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Old 03-30-2014, 07:31 AM   #1
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Options to build up floor

I have replaced the floor in the back of my 1961 bambi. I used ACX plywood and treated it with epoxy. Attached the U channel with bolts and I think it has been done right. I need to "build up" the replacement floor to the height of the current floor. The current floor has the original tile, then a thick linoleum. I am going to overlay the entire floor with the lowes glue together floating floor. I saw on the forum a discussion of luan plywood, but I don't want something without waterproof glue, right?Click image for larger version

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ID:	208549 I also thought of putting down sheet vinyl, but I would need a couple of layers. Thoughts?
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:53 AM   #2
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I have replaced the floor in the back of my 1961 bambi. I used ACX plywood and treated it with epoxy. Attached the U channel with bolts and I think it has been done right. I need to "build up" the replacement floor to the height of the current floor. The current floor has the original tile, then a thick linoleum. I am going to overlay the entire floor with the lowes glue together floating floor. I saw on the forum a discussion of luan plywood, but I don't want something without waterproof glue, right?Attachment 208549 I also thought of putting down sheet vinyl, but I would need a couple of layers. Thoughts?
It doesn't look like you removed all of the interior lower wall sections in the rotted area. How did you install bolts without doing this? You would also have to remove the bellypan, or at least cut holes in it in order to insert the bolts from below. There is no "quasi" fix here that works for any length of time. Do it right & you'll get your $ back in time, do it poorly & its just another failed project. Sorry to be so harsh, but we see fudge repairs all the time & its a lot of work to backtrack to the basic problem. We've talked about this numerous times on The Vintage Airstream Podcast | Vintage Trailer Restoration .

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Old 03-30-2014, 08:07 AM   #3
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My experience with luan as underlayment has been bad over the long term. If it gets any water on it from a leak it tends to disappear fast. Probably because it is so porous.
Have you considered removing the old linoleum and tile? Peeling the old tile can be tough as they used bombproof glue but a Harbor Freight heat gun helps a lot.
I have tried many tile removing methods, even to the point of welding a hoe blade on an air chisel. Not a fun job at best.
After trying tile a couple times I prefer sheet vinyl and lots of throw rugs. Of course almost all our camping is where there is sand and mud

Day 46 in Florida with no hookups (3/30/14)
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:25 AM   #4
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Thanks Colin and you are right. This picture was taken before I removed the panels. Actually, I did do a little fudge. I cut the bottom edge cabinet area panel to access the U channel but had to remove the bath area panel because it has to stay in one piece. No worries. Any ideas about building up the floor?
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:29 AM   #5
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OK. No luan. Maybe I will just put in a layer of sheet vinyl with glue. I am a little squeamish about pulling up all the original tile and I would still have to build up the floor.
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:32 AM   #6
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Thanks Colin and you are right. This picture was taken before I removed the panels. Actually, I did do a little fudge. I cut the bottom edge cabinet area panel to access the U channel but had to remove the bath area panel because it has to stay in one piece. No worries. Any ideas about building up the floor?
Keep in mind that sectioning the floor reduces the overall strength of the shell.

The monocoque construction means the shell is load bearing.

Splicing the floor weakens that strength.

Andy
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:18 AM   #7
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How about a sheet of the pebble grained fiberglass sheet that they use in commercial bathroom walls? Put the pebble side down and you would have a smooth side to work with. It's about 1/8" to 3/16" thick.
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Old 03-30-2014, 01:34 PM   #8
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you don't say what thicknes of bild ?. I use 4'x8'x 1/8" or 1/4" ABS or UHHM plastic.
It wont soak up any thing, mold ect. and is a snap to work. (industrial plastic supply)
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Old 03-30-2014, 04:09 PM   #9
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I am sorry but I missed something so please what the heck did you put all of those screws into? And as Colin and Andy (sorry guys) said a shade tree job is not only bad for the structure but will cost more down the road. Leveling the floor? What thickness did you put down? Others probably will not say this but I will, you will be pulling this with family in the tv so don't do this half way because it will come apart and they could be there at the time. Take those lower panels off clean up that mess and do it right please.
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:58 AM   #10
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Wow. Harsh! The floor is under the U channel and attached securely with proper bolts as stated. I took off the skins to attach the bolts. The screws are attached to the frame and reinforcements. I wonder what you would say to someone that just put down a cover sheet and didn't go under the U channel? I know that is improper and I went down to the frame. It doesn't help to call someone names such as "shade tree." BTW, I used 5/8" plywood but there are three layers of flooring in the trailer. I was asking the question about building up the floor. There is a difference between being critical and giving a critique.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:35 AM   #11
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Keep in mind that sectioning the floor reduces the overall strength of the shell.

The monocoque construction means the shell is load bearing.

Splicing the floor weakens that strength.

Andy
While this is undoubtedly correct doing a shell off is not always practical.
Any replacement floor should be a marked improvement over no floor or a severely delaminated floor under the C channel.

In my case I have done several pieced in partials, including both the front and rear of my 61. I planned all the joints to NOT be on the braces and used 4 inch wide strips of 3/4 plywood glued under the joints and screwed with many drywall screws.
These repairs seem to be quite strong are standing the test of time well. I feel they are much better attached to the trailer frame and body than was originally done by Airstream and their build lasted 50 years or more. Mine does not need to last nearly that long to serve my needs.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:43 AM   #12
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Options to build up floor

Maybe you can put a piece of 1/4" plywood on top to level out?
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:49 AM   #13
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Have you considered pulling up the remaining floor covering to level things out?

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Old 03-31-2014, 10:41 AM   #14
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OK. I hate to even add to the off topic of my main question, but I will add to the post. What is the same as cleats from below? Cleats from above! Fortunately for me, the sections of the plywood can take a cleat from above because they are either under the cabinet, under the shower (which actually has a 5/8 " overlay anyway), and under the black tank (that sits up in blocks). The only place I can't cleat from above is under the water heater and I may need to hit that one from below. This does leave the concern of the screws in the frame but I think the frame, because the holes are there, is stronger with a screw in the hole than not. When the frame flexes, if nothing is in the hole, it may have more of a tendency to crack. I could just start over (argh) but I still will have the holes in the frame and I may need to add to them to secure the new plywood.
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