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Old 08-15-2014, 10:54 PM   #1
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Question Floor Repair, Not sure if I'm in over my head.

Bought this 1994 29 foot Excella for $4500 thinking it was a good deal with minimal cost of repairs. This repair in on the starboard side in the front. One spot of concern is next to the battery box. The floor seems fine but the channel is wet, so i imagine the drain hole did its job. The rotted floor area is straight out from a frame that is next to a window. So I'm not sure if i just replace from the battery box back to the door or just the area around the frame where is rotted out. There is one other rotted out area next to the door, but i think its from the steps where the skin is cut back exposing the subfloor. Not sure how to fix that yet.Click image for larger version

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2001 5.4L Ford F150 Lariat Super Cab
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:24 PM   #2
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Your not in way over your head. It will take some work and confidence to fix but judging from the pics you're a fast learner. I too was in your boat and accomplished fixing my floor the first year. Ask as many questions that you can think of.

While I haven't replaced a subfloor on a trailer, I have done on a motorhome.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f311...me-106269.html

Good luck with your purchase and just remember. The floor is the only part to rot so if you're planning on keeping this trailer for a long time, fix it right the first time. If you do use a great subfloor like Coosa, document your fix for future buyers.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:01 AM   #3
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Its not that bad. I would also look at the rear of the trailer and make sure there is no rotten floor back there. What you paid for the trailer is not bad even with some damage. Most likely you will end up replacing a small section of floor in the front. I had some rot in that area and it was not bad enough to replace the floor there. That gap is a point where leaks from anywhere end up. I ended up putting in drains and sealing the gap. That plate that goes under the rear of the trailers is a major leak point and can lead to rear end separation. Your frame is probably fine but you might have so rot issues. When you make repairs you will need to make sure bolts that hold the shell to the frame are replaced if they are damaged or need to be removed to replace the floor. Bolts go through the C-channel, floor, and frame to hold it all together.


Perry
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Old 08-16-2014, 01:45 PM   #4
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I will have to drop the belly off to replace bolts, right?
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Old 08-16-2014, 02:33 PM   #5
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Bolts self tap usually. Look into "elevator" bolts, they self tap and go I'm flush with surface. Careful not to destroy wood around the heads. You also want to treat the rust while in there.

Use some epoxy to treat the wood that goes in as well as edges of adjacent.

Use a "doubling block" to span the gap. Screw on one side the. Lay the new piece in and use construction adhesive or epoxy to join to underside of flooring.
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Old 08-17-2014, 03:32 PM   #6
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Removed several elevator bolts and i noticed the plywood was tongue and groove. Where is a source for elevator bolts? I see that the source of the water was through the spare wheel well. seems there was no caulking between the aluminum sheet and the frame. Not to mention several spots where things were screwed through the floor and removed leaving a hole. This is all i can explain for the rot in the place where it was. The frame itself looks okay and don't see any rust. I plan on coating with POR 15 before i install the new 5/8 plywood. The most rust i found was in the tongue framing.
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:46 PM   #7
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Suggestions???

Okay, found the leak up front coming from the battery box. The factory caulking around the edge had loosened and was allowing water right inside and then the channel had holes in it to the subfloor which wicked up the water.
Do I use epoxy to repair the floor or remove all subfloor forward of the first joint?

If i need to remove the subfloor id like to replace it in three pieces due to the difficulty of sliding a full piece into this area.

I have the interior walls removed in this area and the elevator bolts are mostly rusted and bent over. to remove those id have to cut them out. why were they bent over? to prevent them from loosening up?

Good news, after the heavy rain today, the rest of the camper was dry in the areas i was concerned.
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Old 08-20-2014, 06:02 AM   #8
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The elevator bolts are the flange head bolts holding the flood to the frame. The bolts sticking out of the C-channel go through the frame from below and the nut is on the top of the C-channel. They bend the bolt so the nut can't come off. I would have to see some photos of the damage to see how extensive it is and if you can just patch it. Take some photos showing the overview of the damage and then some closeups. Closeups are good but many times you can't tell where they were taken.

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Old 08-20-2014, 07:01 PM   #9
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Photo view of damage and removed rot

Forward area with rot removed over the spare tire well. That area was not even sealed. Click image for larger version

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This is a closer look at the small area that I just noticed after finding the leak next to the battery box.Click image for larger version

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This is the side of the battery box. Is this how to remove it by taking out these screws?Click image for larger version

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Port side all rot removed, very little left due to wheel storage leak.Click image for larger version

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Door threshold rot from a gap cut next to step latch allowing water to get inside.Click image for larger version

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Now, do I remove the rest in the front? Do I cut loose the elevator bolts and replace them all? To do that i need to remove the banana wrap and belly right? If not i am confused how i would ever insert the subfloor back even if i did notch it. There are a couple placed where the elevator bolts were overtightened and pinched the channel. More work than i planned, but otherwise i well under way.
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:45 PM   #10
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First of all pull the skins and pull out all the old insulation. That stuff is just nasty. I would replace the front section of floor. I don't think you need to go all the way to the door. I can't tell how much you have removed already. Pull all the lower skins in the area where the floor is going to be replaced. It sounds like a pain but it is not all that bad. Nix the stinky pink stuff and replace with rigid foam like RMAX. Once you get the skins off you can see all the bolts through the floor and remove them. You can replace the floor in sections like I did at the back of mine but it might help to weld some extra pieces so that each piece has its own piece of metal to rest on. I would remove the battery boxes and if they are cracked replace them. I replaced both of mine. I am not sure how the front hold down plates work. There are some steel plates between the battery boxes that are connected to the frame. This will be your main barrier to replacing the floor as one complete section. If you want to remove the steel plates then replace the floor you can but the plates need to be put back . I just realized that I am not seeing the steel plates on yours so maybe you won't have to deal with that. I would consider adding something or at least add a stiffener to fit inside the c-channel between the boxes and then bolt through that to give the c-channel more strength.

Front end separation can happen and I am told that the steel hold down plates have been removed on the newer models. The c-channel is really thin and weak and there are not that many bolts holding things together. It never hurts to put some 1x1 angle in there between those boxes to stiffen things up. Some say that the front batter boxes weaken the structure as it is.

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Old 08-20-2014, 10:52 PM   #11
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Battery Box pulled.

Perry,
Yes, it was cracked. The bad part, I think it was installed cracked because the sealant was puttied in there to help seal and prevent it from leaking. Well, i am here to say it didn't work. Here is a picture of the removed spot and there was no sealer in this area at the bottom or at the rub railing Click image for larger version

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Old 08-21-2014, 12:45 AM   #12
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That box is designed with a flange. That flange goes outside the skin and is between the frame and the skin. You need a layer of caulk between each layer. Also I purposely did not put the screws in the bottom of the frame because now you have a leak path where water can get rammed up in there while on the road. If you get the box sealed right you can hose the interior and not get water on the inside. The battery vents from the holes at the bottom. Also not a bad idea to make sure there is no acid corrosion on the frame below and behind those boxes.



I added drains to the c-channel and sealed any penetrations or gaps so water would drain out instead of into the floor. It is just stainless steel tubing with one end flared and glued to the c-channel.








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Old 08-21-2014, 05:06 AM   #13
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When you added the tubing, did you drain below the belly? I noticed there are drains drilled into the channel, but i dont know where they drain to? i would imagine into the bellypan or bananna wrap.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:04 AM   #14
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They drain into the belly pan but there is no reason you can't connect them with some sort of manifold and have one tube sticking out of the belly. Water is far better off there than in the sub floor. The newer trailers have a double c-channel that cradles the floor in a slot and also the c-channel that holds the wall. I believe there are holes on the outside edge of the newer c-channels that funnel water to the outer edge where it drips into the belly pan. The end grain of the wood is covered by the lower channel that faces towards the interior of the trailer. I believe these two channels are a one piece extrusion. On my 81 this double channel is only used on the straight sections. I imagine that the double channel is really hard to bend around a curve. The problem with the newer channel is that there are gaps that still let water into the sub floor and also protrusions that are not sealed. I made a bridge out of some scrap aluminum or flashing that I caulked into the gap. The object is to make the c-channel a seal gutter.

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