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Old 07-09-2016, 09:39 AM   #1
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Sub floor layout help

Does anyone have pictures of how they laid out their new subfloor. I am working with a fully naked and floor less 1973 Safari 23 footer. (Or else I would have traced the original pieces)

I want it to have as much support as possible with all corners of plywood laying on a frame beam- but am definitely struggling with the layout. We have the front curved piece looking beautiful.

We got top of the line marine grade plywood that will be coated with a few layers of poly resin. Can't really afford to make poor cuts out of this wood that was $120 a sheet!!
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Old 07-09-2016, 09:50 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mblaize View Post
Does anyone have pictures of how they laid out their new subfloor. I am working with a fully naked and floor less 1973 Safari 23 footer. (Or else I would have traced the original pieces)

I want it to have as much support as possible with all corners of plywood laying on a frame beam- but am definitely struggling with the layout. We have the front curved piece looking beautiful.

We got top of the line marine grade plywood that will be coated with a few layers of poly resin. Can't really afford to make poor cuts out of this wood that was $120 a sheet!!
Marine plywood may be overkill. I think good exterior would be fine especially if coated. I have heard marine plywood tends to warp, but have not worked with it. There are also synthetic floor panels that would be in the same price range. If I remember others have used a product called something like Nylaboard with good results.
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Old 07-09-2016, 10:20 AM   #3
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I have mine apart, and have replaced the aft 2 sheets. (probably need to do more, but that's another story ) Anyway, starting from the last x-member in back, each floor section is a full 4' wide, until you get to the very front section, which is narrower to fill the remaining space.

If you look at the x-members in the back half of the trailer, every other one is 3/8ths or 1/2" an inch shorter; this is to allow a cleat to be used to join the sheets of ply where they come together. The cleat is a strip about 3" x 4 feet, glued and screwed to the underside of both sheets of ply.
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Old 07-09-2016, 10:29 AM   #4
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I also have a 73 Safari. Finished putting my subfloor in a couple months ago. Did it in all full pieces - did not have to cut up. The front piece is easy - I see you got that in already. I did the back piece first, then the front piece, then filled in with the other pieces. I did the piece between the wheelwells last as that is the easiest as there is not much to go under the C channel. I got lots of ideas in this forum.
Below are some pics. I used exterior plywood, sealed with thompsons water seal throughout the plywood, then polyurethane the edges. The back piece is red because I had some red guard left over from a bathroom project and coated the bathroom piece on the top with that as well. To get the back piece in, I used a 4x4 between some horizontal ribs and jack up the shell a tad then slid in the back piece - went in very nicely and easy to do. The others, you will need to push out the shell, get the plywood in, then bring the shell back together. I did the latter with ratcheting hold down straps and/or tapping from the outside with a rubber mallet. When you push out the shell, in an adjacent area, but a piece of metal or something to clamp on to one of the outriggers close by to basically extend the outrigger outward so the shell is still supported when you push it out. I hope that makes sense. Got his idea from Minno (look up the little girl refurb thread - great info)
You should be able to do this without cutting the plywood in pieces. Also, get some masonite - it is cheap and great to make templates with - I just used this for the front and back pieces.
Hope that helps.
Greg
I am having trouble uploading pics. PM me with your email and I can send them to you.
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Old 07-09-2016, 11:22 AM   #5
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Cleats may be the way! Thank you
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Old 07-09-2016, 11:25 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Greg1410 View Post
I also have a 73 Safari. Finished putting my subfloor in a couple months ago. Did it in all full pieces - did not have to cut up. The front piece is easy - I see you got that in already. I did the back piece first, then the front piece, then filled in with the other pieces. I did the piece between the wheelwells last as that is the easiest as there is not much to go under the C channel. I got lots of ideas in this forum.
Below are some pics. I used exterior plywood, sealed with thompsons water seal throughout the plywood, then polyurethane the edges. The back piece is red because I had some red guard left over from a bathroom project and coated the bathroom piece on the top with that as well. To get the back piece in, I used a 4x4 between some horizontal ribs and jack up the shell a tad then slid in the back piece - went in very nicely and easy to do. The others, you will need to push out the shell, get the plywood in, then bring the shell back together. I did the latter with ratcheting hold down straps and/or tapping from the outside with a rubber mallet. When you push out the shell, in an adjacent area, but a piece of metal or something to clamp on to one of the outriggers close by to basically extend the outrigger outward so the shell is still supported when you push it out. I hope that makes sense. Got his idea from Minno (look up the little girl refurb thread - great info)
You should be able to do this without cutting the plywood in pieces. Also, get some masonite - it is cheap and great to make templates with - I just used this for the front and back pieces.
Hope that helps.
Greg
I am having trouble uploading pics. PM me with your email and I can send them to you.
I like what you did with pulling the sides in to fit-
It's not letting me send in my email through the pm

Melodie.blaize@gmail.com

Thanks Greg!
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Old 07-09-2016, 12:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
I have mine apart, and have replaced the aft 2 sheets. (probably need to do more, but that's another story ) Anyway, starting from the last x-member in back, each floor section is a full 4' wide, until you get to the very front section, which is narrower to fill the remaining space.

If you look at the x-members in the back half of the trailer, every other one is 3/8ths or 1/2" an inch shorter; this is to allow a cleat to be used to join the sheets of ply where they come together. The cleat is a strip about 3" x 4 feet, glued and screwed to the underside of both sheets of ply.
What's an X-member?
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Old 07-09-2016, 12:33 PM   #8
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Melodie: it may be that the pm system won't let you send email addresses in messages because you are new, and haven't made enough posts yet.
(this is an anti-spam function).
chit-chat with us for a bit, then try it again...it it works, let me know and we can edit that email address out of the post.

I would like to see those pics of the floor replacement, too.

I was initially only going to renovate the back half of the trailer...gutted that section, and replaced the floor...then I decided the whole thing really needed to be done (pull out smelly-old insulation, etc). So for the last several weeks, I've been pulling apart the front, and I've found more rot that I wasn't aware of. The front 2 pieces have damage, so I'm trying to decide if what I need to do is patch them with sections, or try replacing the whole sheets.

The back was easier to "clam-shell' open, because I did take out the hold-down plate, and it was possible to spread the shell up from the frame...but in the front, I don't know if that'll be possible. Or, maybe I need to do the same thing, and drill-out the hold-down plate, and jack it up.
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Old 07-09-2016, 12:37 PM   #9
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What's an X-member?
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Old 07-09-2016, 01:51 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=Chuck;1817978]Melodie: it may be that the pm system won't let you send email addresses in messages because you are new, and haven't made enough posts yet.
(this is an anti-spam function).
chit-chat with us for a bit, then try it again...it it works, let me know and we can edit that email address out of the post.

I would like to see those pics of the floor replacement, too.

I was initially only going to renovate the back half of the trailer...gutted that section, and replaced the floor...then I decided the whole thing really needed to be done (pull out smelly-old insulation, etc). So for the last several weeks, I've been pulling apart the front, and I've found more rot that I wasn't aware of. The front 2 pieces have damage, so I'm trying to decide if what I need to do is patch them with sections, or try replacing the whole sheets.

The back was easier to "clam-shell' open, because I did take out the hold-down plate, and it was possible to spread the shell up from the frame...but in the front, I don't know if that'll be possible.

I should post for definitely! I've been reading for a couple years and made it pretty well this far!

We pried up the back easily- the front has a light weld and hold down plate with a million rivets so we jacked it up slightly from the inside to adjust.

I could probably do the whole sheets of plywood better but my frame looks like this - I had to replace lots of rusty frame and I'm not sure he put one of the x beams in the right place 🙄. But I'm not sure! If it was lined up then there would be no need for cleats - would just have the two pieces of plywood share the beam for support.
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Old 07-09-2016, 02:24 PM   #11
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OK, here is another try at the pics.
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:25 AM   #12
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Personally, I would jack up/pry apart a 4' section of the frame and body, slide my ply in and scribe the curve to be cut. Remove the piece, cut it, slide it back in. Lather, rinse, repeat!

Collective knowledge here on the forum says that the body c-channel, plywood, and frame is an integral structural member. So be sure that is all bolted together properly. Colin Hyde (of replacement axles fame) pointed out to me the importance of getting a NASA-like seal at the bottom of the shell. There is a decorative band that goes around the trailer at the bottom between the body and the banana wraps. This design seems to be perfect for funneling water into the trailer, and should be addressed with much sealant.

I didn't know about this when I replaced the rear sections of sub-floor, I wish that I'd sealed up the edges of my plywood better. Working good so far...

Speaking of sealing, I'd maybe re-think that polyester resin. Were you also going to use glass cloth? It's a lot of weight, and will probably crack when the trailer flexes. Then, when water gets on it, it'll go in with no way to come out. In this Florida heat, the resin would probably kick within seconds of mixing!
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:51 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by SuzyHomemakr View Post
Personally, I would jack up/pry apart a 4' section of the frame and body, slide my ply in and scribe the curve to be cut. Remove the piece, cut it, slide it back in. Lather, rinse, repeat!

Collective knowledge here on the forum says that the body c-channel, plywood, and frame is an integral structural member. So be sure that is all bolted together properly. Colin Hyde (of replacement axles fame) pointed out to me the importance of getting a NASA-like seal at the bottom of the shell. There is a decorative band that goes around the trailer at the bottom between the body and the banana wraps. This design seems to be perfect for funneling water into the trailer, and should be addressed with much sealant.

I didn't know about this when I replaced the rear sections of sub-floor, I wish that I'd sealed up the edges of my plywood better. Working good so far...

Speaking of sealing, I'd maybe re-think that polyester resin. Were you also going to use glass cloth? It's a lot of weight, and will probably crack when the trailer flexes. Then, when water gets on it, it'll go in with no way to come out. In this Florida heat, the resin would probably kick within seconds of mixing!
I will try your technique for the back panel- we did tick sticking for the front and it worked quite well.

I've debated the resin a bit- we live in fortlauderdqle on the best road that has cute hardware stores, specialty lumber, all sorts of mom and pop spots that have been here for over 20 years. Being the Venice of America, we have a huge marine industry. Speaking with boat pros and thinking about how much stress and pressure is put on boats-- I think it will be fine. It's not super thick like an epoxy resin. Time will tell! Also, not going to do the glass- overboard I'd reckon
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Old 07-20-2016, 09:03 PM   #14
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i did tongue and groove plywood but it would not work with a shell on.Click image for larger version

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