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Old 02-21-2012, 09:18 AM   #85
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Perry,

The OSB thing is confusing. Some said it was used on the smaller trailers, maybe the Sport models, and then it was said Airstream stopped using it because it was causing lots of problems since OSB deteriorates fast when wet. I also recall some statements that it was used again, but I was not sure that was true; it seemed like a rumor.

There have also been statements posted about Airstream using marine grade plywood, but they may be rumors too. Ours has what looks like BCX or BDX grade. I can't see the bottom, so I don't know what that looks like.

All this makes my head hurt too.

Gene
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:46 AM   #86
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Here is what is in my 81 Excella II. It looks like run of the mill exterior glue clear on one side plywood. This is the back side of the plywood and it has lots of knots and holes. It is definately not marine plywood.

Perry

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Old 02-21-2012, 11:38 AM   #87
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I called JC this morning and they said a grade below marine grade was, used whatever the heck that is supposed to mean. Marine grade plywood is however not a good solution. The only difference is the glue is more impervious to water and there are usually more laminates, ie in 3/4 inch ply there would be 6 laminates instead of four. In the 70's there was a very popular sailboat plan called the Thunderbird you could build in your garage and my brother and I built one. We used regular ply because we couln't afford the marine grade. My brother still has it, but I think its about half fiber glass now.
I bought new and expected to have maintenance issues that would need to be addressed. Anything that floats, travels or is exposed to rain, wind or snow will leak.
Having said that we also as teenagers built surfboards using resin and cloth and I can picture in my head how this could be done for a floor of an AS. I would have to figure it out structually but I have a 17 ft kayak that is laid up with kevlar and it is really strong (meaning I haven't been able to break it yet.) This type of material laid up properly is incredibly strong (and incredibly expensive). I was recently invited to witness a stress test of the new Dreamliner and they damn near bent those wings until they touched. It was difficult to watch, I kept waiting for the SNAP. I would gladly pay more for this type of floorsystem if AS offered it.. If Boeing can give a wing on an airplane the strength and structual integrity to withstand flight, I'm sure AS could do the same. Anyway my head is starting to hurt again thinking about all of this
Did I say we had a BLAST last weekend? Razor clamming was open on Saturday and we got our limit (45) between the 3 of us. Reading these forums is addicting but for me I need to put some perspective into this and remember to also ENJOY, ENJOY and ENJOY some more.

Dan......... Everybody seems to end their posts with a saying so heres mine I got from an Uncle who every time He'd down a shot would say.
"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy"
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:41 AM   #88
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We are throwing out several rolls of Kevlar at work and I am thinking I should keep some.

Perry
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:15 PM   #89
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Perry's plywood looks to be ACX or BCX. The "X" means exterior glue. "A" through "D" are descending grades of the surface. The first letter is the one that shows; the second letter is the other side. "A" would be clear—no knots or splits. "D" has open knots and some big ones filled. The grade will be marked on it somewhere. What is usually seen in the big box stores are ACX and CDX. The "A" side is sanded a bit and can be painted so it can be used on exposed exteriors. Surely other less common grades can be ordered and a company cutting costs will look for them—the mars in a "B" grade top surface may eventually show through in a thin floor such as the OEM vinyl which is slightly less than 1/16". Plywood has increased a lot in price over the past 20 years.

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Old 02-21-2012, 05:28 PM   #90
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Ok here is what I have done so far with drains. It is not pretty but if it works who cares. I want to do this in months instead of years.

Here is one of the drains using the 3/8" SST thinwall tubing.



Here is the drain to the right of the door in the straight section.



Here is the drain in the front right corner.






Here is the drain on the right side of the door. This is put together with little bits of aluminum roof sheething cut to funnel water down the outside of the skin instead of in the area that use to be covered with wood. It is held together with Parbond and Vulkem.



This is a bridge between the straight C-channel and the curved C-channel made from the sheething and Vulkem.



I am going to put another drain between the two battery boxes and seal the section of c-channel with Vulkem where they cut and bent it to make room for the battery boxes. I am also going to isolate these sections from the corner areas. This is mainly to prevent water from getting up under the metal load plates that are already starting to rust. I am going to encapsulate them in Vulkem. I wanted to POR15 them but I don't want to waste a $50 can of paint just to paint the load plates.

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Old 02-21-2012, 06:04 PM   #91
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Perry, if you have the room keep the kevlar. It is very expensive and you can use it for lots of projects and as a repair material. I can picture a 6"strip of it applied around the perimeter wood flooring epoxied in with weep holes. You could dimple the areas around where you want the drain tubes to go so the water would flow to those points.

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Old 02-21-2012, 06:44 PM   #92
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Here's one you guys ain't gonna believe. The original floor in my 'Stream was made out of redwood. No kiddin'.

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Old 02-21-2012, 07:13 PM   #93
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I could repair the holes in the floor I just posted pictures of. I am not worried about the existing damage. I can repair it any time. It is not structural at this point. I need to put my skins back on the rear before I start doing any floor work on the front. I am hopeing I have all the leaks stopped which comes before fixing the floor. Does Kevlar has a shelf life?

Perry

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Perry, if you have the room keep the kevlar. It is very expensive and you can use it for lots of projects and as a repair material. I can picture a 6"strip of it applied around the perimeter wood flooring epoxied in with weep holes. You could dimple the areas around where you want the drain tubes to go so the water would flow to those points.

Dan
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:30 PM   #94
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Kevlar shelf life

Perry, as an interceptor (body armor) the suggested shelf life is 10 yrs. For your needs it will outlast both of us.

Dan
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:47 PM   #95
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Perry, keep the kevlar. Just tell us how many times in the next, say month or two you use it on everything.
Perry (that other one out west somewhere)
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:08 AM   #96
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Gene, The leak by your door may be the awning mount. My dealer found that by taking it off and sealing it properly/ Hopefully the leak is fixed. jim
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:14 AM   #97
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My leaks by the door were caused by several things. The door frame was leaking and the window frame next to the door frame was leaking. These were skin to frame leaks. The window seal between the glass and the frame was also leaking. This was fixed by cutting the lip of the old gasket out and putting in a bead of Vulkem. The Z-stringer between the door and the window had some loose rivets that were leaking. I put Parbond around the leaking rivets. The area to the right of the door frame is very prone to leaks because it is a weak area in the shell due to the door being there and also the constant slaming of door which I think is responsible for most of the leaks.

Perry
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:12 AM   #98
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Ji.m, thanks for the tip about the awning mount. Perry, the thought about the door area being vulnerable because of the opening and closing makes a lot of sense.

I haven't done anything between snow, guests, floor removal, etc. It has stayed dry after the snow melted.

Gene
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