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-   -   mysterious opening in floor, 1962 Overlander (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f46/mysterious-opening-in-floor-1962-overlander-49242.html)

silverjunkie 03-13-2009 03:13 PM

mysterious opening in floor, 1962 Overlander
 
Perhaps there is someone who can explain what I found while pulling up the (disgusting) old carpeting our recently-aquired 1962 Overlander, I found a rectangular hole in the plywood subfloor that had been sealed up with a piece of plywood. After pulling up the plywood plug, an approximately 14" x14" hole was revealed that has a direct opening to the outside via a trap door on the bottom of the trailer. The steel support beams are visible and run right through the opening in an x pattern. It has aluminum trim all the way around the perimeter, with cut-outs for the beams. It is right next to the stove unit bulkhead, in front of the window. Does anybody know what the purpose of this was? Thanks.

InsideOut 03-13-2009 03:36 PM

First off, welcome to AirForums!
 
I've seen openings on the floor for a couple of different reasons, either:

1) air circulation vent for comfort - with a fan on the ceiling drawing cool air from beneath the trailer in or
2) air circulation for a fridge or
3) remnants of a ducted heat system that is no longer there

I'm a bit confused by your description of it's location, if you could post a photo it may help figure this out.

Shari :flowers:

PeeWee 03-13-2009 03:47 PM

Wally Byam's Floor Vents
 
In most all of Wally's special built trailers prior to his death, he had a floor vent.

It is possible, that after Wally retired from Caravanning, that a handfull of furture Airstream owners may have requested a floor vent be cut into the floor.

Goin camping 03-13-2009 04:35 PM

Hi and welcome to the forums.

Would you please post some pictures of your floor vent. I have been considering one for added air flow and would really appreciate it.

Thanks in advance.

silverleeper 03-13-2009 04:37 PM

Photos Please
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by silverjunkie (Post 676363)
Perhaps there is someone who can explain what I found while pulling up the (disgusting) old carpeting our recently-aquired 1962 Overlander, I found a rectangular hole in the plywood subfloor that had been sealed up with a piece of plywood. After pulling up the plywood plug, an approximately 14" x14" hole was revealed that has a direct opening to the outside via a trap door on the bottom of the trailer. The steel support beams are visible and run right through the opening in an x pattern. It has aluminum trim all the way around the perimeter, with cut-outs for the beams. It is right next to the stove unit bulkhead, in front of the window. Does anybody know what the purpose of this was? Thanks.

Interesting...I'm with Sheri. Photos would be great. A Wally floor is a nice option if you have it.:wally:

Shacksman 03-13-2009 06:30 PM

Some models in those years had an in floor furnace that was about that size.

silverjunkie 03-13-2009 08:14 PM

Hey,thanks for the responses. Those are some interesting possibilities. Check back on Sunday afternoon, I'll have some photos posted by then-I'm out of town all day tomorrow. Also, anybody who knows where I can get the original range from this trailer (1962 Overlander) either refurbished or replaced, that would be a huge help. One more thing-did the original linoleum tiles in trailers of this vintage contain asbestos? I was pretty careful tearing them out, but I hadn't intended to remove the ones that were under the cabinets & gauchos.

BigAl 03-13-2009 08:42 PM

I am sure that the standard floor tile of that vintage was VAT(vinyl asbestos tile), so yes they would have asbestos in them. I don't think that leaving a few tiles under objects and undisturbed would be an issue to worry about.
Al

safari62 03-13-2009 09:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by silverjunkie (Post 676484)
Hey,thanks for the responses. Those are some interesting possibilities. Check back on Sunday afternoon, I'll have some photos posted by then-I'm out of town all day tomorrow. Also, anybody who knows where I can get the original range from this trailer (1962 Overlander) either refurbished or replaced, that would be a huge help. One more thing-did the original linoleum tiles in trailers of this vintage contain asbestos? I was pretty careful tearing them out, but I hadn't intended to remove the ones that were under the cabinets & gauchos.

My 62' Ohio Safari original tiles were not asbestos type. I brought a section to a professional flooring person carefully wrapped in a plastic bag sure that he would confirm my worst fears. The toxic hazemat extraction of 45 year old tiles of death.
He said no they were not. :blink: I had stressed over this same thought for six months thinking this could be the biggest downside of restoration. So take a piece to someone that knows older products.

FLYNCLD 03-13-2009 10:12 PM

Agree- Probably an opening for a former fridge or heater vent that used to come up through the floor. Common in those years.

Frank's Trailer Works 03-14-2009 06:14 AM

Sounds like you trailer might have been used by smugglers. or maybe Pee Wee is right, a vent so that the trailer could be cooled with the windows closed.

centennialman 03-14-2009 08:08 AM

On the curbside of my trailer there is a remnant of a vent inside the cabinet, under the gaucho, towards the front curve of the trailer. It is covered with mesh wiring and goes down into the belly pan. I have always wondered what it was for.....especially since it's inside of a cabinet.:wally:

Frank's Trailer Works 03-14-2009 08:31 AM

On my 62 overlander there is a hole in the floor under the stove. The duct for the furnace goes into it. It is under the cabinet and not in front of the window. No smugglers hole. I did once almost buy a 59 VW pickup that had all kinds of hidden compartments. The fellow selling it claimed to have made over 700 trips across the border in the early 70's. I think the vent theory is the viable one in this situation though.

Goin camping 03-14-2009 10:17 AM

Would a vent have a trapdoor at the bottom and aluminum trim around the top opening?

LHall 03-14-2009 10:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by silverjunkie (Post 676484)
Hey,thanks for the responses. Those are some interesting possibilities. Check back on Sunday afternoon, I'll have some photos posted by then-I'm out of town all day tomorrow. Also, anybody who knows where I can get the original range from this trailer (1962 Overlander) either refurbished or replaced, that would be a huge help. One more thing-did the original linoleum tiles in trailers of this vintage contain asbestos? I was pretty careful tearing them out, but I hadn't intended to remove the ones that were under the cabinets & gauchos.

Our 62 Ambassador had a catalytic heater installed in the floor right in front of the stove. The heater extended through the floor and through the belly pan. We removed it and had to patch the plywood prior to putting in a new floor. I am pretty sure that the tiles are asbestos, I believe that if they are 9" tiles they certainly contain asbestos.

silverjunkie 03-14-2009 09:12 PM

5 Attachment(s)
Hi, and thanks for all the thoughts so far. My thinking on the tiles was that they were linoleum; good suggestion,though, to take them to an expert in older flooring products. I did manage to get over to the trailer today and get a few pictures of the hole. Let me know what you think. The first picture is from the door of the trailer. The empty cabinet on the left is where the stove was. The second is a view of the bottom of the trailer looking up at the vent; the rusty pieces are sliding bolts. The third one is with the wooden plug in place. The other two are of the hole with the structural crossmembers running through it. The metal visible at the bottom of the hole is the inside of the closed hatch. I would have liked to have taken a few shots of the hatch open, but a previous owner has put some screws in to shut it permanently, and I'm not ready to try to remove them yet.
The dimensions of the hole are 15"L x 12-3/4" W x 5" Deep.

Thanks again, Marika

Attachment 76949

Attachment 76950

Attachment 76951

Attachment 76952

Attachment 76953

QuietWater 03-14-2009 10:27 PM

Hole in the floor
 
I know what the hole is for. It was the topic on an episode of CSI:Miami. The bad guys used an Airstream trailer to drive over the cover of an underground gasoline tank at a gas station. A hose was lowered through the hole in the trailer into the gasoline tank and they pumped out a trailer load of gasoline and drove off with no one the wiser. When gasoline was $4.00 a gallon this was a good haul. Made a good story but Horatio saw through it in no time. Of course, there were a bunch of good looking girls involved.
I think there is a thread about this somewhere in the forum.

66Overlander 03-15-2009 12:47 AM

Just an idea - I've seen a couple of Airstreams for sale in recent years that talked about having holes cut in the floor to allow use for ice fishing. Maybe that's a possibility here, because it looks like the hole was added after the trailer left the factory by the way the sides wrap over the floor tiles. Also, if the "converter" wasn't too swift, he may not have located frame members before cutting, thus explaining them being in the middle of the hole.

Jim Clark 03-15-2009 07:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Goin camping (Post 676629)
Would a vent have a trapdoor at the bottom and aluminum trim around the top opening?

I would think a vent placed in the floor could. The trapdoor is the same as a vent cover on the top of the unit, closed during tow and storage to keep road debris, water, and rodents out. The top cove same function or installed when what ever purpose the vent served was not used anymore. Of course the aluminum trim gives it away it is a cat door.

Jim Clark 03-15-2009 07:07 AM

Siverjunkie what are the 3 black circles, the top two look like the could be roach bait traps the one in the trim looks like a grommet which power may have come in at which makes me think fan or ac unit. I have had a couple of designs in my head about adding a window unit to a trailer and they all involved a venting port.


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