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Old 10-01-2012, 10:22 PM   #15
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1962 19' Globetrotter
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Went to pull her up and almost blew my head up from pulling so hard

Pulled some rot away... Questions:

1. Do I grind away these big ass carriage bolts holding the floor down? Or how is this subfloor attached... I could feel the screws but thought I could pull hard enough and it would come....not!

I have not removed the belly pan and don't want to if I do t have to....I just want to pull this damn subfloor up!
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:02 AM   #16
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Went to pull her up and almost blew my head up from pulling so hard
The plywood subfloor is securely attached every 1-2' with carriage bolts to the frame. You will never be able to "just pull it up". You need to get under the floor enough to break off the carriage bolts.

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1. Do I grind away these big ass carriage bolts holding the floor down?
No, don't grind them, just fatigue snap them with a pair of pliers.

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Or how is this subfloor attached... I could feel the screws but thought I could pull hard enough and it would come....not!
Cut out a big enough piece of wood at each bolt to get your hands in there and break off the bolts. We used a circular saw set just deep enough to get through 99% of the plywood and break it out in big pieces. Basically running it around the perimeter and all the frame members. Then you can see all the bolts that need to be removed. It's also necessary to remove the lower interior panels out so you can get inside the c-channel that holds the skin/floor/frame together. There are bolts there that have to be removed & replaced - I don't think this can be accomplished without removing the interior or exterior skins.

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I have not removed the belly pan and don't want to if I do t have to....I just want to pull this damn subfloor up!
We only removed & replaced a damaged potion of the belly (at the back) in order to weld & repair a damaged frame crossmember - there is no need to drop the entire belly when doing a shell-on floor replacement. At least with a 50's trailer, if you remove the rivets that hold the belly on, the shell also becomes free as the same rivets hold both together to the frame the way they overlap

Shari .
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:25 AM   #17
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Use a 2-3" hole saw to cut the plywood around each bolt. This will allow removal of the subfloor. Once plywood is removed you can attack the remaining bolts and plywood
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Old 10-02-2012, 02:30 PM   #18
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Use a 2-3" hole saw to cut the plywood around each bolt. This will allow removal of the subfloor. Once plywood is removed you can attack the remaining bolts and plywood
I forgot...we did this too!

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Old 10-02-2012, 09:19 PM   #19
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Just my "two bits", if you don't remove the belly pan (which kind of means "shell off" unless you trim out a smaller area of the belly pan), then you'll have to go with a different floor attachment method as the "stock" method requires access to the bottom of the flooring bolts (the ones you're breaking your back on) to tighten the nuts. Here's a link on a different website that you've probably seen, but in this case they only remove an inner portion of the belly pan to keep from performing a "shell off" situation.

Floor Replacement - Vintage Airstream
Your asking all the right questions though!!!

Here's my saga:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f73/...ons-92652.html

Good luck,
Lee
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:52 PM   #20
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1962 19' Globetrotter
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I posted this in my build thread but here it goes


Circular saw died on me pulled it all up with my pry bar and my hammer. Those bolts are nooooooooo joke lol
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:51 AM   #21
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Oh my gosh what have I gotten myself into. I need to replace my floor in some areas but I thought I might as well do it all so I know what I have, but I had no idea it was best to remove the shell when doing that.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:44 AM   #22
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Now that I see what hold the shell on its pretty basic , just for me the subfloor was a beeeeeeyotch, now that its exposed its a lot easier

Removing what skins inside I can today
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:11 AM   #23
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Excellent work!!

All the inner panels should come out by removing screws EXCEPT the ones adjacent to the door. These are riveted to the door frame (at least in mine). The best tool I've found to remove rivets is this rivet driller:
Rivet Removal Tool
This works great....they have a lot of other cool stuff at this website too. As you said it's kind of basic once you see how it goes together.

Good luck,
Lee
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:39 AM   #24
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I'm into replacing my rear sub floor right now on a 1989 Excella. I have the floor cut out. Now that I can see how the walls attach to the floor I'm going to pull the inside wall sheeting.I have another post and a member made a good point about needing to do this. I had hoped there was another way to go and I had a couple of ideas but they wouldn't be as strong. Also he pointed out that getting the floor into the squeezed down channel would be difficult. The more I look at it the more I can see that the stability of the wall etc is the only way to keep the seals functional. Man I hate the thought of pulling those wall panels but it looks like that is what it takes to do it right. I think I still might have to rout the sub floor down to 5/8 from 3'4 to get it into the channel. But I want the floor to be squeezed into the channel so running those screws in from the inside of the wall and tying everything tightly together looks like my best option.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:53 PM   #25
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I'm into replacing my rear sub floor right now on a 1989 Excella. Also he pointed out that getting the floor into the squeezed down channel would be difficult. I think I still might have to rout the sub floor down to 5/8 from 3'4 to get it into the channel. But I want the floor to be squeezed into the channel so running those screws in from the inside of the wall and tying everything tightly together looks like my best option.
Hi Mark, there must have been a design change in how the skin and floor attach around the edge. The floor on my '52 doesn't "squeeze into a channel" as you mention, the channel sits on top of the floor and the outer flange is what the skin/bellypan attache to. Here's a sketch of the joint. At some point they must have put the channel on edge and tried to slide the floor into the channel or something.....not sure what your connection looks like.

Lee
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:20 PM   #26
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Yes there are several changes from this drawing on my 89. There is a second channel that the flooring slides into. This fits between the one in your drawing and the steel frame. In my trailer there is approximately 2" of insulation squeezed between the floor and the steel frame but not in the channel [it was trimmed back]. Looks like the bolts were set with small steel reinforcing plates in the upper wall channel. The screw/bolts pass through holes in these small plates. the bolts look like they were self threading and are screwed into the frame. These bolts pass through reinforcing plates,upper channel, top of lower channel,floor wood, bottom of lower channel, into the steel frame. The bolt/screws then have a old fashioned looking square nut to tighten everything together. On your drawing it looks like there might be a nut on the bottom of the channel instead. So in mine this amounts to a sandwiched structure that is all under compression. The wall rivets are a real pain. The lower sheets were tacked into place with rivets that were covered by the higher sheets. Finally figured out that I could pull the higher wall sheets back far enough to get a small thin chisel in there and cut the rivet heads off. Took some work but now everything is exposed to work on with lower wall sheets removed. So it looks like Airstream added some support to the floor in the
spaces between the steel frames using channel support. There are some screws that sandwich these together that don't go into the frame. They just a hold the channels and floor together tightly in the spaces bridging the frame contact. Hope my explanation makes sense to you as it's a bit complex. Afraid I'm a better artist than writer.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:33 PM   #27
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This has been more than a bit frustrating. You are right it's so tight getting Tyvek into the channel with the floor pan on it had to be abandoned. On the right hand side it was a running battle getting the wood in even after I cut 1/8th off the thickness. But things are going better today. A nice surprise to see how well the TEKS work. I had used a similar fastener a few years back and they didn't work anywhere as well as these do. These are size #12 from HD.The wall and floor on the right hand side is really solid. I even tried to over tighten one and couldn't get it to snap. I was really disgusted with Airstream yesterday. I can only hope that they have ended this evil and stopped all use of particle board flooring. Looks to me like the best way to get the expected quality is to buy an old trailer,tear off the pan and build it right.Today as I'm setting up to make the other half of the floor I'm thinking I'll cut 1/16 of the top and bottom of the marine plywood. It seemed like the other piece was hanging up on the bottom of the channel. I had cut 1/8 off the top only on that side with the router. I pried and banged on the edges so hard that some of the garbage particle board flaked off. Guess I'll make up some fiber glass resin and try to get it more structurally solid on and close to the edge. Well the batteries for my tools must have finished charging and I'd better get back to work.
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:37 PM   #28
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I almost have my rear sub floor repair finished in my 89 Excella 32'. At one point I was starting to wonder why I bought the thing but it's all looking up now. I cursed out loud and often who ever came up with the bright idea of using particle board for an Airstream's sub floor. Today I'm just mumbling under my breath. I did find a youtube video showing plywood going into a new trailer and that made me feel a little better about them.Tomorrow I may be able to start putting the inside skins back on. Yesterday was very difficult. The right half fought me every inch of the way. That should have been the easy side! I took the router and cut the edge of the marine ply down from 3/4 to 5/8. I had a pretty good template. The problem was that the ply was hanging on the bottom of the channel. Today all that I did differently was to take a sander and round off the bottom edge of the ply. That made a huge difference! I didn't even take off a full 1/8th with the router. I wanted to wrap the edges with Tyvek house wrap and let it hang down far enough to shield the insulation from any future leaks. But it's to tight and it's sharp on the edge of the channel so it would only get sliced. I do have a small square left out that goes over the sewer hose compartment. That made things easier also. I want to handle the insulation and sealing differently there anyway over that compartment. Really happy with the TEK #12 self tapping screws from H Depot. They really suck down well to the frame and seem to be much better than I expected. I used a bunch of them with fender washers [in the wall channel]. I feel a lot better about them than I thought I would. Good as it gets with the belly pan still on I think. The walls look like they are very well tied down.
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