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Old 04-07-2006, 04:41 PM   #1
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1973 29' Ambassador
hastings , Florida
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Floor Repair

I BOUGHT A 1973 29 FT AMBASSADORE AND RITE AWAY I STARTED TO LOOK AROUND SOME OF YALL SAID THAT IS A BAD THING TO DO. WELL I FOUND OUT THAT THE MAN THAT OWNED THE CAMPER BEFORE ME HAD REPAIRED THE REAR FLOOR AND I USE THE WORD REPAIR LIGHTLY!!!THE FLOOR HAD ROTTED OUT FROM UNDER THE REAR CHANNEL OF THE BACK WALL SO HIS IDEAL OF REPAIR IS HE TOOK AND PUT PLYWOOD OVER THE BOTTOM AND SIDES OF THE BED THEN HE HAD TO SHIM THE NIGHT STANDS AND THE BED SO THEY WILL BE THE SAME HEIGHT AS THE REPAIR .THEN HE WENT AND FOUND THE THICKEST CARPET HE COULD FIND AND PUT IT DOWN SO I WOULDNT BE ABLE TO TELL.THEN HE DECIDED IT NEEDS A NEW PAINT JOB INSIDE BECAUSE THE WALLS ARE MOLDING WHERE THE LEAKS WERE AND STILL ARE.SO HE PAINTED THE WHOLE INSIDE OF THE CAMPER WITH FLAT WHITE OVER THE MILDEW SO OF COURSE THE MOLD WILL COME BACK THROUGH THE PAINT AS IT DID IN ABOUT 3 MONTHS.HE GOT PAINT ALL ON THE METAL TRIM THAT GOES AROUND EVERYTHING I GUESS HE JUST DIDNT KNOW WHAT MASKING TAPE WAS FOR.THEN HE GOT SMART IF YOU CAN CALL IT THAT AND GOT ON THE ROOF AND PUT ABOUT TWO TUBES OF SILICONE AROUND BOTH TOP WINDOWS THEN HE TOOK SOME DUCK TAPE AND TAPED OVER THE SPLITS IN THE VENT THAT YOU CAN OPEN FROM THE INSIDE.HE COULDN'T STOP THERE I DON'T THINK HE HAD THE ABILITY TO HE BOUGHT SOME FUNKY BLINDS AND PUT THEM OVER ALL THE WINDOWS.SCREWED THEM INTO THE WALL.
SO ME AND MY WIFE ARE IN FOR A CHALLENGE THIS IS OUR FIRST AIRSTREAM AND IM STILL GLAD WE GOT IT FROM THAT AIRSTREAM WRECKER. I KINDA FELT SORRY FOR THE OLD GAL.BUT ON THE OTHER HAND IT HAS ALL THE WINDOWS NO SERIOUS DENTS EXCEPT ONE THE INTERIOR IS IN PRETTY GOOD SHAPE EXCEPT FOR THE GLOBS OF PAINT I HAVE TO TAKE OFF.
THE REASON I STARTED THIS THREAD IS I NEED ABOUT AS MUCH INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE I AM TAKING THE PLYWOOD OUT FROM THE REAR SO I CAN REPLACE THE DAMAGED FRAME AND PLYWOOD BUT DONT KNOW WHAT KIND OF PLYWOOD IS BEST OR WHAT SIZE POP RIVET THE WALLS TAKE OR WHAT KINDA BOLT TO USE TO PUT IT BACK TOGETHER.AND WHAT IS THE BEST SEALENT TO USE FOR THE WINDOWS ANY INFORMATION IS USEFULL THANKS.
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Old 04-07-2006, 05:36 PM   #2
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1974 27' Overlander
1954 26' Romany Cruiser
1960 26' Overlander
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Rivits are 1/8 you can order from Vintage Trailer
You can order Vulkem as well.
The ply wookd may be 5/8, not certain. Should use exterior, not treated.

Check out my site, I had to do a rear floor repair as well.

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Old 04-10-2006, 09:20 PM   #3
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1973 29' Ambassador
Troutville , Virginia
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I have just recently completed redoing a 29 foot 73 Ambassadeor- replaced 50 inches of rear frame and 2 front cross pieces along with new plywood and side barces. The frame was built by a local metal fabricator and welded in by a local welding shop - I use 3/4 inch marine plywood. as far as sealent I use Shikaflex 221 that i order from Austin & Thomsa - 601-921-3558- Rivets are 1/8 or 5/32 or 3/16 depending on what you need ( went through three of Arrow rivet swivel head- not a very good rivet gun). Rivets you can get a Lowes or Home Depot. Side braces you can get from Airstream dealer. Took me a little over a year to re-do the 73 - new ac, hotwater tank, plumming, furnace, rebuilt water pump, faucet(sink and bathroom) added a 35 gallon grey water tank, new brakes, refreigator, new propane line, window gasket and screen felt, screens, replaced Univolt, replaced black water tank, etc....
Jim J
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Old 04-16-2006, 02:58 PM   #4
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1978 31' Excella 500
Goose Creek , South Carolina
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I just did my rear floor repair, this included some frame repair and I opted to strengthen the rear frame section.I replaced 4' with 1/2" MDO ply, used stainless bolts with nylon washers, I opted for NP1 in all hidden areas as it is cheaper and awailable at most lumber yards, NP1 is also awailable in aluminum. You should use Parbond around your windows and trims. While the interior skins are of, it is a perfect time to hunt down all the leaks, I found leaks around the tail lights, running lights, windows, belt line, and rub rail.
Good luck and keep the faith, I found that it was not as bad as I thought, although it took a little longer than I expected as I expanded my scope of work but that is normal when you do rot repair and upgrades.
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Old 04-16-2006, 07:14 PM   #5
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1979 31' Excella 500
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Which one is the belt line and which one is the rub rail?
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Old 04-16-2006, 08:17 PM   #6
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Eureka , California
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The "rub rail" - if that is the trim piece that goes around the back and hides the joint where the banana wrap and the rear shell meet - well that held the biggest of rear-end surprises for me!! I took off that trim piece and discovered about 60 slits in the aluminum that allow the rear curve which were open to all sorts of water run-off. The trim wasn't vulcumed, and neither were any of the slits which fed directly to the plywood!

My entire rear-most plywood was compost when I removed it. So far as I can tell, the rear compartment door, the rear trim/slit problem, and the replaced (by po) window, are the culprits of my severe rot.

I ended up doing a partial clamshell and replaced all the ply up till the last seam next to the wheel well.

Eventually I'll post pics and what I did. I searched everything and everything on this forum when embarking on the project. Definately POR 15 every part of the frame you can!!! That stuff is awesome!

Good luck!!
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Old 04-16-2006, 09:23 PM   #7
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1979 31' Excella 500
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My rear-most plywood is also compost. I suspect the gap between the bumper and the rub rail leaking did the job along with leaking plumbing. I don't think I'll replace that wood as it's just the back couple of inches that are bad. The plumbing is fixed. Now my biggest problem my far is a leaking black water tank. Just when I thought all my leaks back there were fixed!

I think the black water tank is too big of a project for me.
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Old 04-17-2006, 09:05 AM   #8
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I also had to replace the galvanized box that holds the b/w tank. All of the various leaks had virtually rusted out the entire bottom and eventually would have left the tank on the road somewhere. Getting it out wasn't nearly as tough as getting a new one to fit back in and all the plumbing to come through the floor at the right spots! Let's just say I said quite a few bad words, and eventually excused my son who was helping.... and replaced him with 2x4s so I could swear in private!
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Old 06-01-2006, 02:58 PM   #9
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1973 29' Ambassador
hastings , Florida
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That Helps Alot When Im The New Guy On The Block But Im Willing To Learn
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Old 06-01-2006, 02:58 PM   #10
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Thanks For The Information
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Old 06-02-2006, 11:26 AM   #11
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1975 31' Sovereign
Woodlawn , Tennessee
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Joey

You sound like us....The older man we bought ours from told us nothing was wrong with it but pipes and uvolt.....Boy thats been a laugh.We figure since we seen nothing on the out side and he was the 2nd owner.I didn't figure we could go wrong...Alot did.And to think we had been camping with it like this for three years and didn't even now it....I can see the heading of the news now people travel to Land Between the Lakes and hour from there home.Went to set up and realized the other end of the camper was left home...

When we was replacing the last pipe that ran under the bed.Hubby decided that he wanted to put some kind of floor down (pergo or carpet)and he want it to run under the beds and things.....lol A hours later after removing the second bed and pulling up the night stand i went right threw the floor...The uchannel was fine but the floor under it is gone.Where it had run under the floor from the storage led leaking ...Its been a mess from there and someone knew it and didn't tell us cause there was patch made to cover it up.Some of the frame has to be replaced as well now.We hoping the weather holds out this weekend so we can get the frame and floor done..will post pic of the after ...Good lucky on your project

This was our first A/S.Next time ill now more what to look for.But like i told my husband we did get to use it for three years even if it was dangerous.So she need alittle TLC now she deserver it after 30 something years of services.
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Old 06-12-2006, 02:26 PM   #12
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1973 29' Ambassador
hastings , Florida
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I Ripped The Belly Pan Out And Im Going To Have To Replace The Whole Frame I Was Going To Just Fix And Replace A 5 Foot Section In The Rear But I Looked A Little Further And Between Both Axles Theres A Whole In The Frame And It Looks Like Its A Bad Stress Point So I Figured Its Best For Me To Do The Whole Frame Even Though I Shake My Head Everytime I Think About It.i Hope Your Airstream Goes Well And Wish You The Best Of Luck.
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