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Old 11-14-2007, 04:53 PM   #1
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1968 26' Overlander
Eureka , California
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Question Rear end gap

I have a 1968 Overlander that had the usual rotten floor in the rear where the bathroom is. I removed the back four feet of floor down to the frame. After repairing a small section of the frame where the outer shell meets it next to where the trailer wiring and shore power chord come through the flooring, I painted the frame and installed the new plywood floor using 5/8 inch marine plywood. I had also removed the U channel where the outer and inner skin were attached since it was damaged and repaired it as well. In addition, I replaced sections of the plywood floor behind both wheel wells and under the refrigerator. In replacing these sections, I actually raised the bottom of the walls by about 1/4 inch. When I replaced the last 4 feet of plywood floor where the bathroom is, it pulled the outer skin tight and the wrinkles on the side of the trailer that were present behind the wheel wells disappeared. I guess you can say I did a "Joan Rivers" on that portion of the coach. Now here's my problem: since the replacement of the rotten plywood, the outer skin at the very rear of the trailer does not come down far enough on the 5/8 inch plywood to completely cover the edge. On the sides of the rear of the trailer, this gap gradually diminishes until the plywood edge is completely covered about 3 feet from the rear. I have checked the frame behind the wheel wells to the rear and found no kinks or bends in it. What's puzzeling is the old rotten plywood was covered by the outer skin which also touched the frame at the rear of the trailer. Now, with the new plywood in place, the outer shell sits 5/8 inch above the frame at the rear of the trailer. Anyone else have this problem? Any ideas on how to fix the gap?
I'd hate for the elements to cause the rot problem again.
Thanks for your advice.
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Old 11-14-2007, 05:53 PM   #2
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Can you post any pictures of this condition? It may help us understand what you are dealing with...from what you are describing, it sounds as though your frame has drooped and actually needs to be raised. Pictures might help...

Shari
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Old 11-14-2007, 05:59 PM   #3
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what shari said

yeah- can you just jack the frame back up, from it's current sagging position? Put a couple hydraulic jacks back there, carefully positioned, and try it a little. You'll know real quick if that's your only problem. Good luck!
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Old 11-14-2007, 06:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobz Hog
I have a 1968 Overlander that had the usual rotten floor in the rear where the bathroom is. I removed the back four feet of floor down to the frame. After repairing a small section of the frame where the outer shell meets it next to where the trailer wiring and shore power chord come through the flooring, I painted the frame and installed the new plywood floor using 5/8 inch marine plywood. I had also removed the U channel where the outer and inner skin were attached since it was damaged and repaired it as well. In addition, I replaced sections of the plywood floor behind both wheel wells and under the refrigerator. In replacing these sections, I actually raised the bottom of the walls by about 1/4 inch. When I replaced the last 4 feet of plywood floor where the bathroom is, it pulled the outer skin tight and the wrinkles on the side of the trailer that were present behind the wheel wells disappeared. I guess you can say I did a "Joan Rivers" on that portion of the coach. Now here's my problem: since the replacement of the rotten plywood, the outer skin at the very rear of the trailer does not come down far enough on the 5/8 inch plywood to completely cover the edge. On the sides of the rear of the trailer, this gap gradually diminishes until the plywood edge is completely covered about 3 feet from the rear. I have checked the frame behind the wheel wells to the rear and found no kinks or bends in it. What's puzzeling is the old rotten plywood was covered by the outer skin which also touched the frame at the rear of the trailer. Now, with the new plywood in place, the outer shell sits 5/8 inch above the frame at the rear of the trailer. Anyone else have this problem? Any ideas on how to fix the gap?
I'd hate for the elements to cause the rot problem again.
Thanks for your advice.
The problem is that the ashell holds the frame up.

The frame will droop when not connected to the shell at the rear.

You will have to remove all the rear end fasteners, jack up the back of the frame with 2 jacks, which will make the holes line up again.

While your at it, to stop a repeat separation, you should add two additional frame hold downs, on the outside of the frame, underneath the banana wraps.
You should also add about a 6 inch wide 1/4 or 3/8 inch steel plate inside of the floor channel at the frame and install additional bolts. That will also help to keep the rear end intact. You will have to contour the steel plates.

Andy
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Old 11-14-2007, 07:01 PM   #5
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1968 26' Overlander
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First off, thank you all for the quick response. Andy, as I understand it, I need to add a couple of outriggers to the outside of the frame so I can attach the floor to them. This will give more strength to the outside edge of the new floor more toward the rear. I'm thinking I'll use 3 inch steel angle iron to fabricate these and cut to the contour with the bannana wrap.
I used 1/4 inch thick aluminum plate inside the floor channel to add strength at the rear. Thanks for the advice.
Bob
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Old 11-14-2007, 07:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobz Hog
First off, thank you all for the quick response. Andy, as I understand it, I need to add a couple of outriggers to the outside of the frame so I can attach the floor to them. This will give more strength to the outside edge of the new floor more toward the rear. I'm thinking I'll use 3 inch steel angle iron to fabricate these and cut to the contour with the bannana wrap.
I used 1/4 inch thick aluminum plate inside the floor channel to add strength at the rear. Thanks for the advice.
Bob
Now your cooking.

Andy
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Old 11-14-2007, 11:41 PM   #7
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1978 23' Safari
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Floor channel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobz Hog
...
I used 1/4 inch thick aluminum plate inside the floor channel to add strength at the rear. Thanks for the advice.
Bob
Bob, Andy,

What's a floor channel? I understand frame, outriggers, floor, C-channel, and inner and outer skins. Where is this floor channel thing?

thanks,
Joe
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Old 11-15-2007, 01:39 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by averagejoe
Bob, Andy,

What's a floor channel? I understand frame, outriggers, floor, C-channel, and inner and outer skins. Where is this floor channel thing?

thanks,
Joe
The floor channel is the "C" channel that sits on top of the floor, that the inner and outer metal fasten to as well.

Andy
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Old 11-15-2007, 07:43 AM   #9
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bobz hog

I just finished the fix that Andy recommends. Real work and time consuming, too, but it's now solid as a rock and I feel good about the fix. One other thing Andy has recommended in his earlier posts about this that he didn't add this time...Use grade 5 bolts or better. I tried the Home Depot bolts and nuts. When I torqued em down, they all started to warp and one snapped from the pressure,. wasn't even that much twist on them! I now have good hardware and don't have to take it back apart. I should have listened closer the first time!
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