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Old 06-05-2019, 12:42 PM   #1
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1968 26' Overlander
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Help: Replacing bathroom floor

I need to replace the bathroom floor in my 1968 Overlander 26'. The remainder of the floor appears to be in good shape but the bathroom floor is in need of a complete repair. I'm looking for any help/suggestions I can ge on doing this. Should I attack from inside of the trailer or from underneath? I'm fairly handy but never have tackled anything like this before.

Thanks for your advice/help/suggestions.
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Old 06-05-2019, 02:45 PM   #2
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Got photos of where it’s bad ? Are you talking about the flooring or the plywood and all .?
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Old 06-05-2019, 03:07 PM   #3
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Do a search for "shell on floor replacement", and you should get several threads showing how others have tacked what you are doing.

But to summarize, you will need to remove the rear bellyskin and banana wraps so that you can access the bottom side of the bolts that attach the subfloor/frame to the "u" channel on the shell. You will also have to remove the interior lower skins so that you can access the top ends of those same bolts. Once all the fasteners are gone, you can cut the existing sheet of subfloor into as many pieces as you need to to remove it. Note that it will also have fasteners that attach it to the cross-members. These fasteners may have a nut on the bottom, or be a self tapping screw.

Note that the subfloor is sandwiched between the shell and the frame, so there may be bits of wood left behind that you will need to dig out of the gap. Have a good look at the condition of the frame, repair the disintegrating aft-most crossmember, wire wheel it, and repaint it as long as you are there. Once done, get your replacement sheet ready to install. You may need to create paper or cardboard templates to ensure you get the correct shape to the replacement sheet. Use a decent grade of plywood (no pressure treated, and marine grade is overkill) and saturate the endgrain and at least 6 inches in from the edges top and bottom with polyurethane or penetrating epoxy.

Now, if you could get the entire sheet in in one piece, that's great, but tough. Many people split it down the middle, put the two halves in, and then use a doubler from underneath to reinforce the seam between the two. Now replace all of the fasteners and button it all back up.

good luck!
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Old 06-05-2019, 03:14 PM   #4
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1968 26' Overlander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyflea View Post
Got photos of where it’s bad ? Are you talking about the flooring or the plywood and all .?
I haven't done anything but notice the sponge the floor has so I'm thinking the floor and plywood.
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:50 PM   #5
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1975 27' Overlander
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Rear subfloor rot is pretty common in these vintage Airstreams. I had a 66 Trade Wind with a rotted out floor under the toilet, and along the rear cargo door area. Replacing it is a big project, and likely will lead to a lot of "while I'm at it" project creep.

As mentioned, you will need to remove the rear belly pan aluminum and rear banana wraps. You will remove the old, stinky insulation. Then you will remove the black tank.

You will remove the battery and converter. Now you get to remove the bath fixtures and water heater. You can see the area of rot.

There are ways to replace the rotted plywood. I elected to piece it over the frame rails and cross members. Others have successfully lifted the body at the rear just a little bit and slid a whole new piece of plywood into position.

Here are photos of the hole in my floor, and a photo of the wood I installed over the frame rails. While I was at it, I also installed new waste water tanks and rebuilt the bath in its entirety. I also installed a new battery, converter, fuse panel and distribution box.

Big job..

David
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:57 PM   #6
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Starting to sound like a bigger job than I am not capable of doing.
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Old 06-06-2019, 10:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
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I haven't done anything but notice the sponge the floor has so I'm thinking the floor and plywood.
As long as you have at least spongy plywood. Make sure it is totally dry. Drill 1/4 inch holes every half inch in the stronger plywood surrounding the spongy part. Spread epoxy resin over the whole service. Use plastic spatula they use for bodywork. Keep adding until more no more soaks in. When it dries it will be stronger than the original floor. Do not use plain fiberglass resin! West marine is one source.
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:04 AM   #8
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Help: Replacing bathroom floor

Quote:
Originally Posted by goswick View Post
I'm fairly handy but never have tackled anything like this before.


goswick

You can do it! It is not rocket science. Most of us who have done this were in the same boat as you. This will just be another skill that you will have learned by working on your Airstream.

I replaced the bathroom floor from below with the shower, sink and closet in place. You do need to remove the belly pan (easy) and the banana wraps (not so easy). You should get yourself a oscillating saw if you don’t already have one. It doesn’t need to be powerful and fancy. My inexpensive one works fine. You might take a look at my thread- Dan’s 66 Tradewind Improvements. There are lots of photos detailing the bathroom floor replacement.

While you are in there I would get rid of the rusting steel box supporting the black tank.

You can do it!

Dan
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belegedhel View Post
Do a search for "shell on floor replacement", and you should get several threads showing how others have tacked what you are doing.



But to summarize, you will need to remove the rear bellyskin and banana wraps so that you can access the bottom side of the bolts that attach the subfloor/frame to the "u" channel on the shell. You will also have to remove the interior lower skins so that you can access the top ends of those same bolts. Once all the fasteners are gone, you can cut the existing sheet of subfloor into as many pieces as you need to to remove it. Note that it will also have fasteners that attach it to the cross-members. These fasteners may have a nut on the bottom, or be a self tapping screw.



Note that the subfloor is sandwiched between the shell and the frame, so there may be bits of wood left behind that you will need to dig out of the gap. Have a good look at the condition of the frame, repair the disintegrating aft-most crossmember, wire wheel it, and repaint it as long as you are there. Once done, get your replacement sheet ready to install. You may need to create paper or cardboard templates to ensure you get the correct shape to the replacement sheet. Use a decent grade of plywood (no pressure treated, and marine grade is overkill) and saturate the endgrain and at least 6 inches in from the edges top and bottom with polyurethane or penetrating epoxy.



Now, if you could get the entire sheet in in one piece, that's great, but tough. Many people split it down the middle, put the two halves in, and then use a doubler from underneath to reinforce the seam between the two. Now replace all of the fasteners and button it all back up.



good luck!


Great write up!
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyflea View Post
Got photos of where it’s bad ? Are you talking about the flooring or the plywood and all .?
I'm really not sure since I haven't taken it apart to see just how extensive it is...I'm just not sure if I can tackle the job....
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:21 AM   #11
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I did my whole floor replacement.
It's not that bad.
The filth was the worst part.
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:21 AM   #12
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You can have the "mothership" in Jackson Center do it for you, but it will literally cost you thousands.

And they will replace the plywood floor with more plywood, which, IMHO is insane. It is a material unsuited for it's purpose and will eventually, sooner or later, rot again, especially in the rear bathroom.

Coosa Board is what I would choose to replace it with - a composite material that is virtually WATERPROOF, mold resistant, critter and bug proof, and, oh yeah, 30% lighter than plywood, yet just as easy to work with. The catch? It's a little over $200/sheet, compared with $35 for a sheet of plywood. Then again, cardboard is even cheaper! You get what you pay for, and if you spring for the Coosa, you will never ever have to replace it again when water infiltrates your subfloor.
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Old 07-16-2019, 05:52 PM   #13
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I did my whole floor replacement.
It's not that bad.
The filth was the worst part.
Did do it all from underneath the trailer?
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Old 07-17-2019, 04:16 AM   #14
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I took off the belly pan then worked from top & bottom.
Lots of crawling around on e ground.
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