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Old 06-04-2007, 12:28 AM   #1
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Patching floor help

I'm finally getting around to fixing the floor on my excella and in looking things over I am curious of your opinions.

The patch measures about 16" x 60" and I have exposed 3 frame members and my questions is; is it necessary to remove to banana skins etc to replace the bolts or can I just put a slot in the plywood and slip it back into place. There doesn't seem to be any structural value to have the plywood "bolted" or am I missing something.
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Old 06-04-2007, 04:40 AM   #2
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You use flat head 1/4" or 5/16 self tapping screws, no need to remove the skins.

You may need to support the edges between the frames with butt blocks.
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Old 06-04-2007, 07:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ifihadtime
I'm finally getting around to fixing the floor on my excella and in looking things over I am curious of your opinions.

The patch measures about 16" x 60" and I have exposed 3 frame members and my questions is; is it necessary to remove to banana skins etc to replace the bolts or can I just put a slot in the plywood and slip it back into place. There doesn't seem to be any structural value to have the plywood "bolted" or am I missing something.
Photos and a better description would help.

From what I know, if you are talking about a patch with the 60" dimension along an outside wall then the floor patch must be bolted in or you are asking for separation between the floor and walls, especially if this is a patch that runs along the rear wall of the coach.
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Old 06-04-2007, 08:46 AM   #4
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Just a little comment - if you have to replace the floor section - then in all likely hood the bolts are rusted - thus cutting a slot is fine for only as long as the bolt holds out - once it gives - and in time it will - you will now have NOTHING holding the shell to the frame or your floor

Use a cutting wheel and cut out the old bolts and remove the screws if you have any. Agree with advice given - self tapping screw heavy duty will do the trick.

Take the time to seal the new wood as well. - if moisture gets on the wood it will soak in and over time that causes wood rot. If sealed then it will wick away into the belly pan or onto your floor depending on what floor you have.

To tie the floor together we also have used butt blocks under where there was no outrigger or frame rail. Even if part of the wood made it to a frame. To give it even more strength and to tie it together I have glassed the joints on the top side.

Good luck with your repair -have you found the source of the leak that has caused the damage?? That is half the battle.
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Old 06-04-2007, 11:05 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the replies. Here are a few pics. The first one is the source of the major leak. Now I have to decide on how much work I will do. The patch is up the side on the front left and spans 3 outriggers (frame members). I had planned to do some extensive butt blocking to support the floor but most of the patch will be under the gaucho so it will not see much load.
Finding the leaks was a little challenging but I taped everything that looked suspect and for the most part the leaks have stopped. I think a window frame still has a small leak but I decided to reseal all the window frames anyway. Removing the silicone was a major job in it self but now I'm ready for the poly.

I'm not sure about trying to seal the wood, it looks to me that the edge is the most likely spot for water damage to start and I don't think one can seal it effectively and it might make the problem worse by trapping water in the wood. In fact when I took it apart there was carpet in the area that did a great job of keeping the wood wet and spread it to a larger area than it may have if the carpet was not there. I'm not going to replace the carpet under the gaucho area, instead I'm thinking of putting down the non-slip rubber stuff used for keeping area rugs from sliding (in the storage area), it has a lot of holes in it and should let any water evaporate or at least let me see if the wood is wet. What are your thoughts on the subject of sealing the floor?
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Old 06-06-2007, 08:35 PM   #6
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bolting down the floor

yes by all means you have to bolt the floor back down around the edges.
the floor is bolted to the frame, the shell is bolted to the floor and frame.
this is where it gets its strength from.if not bolted down properly it will flex
and cause many problems.do your self a favor, take the time to do it right.
thats just my opinion. thank for your time. Don Stanton,Chevy ave. restorations.
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Old 06-06-2007, 10:04 PM   #7
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I think how you need to reattach the new plywood along the edge under the body will depend a bit on the structure of the u-channel there along the bottom of the body. In my '73 and I think in all newer units the u-channel has a c-channel on the bottom of it that the plywood slips in to. In my unit there is an exception to this around the curved parts near the front and the rear.

The original installation of my floor had 1/4" bolts through the u-channel into the plywood around the curved parts and then just screws through the u-channel into the plywood from the top elsewhere - and not all that many I might add. It seemed like these screws were more to keep the c-channel from slipping outward rather than holding the body down to the floor. Depending on what you have going on in the area at the front part of your patch (where there may or may not be any c-channel) you may be able to avoid putting bolts through the u-channel down into the plywood inside of the bottom of the wall.

I suggest that you could consider the following approach if the c-channel is pretty much intact and you really don't want to open up the bottom of the wall. Slip the new plywood into the c-channel. Attach the plywood to the frame with self-drilling-self-taping screws as mentioned. Use the wood butt joints as necessary. Then at the edges of the body consider adding some L-brackets attaching the plywood to the bottom of the wall. You could even use a piece of aluminum angle so that the attachement is the full length of the patch. Perhaps use 3/16" rivets to the u-channel and screws down into the plywood. Its going to be under your gaucho so the fact that the attachement is not inside of the wall should not bother anyone.

Malcolm
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