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Old 06-11-2004, 06:33 PM   #43
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The final word from Thompsons...

I was concerned about the issue of using Thompsons Water Seal for subfloor so I decided to call their 800 number to find out exactly what the issues were. The news is mostly good and here is what the deal is:

1.) The main reason they do not recommend it for interior use is because the fumes are a bit toxic while it is being applied and while it is drying. They say that drying in the sunshine helps it. They further suggested that it should dry for at least 48 hours before it is closed up in a confined space where people are going to be. Once the product is dry there is no apreciable toxicity issue.

2.) I was told that builders often use it for treating sub-floors during construction if they expect the weather to be damp before they get the building closed in.

3.) The product does produce one effect that could be anoying though. Evidently it tends to prevent water based products such as paints and glues from sticking properly. So gluing down a floor would require a non-waterbase type of adhesive to stick properly.

Sounds like it might be a way that I will consider going depending on what I decide to do for flooring. It would not make any difference at all for a floating floor of course.

Malcolm
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Old 06-12-2004, 12:34 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malconium
I was concerned about the issue of using Thompsons Water Seal for subfloor so I decided to call their 800 number to find out exactly what the issues were. The news is mostly good and here is what the deal is:

1.) The main reason they do not recommend it for interior use is because the fumes are a bit toxic while it is being applied and while it is drying. They say that drying in the sunshine helps it. They further suggested that it should dry for at least 48 hours before it is closed up in a confined space where people are going to be. Once the product is dry there is no apreciable toxicity issue.

2.) I was told that builders often use it for treating sub-floors during construction if they expect the weather to be damp before they get the building closed in.

3.) The product does produce one effect that could be anoying though. Evidently it tends to prevent water based products such as paints and glues from sticking properly. So gluing down a floor would require a non-waterbase type of adhesive to stick properly.

Sounds like it might be a way that I will consider going depending on what I decide to do for flooring. It would not make any difference at all for a floating floor of course.

Malcolm
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I don't see the airing out a problem, I have the door off, the bottom will be open for about another month or so, and unless we get something you guys call rain the windows will be open.
Well I have the entire floor in, still need to attach the shell to the floor and frame.
http://www.airstreamphotos.com/photo...sort/1/cat/500
This is how I am pulling the sides into the floor to attach, be careful, does not take very much pressure.
http://www.airstreamphotos.com/photo.../cat/500/page/
I made the templateís for the corners out of some cheap paneling , I started by making the radius on some large cardboard then transferred it to the paneling. The picture is of both pieces.
http://www.airstreamphotos.com/photo.../cat/500/page/
My wife has arthritis so floor-covering choice is limited, will just be carpet and padding.
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Old 06-12-2004, 12:59 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by mbatm01
Leonard,

That clears it up for me. Sounds like we have a lot of the same issues - were your sides bowed out a little at the baseplate? If so, did you just run the new floor to the edge of the frame stringers and pull in the walls before bolting? What did you do around the wheel wells -did those have to be disconnected from the shell?

Thanks,

Kevin
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This is how I am dealing with the sides. But be careful, it doesn't take much pull to bring tham in.
http://www.airstreamphotos.com/photo...sort/1/cat/500
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Old 06-12-2004, 07:39 AM   #46
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Nice work. You may want to look at doing the the edges of the floor with that CPES stuff from a marine supply place or the rotdoc guys. It's good for new wood as well as old. Works out to 75$ a gal in the 2 gal package. It is amazing how fast a floor can go bad.
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Old 06-13-2004, 10:22 PM   #47
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Leonard,

Great Job! The photos are perfect and thanks for the heads up on moving in the walls. I have decided to go with a complete shell of replacement. There is more frame damage than I had previously noticed, and the belly pan is completely corroded where it attached to the frame and where the frame ends abraded it to the point of puncture. The wheel wells are bad too, so, cover me, I am going in....

I will post some more pics tomorrow of the damage.

See Ya.

Kevin
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Old 06-14-2004, 12:27 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by mbatm01
Leonard,

Great Job! The photos are perfect and thanks for the heads up on moving in the walls. I have decided to go with a complete shell of replacement. There is more frame damage than I had previously noticed, and the belly pan is completely corroded where it attached to the frame and where the frame ends abraded it to the point of puncture. The wheel wells are bad too, so, cover me, I am going in....

I will post some more pics tomorrow of the damage.

See Ya.

Kevin
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Just looked at your pictures, I think both our PO's were related. I see you have cement to lay on, all I have is DIRT. Good Luck.
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Old 06-15-2004, 07:49 PM   #49
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Update - over the weekend...

I did make some progress over the weekend but still have not made the final decission as to how much of my floor to replace. I am leaning toward a full- replace but have not fully examined all the plywood. I took off the belly pan up to where my water holding tanks are mounted. I had to drop both of the axles to do so since they were too tight up to the belly pan for me to slide it out past the axles. By the way I had to go out and buy a small floor jack to do the job. I got one with a high lift of about 21" and a capacity of 2.5 tons for about $49 at GI Joes. It was exactly what was needed to do the job.

The frame seems to be in genrally good condition. Some of the sheets of plywood look like they may have originally been fastened in with self-drilling screws. They are about 1/4" in diameter and maybe 2" long. In some places I could not find any empty holes where there used to be elevator bolts. Which I would expect thinking that some of the plywood may have been replaced. None of the screws that I have seen so-far seem to be at all loose.

The fresh water holding tanks have an angle iron frame around their bottom edge. Is that common? Can I just remove the aluminum from the bottom or was it installed from above (it looks like it might have been layed into the angle iron)? The belly pan from there forward seems in good condition and I am reluctant to remove it unecessarily but I may need to just to finish deciding if the frame up there is OK. I do want to clean up under the floor and put in new insulation. If I decide to replace all the floor I may just work from above in the front area.

I removed the rear cross member which was not entirely there anymore. I discovered that there was a piece of aluminum (that the cover for the bumper storage container hinges were mouted to) that was sandwiched between the frame cross-member and a piece of steel L-shaped flashing that was inserted between the body and the u-channel and under the u-channel. See the include photo. Both the L-flashing and the aluminum were pretty well eaten up. This is probably a good example of what not to do with aluminum and steel in close proximity. It also seemed like water could leak over the top of the aluminum sheet and into the edge of the floor. I had noticed before that the belly pan was also the bottom of the bumper storage box. Any water that got into the storage box could easily get into the belly pan. And past the partially rusted cross member too I might add. I think I will try to come up with an alternative way to encase the bumper box so that it is more seperate from the rest of the frame and belly pan. The only catch is that there is a small amount of the frame cross member that shows at each end that was covered up by the aluminum sheet. Anyone have any ideas on this?

I decided to replace the rear cross-member with 2" x 2" x 1/8" angle iron. One piece across the top and one across the bottom. My frame side channels seem to be of 1/8" thick material so these new cross members should be just fine. See the included photo. I will add 3 vertical 2" x 1/8" straps evenly distributed across the cross-member to create somewhat of the same web effect of the old member (with the holes in it). The ends of the old cross-member were pretty solid so I left them in place and clamped the angle iron to them for alignment. I also will resuse the hole in the left end for inserting the power cable.

One thing that I have also thought a bit about is the fact that my version of trailer (1973 31' Sovereign) has the c-channel at the edge of the floor under (and attached to) the u-channel. This means that the body could not be lifted off of the floor - the floor would have to be removed first. I guess this also means that the floor can not be re-installed with the body off - it has to be slid into the c-channel with the body in place.

It is amazing just how much dirt can accumulate under the floor! I have been wondering if it is possible (or desireable) to try to seal up this area better. I am torn between wanting to let the area breath and wanting to keep the dirt out. Any thoughts about this?

I hope the photos attach OK. I am still figuring out how to get that right. If they don't I will try them again.

Malcolm
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Old 06-15-2004, 07:52 PM   #50
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Question How to get post in right part?

I see that my last post got added to a branch of the thread rather than to the bottom. I have been hitting the post reply button at the top of the thread. Is that the wrong thing to do?

Malcolm
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Old 06-16-2004, 10:30 AM   #51
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Malcolm

It is important not to seal the belly - it needs to breath - the only area you want to seal is around the wheel wells. And yes, it gets pretty nasty under there.

Ken
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Old 06-16-2004, 10:40 AM   #52
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Malcom,

The fresh water tank does sit on the angle iron. There is actually a piece of plywood sheathed in aluminum holding it up. You can remove this by removing a piece of the angle iron and sliding the plywood out. The tank will then be free to drop out. Now even though this sounds simple, it is a MAJOR pain to do as the plywood is usually really stuck. I had to have my tank dropped and cleaned out. I elected to have N Dallas RV do it because it was such a pain. They ended up attaching a strap to the plywood and pulling it out with their tractor (!).

Once the plywood is out though, you're home free. Just don't forget to drain the tank first, disconnect your water fill and sensor wires.

Good luck!

Tripp
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Old 06-16-2004, 10:48 AM   #53
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When you remove the tank, it helps to push up on the plywood, then slide it out.

Ken
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Old 06-16-2004, 10:57 AM   #54
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Ken,

Definitely! Any bow you can get into the wood to relieve tension on the sides to allow it to slide will help. Mine was practically "welded" in! I couldn't budge it!

Tripp
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Old 06-16-2004, 10:59 AM   #55
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As a side note, mine tank was also FULL of dirt, rocks, leaves, etc.! Seems the grandchild of the PO found the opened filler and thought it'd be a great place to store stuff!

No Kidding! Probably the reason I couldn't get it out. . . weight!

Tripp
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Old 06-16-2004, 11:21 AM   #56
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malcom, the rear end of my trailer is put together the same way...except no "c" channel. that alluminum strip to which the bumper cover connects is there, too. it was put there specifically to rot out the floor, so you'd have to buy a new trailer every 30 years or so.

seriously..that joint on the back requires a heavy bead of vulkem. I'm sure this is what caused most of my floor rot. whacky design, to say the least. perhaps that c-channel was added as an effort to flash the edge of the plywood. (?). I guess that would give it some protection from leaks that come from outside...but not from inside. so something should be done with that edge. soak it with epoxy? use plastic instead of plywood? I don't know yet.

I don't think dirt in there is of any consequence. a little water wouldn't be, either, if it weren't soaked up and held against the steel frame and wooden floor by sponge-like insullation. I won't be replacing the insullation with fiberglass, that's for sure. A friend of mine also left off the plate that makes the front wall of the bumper compartment, to encourage more air circulation.
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