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Old 06-14-2004, 02:09 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by markdoane
Very true. But that assumes the shell is well attached to the frame. It's when the front and back connections are poorly made, or fail due to wood rot, that the frame starts to move up and down without the body.

Just out of curiosity, I'm going to measure delection of the frame before and after the floor is mounted, to see if there is any measurable difference.
Don
Wish I would have thought of that. Let me know what you find.
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Old 06-14-2004, 03:26 PM   #58
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Don

That is very true - and that's the problem I'm dealing with at the moment - floor looks solid, but when I had my wife jump up and down inside, I can see the frame flexing. Also, when I jump up and down on the rear bumper, it moves independently of the shell. Sooooo to my thinking - solid floor, mountings have come loose. I suspect this trailer has been driven over some pretty rough roads to come loose like this. I'm removing inner skin next couple of weeks - belly is off - will probably do as Andy suggested and add more outriggers, double up on bolting and make sure all is very secure. (I do need to replace a section of floor - not bad, but not good either.)

Ken
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Old 06-14-2004, 05:53 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken J
I would not however, use self tapping screws - I like bolts better and any joints I would use a 1x6 or so plywood thats screwed and glued.
Ken, The self tapping screws are only used outside of the "U" channel. This is keeping with how the floor was originally put together by Airstream and I haven't seen one loose self tapping screw yet. Carriage bolts will be used inside the "U" channel. Maybe you realized that and would still use bolts? Either way just wanted to make sure I was clear.

Also, how would I use a 1x6 in between joints? All of my joints take place on top of a frame section and as such will be screwed to the frame. Joe
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Old 06-14-2004, 07:57 PM   #60
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What I think would work is glue and screw the 1x6 to the existing floor, then set your wood and glue and screw that.

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Old 06-14-2004, 10:34 PM   #61
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Ken - Problem is there's a frame in the way underneath. The only way a 1x6 would work is on top of the floor and that wouldn't make much sense. Maybe what you are referring to is if I had to add a small piece of plywood and hadn't cut the old flooring back to the first frame cross members. My new section of floor will actually have self tapping screws gowing through to the frame on all sides except for the edge under the "U" channel which will be attached with carriage bolts. I've attached a picture of what I'm talking about. My new piece of flooring actually shares the frame with the old flooring.
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Old 06-15-2004, 08:31 AM   #62
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check out this photo by "sneakinup":




this is a "factory" job...but for an early '70's trailer. the crossmember on the left is actually shorter in height than the one on the right, by about 5/8ths of an inch. Just enough room for a 5/8ths strip of plywood, glued and screwed as a seam reinforcement. the flooring on these years was laid across the frame, with joints like this every 4 feet. Perhaps this is what Ken is thinking.
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Old 06-15-2004, 08:47 AM   #63
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Its always been my understanding that you should not make a seam over a cross member. Can you cut away a little more to make the joint?

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Old 06-15-2004, 09:56 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken J
Its always been my understanding that you should not make a seam over a cross member. Can you cut away a little more to make the joint?

Ken
Ken
All the seams on my coach were on crossmembers, I don't see any other way of doing it and acheiveing the same amount of stability. That's why I welded the strip down the center when I replaced my floor.
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Old 06-15-2004, 10:36 AM   #65
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Seemly connections

Ken,
Mine were the same as Leonard's. Bolts were about 6" OC, staggered on opposite sides of the joint. Or maybe we misunderstood. did you mean no seams over the frame members?
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Old 06-15-2004, 12:33 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
Ken,
Mine were the same as Leonard's. Bolts were about 6" OC, staggered on opposite sides of the joint. Or maybe we misunderstood. did you mean no seams over the frame members?
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Nice picture, you must have the fastestest camera in Wayzata!
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Old 06-15-2004, 01:07 PM   #67
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First off I have to qualify myself in that I'm not an expert. Having said that, all that I've read and heard from some of the A/S tech folks over the years on floor repairs is that you should use the method described above. I realize that A/S has its seams over the cross members soooo, what I conclude is that when it comes to smaller section repairs, and when I reread my A/S manuel last night, it says you should use a piece of 4in wide plywood under the seam. And as I've been following this over the years, I have understood that you should not put a seam over a cross member.

So my conclusion.... is that when doing smaller patch jobs, you should use that joint so that the strength is at least as strong as the original larger piece of plywood.

To me this makes sense with what Andy was saying in poor patch jobs, if you break up (in terms of strength) a larger piece of plywood, then you weaken the structure, however, if you can make the "patch" at least as strong or stronger than what was originally there, thats a good thing.

I think we have to remember, everytime you put a seam in you have added weakness there - the lesser the seams, the stronger the structure.
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Old 06-15-2004, 01:18 PM   #68
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I did happen to have breakfast with an engineer this morning and presented the question to him, without any backround, which way is best to lay the plywood.

At first he said the best way was crossways - because side to side strength was most important. He said it depends on how far spaced the cross members are. I told him it was a "box" - cross members being about same length as distance between the frame rails. He said most of the weight of the shell is on the outriggers, so after talking awhile.

Again the above answer was based on my "cold" question - then I started with the "what if questions"

In the end, because of the way the frame is made, does not make a whole lot of difference with way the sheets are put down. He gave me so for every xxx distance there needs to be xxxx distance stuff......

He was the one who mentioned the fact that whereever there is a seam, theres a weakness - in the end he felt that length wise sheets were fine - however - he said he would put a 12" sheet of plywood (glued and screwed) down the middle - doing that would really add strength to the sheets. He said a steel joint down the middle might allow some flex. But again said that weight is on the outside and as long as you have more wood inside then frame then outside it would be fine.

Anyway, thought I would pass on one engineers take on the matter.

Ken
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Old 06-15-2004, 01:21 PM   #69
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That would make since as far as floor covering options go also. If you seam it as suggested there would be very little difference in the level of the surface, making it much easier to cover with vinyl.
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Old 06-15-2004, 01:23 PM   #70
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Yeah, I for sure would not have a seam on a frame member. As you go down the road its the frame thats attached to wheels and hitch thats taking the impact, so a seam at that point I don't think would be a good idea.

Ken
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