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Old 08-16-2016, 05:08 PM   #1
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Help!! Rear floor

Repairing the rear floor rot on 1971 Tradewind. All is going as expected. However, I am looking for advice on removing the farthest rear crossmember. I want to replace it!

Can I remove it?

Should I support the rear shell?

What about the steel L bracket? Can I just cut the elevator bolts and remove to POR 15?

Thanks
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:12 PM   #2
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More pictures hopefully they are not upside down.
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:14 PM   #3
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:16 PM   #4
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:54 PM   #5
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Hi and welcome to Air Forums and the vintage Airstream hobby. You are digging right in there with your subfloor replacement project. My 66 Trade Wind had the same problems. However, my frame is different as my trailer is the old body style, and yours is the newer one introduced in 69. My rear cross member was solid, just surface rust.

I do not believe you will need to temporarily support the rear of your shell while you weld in a new rear cross member. Folks actually lift off the shell from the frame and set it on the ground. The shell is flimsy without the subfloor and frame to hold it up, and the frame is flimsy without the shell to hold it up. Semi monocoque they call it. Don't tow it with the shell hanging in the rear. You will have to cut out and weld in new supports for the shell and drill it for the c channel bolts.

I had to actually lift the rear of the shell ever so slightly in order to slide the new 5/8" plywood into place. I was a little nervous I might cause a ripple in the shell, but alas I did not. I had the entire rear end cap detached from the subfloor and frame, and I still had the fiberglass inner end cap along with the rear window still in place.

David
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:43 PM   #6
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David,

Thanks so much for the reply. Looking for all the advice I can get. I knew what I was getting myself into when I bought RubyJane. I don't care what it takes I want it down perfect. No half ass stuff here. It's such a poor design in the back of these things. I sit and stair at the darn thing to try and think of a clever ways to fix the problem and eliminate future rot for me and owners to come.

I don't know what exactly that L bracket is called. But it seems like it keeps the c channel from bending in the middle. I would love to take it out, clean it and POR 15 it. I am not going with the original looking crossmember to replace. It most likely will be an I beam or box. Haven't decided yet. I might call some siding guys and see if they have any good ways to channel water away from the back. I was happy to see that the middle section of the frame was immaculate.... But I am still going to respray it. No installation cause it just holds water and rots everything around it.

Any advice from anybody would be great. I have been taking tons of pictures and will start posting when time allows.

Tom
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:50 PM   #7
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:52 PM   #8
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:53 PM   #9
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Can someone please tell me why these pictures are all turned?
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:01 PM   #10
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:17 PM   #11
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The shell will not fall.

Don't give it a second thought. I replaced the last 4' of frame where the doody water had rotted it, no support required.


Gradiens super tenui glacie.
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:24 PM   #12
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Thanks J. Morgan!!

I'm cutting that sh/t out tomorrow. ��
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:38 PM   #13
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Can I remove it?
Cut that puppy out no problems with doing it. Looks like it was in pretty bad shape.

Should I support the rear shell?
Not necessary the parts on the frame still will more than support it.

What about the steel L bracket? Can I just cut the lead elevator bolts and remove to POR 15?
You can, it's the perfect time for you to do it, otherwise the only way to get it out is to lift the shell. When you cut the cross member you're replacing below it you'll be able to pull it out.

A better option than por-15 is to replace it with aluminum! Take it to a metal shop they should be able to make you one out of aluminum that will match exactly. It's more than strong enough for the application, won't cost much, and no more rust.

Hope this part is understandable. When you put it back in slide a piece of aluminum metal that is the width of the distance between the frame rails up between the rear shell and the metal L bracket. Make it go up a few inches above the bottom of the shell so you can rivet it in place. More importantly make that piece extend a couple inches below the wood floor. Then you can bend that part forward under the back edge of the wood floor. This essentially becomes flashing material and will block water from being able to reach the back edge of the wood floor. Some sealant around the ends and no more rot! You can do similar flashing where the frame rails extend out past the shell but instead of bending down and forward they'll be like L's bending backward from under and behind the skin and back out on top of the frame rails blocking water there as well.
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:46 PM   #14
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HiJoeSilver, I was wondering if I could switch that bracket to Aluminum. It doesn't make sense for it to be steel. I figured it needed to be steel for some sort of support.

I can't wait to make it right!! All fired up now!!

Should the top of the flashing you said be covered up by the rub rail? Clean look? Or should I go higher and attach it to the main rear panel?

Tom
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