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Old 01-21-2008, 10:50 PM   #1
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Belly Pan gone on 1983 Commercial Airstream 16Ft

I bought a 1983 Commercial Airstream Vending trailer on Ebay. The belly pan is gone. Is this needed if I seal it up really well from underneath?

Since it is a commercial trailer I am hoping to fix trailer issues, but don't want to do things that are not super important.

I know my teardrop just has a nice piece of plastic and good trailer paint underneath.

Will this work on this unit?
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Old 01-21-2008, 11:12 PM   #2
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To Belly or not To Belly?

OutsideSuppl, I will go out on a limb here and state the obvious reason you need the belly covered. Can you say Floor rot or Frame rot? I knew you could! It may have been removed to get the water damaged insulation removed from the underside of the plywood floor. Or so someone before you could replace some already rotted floor section(s) or both. But, and this is the important part. You may want to replace the insulation under there and re-installing the belly pan is to keep the frame and that insulation relatively dry when you tow it down the road from place to place. It also cuts down on wind resistance under the trailer. Hope this makes some sense to you as to why you need to replace it. Happy Trails, Ed
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Old 01-21-2008, 11:39 PM   #3
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Old 01-21-2008, 11:50 PM   #4
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Blog Entry with Pics

Here ya go. I have a couple pics on my blog.

New Airstream Rebuild Project (Airstream Camper Trailer Rebuild and Restore)

I have more pics and a short video covering the axel. I want to see if it needs to be replaced.

Thanks

Chad
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Old 01-22-2008, 12:02 AM   #5
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Chad, That is sooo cool! I don't see how you will ever be able to have propane bottles on the tongue though! Are they mounted somewhere else or do you have no furnace/waterheater/stove/fridge at all? That would be the challenge to tailgate or camp. You of course can add these items but configuring them so you can run gas lines/vents etc. will be interesting! Great find if you can get the propane issues solved. Happy Trails, Ed
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Old 01-22-2008, 12:08 AM   #6
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No Propane Except for little Outdoor Stove

We are not adding any water, propane, tanks, or anything except a bed, bench/bunk, and a TV. I intend on keeping my cook outside tradition of my teardrop. I have a kick butt Camp Chef stove that makes me feel like Emeril or such!

I tell you I have a Viking range in my house and I prefer the Camp Chef. LOL

The trailer should be cool when it is done. It seems the trailer was purposely turned into a Single Channel or pipe to allow for east removal of the hitch.

I may have that altered into a regular trailer and add a step in the front.
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Old 01-22-2008, 12:36 AM   #7
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i recall seeing that one when the auction was cooking...

we've got a thread here on it too...

good to c it found a home.

as 2 the belly pan...

it depends.

i'd want one for a high mileage traveler...

but for a vendor unit other options can work...

many trailer makers do not enclose the bottom and do fine.

also a/s produced some modern units WITHOUT a belly pan (22 or 23, 4-7 years ago?)

consider an email to the service department or a well known service guy, from the left coast...

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-22-2008, 07:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
many trailer makers do not enclose the bottom and do fine.

also a/s produced some modern units WITHOUT a belly pan (22 or 23, 4-7 years ago?)
22' International. 2002 + maybe 2003 model years only. Then they went back to belly pans. John Irwin had one. There was a membrane under the floor and above the frame. They were trying something new + he thought maybe weight saving. These models had very little capacity between curb weight & trailer GVWR.
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:19 AM   #9
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When replacing the belly insulation, there are good alternatives now to the fiberglass batts they used 20 and 30 years ago. The fiberglass I tore out of my '72 seemed to be the perfect material for soaking up, and retaining, any moisture that found it's way into that mostly enclosed space, contributing greatly to the corrosion of the frame. It also served as great nesting material for mice. So you might want to think about using what others here have used to re-insulate (after thoroughly wire-brushing the frame, making any needed repairs, and applying a good rust inhibitor paint), which seems to be either rigid foam cut to fit, or the reflective bubble-wrap stuff. As stated here, many other trailers and RVs do not have the belly pan, and do just fine- though am not sure if the belly pan in an AS is an integral and crucial part of the "monoque" design. Maybe Inland Andy can answer that one?
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OutsideSuppl
...I have a kick butt Camp Chef stove that makes me feel like Emeril or such!

I tell you I have a Viking range in my house and I prefer the Camp Chef. LOL

Yes sir! Those Camp Chef bad boys RULE. Like cooking with jet engines!

My favorite accessory is the iron skillet on the table in the second picture. I can cook three or four things on it at once, like I'm Mel Sharples or something! VERA, PICK UP!
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:38 AM   #11
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Other RV don't have belly pan, but the floor plywood is having aluminum liner, or is painted with some HD stuff. I guess AS floor could be sprayed with undercoat as well.
As for insulation Home Depot has 2" polyurethane insulation. It comes in 4x8' sheets and has aluminum foil glued at least on one side.
Not only it is solid insulation, totally waterproof, but the R value is much higher than fiberglass.
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