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Old 03-04-2003, 10:50 PM   #1
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Newbie A/S owner - floor repair ?

My girlfriend and I just bought a 1967 26ft Overllander.
We brought her home and started to clean and tear her apart.
The rear bathroom floor is soft.. sags and rotted. So I have removed the toilet, sink, bath and carefully cut back to the cross frame just ahead of the sewage tank. I have found another cross member running forward and back on the street side of the tank and I assume there is one on the curb side too, but I haven't reached it yet. I am going to have to remove some more drain pipe and possibly the water heater and univolt in order to make a clean cut.

My question:
Is it acceptable to replace a section of floor plywood just over the tank or do I need to go all the way out to the sides. (The wood is still good there.
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Old 03-05-2003, 09:15 AM   #2
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Re: Newbie A/S owner - floor repair ?

Quote:
Originally posted by Gobstopper
My girlfriend and I just bought a 1967 26ft Overllander.
We brought her home and started to clean and tear her apart.
The rear bathroom floor is soft.. sags and rotted. So I have removed the toilet, sink, bath and carefully cut back to the cross frame just ahead of the sewage tank. I have found another cross member running forward and back on the street side of the tank and I assume there is one on the curb side too, but I haven't reached it yet. I am going to have to remove some more drain pipe and possibly the water heater and univolt in order to make a clean cut.

My question:
Is it acceptable to replace a section of floor plywood just over the tank or do I need to go all the way out to the sides. (The wood is still good there.
Welcome!
I'm a little new myself but you came to the right place for information.
I'm about to do exactly the same repair. Here is my thought on the subject. Since the way that the camper is built is the floor suports the body I really feel that on the ends such as your repair it is far better to replace the full width. Think about if you had a seam over a frame rail, that seam is a point where the floor will have more flex. The result is when the body twists and flexes that area will flex more and transmit that stress to the body. Towards the axle I think it would be ok to section because there is less likly to be as much twisting going on as the ends of the camper and the outrigers run out to the edge. Might even get away with that at the front because the hitch is a suport for the end but that tail is just hanging with no real suport other than the floor at the very corners of the trailer, occasionaly your going to drag the bumper etc.

If there is no way around a seam width wise I would not make the seam at the frame rail. I would make it between the frame rails. The frame rail is a fulcrum point when your at the corners so the stress is highest there. If you make the seam in the middle you can come from the under side and attach a strip of ply to tie the sheets together. Use plenty of screws and construction adheasive. Make that strip about 10-12 inches wide so your tiying into 5-6 inches of wood either side of the seam. That would make it close to as strong as going the full width. It will add a little weight but not bad.

In the middle with the outriggers then at the frame rail is probably going to be fine to section. the stress is not going to be nearly as high. Take a look at these pictures of the frame. See how the outriggers in the center go right to the walls. At the Corners it just hangs.
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Old 03-05-2003, 10:35 AM   #3
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A couple of thoughts for you- I think you will find the corners are the strongest points of the trailer. The cap curves down and the sides curve around, you don't really need a lot of support in this area as long as the adjacent ribs sit on solid wood.

I don't think you are going to be able to get a single piece of plywood across the width of the back. In the center you could put one side under the channel, bow the center of the plywood and put the other side in. On the back you are going to have to put 3 sides in all at once. The channel is about 1 1/2" wide, your repair sheet is going to be about 3 inches longer and 1 1/2" wider than the exposed floor.

I replaced the floor on my motorhome. The channel is different than the trailers but exactly what you will be working with. It is like a "C" and the wood fits inside. The back piece had to be the first piece in, no way to get it inside the "C" otherwise.

John
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Old 03-08-2003, 08:32 PM   #4
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Cool floor repair

First . The rear corners are critial to the stability of the trailer. At each corner in the rear are large bolts that hold the body and frame together. If your floor is rotten their is a good chance those bolts are rusted and dangerous. I have replaced the floor in the rear of 2 31' streamers. The only safe way is to replace the whole rear piece if the damage is in either corner at the bolts or larger than 1 square foot near the bolts . To get an idea, picture a suspension bridge with one weak corner.If you choose to replace a portion, one of the best ways is to use fiberglass and reinforcing rods. Get the fiberglass kits at a building supply or auto parts store. You need enough 3/16" galvanized rod to go across the gap every 2". Cut the bad wood out and use a wood restorer on the edges. Use a dremel and cut down at 2" intervals around the edges. Have the grooves directly across from each other. Slip a piece of wood or thin metal under the floorand attach with screws thru the good wood into the metal to pull it up against the floor. Put a layer of fiberglass matting down and put on the resin . use cheap disposable brushes. lay in the mating and resin untill you reach the bottom of the grooves , then put in every other rod. Put in another layer of matting and then put in the other rods. Put a layer over them and then fold matting up to fill the dips in between the rods. Then use matting and resin to bring it up level with the floor. You can do all this without waiting for any of it to dry. Use small amounts of resin untill you get used to the speed that it hardens. If you need to replace the whole rear section say so and I will give you the instructions on how to replace the rear floor in one piece.
Good luck
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Old 03-08-2003, 09:02 PM   #5
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Joel:
I would not mind hearing on how to replace the whole rear section. I have a good idea what I'm in for but would like to hear it from somebody who has done it. I was thinking I might be able to get enough give to slide a full peice in from the outside over the frame rails. I figured if I drilled out all the base rivits to the wheel wells I could use a carpenter trick of using 2x4's against the floor directly over the frame rail just past where I would cut back and evenly distibute the weight up to the roof to lift the shell about 1-1.5 inches off the frame and slide in the sheet. If I find more then just rot at the very ends I'll strip the cabinets and run it over to my buds house and lift the shell on his 2 post auto lift. I know I have problems up front with about the first 6 inches and I know I have at least 4'x4' bad under the bath in the rear.
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Old 03-08-2003, 10:59 PM   #6
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Ya think that A/S makes the new campers with a pressure treated type plywood?

Just a thought. If not, I will be looking into this at some point too.

Anyone know?

Regards,

Eric
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Old 03-09-2003, 02:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Silvertwinkie
Ya think that A/S makes the new campers with a pressure treated type plywood?

Just a thought. If not, I will be looking into this at some point too.

Anyone know?

Regards,

Eric
Presure treated outgasses some nasty stuff. you wouldn't want that in a contained space.
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Old 03-10-2003, 01:44 PM   #8
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Cool Rear floor

First - I dont use pressure treated due to the arsenic fumes in an enclosed space.
To get started pull ypur carpet back past the first seam in the floor. This will tell you how far back you will have to remove your interior cadinets and tub ,etc. It is best to get every thing within 3' up from the floor out of your way. Any plumbing or elec thru the floor will need to be disconnected also. Pull the banana wrap off to the same point on the exterior to get at the under side bolts and nuts. Now that you have a clear work space move back inside. You will need to loosen the wall panels vertically high enough to pull them out to get to the bolts in the channels without creasing the metal . Once you have done this I used a reciprocating saw to cut the bolts off underneath that I could get to . The rest I used regular tools . Don't try to recycle the bolts . After every thing is loose pull the rear bumper and cover so you have access to the two maim frame bolts. Once it is all loose the frame may drop away far enough to pull the plywood out . try to get it out in one piece. Having a pattern to go by for your cuts is critical .If it does not drop far enough Than there are two ways to get it out and in. The first one I did I did it at a friends house . He had one of the screw in anchors used to tie house trailors down By the pad he puts hitrailor on. I backed mine up to it and put a strap across the rear frame and gently lowered the front untill I had enough room to slide the old piece out and the new one in .{ DO NOT LEAVE IT IN THIS POSITION WHILE YOU ARE CUTTING THE NEW PIECE ] Take the strain off while you get the next piece ready. After I cut the new piece I Put a couple of good coats of wood sealer on both sides and edges. To be sure of a good tight connection between the body and frame when you lower the rea back down put some supports under the frame to push it up against the floor and body.
The way I did mysecond one was to use weight lifting weights and tied 200 lbs to each corner and then lowered the nose.

Then put it all back together. I is a good idea to take pictures as you take it apart. It helps when you put it back.

I use loctite on all my nuts and bolts and on the inside of the chanel at the main frame bolts I cut a piece of steel 1/4 " thick and 3" long and ground it into the curve of the frame to go insde the channel and then put the bolts thru them.

GOOD LUCK
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Old 03-10-2003, 06:39 PM   #9
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Thanks Joel.
I had tthe right idea but the wrong approch. Makes more sence to pull down on the frame. I have plenty of steel here and I'll just park the trucks on either side of the A/S on a peice of stock and use a couple ratchet straps on the frame.

I'm still not clear on the 1/4 peice your talking about.
I know the U-Channel is toast in the one corner and I'll have to find some or make some. I wonder If Airstream has it available. Even if the curve was wrong I could notch it and weld to get it where I need it. If not I'll just make a templet and run over to my buds and cut the radiused flat peice with his plasma cutter and then weld the verticals. Take me longer to drive over to his place then to fabricate it LOL.

Now if I can just get lucky and not find any more rot this is sounding like it won't be too bad.
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Old 03-11-2003, 11:21 AM   #10
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Cool floor repair

The piece I was talking about is to strengthen the channel where the corner bolts go thru . Just cut it to fit in the channel. If you have a sheet metal shop near you they might be able to make you a piece of channel.
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Old 03-11-2003, 12:38 PM   #11
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Re: floor repair

Quote:
Originally posted by joel
The piece I was talking about is to strengthen the channel where the corner bolts go thru . Just cut it to fit in the channel. If you have a sheet metal shop near you they might be able to make you a piece of channel.
Ohhh ok.
As for a sheetmetal shop.....That would cost money and I'm a cheap skate.
I do a lot of my own metal fabrication and have a decent amount of home brew tools. I built a metal brake out of some 4 inch brick mold. It will only do a 90 and it's not perfectly acurate but it was free LOL. I have a decent 220v Mig welder as well.
I built the bumpers, rock sliders, under body armor, roll cage and even MADE new floor for this truck.
http://coloradok5.com/packitup.shtml
http://coloradok5.com/stcreview.shtml
I bought that truck for $1. Yes one US Dollar...the Dollar did not include floors hehe. I did drive it home (wished I hadn't when I saw how bad it was and found a broken spring eye on the front LOL )
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