that you used? If so, does it have grooves in it?
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Old 12-19-2010, 05:34 PM   #75
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I would say T1-11 has way too much flex to be useful in this application. It's great in compression, but it twists really easily, and it's useless in tension.
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:59 PM   #76
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ditto on Dave Park comment. The effective (strenght) width of T1-11 is the width at the grove.

T & G Plywood flooring is usually 3/4"(23/32). Run the 8 foot length on the shortest span between supports. Leave an 1/8"gap between between sheets to allow for expansion. Sealing ends is a great idea IMHO.

Making progress almost to the fun part. Don'y forget to run your wires prior to closing up you floor.

Regards
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:17 PM   #77
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If you can get the stuff without the grooves you will not have any issues with flexing. The face of the plywood that I got was a bandsawn surface, which I used as the bottom. The back was smooth faced but with knot holes which I am filling with bondo prior to laying the final floor. With my seams glued and bolted through the frame it's as close to a single sheet floor as I could make.

Best of the Holidays to you,
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:50 AM   #78
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Hey Daniel, you may want to conceder at least marine grade ply with varnish. The floor has so put up with many forces (heat, cold, vibration etc). I am at this cross road too. Since it is a structural element, you have to do your research well. Remember what a bitch it was to do all of this? You don't want to do it again any time soon! I am also considering going with Nyloboard. It is a composite made from recycled carpet. I got a sample of the 3/4" and its pretty nice.
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:08 PM   #79
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Understood. This is an important decision. Still, I'm leaning heavily toward using some good 3/4" plywood. I believe that it can be sealed well against moisture.

The one think that makes me very nervous about this is where the floor meets the shell. From what I understand plywood is most vulnerable on the edges, and, in my mind this is the biggest moisture threat. Because condensation inside the shell has nowhere to go except down... right to the bottom of the shell.. at the edge of the plywood. If I can get some peace of mind that this threat can be neutralized, I think that I'm going to go with the wood.
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:48 PM   #80
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Don't feel bad about using wood. Just seal it well, seal the edges, and after drilling holes, seal the inside of those too. The existing wood had none of the sealing benefits yours will, and it lasted 36 years. You'll get significantly more than that from your well-prepared replacement wood floor.
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Old 12-24-2010, 09:42 AM   #81
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I've found the stuff that I'm going to use. It's going to have to be

BC Pine ULX Exterior
23/32x4x8
$31.97 at Lowes

I'll need 7 sheets.
The voids are already filled, so I can just seal it up real good.. and what not..
Getting the new chassis cleaned and rustproofed this weekend.
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Old 12-25-2010, 08:37 PM   #82
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Hi Dan
You might want to think about a perimeter strip of snow and ice shield on the plywood edges. They make that stuff in 6" rolls to go around windows/doors in new construction. Lowe's or HD whould have it.

It is a rubber membrane about 1/8" thick that would provide both a thermal and moisture break. I use it for all kinds of stuff. Should be no more then $30.

Regards to you and yours this Christmas
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Old 12-26-2010, 05:51 AM   #83
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This looks like great stuff. Thanks for the suggestion!
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:19 AM   #84
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It is great stuff, but I would not use it between the c channel and the floor.

A large part of the rigidity of the system comes from the rigid join of the C channel to the steel frame, using the wood floors as the joining method. This rubber membrane would need to go all sides to prevent the C touching the wood. This adds 2 x 1/8" to thickness (which needs to be deducted from wood. Also, it's a moving joint, which allows bolts to wear against wood, aluminum to move and fatigue.

I think this isn't the right application for that product. I think the usual resin coats will work as effectively at blocking water. I also think the spray on rubber for tool handles could give you a conforming rubber surface that is much thinner and would block any gaps between aluminum and wood without creating these other issues, if you wanted to do that. It would also have the effect of quietening the trailer by damping in the same way that car underbodies are noise-damped.
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