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Old 05-27-2019, 03:32 PM   #261
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1978 31' Sovereign
Lincoln University , Pennsylvania
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Mikeyman,

We aren't doing the bunk on the street side, but will have a single bed there with cabinets / storage above. We are back and forth on the queen vs. two twins in the back. Our was, and will remain a center bath without changing much. Ours was original 1978, my wife even thought that there were some original ants that were first generation Airstreamers living there.

We didn't pull the shell, but replaced the entire rear floor and I've spent too much time on my back. Might have been smarter to pop the top. We had the frame re-welded, new axles, almost rear separation repaired, etc... Slowly coming back together. I'd probably feel better knowing I had a frame done like yours, but, this will be occasional camping for us, not life on the road.

Great watching your progress - I'm not so good at keeping up here...
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Old 05-29-2019, 06:37 PM   #262
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1978 31' Sovereign
New Smyrna Beach , Florida
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Hey everyone.

The only pic I have to share is the frame and subfloor covered with a tarp.

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Hard as I tried, I did not get the shell on before we left for our 1 month trip.

Alas, the project is on hold until we return.

Was able to get 70 percent of the decking on.

May post while on our trip, but look forward to resuming work in July.
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Old 05-29-2019, 08:42 PM   #263
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Have a great trip. Maybe your next one will be with Faith the Airstream. I find when I'm traveling I'm still working on my trailer. How will I do this, how will I do that.

Faith will faithfully await your return with all the king's horses and king's men to put her back together again.

David
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Old 06-23-2019, 08:18 PM   #264
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Hey everyone

We will be home in a day or two and work on Faith will be renewed.
We went as far west as Utah and on our way home we encountered temps in the 100s through Ut, NM, and Texas. We have a Jayco with twin Dometic Roof top ACs. Our unit also has a cold weather package with extra insulation.

Even with all the additional equipment the heat was intense and the camper took a couple of hours to cool down. It made me realize how critical the insulation and cooling in Faith was, and how important a second AC was.

On the road I had seen a number of ASís with dual air. Yes, it will create additional weight, but after my experience with the heat this trip, I am convinced that the the second unit is critical and the best best insulation is important.

Itís good to be heading home. And I look forward to working on Faith.
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Old 06-24-2019, 07:49 PM   #265
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Summer is not my favorite season. We traveled to the southwest last spring and also encountered high temps. The single AC in the Limited would not keep up. Unfortunately, Airstreams are aluminum, an excellent conductor of heat, e.g. aluminum sauce pans and the like. Unfortunately Airstreams have thin walls with inadequate insulation. Unfortunately, our vintage Airstreams are wired for 30 amp service. It takes 50 amps to run a second AC at the sametime as the first one.

Building a vintage Airstream for extreme temps, either hot or cold, is no easy task. These Forums will be a great place to research how folks do it.

David
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:17 AM   #266
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1978 31' Sovereign
New Smyrna Beach , Florida
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Mayday Mayday Mayday

If you will recall, prior to us going on a month long camping trip to AZ, UT and CO, I was racing to get the decking on my new frame, to get the shell on before we left and ran out of time. I got most of the decking down except for two panels in the very back. I didn't run screws down on every cross member, tacking it down, because I wanted to be able to make fine adjustments if needed until all the plywood was down.
Since I do not have a covered place to work, I covered the frame and finished decking with a plastic tarp; the only option I had. I note here that the plywood was construction grade, 15/32, and one side clear.
When I stopped work and covered the frame in May, the weather here in coastal Florida was in the low 80s, low humidity, and little rain. During the time we were gone on our trip, Central Florida had a spell of mid to upper 90s heat, torrential rains and stifling humidity. The result was that significant moisture developed between the tarp and the decking and in the extraordinary heat; the decking was wet, warped and ruined. It all has to be removed and I have to start over.
I still do not have a covered place to work. It is still the rainy season in FL. It is still extremely warm and muggy. The question I could use some help with is what to do next. Options are:
1. Find a covered place to work Ė most places, like storage yards that have covered work space have a max length of 30 feet. My trailer is 30í6Ē. And warehouse space that is long enough requires long term lease with deposits, etc.
2. Create a temporary cover. Renting a tent (10íX30í) would run $500 for a week. Not cost effective.
3. Use an alternate material that wonít warp and will shed water where it can be left out in the weather. My building supply rep says that Pressure Treated Marine Grade plywood, could be left out in the weather, but at nearly $70 a sheet it is an expensive experiment if it doesnít work.
4. Wait five months, and do it in cooler dryer weather. The down side is five months of lost time.
So, Iím looking for thoughts and ideas. No, I cannot afford Coosa board. Other than that, I am wide open to ideas and suggestions.
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:27 AM   #267
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Sorry for your lost work.

Do not use pressure treated. It will actively corrode the steel frame, which your building supply rep should have known.

I encased each piece of plywood subfloor with West System epoxy on my project, which I'm very happy with. That would help a lot, but since you'd be making holes in it at all the fasteners, torrential rains and high humidity might still cause some damage.

Ideally, you'd use the shell to cover it as soon as possible after installing the subfloor. Is there going to be a dry spell for a few days in a row that you could get the subfloor down and the shell on all at once?
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:27 AM   #268
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Any pressure treated wood has chemicals that will cause problems with your frame and especially aluminum. Suggest you look at an alternative.
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:49 AM   #269
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1991 34' Excella
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Like the Greatleys I epoxy coated my floor but used RAKA, from Florida. I cut, drilled then removed the sections. They were triple coated including the holes and when installed, sat outside uncovered for a month with no issues.
Be neat, drips are hard to sand smooth and excessive thickness on the edges where sheets meet will cause fitment issues when you try to installing them onto the frame.
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Old 07-01-2019, 12:56 PM   #270
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1978 31' Sovereign
New Smyrna Beach , Florida
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Vernon - what does RAKA stand for?
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Old 07-01-2019, 01:09 PM   #271
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1991 34' Excella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wcronin4 View Post
Vernon - what does RAKA stand for?


http://www.raka.com/epoxy.html

Iíve used it building wooden boats and on 3 trailers floors
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Old 07-01-2019, 07:43 PM   #272
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Rats, a step backwards. We all experience it with our projects. The weather is not so good there right now with the heat and humidity. Both of which are hard on our Airstreams. You will find a way to recover and move on.

David
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Old 07-02-2019, 09:42 AM   #273
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Staples

In faithís original flooring, AS used wide staples to join the seams of the sub-floor between floor bolts I assume to keep the joint smooth.

My experience with my new sub-floor warping and buckling made me realize that I need to do something similar.

Anyone know what kind of staples are used and the tool needed to install them?
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Old 07-02-2019, 02:16 PM   #274
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Can't help you with the staples, but would suggest an alternative. We originally planned to use marmoleum sheet for the floor. My original floor, with 12" tiles, showed a lot of the seams. I decided to spline the sheets together with aluminum; 1/8"X1".

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Old 07-02-2019, 04:08 PM   #275
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Hey 57 vintage, the spline is an excellent idea akin to biscuit joinery in furniture making.
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:45 AM   #276
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We didn't do shell-off, but had a leaky trailer for awhile until we could get it sealed. We built a wooden frame over the trailer and covered it with tarps while we worked on the trailer - it lasted for almost 4 years with one tarp change until we could get the trailer weather worthy. I'm not sure if you could do this too, but it would keep weather out a little better maybe. It's also relatively cheap!

Kay
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Old 07-26-2019, 02:53 PM   #277
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1978 31' Sovereign
New Smyrna Beach , Florida
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Hey Everyone

The last time I blogged about Faith, we had just returned from a month long trip to Arizona and Utah. You will recall that I installed all new decking on the frame, but did not have the time to put the shell back on the frame. So I placed a tarp over the deck, tied it down and when we returned, the deck was soaked in water and mold was starting to form. So I ripped all the plywood off and started over.

I sought advice on how to get the job done, when I had to work outside without the benefit of cover. Joyflea and others suggested applying epoxy to both sides of the plywood, so I am in the process of re-cutting all the plywood and this weekend we will begin putting epoxy on all the board surfaces.

What did I learn beyond the obvious lesson of not covering the frame with a plastic tarp? I learned that using self-tapping and self-drilling floor screws leave metal filings between the frame and decking, bare metal that rusts quickly and can create rusting issues down the road. So when I took off the decking, there were these little piles of rusted shavings at each screw site. The procedure that Iím following now is to cut a new plywood panel, install all the screws, then remove all the screws, uninstall the panel, wire brush both the frame and the bottom of the plywood, spray paint over the holes in the frame, epoxy the panel and then reinstall.

Something else I learned is how easy it is to get the panels out of square. Solution: From the same spot on the tongue jack, measure to the furthest corners of the panel. The distance to the curbside and roadside corners should be identical. Do this with every panel you install and you will maintain square.

Another tip: before you remove the c-channels, take a marking pen and mark on the old floor exacting where the c-channel was installed. Even if you are replacing the floor, the old panels with the c-channels marked will be an enormous help when assembling and placing the c-channels to the new panels.

Something else I learned is that life happens while youíre trying to finish your AS. A week and a half ago, we learned that Linda my spouse of 49 years, learned a week and a half ago that she has uterine cancer. Weíve since learned that it seems to be confined, detected early and not an aggressive form. She will be operated on Monday to remove the uterus and the cancer. If you are a praying person, please include Linda in them this weekend.

With Lindaís surgical aftercare my only priority, Faith will be set aside for a couple of weeks until Linda is back on her feet.
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Old 07-26-2019, 03:44 PM   #278
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Linda is in our thoughts and prayers. Glad it was caught early.
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Old 07-27-2019, 01:12 AM   #279
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Yes, we wish Linda a speedy recovery.

You make many excellent points with your subfloor installation, points that I wish I had known before I installed my own floor as I ran into many of the same issues.

Hopefully this isnít an issue for you, and I donít know if the door area around a 78 is the same as a 67, but there was a cut out required in the subfloor for the door frame that I missed when I cut out my floors. I only realized my error after putting the shell back on, and by then it was a pain.
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Old 07-27-2019, 07:06 AM   #280
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Dwwalker

Mine floor has the same inset as yours. Not sure what kind of trouble Iíll run into when I try to drop the shell on the frame. Any ďmust doís?
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