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Old 04-06-2005, 09:47 AM   #61
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If you remove your Airstream floor with a bottle opener, you just might be an Airstream redneck.

Anyway, best of luck, keep us posted, we will do our best to keep your spirits up because having done a floor replacement, I know that it is a very rewarding project.

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Old 04-06-2005, 10:34 AM   #62
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Glad to see you're chugging along. A new floor is a wonderful thing (I love mine), it WILL be worth all the hard work. And it smells a lot better too
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Old 04-06-2005, 01:05 PM   #63
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New Floor

To the tool list I would add a big pair of bolt cutters and most definitely goggles. My floor was so rotten, I was able to remove most of it with a whisk broom, and all the bolts that were left over came out with the bolt cutter. I would also recommend sketching out the plan, and measuring off a center line, to locate the door opening and utility lines... I'm an architect, and have measured many buildings, but for some reason, I didn't do it this time. Those bodies are flexible and can warp, so you want the new floor outline to be precise.

have fun

Peter
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Old 04-06-2005, 07:53 PM   #64
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I cut off the bolts with that all-purpose tool - the dremel! 1001 uses in your Airstream restoration project!
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Old 04-06-2005, 08:21 PM   #65
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Angry It Is Alive!

When I started to take the floor out tonight I expected to find a NASTY mess. But oh, dear Lord, I could not have imagined in even my wildest dreams........
There are things down there...... I was going to post pictures, but I don't want to offend anybody. I'll keep y'all up to date. Now I know why several of you have posted glad tidings about keeping my spririts up.

I've only seen "The Simpsons" a few times, but Homer is fond a phrase that is expressed loudly and goes something like "OH, YUUK"! Now I know what he means.

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Old 04-06-2005, 11:02 PM   #66
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I did a "Full Monte Lite" to the Minuet!
I stripped out sections inside and outside.
Never did it all at once.
You guys all have them there wooden floors. I gots me a aluminum floor! It is a little "wavy" at the seams but it sure beats what I had to do to the wood floor of the Argosy 22!
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Old 04-07-2005, 08:30 AM   #67
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Yup - its really nasty in there, thats why I suggested the patience, because after its all out and cleaned up, its a lot more fun - you will really like the new floor - like Steph says - it will not smell - to me it was worth it just to get rid of the old smell.

Ya you Argosy minuet guys are lucky with your alunimum floors.........

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Old 04-07-2005, 10:46 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
When I started to take the floor out tonight I expected to find a NASTY mess. But oh, dear Lord, I could not have imagined in even my wildest dreams........
There are things down there...... I was going to post pictures, but I don't want to offend anybody. I'll keep y'all up to date. Now I know why several of you have posted glad tidings about keeping my spririts up.

I've only seen "The Simpsons" a few times, but Homer is fond a phrase that is expressed loudly and goes something like "OH, YUUK"! Now I know what he means.

Jim
I have about the same problem in the Minuet.
I will not even try to describe what I have found in the nooks and crannies. EEEWWW!!
I cannot believe people would use the trailer like that! I am no clean freak but it was hard to imagine living with the things that I found!
I use a Homer phrase everytime I open up a new area that has not seen daylight in a long time: "DOH!"
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Old 04-07-2005, 10:50 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Ken J
Ya you Argosy minuet guys are lucky with your alunimum floors.........

Ken
Well, it does make us feel special!
The nice thing about the aluminum floor is that if I did have any leaks at the seams of the skin, my frame never sees any of that moisture. The belly pan material that I have removed and reinstalled shows a nearly new looking frame beneath it. Dry as a bone!
You would think, that with today's technology, that they would now be able to make a "non-wood" floor that would resist falling apart and weigh a lot less than the wood.
I mean if you are doing a Full Monty than you have complete access to the entire floor. Why not try something different? It might cost more but it would be lighter and would never rot again.
I was thinking something like "un-obtainium"!
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Old 04-07-2005, 11:00 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pattersontoo
Well, it does make us feel special!
The nice thing about the aluminum floor is that if I did have any leaks at the seams of the skin, my frame never sees any of that moisture. The belly pan material that I have removed and reinstalled shows a nearly new looking frame beneath it. Dry as a bone!
You would think, that with today's technology, that they would now be able to make a "non-wood" floor that would resist falling apart and weigh a lot less than the wood.
I mean if you are doing a Full Monty than you have complete access to the entire floor. Why not try something different? It might cost more but it would be lighter and would never rot again.
I was thinking something like "un-obtainium"!
Lou, got any pictures of your floor? Malcomb (above) has done a nice job with a "non-wood" product. The further along I get in this process, the more I'm thinking some product other than wood is the way to go. I'd be interested in knowing how the Argosy floors are put together. Your thoughts?

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Old 04-07-2005, 11:10 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
Lou, got any pictures of your floor? Malcomb (above) has done a nice job with a "non-wood" product. The further along I get in this process, the more I'm thinking some product other than wood is the way to go. I'd be interested in knowing how the Argosy floors are put together. Your thoughts?

jim
Jim,
I will take some pictures of it for you when I have to pull it apart at the front again! I need to replace the belly pan up there. It isn't mandatory to do it but it has seen better days.
The way it is set up is kind of neat considering they were using 1977 technology.
It is a 1/4" sheet of aluminum that is about three to four feet long and it is right at 7'6" wide, (the width of the Minuet). It has a sheet of what looks like closed-cell styrofoam sandwiched between the top sheet of aluminum and an identical sheet of aluminum on the bottom up against the frame. There is a coating on the aluminum that is similar to the Plasti-coat on the bottom sheet of aluminum. I have no electrolysis of the frame or the sheet aluminum. I figure the coating is what keeps that from happening.
When I finished my last Argosy's flooring replacement I SWORE I would NEVER EVER do another wood floor. I would use something similar to the Minuet.
f you were to use something like what is in the Minuet on a larger trailer I am not sure of what the outcome would be. the "sandwiched" floor does flex more that the wood floor.
I am still searching for the "un-obtainium"!
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Old 04-10-2005, 08:34 PM   #72
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Water damaged and termite ridden floors

It seems I may have found the right thread, not only do you all know of my floor troubles, but we've got one fellow posting from Durango where we're moving with our dear girl in June.

While I figured I should post warnings somewhere, this seems like a good place to place the warning and get advice. First, If you are looking to buy an old airstream, be wary of new floors on top of the old one. In my case it was used to cover up the terrible damage underneath. The wood floor one of the previous owners installed was water damaged (and near the toilet, hardly holding on) as I discovered after my daughter spilled water on it and my husband commented that it was leaking out on the pavement. I tore up the floor to discover not only rotting particle board, but rotting linoleum (sp?) and holes in the original plywood, all of which were still wet. The holes were mostly the result of water damage but it looks as though there may have been termites as well. My contractor friend who works on his boat next to my sovereign said I ought to drop out the bottom first, and clean out the nasty insulation before I pull up the floors.
Any advice? Is this something that is worth bringing to a professional or will the bill kill a poor graduate student like myself? Do I have other options?

I'll posti the horrible pictures just for the drama.

Kim
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Old 04-11-2005, 08:47 AM   #73
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Full Floor removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by FranyPul
Any advice? Is this something that is worth bringing to a professional or will the bill kill a poor graduate student like myself? Do I have other options?

I'll posti the horrible pictures just for the drama.

Kim

Kim, I finally got the entire floor out of mine this weekend. I'm hoping to have pic's and a desciption on the thread by this afternoon.

Jim
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Old 04-17-2005, 08:41 PM   #74
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Does everything take twice as long?

Just to keep yall up to date. I finally got the entire floor up. I know now that the belly pan is going to have to come out. As you can see from the pics, there is rust along many of the steel frame members. This is only bad in the outriggers forward of the wheel wells, so far. BUT, there is corrosion (usually minor) along many other parts of the frame. When I can get better pics, Ill post them. My best guess here, after reading your posts in other threads, is that the belly pan needs to come out and the frame POR-15nd all along the length of the camper. There are some areas that may need to be replaced. The only areas that are bad enough to be replaced seem to be along the bottom sides of a few of the outriggers.

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Old 04-17-2005, 08:56 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
Kim, I finally got the entire floor out of mine this weekend. I'm hoping to have pic's and a desciption on the thread by this afternoon.

Jim
Kim, I've been trying all week to respond directly to you (it's a time thing). Termites have been no problem in my camper. Should you take it to a pro? Expect to pay big bucks for that. That's one major reason why we bought a vintage trailer (I can do most of the work, myself). Plus, I like to do the work. Others will chime in here with other opinions, but for me, this is my '68 Mustang (or Camaro, or Porsche, etc). It's a hobby, a chance to rescue a piece of Americana, a lot of fun, a chance to have a camper that I will be able to use for the next 20 years, a legacy to leave to the kids, the first of many I will have over the next many years...get the idea?


Have fun!

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Old 04-17-2005, 09:03 PM   #76
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Banana Wraps

BTW, can somebody please post a pic showing exactly where the Banana wrap is located on the trailer? I assume it has something to do with the underbelly. I've read a lot about them, but don't know exaclty where they are on the underside.

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Old 04-18-2005, 12:43 AM   #77
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Jim,

The bananna wrap connects between the belly pan and the bottom of the sides. The top edge attaches to the u-channel under the rub rail or belt line trim. It curves under and fastens about where the main frame rails go from front to back (at least the part of the bananna wrap that runs along the sides). If you look under the AS you can see the bottom joint of the bananna wrap. The top joint is covered by the belt line trim so you can't see it unless you take the belt line trim off.

From your photos it does not look like you are supporting or anchoring the body during your floor removal. I would recommend some caution in this regard in that once all the floor is out there is nothing to prevent the body from spreading out sideways if it happens to get really windy or if you happen to push on it too much for some reason. If it does slide out it has a tendancy to compress the c-channel part of the u-channel (and drop down a bit) and it can become dificult to get the plywood into the c-channel part later. You might have to lift the body some as well as pull it back into position. I had a problem with this because my street side was already pulled out almost an inch when I started taking things apart. The floor along that side had some serious rot and was not holding the body in place very well. That is why I came up with the bracing approach that I used. I am pretty sure I added a pointer in this thread to the techniqe I used.

A lot of the work does seem to take at least twice as long as estimated. Some of it ends up having to be done more than once too as in my case with the presure treated plywood fiasco.

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Old 04-18-2005, 05:24 AM   #78
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Jim and Susan (and Kim)

I do not know if you plan to remove the perimeter wood or not, but I noticed some rot areas above the framing joists. I only point this out because when I started an under belly inspection at the rear of the '78, I found a lot of "hidden" damage to the plywood under the channels. It is important to keep the body/floor/frame joining area as strong as possible. Due to the monocoque construction design of the Airstreams, all three of these must work together to maintain the integrity of the unit.

I would think that if rotted plywood were allowed to remain between the U-Channel and Frame connection, it would allow more and more "wiggle room" that the bolts would be unable to compensate for, setting up vibrations, leading to even more water inlet areas and problems. It's one of those "might as well" replace it now....

I suppose you are going to replace the full floor forward, but as Malcom pointed out above, if the area under the "U" channel is bent, or the C Channel (if there is one) becomes crimped, proper positioning of the plywood becomes difficult. I experienced a bit of movement of the body with just the small strip (8" X 5') which I replaced.

First, I pointed out below the areas that I thought indicated problems in Jim and Susan's trailer - the plywood appears to be compromised where the wood was sitting on the metal stringer - next, are a couple of shots of the rear plywood from my '78. Prior to removal, this plywood presented HARDLY ANY damage when view from above. All of the nasty water related damage was hidden by the frame and "C" channel.

Last shot compares the original (dark) plywood, and the new multi-ply plywood I found at one of the Big Box home repair stores - I believe the multi-ply is MUCH stronger than regular "three ply" sheathing material....it takes so much time to do a proper repair of the frame/floor/body joint that it would be false economy not to put in the strongest and best material possible.
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Old 04-18-2005, 09:08 AM   #79
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Jim

At this point, if you think what your doing is fun, you are among the rest of us crazies who do this restoration. Your project looks great at this point - from what I can tell in the pictures, you just have some surfact rust. I used rustoleum on my frame because I'm in the southwest and things just don't rust here. Por 15 is really great stuff - I did use it on the frame of my 75 because it had areas that were a bit more than surface rust.

Yes I really think the only way to do things right is to remove the belly pan.

Ken J.
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Old 04-18-2005, 09:40 AM   #80
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Malcolm, I did leave about a 3" strip around the perimeter of the floor when I cut out the old plywood. The exception to this is in the areas that had rotted away already (before I began). My solution in those areas is to cut some 3"X3" pieces and place them in the c channel to hold up the shell. (I haven't done this yet, but fortunately this is only a small portion of the floor.)


Thanks for the info on the banana wrap. Now I think I know where it is.

Jim
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