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Old 11-07-2012, 09:36 PM   #1
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Mixter's Avatar
1976 27' Overlander
Tampa , Florida
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 796
How do I get new holding tank covers/ belly pans?

Digging in to new AS and the both covers are in bad shape (main tank just ahead of the axles and grey & black in rear) There is some sort of galvanized belly pan/ tank cover that is rusted out under the main tank. The rear is another issue in itself. Looks like I'm doing the floor rot fix, which looks to have contributed to this pan/ cover rot. The PO has improvised some sheet metal patches over the rear, so I imagine when I pull it I'll see the rear half missing.

Question is whether I can buy new, or need to have these fabricated? Any ideas are greatly appreciated!

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Old 11-08-2012, 06:57 AM   #2
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,261
Some pictures would help, as it sounds like what you describe might not be original. We're talking about your '76, right?

At any rate, you are giong to have to fabricate the new items, but they aren't hard to do. The metal should be aluminum, though it might look like galvanized steel because of the corrosion. The panel covering your fresh water tank is more than a cover, it is actually a support made of 1" thick plywood that slides into Z-angles that create a perimeter support. You will have to find a specialty lumber store to get a replacement 1" piece, or you could make one out of a couple pieces of appropriately thick plywood glued up. The aluminum that you see looking up at the cover is just tacked onto the bottom of the plywood. Try to source locally, but if all else fails, you can order it frim Aircraft Spruce online. I'm not sure about the cover you mention for your waste tanks in the rear. Typically the black tank is above the floor in these 70's trailers, so you might only be looking at the cover for the grey.

Good Luck!

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Old 11-08-2012, 07:09 AM   #3
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1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
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Here in Knoxville and I am sure in Tampa there are a number of sheet metal shops that do fabriciation. They make a lot of commercial HVAC parts. You should be able to find one that will work with a sketch and bend up exactly what you need. Make a accurate sketch with dimensions before you go talk to them. They might use a little thicker Al than the original belly pans. I have a '87 center bath. The big pan under the tanks is galvanized steel. Quite thick and heavy.
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:37 AM   #4
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1976 27' Overlander
Tampa , Florida
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 796
Yes, its a 1976 Overlander.

I was "hoping" someone had a secret place to find an item that is available to purchase as oem or aftermarket part... Sounds like these need to be fabricated though. They really look like galvanized to me, but I dont see any plywood??

Here's some pics... First 2 are the rear drop down pan that covers the black and grey. The second two are the main tank- just forward of the axles and aft of the entry door.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:06 PM   #5
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
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The holding tank pans are made of heavy gage galvanized steel sheet metal. I think it is about .04" thick. The patch is to cover a repair to the valves most likely. It was not very well done.

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Old 11-08-2012, 07:51 PM   #6
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1974 27' Overlander
Sault ste Marie , Ontario
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 165
Images: 6
Wow, from the look of your pictures, it looks like someone has done some modifying in your trailer's past. The water tank fwd on mine (74) is held in with metal covered 1" ply as mentioned before, yours looks like it's ready to fall out. The two holding tanks under the floor in back are in galvanized, heated boxes held up by angle steel frames hinged at the front of the tanks. The picture attached shows what I found when I started my rear floor adventure. If you look close, you will notice the absence of a good amount of the aforementioned steel from the frames. Also, one hinge on one of the frames was broken and the other three were frozen. The rear mounts for the frames had disappeared in the center and were corrosion welded on the outer ends. I built new frames with about 35 dollars worth of 1" steel angle and a friend's expert welding. Right now things have come to a halt up here,(we have winter) but hopefully spring will see it all go back together....Phil.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:13 PM   #7
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1976 27' Overlander
Tampa , Florida
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 796
Looks like you and I are had same issues! Appears to be quite a difference in mounting these tanks from your 74 to my 76.

I think my rear issue is directly attributable to the rear bumper water funnel design... the rear hatch hinge plate is completely corroded and disintegrating, rear floor rot, and ultimately that tank pan. Mine does not have any hinges on it- just bolted up to the frame all the way around.

The front water tank pan disintegration might be from water entry to the belly from the step.

I'm reading through the service manual to learn more about this thing now, and i did not realize that those pans are what is actually holding up the tanks... I would have thought they were just covers.

I've got a buddy with a metal fab shop. I think when I break this thing down some more, I'll be bringing it over there and let him go at all the metalworking... I've got several things that could use his attention.

Although not sure if there will be a problem getting it over there with the rear floor removed... Wonder if that would be bad with the rear detached from the frame?

Need to get moving quick this weekend- down here in Florida its just becoming PERFECT camping weather!

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