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Old 09-29-2003, 09:09 PM   #1
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Smile floor replacement

Hello,
My wife and I are new owners of my wifes vintage airstream. It is a 1953 17 foot Clipper which has been in here family since 1957. After inspection found the floor needs replacement I have already removed all the interior items which are in good condition just need a coat of paint. Removed inner panels and have started removing outer rivets to remove belly pan. Then plan to sand blast frame and coat with truck bed liner to prevent rust. Question I have is the floor 3/4in or 5/8in does anyone know.
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Old 09-29-2003, 09:39 PM   #2
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http://www.airforums.com/forum...0&pagenumber=1
Join in. you will make 4 of us doing the same project at the same time. That above post I am trying to make a one stop post to get a start to finish of replacing the floor.

I'll be pulling the body on mine tomorrow. Greg and Mark already have the body off. If all goes well I will be putting the body back on this coming weekend.

The floor was originaly 5/8's. Void free ply wood of the same quality it was originaly made out of is hard to come by. I'm going 3/4.

That above post also has some ideas on how to make the floor last longer. Looks like all three of us are going with a epoxy sealer used in boats. I'm pretty sure I will also be putting dow a solid sheet floor that is pure vinyl and it will wrap the whole deck.
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Old 09-29-2003, 10:25 PM   #3
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Floor thickness

Original floor was 5/8", which is now known as 15mm, or 19/32".
Good luck!
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Old 12-10-2003, 01:38 PM   #4
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before Floor replacement ?

I'm also replacing the floor of my 1954 Flying Cloud....
What a job...
I have the upper shell at 4 Ft above the frame, the belly pan out, the frame sandblast.
Now I'm reinforcing the steel frame (welding additional bracket) to support more weight (fresh water tank, grey water tank, and other few think like water heater...solar panels).

Because those old trailer (50's) weren't built to support that weight....

Did you reinforce the frame for your 17 Ft ?

Regards..

Pierre.
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Old 12-10-2003, 02:00 PM   #5
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"Then plan to sand blast frame and coat with truck bed liner to prevent rust"

You might take a look at Por-15 or similar products rather than bed liner material. It is going to be very hard to make your liner stuff stick without any breaks in continuity. I would think Por-15 would be easier to apply, as well.

Mark
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Old 12-10-2003, 03:44 PM   #6
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Re: before Floor replacement ?

Quote:
Originally posted by FC54
I'm also replacing the floor of my 1954 Flying Cloud....
What a job...
I have the upper shell at 4 Ft above the frame, the belly pan out, the frame sandblast.
Now I'm reinforcing the steel frame (welding additional bracket) to support more weight (fresh water tank, grey water tank, and other few think like water heater...solar panels).

Because those old trailer (50's) weren't built to support that weight....

Did you reinforce the frame for your 17 Ft ?

Regards..

Pierre.
Understand that these campers are Monocock design. The body is a big part of the strength. That's how they were able to keep the weight down. If the frame had to be all the strength then it would need a 6 or 8 inch tall frame to come up to the strength present as it's designed now.

When Our floor was rotted out the coach just seemed "loose". When I had the frame out from uder it it was sagging visably under it's own weight. Once I put down a solid floor and put the body back on it all the sag was gone. The coach feels 10 times stronger then it did before I replaced the floor and I still don't have the interrior pannels installed and they to add to the strength.

My coach is only 22ft so I didn't feel I needed to worry about adding strength. I will at some point add a Gray water tank. I will install that tank Right behind the axle and since my coach is leaf spring it will actuall have the tank between the suport points from the suspension.

Also hit that link I posted. Markdoane had an interseting discovery that there is a second peice of Box slid into the frame rails for the A-Frame. I think mine has it as well. sounds different when I tap on it in that area.
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Old 12-10-2003, 04:15 PM   #7
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When you go to reinstal the interior panels (I assume the same ones that came out) did you have any problems getting the rivet holes to align, or did you have to drill new holes for rivets?
Thanks,
Dick
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Old 12-10-2003, 04:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Navigator
When you go to reinstal the interior panels (I assume the same ones that came out) did you have any problems getting the rivet holes to align, or did you have to drill new holes for rivets?
Thanks,
Dick
Still Wiring so haven't had that fun yet. Should line up without much problems I would think. The outside skin should hold the ribs and other internal wall peices in place. I hope that works out. I know my U-Track holes will have to be drilled. Some track has been replaced and some was moved to other locations.
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Old 12-10-2003, 06:55 PM   #9
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Re: floor replacement

Quote:
Originally posted by daves clipper
Hello,
My wife and I are new owners of my wifes vintage airstream. It is a 1953 17 foot Clipper which has been in here family since 1957. After inspection found the floor needs replacement I have already removed all the interior items which are in good condition just need a coat of paint. Removed inner panels and have started removing outer rivets to remove belly pan. Then plan to sand blast frame and coat with truck bed liner to prevent rust. Question I have is the floor 3/4in or 5/8in does anyone know.
welcome to the forum!

you will find all the info you need right here and then some!

btw. i'm just down the road from you in madison.

john
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Old 01-03-2004, 02:44 PM   #10
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I just purchased a 1959 Overlander and the floor needs to be replaced. There is a large amount of rot around the pressurized water tank in the front, around the door and between the right wheel well and head. There is also a second furnace installed in the floor that I don't want so this needs to be patched.

I have seen only one web site showing someone replacing the floor without removing the shell. In this site, wood blocks were put under the stringers where the floor was on the frame.

Is removing the trailer body the best way to replace the floor? Can the trailer be towed with the floor removed or does this weaken the structure too much?

Thanks,

Randy
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Old 01-03-2004, 02:57 PM   #11
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Floor replacement

My opinion:
If you need to do any frame repair (which you won't know until the floor is off), it will be easier if the shell is removed. Otherwise, it is probably easier just raising the shell a few inches and sliding the plywood in.
I found a rust problem where the water tank had dripped onto the frame. I am also adding a 28 gal gray water tank just ahead of the axle, and replacing the entire axle. It was a lot easier to remove the shell and turn the frame over to do the welding, painting and axle alignment.
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Old 01-03-2004, 03:41 PM   #12
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Thanks, I know that I need some frame work as there is a hole in the frame where it exits the body in the rear near the bumper. But the frame repairs and axel replacement are beyond my wood working skills. I will be able to replace the floor and refurbish the cabinets, water system, gas, etc, but I need to tow it to get the frame repairs.

A local Airstream dealer has given me several sources for frame repairs and the axel replacement, but how far can I disassemble the floor and still tow it? I would like to remove the floor to see what work needs to be done, but I don't want to weaken the structure too much.

Randy
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Old 01-03-2004, 04:31 PM   #13
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With respect to painting the frame; assuming that it was properly sand blasted!: the paint you want to use should have a NEOPRENE RUBBER!! base.
If you recall all of the jeeps on a barge that were sunk by German subs off of the New Jersey coast, even after 50 years in salt water the rubber tires are still intact.
Dick
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Old 01-03-2004, 05:15 PM   #14
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Frame paint?

Neoprene rubber-base paint? Jeep tires?
I don't understand the connection.
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