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Old 06-08-2007, 10:54 AM   #1
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Subfloor - Replacing Rotted Plywood

My 1981 34' Excella -
I discovered there is one spot in the back corner (curb side) under the bed that is rotted from years of neglect from previous owner . I could punch a hole with my thumb. I already removed the bed frames and night stand. I was wondering if any of you out there have thoughts or advices before I take one sheet of subfloor out. I know there are metal strips embedded between two plywood strips. I think that thing is supposed to hold two plywood strips together without sliding to each other. What does that called and would I find them at True Value or Home Depot?

What size of subfloor screw should I use? It has a huge screw head, much bigger than Phillips #2.
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Old 06-08-2007, 11:42 AM   #2
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Corrugated fasteners - the blister pack variety found at chain HDW stores are 1" long and sized 3/8", 1/2" and 5/8" height. The factory ones are 1/2" height and could be a challenge to place in a bouncy trailer floor, make sure they seat beneath the plywood surface since they are resemble broken glass to anything that rubs on them. I chose to use the 3/8" height and will double the number of them since 8-ply marine grade plywood I installed has so little give to it.

Corrugated fasteners are the next step in installing my floor here, I plan on screwing temporary cleat plates at seams, bridge them using C-Clamps and draw floor sections together tightly before anchoring with the corrugated fasteners, joining plate screws and the self-drilling AS floor screw bolts...

The floor screws have a fine machine thread - this is vital to a strong grip in the stamped sheetmetal spars under the floor. They are self drilling but I have used a 12-inch 1/8th drill to provide a guideway, get everything alligned and clamped, then drill from underneath up to get best centering on spar flange as needed. Fastenal has them though they will want to sell you a full-box quanity only - there may be someone here that has the few you will need to replace the old ones on a single sheet rehab...
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Old 06-08-2007, 11:56 AM   #3
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everything wabbiteer said is correct.
I am currently replacing the last sheet of plywood in my 1981 22' trailer.
I was able to remove all the floor bolts with a #2 Phillps and a cordless drill. They were in tight so you will need some power to get them out.
Also you will need to remove the lower rub rail so you can slide the plywood out.
Don't forget the outer walls are also screwed and bolted down with the lower c-channel. These are tough to get to as you need to remove interior panels to access them.
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:19 PM   #4
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testing
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:56 PM   #5
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Howdy CamperRepair & welcome to the forums!

Don't be shy, c'mon back, we don't bite : )
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Old 06-08-2007, 02:58 PM   #6
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Old 06-08-2007, 06:55 PM   #7
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Thanks!
You see, I am pretty good with house works and engines. Airstream is supposed to be easy until I see the words "lower rub rail" and "c channel" is starting to worry me. I do not have a special tool for alumium works. Is there something I need to know how to do with c channel (replace them?, etc). "Lower Rub Rail" - what is it? Would you mind explaining me in plain english for me so I would be able to "see the picture". I have not remove the plywood strip yet. I will wait to hear from you guys before I drive two hours to my Airstream at the RV park lot to do floor works.

Thanks in advance...
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Old 06-08-2007, 07:12 PM   #8
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Just cut out the rotten wood,square up the hole.Cut new wood to fit,prime,scab,replace.
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Old 06-08-2007, 07:17 PM   #9
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[quote=traveller_nc]Thanks!
You see, I am pretty good with house works and engines. Airstream is supposed to be easy until I see the words "lower rub rail" and "c channel" is starting to worry me. I do not have a special tool for alumium works. Is there something I need to know how to do with c channel (replace them?, etc). "Lower Rub Rail" - what is it? Would you mind explaining me in plain english for me so I would be able to "see the picture". I have not remove the plywood strip yet. I will wait to hear from you guys before I drive two hours to my Airstream at the RV park lot to do floor works.

Thanks in advance...[/quote
I just put the last floorboard in yesterday on this post http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...ion-26902.html
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Old 06-11-2007, 04:51 PM   #10
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Could somebody please explain what the c channel is? Also the lower rub rail? Are there photos available??
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:02 PM   #11
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Along the bottom of the wall there is a u-shapped aluminum channel with the opening of the u pointed up. On units starting somewhere in the early 70's these u-shapped channels also have a c-channel on the bottom of them that has the opening pointing in toward the center of the trailer. The subfloor plywood is slid into the c-channel which makes for a nice strong connection relative to uplift.

The lower rub rail refers to the aluminum trim strip that goes around the bottom of an Airstream right about where the plywood subfloor meets the side walls.

The bananna wrap is the part of the underneath that connects behind the bottom rub-rail and goes part way under the bottom. The belly pan is the part that covers the rest of the underneath of the trailer.

If the rotted part of the floor does not come to the wall then you do not need to do anything with the c-channel or rub rail. I did a full subfloor replacement and did not actually have to remove the rub rail to do it. I did remove and re-install it later though when I found out that the bananna wrap was overlapped on the outside of the side wall skin and offered a possible path for water to get into the edge of the plywood. I gooped things up with Vulkem and re-attached the rub rail.

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Old 06-14-2007, 11:00 PM   #12
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Thanks. That's very helpful.
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