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AliceAir 04-24-2019 11:56 AM

Belly Pan Install Process
Just wanted to share our experience installing a belly pan on the ol' 63 Globetrotter 19. Found poster "AMerryCan" whole restoration thread incredibly helpful thus far.

Right now, we struggled with installing a new belly pan, and an expensive roll of aluminum from Airparts sat for months because we were terrified to unroll it. Well, a few clamps and away we went.

We riveted together the original bellypan the long way, and because we can't get aluminum that wide anymore, we cut it widthwise into 4' sections.

Starting with the back section, we copied, trimmed and relief cut the whole back 4' section. That was a mistake, and ended up terribly. The relief cuts and fold around the C-channel were all wrong. After a week of despair, we revisited AMerryCan's thread, and decided to let the trailer tell us what to do. We scrapped that (expensive) piece of aluminum, and tried again. We also realized that our 2" + 1.5" hardboard insulation, although trimmed to curve, was not trimmed enough. It created too much of a bowl, and so we shaved it down to more of a taper to the bumper.

We started by cleco-ing a fresh piece, with no cuts, aside from the main frame rails, but left the corners square. We started in the center of the sheet, and figured we'd work from the middle, then spring clamp to c-channel, then cleco in one direction for a few, then the other, cutting relief cuts to where the c channel meets the subfloor. We'd cut a strip where it made sense, trimmed it enough to clamp it, then did it again. That kind of worked, and in the end, turned out better, not great. We ended up with a wrinkle because we didn't relief cut deep enough, which in hindsight should have been into where the subfloor is. The tabs overlap, and will not let any water in, so lesson learned is cut deeper, and cut as you go. Also, on the tire side of the sheet, it didn't lay completely flat :-( This makes the next sheet seam more difficult.

Next corner, we started cleco-ing on the tire side of the aluminum, and worked our way to the back bumper. Eureeka it turned out awesome!!!!! What a thrill. Phew!!!

All in all, we needed about 75 clecos, 20 or so spring clamps, 2 people, and a ton of patience.
Hope this helps some other sucker.

AliceAir 04-24-2019 12:02 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Here are pictures, I wanted to take more, but had to give my phone to the toddler so he could watch youtube videos, enabling both of us to work on the airstream.

We sort of made swiss cheese out of our new c-channel, but it beats looking at a brand new busted up belly pan.

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