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Old 09-13-2011, 10:03 AM   #1
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1981 31' Excella II
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C-Channel How many breaks does it have?

Since I am in the process of fixing my rear floor, I figured I would ask a question. The C-channel has gaps in it and where there is a gap there is probably water coming out that gets into the sub floor. The water could be from leaks but I expect there is a fair amount that collects in that channed from condensation. My recent leak situation was mainly caused by a bumper seal failure but I also had rotten wood right around where the end caps transition into the straight walls. So am I correct in assuming that this location is where there is a gap in the C-channel? I have some areas in the front in the same location that is discolored but not rotten. I don't want to have to deal with the same situation in the front. I was thinking about pulling back the inner skin in the front and sealing gaps in the C-channel. Naturally, if I know where the gaps are I won't have to fully remove the inner skins but rather pull them back fill the gap and pop rivet the skin back on.

So am I correct about where the gaps are and how many more of these gaps should I expect?

Perry
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:14 AM   #2
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Yup, there are gaps in those exact locations on my '91.

Don't be fooled into thinking all of the water is coming from condensation. a huge amount can come from a single loose rivet. Mee's gussin that you have leaks! (they all leak)

In my '63, I have all of the interior out and got to watch the 'condensation' on the inside of the exterior walls over the last few months...it never created enough to drip and puddle. Toss a good rain storm and water POURS through stuff as small as a loose buck rivet. My '91 has pop rivets in some locations, these may as well be plumbed to the freash water system with the amount of water that they allow to enter the trailer.
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:06 AM   #3
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Well we know these things are going to leak we just don't want the water to get to the subfloor and rot it out. Has anyone thought of putting drains along the C-Channel to drain the water to the belly area where it won't do as much harm?

I would think a stainless steel tube that goes through the floor and is sealed with Valkem at the C-Channel would help.

Perry
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:58 AM   #4
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Here is what I have in mind. Let me know if I have this drawn correctly. I did not draw the frame because there are only a few places where the shell is actually attached to the frame. Most attachments are at the front and back with a few on the frame ribs.

Maybe a drain on each side of a C-Channel Gap with the gap filled with Vulkem to keep the floor dry. There is no reason the tube could not run below the belly skin if you are worried about water accumulating in there. If you flare the Stainless steel tube it would work even better. I would think this could greatly reduce floor rot problems from minor leaks. I am not advocating intentionally leaving leaks or poor maintenance just being practical here these things are full of holes by design.

Perry

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Old 09-13-2011, 05:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
Since I am in the process of fixing my rear floor, I figured I would ask a question. The C-channel has gaps in it and where there is a gap there is probably water coming out that gets into the sub floor. The water could be from leaks but I expect there is a fair amount that collects in that channed from condensation.
What year is your trailer?

I know on our '56 & previously owned '64 the C-Channel would not be able to "hold water" - at all...it isn't a continuous trough-like piece, it's got notches and pieces spliced in it to make the curves and is pieced randomly. Here's a pic of the front:



and back:



I'm going to have to look for a better close-up on my other computer - but I think you can see the vertical "snips" I am talking about in these two pics. Actually, there is a section of straight C-Channel that hadn't been installed yet missing from the second pic under the back compartment door...I know it got installed before the interior skin went back on though - but there are joints where they come together. Even if you could seal them all up before putting on the interior skin, I'm afraid the movement down the road would flex them open again before long.

One of the other "weak links" is at every bolt attachment through the channel & into the wood...water will get in there, even if you paint or epoxy coat the surface of the floor - the bolts/screws compromise the epoxy. We put a dap of Vulkem at every biolt/screw but I'm not convinced itreally makes a big difference...but we did it anyways.

The best bet is to stop the leaks from the outside (or inside of the exterior skins)...that really is the biggest problem area. And unfortunately, the more end cap segments - like our 13-panel, the more opportunity for leaks to get in and travel around...

Shari
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:02 PM   #6
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Mine is an 81. I was wondering how they made it curve. I don't have my end cap skins all the way off. I will take a look at mine. I am thinking that they found a way to extrude a curved C-Channel in the newer units.

I just looked at mine and the c-channel seems to be more or less continous but there are notches where they put the bolts too close to the edge. I am not sure why they did that. Well I may wet install the bolts with Vulkem to reduce water penetration that way. I am not going to cure the problem but slow it down. I will get in the habit of checking the bumper seal on a yearly basis.

Perry
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