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Old 12-30-2008, 02:24 PM   #481
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Maybe I was talking to her.

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My wife with the arms of Popeye-- now THERE is a visual!
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:12 PM   #482
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POR15, and only managed to get a FEW spots on me...

I'm normally the messiest, worst painter in the world. And yet I did not get POR15 all over me. I must have done it wrong...

Anyway, since getting the trailer back from the welder, I have been bust cutting the subfloor. As you can see, the old subfloor was in such horrible shape that the curves were completely gone. That's why it was imperative that I create the template of the curve before removing the subfloor from the coach.



I cut out the new plywood, which is ACX treated on the bottom side with two coats of Thompson's water seal, and on the edges with Minwax wood hardener-- a solvent based compound that is designed to penetrate the wood, and leave resins deeply embedded as the solvents evaporate. It really seemed to harden and close up the edges, so I think it will help at least some.



So far, I haven't used anything to prep the top of the plywood subfloor. I know that during their restorations, some people have prepped with several coats of polyurethane, some people have used Thompson's or Olympic water seal for the top as well, and some people use nothing at all. Since I plan to put glue-down vinyl tiles over the top, I'm concerned that any choice of top-coating might interfere with the tile adhesive's ability to bond the tiles to the floor. I'm open to suggestions from anyone with ideas, or experience, along these lines. Thanks in advance!

Next I prepped the frame with wire wheels on my drill and wire brushes to get into nooks and crannies. I knocked off all the loose rust I could find, and then treated the bumper and frame with Marine Clean, treated the new steel with Metal Ready, and finally painted the bumper and frame with two coats of POR15.








Next steps include top-coating the bumper and other external parts with Stirling Silver, and then fitting the plywood into the trailer. After that it's time to bolt down the floor to the frame and outriggers.

That's plenty on my plate for now, and will take me well into the New Year.

I hope all of you have a fantastic New Year celebration, and I wish you joy in 2009. Hopefully, I'll actually get some camping in!

-Marcus
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:08 AM   #483
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I sure wish we had your weather here in the Denver Area, The wind blew so hard Mon. night/ Tues. morning that it blew my GT off the blocks and buried the jack until the coupler was resting in the dirt. I need to finish up some metal work so I can start on the interior.
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:40 AM   #484
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Wow, sorry to hear that, Kip. Hope everything's okay when you dig it out.

Yes, the weather has been really great here lately. It's usually hit or miss through December ( I think it was 75 or 80 degrees on Christmas day) but will get a bit colder in January. Still, our rainy seasons are typically Fall and Spring, so it should be plenty dry for the majority of my work over the next couple of months.

That's not necessarily a good thing, we've been in a terrible drought for over a year now. But, that's the way it goes around here.

-Marcus
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Old 01-11-2009, 03:07 PM   #485
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I'm Still Alive...

No, I am not deceased. This stuff just takes time!

But, the good news is that the floor is now in:





I also had some time to work on the tub refurbishment. Like so many other fiberglass tubs on these vintage coaches, mine had yellowed with age, and developed a few large cracks, and a whole webwork of fine cracks on the bottom.

I debated many various products/systems for tub refurbishment, but after reading through fotochop's bathroom restoration thread for his '69 Safari, and researching with some boaters, I decided to use the G-Flex two-part epoxy system to fill in some of the cracks. This is a product designed for marine application, and is made to be more flexible than similar products, so I felt like it should work well in the nobile environment for our Airstream travel trailers. For a top-coating, I went with Interlux Brightside Polyurethane paint, which is designed for exterior application on fiberglass boat hulls. Again, this is a marine product that should be well-suited for a travel trailer application. The G-Flex I picked up at West Marine, and the Brightside came from an online marine store.

After filling in cracks with the G-Flex and allowing to cure for a couple of days, I sanded with 220 grit sandpaper, cleaned up the surface to remove all dust and dirt, and then rolled the paint on with a small foam roller. You could brush it on too, or spray it on. It self-leveled pretty well with the foam roller, and dried to a fairly smooth, even surface. I then sanded with 320 grit sandpaper per the instructions, cleaned it up, and rolled on a second coat.

It looks great so far, although I might end up applying a third coat once it is in place, in case I ding it during installation.

Before:





After:








Now, back to elevator bolts!
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Old 01-11-2009, 04:05 PM   #486
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Marcus,

Quite impressive with your work. I have been following your blog and waiting for an update. The pieces look perfect in there.

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Old 01-11-2009, 04:08 PM   #487
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Great job Marcus! That floor look great!
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Old 01-11-2009, 06:36 PM   #488
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Thanks Steve and Marc, I follow your work as well. It's always so inspirational to see others doing the same or similar things, and managing to get through it.

I probably would have still purchased an Airstream without the knowledge and guidance from the Forums, but I would not have known what I was getting into, and would have been surprised if/when I finally detected the floor and frame issues. And without the Forums and various blogs, there is absolutely no way I would know how to make the necessary repairs. Honestly, I'm sure I would have been terrified.

So, a huge Thank You to all of you who provide your knowledge, insight, and support, both on the Forums and on your own blogs-- free of charge and with such detail. They make a huge difference.

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Old 01-11-2009, 06:54 PM   #489
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Housekeeping

Just to tidy everything up a bit, a few more details.

I think I stated above that I treated the bottoms of the plywood subfloor pieces with two coats of Thompson's water-seal. I don't know how much good it will do, but I don't think it will hurt anything. I also ultimately decided to go ahead and treat the top of the flooring with a couple coats of polyurethane. I had it lying around from previous woodworking projects. After trading e-mails with fotochop, who used the exact same style of flooring that I intend to use (VCT 12x12 tiles), I found that he had treated with poly, and so far has had no issues with his adhesive failing to bond with the plywood. So, I feel pretty good about the poly as well.

And one other thing I decided to do, but never took any pictures of, was based on a conversation I had with Steve aka TheByamCaravanner. He mentioned that one point of potential floor failure was under the j-channel, due to condensation that sits on the plywood. He also mentioned that on some new models, the factory now puts a coating around the edge to help prevent puddling on the plywood under the j-channel from penetrating the subfloor. Wow that was a lot of alliteration. Anyway, I decided to treat the outer 1.5" of the plywood with a couple coats of rubberized underbody protector. In the pictures, you can see the black coating on the plywood around the perimeter. Again, I don't know if it will help or not, but I don't think it will hurt, and it seems logical to take precautions against known weak points that history has illustrated for us.
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Old 01-11-2009, 06:56 PM   #490
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So, a huge Thank You to all of you who provide your knowledge, insight, and support, both on the Forums and on your own blogs-- free of charge and with such detail. They make a huge difference.

yeah about that....we just haven't sought collection yet
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:09 PM   #491
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Looks good! Are you considering boxing in that black tank hole with wood or sheet metal to keep the cridders out? I'm thinking of making aluminum sides, fitting between the belly pan and sides, allowing for pipes to pass through.

Love how the tub turned out. Mine's sitting in the garage begging for the same thing. Am making a mental note of the products you used, since mine has those little spider cracks in the bottom as well. Never thought a foam roller could turn out such a nice looking finish!!
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:46 PM   #492
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Thanks Scott.

The tub turned out nice. My wife approves and is no longer afraid of it, so that's saying something!

The roller still leaves a little bit of texture that wouldn't be there if you sprayed it, but I don't have the equipment to spray it, and the paint self-levels and laid down nicely as it is. Heck, fotochop brushed his on and it looks fantastic. I'm not quite so handy with the brush, so the small foam roller was my tool of choice.

I picked up the G-Flex epoxy at West Marine, but you could use your favorite filler/epoxy for that step. The Interlux Brightside I bought online, from a place called "wholesale marine." It wasn't cheap at ~$25/quart + shipping, but it was less expensive than many other products I've seen others use for this step. Time will tell how durable it is, but two coats have only used up about 3/16 of the quart, so I can always paint on more coats if need be. Fotochop has had his on almost a year, and his is a 69 so the entire bathroom needed to be painted, and he tells me it's holding up great so far.

The black tank sits directly over that hole and covers it entirely, so it will only be an issue until I get the black tank back in. If the critters want in, they can always crawl in through the empty water heater hole in the side panel, so I'm not too worried about it.

Hope all is well with you and yours, Happy New Year!

-Marcus
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:50 PM   #493
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Thanks Marcus, I meant the opening in the belly pan that leaves large openings either side to the insulation etc. I was worried about mice being able easily make the fiberglass in the belly pan a nice home since there is nothing keeping them from going right on in.

Things are going quite well here, though somehow I blinked and my weekend disappeared.
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:21 AM   #494
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OK, I understand now. I am still not certain how I will address that. The gray tank hangs below the bellypan, so I'd have to get really creative to prevent entrance, maybe some kind of screen mesh that butts right up against the tank? Otherwise, it might just require something not-so-environmentally-friendly to prevent critter infestations.

I know what you mean, I had such plans for the weekend. But,I accomplished my major goal anyway. It feels REALLY good to be constructing, rather than destructing, for a change!

-Marcus
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:04 AM   #495
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OK, I understand now. I am still not certain how I will address that. The gray tank hangs below the bellypan, so I'd have to get really creative to prevent entrance, maybe some kind of screen mesh that butts right up against the tank? Otherwise, it might just require something not-so-environmentally-friendly to prevent critter infestations.

I know what you mean, I had such plans for the weekend. But,I accomplished my major goal anyway. It feels REALLY good to be constructing, rather than destructing, for a change!

-Marcus
The work is progressing very nicely! As to security screening (the type used for institutions on windows) have a look online at stainless products that can't be cut with a pocket knife. Some sort of edge reinforcement might be used as a quasi-frame:
Stainless Steel Security Screens for High Strength Door and Window Screening Applications
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:44 AM   #496
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Thanks Rednax, that's a good idea. I could probably even figure some way to wrap the screen around the tank and use some heavier gauge metal to act as a frame. If not, I can find a way to butt it up.

Work is progressing, I've got all of the floor ebolts in now that hold the floor to the frame, but still have to put in the bolts and screws through the j-channel.

I should be able to post some pics tonight.

-Marcus
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:32 AM   #497
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Marcus,

How do you plan to work on it today with playoff football on? Do we need to call a doctor about this?

Steve
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:36 AM   #498
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Marcus,

How do you plan to work on it today with playoff football on? Do we need to call a doctor about this?

Steve
I have a DVR, so it's all good. No need for an intervention!
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:16 PM   #499
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Ebolt City

Yesterday and today I spent a lot of time installing the elevator bolts. They have a wide, flat head (about 1" across) and a 1/4" shaft, and are 1.5" long. I drilled up from the bottom, through the frame and through the subfloor. Then used a Forstner bit to drill a wide hole to countersink the head of the ebolt.



Then go underneath the trailer and install a lock washer and a nut.



Then bend the shaft to prevent the nut from backing out and loosening up:



Repeat 40-something times and this is what you get:



In that picture above, you can also see a preview of the 12"x12" VCT that I will be using as my final top-flooring. I was just test-fitting, it will still be a while before it's installed.

So now I have all of the ebolts in that connect the subfloor to the frame, most of the ebolts in that connect the j-channel to the subfloor, and some of the screws in that connect the j-channel to the subfloor. I plan to finish up the remaining screws and ebolts during the evenings this week.
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:35 PM   #500
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Looks great Marcus!

Wish the weather would warm up here so I can work on the same!!!!!

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