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Old 06-12-2009, 05:04 PM   #29
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Welders welding... I might be back in business. I am hoping for a productive weekend. Hope you don't mind, I will be back to asking questions... Hope everyone is ready.
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:18 PM   #30
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Steve, Thanks again... In Shari's picture the under belly is not removed, correct? I hope I that is right... Because I have started to remove the entire sheet that attaches to the frame from beneath the trailer. I thought that was the under belly.

If I am correct... I don't think I got an answer on this question. I remove all the rivets from the under belly... and since it runs between the frame and the axle. I will need to pull the entire sheet from the rear of the trailer. Is that a correct assumption?

Thanks again.
Before you start replacing floor sections, you should address the cause of the water leaks, and make sure they are corrected. If not, then the new floor will also become damaged.

The entrance door could be warped as well as needing a new gasket. All the window gaskets, if not replaced in the past, will be bad. Check the ceiling vent cover gaskets as well as the sewer vent pipe area's on the roof. Access compartment door gaskets are also important.

The last possibilties for water leaks are the AC, and missing rivets, and of course damaged exterior metal.

Exterior sealer used are Vulkem for heavy seams and Par-bond for small seams. Missing rivets are replaced with Olympic rivets.

There are upgrades for all the gaskets that your trailer may need. Using the old style gaskets, is not recommended.

The broken chassis can be caused by unbalanced running gear and/or bad suspension, along with bad shocks.

It's wise to ask many questions before you start to tackle repairs so that you don't head off in the wrong direction, with your time as well as money.

Andy
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Old 06-12-2009, 11:04 PM   #31
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Thanks Andy, yes the leaks have been identified and corrected. The camper was at the Airstream factory, where they took care of correcting several of those things you mentioned. My problem was after I began looking at replacing the floor I discovered the main rail was cracked. The welders determined that the break was due to the pressure from the step. Over time that has weakened the piece of metal until it finally broke.

Now my problem is taking out the plywood flooring, which I have not been able to figure out completely. It seems that they are not easily removed, between the rusted bolts and the weight. I hope to get some suggestions on the procedure to remove the floor boards, that is what I will be tackling tomorrow.

Thanks again, this is such a great discussion forum. What a wealth of knowledge and willingness to share.

-Robert
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Old 06-13-2009, 03:34 AM   #32
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Thanks Andy, yes the leaks have been identified and corrected. The camper was at the Airstream factory, where they took care of correcting several of those things you mentioned. My problem was after I began looking at replacing the floor I discovered the main rail was cracked. The welders determined that the break was due to the pressure from the step. Over time that has weakened the piece of metal until it finally broke.

Now my problem is taking out the plywood flooring, which I have not been able to figure out completely. It seems that they are not easily removed, between the rusted bolts and the weight. I hope to get some suggestions on the procedure to remove the floor boards, that is what I will be tackling tomorrow.

Thanks again, this is such a great discussion forum. What a wealth of knowledge and willingness to share.

-Robert
As much as it becomes difficult to say, the factory sometimes misses things they should have caught, such as your frame.

What exact gasket did they install on thr back of the windows?

Andy
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Old 06-13-2009, 10:03 AM   #33
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Now my problem is taking out the plywood flooring, which I have not been able to figure out completely. It seems that they are not easily removed, between the rusted bolts and the weight. I hope to get some suggestions on the procedure to remove the floor boards, that is what I will be tackling tomorrow.
Robert, the way I took my subfloor up was to set the depth of my Skill saw just a touch less than the plywood thickness and made a cut down the center and all the way around the perimeter, right next to the C channel. That leaves a 4" or so wide strip remaining under the C channel to support the shell. I took a 1" hole saw with the pilot bit removed and drilled over the top of the elevator bolts down to the crossmembers. After that, the pieces of flooring lift right out. Vise grips can be used to snap the old elevator bolts in two to remove them.

cheers,
steve
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Old 06-13-2009, 01:34 PM   #34
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following up

Ok, that makes sense, so only an outline of the wood remains (the wood supporting the campers skeleton. I am guessing you did not have the ability to use the old woods as a template for the new floor. Right? So, lets say I get that done, did you then remove sections of the remaining wood and insert the new flooring? Did you use the same configuration for your floor? That is the 4x8 plywood has the 4 foot side running the length of the trailer. If so, how did you get the plywood in place? As I see the wood is wider and won't fit, not sure if it will bend into place.

Thanks again for all your help.
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Old 06-13-2009, 01:52 PM   #35
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The shell will flex out and in, and can accommodate the wood as it slides under the channel.

I did this, and talked about it in my blog linked below in my signature, some time in late December 2008 or early January, if you care to look.


It's not particularly easy, but it can be done.
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Old 06-13-2009, 02:18 PM   #36
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Ok, that makes sense, so only an outline of the wood remains (the wood supporting the campers skeleton. I am guessing you did not have the ability to use the old woods as a template for the new floor. Right? So, lets say I get that done, did you then remove sections of the remaining wood and insert the new flooring? Did you use the same configuration for your floor? That is the 4x8 plywood has the 4 foot side running the length of the trailer. If so, how did you get the plywood in place? As I see the wood is wider and won't fit, not sure if it will bend into place.

Thanks again for all your help.
The floor is a very important part of the shell.

To properly replace it, the shell should be removed.

To leave just the wood underneath the floor channel, and then splicing in the plywood sheets, severly weakens the monocoque construction.

Remember, the shell supports the frame.

When the wood is spliced, a noted above, in time you will find the outriggers have bent downwards.

That is caused by the lack of proper weight redistribution, because the floor does nothing more than support the interior, since it has ben disconnected from the shell.

Time will show the problem when you see the top of the galley and tables or any flat surface becomes tilted downward where it's connected to the shell, by and inch or more.

Simply stated. replacing the floor like that, totally destroys the construction principals.

Andy
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Old 06-13-2009, 04:06 PM   #37
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I don't think anybody here is talking about leaving the old wood under the C Channel, Andy. You do not have to remove the shell to replace the floor. It can be done with the shell on--many have done so.

cheers,
steve
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Old 06-13-2009, 04:21 PM   #38
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Steve,

Just double checking, I am attempting to insert my first floor board in the front of the camper. The shell of the camper is now below the board and I will need to raise it to get the shell back on the wood. How do you do this? Right now I have it close but it seems it is going to take some leverage to get things into place.

Thanks,

Robert
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Old 06-13-2009, 05:07 PM   #39
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Raising Shell

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Steve,
Just double checking, I am attempting to insert my first floor board in the front of the camper. The shell of the camper is now below the board and I will need to raise it to get the shell back on the wood. How do you do this? Right now I have it close but it seems it is going to take some leverage to get things into place.
Thanks,
Robert
I've just been doing the same thing, but starting at the rear of the trailer. I raised the shell with a hydraulic jack on each side. Go easy, it won't take much to raise it. I put a piece of wood between the jack and the C-channel to spread out the force.

Note that the jacks are only lifting the end of the shell slightly, most of the weight of the shell is still being supported by the strip of flooring left between the C-channel and the ends of the outriggers.
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Old 06-13-2009, 05:53 PM   #40
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Wow, you're really moving along. Did you paint your frame too?

Agree with DavidsonOverlander. Might be able to jack up a little under a window frame where you've got horizontal stringers using a wood block. Good idea also to have some strips of plywood scrap to wedge under the C channel above the outriggers where you can and pull those strips out as you ease in the new flooring.

cheers,
steve
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Old 06-14-2009, 10:28 PM   #41
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hello all... did not get much done today. i am still dealing with the same situation... getting my front floor board under the fame of the shell. i will be back at it tomorrow, i will give the jack another try. i was having diffulty with this approach today, i felt like the bottom of the frame (c channel) was gonna bend if i went any further. i had the frame just above the wood, but then it would not move on top of the board... maybe i am doing something wrong? if i get it back into position, can i push it from the outside in? i just don't want to bend anything... does it get any easier with subsequent boards? please say yes.
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:58 AM   #42
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hello all... did not get much done today. i am still dealing with the same situation... getting my front floor board under the fame of the shell. i will be back at it tomorrow, i will give the jack another try. i was having diffulty with this approach today, i felt like the bottom of the frame (c channel) was gonna bend if i went any further. i had the frame just above the wood, but then it would not move on top of the board... maybe i am doing something wrong? if i get it back into position, can i push it from the outside in? i just don't want to bend anything... does it get any easier with subsequent boards? please say yes.
I put the rear piece of floor in yesterday - I'm starting from the back and moving forward, repairing the frame and painting it as I go. I had hoped to do it all in one piece, but in the end I cut it down the middle and installed it in two pieces as it didn't seem as if the shell was going to flex enough to do it in one piece. I used a router to bevel the top and bottom of the edge of the plywood where it needs to go into the C-channel. I also used a rubber mallet to gently tap the C-channel into position over the edge of the plywood from the outside of the trailer.

I think the pieces in the middle of the trailer will go in in one piece - not sure about the front piece, but on my Sovereign it's not a full sheet, so it might.

At the rear of the trailer the frame hangs down a bit unless it is supported, unlike the front of the trailer where the frame is supported by the jack. Would it be easier if you supported the frame rails behind the point where you're replacing the front piece of plywood? This would transfer more of the weight to the wheels and perhaps allow the frame to flex and separate a bit more from the shell, giving you more space to slide the plywood in. I'd keep a bit of weight on the jack at the front for stability.

Grant
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