Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-21-2012, 06:47 PM   #1
4 Rivet Member
 
DryFly's Avatar
 
1972 Argosy 20
Snoqualmie , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 411
Belly Pan, No Belly Pan

After searching through this great forum (a truly incredible amount of information resides here) I've decided that I'm going to drop the belly pan on my 72 Argosy 20' and remove the insulation. My question is, why replace the belly pan? What purpose does it fulfill besides keeping the insulation in place - all damp and providing an opportunity for rot and rust by retaining moisture? If I left it off it would be easy to paint the bottom of the plywood floor and the frame members and keep them maintained.
What am I missing? I know there must be something.
__________________

__________________
DryFly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2012, 07:44 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Belegedhel's Avatar
 
1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,202
Hi,

I believe that the original idea about having a bellypan was to make the entire outer surface of the trailer as aerodynamic as possible. Certainly, there are plenty of SOBs out there that have no bellypan, but then they have the general aerodynamics of a barn... At the same time, most Airstream trailers have various items that break up the aerodynamics of the trailer, so maybe having an exposed frame doesn't make much difference. So, I would offer the following:

The belly pan does protect your Insulation from being stripped off by the wind, etc.. You will want insulation, but i wouldn't recommend more of the pink furry stuff. It also protects your valves, plumbing, tanks, etc.. And finally, it adds to the aesthetic, since the pan forms the "wraps that go along the sides of the trailer (plus, your banana wraps aren't going to stay put without being attached to the belly skin).

I put all new aluminum in my bellypan, and it looks better than the upper shell. I feel like peeking underneath every so often for inspiration.

Good luck!
__________________

__________________
Belegedhel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2012, 08:51 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Alumaholic's Avatar

 
1966 24' Tradewind
Albuquerque , New Mexico
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,751
Images: 33
In addition to what Belegedhel has stated, Airstreams are enclosed to protect pipes and holding tanks from freezing when we use them in cold weather.
__________________
Ken L
1966 Tradewind 24
2007Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax/Allison
Four Corners Unit WBCCI #8654
Alumaholic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2012, 09:03 PM   #4
1 Rivet Member
 
1966 22' Safari
north stonington , Connecticut
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 12
You certainly don't need the insulation, especially if you're not camping in extreme conditions. The belly pan protects the frame and, more importantly, the plywood floor which does not benefit from exposure to moisture. If you don't intend to move I suppose you could leave the belly pan off. Almost every time we've towed we've run into rain, no matter what the forecast.
__________________
dibAL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2012, 09:11 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Shacksman's Avatar
 
1960 28' Ambassador
Vintage Kin Owner
1998 25' Safari
Avonton , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,213
Quote:
Originally Posted by DryFly View Post
After searching through this great forum (a truly incredible amount of information resides here) I've decided that I'm going to drop the belly pan on my 72 Argosy 20' and remove the insulation. My question is, why replace the belly pan? What purpose does it fulfill besides keeping the insulation in place - all damp and providing an opportunity for rot and rust by retaining moisture? If I left it off it would be easy to paint the bottom of the plywood floor and the frame members and keep them maintained.
What am I missing? I know there must be something.
Where are the mice, rats and snakes going to live if you remove their home?
The 2002 CCD model came from the factory without bellypan or insulation!!
__________________
Doug & Terry
VAC - TAC ON-1
60 Ambassador Int.
98 Safari
1950 Spartan
1966 Globetrotter
Shacksman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2012, 09:41 PM   #6
3 Rivet Member
 
TankerIP's Avatar
 
2002 22' International
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 215
Mine has no Belly Pan

My 2002 International A/S has no pan. I think there were 2 or three years' of this and the CCD model that did not have them. It is clear for those of us who have these that we have a "three season" trailer. Not really a problem for those of us who live in Texas and don't travel too far north in the Winter.

At least, I can easily inspect the undercarriage. I have access to plumbing, pipes, wires, etc.
__________________
TankerIP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2012, 08:13 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Belegedhel's Avatar
 
1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,202
I have doubts that having a belly pan simply covering pipes and tanks provides much insulation in extremely cold situations. That being said, it seems like in the original layout of my trailer, the furnace fed hot air into the cavity between the sub floor and the bellypan, I assume to keep the fresh water tank warm. I would argue in favor of having some insulation down there, though, even if you live in a warm environment--you need to insulate the interior of the trailer from the heat that is radiating up off of the highway. I used closed cell foam with a layer of reflectex.

When I replaced my belly pan, I struck something of a compromise in my design. I broke up the continuous center section into three removeable panels that support fresh and grey tanks, and two riveted panels that cover the remainder. So if I need to look at the plumbing and dump valve, I only need to drill out the rivets on a "24 x 52" panel.

One thing that is no doubt, and that is that the interface between aluminum belly pan and steel frame resulted in a lot of corrosion to both on my trailer. Hopefully my rebuild will have less of that with all the POR-15 and top coat that I slopped on the frame.

good luck!
__________________
Belegedhel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2012, 08:21 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,649
You can make an open design but you need to seal the wood with something and paint the frame. Although, if the truth were known, Airstreams would probably last longer if there were no belly pans because they could dry out and water can just drip out. The combination of different metals, leaks, and wet fiberglass insulation is the death of many Airstreams. The fact that these belly pans are riveted on makes maintenance and inspection a major pain. I ran without the last 6 ft of so of belly pan for about a year with no ill effects. I have belly pans now but the new sections are removable and there is no fiberglass under there and the frame has been painted with POR15.

Perry
__________________
perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2012, 08:32 AM   #9
1 Rivet Member
 
runningbear5's Avatar
 
1970 29' Ambassador
Columbus , Ohio
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 16
I did not even think about being able to remove belly pan
So glad I found this thread.
My tank for bathroom totally rotted trying to remove rotten parts of wood floor
Want to remove and replace insulation
I'm in Ohio this is a nice week of weather so I may get busy!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image-2012903251.jpg
Views:	255
Size:	502.3 KB
ID:	171041   Click image for larger version

Name:	image-2211433036.jpg
Views:	263
Size:	507.9 KB
ID:	171042  

__________________
runningbear5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2012, 08:38 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,649
In case you have not figured it out yet. There are pans that hold up the holding tanks and the pan is the support for the tank.

Perry
__________________
perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2012, 06:43 PM   #11
1 Rivet Member
 
runningbear5's Avatar
 
1970 29' Ambassador
Columbus , Ohio
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 16
Yeah I had to dig in to get to rotting floor and discovered rusted away frame for tank
__________________
runningbear5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2012, 08:19 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
tphan's Avatar
 
1972 27' Overlander
Longmont , Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 951
quit yer belly-achin...

DryFly- I will give you my observations, after having gotten rid of my belly pan on a '72 about 6 years ago.
1) I no longer have any vermin living in my trailer.
2) I no longer have wet fiberglass insulation rotting my frame members.
3) I have immediate access to any and all issues occurring in that space.
4) I still have the "somewhat insulated" original black tank and freshwater tank pans, as they reside above the former belly pan.
5) I was still able to have the banana wraps, having added cross-pieces underneath to rivet them to. My trailer looks just like a belly-panned AS, unless you lay down on your back and look up underneath.
6) When I tow in the rain, the water from the trailer tires sprays up into the wheel wells, just like you would think. I have never seen water "jumping" up from the road to soak the bottom of my floor. If it did manage this feat, it would hit the Reflectix insulation attached to the bottom of the floor, and cause no harm.
As already stated in this thread, there are LOTS of RVs, trailers, cars, trucks, buses, etc. with no belly pan, even the '02 AS's. I think the aerodynamic pluses are minimal, at best.
Have fun with your trailer!
__________________
tphan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2012, 04:29 AM   #13
2 Rivet Member
 
freeofecho's Avatar
 
1958 26' Overlander
1958 22' Flying Cloud
coronado , California
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 34
Images: 2
Oh boy I am so happy to have found this thread! When I bought my 58 Airstream on the road back the belly pan decided it didnt want to make the trip. It started ripping from the front all the way to the back. The people passing us were waving frantically at us and pointing at the trailer. Just turned out to be a hotel for mice and other vermin. We bought it in the desert and my poor boyfriend was covered in cactus needles from head to toe by the time he got the rest of it off!
__________________
freeofecho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2012, 07:59 PM   #14
4 Rivet Member
 
DryFly's Avatar
 
1972 Argosy 20
Snoqualmie , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 411
Tphan

"5) I was still able to have the banana wraps, having added cross-pieces underneath to rivet them to. My trailer looks just like a belly-panned AS, unless you lay down on your back and look up underneath."

I'm not quite clear on what this looks like, could you post a picture?

Also, I'm dropping the pan this weekend and I think I'll just leave it off, clean everything up, POR 15 on the cross members and call it good for a year or so. The pan material is pretty bad, so if I decide I feel or find a need to replace the pan, I'll deal with that down the road.

The photos would be helpful.

Thanks for all your input.
__________________

__________________
DryFly 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 03:00 PM.


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.