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Old 12-13-2018, 11:22 AM   #1
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1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Nashville , Tennessee
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Why a Belly Pan In The First Place???

To "ME" the "Belly Pan" on our trailers is purely an appearance feature that while it looks KOOL causes nothing but PROBLEMS!!!

Those PROBLEMS come in many forms to include a major area of exterior aluminum shell damage and repair. Difficulty in accessing needed utilities for repair and servicing. Water collection retention in the pan and batted insulation installed under the floor. Lower ground clearance issues for the trailer. Added rust issues to the frame caused by the water retention and on and on!

Given these MANY PROBLEMS we see caused by the enclosed belly pan designed into and installed upon our Argosy and Airstream trailers leads to my question:

Other than a possible exterior trailer appearance issue that can be resolved with skirting why in the world would anyone "Restoring or Repairing" present damage in an Argosy or Airstream trailer re-install a full belly pan into their trailer knowing full well they are causing the same problem they just previously repaired to once again begin it's relentless march towards the destruction of your trailer???
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Old 12-13-2018, 11:39 AM   #2
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Areodynamics is the reason its there .

Besides it took 40 years to mess with your trailer. My trailer is now 50 years old and has no damage inside the belly pan.

If you leave the belly pan off your trailer be sure to undercoat your floor and chassis.

Don’t like batt insulation, use 2” ridged foam with foil bonded to both sides board cut to fit between the frame and screwed up to the floor .
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Old 12-13-2018, 12:20 PM   #3
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Insulation value. Nice to have when the temperatures drop.

Trapped water is easy to take care of. As I have posted before, 1/8" holes drilled in the low spots of the belly pan allows water to drain out quickly. A stop on the drill bit is a good idea to keep it from puncturing something or tangling in any fiberglass insulation.

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Old 12-13-2018, 12:58 PM   #4
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1967 26' Overlander
Bugtussle , Oklahoma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintageracer View Post
To "ME" the "Belly Pan" on our trailers is purely an appearance feature that while it looks KOOL causes nothing but PROBLEMS!!!

Those PROBLEMS come in many forms to include a major area of exterior aluminum shell damage and repair. Difficulty in accessing needed utilities for repair and servicing. Water collection retention in the pan and batted insulation installed under the floor. Lower ground clearance issues for the trailer. Added rust issues to the frame caused by the water retention and on and on!

Given these MANY PROBLEMS we see caused by the enclosed belly pan designed into and installed upon our Argosy and Airstream trailers leads to my question:

Other than a possible exterior trailer appearance issue that can be resolved with skirting why in the world would anyone "Restoring or Repairing" present damage in an Argosy or Airstream trailer re-install a full belly pan into their trailer knowing full well they are causing the same problem they just previously repaired to once again begin it's relentless march towards the destruction of your trailer???
Exactly why I did not reinstall the belly pan on my '67 Overlander.
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Old 12-14-2018, 12:13 PM   #5
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It also keeps animals like mice from accessing your coach. Very useful here in Montana.
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Old 12-14-2018, 12:13 PM   #6
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1972 25' Tradewind
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I'll be replacing it and all the materials it's covering, coatings on the frame, insulation etc. etc. are far superior. It's going last way longer than the first 40yrs so I'll be like a 100 yrs old and won't care

Protection from cold, filth, aerodynamics are pretty solid reasons as already stated.
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Old 12-14-2018, 12:17 PM   #7
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It also keeps animals like mice from accessing your coach. Very useful here in Montana.
In the South it gives animals like mice a nice cozy place to LIVE!
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Old 12-14-2018, 12:26 PM   #8
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Aero dynamics are a big part of it. If you didn't have it the trailer could easily catch air in cross winds and lift up much like belly pans on performance cars.
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Old 12-14-2018, 01:01 PM   #9
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1967 26' Overlander
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Aero dynamics are a big part of it. If you didn't have it the trailer could easily catch air in cross winds and lift up much like belly pans on performance cars.
High winds with 40 mph gusts predicted around here for the weekend. If I have time, I'll hook up my trailer and do some high speed runs into the cross winds and see what happens. Video will be posted if my trailer catches air lifts up.

Good arguments on both sides of the belly pan issue.
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Old 12-14-2018, 01:45 PM   #10
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It has nothing to do with ground clearance. With that said, leave it off. Btw, do you live or camp in cold environs? If so, that is a big factor. Happy travels!
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Old 12-14-2018, 02:21 PM   #11
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I don't believe the belly pan is for aero...no one pulls a trailer fast enough for a belly pan to make a damn.

it helps with freezing temps. Remember the furnace it ducted to the belly pan to help keep tanks from freezing. No help if the furnace is blowing into open space.

It also protects the insulation under the floor.


Regards,


JD
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Old 12-14-2018, 02:42 PM   #12
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Remember "Drive Fast, Turn Heads, Break Hearts"

No, travel conservatively. Drive safe on the track! Go fast on the course!

Yes, a nice looking AS will always turn heads and make smiles.

Yes, you will break hearts if you do not return a coach to the general appearance and function of the original. Dzus fasteners to take off the pan for repairs - better insulation as was suggested - close off all the holes so the mice don't get to hitch-hike - vent the pan to dry it out/drain it.

Travel safe - come to Laguna Seca - enjoy those smiles from a reno well done. Pat
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Old 12-14-2018, 04:51 PM   #13
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Very few if any other manufacturer's have "Belly Pan's" installed on their RV trailers yet they have found a way to insulate the floor against the hot/cold.
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:19 PM   #14
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Other manufacturers have a 2x2 wood frame on top of the frame rails with insulation in it and a wrap underneath. They need this because the walls are not fastened to the chassis just the floor.
The framed floor adds weight but more detrimental is the additional 1.5” of air drag. Airstream’ floor system with the underbelly is superior just expensive.
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