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Old 08-30-2011, 08:05 PM   #1
Agrarian Malcontent
 
1962 26' Overlander
Richwood , Ohio
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Must I repair the floor?

Bought my first Airstream, a 1962 26' Overlander in February.

After some long thinking and a few concentrated hours of reading on this forum tonight, and I've come to a conclusion: that my assumptions about the condition of my trailer (and thus the amount of work that I may need to put into her) may not be correct... I may well need to replace the floor and/or repair the frame (she is a '62, after all).

I've removed all the carpet and flooring materials down to the plywood. As far as I can tell without ripping things out wholesale, the floor appears to largely be in good shape, minus a spot just inside the door that shows some water damage and some repair work via some fiberglass/epoxy treatment. Nothing is soft or rotten insofar as I can tell (although there is an area near the front under the gaucho that looks mildly suspicious from a distance). Is there any chance whatsoever that the floor doesn't need replacing? Even if it doesn't need it, should I go ahead and do it anyways, for the sake of longevity?

I'm counting on doing a somewhat radical renovation, including a solar PV system and a small woodstove, so it might be easier to take it all apart anyways. And, like everything else in my life I invest in, I plan to utilize this trailer for a long, long time.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:18 PM   #2
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1963 19' Globetrotter
Old Bridge , New Jersey
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I am in a similar situation, 1963 Globe Trotter, I will be dropping the skins underneath the trailer and then make a decision from there. I have six years until retirement, so it's no real rush for me.

Take your time and try and make the right decision the first time. It sounds to me like you want to replace the floor to be on the safe side. I would agree with this since you are going to put so much other work into it and like you said, you are going to keep it for a long time.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:24 PM   #3
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1963 26' Overlander
Hollis , New Hampshire
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Well the flooring might be okay (probably not) but I'd be more worried about assessing the condition of the frame. Most of us that have started these restorations do so because the frame needs repair. Once you realize the frame needs work, well replacing the floor becomes a natural extension of "doing it right". Unless it has spent the majority of its life in a dry climate chances are you're looking at a full monte.....

By the way, post some pictures if you can. I just started the process of a full restoration of a 63 Overlander.

And welcome to the forum!
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:29 PM   #4
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Whoops just saw your pictures in another thread! As a suggestion start one "restoration thread" and ask all your questions there. Makes it easy for all to follow your progress!!!
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:33 PM   #5
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Some people redecorate and call it a restoration.

The issue with rebuilding the interior on an old floor is the risk of concealed damage and more work to fix later. The issue with tearing up a perfectly good floor is that the ability to stop is lost to pragmaticism. I'll just put on new floor wood, but now I have the body off I'll sandblast the frame and have it powder coated.

While the frame is exposed, I'll just install new tanks, and while I'm waiting for the tanks to arrive I'll just replace the axles, wheels, and install a new electrical and plumbing system.

See how this works? :-)
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:36 PM   #6
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1962 26' Overlander
Richwood , Ohio
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@ njloco: I almost envy you that. I'm 28, with a more than full-time job, an out-of-town significant other and a lot of serious projects on my plate before the airstream even comes up. Time is always my most precious commodity.

@ reinergirl: Insofar as I can discern, it's spent it's entire life in either Nashville or central Ohio... not exactly a recipe for a lack of rust. :-)

I do want to "do it right." I have the option to cut corners on almost every project I undertake, and I always make the decision to err on the side of overdoing it, if anything. As I often personally long for the times when things were built properly and to last, I always endeavor to adopt those goals when I do things myself.

Sorry for the board-spanning, btw. I do have a restoration thread going, but it's unfolding on an extremely long timeline and I was hoping to get more expert opinions by posting specific questions in specific forums.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:40 PM   #7
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1962 26' Overlander
Richwood , Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njloco View Post
I am in a similar situation, 1963 Globe Trotter, I will be dropping the skins underneath the trailer and then make a decision from there. I have six years until retirement, so it's no real rush for me.

Take your time and try and make the right decision the first time. It sounds to me like you want to replace the floor to be on the safe side. I would agree with this since you are going to put so much other work into it and like you said, you are going to keep it for a long time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splitrock View Post
Some people redecorate and call it a restoration.

The issue with rebuilding the interior on an old floor is the risk of concealed damage and more work to fix later. The issue with tearing up a perfectly good floor is that the ability to stop is lost to pragmaticism. I'll just put on new floor wood, but now I have the body off I'll sandblast the frame and have it powder coated.

While the frame is exposed, I'll just install new tanks, and while I'm waiting for the tanks to arrive I'll just replace the axles, wheels, and install a new electrical and plumbing system.

See how this works? :-)
Oh, I do. But even though it'll be more work, I kinda want the opportunity to address each aspect of the trailer specifically so I know it's right. I'm planning on redoing the electrical anyways (solar PV), and I have a sneaking suspicion the plumbing is going to need enough work to warrant a total redo (I really want a greywater tank, for example... and my understanding is I don't currently have one with my trailer being a '62).

And while I can't work on her inside, I do have the advantage of having a very large open pole barn (previously used to shelter large farm equipment) where I could do extensive work as needed without exposing her to the elements.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
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And while I can't work on her inside, I do have the advantage of having a very large open pole barn (previously used to shelter large farm equipment) where I could do extensive work as needed without exposing her to the elements.
I'm working on mine outside. Year 2. :-)
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:14 AM   #9
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I would drop the belly and get a better look at the real problem area. You mentioned the area around the door having water damage. I would almost bet the area underneath the stairs is rusted out. Make sure to check the frame under windows and openings for rust rot. I agree with Reinergirl and splitrock do it right the first time. I am into mine a year on the 18th!
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