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Old 02-29-2012, 08:05 PM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Floor replacement without bolts

I started today removing the floor from my 31 ft. Sovereign. Can the floor be replaced by not removing the belly by notching the floor were the bolts are versus actually replacing the bolts from the bottom? Also, wouldn't it be helpful to wrap the edge of the floor with some type of metal coated tape so that future wood rot is avoided or at least delayed? I may be naive but thought I would ask anyway. Someone has surely tried this already.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:29 PM   #2
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Don't scrimp now

Yes, you can do that but it is a bad idea. In addition to the bolts there are 1/2" screws every 16 inches or so holding the c-channel to the wood. These need to be removed or ground off before you can remove the existing floor. The floor supports the c-channel and is in turn supported by the outriggers which is where the bolts come in. You could create a floor supported only on the main rails and flexing over the outriggers. If you lay the new floor on the outriggers but do not utilize the bolts you lose the unitized construction benefit inherent in the design.
The belly pan will be filled with things that you never wanted to see. Drop the pan and your life will ultimately be cleaner and easier. Jeff
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:46 PM   #3
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Sorry, I missed a few things. You also need access under the inner skins. It's hard to grind off the screw heads without good access. A Dremel tool will work but something more agressive would be better. Sealing the edges seemed like a good idea to me. I used extra POR-15 for the perimeter 4 inches and then coated the interior of the plywood with polyurethane on both sides. Of course you are correct, someone has tried this already. Persevere, Jeff
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:51 PM   #4
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The inner skins are out so access from inside is not a problem. I have removed only the very rotted sections so far and have not dealt with the screws through the c-channel. I think I need to take a closer look tomorrow. How long do you think it would/should take to replace the entire back 4 feet of flooring. Trailer is already gutted and inside skin off.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:03 PM   #5
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I thought it would take me 3 days to replace the last 4' of floor in my sovereign. Once cutting out the floor I decided to replace the last 5' frame, and took a couple months.

If all you are doing is replacing the floor it should be able to be done in a week or less. I agree with Jbib take the time to remove the belly pan to secure the floor properly.
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:46 PM   #6
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Trailer floor screws are what Airstream uses now. They go in from the top and thread into the frame pieces. 1-1/2" Long Standard Torx Trailer Floor and Wall Liner Screw Redline Accessories and Parts TFX150
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:24 AM   #7
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I just replaced 4 feet of bathroom floor using the self threading floor screws. I also reinforced several cross members. I did not remove the belly pan. There was all kinds of interesting prehistoric stuff that critters had stored in the belly pan
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:28 AM   #8
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So you just used the screws and no bolts? I am trying to avoid removing the belly pan also. Did you replace the 4 foot section with one piece or did you split it?
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsanchez View Post
So you just used the screws and no bolts? I am trying to avoid removing the belly pan also. Did you replace the 4 foot section with one piece or did you split it?
The 4 ft section was replaced by 3 pieces. This is necessary to fit it under the wall. The interior skin must removed or lifted.
Around the edges I used 1/4 inch carriage bolts to attach to the frame members that ere around the edges. At these points the self threaders would have poked therough the 1961 belly pan. i drilled straight thru, including the belly pan so the carriage bolts could be worked up through and loctited. Where the perimeter sheet metal screws.
had been i replaced with short 1/4 inch diameter lagbolts

All the rest of the bolts, plus adding some extras were done with the self threading torgue head floor bolts. I have seen these in self drilling form, but the ones I had required a 7/32 pilot hole. It takes a lot of cranking to drive these in so an air powered ratchet speeds things along.

These bolts seem to be the common bolt in trailer construction these days and i have seen small packages in both tractor supply and Lowes. I bought mine on E Bay.

At the joints of the 3 pieces of plywood I scabbed 3/4 in boards underneath attaching them with glue and drywall screws.

The end result is very solid and I suspect much better attached than Airstream did originally..

I do have pictures but they are at home and we are in FL. right now.
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