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Old 06-12-2013, 04:40 PM   #1
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1969 18' Caravel
Portland , Oregon
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Floor replacement

Ok so I just got the frame out from under the body. The plan is to grid the frame and repaint it. Then replace the plywood and then the underbody. I know there is a lot if information on airstream stuff, but does any one have any good suggestions during this process for a little guidance?

Mike
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:15 PM   #2
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1971 21' Globetrotter
Arvada , Colorado
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Welcome to the Forums. There is a whole section in the forums on floor and frame here

Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame - Airstream Forums

You can also use the search function.

I replaced my flooring on the thread below
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:18 PM   #3
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use your old floor as a template and it too rotted make a template with the shell sitting flat on the ground, i made the mistake of making this whilst on jacks and it was not right!, my other suggestion is that stuff happens and you just need to push through and carry on, don't get hung up on things, I have and it's cost me alot of time and the result isn't any better really, my frame was really bent which affected the shells tension if i were to do it again with such a shell i would use a pneumatic press to stretch the body a little before bolting it down.
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:27 PM   #4
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mrgreen has good advise on the template. Take time and get it exactly the same as your old floor. I would suggest that in all the places where you had rot before that you take extra time and put a barrier coat on the new wood just in case ( yes I know you will fix all the leaks). What I did on the sections that I replaced was coat the top and bottom of the new floor along the edges and in about 6 inches with West Epoxy resin. I payed a lot of attention to the end grains around the rear curves and under the rear hatch as those were problem areas. I put two coats on those areas and the floor under and around the water heater opening. A good marine spar urethane varnish would probably work.
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:22 PM   #5
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Definitely a template.

Also, decide on a reference point or points and make careful measurements. To do this, pull a string from dead center aligned with coupler/tongue jack to exactly the middle between the rims or center of tires as reference.
Pull this line all the way from bow to stern. Staple in place while taught.

Now, measure each bow to stern point from this reference point created by the string line. Write in permanent marker on the floor or on paper which you tape or tack down. Once all necessary measurements are documented as above, take careful pictures of the written measurements beginning at bow, street side (port side) moving to curb side (starboard side) of frame.

Keeping this sequence then labeling the pictures in the grid format you will have the best chance of close reproduction and benefit of future diagnostics when you have a problem pop up after build completion.

Use same logic for wiring and plumbing and label. Pictures properly.

Do not forget to document the screw locations as you may be able to reuse them and they will help verify measurements too.

There are optional products to consider beyond plywood, too. More expensive but they may outperform and outlast the plywood. However, if you epoxy the new plywood you may be just as happy.... By the time you use the wood and epoxy you may be close to cost for the new synthetic. Your call.

One product called Seaboard is quite promising. There are other with similar performance. Bottom line is NO rot, a bit heavier, not quite as flexible as wood, but take a look and decide for yourself.

Also if you have good measurements you could layout the floor in your workshop while you are having frame repaired and painted. .
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