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Old 03-11-2015, 04:44 PM   #1
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1986 25' Sovereign
Okeechobee , Florida
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Gutting Bathroom

I purchased and Airstream with Florida room about a year ago. I noticed water coming up through the cracks in the laminate floor. Investigating I found the sub-floor almost rotted out and black with mold. Since this is my permanent home, I am thinking of taking on the task of completely gutting the bathroom and rebuilding it. The good thing is, I am a plumber, the bad is, I am no Carpenter. In the mean time I can use the parks bathroom while mine is down. I also looked underneath the trailer and see the pan is totally rusted out and slight water dripping. I think the leak is coming from a crack in the tub, but not sure. I epoxied that up, well I think I did.

Any advise on where to start and what I will be getting into. My plans are to take it to the frame.

Thanks Wayne
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:35 AM   #2
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1964 24' Tradewind
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Hi Wayne. First step before gutting and finding the interior plumbing leaks is check for exterior ones that may be occurring as well. It sucks to fix your floor to see it getting wet again so tackle the battle from high to low. Check over each and every rivet, if you find you can get your fingernail under any of the rivets they need to be replaced or if the have a dirty looking grey ring around them that also means it needs to be replaced. The dirty grey look is from a rivet with to much movement rubbing against the skin and making aluminium dust. Them check the seal and rivets on the exterior around your bathroom fan. Then check the weatherstrip on your rear window as well as the sealant around it the window for cracks or gaps, check those rivets for leaks to. Then check any exterior access panels like water heaters or battery box panels that may be near your bathroom for the same things Then finally one of the most common causes of water getting in the bathroom is a design flaw on many years of trailers where the rain water that hits your trailer runs down, hits the rear bumper and funnels inside to rot out the plywood.

Someone else on the forums will be much more knowledgeable about how to fix that and will pipe up with ideas for you soon. In the meantime search for threads on fixing rear end separation. That bumper defect and the water infiltration generally lead to rear end separation in the long run.

You'll be fine with the carpentry. You'll only need a jigsaw and a drill and no one will ever see your wobbly cuts as they will be buried under the C-Channel.

Good luck
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:00 AM   #3
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What is an "Airatream with Florida room"?
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Old 03-13-2015, 01:18 PM   #4
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Portsmouth , Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
What is an "Airatream with Florida room"?
That was my question, is this a trailer that never moves? If so, you can probably do away with the holding tanks altogether, though if you want to sell it later that will limit your options.

Check my blog for how I redid the rear bath on a '73 overlander.

<points down>
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:04 PM   #5
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1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
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Welcome sgwayne from Florida. It sounds like you stumbled into an old Airstream "apartment". The lush Florida climate is tough on Airstreams because they tend to leak and rot out the subfloor and frame, especially in the rear of the trailer and by the entry door.

I "gutted" my rear bath and repaired the subfloor. My frame was sound, but I cleaned it and painted it for future rust protection. One thing leads to another and another. Be aware that you are starting a major project on your Airstream.

I recommend you read several threads written by folks who have done what you want to do. Then plan your project and order the materials. I hope you are able to jack up your trailer and support it on jack stands so you can get underneath.

Here is the rotted floor under the toilet in my Trade Wind.

David
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Old 03-14-2015, 03:51 PM   #6
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1986 25' Sovereign
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Thanks for all the great comments everyone. Guess I should have mentioned what I have. I have an Excella II with the bathroom in the back and beds on each side of the hallway. Yes this is a permanent structure. Florida room is just a built on extra screen room. My plans are to remove all trailer plumbing and plumb it like a house.

Upon taking the bathroom molding apart I noticed an upper section and a lower section. I took out all the molding to about waist high. I will be keeping the ceiling molding on. Scraped up the tiles to find a totally rotted black molded floor. The beams holding the floor are rusted apart from the rest of the frame, just on the back of the trailer. Heres where I need advise. What I want to do is is cut the inside beams and build a frame from the ground to hold a bathroom floor up. Block up the rest of the trailer for added support. Bad idea or feasible?? Also I want to take the closet out nest to the bathroom and extend the shower in that direction.. What are your thoughts

PS. How hard is it to take out both tanks.
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:18 PM   #7
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If you pull out the floor and all the "stuff" in the bathroom, taking out the tanks wont be too bad. From what you describe with the frame, you will need to drop all that stuff anyway to get to the frame so you can weld in some new steel to support a new floor.

If this trailer is never going to be mobile again, then you have more options available compared to one that has to roll down the road. You wont need the tanks and can get by with a small conventional water heater. You could remove axles and then support it on blocks under the frame. Not sure how nice it would look or what the local codes would say, but nothing to stop it from doing what you need it to do. I'd stop short of trying to use lumber to make up for the bad sections of the frame. At the very least repair it with new steel and then put new plywood in for the subfloor.
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Old 03-15-2015, 12:18 AM   #8
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I would highly recommend getting a mobile welder in to fix the frame, that way you can properly close the belly pan up again after. That would help with keeping critters out as well and if it is that humid there lumber exposed to the ground would just rot out quickly anyway and you'd be back where you started in just a few years.
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:05 AM   #9
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I am posting some pics of what is done so far. Hopefully getting both tanks dropped today. Click image for larger version

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Old 03-15-2015, 11:44 AM   #10
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Update: Removed the tank on the left and found part of a pan. I think since this is permanently parked and will never be moved again. The rest of the trailer is already supported by jacks. And every single beam in the bathroom is rusted off the main frame. I am going to cut the beams away in the bathroom. Build a wooden frame to support the bathroom shell. The wooden frame will be on blocks. And start framing in a new bathroom floor structure from the ground. Have a pic with the tank out
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Old 05-29-2015, 02:31 PM   #11
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sorry to highjack your thread but this seemed the closest I have come to seeing instructions as to how to actually remove the fixtures without damanging them... I took all the rivets and screws out I can find but the abs fixtures in my back bath don't seem to want to come out. Its like there are hidden screws/bolts on the top left corner of the vanity.. Do I need to remove the closet to the left of the vanity to get to some bolts/rivets/screws? Everything seems about ready to come out but this one upper left corner.. argh..
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