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Old 05-29-2009, 05:14 PM   #15
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1965 20' Globetrotter
Keller , Texas
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Sounds like you're well on way to getting that floor taken care of ... Welcome to the world of the '65 Globetrotter! I have the same model trailer, as well as a ton of photos taken during its restoration. Let me know if you'd like to take a look, and I can send you a link. Good luck!
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Old 05-30-2009, 07:58 AM   #16
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1972 27' Overlander
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Rear floor R/R

I had the identical situation with my 1972-27' Overlander. I removed and replaced the rear plywood panel without removing the interior skins. You will need to remove everything that is on top of that floor panel which, in my case, was everything in the bathroom. I also removed the panels and door between bathroom and bedroom. When they built this trailer, they started in the bath and installed the interior from back to front so removing some panels was difficult because of things forward in the way of attachments. I removed the bottom three panels of interior skin. Not much trouble just be sure to drill the 1/8 blind rivets out with the proper number drill. You will also want to have a supply of clecos (aircraft devices to allign holes) to reinstall. After unbolting the floor panel from the frame, I was able to carefully slip it out between the frame and the shell. This was also an opportunity for me to check for the dreaded 'rear end separation'. While open, I coated all metal surfaces with the POR-15 system with excellent results. I made a copy of the original floor section from pressure treated plywood and slipped it in from the inside. It's a lot more scarey to think about the job than it is to do it. Take your time and don't get discouraged.

BH
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Old 05-30-2009, 08:54 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJohans View Post
Okay, carefully sectioning the bad subfloor. Where rotten, it obviously pulls out easily from c-channel. Where not, still being held tight by bolts through c-channel...

Therefore:

1 Access to bolts ONLY from underneath.
2 Removal of belly pan sections required to access bolts
3 Belly pan held tight via rivets driven first through outer skin, then belly pan.
4 These external rivets hidden behind "belt-like" body molding (don't know whatcha ya'll call it.)

So check me on this:
I must first remove belt-molding from all around backend by drilling out the first level of rivets.

Then I must drill out all external skin rivets that now hold belly pan between external skin and c-channel.

Presumably, removing these rivets should allow me to drop the belly pan, revealing the rusting bolts that hold the floor inside the c-channel.

Does this seem correct?
Some folks call that the belt or belt molding or beltline trim or rub-rail. Some of those rivets probably go all the way through the belt trim, exterior skin, bellypan, and channel, while there are likely other rivets underneath the belt trim that go through those layers.

A few key points here:

1) When you remove those rivets around the perimeter that hold the external shell, bellypan, and c-channel together, the frame will drop if you don't have it supported from below. Due to the monocoque design of the Airstream, the shell does as much work holding up the frame, as the frame does holding up the shell. So be sure to level the trailer first, and then block it tightly as you remove those rivets, to prevent the frame from dropping.

2) Your trailer was assembled with the floor attached to the frame first, then it was flipped over on a rotisserie so the bellypan could be attached to the c-channel. After that, it was flipped back over, and the exterior shell was riveted on. What this means to YOU is that there are some "blind" rivets holding the bellypan to the channel, that you can not see from the outside and therefore can not drill out from the outside. You CAN see their tails through the channel, from the inside with the lower panels removed. I found the best way to get those out is to use putty knife (the kind with the metal handle not plastic) and hammer the end of it, shearing off those rivets.

Hope that helps, and good luck!

-Marcus
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:52 AM   #18
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1973 27' Overlander
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And please note for the record here, pressure treated lumber chemistry is bad long term for aluminum. I spent a little extra ($80) for a sheet of marine grade plywood and have not regretted it. I also coated it the plywood with 4 coats of vinyl ester fiberglass resin with first coats thinned with xylene for best penetration... That sheet will last another 35 years w/o fail for sure

Please make sure you fabricate a cardboard template to truly catch the entire interface curve of the trailer end, I worked hard to salvage the rotten flooring to use and my old flooring as template led to more air gaps and partial overlap then I expected.
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Old 05-30-2009, 02:59 PM   #19
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Lightbulb You may not have to drop the belly skin...unless you already have by now.

We set our circular saw blade depth just deep enough to go through the wood but not hit the frame and cut out 90% of the floor. That left a 2-3" band along the outside - up against the c-channel where the saw couldn't get close. This was easier to deal with removing than an entire sheet...and you could get underneath to those pesky bolts and break away the remaining wood.

The biggest difference is, in a 50's trailer, if you take out all the rivets to drop the belly, you also have to remove all the rivets that attach the shell - they are one & the same. We didn't want to detach the entire shell - we didn't have room to store it.

Shari
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Old 05-31-2009, 11:46 AM   #20
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1965 20' Globetrotter
Bend , Oregon
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Thanks to all replies

In reply to phoenix491:
Yes, please! Your photos would no doubt be a great help. Please provide the link. Thanks.

In reply to bhpowell:
You say in your second sentence that you "removed and replaced the rear plywood panel without removing the interior skins." Then later you say "I removed the bottom three panels of interior skin." This confused me. Also, you say "After unbolting the floor panel from the frame..." Herein lies the problem for me: I can't "unbolt" the floor panel. There's no access to the bolt heads, no room for a recip saw...

In reply to Marcus/utee94:
Wouldn't the fasteners that hold the other 75% of the trailer together keep the frame from dropping? How do I block the frame and still have the ability to drop the belly pan? Can I keep the tailend of the frame lifted by supporting the bumper?
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Old 05-31-2009, 11:49 AM   #21
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1965 20' Globetrotter
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To Shari/InsideOut

In reply to InsideOut:
Leaving that small band of remaining wood provides access to the bolts? No need to drop the belly pan? If this is right....Woohoo! I'm gonna give that a shot. I'll let you know where that leads me. Thanks.
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Old 05-31-2009, 02:54 PM   #22
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1965 20' Globetrotter
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RJohans and C-beast the same dude!

(Sorry 'bout any confusion regarding my multiple identities...)

Okay, now I'm really in the soup. Thanks to Shari/InsideOut's recommendation, I was able to remove most of the back floor section to reveal... a frame riddled with rust. Gee, what a surprise.

Though the front 75% of the subfloor seems in good shape, can I assume that the the frame under the floor is just as bad as the back 25%? I have a sinking feeling that I'm headed towards a frame-off resto...
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Old 05-31-2009, 07:14 PM   #23
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1965 20' Globetrotter
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Okay, I've cut away the bulk of the rotten floor, but I still cannot see how to get the remaining wood out from between the c-channel and the frame/chassis. I've got bolts and screws holding the c-channel to the floor.

But check me on this:

It appears that the subfloor is bolted to the frame/chassis, THEN the entire shell construction actually sits on the subfloor and is held fast via bolts and screws through the c-channel. (I think this is what Marcus/utee94 was talking about in a previous reply.)

If the floor actually supports the entire shell, how can I remove it without the weight of the shell compressing that 5/8 or 3/4"? Is this the argument for removing the shell BEFORE tacking the floor?
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Old 05-31-2009, 07:55 PM   #24
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1964 22' Safari
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c-beast, I'm on the last [rear] panel of floor on a '64 safari. I've replaced the complete floor, body on the frame. I'm convinced it would have been easyer and probably faster to remove the shell. I hope to find and rebuild another, it will be body off! On or off frame here's some tips that I found to late. Check your entry door alignment befor you remove the floor panel in front of it. The door frame bolts through the floor, probably does not bolt through an outrigger, and the floor is rotted at that anchor point which allows it to move. When you find the right position measure the distance between the aluminum BODY frame bows at floor level street side to curb side, measure between the bows on both sides of the door frame This will tell you exactly the plywood width you will need for this section, & where to bolt your door frame on the new floor. Theres very little + or - room on this panel. My original floor sheets had 1" "ship lap joints", all joints glued, bolted and centered on crossmembers, 45yrs later rock solid! The problem is the original sheets were 49 inches wide not todays standard of 48"s. A $10.00 router bit will make the joint but it takes some finessing to make all joints come out on a crossmember. As soon as you remove a section of floor cut a piece of it to slide back into the space between the C-chanel and frame outrigger, otherwise the body will "settle" a little making it more difficult to slid the new floor into place. Make sure your entry step assembly is perfect and PAINTED befor you lay new floor over it. I freaked out on my frame too, tail end looked bad. After I got the floor out it was OK and most of the rest still had paint! I found a way to do the floor with only 4 seams, let me know if that would be usefull to you. Good luck and do'nt forget, everbody wants one, you've got one!
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:00 AM   #25
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I'm sure others are in similar situations....

Quote:
Originally Posted by putback View Post
I've replaced the complete floor, body on the frame. I'm convinced it would have been easyer and probably faster to remove the shell.
I concur! It certainly would be easier to remove the entire shell when doing a floor replacement - however, not everybody has the space to store the shell out of harms way while working on the floor/frame. We would have loved to take it off - but without a barn or very large yard, it just wasn't feasible. It was also a long term replacement - not just done in a couple of weekends due to other "life commitments". So, that being the case, we worked out a way to improvise leaving the shell on with great success. It's not been the easiest way - but it worked - and worked well!

Shari
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:31 AM   #26
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RJ, I posted this yesterday, but it got lost in the forum troubles.

You asked about getting the elevator bolts out. Best tip I found on that and the one I used on mine was to get a 1" hole saw and use it without the pilot bit to drill out the wood around the elevator bolts. Just drill right over the top of them. Skill saw to cut around the perimeter and then the old plywood just lifts out. The old elevator bolts left behind can then be snapped off with a pair of vise grips.

My subfloor was attached to the c channel with wood screws and through bolts. The screws came right out and the bolts came in from the bottom and can be snapped off like the elevator bolts with the vise grips.

cheers,
steve
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:21 AM   #27
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1963 24' Tradewind
Cape Coral , Florida
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When I removed the old deck on mine I also dealt with the elevator bolts by using a hole saw. It worked very well. But, be careful. I initially thought that I would be able to feel a change in resistance when I hit the metal frame. Wrong. I quickly learned to keep the drill vertical to the surface and quit based on depth. Wasn't the end of the world to have to weld in patches but saved time not to have to.
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:57 AM   #28
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Portage , Michigan
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I just finished up replacing the floor in the back of our '64 Tradewind. The floor was bed enough the elevator bolts were not a problem as far as getting the old wood out, Vise grips were used to break the bolts in half one the wood was removed. I also removed the lower interior panels and exterior rub-trim. I also remove about 18" of one vertical rib, doing this I was able to install the new plywood down in one piece. The rib was put back in place with aluminum panel glue and a couple of exterior rivets where the original rivets were located.

If your interested, here is the link to the photos I have taken of this project: Airstream Bathroom pictures by dnrtheil - Photobucket

Derek
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