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Old 04-30-2009, 11:50 PM   #15
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You're moving fast! Good job. The wedding must be coming up soon?


If that is the method you use, you may want to pre-drill the 1/4" holes in the plywood where you want the bolts to go. Then you could glue an additional fender washer to the bottom side of the plywood. It would help give the snaptoggle better support on the ply.

I'd consider removing the bottom row of interior skin. That will give you a better view of the new plywood as it's getting installed, makes working with the bolts easier, and gives you access to wiring (if you're going to replace it). Shouldn't take much time to remove it and will make the finished product cleaner (no patches -- & there would be many).

How do you intend to insert the new plywood at front & back?

And, where's the pictures??

Ryan.
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Old 05-01-2009, 02:23 AM   #16
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Aug. 8th is the big day...and Windy needs to make a good impression. I'd like to have a jump on the restoration by then.

What is the process for removing the lower panels?

I've been reading the It's a girl post and they just flew by that...is it that easy?

Thanks
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Old 05-01-2009, 10:40 AM   #17
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just get a 1/8" cobalt drill bit and drill all the rivets out of the lower panels.
Rich
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Old 05-01-2009, 11:13 AM   #18
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I like the stubby little drills sharpened for aluminum. I get them at Grainger but you could order them from Aircraft Spruce too. Should take about 2 hours to drill out all the rivets and remove the panels. I've always labeled the back sides of the panels, but it's not really necessary. Window frames (inside trim part) needs be partially pulled out at the bottom. I vote that it's worth it.
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Old 05-01-2009, 03:56 PM   #19
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Thumbs down Don't do it!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windy59 View Post
What is the process for removing the lower panels?

I've been reading the It's a girl post and they just flew by that...is it that easy?

Thanks
Don't drill holes & patch!!! There is no need to do a whole shell off restoration to replace the floor sections at the front and/or back. As you found in my "It's a Girl!!!" thread, we replaced our entire floor without removing the shell. You do have to remove the inside lower skins though - which is very easy to do. Just drill out the rivets and slide the panel out. When you are through, replace the rivets with standard 1/8" aluminum pop rivets. No problem. You'd be doing almost as many patch rivets by drilling holes at every bolt - they are about 9-12" o.c. along the entire perimeter. You (and your trailer's next owner) would regret it.

At the beginning of our restoration, we thought we would only be replacing the front and back portions too. However, we ran into the following issues that would have to be addressed if we did:
1) the new wood was not the same thickness as the old plywood. The old wood was 5/8" + the thickness of the floor tiles which went under the c-channels. We used 3/4" marine grade plywood because we could not find 5/8" marine grade. We also would not be able to put the new floorcovering (linoleum) under the channel at the front & back with 5/8" plywood - thus leaving a gap. The c-channel/wood floor connection is an integral part of the structure so we didn't want a gap or have a potential buckle at the exterior skin due to an uneven floor - either with 5/8" or 3/4".

2) the old plywood which was in good shape had the old VCT on it which was not easily removed. What portions we did attempt to remove damaged the plywood underneath which would have needed to be patched/filled/sanded.
As far as replacing the plywood goes, our entire floor was out and we did the two ends first which may have been easier than just doing the ends. The way we did it was to lay the new end pieces down flat on the frame but on an angle to the front/rear and rotate them into place. It did require a 2x4 and a big mallet to pound them into place, but it wasn't hard. However, with the existing middle section of floor in place like you are talking about, you wouldn't be able to lay the new end portions flat, they would be angled up on the existing floor section so it may not work (this was our #3 thought that should be included above). We also had the rivets on the exterior panels along the belt line removed which made the skin more flexible thus allowing the shell to flex a bit - which made it easier than you would think.

I've also heard of some folks who have replaced the end portions of the floor from the outside. They drill out the rivets along the beltline/c-channel and slide the new floor portions in from outside. You will still need to remove/replace the interior panels in order to access the c-channels, but it would alleviate the angled insertion over the existing floor. We considered this option (if we could have resolved 1 & 2 above), but in the end decided that if we were going to do it, we were going to do it right.

We are very happy with the results and would do it the same way if we had it to do over again. Regardless of if you decide to replace just the ends or the entire floor, I wouldn't let a few dozen pop-rivets be the determining factor - they are so easy to drill out and replace.

Shari
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Old 05-01-2009, 05:13 PM   #20
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Thanks Insideout. This helps. I won't drill the holes. I want to take my time and do this right but I also need something resembling a trailer by early August and there are so many distractions. Speaking of distractions...PeeWee is in Missoula tomorrow @ Bretz RV. It will be fun to hear him speak.
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Old 05-01-2009, 05:18 PM   #21
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Now your on the right track. Keep asking questions here and by Aug you will have her done.
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Old 05-01-2009, 05:39 PM   #22
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My Caravanner now is nearly torn apart for a shell on floor replace as well. To me you just can't start looking for shortcuts. Most of this stuff has to be done correctly or you or someone else will be undoing your shortcuts later with a needed proper repair.

Another issue on this toggle idea is that there's just way too much in the way of old fasteners that have to come out of the C channel before the new floor goes back in. No way you can do it with a bunch of holes cut into your skin. That inside skin just has to come off.

I'm a noob here too, but I can guarantee you that the hours you spend reading what others have done are going to pay off big time for you. Most of the major threads I've read over and over and continue to pick up new ideas that help. Too many really capable people have done restorations using mostly the same techniques for them to have missed a better way.

cheers,
steve
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:29 PM   #23
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Thanks for all the advise on this floor thing...I know better now. I had a pit in my stomach as I wrote the post describing my intentions and as my plan has evolved to removing the lower skin that pit has gone away...on a very fun note, my family was fortunate enough to entertain PeeWee last night. After listening to his presentation yesterday afternoon I took a shot and invited him over for dinner. He accepted and we got to enjoy his company and his amazing stories at our house...plus I got to show him our airstream. Pretty cool. Thanks PeeWee.
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:31 PM   #24
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