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Old 02-05-2009, 10:24 AM   #1
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1956 26' Cruiser/Overlander
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Question sub floor replacement help

I have a 1956 26 ft. Airstream with a rotten floor. I have stripped the linoleum, removed the base coving and cabinets from the front, and removed the bottom paneling from the kitchen forward, as well as insulation in bottom sections. Where do I go from here?
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:34 AM   #2
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Lawrenceville , Georgia
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Floor Replacement

Look at the forums section on floor replacement. It has a lot of info on what you are up against. Good luck on your project and welcome to the forums!
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry J View Post
I have a 1956 26 ft. Airstream with a rotten floor. I have stripped the linoleum, removed the base coving and cabinets from the front, and removed the bottom paneling from the kitchen forward, as well as insulation in bottom sections. Where do I go from here?
Next steps

1) Remove bellypan
2) Inspect frame and floor from below, this will help you determine the extent of the damage and help you figure out how much of the rotten subflooring needs to be removed
3) Pull up old rotten subfloor, save it for templates for your new subfloor
4) Inspect frame from the top.
5) Repair any frame damage (rust-through, broken welds, etc.)
6) Install new subfloor with something as close to the same thickness as your old subfloor as possible
7) Bolt subfloor to frame and outriggers, through perimeter c-channel where necessary (pay attention to this as you rip the old subfloor out)
8) Screw c-channel down into subfloor where necessary (also pay attention to this as you rip out the old subfloor)
9) Also, your c-channel may be corroded, if it's so bad that there is a loss in structural integrity, you will need to replace it, or some sections of it
10) Replace lower insulation and reinstall lower interior panels
11) Perform any necessary prep-work for your choice of top-flooring (linouleum, Pergo, cork, sheet vinyl, VCT tiles, are all fairly common choices)
12) Install your top-flooring
13) Reinstall cabinetry
14) Reinstall base moldings

Open an ice cold BEvERage of your choice and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Also, if you're planning on doing any paint removal, stripping, sanding, or repainting, I'd plan on doing those messy steps while the interior is out, and the old subfloor is still in, so you don't mess up your new subfloor.

There are lots of theads on this subject. I've just completed a floor replacement in the back half of my 63 OVerlander and am now about to install the new top-flooring and cabinetry, if you're interested you can check out my blog linked at the very bottom of my post, in my signature.

Also, for anyone about to start any major project like this, I always suggest reading through the the "Major Renovations" threads. They are lengthy, but absolutely invaluable as far as information, and inspiration, are concerned.

Here's the link to the Major Renovations:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ons-35399.html

And I think these here will be of particular interest to you, as they focus on floor replacement:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...ler-11687.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...ent-17197.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f109...ion-12320.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...mbi-17925.html


Good luck and have fun!

-Marcus
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:43 AM   #4
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Two other things:

Welcome to the Forums!

and

Please post pictures. We love to see pictures around here. I'm an especially big fan of the Cruiser/Overlanders, so I'd love to see yours.

Good luck!
-Marcus
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Old 02-05-2009, 06:59 PM   #5
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Another brave soul-good luck!
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Old 02-05-2009, 08:27 PM   #6
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Terry,

Hello and welcome aboard! Please post some pictures when you figure out how so we can all take a look. I have replaced the front portion of the floor in my '56 and some pictures of that will be posted on a thread that was started by "Rhonda" (wife) called "1956 28ft?" I will be replacing the rest of the floor this spring, I hope.
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Old 02-14-2009, 08:28 AM   #7
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utee94, i think you've successfully run TerryJ off! It's a lengthy, difficult process, but that first walk across that rock solid, new smelling floor will make it all worthwhile, sort of! I just did a partial floor replacement on a 73 Sovereign without removing the shell, but it was probably more difficult in the long run. Good luck TerryJ!
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Old 02-15-2009, 07:47 PM   #8
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Replacement floor on 1956 Airstream.

Not scared off, yet, just trying to figure a way to do this without removing the belly pan. I have the front two sheets of the sub-floor removed now, as well as the insulatiion. I used a grinder to take the tops off the elevator bolts, and cut the second sheet down the middle to remove it.

I have vacuumed out the accumulated dirt, and nests in the sub-floor area, and am buffing the rust from the frame. The belly pan is still intact. My thoughts are to put in solid insulation with glue, and attach the new 5/8" Marine plywood from the top with either self tapping bolts, or weld nuts to the underside of the frame, from the top.

It's not an easy task no matter which direction I go, but this will allow me to keep it closed against the weather, and work at a pace which allows me to continue bringing in the necessary income to pay for the repairs.

Thanks to all who have responded. I will be posting photos of my progress, as soon as I figure out how. Terry
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Old 02-15-2009, 08:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry J View Post
Not scared off, yet, just trying to figure a way to do this without removing the belly pan.
We have replaced the entire floor in our '56 Safari without dropping the belly pan. The thing is with ours, is if you drilled out the rivets that hold the belly pan on, then the entire shell would also be detached. They are held on with the same rivets, so then you are talking about a shell off floor replacement. You could cut the belly pan inside the frame leaving the banana wrap portion in place then replace the flat section with a larger piece of aluminum that overlaps the banana wraps an inch or so, which we considered doing but the belly pan was in great shape so it wasn't necessary - we could inspect the frame from the top and drop the belly sections at a time where needed. If you look through my "It's a Girl!!!" thread starting around post #104, you will see lots of pictures & explanations of what we did.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do & welcome to the forums!

Shari
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Old 02-15-2009, 08:37 PM   #10
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As Shari said, it can be done, and has been done, from the top. Shari's trailers are beautiful and the work that she does is really, really impressive. Study her thread that she linked above, and it will help you decide if this is something you'd like to do.

As you state, it's not easy no matter which direction you go. If it were easy, everybody would do it.

Good luck, and please post pics of your restoration, no matter which way you decide to go.
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Old 02-15-2009, 08:43 PM   #11
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Oh, I meant to note that I replaced the floor in a utility trailer using ipe' floorboards and self-tapping stainless steel screws from above. It has lasted 10 years without budging, and it is exposed to the elements 24/7. We load it with a lot of weight and treat it very roughly, so if that system can stand up to the abuse I've given it, then it will work in a travel trailer too. Good luck!

-Marcus
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:45 PM   #12
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I did a sort of unorthodox redo on mine. The belly pan was in tatters, and I did not replace it. However, she's in perma "dry dock", parked in a shady spot in my backyard in Central Texas and used as my studio. She was totally gutted when I bought her, no interior cabinets, etc. The frame was in great shape, despite all that which made it easier for me.
I made a paper template and cut wood panels to size. Weatherproofed them on both sides, and bolted them in. Eventually I covered the floor with modular carpet tiles (FLOR brand) which were really easy to work with, and have been pretty durable.
Once again, this isn't for everyone, but for my climate and purposes, it's been a workable solution.
And because everyone loves visuals:

Before:



After:



Still a work in progress, but here's the carpet:
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:30 PM   #13
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http://www.airforums.com/forums/f109...a-10709-2.html

See posts 53, 64 and 65.

You don't want to be hauling around what I found in the belly pan. I believe it is less time to make the leap right from the start. Taking the shell off is not a big deal. I did it by myself and put it back on. If you can do your own welding even better. I did learn a few things I will do differently next time.

The real challenge was the end caps and getting the new belly pan on after putting the shell back on. Pan before shell. You will need the right equipment and an occasional helping hand.

Good Luck
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:50 AM   #14
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I'm in the same dilemma with my total resto. I have a 1967 overlander and am now in the process of replacing my sub floor. My biggest resource is Vintage Airstream Home He shows exactly how to do a shell on floor replacement. Step by step and he does it in sections so the integrity of the shell is always intact. I've heard lots of airstreamers on here who have said just go for the shell off floor replacement, but I'm just too nervous!! So I'm going with the vintage airstream's method of shell on, section by section. Good luck!!
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