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Old 04-08-2010, 10:03 PM   #1
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Huntley , Illinois
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Any help near Huntley IL with floor replacement in '91 Excella

We have a 91 Excella that needs about the rear 4'x8' under the rear window replaced. The floor is rotted through right under the back window. We think we'll be able to make the repair ourselves, but are wondering if there is anyone local that might be able to give us some pointers before we start taking things apart. We don't want to start this project until we're sure we know what we're getting ourselves into. We've done a lot of work on a lot of different things, but this will be our first attempt at repairing an Airstream. It sounds like a pretty major job, and thought it might be helpful if we could find someone local that might be able to give us a few pointers, including information on disassembling the bumper, banana wrap, belly pan and re-assembling. Thanks in advance for any help, pictures, advice anyone can give us.
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Old 04-09-2010, 07:45 PM   #2
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enosburg , Vermont
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Hi, I think I remember back to two post!!!! Floor repair is the way to jump right in, no dippin the toes, way to go.. A '91 is to modern for my hands on experiance. Some things are the same right up through. You will have to remove the interior panels above the repair area, that means anything blocking you also has to go. The floor bolts go through the C-chanel, plywood floor then frame outriggers. All access to these things is between the inner & outer shells. Drill out the rivits in the belly pan & it will drop. You should only need to go a few ft beyond the repair area with pan disconnect. Replace pan rivits with large head pop rivits [1/2" dia. head, sometimes called raceing rivits]. Because the plywood extends under the C-chanel & the body is "on frame" the replacement will probably have to be in two pieces to slid into place. If so have a well backed joint. Do you have waste tanks under the floor in this area? If so they are a joy to deal with, especially the connections. Floor bolts are rusted and usually bent over. Waste of time trying to wrench them, I grind off the heads with an angle grinder & tap them through with a punch. Nice to pull it up on ramps to have room to work under. Block it up well, ain't worth dying for. Carefull on jacking, easy to twist a frame with jacks. The best news,,,,,,you're doing the toughest job on the rig. Anything else will seem easy!!!Yup its worth it.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:36 PM   #3
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Rear bath or rear bed? Makes a world of difference in how much work needs to be done.
I was able to section a piece of new floor into the rear of my '67 by sliding it in from behind.
I'm up by 176. Send me a PM.

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Old 04-09-2010, 09:50 PM   #4
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Lots of floor info on the forums, but even a "small" floor repair is a big job. If your bath is in the rear is gets real big. When I replaced the rear floor in my Trade Wind I sealed all the edges of the new wood with West System epoxy. Came in about 5 inches from the edge on top and bottom. On the rest of the wood I put 3 coats of marine poly spar varnish. Figured leaks cause the rot the first time, so if there are ever more leaks the wood will have protection.

HD now has the self tapping flooring screws that you use in places where you can't get to the back of the elevator bolts to put nuts on them.
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:40 AM   #5
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It's rear twin beds. We've pulled them out already, and are about ready to start taking things apart. Thanks for all info. It sounds like, if we take off the bumper, banana wrap, and part of the belly pan, we should be able slide the new floor in from the back. Does anyone have pictures?
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Old 04-15-2010, 06:23 AM   #6
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The floor must slide in from the inside because it must go into the C-channel. There are lots of pics on the forums of just how this looks.
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:42 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone. It took us a while, but we finished the job at the tail end of fall and were able to take it out once before the snow fell. Thanks, Tom for coming out and for all the advice. You were a huge help, and helped get us motivated to take on such a big job. The floor did have to go in in pieces from the inside and did have to slide into a c-channel around the edges. Replaced the original fiber board (which disintegrated) with plywood coated with spar polyurethane. Buying an inexpensive air rivet gun was the best investment we ever made.
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