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Old 10-15-2010, 06:57 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by IndyAnne View Post
Is outdoor plywood the same as treated plywood meant for outdoor applications? If so, I would not use it in an Airstream. The treatment is not meant for indoor use due to potentially carcinogenic off-gassing, and it reacts to the metals used against it, such as the grade of steel used in the frame. I have seen this effect in using treated wood on my fence. Stainless steel screws are the only ones that have not very quickly degraded and caused oxidation streaks down the cedar planks. I'm replacing any non-stainless screws before wet weather starts up again.

With these trailers, it's not a question of if they leak. They all leak. Materials that withstand the water, with the least opportunity for corrosion of metals, go to the top of my list.

If outdoor means something else, waterproof, etc., I'm all ears! My list is growing, but mostly on the low side. The high side still has Nyloboard at the top.

Thanks,
Anne
Outdoor plywood otherwise known as exterior grade plywood just means that the types of glue used to assemble it are designed for outdoor use. Chemically treated plywood would usually be called something like "pressure treated". Most typically it is greenish in color too. You are absolutely right that pressure treated plywood is not a good idea for replacing your floor. Modern chemicals are supposedly safe enough as far as air quality but the corrosive effect is the real reason to stay away from it. I actually replaced my floor with pressure treated just before finding out just how corrosive the chemicals were. I had to take it all out. I ultimately replaced it with Polyboard. You can read all about how I added extra stiffening for it in the following location:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...ice-14620.html

Malcolm
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Old 10-16-2010, 02:23 AM   #142
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1983 31' Excella
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I recently had my 1984 31' excella restored by Texas Vintage Trailers. Bottom pan had almost fallen off because of voltaic corrosion and sections of the frame were badly rusted out. Floor was pretty good because the previous owner had replaced much of it. As part of the process TVT corrects a design flaw. The shell will direct water onto the floor if the calked seal is not absolutely perfectly maintained where it disappears into the trim ring. TVT changed this so the water will go under the trailer if the trim ring leaks at all. I wasn't there to see this so I hope it makes sense to restorers - it seems to jive with restoration photos I have seen of other trailers like mine.

A comment on plywood of any kind. It must be kept dry no matter what the stuff is made of or it must never be allowed to freeze. Plywood that gets wet and goes through a freeze thaw cycle will delaminate and/or rot. Wood fiber cannot stand up to freeze thaw. So if you don't make sure your plywood is impervious to water (waterproof paint/epoxy sealed and all intrusions calked or the plywood prevented from getting water exposed) you had better keep it where it never freezes.
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:09 PM   #143
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Composite floor Materials?

Couple of questions on this whole floor issue. Was told by a dealer that the 2004 bambis are very problematic due to the OSB flooring and sensitivity to the sealing around the rub rail. My question from a need to know how it works standpoint is what does the cross section of the floor, C Channel, frame, skin, and rub rail look like. What are the major leak areas that need to be maintained on a yearly basis?

Also, has anyone considered a material like this?

http://www.plascore.com/pdf/Plascore_Board.pdf

Its light, strong, and easy to manipulate, fit up. They use it for modular wall systems and many marine applications due to weight and structure. Don't know how it would function as a floor, but another company which seems to have examined this issue and eliminated materials which could rot, Earthbound, is using an aluminum, foam, adhesive composite on the floor.

Since I figure that there is some kind of water damage due to the design, I'm considering replacing the floor with this in a few years. Thoughts?
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:53 AM   #144
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Bren
There is a TV show called how is it made that features Airstream as trailer manufacturer. What they do is put the floor on top of the frame and then attach the skin to the floor. The rub rail is then supposed to form a water tight seal with the skin. This is a major problem. Any break in that seal and water runs down to the floor. But that is not the only problem. Airstream's have riveted seams all over the place - not just the plates but the windows, doors, hatches, vents etc. If one of those seams leaks the water will run down the inside of the trailer between the wall and the aluminum inside frame and liner, soaking the insullation(mould) and the floors(rot). This can go undetected for years. By the time you find out it is too late.

The best calking material I know of is 3M 101. It is a polysulphide 3M developed for the US military. They use(d) it to line the inside seams of helicopter fuel tanks (jet fuel and diesel are like penetrating oil and helicopters vibrate!). The boat industry uses it where there might be movement of the calking and they want a permanent seal. It is rated for 20 years doesn't ever lose flexibility and is paintable. West Marine or similar sells it. West Marine has their own generic version. It will be my seam sealer for all subsequent work on my trailer (I've used it on boats and it works.) Don't put it anywhere you might not want it in the future. It is an SOB to remove because it maintains its stickiness forever (except the exterior film.)

You have to really love the Airstream "cool" factor because this flaw will cause head aches. It's too bad too because all Airstream need do is suspend the wall system outside the floor/frame and use foam insulation. The other thing they should do is be respectful of galvanic corrosion, but that is another story.

The good news is they do retain repairability.
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:34 PM   #145
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1971 21' Globetrotter
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Nyloboard Run

Hello All,

I am replacing my subfloor in my GT and have decided to use nyloboard. I live in Austin and the shipping of my sheets of nyloboard was $980. So, I am going to drive down to Georgia to pick up my sheets. If anyone in Texas needs nyloboard, I'll drive to Georgia to pick them up for you, if you pitch in for the gas and truck. If you are interested, please let me know asap, since I want to make this run next week. You can pick up your sheets in Austin. If intersted let me know. Thanks!
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:42 PM   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Rosie View Post
Bren
There is a TV show called how is it made that features Airstream as trailer manufacturer. What they do is put the floor on top of the frame and then attach the skin to the floor. The rub rail is then supposed to form a water tight seal with the skin. This is a major problem. Any break in that seal and water runs down to the floor. But that is not the only problem. Airstream's have riveted seams all over the place - not just the plates but the windows, doors, hatches, vents etc. If one of those seams leaks the water will run down the inside of the trailer between the wall and the aluminum inside frame and liner, soaking the insullation(mould) and the floors(rot). This can go undetected for years. By the time you find out it is too late.

The best calking material I know of is 3M 101. It is a polysulphide 3M developed for the US military. They use(d) it to line the inside seams of helicopter fuel tanks (jet fuel and diesel are like penetrating oil and helicopters vibrate!). The boat industry uses it where there might be movement of the calking and they want a permanent seal. It is rated for 20 years doesn't ever lose flexibility and is paintable. West Marine or similar sells it. West Marine has their own generic version. It will be my seam sealer for all subsequent work on my trailer (I've used it on boats and it works.) Don't put it anywhere you might not want it in the future. It is an SOB to remove because it maintains its stickiness forever (except the exterior film.)

You have to really love the Airstream "cool" factor because this flaw will cause head aches. It's too bad too because all Airstream need do is suspend the wall system outside the floor/frame and use foam insulation. The other thing they should do is be respectful of galvanic corrosion, but that is another story.

The good news is they do retain repairability.
Besides walking on and providing a spacer for the shell frame to attach trailer frame, does the floor provide any other structure/support for the shell?

Unfortunately I'm addicted to the cool factor primarily because I hate the mauve and wallpaper boarder in everything else. Still think I'll try to the honeycomb sheets at some point. I like the recommendation about foam board for insulation. Thanks for the info.
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:36 AM   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bren_vt2002 View Post
Couple of questions on this whole floor issue. Was told by a dealer that the 2004 bambis are very problematic due to the OSB flooring and sensitivity to the sealing around the rub rail. My question from a need to know how it works standpoint is what does the cross section of the floor, C Channel, frame, skin, and rub rail look like. What are the major leak areas that need to be maintained on a yearly basis?

Also, has anyone considered a material like this?

http://www.plascore.com/pdf/Plascore_Board.pdf

Its light, strong, and easy to manipulate, fit up. They use it for modular wall systems and many marine applications due to weight and structure. Don't know how it would function as a floor, but another company which seems to have examined this issue and eliminated materials which could rot, Earthbound, is using an aluminum, foam, adhesive composite on the floor.

Since I figure that there is some kind of water damage due to the design, I'm considering replacing the floor with this in a few years. Thoughts?
Hi bren vt002;
Having no experience yet with this mention by you product, my only concern would be its capability to hold fasteners being hollow in structure. As a rule such product may require special fasteners and a special procedure to install it. Because the frame flexes, it may tear the fragile skin under the fasteners. The rigidity of the product appears to be adequate however.

Here is my answer to floor issues. I have used a 1/2" plywood with bonded aluminum skins on both sides. Each section was joined by aluminum H trim placed horizontally and sealed into trim by 3M-5200 adhesive. Outer edges were enclosed as well with aluminum C trim sealed by 5200. I have used a 1/4"-20 SS flat head screws to attach the floor to the frame. Using a corresponding drill bit for a 1/4"-20 I have drilled and tapped into plywood and frame without countersinking the top of the plywood. Placing a small amount of 5200 into each hole and under head of a flat head to seal the screw I have allowed the head to compress the aluminum skin instead of countersinking. To isolate the aluminum skins of the plywood from my new Stainless Steel frame I have used 0.060" 3M liners tape leaving no spot where water can come in contact with wood. Liners tape being very sticky keeps water from creeping into contact area with frame. Third year and not a single issue has been spotted. Thanks, "Boatdoc"
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Old 10-30-2010, 11:14 AM   #148
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Well I just returned from my visit to Nyloboard in Covington, GA. I was very impressed and learned that in addition to the G2 sheets, they also make a G4 sheet which is even more rigid than the G2. The G4 is different from the G2 in that there are two fiberglass coatings to each side instead of the one coating on each side. This makes it very very rigid. I bought 4-- 3/4" 5'x8' sheets.
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:14 PM   #149
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No more free lunch for my passengers

I've got a 76 Argosy 28' that's been sitting a while. The PO stripped out the forward part (kitchen, sofa, barrel chairs and table) to use as a mobile office. He patched in a new section of plywood flooring and installed linoleum. To say the least I wasn't impressed with his workmanship and have been planning to replace the entire front floor section. Meanwhile I was putting up with a minor roof leak and was noticing the floor deteriorating. I was weighing the options for flooring material and ended up thinking KDAT pressure treated plywood was the way to go until I saw the posts about corrosion;NO WAY! So I figured I'd go with marine plywood, I've seen how resistant it is to moisture. Today , I decided to strip the old linoleum (vinyl, actually) off the floor and discovered that wasn't the answer either! Check out my attachment, hopefully it'll come out. I'll be going with the Nyloboard if I can pick it up cheap enough.
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:05 PM   #150
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Wow, Patrick, aren't you glad you don't have one of those vintage trailers with wooden structure? At least with the Airstream & Argosy, wood just on the floor and cabinets, you can see the damage without too much effort. I hope Nyloboard works out for you. I'm going on three years with it in the back bath replacement. It gets a bit of water from a leak I haven't fixed yet, but no visible effect.

Good luck,
Anne
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Old 12-13-2010, 04:23 PM   #151
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All this talk of the Nyloboard, it really does sound like something that I would like to use should I need to redo the floor in my '65 Caravel when it arrives here in the spring.

I just sent out for the sample and literature pack from Nyloboard, and e-mailed them to ask about more local distributors. Sounds like great stuff.

Anybody weighed any substantial pieces of it yet, to see how the weight compares to 3/4" plywood?

-Hans
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Old 12-13-2010, 04:31 PM   #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHaase View Post
All this talk of the Nyloboard, it really does sound like something that I would like to use should I need to redo the floor in my '65 Caravel when it arrives here in the spring.

I just sent out for the sample and literature pack from Nyloboard, and e-mailed them to ask about more local distributors. Sounds like great stuff.

Anybody weighed any substantial pieces of it yet, to see how the weight compares to 3/4" plywood?

-Hans
Hey Hans

I'm also reflooring a caravel ('66) and am thinking of going the nyloboard route, so let me know how it goes. One think I noticed on their site:

"Our standard sheet size is 4 x 8, and we can make custom sheet sizes up to 8 feet wide and up to 24 feet long."

perhaps a single sheet floor, shipping might be an issue though .

Caius
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Old 12-14-2010, 01:42 PM   #153
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Shipping would definitely be an issue for a single sheet floor. Actually shipping is the issue for products like this because they are both bulky and heavy. I used a product called Polyboard for my floor and I was able to get it locally. There is no local supplier in my area any more and if I were to try to use Polyboard again it would end up costing perhaps 2x what it cost before because of the shipping. If you want to read about my Polyboard floor try searching the forum for Polyboard.

The ideal scenario would be to do a full body off frame repair and plan to haul your frame to the factory and have them set the single sheet on top of your frame right there. Shipping problem solved. Unfortunately that would not be practical for most of us.

Malcolm
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Old 12-14-2010, 04:50 PM   #154
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Is this a product the big box home improvement store sell?
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