Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-19-2012, 08:42 PM   #113
4 Rivet Member
 
timzog's Avatar
 
1980 20' Caravelle
Ogden , Utah
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 422
Blog Entries: 20
Aluminum sheet floor.

I called a local company called MetalWest and got a quote on the 5052 aluminum sheet I will use for the bellypan and floor. It will cost about $650 for 0.032" sheet for the front 2/3 of the bellypan, 0.060" for under the grey tank (the back 1/3 of the bellypan), and 0.125" for the floor. They only stock 4'x10' sheets so for my 17' x7' long floor I will need 4 sheets of the 1/8" at about $130 per sheet. I know it is more than plywood and will take more work to install, but I really believe that it will last as long as the trailer especially if maintained well. Even in the worst corroded places in my trailer the deepest pitting was less than 1/32" even in the rear which was constantly wet due to the bad bumper design.
Here are a couple of views of what I am planning.
Click image for larger version

Name:	floor detail.jpg
Views:	93
Size:	190.5 KB
ID:	161393
Click image for larger version

Name:	floor detail close.jpg
Views:	94
Size:	137.0 KB
ID:	161394
I will insulate the empty spaces with 3" solid foam which will also add to the stability and use thin 3" aluminum channel to help support the floor and provide a more torsion box like system.
Tim
__________________

__________________
timzog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 08:51 PM   #114
2 Rivet Member
 
1968 26' Overlander
Duluth , Minnesota
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 93
Tim, did you decide not to go with the z-flash. That was a great idea. If you seal the bottom of the inner skin to the U channel and provide drainage out of the U that would be almost as good.
__________________

__________________
Bunkroom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 09:14 PM   #115
4 Rivet Member
 
timzog's Avatar
 
1980 20' Caravelle
Ogden , Utah
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 422
Blog Entries: 20
I was planning on using a thin bead of Vulkem to seal the inner skin to the U and seal the bottom angle to the floor. I agree that drainholes on the outside of the U channel would direct most of the water outside of the bellypan.
I still really like the Z flashing idea, but I think it might be too hard to fabricate with my skills. If I went with a plywood floor, I think it would be worth the effort, but with the Al subfloor, I don't think it will be necessary.
__________________
timzog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 09:42 PM   #116
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,842
Once water arrives in a confined space it has to drain or dry out. Airflow will dry it out, weep holes will let it drain. Any wall/floor system should be built with that in mind.

Gene
__________________
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2012, 11:44 AM   #117
4 Rivet Member
 
timzog's Avatar
 
1980 20' Caravelle
Ogden , Utah
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 422
Blog Entries: 20
I just bought an aluminum floor!

I pulled the trigger yesterday and bought 1/8" 5052 aluminum sheet for the subfloor of my 20' Caravelle. My neighbor and I are going to pick it up today. With the bellypan (.032" in front and 0.063 under the grey tank), it should weigh about 280 pounds. The rigid foam and thin aluminum C will add a bit more. I will use stainless bolts with locktite to attach to the steel frame around the perimeter and aluminum rivets (countersunk buck rivets where I can reach and countersunk pop rivets where I can't) everywhere else. I am betting that the interior rivets will not see much water and the outer ones hopefully will be able to drain through the weepholes in the C channel. The walking portion of the floor will be covered with vinyl or cork or something, but I want it to be flat to avoid the limitations caused by raised rivets in the Minuets. I still haven't figured out how I will cut the 1/8" sheet. I may cut it close with the jigsaw and finish with a router bit designed for aluminum and a template. I'm going to attach the floor first and then do the bellypan last so that I can use buck rivets whenever possible to attach the floor. I also bought a flush rivet set and nice microstop countersink with a 1/8" pilot. It is annoying but the pop rivets are 120 degrees and the buck rivets are 100 degrees so I had to buy two different countersink bits for the microstop.
My credit card is burning!
Tim
__________________
timzog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2012, 11:47 PM   #118
Rivet Master
 
Wabbiteer's Avatar
 
1973 27' Overlander
1972 29' Ambassador
St. Paul , Minnesota
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,912
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 2
timzog & the Caravelle test tube!

I've just made some 4-foot cuts in .040 sheet - the cheap air tools balked at anything precision, so I rough cut then did a close 1/8" waste cut by hand on a band saw & dressed the slight wobble with a sander/file. Not good enough to be joined invisibly with a factory edge but great alone as an end cut.

Just thinking about the noise a router would make gives me a migraine, if I had a couple to do I think a workbench jig with a chunk of your aluminum channel as a straight edge clamped down and a circular hand saw would be less pain, or... find a metal shop that will shear them for you for the truly painless cuts. The rounded cuts at the ends should/will be hidden so a 24t or finer sabre-jig saw and a little bastard or flat file action and you should be famous.

If you haven't already met let me introduce you: ALUMIPREP NO. 33, & ALODINE 1001. Anything aircraft by someone who cares always gets these treatments and it sounds like you want no trouble for the longest time possible just like the aviation industry. Those hidden areas that can get condensation and road-spray up into them will thank you for hosing it down with the prep chemicals.

I saw your drawings but still suspect some floor will rest on iron, know there are no square ledges on the stamped spars and outriggers, and good luck on the heights differences once the precision of aluminum plate replaces the crush of woodgrain averaging things out.

What I'd like to see is a spreader plate between the floor supports and floor sheet, to keep narrow pinch points from becoming the fulcrum that amplify warping the floor into waves over time from the peening of people and material across it - even with a resilient flooring installed given enough time.

Maybe no one there wears spike high-heels put tons of force down at every step but even the heel and toe normal walking slams down a lot from a broad shoe heel - for the spreader plates, maybe a 2" strip of the 0.125" epoxied to the floor sheet that would reduce the spanned 12" areas by 15~% and give irregularities in the frame something to chew on.

Did you know most airstreams have no floor fasteners into the main ladder frame rails? All the bolting occurs in spars or outriggers. That sure may be a flag to how sensitive the light-gauge frame is to being weakened by drilling/bolting. The only non-welded attachment to my main frame rails are where they pinned the aluminum bumper on an inch from the end.

Anyhow, the floor is 99% of the diagonal bracing of the frame - in a hidden area of the frame I'd be adding larger diameter stud-bolts with oversize washer-clamping plates - say inside the C-channel where you'll be bolting it anyway - just to lock down every sheet in two/three places with something stronger than rivets and the usual C-channel bolts. Just imagine fifty miles of washboard road, sunburn, Montezuma's revenge and other unusual senses of urgency that would lead you or yours to say 'fifty mph should smooth it out'... and build accordingly
I know I've forgotten something else I though of, from all the times I read your threads updates, but I can't remember it/them now...

GOOD SHOW - KEEP UP THE MOMENTUM!!
__________________

Wabbiteer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2012, 12:35 PM   #119
4 Rivet Member
 
timzog's Avatar
 
1980 20' Caravelle
Ogden , Utah
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 422
Blog Entries: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbiteer View Post
timzog & the Caravelle test tube!

I've just made some 4-foot cuts in .040 sheet - the cheap air tools balked at anything precision, so I rough cut then did a close 1/8" waste cut by hand on a band saw & dressed the slight wobble with a sander/file. Not good enough to be joined invisibly with a factory edge but great alone as an end cut.

Just thinking about the noise a router would make gives me a migraine, if I had a couple to do I think a workbench jig with a chunk of your aluminum channel as a straight edge clamped down and a circular hand saw would be less pain, or... find a metal shop that will shear them for you for the truly painless cuts. The rounded cuts at the ends should/will be hidden so a 24t or finer sabre-jig saw and a little bastard or flat file action and you should be famous.

If you haven't already met let me introduce you: ALUMIPREP NO. 33, & ALODINE 1001. Anything aircraft by someone who cares always gets these treatments and it sounds like you want no trouble for the longest time possible just like the aviation industry. Those hidden areas that can get condensation and road-spray up into them will thank you for hosing it down with the prep chemicals.

I saw your drawings but still suspect some floor will rest on iron, know there are no square ledges on the stamped spars and outriggers, and good luck on the heights differences once the precision of aluminum plate replaces the crush of woodgrain averaging things out.

What I'd like to see is a spreader plate between the floor supports and floor sheet, to keep narrow pinch points from becoming the fulcrum that amplify warping the floor into waves over time from the peening of people and material across it - even with a resilient flooring installed given enough time.

Maybe no one there wears spike high-heels put tons of force down at every step but even the heel and toe normal walking slams down a lot from a broad shoe heel - for the spreader plates, maybe a 2" strip of the 0.125" epoxied to the floor sheet that would reduce the spanned 12" areas by 15~% and give irregularities in the frame something to chew on.

Did you know most airstreams have no floor fasteners into the main ladder frame rails? All the bolting occurs in spars or outriggers. That sure may be a flag to how sensitive the light-gauge frame is to being weakened by drilling/bolting. The only non-welded attachment to my main frame rails are where they pinned the aluminum bumper on an inch from the end.

Anyhow, the floor is 99% of the diagonal bracing of the frame - in a hidden area of the frame I'd be adding larger diameter stud-bolts with oversize washer-clamping plates - say inside the C-channel where you'll be bolting it anyway - just to lock down every sheet in two/three places with something stronger than rivets and the usual C-channel bolts. Just imagine fifty miles of washboard road, sunburn, Montezuma's revenge and other unusual senses of urgency that would lead you or yours to say 'fifty mph should smooth it out'... and build accordingly
I know I've forgotten something else I though of, from all the times I read your threads updates, but I can't remember it/them now...

GOOD SHOW - KEEP UP THE MOMENTUM!!
Thanks for all the information. I am not looking forward to cutting the 1/8" sheet. I have a feeling that this will be one of the toughest parts of this approach. My jig saw has variable speed and a variable attack setting for different materials so I am hoping it will do the trick. I'll let you know how the router does for trimming off the excess. It has a very low speed and lots of power so with a down fluted bit it may be OK. I do have big ear muffs since I really don't want a migraine
Do you need the alumiprep on new material or only on old material proir to applying the Alodine. Should you apply this before or after you drill holes in the material?

I did some work with the grinder and with sheet metal vise grips to level out the frame, but there is easily a 1/16" play in the surface. The floor will rest on iron everywhere where a wood floor would. I was going to put Vulkem on top of the frame before applying the floor and hope that will take up a bit of the gaps at least (but not the ridges).

I tried to put a few small bolts into the main C channel of the frame when installing my grey tank and that is some tough stuff. My guess is that there are no fasteners there because it is too much work to drill through there although it may also be an integrity issue. If you saw the holes that were cut in the frame for the tank drain and other penetrations you might think it was more about ease of installation than structural integrity. I think your idea about adding a few heavy duty fasteners in hidden places is a good one and I'll try to add a few of those too. I bought both 1/4 and 3/8 stainless steel bolts, nuts and fender washers plus Loktite designed for stainless and will try to find lots of good places to put those in.
Thanks again for your thoughtful comments and suggestions especially the Caravelle test tube

BTW, I put a piece of 1/8" sheet on the frame and stood on top of the biggest gap in the frame and the deflection was very minimal. With an additional channel and fasteners, I think it will be very robust.
Tim
__________________
timzog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2012, 09:07 AM   #120
Rivet Master
 
Wabbiteer's Avatar
 
1973 27' Overlander
1972 29' Ambassador
St. Paul , Minnesota
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,912
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 2
"stood on top of the biggest gap" <--- repeat 100 times and check it with a straight edge? What about in 1000 cycles or 3000 cycles? Sorry, not an active saboteur to try and make your life difficult but I've seen dished down metal floors before. Murphy's Law predicts an oil-can lid effect somewhere between a toy cricket noisemaker and a Caribbean calypso steel band bass Ping Pong pan instrument.

I just clicked through my links and see I linked the heavy-duty prep, the METAL PREP NO. 79 is for new metals - and dilute even a little past their recommendations. Nice catch, all I see in my minds' eye is the 40-year-old C-Channel and shark-skin clear coat of my trailer...

One of the things the prep does before the clear alodine (the other type turns metal goldish) is it reduces the alloy metal smears on the rolled sheet surfaces so those other-metal nodules don't provide easy paths through the phosphated aluminum and aluminum oxide barriers.

Once you're done fitting and ready to install then last step is the treatments and yes, it'd probably be uncomfortable to fit/fasten a floor section and then remove it to treat it and catch all the scratches and machined areas like it'd be done for aviation. I'm using 6061 1/4" bar stock for the clamping plates, those will get treated before being bolted down. All new aluminum patches get treated. Blah blah, blah.

Catching 98% of the surface you're ahead of the game, some people would consider it simply prep for paint and that's still a possibility but if you've invested the time and effort to get this far its a small premium on cost to help defeat acid rain and road-salt or fertilizer run off, or worst case seeping plumbing or BW tank allowing uric acids and salts to romp unfettered for a summer (neglect killed my trailer).

There are better assembly caulks for a structural seam like that, vulkem type is really a weatherproofing agent. I haven't used the new formulation but I suspect it would shrink, or yield if not allowed a very long cure time to leave voids, or simply sag away since it tries to self-level.

Look at The 3M 5000-Series Marine products, I used 3M 5200 adhesive sealant and am impressed by its workability and sheer inert tough stuff lay, for about 2 or 3x the price of Tremco. Be sure to rough up any POR-15 painted surfaces lightly with 400-600 grit paper, its brittle to the paper and allows grab instead of universal peel off.

I bought twelve tubes of 5200 last November for $72 end-of-season on eBay and have three left over that are yours for shipping, March 2011 date code and stored here in root cellar at 55F... its either use them or lose them about now and they might have started to harden at the tube piston, anyhow yours if you want them.
__________________

Wabbiteer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2012, 09:45 PM   #121
2 Rivet Member
 
1968 26' Overlander
Duluth , Minnesota
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 93
Tim- what's up with the floor?
__________________
Bunkroom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2012, 02:29 PM   #122
4 Rivet Member
 
timzog's Avatar
 
1980 20' Caravelle
Ogden , Utah
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 422
Blog Entries: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunkroom View Post
Tim- what's up with the floor?
Just got a shipment from Wicks with countersunk solid rivets and my microstop countersink. I'll start practicing tomorrow with some scrap 1/8" sheet and also try a couple of methods for cutting. Will report back. I'm afraid that I am hijacking this thread with this idea so I'll probably post in the future in the Caravelle section in a thread I started there which is http://www.airforums.com/forums/f379...n-74611-6.html
I do appreciate all the great ideas and feedback but I don't want to divert too much from the original discussion.
Thanks,
Tim
__________________
timzog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2012, 10:05 PM   #123
4 Rivet Member
 
timzog's Avatar
 
1980 20' Caravelle
Ogden , Utah
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 422
Blog Entries: 20
Cut all the pieces for a aluminum floor. Only took 5 hours


Click image for larger version

Name:	image-1792559740.jpg
Views:	324
Size:	560.3 KB
ID:	162136
__________________
timzog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2012, 09:18 PM   #124
4 Rivet Member
 
timzog's Avatar
 
1980 20' Caravelle
Ogden , Utah
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 422
Blog Entries: 20
Wanted to let you all know that I've finished 3/4 of my aluminum floor and it's significantly more solid than my original 5/8" plywood floor. I used sheet metal C channels and foam to build a torsion box system between the bellypan and 1/8" aluminum floor. I probably have used 500 rivets or more to hold it all together but now I look like Popeye I am still happy I am doing it even though it is probably adding a couple of months to my project. It would have been way easier to screw down wood but then my Caravelle wouldn't be special. The link is above if you feel like checking it out.
Tim
__________________
timzog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2012, 02:19 PM   #125
Rivet Master
 
Silverflames's Avatar

 
1969 29' Ambassador
brooksville , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,262
Looks great!
__________________
Not all those who wonder are lost.
Silverflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2012, 08:41 PM   #126
4 Rivet Member
 
timzog's Avatar
 
1980 20' Caravelle
Ogden , Utah
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 422
Blog Entries: 20
Airstream with 1/8" aluminum floor

Here is my all aluminum floor. I left a few strategic access holes and used rubber grommets to run PEX through for the kitchen, bath sink, and hot water heater. The floor feels really solid and I think it will last a lot longer than wood even if something horrible happens like a major leak. It is attached with about a million rivets of different types depending on access. Whenever possible I used 1/8" countersunk buck rivets and where it will be covered by cabinetry I used 5/32" solid buck rivets. When I didn't have access, I used 1/8" countersunk pop rivets to attach to crossmembers and 3/16" Al pop rivets to attach to the main frame members. No one fastener is really strong, but I think the combination of all of them will be super strong. I will use 1/4" stainless bolts to attach the floor and the frame to the U channel around the perimeter and solid buck rivets to attach the floor to the U channel everywhere else.
Since it will be a wet bath, I am using the aluminum floor as the shower pan as well. I buck riveted (with sealant) some sloped angles to the bottom of the floor to slope the floor and attached a drain to the underside of the floor using countersunk buck rivets. The slope is just shy of 1/4" per foot to the drain but I could hammer it down a bit more if I need to.
Here are some pics of the last section of floor.
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0001.jpg
Views:	187
Size:	210.3 KB
ID:	169356

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0002.jpg
Views:	190
Size:	284.0 KB
ID:	169357

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0003.jpg
Views:	193
Size:	316.0 KB
ID:	169358

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0004.jpg
Views:	194
Size:	327.1 KB
ID:	169359

Tim
__________________

__________________
timzog is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.