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Old 11-12-2019, 08:01 PM   #1
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High Point , North Carolina
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Steps to rebuild after complete tear down

So, we have a 1977 Sovereign and have removed the body to sand, weld and paint the frame. Axles and suspension have been replaced and body is back and attached partially to the frame and new belly pan aluminum has been fitted between the rails.

Whats next? Plumbing, side wrap, floor, insulation, wiring?

We started to install the side wrap, then got to thinking that wed need to loosen one side to put a full width floor across the frame. So the rivets to secure the side wrap would need to be removed. But before we put a floor in, wed need insulation in beneath the floor. But before we could insulate, thinking wed need the side wrap to keep it in place....

Chicken or egg? Any advice or a link would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Dave
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:13 PM   #2
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I recall this topic being asked before, but I wouldn't know where to look for it. Good luck.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:22 PM   #3
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1973 21' Globetrotter
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So you removed the shell from the frame and then put it back on without installing the subfloor first???

My recommendation would be to drill out every rivet you have put in place during your reassembly and re-remove the shell. Next step would be to install the subfloor on top of the frame--noting also that the "C" channels that form the curved sections in the front and rear *probably* remain attached to the shell as they just sit on top of the subfloor, whereas the sections of C-channel that are straight and go along the sides actually wrap around the subfloor and should be removed from the shell, installed on the edge of the subfloor, and then the shell put back in place.

But, before you put the shell back in place, you want to deal with the tanks and the under-floor insulation. If you lifted the shell with gantries, the best way to go is to flip the frame over so that you can do all the under-floor insulating, tank installation, and finally, the belly skin reinstallation working from above. IF you don't have the means to lift and flip the frame, then all of this stuff still needs to be done in the order described above, but you get to do it lying on your back, with gravity working against you. When you install your tanks, a minimal amount of plumbing needs to be done, depending on your design. The rest can be done later, when you know exactly where your floor penetrations will end up.

Once the subfloor is done, the insulation is in place, and the tanks are in, you can drop the body back onto the frame (and connect it), and finish the installation of the belly skin and the side wraps. After that, it is on to building out the interior, from the back to the front.

Now, you are probably thinking, "can't I just slide the sheets of subfloor under the body from the side? The answer is "no." Note again that the side C-channels actually wrap around the edge of the plywood, so sliding it in is not an option. There are plenty of threads about doing a shell-on floor replacement. It usually involves splitting at least the front and rear-most sheets and a lot of struggle--always seems like the hard way to do it to me.

Good luck!
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:58 PM   #4
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So, it looks like I omitted that the tanks are installed and plumbed as well, but havent run any supply lines as of yet. Originally the water supply line was on the street side and kitchen/bath faucets on the curb side and I believe supply lines were below the floor.

We removed the body while keeping a 1 or so wide strip of the original floor in the c channel to prevent collapse.

Id seen perhaps a YouTube video where someone had removed the rivets on one side of the body, to temporarily flex outward, to allow a full width solid sheet of wood for the floor. We were hoping to do the same.

If I recall correctly (this project has taken WAY longer then expected) the insulation was on top of the frame and sandwiched by the plywood subfloor. I believe this caused a lot of rust by keeping moisture against the frame. Any suggestions on an improved method/material?

Thanks,
Dave
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Old 11-12-2019, 11:18 PM   #5
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1971 27' Overlander
Kansas City , Kansas
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If your floor fits into a c channel. Then you can install the subfloor with the shell on. The trick is to run a cross beam across to each side of the shell. I used a 2x6 and attach it to the ribs so you can lift the shell up. You can then jack the shell up slightly using a couple of bottle jacks from the frame. Then you can place a full size sheet of plywood into the c channel at the wheel wells and slowly slide each section of plywood from the wheel wells down to the rear until you reach the end. I did this with all pieces except the curved ends. I installed the curved ends in 2 sections joined in the middle of the trailer along an extra piece of steel channel. I installed the curved ends first so I had some rigidity and a place to jack from. Then do the same to the front and finally place the last piece into the wheel well where there is no c channel. The sheets of plywood slid pretty easy using a hammer and a block of wood. I managed to do the job by myself without too much difficulty and some re locating of the jack and cross beam as I went along. The process took a long day to complete.

I decided to go this route as I effectively performed a shell off without actually lifting any part of the shell higher than 4 or so inches off the frame. I could also leave the outer curved belly sheets attached to the body saving hours of buck riveting. I did this with the frame jacked high enough in the air that I could detatch the curved belly pieces from the frame and bend them out enough to get in and do what needed to be done.

I was lucky enough to be able to do this part in a warehouse. If I was doing it out side I would be making sure it was on a windless day as most of the shell is effectively just sitting on top of the frame.

If you want to install insulation. Then probably the best thing is to glue foam board to the subfloor once its all in.


I hope this makes sense. All the best
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Old 11-13-2019, 01:31 PM   #6
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shermy1987 View Post
If your floor fits into a c channel. Then you can install the subfloor with the shell on. The trick is to run a cross beam across to each side of the shell. I used a 2x6 and attach it to the ribs so you can lift the shell up. You can then jack the shell up slightly using a couple of bottle jacks from the frame. Then you can place a full size sheet of plywood into the c channel at the wheel wells and slowly slide each section of plywood from the wheel wells down to the rear until you reach the end. I did this with all pieces except the curved ends. I installed the curved ends in 2 sections joined in the middle of the trailer along an extra piece of steel channel. I installed the curved ends first so I had some rigidity and a place to jack from. Then do the same to the front and finally place the last piece into the wheel well where there is no c channel. The sheets of plywood slid pretty easy using a hammer and a block of wood. I managed to do the job by myself without too much difficulty and some re locating of the jack and cross beam as I went along. The process took a long day to complete.

I decided to go this route as I effectively performed a shell off without actually lifting any part of the shell higher than 4 or so inches off the frame. I could also leave the outer curved belly sheets attached to the body saving hours of buck riveting. I did this with the frame jacked high enough in the air that I could detatch the curved belly pieces from the frame and bend them out enough to get in and do what needed to be done.

I was lucky enough to be able to do this part in a warehouse. If I was doing it out side I would be making sure it was on a windless day as most of the shell is effectively just sitting on top of the frame.

If you want to install insulation. Then probably the best thing is to glue foam board to the subfloor once its all in.


I hope this makes sense. All the best
On our '74 Sovereign I found that I could spread the sides of the shell enough to get the plywood into the C-channel. We did not remove the shell, but left small pieces of flooring in place over the outriggers and removed each piece of old flooring as we were ready to weld, paint and install the floor at that point.
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Old 11-13-2019, 03:27 PM   #7
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I am also a big fan of the floor sheets through the wheel well approach. Just did it on my '68 Overlander and it went smoothly and quickly. The c-channel arrangement on your trailer is probably different so that could be a factor. Also I had belly pan off, no insulation or tanks and on 2 ft jack stands (6 ton). Found the easiest way to move the sheets was with a 3 ft prybar going against the crossmembers, pushing or hammering just did not cut it. Also, the wheel wells have to be removed so you must do the steps in the proper order. I've done 5 full or partials and for me the floor is always the first step.
Good success as you move forward...
Mark
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