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Old 06-30-2006, 02:55 PM   #1
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1984 34' Excella
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Replacing flood damaged subfloor

Any advice on replacing all of the subfloor (plywood) in a 34' Excella? (1984) My plan is to remove all of the old floor in sections and clean, rebuild or replace stringers as I go. What about attachement at the edges? (next to the walls) I understand that there is a lip there that can cause me trouble. Has anyone had any experience here?
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Old 06-30-2006, 03:35 PM   #2
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I haved only done the clam shell method, this is to replace the rear or front section only, from what I have read, to do the entire floor a shell of aproach is the best way to go, do a search, there is a lot of reading on this subject.
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Old 06-30-2006, 08:07 PM   #3
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Welcome to the Forums gwidman! I'm not sure if what you asking is feasible. I have replaced the front 4' of floor in my Argosy without removing the shell. You must remove all belly wrap and internal skin to accomplish anything like this. To do the entire floor you'd need to strip the insides. It would be highly recommended to replace the water piping with PEX if you got this far. Without a shell-off I could not imagine taking the floor off of all the gas lines, through-plumbing, and then staring at potential frame repairs/repainting. '84 was in the Beatrice years and rear-end separation was a frame issue with longer trailers at that time. I suspect you'll have preventive frame maintenance at the very least. Don't mean to be a downer here but you might want to get some more advice from Forum members.

PizzaChop ran into a lot more than he expected -- we all have. Use the 'Search' function liberally. Shell off restorations figure in a lot of threads.
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Old 06-30-2006, 11:06 PM   #4
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Hi I have a 34' airstream classic. I had to replace part of the front of the floor after replacing the front section of my trailer. The plywood does slip into the groove at the bottom of the aluminum Body or channel.
The bolt goes threw the channel being fastened to the lower steel support.
After pulling the rotted out section of wood , if it's not a big section you could put a notch around where the bolt is, or remove the old bolt , drill a hole where it was originally and fasten it.
Some times you might not have to replace the whole section ,just remove the damaged one . Part of the lower belly pan or curved section might have to be removed to do a proper job.
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Old 07-01-2006, 07:27 PM   #5
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Talking Thanks for the response and advice

I had not expected such a quick response from so many. Thank you for the pointers and interest. I have been working all day on the floor and the further I get into it I am finding much more rot than I had expected. Soooo out came the interrior walls and all cabinets. Right now I am looking at an empty shell. Belly skin and the lower innner panels come off next. Oh well I really needed a project to keep me busy. Just what I need another adventure.
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Old 07-05-2006, 05:01 PM   #6
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There is a tremendous amount of information in these forums about floor installation.

http://www.airforums.com/forum...0&page=1&pp=20 Polyboard for a floor.

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ad.php?t=14804

http://www.airforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11818 (title = Body and banana wrap on floor replacement technique.) Look especially at the first post where I added a drawing. I am not using this technique but it still should work fine if you want to replace the band around the edges first. You would be able to access all the bolts from above too which was part of the intent of the approach.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11814 (title = Shell Off vs. Shell On Summary) Look especially at my detailed progress report in post number 74. The bracing that I used there works great and does not require all that much in the way of materials. There are photos in my gallery that go along with that report. The technique does not require lifting the body entirely off of the frame - it just supports and locates it while you repair the floor under it.

Good luck with your floor rplacement. It is a really nice feeling to get the work done. Also feel free to ask any questions along the way. Someone in the forums will usually have an answer. I know I have learned a lot from these forums.

Malcolm
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Old 08-08-2006, 03:48 PM   #7
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It has been awhile since my last post, however much has been accomplished. All of the interieor has been removed down to the floor. All of the lower interior skin has been removed as well as all of the exterior beltline moulding. All of the rivets holding banana wrap are driiled out and wrap is free from body. The body hold down bolts are exposed as well as the underside of same. It is apparent as I go that removing the body is going to be necessary. (rust, rust and more rust!) The floor has several spots that are very rotten and all of it is warped or distorted in some way.

As I view the underside I see that the bolts go through what I am assuming is the "C" channel, the floor and a "U" channel on the inside. How does one get the plywood (floor) out of that "C" channel without tearing the channel up? Also how do you get it back in when going the other way? (new floor)

I am sure that there is simple answer but my pea brain cant seem to get around this one.
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Old 08-08-2006, 06:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwidman
It has been awhile since my last post, however much has been accomplished. All of the interieor has been removed down to the floor. All of the lower interior skin has been removed as well as all of the exterior beltline moulding. All of the rivets holding banana wrap are driiled out and wrap is free from body. The body hold down bolts are exposed as well as the underside of same. It is apparent as I go that removing the body is going to be necessary. (rust, rust and more rust!) The floor has several spots that are very rotten and all of it is warped or distorted in some way.
I applaud your devotion to doing this the right way!
In my case, the outer skin was riveted to the c-channel that sits on the plywood. I drilled out all the rivets that held the lower outer skin on the horizontal C-channel, basically leaving the channel on the wood when lifting off the shell. I guess you can remove the bolts that go through the c-channel and the outriggers, and then try and remove the shell with the c-channel still attached.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwidman
As I view the underside I see that the bolts go through what I am assuming is the "C" channel, the floor and a "U" channel on the inside. How does one get the plywood (floor) out of that "C" channel without tearing the channel up? Also how do you get it back in when going the other way? (new floor)
Some trailers had a double profile channel, where the aluminum goes around the wooden floor's sides. In that case you definitely have to remove the shell from the channel. You can then remove the bolts from the c-channel, and slide it off the side of the wood. You mention and U and a C-channel, which might be a single extrusion. I am not too familiar with the 80's trailers, though.
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Old 08-10-2006, 09:00 PM   #9
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I remember seeing a diagram of the elusive "C" channel of which I am speaking, however I cant find it now. Does anyone have such a schematic?
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Old 08-10-2006, 09:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwidman
I remember seeing a diagram of the elusive "C" channel of which I am speaking, however I cant find it now. Does anyone have such a schematic?
Is this what you are looking for? http://www.thevap.com/content/view/88/82/

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Old 08-15-2006, 10:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwidman
It has been awhile since my last post, however much has been accomplished. All of the interieor has been removed down to the floor. All of the lower interior skin has been removed as well as all of the exterior beltline moulding. All of the rivets holding banana wrap are driiled out and wrap is free from body. The body hold down bolts are exposed as well as the underside of same. It is apparent as I go that removing the body is going to be necessary. (rust, rust and more rust!) The floor has several spots that are very rotten and all of it is warped or distorted in some way.

As I view the underside I see that the bolts go through what I am assuming is the "C" channel, the floor and a "U" channel on the inside. How does one get the plywood (floor) out of that "C" channel without tearing the channel up? Also how do you get it back in when going the other way? (new floor)

I am sure that there is simple answer but my pea brain cant seem to get around this one.
As noted in some of the postings that I quoted a little earlier in this thread I did a floor replacement without taking the body off. I also did not remove all of my belly pan by the way. I removed the floor plywood from the channel rather than taking the channel (and body) off of the plywood. To do that I cut out as much of the floor plywood as possible with a circular saw set so that the blade cut slightly less than the depth of the plywood. Basically this meant that I cut out rectangles of the plywood in between the cross members where the plywood was fastened down. This left narrow strips of the plywood still attached to the cross members and around the bottom of the body. I found that I typically had to cut many of the bolts and screws with an air powered cutoff wheel, a hand-held hacksaw blade or a reciprocating saw. The easiest wood to remove from the bottom of the body was the rotted pieces. The other pieces took more work with a combination of tools but eventually I had it all removed. There really is a great deal of detail about the above process in the threads I listed above and especially in my post #74 of the following thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11814 (title = Shell Off vs. Shell On Summary)

I listed all the tools that I used and some of the details.

Putting the plywood back into the channel is not too bad if you have braced the shell a bit so that the body stays pretty much in the correct location while you are taking things apart. I installed new flooring with the sheets lenghwise rather than cross-wise so that it is easier to slip a sheet into the c-channel. I added a spline of plywood down the middle of the floor.

I hope this helps some but please feel free to ask specific questions about the approach I used if what I documented does not make sense. I actually replaced my floor twice without removing the shell from the frame and feel like I learned quite a lot in the process and would like to help out anyone else faced with the same problems I encountered.

Malcolm
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