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Old 07-30-2014, 02:41 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1962 22' Safari
Corpus Christi , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 10
Strategy going forward

My wife and I are debating what to do next. Both ideas have merit, so we are throwing them up to the more knowledgeable. We know that the frame is going to need repair. Just not sure how much yet. The question is are we better off taking the shell off now and getting the frame out to look at or just pull the subfloor up from the inside and get some estimates and advice before going much further?

Also on a side note, any tips for removing buck rivets on the outside? Drilled them out and went 2 for 2 on snapped drill bits. These weren't crud bits, they were good kobalt bits.

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Old 07-30-2014, 04:19 PM   #2
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1968 24' Tradewind
Oxford, , Mississippi
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,307
A couple of thoughts. If you have a lot of floor rot then I would say shell off. If you have a lot of frame welding, I'd say shell off. If the floor rot isn't too bad, I would cut out the rotted floor areas first. The leaks that rotted the floor will have rusted the frame, you can get an idea the frame. I found the best tool to cut out pieces of flooring is the vibrating saws (aka Multimate, etc). I got mine from Harbor Freight and have used it countless hours. With these type tools you can run down an outrigger or frame rail. It is easy to keep the cuts straight and as the edge of the blade touches is just moves along the steel below. It is also great in getting the rotten wood out of the c-channel. Once the rotted areas are out you can then decide on the way to go, patch the floor or do a shell off. I needed welding on the rear of mine but was able to do it after removing all the rotted rear floor.

As for breaking drill bits, I've removed thousands of bucked rivets from airplanes and never had an issue. Center punch the rivet first and keep the drill at 90 degrees. We used air drills on the plane rivets and they spin extremely fast, maybe that was why we never had issues breaking bits.

Bruce & Rachel
68 Trade Wind
2001 Toyota Tundra
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:05 AM   #3
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,904
Build the gantries, lift the shell, get the frame repaired, then use the gantries to lift and flip the frame while you POR-15 it. Install the new floor, then flip the frame over again, and install your insulation under the floor, any tanks that need to go in, and the belly pan and new axle. Finally flip it right side up and lift the shell back into position. The best thing about a shell off is all the work you can get done without lying on your back under the trailer!

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Old 08-06-2014, 11:52 AM   #4
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1975 Argosy 28
Springville , Alabama
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 310
I agree with belegedhel. In the long run it's easier to lift the shell. Most floors have to be replaced and welding the frame is easier. You just might want to fab a few new upgrades on the frame. My wife and I popped the shell and changed the whole layout from a rear bath to a center bath. We added new tanks and made better improvements on the frame. Btw, I taught myself how to weld and my kids :-) flux core welding is easy. Anyway, have fun!

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