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Old 08-09-2017, 11:05 AM   #1
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1999 25' Safari
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Heartbroken - Rear floor rot

Hello all

I just found out that my much loved and upgraded 1999 Safari Six Sleeper has the much dreaded rear floor rot. I have taken it to a local RV repair shop here in Reno, NV that has done some of this type of work before and was told that the cost to fix would be $7k to $10k. I simply can not afford that and I do not have a building to work in to fix it myself. So I would very much appreciate help in coming up with a value (as is) and suggestions on how to sell my baby. Baby has over $5k in upgrades such as Led lights, 3 stage converter, small fold out table, spare tire carrier, rear hitch for bikes, bathroom door extension, HDTV antenna upgrade, Dual battery setup w/ marine switch and 2 lifeline batteries - aluminum steps - and very much more. I thought that I had about 5 more years left in my ability to airstream but it seems that I just can't.

Vic H
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Old 08-09-2017, 11:13 AM   #2
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You might try for a few more quotes before you decide to sale. Depending on the severity of the rot it is possible to just replace the rear section.
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Old 08-09-2017, 11:14 AM   #3
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RV repair shops charge around $120.00+/ hr ? Crazy prices for those on a modest income or other expenses like having kids ! I'd look around for an independent guy without the huge overhead of an RV place ... you maybe able shave a few thousand off that price ? good luck.

It's quite sickening that AS made these trailers with such poor design and lack of thought for inevitable leaks and how easily the flooring could rot out, why didn't they use a sealant on the wood floors?? Maybe I'm missing something here, I don't get it ?!
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Old 08-09-2017, 11:49 AM   #4
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Unless you are doing a shell off repair. Why would you need a building?
How bad is the floor rot? How big an area?
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Old 08-09-2017, 11:49 AM   #5
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Yes, look around and at least get another estimate.

Perhaps an insurance claim?




Quote:
Originally Posted by nickclifford View Post
It's quite sickening that AS made these trailers with such poor design and lack of thought for inevitable leaks and how easily the flooring could rot out, why didn't they use a sealant on the wood floors?? Maybe I'm missing something here, I don't get it ?!
I am not beating up on anyone, but.... while not the perfect design a little simple preventive maintenance of this well known issue prevents this problem.

We can't just camp in them and then park them.

Regards,


JD
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Old 08-09-2017, 12:13 PM   #6
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It seems to be rotten for about 14 inches. It would require removing the shower, bed and maybe the black tank et al. Also have to remove belly pan and rear banana wraps to get to the bolts. If I can do just 2 feet of floor then I would need to weld in added cross framing to attach to. We only have 2 temperatures here, below freezing and above 95F. I fear that as soon as I drop the belly pan the mice will find a new home.

I did reseal many places, but never thought to do the rear area that airstream never found a need to do in the first place until I found it here on Air Forms.
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Old 08-09-2017, 12:50 PM   #7
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Just curious - who did you find locally with experience in this repair?

I just got my 1973 back from Sierra Restorations in Grass Valley for this very same repair (and more). They did superior work - and while it was expensive, I still think it was fair. I'd like to find someone local that I can use for some of the on-going, but less extensive work. I am not excited about the idea of towing over the Sierra's yet (had it towed by Sierra Resto previously).

Thanks and sorry you're having to consider selling. I've heard lots of folks just continuing to use their trailers, with the floor rot/rear end separation, for years without any "significant" changes. Mine was likely rotted for 10+ yrs.

Funkee
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:13 PM   #8
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Rear hitch for bikes might be the cause of the problem
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:01 PM   #9
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Rear hitch for bikes might be the cause of the problem
Rear hitch has never been used. I had it installed but never got around to using it at all.
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkill View Post
Just curious - who did you find locally with experience in this repair?

I just got my 1973 back from Sierra Restorations in Grass Valley for this very same repair (and more). They did superior work - and while it was expensive, I still think it was fair. I'd like to find someone local that I can use for some of the on-going, but less extensive work. I am not excited about the idea of towing over the Sierra's yet (had it towed by Sierra Resto previously).

Thanks and sorry you're having to consider selling. I've heard lots of folks just continuing to use their trailers, with the floor rot/rear end separation, for years without any "significant" changes. Mine was likely rotted for 10+ yrs.

Funkee
Paramount RV in Reno. Can you tell me how much Sierra Restorations set you back?
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:15 PM   #11
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This is no doubt a major job and would take someone with prior experience doing this job to get it done in a reasonable time without having to learn as they go.
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:16 PM   #12
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If you sell the trailer now you loose the use of it and the upgrades. My suggestion is first find the water leak and repair it. Then I would consider doing or having done a partial floor replacement from the top. I would "elephant ear" the new pieces into the C channel. Or have someone do it. The replacement floor can be in pieces. You do not need to have the joints on a frame. All you really need is something you can walk on where you can walk one that covers the frame. The belly pan does not need to come off for this type of repair and the interior walls stay on. You would be depending on the original bolts not to br totally rusted through. I would take pictures along the way to be able to show a buyer later what was done. Doing this should buy you another 5 years and then it can be dealt with more properly when some one wants to. The tanks are below the floor so will not be disturbed.
First fix thr leak and take up the floor covering over the affected area and dry it out. Then determine the extent of the damage.

I would not know how to price it with the damage. I have 2 that I have replaced parts of the OSB floor in and the work fine. But fixing the leak and running a heater on it and scooping out the mess that he OSB turns to is critical.
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vich View Post
Paramount RV in Reno. Can you tell me how much Sierra Restorations set you back?
The price was comparable to what you've been quoted. Mine was more like 30" of rot - and required frame repairs too. I chose to have a multitude of other unrelated items addressed: addition of grey tank, PEX throughout, new pump and water heater, sealing entire trailer, door adjustment, and more.....

Thanks for the recommendation for Paramount. I've heard good things but did not know they had in-depth experience with Airstreams.

Funkee
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Old 08-09-2017, 05:45 PM   #14
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I have that same model. Reseal across the back and continue using. There is little weight on the back floor, it'll stay together another 5 years easy. For an easy fix open the back of the belly pan, you can get at the last few feet of floor, cut out the rotted wood and piece in a new piece then overlap a second piece for support. Just an afternoons job and done. Remember it's just a trailer.
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Old 08-09-2017, 06:27 PM   #15
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I agree, especially if you only plan to use it 5 more years. Seal the leak, pull up, some flooring, put a street sign over the weak spot, put back down the flooring and camp on.
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:26 PM   #16
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How about some photos? The trailer looks well taken care of. The main issue is it the attach points and rear hold down plate are intact. Pull up some carpet back there. Also open the rear compartment and see what the cross member looks like. REMOVE THE BIKE CARRIER NOW. It will just make things worse. Don't panic yet. Don't get taken advantage of. Having a rear bedroom helps but since you have a queen back there it maybe a little harder to remove that stuff. Removing the center belly skin will tell a lot about what is going on. I am sure the rear plate that holds the storage compartment door is leaking. You will need to remove the belly trim to get to that caulk joint that leaks and causes floor and frame rot. If you remove belly skin, pull out all old insulation and leave it that way.

At least you are in a dry part of the country. Where did the trailer come from?

Perry
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:57 PM   #17
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Perry - This is a 6 sleeper with corner bed and shower in the back.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:42 PM   #18
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Heartbroken - Rear floor rot

I had the same floor plan and the same leak on my 2008 25SS. Cost to repair was $6k. I used timeless travel trailers in Denver - not sure I would have trusted anyone else. It's a massive job to fix the issue correctly which includes removing a lot of the interior and subfloor.

Most of the time the rear corner shower gets damaged (cracked) upon removal which is another $2k in expense as you need to order from airstream. Fortunately timeless were able to remove / reinstall my shower without issue.

If you leave as is just know that there are mold spores in the plywood at this point and covering them up does not solve the problem nor does it prevent the shower from falling through the rotten sub floor.

You could fix it yourself if you were very patient, mechanically inclined, had a good helper and had many many man hours on your hands to devote to the job. I opted to pay professionals who restore trailer's for a living. In the end I'm glad I corrected the issue "properly" as I ended up selling the trailer - and was able to sell with confidence knowing the trailer was better than new from the factory.
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shacksman View Post
I have that same model. Reseal across the back and continue using. There is little weight on the back floor, it'll stay together another 5 years easy. For an easy fix open the back of the belly pan, you can get at the last few feet of floor, cut out the rotted wood and piece in a new piece then overlap a second piece for support. Just an afternoons job and done. Remember it's just a trailer.
Great advice, "it's just a trailer' ! If it's not considered dangerous to tow, patch it up and enjoy the airstream for a while longer, no reason to panic & sell unless falling to pieces. I found a few minor areas of water damage, nothing structural, they're patched up and everything is fine. If I keep those areas dry, it would last like this another 50 yrs ..
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:31 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdalrymple View Post
Yes, look around and at least get another estimate.

Perhaps an insurance claim?






I am not beating up on anyone, but.... while not the perfect design a little simple preventive maintenance of this well known issue prevents this problem.

We can't just camp in them and then park them.

Regards,


JD
I agree Jeff, a little "preventative maintenance" from AIRSTREAM ! by sealing the wood would have made a huge difference! I think for a period, they even used particle board for flooring ? what a disgrace ... not cool !
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