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Old 04-29-2007, 12:00 PM   #1
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1981 27' Excella II
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Question Belly pan / Side skin seam?

I guess you call the beauty strip where the belly pan and the side skin meet is the belt line. Anyway I was out hunting a leak today and when I hit the belt line with the hose water came into the belly pan. Itís a pretty big leak. I found it strange that the belly pan was put on over the outside of the skin which allows the water to flow right on in if there is no seal, itís like putting roof shingles on backwards.

? is this the way it is supposed to be and if so is it supposed to be sealed?

Itís hard to tell if this is what got the floor, I would think the water enters between the channel and the skin and misses the plywood.
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Old 04-29-2007, 12:41 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ifihadtime
I guess you call the beauty strip where the belly pan and the side skin meet is the belt line. Anyway I was out hunting a leak today and when I hit the belt line with the hose water came into the belly pan. Itís a pretty big leak. I found it strange that the belly pan was put on over the outside of the skin which allows the water to flow right on in if there is no seal, itís like putting roof shingles on backwards.

? is this the way it is supposed to be and if so is it supposed to be sealed?

Itís hard to tell if this is what got the floor, I would think the water enters between the channel and the skin and misses the plywood.
I just pulled The belt line two minutes ago. I looked in the service manual and that is the correct layup. You are only supposed to "seal the top of the belt line molding only" I don't think this sheet metal layup caused your floor rot the lower panels come down about 1 1/2" below the level of the floor, it should be protected. Remember to seal the top of the belt-line though. I would also seal the pop rivets also, at least that is what I'll be doing.
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Old 04-29-2007, 12:54 PM   #3
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YMMV...my manual from 1975 shows it shingled under the side skins, however my trailer was built the other way around. I put mine back on with a bead of sealant just above the rivet line and a light bead at the top of the trim. All of my floor leaks were traced to windows, vent stacks and awning rails. The side sheets cover the edge of the flooring so I think that is a minimal point of entry for the water.

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Old 04-29-2007, 01:48 PM   #4
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I didn't use sealant on the molding, my thought was to let it run thru and out the bottom, I por-15'd the bottom edge of the banana skin and the edges of the belly pan also.
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Old 04-29-2007, 02:26 PM   #5
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A little terminology if you ever have to order vinyl inserts, etc. Beltline is the trim strip about chest high between the top and bottom halves. Rubrail is the lower trim strip at the junction of the belly & banana wrap and the trailer sides.

Yes, Airstream built a lot of trailers with the upside down lap. My '74 Argosy had a double-sided foam tape used as a sealer. You should apply a bead of Sikaflex 221 or Vulkem along there to seal it up when you put things back together. Definitely seal the rivets as Aaron says. On my Argosy the edge of the plywood floor extended a bit below the side aluminum sheet in a couple places, so would have gotten wet if I left it to drain freely.
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Old 04-29-2007, 04:20 PM   #6
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Ron, My 75 Argosy was the same way, as Bob said his was. And my 79 is the same way too. I am going to change that this summer on mine. The only thing I can figure is that was the last thing the factory put on before putting the rub rail on for ease of putting it together, the same thing you see in the auto industury.
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Old 04-29-2007, 04:58 PM   #7
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You will often find it done both ways , even on the same unit , don't assume it's all the same if you check one area. Guess it was free choice at the factory .
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Old 04-29-2007, 05:16 PM   #8
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Thumbs up Thanks for the input

Thanks for all the replies, sure helps to have this resource to clear up one's confussion.It kind of looked factory, I think I will bead the seam before I put the rub rail back on. I would think the trim piece and skin would move around quite a bit under normal travel/ heating and cooling etc and it would be hard to maintain much integrity with only a seal on the rub rail.

I did figure it wasn't the source of my floor problem I think I'm going to clean and reseal all the windows, awning etc seams and call it good.

On another note mine has what looks to be a dual LED? light facing forward just above the belt line. I assume a guide for backing up in the dark. I pulled the cover off and there was about a 3/4" hole thru the skin to run the wires. Totally exposed other than a warped plastic cover. It might be my leak so I'll be fixing that, if yours has one you might want to take a look.
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Old 04-29-2007, 05:31 PM   #9
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I am in the process of replacing all the lower skins on my Globetrotter. I removed the remainder of the banana wrap yesterday. All of my banana wrap was on the outside of the side skins and all the insulation was soaking wet from recent rainstorms. All the pieces that I have reinstalled are now underneath the side skins. IMHO this is the best way.
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Old 04-29-2007, 06:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ifihadtime

On another note mine has what looks to be a dual LED? light facing forward just above the belt line. I assume a guide for backing up in the dark. I pulled the cover off and there was about a 3/4" hole thru the skin to run the wires. Totally exposed other than a warped plastic cover. It might be my leak so I'll be fixing that, if yours has one you might want to take a look.
Actually that was state of the art fiber optics. There was a FO cable that ran back to the turn lights so you could tell if they were working on not. I have it on my '80 Excella, but don't know if the cable is still intact or not.

Aaron
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