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Old 11-03-2006, 02:15 PM   #1
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Scrap the bellypan?

That got your attention. My bellypan is pretty much non-existent and I was wondering:

A. Does it have a structural value?
B. Does it have an aesthetic value? i.e., would it be extremely noticeable if it was missing?
C. If I just did away with it and glued and screwed some of those foil covered styrofoam insulation sheets to the floor, would I be denied access at a rally?

I realize it has value as being part of a vintage vehicle and was put there for a reason, but other than that???

As I understand it, it's to protect the floor from water and road grime, but reading on another post how it causes condensation problems and traps water.

Can't wait to hear the responses. Thanks
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Old 11-03-2006, 03:44 PM   #2
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It has aerodynamic value.

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Old 11-03-2006, 04:07 PM   #3
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Why is your belly pan in such bad shape to begin with?

IMO it protects the wood floor from water & road grime MUCH more than contribute to a condensation problem. The belly pan is usually not airtight so moisture can escape. It also protects it from the every night moisture from dew.

It also protects the floor from road debris flying up and damaging the underside of the wood which could cause weak sections on your floor. With the belly paln, at least your floor is somewhat protected.

No, you won't be denied entry to a rally, but you will have more difficulty finding a buyer if/when you go to sell it someday.

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Old 11-03-2006, 04:18 PM   #4
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It also encloses some of the plumbing, water tanks, holding tanks, and wiring. An Airstream rides lower than a lot of SOB's.

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Old 11-03-2006, 04:21 PM   #5
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I feel that most threads misplace the blame when they talk about the belly pan causing frame rust, moisture trapping and floor rot.

Old trailers stored in the elements will certainly have seen the coating on the frame break down. IMO two factors increase the rust beyond what's expected -- exposure to salt air near the ocean (that's #2) and number one is storing on unpaved ground where grass can grow tall against the underside and increase the humidity significantly.

Neither of the above will saturate the fiberglass insulation against the bottom of the floor. Many other issues of shell integrity occur above floor level in these old trailers, allowing water to leak in and flow down -- and that is the number one cause of floor issues. The most likely areas of leakage and where the floor is affected is another discussion.

Belly pan is intentionally not tightly sealed so that small amounts of water entry can have a chance to dry. The joints around the perimeter are simple lap joints like on roof shingles -- works for me. One piece replacement as originally built is probably not practical. You'll look at the propane piping and quickly realize this can get complicated -- but always leave the propane valves below the belly pan as done originally! You can do an effective job with 4' x 8' sheets -- .025" was the original thickness -- just overlap the succession of belly pan segments same way as fish scales. You won't be getting any water in there!

Check your yellow pages for metal supply. Otherwise Metal Supermarkets are all around the country.
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Old 11-03-2006, 05:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut
Why is your belly pan in such bad shape to begin with?


Shari
It's the way I picked it up. Owner said dogs tore it apart. I'd hate to mess with those dogs.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 11-04-2006, 06:09 AM   #7
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no belly pan here

When I took off the belly pan on a 53 Cloud I disposed of 25 pounds of dirt and critter crap. When I cut the pan off I left 16 inches of banana wrap so you can't tell the pan is missing. I won't put a pan back on....don't want no stinkin' critters.
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Old 11-04-2006, 07:00 AM   #8
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Post 19 in this thread 'bout sez it all for me. The no belly pan option could be a possibility in a dry environment for a trailer that was never going to be towed. This is like taking apart wheel wells on a car because all they do is gather dirt. Belly pan keeps out a lot more than it keeps in. And more will get in from creepy crawlies, mice, etc. My Argosy didn't have mice until I stored it outside at a friends house in the woods. I got rid of the mice and avoided that environment afterward. Nothing beats my rented storage garage for pampering my more valuable '06 Safari.

Dirt and critters are a given in life. One coworker's mother would make the kids move the woodpile spring and fall so there wouldn't be any bark, junk, bugs, etc. underneath it. Don't know where that is taking us -- suspect it has nothing to do with belly pans.
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Old 11-04-2006, 09:31 AM   #9
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I've been wrong before

I was under the impression that the belly pan was there to protect the govt. roads from all leaking stuff that drips off Airstreams. Therefore actually protecting the owner/operator the luxury of being fined or imprisioned!
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Old 11-04-2006, 12:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doorgunner
I was under the impression that the belly pan was there to protect the govt. roads from all leaking stuff that drips off Airstreams. Therefore actually protecting the owner/operator the luxury of being fined or imprisioned!
The belly pan on mine didn't protect anyone when my black tank split. If the pan was air tight I might not have known it was leeking and wondered if the tank was ever going to fill! ......and the thought and my expletive when it would finally let go....
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Old 11-04-2006, 04:29 PM   #11
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My 2003 International did not have a belly pan and I did not miss one. If I had kepy the trailer longer, I would probably insulate the underside with Reflectix (sp). Of course, the tanks were not heated, but this didn't cause any trouble in the 2 Texas winters I owned it.

I insulated my old Scamp with Reflectix after I spent some 115 degree weather at Circus Circus in Las Vegas. The insulation made a major improvement when parked on hard surfaces in the summer.
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