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Old 04-03-2009, 09:51 AM   #1
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Removing floor shell-on

I'm sure this has been asked before but I was unable to find it with search function. I see where some have set their (Skil type) saw to cut at the depth of the plywood then proceed to make cuts around area to be replaced. My question is what do you do for the areas next to the wall? My saw will only get to within about 6 inches of the wall then there is another 2 inches under the wall to deal with. Thanks.
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:03 AM   #2
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I'm not sure what year AS you're talking about but we have a 72 tradewind and in replacing the floor without taking the shell off you have to take off the lower interior skins.

After you take off the skin you will see that a piece of aluminum called the C-Channel, is BOLTED to the old floor, you must remove the bolts then you will be able to pull out the old flooring. Even if the floor is so rotted that it fall out from under the C-Channel you still have to remove the old bolts so you can slide a new piece of plywood under the channel and then bolt it back down.

Let us know what year you have and others will be able to tell you if there are any surprises under the floor, We cut the old plywood with a circular saw but didn't know that our water tank was under the floor, fortunately We didn't hit it with the blade, but the carpendar ants had already chewed holes in it anyway.

Good luck

Annette
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:09 AM   #3
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I had a similar problem with my unit. I uses a sawzaw to cut out the rotten wood. I left enough wood around the wall to try and pull it out by hand. The wood was rotten and it expanded. I basically had to clean it out slow with a chisel. Then I had figured out that there were some screws going down into the wood. I had to use an angle grinder to clean them out. I also drilled out some of the rivets to pull the walls back to rescrew. It was a tedious job. While you have the floor up you should check the frame and insulation. Might be a good time to brush the rust off and protect it with a new coat of rustoleum. Or you might find serious frame damage I would also suggest that you look for holes and rivets that need to be replaced. I also replaced with marined plywood that I treated with several coats of polyurethane. I didnt feel like doing this job again for another 30 years or so. Good luck. Lots of great information out there. These are just the steps that I took.
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:15 AM   #4
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Annette,

Thanks for the reply, my trailer is actually a Silver Streak which from what I can see was made pretty much like an Airstream. I have the lower skins removed and the screws that are through the U-channel. My problem is figuring out how to saw out the old floor where it gets close to and under the U-channel as the circular saw will not get close enough.
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:36 AM   #5
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I did it on my 71 GT on this thread
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...nte-26902.html


Kip
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:55 AM   #6
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Sawzall and chisels to break up the old wood, screwdrivers and putty knives to clean it out. As noted, look for the bolts and screws as well, if your construction is same/similar to an Airstream. The bolts were pretty easy, most of them were so rusted that a couple of quick yanks with a pair of vice grips was enough. The screws were more painful, but after I chipped away the wood underneath them, some PB blaster and some time, and then they were able to turn out with some vice grips, too. A dremel with cutoff wheel would also help on some of these issues.

Good luck!

-Marcus
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:12 AM   #7
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Kip,

Thanks for the link to your floor repair. Though I cannot find any detail of how exactly it was accomplished (especially near the outer edges), there is much to read, see and learn.
Thank you.

Marcus,

Thanks for your reply, sounds like I have an excuse to buy a new tool, a Sawzall! Other option is to remove shell.....then it will no longer be in the way of my circular saw!
Thank you.
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverHoot View Post
Kip,

Thanks for the link to your floor repair. Though I cannot find any detail of how exactly it was accomplished (especially near the outer edges), there is much to read, see and learn.
Thank you.

Marcus,

Thanks for your reply, sounds like I have an excuse to buy a new tool, a Sawzall! Other option is to remove shell.....then it will no longer be in the way of my circular saw!
Thank you.
You can cut the floor down the middle with a circular saw, you can adjust blade depth so you don't hit any crossmembers. After you remove the bolts holding the floor to the channel, you can lift the floor from the center, and pull it out from under the channel.
Be careful with the sawzall, it can and will cut everything in its path.
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:43 AM   #9
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Keep in mind that the bolts hold the shell to the frame. When all of them are removed you have to be very careful as you proceed, to keep the shell from dropping down onto the frame or getting blown into your neighbors yard. If possible, keep spacers between the shell and frame that are the same thickness as your new floor material so you can slide the new floor in place. Pull the spacers out as you put the new floor in. And at the same time, try to keep the wind from blowing! It's not as hard as it seems.
There is a tool called the multimaster made by Fein. It is perfect for getting into hard to reach places like under the C channel, and it's very easy to use. Also, it's almost impossible to cut yourself with it. You can actually touch the cutter with your fingers without getting cut. Check it out before you go get a sawzall. I think you'll like it better.

Rich
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:56 AM   #10
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Rich,

Very interesting tool, thanks!

Michael
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:03 PM   #11
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After removing all the perimeter hardware from the back half of the trailer I was able to jack up the back and flex the walls out enough to replace in whole sheets with the most aft first. I did the same for the front half after the rear was reattached but with the front, the walls flexed out enough to slide in complete sheets. Also on the front I installed the front sheet first by flexing the walls out and sliding it forward into position and then the last two sheets the walls flexed out enough to just drop them in. I had the complete belly pan and wrap removed to do this.

Kip
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:19 PM   #12
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Michael, check this out:

Fein Multimaster FMM250START Start Sander Kit, 250 Watts - ToolKing.com

They are calling it a sander, which it is, but it comes with the E-cut sawblade also. It's a multi-purpose tool.

Rich

I got one on sale at a local home supply place for about $180.00
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:50 PM   #13
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Hope this isn't a complete hijack, only partially!

I'll be reinstalling about a 16" section of rear floor tommorrow in my 1970 Safari. I'm almost sure it will have to be two pieces.

So would it be better to put a reinforced joint in the middle or over the frame?

I not so sure this is real critical given the size, but just overthinking again.

While I'm at it, I'm I crazy to think that the shell provides more support to the frame than vice/versa?

I've reinforced the back 40 inches of my frame, If the shell wasn't holding the backend up, I'm sure I would have lost the bumper!
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Old 04-03-2009, 02:39 PM   #14
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If you have a rear bath you will find your black tank under the floor leaving no room below for a doubler to fit in. I think it will have to be on the frame. I would rabbet the edges of both pieces where they meet on top of the frame, and overlap the rabbets with glue in the seam. Then bolt them down. You might even want to do this in three pieces with the overlapping seams on the frame rails.

The frame and shell are constantly in tension. the frame holds the shell down as much as the shell holds the frame up.

Rich
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