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Old 04-30-2002, 05:23 PM   #1
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Question re new floor fitting on our 1958 Traveller

Hi,

We are looking at fitting a new floor in our 1958 Traveller. After demo we see that the current floor has some bad patches - we bought this trailer because the skin in and out is pretty much perfect...

I was thinking of doing the following:-

1 Dying out the current floor,
2 Ceaning the surface of all debris and dust
3 Fitting an L-shaped 1/2" aluminum extrusion all around screwed into the sidewalls directly above the current floor
4 Covering the current floor liberally with a 2 part runny epoxy mixture
5 Laying a new layer of 1/2" marine ply directly on top of the old floor, using the epoxy to bind the 2 layers together
6 Screwing the new floor into the aluminum extrusion round all the edges with self tappers

Although this will raise my floor 1/2" it will i think make a very solid base. most of my current floor is ok, with a bad patch at the front under the diner and not a pretty site around the bathroom area.

We'd really appreciate any feedback from anyone who has been down this path!

Thanks

Will & Naomi Henshall
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Old 04-30-2002, 06:38 PM   #2
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Have you considered the extra weight you would be adding with the second layer of plywood throughout? I would estimate it's about 35-40 lbs per 4'x8' sheet...

Just a comment for your consideration ~ may not be an issue with your towing set-up.

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Old 04-30-2002, 08:54 PM   #3
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Once you get the floor tiles up you may be able to see where the original plywood seams are. You could just remove the sheet back to a seam or remove the rotten section back to a frame member and patch in a new piece.

Patching in new pieces can't be more work than what you have described above.

I know many of the forum members have done the patching thing and could offer up their experience/advice. I agree with the prior post, you may not want to use up the usable weight capacity of the trailer by adding 150 lbs. of additional plywood. Think of how many more shagadelic things you can carry with the 150 lbs available for stuff.
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Old 04-30-2002, 09:35 PM   #4
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Will & Naomi Henshall;

The floor is an integral part of the overall structure of your Airstream. It is what holds the Shell in place. All you would need is one good flex twist on a campground dirt road and your Shell will separate from the Chassis/Frame. The angle material you are talking about installing will do nothing to keep this from happening.

You have already removed all of the interior from the trailer. That is the hard part. All you have to do now is drill out the bottom row of rivets and you can get at the bolts that used to hold the Shell to the floor. From the photo you posted and my own experiance on my floor I can Guarantee that your floor and frame are very close to separtion now. Believe me (and countless others) you must put in a new floor from the ground up. It is not easy but a safe and secure trailer is very rewarding and will increase the value of your Vintage Airstream by a couple of thou$and dollar$.

I have spent the last 4 weekends just repairing the section under my bath. There was NOTHING attached from 4 feet back. The last 4 feet of my trailer had sagged a 1/2" and had to be carefully jacked up just to get the new wood in. I still have another section, near the front to fix. It is four foot wide and is located from the door to the other side of the trailer under the Refrigerator. All of the wood in the center is solid but the ends under the shell holding up the walls are gone. I will remove the whole section and replace it with a new 4 x 8 sheet. It is a LOT of work and I am not looking forward to it but it will be right and I will feel good about it.

You can see some of the project at;

Globetrotter 65 Floor

The rear floor is now in and securely bolted with carriage bolts and safety nuts. 37 of the bolts were used around the shell and in the middle on the steel frame. We also primed and painted the exposed frame as it was badly corroded. My cost to do this repair was 1 sheet of plywood, the bolts, and 2 cans of paint. Less than 40 dollars. Slave Labor (me)was free.

Just my .02 cents

Best Regards;
Bobby Wright
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Old 04-30-2002, 11:01 PM   #5
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Many thanks for taking the time to reply!

Very useful info. Thanks again.

I will be looking at how the individual floor sections are in detail with my brother on Saturday. Much of the floor seems pretty solid, so maybe it will be quicker to replace a few sections....

Re weight issues, fyi I took the trailer to the dump to lose the demo junk and it weighed 1700lbs before the big jetison and 1400lbs after...with the water tank still inside, which will also be jetisoned when I can get a new hacksaw blade <grin> so I expect the shell and original floor to come in at 1350lbs totally empty.

I can tow this behind my Ford Ranger pickup (with the heavy duty 4x4 Offroad/tow package) without even really noticing it is there. The hydrallic brakes don't work of course....

What is the forum's view on brakes on a little trailer like this?

We will not be towing this very far at all. Ie this will not be going with us on our trips generally! I would expect to tow it no more than 1000 local miles in the next 2 years...

The law here in California is you don't need brakes on a tow vehicle less than 1500lbs. I tow a Suzuki Samurai behind our 345LE 4 to the floor with no brake system, and it really makes little difference. It weighs 1300lbs only. As always the key is safe driving eh? I have had to do a few emergency stops...

All the best

Will Henshall
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Old 05-01-2002, 12:20 AM   #6
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Brakes

As long as you stay in California, I guess you would be OK. But, I am sure that other states will require them to be hooked up. Have you checked with your insurance company as to their requirements. I know that if you have an accident you would be held liable for failure to have the safety equipment hooked up. (darn Lawyers) Even a bad lawyer will go after you for this one.

I don't mean to be a downer on this. Just my thoughts.

-BobbyWright
Not a Lawyer, nor have I played one on Television.
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Old 05-30-2002, 09:33 PM   #7
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Pictures of where I am up to with the total floor replacement

Hi all,

Thought you might be interested in seeing how it's going with the floor replacement. I got resigned to the fact that this would be a big project and would use up all my spare time for a couple of months. So eventually I got the shell off last weekend. Next weekend I pull off the old floor and cut and bolt etc the new floor. I couldn't have done this without the wonderful help from folk on this forum by the way. Thanks to all!

Cheers

Will Henshall

I'll go post a bunch of pics on the Airstream photos site later
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Old 05-31-2002, 06:03 AM   #8
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Keep those pctures coming

Thanks for the update! I was worried that since we had not heard from you we might have scared you off.

Please continue to photo document your endeavour so that we can refer future restorers to how it is done. I know it is hard to stop and take pictures when the work gets flowing but your efforts are appreciated now and will be more so down the road. Five years from now even more people will be needing to do this.

ThanX and keep safe;
-BobbyWright
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Old 05-31-2002, 11:17 AM   #9
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Here's the link to the pictures...

http://www.airstreamphotos.com/photo...er=155&thumb=1

Best

Will
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Old 06-30-2004, 04:08 PM   #10
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Easire to pull up inner skin, or take off frame completely

WilliamHenshall- i see that you took your trailer off the frame completely, did you find this to be easier that doing it inside the shell with it still on? I would like to gut it all, re-wire and put in all new insulation, sound like a possibility with 2 weeks stright working, and then 4 weekends after that...? (trying to make it to Region 1 Rally)

I am home for about 2 weeks in between jobs, and am trying to figure out how to tackle doing the floors (i am replacing front to back with marine grade 3/4" ply) I am new to this up keep with the trailers(my parents have owned 2 new airstream motorhomes). I have been traveling with WBCCI and my parents for 8 years, and this past year was able to pick up my own tin can.(Vermont International Rally was my first rally as a member with my own trailer... 2 weeks after i picked it up from connecticut) So i am looking for any help at all, trying to put a rush on the process...thank you for any information you are able to give me. Sincerely, Chad Bleakney
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