Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-14-2008, 07:16 PM   #1
New Member
1970 25' Tradewind
San Antonio , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1
Plywood patch replacement

Hello Airstreamers!
I have recently purchased a 1970 Airstream and am in the process of fixing up the interior. The old tile flooring has been taken up. There are (3) six to eight inch rotten areas of plywood around door and window. I have had flooring people come out and we are'nt sure of how to go about replacing the plywood, as the original plywood looks to be bolted down. Any suggestions on replacement? Does the underneath of the trailer have to be taken off? This seems like it would be too difficult. Has anyone ever added more plywood on top of existing plywood? Is it better to replace larger or smaller sections. The beams underneath are metal. thanks for any help you can give, Catherine

Catherine Vo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2008, 07:21 PM   #2
Rivet Master
tphan's Avatar
1972 27' Overlander
Longmont , Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 951
Welcome to the forums, Catherine! The "search" feature of this forum will provide you with all the information you could want concerning your floor questions. Good luck, and enjoy the process.

tphan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2008, 07:25 PM   #3
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
Silver Threads's Avatar
2000 25' Excella
Kingston , Tennessee
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 904
Images: 23
Welcome to the forums! My husband patched a few places that had rotted in our floor rather than try to remove the entire thing. he cut out the rotten pieces, making sure to cut back to the frame because you have to screw it in. He then filled in the seems with a filler that dries very hard. He then sanded it down smooth.
John & Tammy Adams
Silver Threads Custom RV Curtains
2000 Airstream Excella | AIR 15902
Silver Threads is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2008, 07:35 PM   #4
Rivet Master
Lumatic's Avatar

1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Estancia , New Mexico
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 5,874
Images: 16
Floor guys don't know how to work on Airstreams. Don't add another layer of flooring. Cut out the rotten wood and scab in a patch screwing both the patch and original floor to a piece of plywood 4" wide with 2" overlap on the seam. There are special bolts to bolt the floor down to the frame and to the C channel where the floor meets the shell. They are available through Inland RV. Use a penetrating epoxy designed for water damaged wood to kill and reinforce any left over water damaged areas. There is a detailed description in at least one previous post if you do a search.
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
Lumatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2008, 07:37 PM   #5
Site Team
azflycaster's Avatar
1975 25' Tradewind
Dewey , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 12,036
Images: 62
Blog Entries: 1
For small patches you can just cut out the bad area. Then screw a 2 inch border around the hole (on the bottom side) with 1 inch on the good side. This will provide you with a 1 inch backing around the hole for the new piece.

If the rot is not too bad, you could try to treat it with some rot doctor.

What ever you do, find the leak that cause the water to get in the trailer and rot the floor. You will only want to do this once.


WBCCI President 2016-2017
azflycaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2008, 10:34 PM   #6
2 Rivet Member
1977 31' Sovereign
Prineville , Oregon
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 25
I had a similar situation. I cut out some bad sections and replaced them using the techniques described by Azflycaster and Lumatic. Then I painted the whole floor wih Kilz and screwed/glued down another complete layer of 3/8 plywood. The resulting floor is much more solid and sure feeling than the original. I painted the new wood layer with Kilz and installed floating vinyl flooring.
There is one concern though. If you have badly rotted wood, you may also have rust damaged frame components in the same areas. I did, and I had to cut several out and weld in new ones. That was a pain. These projects always get bigger than you think they will
DasAir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2008, 04:02 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member
1973 31' Sovereign
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 71
i have a 31ft 1973 sovereign that I am installing Allure vinyl plank flooring in. The plywood subfloor is generally good except for a small 1X5in spot by door. I was going to scrape that out and put bondo auto body filler in that spot. I saw this technique used on the DIYN special on Airstream restoration.
The other issue I have is the seam on the plywood between the bedroom and kitchen does not met cleanly. The edge of the bedwood plywood does not appear to be secured well. How can I fix this or should I ingnore it and put a threshold there or just run the floating vinyl planks over this.
Thanks for any help.
AustinAir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2008, 10:59 AM   #8
2 Rivet Member
1977 31' Sovereign
Prineville , Oregon
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 25
Just remember that Bondo has to be applied over something that can support it. I still think cutting that piece out would be better, and such a small area shouldn't be hard at all. As far as the loose flooring, the edges should come together over frame rails. The factory used bolts that catch both edges, but like you, I've found places where the edges aren't well secured. I used flooring screws on each edge as long as I could get them to hit metal underneath. The best screws are decking screws sold for attaching decking to trailers. They are self threading, Torx drive screws with thin heads that pull down flush. Many auto parts stores carry them. You will need the correct drill bit and screwgun bit to use with them. Having a small gap is no problem but the edges must be level. By the way, adding the extra layer of wood helped me correct a lot of edge misalignment too. The flooring I used was just vinyl sheeting about 1/8" thick so it really needed flat edges at the wood joints.
Here's a link to a picture of the screws I'm talking about. You can get them locally though, I'm sure.
Trailer Floor Screws - Trailer Deck Screws

DasAir is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
replace skin or patch wol Ribs, Skins & Rivets 8 10-01-2015 07:07 PM
Patch Piece digger bear Ribs, Skins & Rivets 2 06-13-2008 04:45 PM
Floor patch / sealant Jpomie Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame 6 07-27-2007 05:40 PM
Is a patch so bad? CampSayler Ribs, Skins & Rivets 22 10-12-2004 10:44 AM
How do you patch Bullet holes? 59toaster Ribs, Skins & Rivets 5 10-26-2003 08:08 PM

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:23 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.