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Old 04-29-2014, 12:21 PM   #1
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1974 31' Excella 500
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To patch or not to patch...

73 31' Excella here with about 6 holes rotted through the floor... all on the outside edge under windows... sorprisingly the bathroom stayed dry and looks good.

The question is - do I patch these spots or lift the frame and do the whole floor? I have read quite a few of the forums about the goods and bads of each... just soliciting advice.

The trailer is gutted now, total remodel - not restoration. Doing a composting toilet, solar elec, outdoor shower, inline water heater etc.

Thanks for any advice!
Truck
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:43 PM   #2
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I had success with patching a floor in the bathroom of a Avion in the past. Put the patch in with a beveled edge and epoxy, and it seemed stronger than the rest of the floor. However, I suppose it would depend on the size and difficulty of the patch.
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:47 PM   #3
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If there is a lot of solid floor left and if there are enough elevator bolts in good shape to hold it down I would patch. I do not think changing the floor is a easy task. Of course you need to fix the leaks.
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:36 AM   #4
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IMO so long as you slide the new wood under the wall sill, and the remaining wood is sound, a well installed patch is going to be every bit as sound as replacing full sheets.

Why do a bunch of work that isn't needed?
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:52 AM   #5
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pictures please and have you checked your frame condition? We all hope that we can avoid the shell off floor replacement and even more if you have a large airstream as you do.In this particular instance it is not a matter of is the floor patchable but is the frame under that floor still serviceable or has it rusted to an unsafe point? Do you have an access point to the frame or have you looked at it? This will actually determine weather or not you need to remove the floor. Sorry if I sound negative but it always pays to be safe and not sorry. Again welcome to the forum.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:04 AM   #6
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To patch or not to patch...

Valid point. Some of the pictures I have seen of some frames on this forum have been scary bad.

When you cut the offending pieces of floor out you will be able to see what will probably be enough frame to be able to project the rust damage for the rest of the frame.

The bad area of my frame was limited to where the black tank had leaked.

Check out the "Millertime" thread for an example of a scary bad frame.
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:56 AM   #7
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I tend to always do things the extra hard and overly thorough way....if I had the trailer gutted, I'd go ahead and replace the entire floor. Never a better time....

But that's why I never have any free time...I'm always fixing stuff that was probably OK for another few years....

Best of luck,
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:43 AM   #8
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To patch or not to patch...

For the average DIY'er, The difference between patching the bad spots and replacing all of the plywood is weeks of work and hundreds of dollars.

There are enough projects out there that never get done because of lack of time, sometimes the way this is avoided is making time by pursuing practical solutions.

A proper patch, or even a few or several, will not negatively affect the utility or appearance of an Airstream.
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Old 05-01-2014, 06:18 AM   #9
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Thanks for the feedback! First things first- sealing up the outside. New caulk all the way around. Then I will start with patches. Once the floor is open, inspect the frame, if it's terrible, I'll pull off the top!
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