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Old 07-30-2011, 03:08 PM   #1
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76fixer

I bought my first travle trailer last week. I would have nothing but an Airstream-type camper. I love retro and the aerodynamics, of course! Mine is kinda rough needs paint in and out, osme flooring and a shower and plumbing installed. The biggest question I have is this: Is the 3/4 in plywood on my floor original? If so what keeps moisture out from underneath. Mine just sits on 2x4's that are laid on the steel frame. Also anybody know what kind of wall board I need for the bath and I need a shower stall! Thanks, and this site is awesome.
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Old 07-30-2011, 03:10 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by fixer76 View Post
i bought my first travle trailer last week. I would have nothing but an airstream-type camper. I love retro and the aerodynamics, of course! Mine is kinda rough needs paint in and out, osme flooring and a shower and plumbing installed. The biggest question i have is this: Is the 3/4 in plywood on my floor original? If so what keeps moisture out from underneath. Mine just sits on 2x4's that are laid on the steel frame. Also anybody know what kind of wall board i need for the bath and i need a shower stall! Thanks, and this site is awesome.
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Old 07-30-2011, 04:59 PM   #3
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There should not be any 2x4s between the frame and the floor. The original plywood floor is attached directly to the frame of the trailer. It looks like there are boards that may be notched into the frame in the front of the trailer as shown in picture 1. This is very wrong.

Also, in your first picture it is obvious that someone has removed the belly pan and the banana wraps which leaves the underside of the floor exposed to the elements. The belly pan is a flat sheet(s) of aluminum that attach to the bottom the the frame and the banana wraps are curved pieces of aluminum that seal the curved area between the belly pan and the shell.

At this point I would be very concerned with the structural integrity of the frame and the trailer. The boards were installed to replace something that failed. Pictures of the frame from under the trailer would be helpful in assessing the extent of the problem.

Frames can be repaired or even replaced, this is not the end of the world. I would focus on the frame and floor at this time.
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Old 07-30-2011, 05:17 PM   #4
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76fixer

The photos of the bathroom seem to show the absence of the OEM vinyl-clad aluminum wall panels. In Vintage Airstream and argosy travel trailers, two of three walls in the shower were typically either raw aluminum that was coated with Zolatone or vinyl-clad aluminum. The third was typically either covered with a veneer of fiberglass or some form of Formica. The aluminum wall covering becomes part of the structure of the coach and is an integral part of the structure.

Good luck with your investigation and assessment.

Kevin
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Old 07-30-2011, 05:21 PM   #5
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If the floor is screwed to 2x4's that are "laid on" the steel chassis, then you've got a very modified rig that Richard has already brought your attention to. It appears that someone may have done a "shell-off" job, and then added wood "joists" above the original chassis. If you have plans of just parking this rig, this set-up may be ok. But if you intend to tow it around, you need to determine whether or not those 2x4's are securely attached to the original chassis, whether or not the chassis has any remaining integrity, how the shell is attached to the new floor/joist system, whether the whole thing is safe and legal, etc. etc. The missing belly pan is the least of your concerns right now...If I were you, I would NOT travel with this trailer as it is. Good luck with this project! -tim
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Old 07-30-2011, 05:28 PM   #6
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Here is a photo of a trailer someone is restoring, with the "banana wrap" and belly pan removed. You can see the frame and outriggers, with the plywood floor attached directly to it.

This is the blog where I found the photo, he's working on a 60s trailer.
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Old 07-31-2011, 04:16 PM   #7
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76argosy underbelly

Thanks everyone for the info. It appears I may have bitten a little more than I can chew. Nah I love a challenge. I'm kinda a piddler and great project turn-arounder! Here are pics of the underbelly. The frame has definitely seen better days and is rusted pretty good. Tell me how bad it is! Having trouble getting new pics downloaded. still trying
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Old 07-31-2011, 04:29 PM   #8
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76 Argosy underbelly

Maybe these pics willl load now.
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Old 07-31-2011, 04:32 PM   #9
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76 Argosy underbelly

Can't get pics on here, just keeps saying "Uploading files, please wait"
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Old 07-31-2011, 04:47 PM   #10
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Finally here they are!
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Old 07-31-2011, 04:48 PM   #11
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76 argosy underbelly

the last pic is where the water pump has been leaking. The filter cap is cracked. The O ring seems to be fine however. Any body know where I can get one of these?
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:45 AM   #12
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The pictures you posted are very disturbing. If you plan to travel with this trailer, you are looking at frame repair and a floor replacement (shell off).
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:59 AM   #13
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In my '73 Argosy...there are 2-2X4s that run underneath the rear bath area between 2 cross-members. I kinda freaked out when I saw that at first but it does appear to be original to the TT.
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:08 AM   #14
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Cool 76fixer

I do beleive you are correct and this is the original flooring and bracing. The only plywood that is bad is in the very front, about two sheets worth. I am concerned with the framing being rusted so bad. Can I scab and patch framework without totally rebuilding? Also can I replace the first 8 feet of flooring without removing sheet aluminum? It appears to me that I may have to at least remove the inner skin in the front to get flooring replaced. Thanks all for your comments.
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