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Old 07-24-2009, 09:16 AM   #1
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1979 31' Sovereign
Rineyville , Kentucky
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 262
Floor question on '79 Sov

Ok, so I understand that in the 70's some weight savings cuts were made.. I am just about ready to scab in the replacement areas that were rotted out in the bedroom.. and found my subfloor material is for sure 1/2 inch thick. I don't see anyway to change to 3/4, without removing the shell, which, well, I do not want to do. the subfloor is exposed thru the whole trailer, and there is no spot where there apears to be a change, so it must have come that way.

any thoughts?any advice beyond buying the best 1/2" plywood I can get?

I know where to get high quality real 7 ply 1/2" birch ply, no problem there, just seems weird, you know?


See our blog here on how two RV/AS rookies tackle a 1979 Sovereign resto!!

Just the photos.. (sometimes you don't need the blog, just a picture worth a thousand words..)

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Old 07-24-2009, 09:59 AM   #2
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1978 31' Sovereign
Texas Airstream Harbor , Zavalla, in the Deep East Texas Piney Woods on Lake Sam Rayburn
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That is what I used on mine - perfect fit.

See additional pics in my '78 Sovereign thread.

Be sure to work it fully back into the "C" channel and fasten it between the ribs. I used the same material (had to purchase a 4' X 8' sheet) as scab plys underneath. I installed the scabs from the hole I had opened (where I did not have to remove the belly pan). I fitted the scabs about 6" in all of the way around, then dropped the patch piece on top (and under the channel), then glued and screwed everything together.

1/2" Old vs 1/2" New - Wish I would have put a tape on there for the pic.


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Old 08-07-2009, 06:41 AM   #3
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How about using marine grade (pressure treated) 1/2" material, or untreated with a coat of polyurathane (or maybe linseed oil?) to seal the sub floor?
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:39 AM   #4
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1973 27' Overlander
1972 29' Ambassador
St. Paul , Minnesota
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Some pressure treated reacts with Aluminum - besides that it ALL has an odor that in such an intimate space as an Airstream will be overwhelming, so not a good idea.

After seeing the damage wreaked by water I used a vinyl-ester resin (thinned with xylene for first two coats) with three additional coats for the single sheet I replaced on the rear bath flooring and that left it with a glassy hard finish. The most important part is the end - edge cuts and the six inches or so around the shell to keep wicking and small amounts of covert leakage from promoting real damage.

Don't put much faith in "Marine Grade" unless you can have multiple products in front of you to compare - a furniture grade may have a harder outer lamination layer and even higher lamination count. I was disappointed how soft the $80 sheet I purchased was with the OEM self-tapping floor screws never seating at the same spot twice when torqued into place AND more than a few almost pulling themselves completely through the panel, and that is excluding the voids that were found.

There is a better grade plywood meant for construction ie: concrete forms, temporary scaffolding or chutes, etc. that may be superior to the original grade and meant for areas where safety trumps price...

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