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Old 06-18-2004, 07:31 AM   #85
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Fiberglass Reinforcement - Floor Seams

All - Was thinking about adding strength and minimizing the flex associated with floor replacement seams that take place over cross members..... and since I obviously can't apply an 8" strip of plywood to the top or bottom of these seams (80's trailer) I was wondering what everyone's thoughts were regarding laying an 8" sheet of fiberglass cloth over these seams? Do you think this would add a signifigant amount of strength? Before I even go down this path I was hoping someone with signifigant fiberglass experience could join in here and give some direction thoughts. Joe
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Old 06-18-2004, 07:58 AM   #86
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Joe,

This thread has grown to five pages long, and I kinda got lost with what you ended up deciding to do. If you could recap, or post a picture, it would help alot.

But, remembering your original sitution: Adding strength in the floor joints is most critical if you plan on a sheet vinyl floor. As far as minimizing flex, your floor needs to flex a certain amount. If you strengthen certain areas, and leave others alone (like the original floor), you may cause an uneven flex distribution when the trailer needs to flex. I can't decide if you would have an actual problem, but it would occur nonetheless.

Thoughts on fiberglassing: To make the effort worthwhile, you would need at least one layer of mat, or two layers of cloth. If this is applied to the top of the floor, depending on the final floor covering, you would then need to level the floor after the resin has cured with floor leveling compound (remember that gray stuff in your pine board repair?). This would add weight.

Tom
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Old 06-18-2004, 09:45 AM   #87
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Yes, I would think that anything to add strength to that seam would be a good thing. I think the joint will flex more than an 8in strip, but far less than doing nothing

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Old 06-18-2004, 09:49 AM   #88
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Using Vinyl one piece floor covering is not wise. It will crack, at every seam, in time.

Airstream has done miliions of dollars of research over the years, from front to back, top to bottom and side to side.

That includes the floor.

Putting a floor back to original, means it will be no worse than they engineered it.

Taking a chance, with a home remedy change to that floor design, to us, is asking for many problems, in time.

Airstream has time on their side of the design curve. We don't, when we make a "what do you think" change.

Granted, to each his own, by why reinvent the wheel?

We see, "everyday" all to many horror examples of "I thought it was a good idea type repair."

Expensive to the new, unsuspecting owner of that type repair?

Absolutely!!!!

We have an Argosy trailer in our shop at the present time, that was one of those victims. Fortunately or unfortunately, as the case may be, the owner loves the coach. Therefore he is more than willing to spend over $15,000.00, to return it to normalcy.

But, it's still a matter of ones choice.

Makes one wonder.

Andy
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Old 06-18-2004, 09:59 AM   #89
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$15,000 sounds like a lot until you consider he will have a really great trailer for far less cost than a new one.......
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Old 06-18-2004, 10:13 AM   #90
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Ken.

Exactly.

Many others share the same idea.

Andy
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Old 06-18-2004, 02:54 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by tcwilliams
Joe,

This thread has grown to five pages long, and I kinda got lost with what you ended up deciding to do. If you could recap, or post a picture, it would help alot.
Tom - I agree, this thread has gotten rather long. Recap of things I'm fixing below:

1. Rear floor rot directly below rear window. Actually it was off towards the drivers side a little.
2. Rear floor rot directly below access door on drivers side.
3. Leaks that caused floor rot. Both of which were due to an aluminum panel that was replaced on the rear drivers side corner. The panel was never sealed correctly and over the 17 years since it was replaced the floor rotted. Seems the panel was replaced the same year the trailer was purchased.

I talked to the previous owner about this panel being replaced and he said "Oh, yeah, but I told you about that didn't I?" Ughhhhhh, NO, you didn't.

While fixing the above I had to remove rear twin beds, 2 1/2 pieces of inner skin, bannana wrap in rear corner, bumper storage lid & the lower beltline.

I am starting to put it all back together after finding, diagnosing & fixing the leaks and finally feel like there may be a light at the end of the tunnel and that I might be able to go back to the real reason I started all of the craziness, remodeling!

Will post pictures this weekend after I've got the floor back in. Joe
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Old 06-19-2004, 11:31 PM   #92
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Another email from Airstream

All - I received another email from Airstream regarding this matter. It was a reply to a note I sent last week. Still feel like I'm bending over on this one considering the time and money I had to lay out for the trip to Buda and the two round trips to Dallas. I've posted the note in italics below. It includes my email from last week and Airstream's reply:

"Dear Mr.Zabreznik,

Joe Williams shared your conversation and e-mail with me concerning your trailer.
As Joe indicated to you it is always unfortunate when a customer experiences the problems you shared with us. Both Repair Centers have sent personnel to the factory for training and have a reputation of doing quality work . It appears that this did not happen in your case, but apparently they have both stepped up to the plate and have admitted the short comings and refunded any monies that they charged you.
It would appear from your post on the forum that you have succesfully repaired the floor. I hope that you will now be able to start enjoying your trailer.

Dave Schumann
Director of Service,Parts and Warranty

-----Original Message-----
From: Joe Williams [mailto:jwilliams@airstream.com]
Sent: Monday, June 14, 2004 7:32 AM
To: Dave Schumann
From: Joe Zabreznik [mailto:jzabreznik@austin.rr.com]
Sent: Friday, June 11, 2004 9:33 PM
To: jwilliams@airstream.com
Subject: RE: Horror Story - Two Airstream Service Centers - Help


Joe,

As I stated on the phone today, I live in Austin, TX and round trip is over 400 miles to North Dallas RV. I had to make that trip twice already, once to drop it off and once to pick it up. A total of 800 miles or $400 in gas and hotels. I do not think traveling out there again, spending another $400 in travel expenses and wasting more of my time & energy is the right solution. Please tell me there is another option that doesn’t involve me continuing to shell out money and time.

Thank you,
Joe
"
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Old 06-20-2004, 08:19 AM   #93
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Yeah, People in the East just don't understand the distances one can go in TX from one city to another. Being born in the East, the distances still astound me. You are welcome to stay over night here if you dont mind "advanced camping" in the barn room. At least there is airconditioning! I must warn you everyone here fights for internet access computer time. silver suz 1/2 hr from N. Dallas RV.
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Old 06-20-2004, 07:51 PM   #94
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Pictures of New Floor

Finished installing the new floor today. Doubled the number of carriage bolts in the "U" channel. All seams fall on top of the frame and have been screwed down using Tapcon self tapping metal screws three inches apart. A few days ago I also applied penetrating epoxy to all exterior edges of the new wood and painted it in about 3 inches before installing the floor. If you look closely you can see the difference in color around the edges of the wood. Last but not least I glued new insulation to the boards before installing. Don't think that I'll have to worry about this section of the trailer for a long, long time. Joe
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Old 06-21-2004, 07:26 AM   #95
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Joe,
Quote:
A few days ago I also applied penetrating epoxy to all exterior edges of the new wood and painted it in
Which product did you use for this?
As we type, my floor is exposed and, awaiting the arrival of the new flooring material.
I figured that, while I was waiting, this would be a perfect time to treat the floor, (PMI) against any future problems from occurring.
I've heard of several being mention on the forum, and wondered if you'd mind sharing which one you decided to use.
sidebar:
Personally, from reading the replies you've received from the factory..I'm not at all impressed with the way they've responded..Comes across like they are more loyal to the dealers than the owners~!~
I think you did the right thing by taking the bull by the horn, and "fixing it yourself".
good luck to you~
ciao
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Old 06-21-2004, 09:56 AM   #96
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I used penetrating epoxy on the edges of my 59 Traveler that I bought from Fiberglass Coatings Inc - if I remember its www.fgi.com. All epoxy is made by a few manufacturers - essentially the same, just packaged under different. I can tell you I spilled a couple of drops on my driveway - that was about 3 years ago - I sold the Traveler, but the driveway drops are hard as a rock and have not worn a bit

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Old 06-21-2004, 10:29 PM   #97
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New Floor Picture

All - Here's the finished product. Sorry for the delay in posting pictures. Now I can start putting it all back together and get back to the remodeling. I've had half of my garage filled for months. Not to mention a newly upholstered sofa sitting in the living room that's been waiting to get back in the trailer.

53 FlyingCloud - I used West Marine penetrating epoxy on all edges, top & bottom.
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Old 06-22-2004, 07:03 AM   #98
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barkingspider and Ken J,
Thanks~I figured that as long as the floor is exposed, I'd go ahead and seal it now.
I got real lucky with this one, in that, there was only one real small spot that needed treatment. (Right in front of the 'throne'...lol)
Nice work on your repairing efforts~!
Ken J,
Your memory is sorta like mine...(As they're always saying, Close but...lol)
You did provide me with enough info to find the correct link...thanks..
The correct link is: http://www.fgci.com
Again, thanks`
ciao
53FC
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