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Old 08-12-2009, 03:21 PM   #1
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devil's advocate

What purpose(s) does the belly pan serve?

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Old 08-12-2009, 03:41 PM   #2
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Functions of the Bellypan

The bellypan:
  • Reduces the likelihood of water infiltration when the coach is towed in the rain or snow/sleet, etc.
  • Gives a degree of protection to the insulation intalled below the subfloor.
  • Provides a smooth, uninterrupted surface for the wind to flow around when being towed.
  • It also seems to provide some protection from rust on the frame members when the balance of the coach is properly maintained.

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Old 08-12-2009, 05:27 PM   #3
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It also acts as a skid plate to protect the fluid tanks. The Airstream is pretty close to the deck.

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Old 08-12-2009, 07:00 PM   #4
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aint buying it (as the devil's advocate)

the axles, sp tire cxr, steady jacks, water tank skins, propane lines and tank drains all hang down below the "...smooth belly pan..." In NHRA drag racing, wind tunnel tests show aerodynamics are pretty much moot until you exceed 180mph. Plus, I don't see any ASr's putting belly pans on TVs.
Protecting the innards is a maybe, keeping the water in there and giving the varmints a place to hide is a surety. SKid plate I buy, except the axles are the low point, but for curbs, etc makes sense. Do any SOB's use belly pans? Not that I have seen. The issues around the belly pan in place are biggies-hides whatever, can't fix anything easily...Plumbing and such. course all that is INSIDE, aint it? I dunno, seems like a big liability; perhaps one that is more user friendly? You know, like sections removable with bolts, etc?

Now, just so as you all know, I am gathering info for a frame off rebuild....the devil hissssself wouldn't do that if'n he didn't like the AS's!
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Old 08-12-2009, 07:04 PM   #5
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The first 22' CCD International introduced seven years ago didn't have a belly pan. It had an exposed frame and then some membrane and then a chipboard one-piece floor end to end. The chipboard rotted worse than septic-ready TP. Jackson Center went back to plywood and belly pans post haste.

There's a fair amount of insulation, plumbing & PVC drain pipes that would hang out with road debris flying without a belly pan. That is to say nothing of schemes to route furnace air down to the tanks. Reworking an old unit without putting a belly pan back would significantly affect durability, quality available at resale, and sale price IMO.

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Old 08-12-2009, 07:11 PM   #6
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What Bob said - plus it just wouldn't look right IMO. My SOB trailers have never had a belly skin. And I have had to repair tanks that are mounted under the floor. A belly skin would have prevented that damage in both cases. If you leave the belly skin off, be sure to protect the underside of your subfloor with something more durible than just paint. All of my SOB trailers have had a black fabric looking waterproof material between the subfloor and the frame to protect the wood.

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Old 08-12-2009, 09:21 PM   #7
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The belly skin serves to protect vitals from road debris damage, and it definately reduces water intrusion. I don't believe it is intended to be waterproof. From the structural standpoint it's useless as a skid plate and will tear if significant contact is made with the pavement, or substantial road debris.

Yes it makes accessing things a challenge, but the intent is to offer an increased level of protection to enlcosed systems that don't require much routine access.

I can't say that I've seen many SOB's with belly skins, though I have seen some with plastic fabric skins mounted to the bottom flange of the frame. I suspect this is their attempt to keep critters and road debris out as well



"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

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