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Old 08-31-2013, 04:18 PM   #1
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1969 27' Overlander
St. Louis , Missouri
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Trying to screw new floor???

I've replaced my floor with shell and belly pan on. Everything went good, but now I am trying to screw the floor to frame. I tried using self tapping marine screws but they are stripping and not grabbing the frame. Has anyone had this issue or have any suggestions???
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Old 08-31-2013, 04:34 PM   #2
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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Most sheet metal screws with strip or wring off in the frame as you have found out. You are going to have to drill a pilot hole. The way yours was built, elevator bolts were used and nuts were installed from the bottom. The way my newer trailer was built was the screws were 1/4-20 elevator bolts and they were drilled and tapped into the frame and installed from the top. If you use the self tapping screws, you should use twice as many of them, assuming you can get them to not strip. I did find some super hard stainless self tapping screws and the local bolt store but you still have to have a pilot hole in thick steel.

Perry
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Old 08-31-2013, 04:49 PM   #3
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I'd go with elevator bolts around the perimeter of the shell and through the outriggers but you should be ok with these http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/..._p/vts-387.htm. everywhere else.
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Old 08-31-2013, 05:16 PM   #4
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My trailer has Tech fastners (aviable at Lowes) to hold the subfloor to the frame through out the trailer. I have had no success with any self tapping screws in the Airstream frame. I drilled a pilot hole and then used the proper sized tap to thread the hole before inserting the self tapping screws. The elevator bolts are around the outside edge, holding the C channel to the frame.
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Old 08-31-2013, 05:25 PM   #5
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I used Tech fasteners all over the place, but had a friend with a big, hefty drill come help me install them. My little home-duty drill did not have the umph to do the self tapping thing. No bolts because like you, I did the floor replacement shell/bellywrap on, and had no access to the underneath.
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Old 08-31-2013, 05:34 PM   #6
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If the self tapping screws are stripping out, your drill my have too much power . Can you adjust the clutch or back off the on power as the screw starts to bottom out.
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:23 PM   #7
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1964 22' Safari
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enosburg , Vermont
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Any Airstreams I've seen so far had no floor attachment to the two main frame rails, not a single bolt hole. Only to the cross members and outriggers. These are much thinner metal and would be more likely to take a screw.
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:35 AM   #8
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1976 Argosy 28
Milton , Ontario
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Limited Experience...

Putback et all,

I wonder why no bolts were put in the main 'C' channel?

Since I am replacing the back sheet of flooring in my '76 Argosy, I plan to move the 3/8" bolts out to the 'C' channel. As, I feel it will be much stronger there than having the shell only bolted onto the outriggers.

I'm sure others would or have done the same.

Chris
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:34 AM   #9
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1981 31' Excella II
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Well a hole will weaken the frame rails but the way mine is made there are two C-channels facing each other welded together. My floor was attached to the frame rails. So the top and bottom of the rails are double thick. On an open C-channel a hole in the top rail will tend to weaken the rail and start a crack there. So my advice is that if Airstream did not put a hole there then don't put one there yourself unless you beef things up or weld an extra flange to bolt to.

Perry

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Originally Posted by putback View Post
Any Airstreams I've seen so far had no floor attachment to the two main frame rails, not a single bolt hole. Only to the cross members and outriggers. These are much thinner metal and would be more likely to take a screw.
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:38 PM   #10
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1964 22' Safari
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enosburg , Vermont
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I've only done floor/frame on 1966 and older, never done a newer one with the heavier box frame. I'd suspect these would have no problem with holes in the main rails. On the pre '67s I've done all the outriggers had one bolt through the outer end/ plywood and alum U channel [ or C if you like] where the body is buck riveted. Then another bolt back + or- 3" from the frame rail. Then skipped over the main frame and start a row in the X member. Usually most bolt holes are corroded/weakened quite badly. I expect that's part of the reason they didn't bore the main rails. Whatever the reason they held up quite well for 40/50 yrs.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:37 AM   #11
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Good Point...

Good Point Guys,

Based on most of the threads regarding frame rot, I see that in most cases, rot was due to poor maintenance practices. But, with today's knowledge base on the forums, I think, would be avoided moving forward. As, we know where to look and what to do.

Perry, to your point, I plan to add an additional steel plate, like what is on the top when I drill those two 3/8" holes. They are easy to get at in my case, as they are within the back storage compartment.

Chris
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