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Old 02-13-2014, 03:53 PM   #15
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We did shell-on, and started in the back. We did take all the old floor out and exposed the entire frame when we started , but you could do it in sections. You'll have to leave the middle section out till the end and do that last. So, what I mean, is 2 sections out at a time, replace 1, take out another, so that you always have a section free till the end. We also had taken off the belly pan as we were deconstructing. We did both ends first, middle last.
You could build the gantries over the trailer and lift the trailer shell off the frame, work under the shell and gantries, and then just lower the shell back down too. That wouldn't take up more room on your driveway. Lifting the shell would make it easier to work on the frame, I think. (maybe faster, too) But, shell-on works also.
Do take lots of pictures as you take things apart. Mark your inner skins for placement and orientation even if you think you'll put new inner skins in. It will help you as you put things back together! We definitely used our pictures as we worked.
Good luck!

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Old 02-14-2014, 09:48 AM   #16
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Ditto what Kay said. I started doing one section at a time, but one thing led to another and next thing I knew the shell was on the ground.... I was finding more problems the deeper I went and reached a point where it would be easier to oull it all apart and start over to do it right.
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:45 PM   #17
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enosburg , Vermont
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A few things that may be usefull if you do "shell on" floor. 1st make sure its cribbed up high enough to allow room to work underneath. You'll need close to 3ft to "unzip" the belly pan down the center line and allow the two sections to come down far enough for access all the way out to the edges for bolt removal and replace on the new floor. With the entire floor removed at once there is nothing to hold the body up. As stated in above post you have to remove / replace in sections, or have a temporary way to hold the body up. Start at the ends and work toward the middle to be able to slid the ply sheets between the U channel and frame / outriggers. The last sheet can then be forced into place with a little help and luck by pulling the body sides outward GENTLY. Make darn sure the sheet at the door is the right width or you will face a problem getting the door to close & seal correctly. A little quirk I found on a '62 and a '64. The original plywood was NOT 48 inches wide, it was 49 1/2 wide with 3/4 inch shiplap joints on both edges. Wonderful system, rock solid, each sheet was bolted through the joint & through a crossmember. Problem was I couldn't find that width. With a router a straight edge and some close figuring you can do the same thing with todays standard 48" plywood, though you may have to make one of the middle sheets an odd width to hit EVERY seam on a Crossmember. And we call this foolishness fun!!!!
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:39 PM   #18
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As Putback says, you have to space the edges between the shell and frame with the plywood floor out doing shell-on. We just used blocks of wood once the floor was out. Be sure not to let the shell slide outside off the outriggers! Hard to get them back on.... Chris made a home made come-along to hold the shell edges "together" along the sides as we worked the floor in. It actually went easier than we originally thought it would. We cut off the ends of the plywood as it isn't quite 8 ft on our trailer, and used those pieces as our joint on the underside.
Chris is the mastermind, I'm just along for the ride!

Kay
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Old 02-15-2014, 02:32 PM   #19
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thanks guys. Before I do anything else, I'm going to scuttle under the aft and take off this torn up section of belly pan and see what I've got. It's where all the nasty old bathroom leaks have been and I figure that's probably the worst of it. Maybe I'll get lucky.
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Old 02-16-2014, 06:46 AM   #20
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:45 AM   #21
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enosburg , Vermont
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Yep, about normal. Worst is usually under bath area in rear. 2nd around the entry door, 3rd below the water heater. Odds are you'll have at least a bad X-member in the rear. If not and the main frame rails are also good in the rear area everything forward will probably be acceptable. Every now and then you catch a break!!! You can buy original type cross members and cut them to length, they're just stamped steel. Or, you can weld up replacements using angle steel. Same with the outriggers. Replacing X-embers & outriggers really isn't that big a deal, you should have to replace at least one if only for the "been there done that" experience. The main frame rails on the other hand can be a real bummer.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:23 AM   #22
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Does a floor plan drawing exist for the 1954 Safari Airstream?
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:52 AM   #23
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Does a floor plan drawing exist for the 1954 Safari Airstream?
Was the '54 floor plan different than the Flying Cloud, or just the equipment level? Airstream didn't list the Safari in the '54 brochures, but they did show it on '55 the price list as an "economy, no-modifications-possible model" with a list price $550 less than the Flying Cloud.

Here's the '54 brochure.

Here's the '55 price list, though it's listed as the '54 price list it says "effective November 25, 1954" which suggests it's for the '55 models.

I see that in '55 the floorplan was totally different from the '55 FC, with a front kitchen and bath, dinette, no sofa. The way Airstream did things, perhaps they came out with the Safari during '54 but didn't have any brochure info? Or perhaps you have a '55 that was built in '54 and titled as a '54?
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Old 05-17-2014, 02:00 PM   #24
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Hey everyone, I'm back with a new set of questions. I'm going to attempt to do this as by cribbing it, rather than use gantries. I've stripped out the inner skin and am now ready to tackle the floor and frame. I need some help with the order of things. Do I jack it up and crib it first, then remove the flooring? Also, I'm looking at a chicken or egg thing with the belly skin. I can't get enough crawl space under it to remove the belly skin, but it looks like jacking and cribbing it will interfere with pulling the skin off.
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Old 05-17-2014, 02:10 PM   #25
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I stacked a couple of two by twelve planks and pulled my trailer wheels up on the stack. This gave an extra three inches to work using a low profile mechanic's creeper.

You need to remove the bellypan eventually, so you might as well start there. So drop the pan, lift the shell, replace the floor.
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:47 AM   #26
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Thanks. That makes sense. Another newbie question: I can't figure out how to deal with the C channel, the skin and the floor. When I I lift the skin, do I want to end up with the C channel still attached to the old floor, or does the C channel travel with the skin?
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Old 05-18-2014, 08:04 AM   #27
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C goes with the shell.
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