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Old 08-14-2011, 09:41 PM   #1
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1964 26' Overlander
Renton , Washington
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C-Channel?

I'm finally getting around to fixing the rotted floor on the front curb-side of my 64 Overlander. I've read a lot of posts and it's my understanding that there is a C-channel that runs around the frame and that the floor slips into the C-channel and is then bolted through the c-channel and the subfloor.

I've removed part of the rotted floor and I cannot find a C-channel, not at the curve, which sags even though not rotted, nor along the side where there is rot. It appears as if the floor was just on top of the frame and under the wall.

Am I misunderstanding how the floor was laid?

If there is supposed to be a c-channel and there is none, what do I do?

Thanks.

deb
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:07 PM   #2
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I'm refurbishing a 1964 Bambi II. The "c-channel" wasn't a c-channel in mine either. It was more like a u-channel. The channel is bolted directly to the floor--it doesn't slip in the channel. The skins are riveted to the rear of the channel, which sits up higher than the inside (front) of the channel. Make sense? If not, I can get a picture of what my channel looks like. I had new channel fabricated at a local shop. If you don't need a lot, you can bend it yourself. Mine was completely trashed. The c-channel was in newer models than ours.
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:26 PM   #3
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C-channels and U-channels

Thank you.

A picture would be very helpful. I think I'm seeing what you are describing, but my trailer doesn't seem to have that, either. All I can see is the metal beam that crosses the trailer and the metal beam that the wall is attached to.

Maybe I should post a picture, too.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:00 AM   #4
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Usually the 60's trailers have U channel that is bolted thru the floor. i made mine out of 3003 .032 Al and a 36" metal break, super easy.
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marzboy View Post
Usually the 60's trailers have U channel that is bolted thru the floor. i made mine out of 3003 .032 Al and a 36" metal break, super easy.
Yep, that's what mine has too.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:38 PM   #6
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Pictures please

Hi Deb, yup, a pic of what you have would be very helpful so we can all diagnose your dilemma.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dejahardy13 View Post
Thank you.

A picture would be very helpful. I think I'm seeing what you are describing, but my trailer doesn't seem to have that, either. All I can see is the metal beam that crosses the trailer and the metal beam that the wall is attached to.

Maybe I should post a picture, too.
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:28 PM   #7
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Where's the c-channel?

This is the view through the hole in the rotted floor. I can't find any kind of channel.

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This is the floor forward of the hole. The wood isn't rotted, but it sinks half an inch if you step on it, as if nothing is holding it up.

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The wall is in the way of seeing what might be above, but wouldn't the channel be at the same level as the beam that crosses the trailer?

All help gratefully accepted.
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dejahardy13
This is the view through the hole in the rotted floor. I can't find any kind of channel.

<img src="http://www.airforums.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=138001"/>

This is the floor forward of the hole. The wood isn't rotted, but it sinks half an inch if you step on it, as if nothing is holding it up.

<img src="http://www.airforums.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=138002"/>

The wall is in the way of seeing what might be above, but wouldn't the channel be at the same level as the beam that crosses the trailer?

All help gratefully accepted.
Yours may have done what mine did. After prolonged exposure to moisture and the chemicals present in plywood (lye specifically) the aluminum begins a chemical process and breaks down. Over time it can separate from itself and may have just fallen out? A section of mine was hanging on by just one 1/8" sliver. Here are some pics of the afflicted area that fell out.
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:32 PM   #9
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Your missing c-channel

I posted under your photo, but I probably misspoke. I thought the trailer was closer to the age of mine, 1992. I have no idea what is in a vintage trailer like yours. Better ask the vintage folks. You may have something entirely different. That's what I get for opening my mouth before I looked closer to see what kind of trailer you actually have! Sorry.
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:59 AM   #10
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Okay, I think it important you learn and understand Airstream construction before you take on what is a very serious(but not too hard) repair.

To actually see the "c" channel you need to remove that interior skin. The channel is the filling in a wall sandwich. It is bolted to the floor and also into the outriggers. Drill off the interior skin and you will clearly see your "c" channel is in place.

To Phrunes, I have never heard of lye in plywood. Is it also the mouse urine? Because it is mouse urine that eats aluminum channel in most cases. Nasty fact, but true.
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62overlander
Okay, I think it important you learn and understand Airstream construction before you take on what is a very serious(but not too hard) repair.

To actually see the "c" channel you need to remove that interior skin. The channel is the filling in a wall sandwich. It is bolted to the floor and also into the outriggers. Drill off the interior skin and you will clearly see your "c" channel is in place.

To Phrunes, I have never heard of lye in plywood. Is it also the mouse urine? Because it is mouse urine that eats aluminum channel in most cases. Nasty fact, but true.
Anothe strange one but yes, wet decomposing wood creates lye. That mouse urine fact is just disgustin! Haha
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:35 AM   #12
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Ooooooooooooooo

Quote:
Originally Posted by 62overlander View Post
Okay, I think it important you learn and understand Airstream construction before you take on what is a very serious(but not too hard) repair.

To actually see the "c" channel you need to remove that interior skin. The channel is the filling in a wall sandwich. It is bolted to the floor and also into the outriggers. Drill off the interior skin and you will clearly see your "c" channel is in place.
Not hard? Oooooookay.

I don't really understand why I can't see it since the wood is not there anymore, but I do understand the concept and have read that it is best to drop the belly skin to replace the floor.

I'm not sure if I have the original interior skin. Is it supposed to be a type of composition board?

Is the channel aluminum or steel? Mouse urine. Plywood lye. Wow!

Thanks, everyone. You're giving me a great education!
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dejahardy13 View Post
I'm not sure if I have the original interior skin. Is it supposed to be a type of composition board?

Is the channel aluminum or steel?
The interior skin is aluminum sheet, with a Zolatone finish. The floor channel is aluminum.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:57 PM   #14
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Misconceptions

Thank you, 62Overlander (Terri?). You have corrected several of my misconceptions. I had thought the c-channel was steel. I had also thought that there was a steel beam on each side of the chassis. I completely misunderstood about the outriggers. Up until now, the pictures I had seen of the floor still had the shell on. After getting your post, I went looking for more pictures of just the chassis. Wow! How wrong can you be?

Marzboy, how does a U-channel work? I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around it. It looks like the floor would be held up by just the edge of the lower side of the U.

Does anyone know of a book that discusses how Airstreams are built and how to use and fix one?

Thanks again, all. I would love more information about how to go about this fairly cheaply by a complete novice. :-)

deb
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