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Old 07-25-2011, 07:56 PM   #1
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Remove or fix old subfloor?

Hello all,

I just purchased a 76' Sovereign and am in the process of steam cleaning the interior to remove the leftover nicotine and mold gifted to my by the previous owner. I my quest for clean I came across a mouse hole or two that had been "sealed" by the previous owner with pieces of sheet metal. The mice have since made their way to the surface (a MM or so from the edge of the sheet metal) so a few holes now exist in what appears to be the original plywood base (screwed into place with nickel sized screws?).

Any suggestions on how to deal with such an issue?

I am not aposed to replacing the plywood but I would also like to enjoy the AS for a bit this summer before putting it to sleep for the winter.

Question: Should I patch the hole (in some other fashion) or replace the plywood?

If I do replace the plywood, do I have to mess with the walls?

Does it unscrew or are the screws just extra oomph?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and be well.

Mikal
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:30 PM   #2
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Remove or fix old subfloor?

Greetings Mikal!

As I read your inquiry, my interpretation is that you are finding holes in the subfloor near the wall along the permimeter of your coach. My fear is that what you are seeing may be evidence of a problem that is going to take some serious work to correct. The floor on an Airstream is a VERY important part the coach's structure -- if the floor is weak beneath the wall, the structure of your coach is compromised to the point where various failures could result.

If the floor is weak where it goes below the walls, floor replacement that includes the necessity of removing the lower interior wall panels likely will be required to achieve a correct repair. You will find a number of threads dealing with "the full monte" or major floor replacements. If the damage isn't widespread, it may be possible to utilize a resin-based wood consolidant to repair the damage (this is another topic covered in a number of existing threads).

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post
Greetings Mikal!

As I read your inquiry, my interpretation is that you are finding holes in the subfloor near the wall along the permimeter of your coach. My fear is that what you are seeing may be evidence of a problem that is going to take some serious work to correct. The floor on an Airstream is a VERY important part the coach's structure -- if the floor is weak beneath the wall, the structure of your coach is compromised to the point where various failures could result.

If the floor is weak where it goes below the walls, floor replacement that includes the necessity of removing the lower interior wall panels likely will be required to achieve a correct repair. You will find a number of threads dealing with "the full monte" or major floor replacements. If the damage isn't widespread, it may be possible to utilize a resin-based wood consolidant to repair the damage (this is another topic covered in a number of existing threads).

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin

Thanks Kevin.

It looks like it is just a mouse hole at the moment but I have felt a bit of give in the middle of the floor under the front of the couch as well. I will pull a bit of the carpet this weekend to see how much of an issue it is.

Are you saying that I would need to pull the wall panels to replace the floor/plywood? Aside from a drill and new rivets, what does that entail?

I am not too concerned with the work as long as I know what I am doing before I get started. Is this something I can do a section at a time or am I pulling everything out of the AS and starting from scratch?

Thanks!

Mikal
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:39 PM   #4
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Hi Mikal

I'd say make the trailer ready and safe for what you're going to use it for. If you're going to tow it, I'd make sure I have a good hitch, and that the bearings, brakes, and lights are all good. If it's going to be a park model, I'd make comfortable for that.

Either way, it needs to be dry, and all components need to work.
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:56 PM   #5
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Remove or fix old subfloor?

Greetings Mikal!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gronlampa View Post
Are you saying that I would need to pull the wall panels to replace the floor/plywood? Aside from a drill and new rivets, what does that entail?

I am not too concerned with the work as long as I know what I am doing before I get started. Is this something I can do a section at a time or am I pulling everything out of the AS and starting from scratch?

Thanks!

Mikal
Yes, if the plywood subfloor needs replacement, it needs to be a solid sheet into the channel below the wall where bolts will join the walls with the floor. There is an aluminum channel at the base of the wall (somewhat comparable to the baseplate on a wall in your home) receives the edge of the plywood and screws are utilized to join the wall to the underlayment through the aluminum channel.

If the damage isn't widespread, it is possible to replace only damaged panels in the subfloor, and you will find several threads that discuss partial floor replacement. In the case of my Overlander, a section of the floor approximating 1/2 sheet of plywood was replaced when its rear end separation was repaired.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post
Greetings Mikal!



Yes, if the plywood subfloor needs replacement, it needs to be a solid sheet into the channel below the wall where bolts will join the walls with the floor. There is an aluminum channel at the base of the wall (somewhat comparable to the baseplate on a wall in your home) receives the edge of the plywood and screws are utilized to join the wall to the underlayment through the aluminum channel.

If the damage isn't widespread, it is possible to replace only damaged panels in the subfloor, and you will find several threads that discuss partial floor replacement. In the case of my Overlander, a section of the floor approximating 1/2 sheet of plywood was replaced when its rear end separation was repaired.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
Is the floor nailed down, glued or is it just screwed down? If it is just screwed down I can't think it would be a big job to replace it; your thoughts?


Thanks!

Mikal
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:03 PM   #7
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The wood deck on my trailer was just bolted and screwed down. It wasn't much of a deal to replace rotten sections. Finding all the leaks that caused the damage was a big deal. I'm absolutely positive my neighbors thought I'd finally lost it when they watched me head out to the trailer with my farmer's milking stool and my poacher's light every time it rained for a solid month.
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:08 PM   #8
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Elevator bolts and screws hold the floor in place. Removal of the lower interior skins is necessary to access the C-channel bolts. You can replace it in sections if it isn't too bad throughout...
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splitrock
The wood deck on my trailer was just bolted and screwed down. It wasn't much of a deal to replace rotten sections. Finding all the leaks that caused the damage was a big deal. I'm absolutely positive my neighbors thought I'd finally lost it when they watched me head out to the trailer with my farmer's milking stool and my poacher's light every time it rained for a solid month.
I am on my way to Home depot to crab a few sheets of subfloor but I am not sure weather I should grab 5/8 or 1/2 for my 1976 sovereign, any idea?

Thanks!

Mikal
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Old 08-10-2011, 05:23 PM   #10
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Mine is 1/2"
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:24 PM   #11
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So I finally had some time to pull a bit of the floor around what I originally thought was a mouse hole but it turned out to be true rot. Fortunately the culprit showed its face rather quickly. It would seem that a past owner punctured the bottom of the Airstream a few inches from one of the bottom jacks. I am guessing it may have slipped off the jack or something of the sort. That said I have a hole/puncture the size of a 50Ę piece in the aluminum belly pan.

http://gallery.me.com/therhizosphere...&bgcolor=black

http://gallery.me.com/therhizosphere...&bgcolor=black

How does one go about fixing such a thing? I figure some sheet metal and rivets???

Should it be patched from the inside or out?


The frame is a bit rusty but it seems like mostly surface rust. Is this something I need to be concerned about?

http://gallery.me.com/therhizosphere...&bgcolor=black

I also noticed that the C-Channel rivets have popped and the channel is free from the outside panel. This concerns me since so many folks have mentioned the role the floor plays in the overall structure of the trailer.

Is this enough to worry about? I don't plan on taking it out on the road anytime soon, just using it at our farm.

http://gallery.me.com/therhizosphere...&bgcolor=black

http://gallery.me.com/therhizosphere...&bgcolor=black

I also came across many star shaped rivet parts. Are these part of the finished rivet are a bi-product of installation?

http://gallery.me.com/therhizosphere...&bgcolor=black


Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and be well.

Mikal
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:35 PM   #12
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gronlampa
So I finally had some time to pull a bit of the floor around what I originally thought was a mouse hole but it turned out to be true rot. Fortunately the culprit showed its face rather quickly. It would seem that a past owner punctured the bottom of the Airstream a few inches from one of the bottom jacks. I am guessing it may have slipped off the jack or something of the sort. That said I have a hole/puncture the size of a 50Ę piece in the aluminum belly pan.

How does one go about fixing such a thing? I figure some sheet metal and rivets???

Should it be patched from the inside or out?

The frame is a bit rusty but it seems like mostly surface rust. Is this something I need to be concerned about?


I also noticed that the C-Channel rivets have popped and the channel is free from the outside panel. This concerns me since so many folks have mentioned the role the floor plays in the overall structure of the trailer.

Is this enough to worry about? I don't plan on taking it out on the road anytime soon, just using it at our farm.


I also came across many star shaped rivet parts. Are these part of the finished rivet are a bi-product of installation?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and be well.

Mikal

Pics to follow. I had some issues with the HTML.
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:51 PM   #13
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Pics to follow. I had some issues wth the HTML.
its hard to say how much damage is done to the floor and frame without dropping the belly pan. most of the surface rust comes from the insulation under the floor. The floor is a big part of the trailers strength so if its bad probablly should be replaced. The popped rivets are also concerning. This could be from the running gear being bad. Not sure what the star shapped rivets are. Could be misfired rivets left in the wall, could be olympic rivets? Need more pics.
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Old 08-17-2011, 08:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marzboy View Post
its hard to say how much damage is done to the floor and frame without dropping the belly pan. most of the surface rust comes from the insulation under the floor. The floor is a big part of the trailers strength so if its bad probablly should be replaced. The popped rivets are also concerning. This could be from the running gear being bad. Not sure what the star shapped rivets are. Could be misfired rivets left in the wall, could be olympic rivets? Need more pics.

It took me a while to figure out the pics.

Please let me know what you think.

Thanks!

Mikal
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