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Old 02-18-2013, 08:24 PM   #1
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1972 Argosy 26
Alamogordo , New Mexico
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Sub-floor replacement question

This is for my 26' 1972 Argosy.

I am just about to pull up the very dirty, shag carpet. I know there is rot near the door and the curved window near the door.. under the gaucho. Here's my question: If there isn't anymore rot, is it possible to just replace just the part of the floor in front of the trailer, basically just from the refrigerator forward? I don't understand how the floor is supported under the plywood. Any pointers?
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:35 AM   #2
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In the 70's era trailers, from bottom up, you have the frame, then the layer of sub-floor, and then the shell that sits on top of the sub-floor. So the plywood is sandwiched between the C-channels of the shell and the outriggers of the frame. The C-channel is held to the outriggers with elevator bolts and some additional screws. The frame has cross members that are 24" on center, and your subfloor is also screwed to these cross members. If you are just installing a patch, you can use a circular saw set to the exact depth of hte plywood, or better yet, and oscillating cutter to slice out the rotten section.

So to answer your question, it is possible to replace only small sections of floor, or even entire panels, without doing a complete shell-off. But it isn't easy. The larger the section you are patching, the more awkward it becomes, because you will have to split the panel in order to insert it from inside the trailer, and you will have to build in support where you split the panel.

In order to replace the floor from the refridgerator forward, you will need to remove all the furnishings in that area, and then remove the lowest section of interior skins. Now you will see the elevator bolts and screws that connect the C-channels to the outriggers. The elevator bolts are usually most easily just snapped off using some vice grips. You will also need to remove the banana wraps and release the belly pan where it wraps up to meet the shell. This is so you have access to the underside when replacing the bolts.

You should check the rear end of your floor thoroughly as well. The 70's style trailers are notorious for rotting subfloor in the rear end. If you have rotten floor along the curve of the front of the trailer, and by the door, I would be surprised if you didn't have a rotten rear end as well. If the rot goes all the way around, you may as well just lift the shell off the frame. It sounds like a monumental undertainking, but I firmly believe it will be less work in the long run.

Good luck!
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:30 AM   #3
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1973 25' Tradewind
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Good explanation and advice Belegedhel.

Here are a few pics of what was expained


Also if you go to this link there is a Cad drawing of merit that shows what was explainedby Belegedhel

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...n-96970-2.html

Tony S
Rogue River, Oregon
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:21 PM   #4
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Thanks so much!

Wow. Thank you both for the thorough explanation and photos. I'll be pulling out the carpet on Thurs. evening, so I'll know by then whether or not there is rotting in the bathroom area. There probably is.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:12 AM   #5
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I assume you have a rear bath model. You should be able to look back inside the cabinet under the sink and poke at the floor to see what condition it is in. You might as well also check for the dreaded "rear end separation." This can be done by standing on the rear bumper and gently bouncing up and down on it. If the bumper moves relative to the shell, then you have separation (which is usually caused by the wood rotting out from between the shell and frame, and giving the two some room to move independently).

Good Luck!
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:26 AM   #6
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Notice in TonyS's pit the vibrating type tool. I bought one from Harbor Freight when I had to replace the rear floor in my Trade Wind plus a place by the door. You can get into the C-channel to dig out stubborn pieces with it better than anything else I tried. When you cut out the rot, alway run along the frame rails and outriggers. With the vibrating type saw you can cut down to the metal with no problems like you get with a circular saw. Also you can't get the circular saw up close to the wall. Finally, the kerf is much smaller. I know the name brand tools are better but my el cheapo from HF has run for countess hours. Get you one before you start and a supply of blades and it will save you may hours of frustration.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:59 AM   #7
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I replaced a piece in front of the entrance door. I cut at the frame, using the saw set at the plywood thickness. I used pieces of plywood under the piece I added, using screws and glue, to the original floor that was left and to the new piece I added, to give strength and support. The new plywood was about 1 1/2' X 1 1/2' square. Not hard to do, just time consuming. Tony S. pictures are good examples.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:03 AM   #8
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Here is a closely related and current link of my continuing subfloor work.

It has some good replies.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...ch-102058.html

Tony S
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