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Old 01-02-2020, 08:30 AM   #261
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Yes, you should level it as you go. Once everything is attached securely, you'll be amazed at how solid it feels to walk on the floor. We did ours similar to Bubba, if I remember correctly.

Kay
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Old 01-02-2020, 06:04 PM   #262
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Hi Kay, Bubba,
Thanks! I am looking forward to that solid feeling... hopefully by this weekend !


Thanks,
David
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Old 01-02-2020, 06:53 PM   #263
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Well the 76 Sovereign subfloor was flexing like a trampoline. Airstream in their wisdom started using 1/2" plywood subfloor in 1976 since they added additional frame 1x2 longrins.

So we had to weld in additional floor supports to support the 1/2" subfloor especially in the front of the trailer where the spare tire goes. It would be a huge job to change the subfloor to 3/4", but some people do it with their shell off renovations.

Our 76 Sovereign has a solid subfloor now.

David
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Old 01-03-2020, 09:26 AM   #264
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Hi David,
Wow. That is impressive! I bought a flux core welder a year and a half ago, but still have not taken the time to learn that skill...

Happy New Year!
David
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Old 01-03-2020, 07:15 PM   #265
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Well, not impressive at all. We did buy the steel and cut it to length. And we decided where to put the additional floor supports. Then we called our neighborhood mobile welder and he came over and ran the welds for us. We did not burn up the trailer or burn down the shop thank goodness.

I get my ups and downs confused sometimes.

We want a dinette up front and there was no way a 1/2" plywood subfloor would support people all sitting around the table drinking up and chowing down.

See what I mean.

The mobile welder did all of our frame repairs. Our rear end is firmly attached to the body, the frame rails are now straight, and the axle plate is a whole lot stiffer. And we have repaired or replaced rotted subfloor sections. The subfloor of the trailer is nice and solid. The photo shows the new rear crossmember and rear floor supports all welded in place.

David
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Old 03-15-2020, 01:01 PM   #266
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Hi David,
As I finally get back to reattaching the shell to the frame, I remembered that I need to take into consideration the rear support member and the water intrusion
issues/solutions.

I'd like to run flashing as previously discussed, but I am pondering the possibility of modifying the frame as DCole described. The piece I am talking about is where the floor and rear shell rest. The frame cross piece width extends behind that junction point by as much as a few inches, and even with a flashing piece that slides under the shell and floor it feels like there is an invitation for water migration in that direction (towards the front of the coach).

I realize that the other prescribed flashing would direct water across that flat section and towards the Stinky Slinky box, but it would be great to have as vertical of a path as possible to discourage possible migration (like if the coach is parked so that it is slightly higher in the back than front)...

How bad of an idea is it to cut a slot in that frame cross piece so that the flashing is vertical? I realize that the long frame members would still be an issue, but cutting the slot could lower the surface area.

Or would it weaken that frame member too much?

Thanks,
California David
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Old 03-16-2020, 09:51 AM   #267
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Hi David,

Just reading your thread about the rear of the Airstream transition of the body aluminum to frame and wood floor area.
As working on my Airstream, I have found that on the sides of the body where water drips off and down it will also wick horizontally under the bottom of the wood floor. So I have installed some aluminum flashing to extend the body aluminum at least two inches below the floor and this has kept the water dripping straight down rather than wicking under the bottom side of the floor.

So at the rear of the Airstream, moving the cross member sounds like a possibility that could help from water wicking in at this area. Or as other have done, flashing and sealant at the floor to frame transition seems to be keeping the water moving straight down and not under the floor.
Can't say my flashing is very pretty, but after the belly aluminum is re installed it will not be seen at all but will continue to prevent water from wicking in and under the floor. So far so good in this Oregon winter rain.

I do like your idea David, keep up the great work and let us know how it comes out.

Thanks
Taylor
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Old 03-16-2020, 11:04 AM   #268
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Hi Taylor,
That is very interesting (the flashing on the sides). I have heard of people removing the trim ďbeltĒ all the way around and putting the aluminum below that on the INSIDE instead of riding on the outside, as it came from the factory. Can you explain in a little more detail what you are talking about (especially where this happens)? I am very intrigued...

Thanks,
David
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Old 03-19-2020, 07:12 PM   #269
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Hi California David from snowy Colorado. 15" so far today. Great.

I can't recommend slotting the frame rails. It is true the frame after the rear most cross member and body mount has very little load on it. But the slot would be close to the body mount bolt.

Here is a photo of the flashing we installed on my friend's 76 Sovereign. We are just trying to get rain water dripping down off the body down to the ground. we notched the flashing around the frame rails. And we sealed up the notch. I did the same thing to my 75 Overlander.

Colorado David
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Old 03-20-2020, 09:29 AM   #270
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Hi Colorado David,
Great to hear from you -- I hope the snow is beautiful!

I hear what you are saying about cutting into the frame -- even a cross member at the rear. Below is a picture of what I am talking about. I will run flashing down to the cross member and then the inch or so (whatever the width is at that point) to the rear before bending it back down.

I plan on taking the approach that (I am 99% sure) you have taken regarding the belly pan. If I remember correctly, you separated the rear storage box from the rest of the body (the belly pan does not run all the way back to the rear bumper).

It seems as if the line of the belly pan goes up to meet the rear of the coach. It then (in the original setup, anyway) is attached along the bottom of the two long frame members and terminates at the bumper -- the last bit being the storage box. All of that section of belly pan --from nearly the front of the tank box to the bumper -- was already gone when I bought this coach, so I don't have a strong frame of reference. I am hoping to prevent as much water intrusion as I can with the flashing and rebuild the rest as described above...


Thanks,
California David
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Old 03-20-2020, 07:05 PM   #271
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A foot of snow is beautiful as it is the cheapest fire suppressant I can think of. The snow is pretty. Our ground has been white since late October. I'm ready for a change, and a Airstream trip into the mountains.

Your 70 Ambassador is built differently than 75. Your rear crossmember sticks out beyond the body. this will sound ludacris. How hard would it be to cut that old rear crossmember off and install a new one an inch forward so it is flush with the body? It would take some welding, and it would take re-bolting and re-riveting your rear body mount. Then we can install flashing that goes straight down to the rear bumper storage area. I can see subfloor exposed in your trailer. Gotta prevent water intrusion from soaking that plywood. It would take some difficult metal work to route around that rear body mount.

I bet Airstream used that extended body mount to mount the rear bumper storage compartment lid and infamous decorative aluminum sheet.

I did leave a rainwater gap between bumper storage lid and the rear body. I also used stainless steel expanded metal for the floor of the bumper storage compartment. And I made a barrier under the rear crossmember to keep water from going into the "basement" of the trailer.

Colorado David
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Old 03-21-2020, 09:00 AM   #272
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Hi Colorado David,
Once again you are spot on. That rear cross member did indeed hold the flat piece and rear compartment lid! Pic below of that area when I first took possession of this AS. Now I understand why it was done that way, and also why it should change.

I do have a welder, and am motivated to move that cross member. To answer your other comment, the floor is exposed for now because it has not yet been "buttoned back up". In fact, the plywood has simply been slid into place as part of a rear floor replacement, and not attached yet. I could definitely slide it back out in order to make access easier for this task.

I am so glad that you saw this! I have no perspective (this is the only Airstream I have ever worked on), so it is harder for me to know which pieces are critical as is, and which can be moved, modified, etc. I definitely want to flash the area in a way that directs the water away from the floor, and if possible, even to the outside of the belly pan. I will, however, provide an escape route for water that gets past the rear hatch door seal.


Thanks again, Colorado David!
California David
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Old 03-21-2020, 07:27 PM   #273
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Your 70 Ambassador has the same tail light clusters as my son's 69 Globetrotter. His is not the International top trim so it doesn't have the moldings around them. I bet your trailer has the molding made into a "forward slash" on the curb side and a "backward slash" on the street side. I speculate that Airstream had just one International mold and used it on both sides of the trailer.

That little piece of aluminum sheet where the bumper door hinge is attached is the cause of many rear end separation tears of woe. On your trailer, the rear body support cross member also catches rain water and does the same thing. So we gotta figure out a way to flash this area so rain water runs away and not into the subfloor.

I see your trailer has the "elephant ears" where someone (likely a dealer) made a rear end separation repair sometime. I read somewhere that it was an Airstream approved repair process. The elephant ears surgery into the exterior body skins made the job much faster as you didn't have to take the bath out and then some interior skin material to access the bolts through the rear cross member and the top of the frame rail as well a the C channel. Many 70s trailers have these elephant ears.

Here is a photo of my Overlander rear body crossmember and the frame bolts I used to bolt the whole sandwich together. Is the bath still out of your trailer?

Colorado David
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Link to my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
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Old 03-22-2020, 12:24 PM   #274
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Hi Colorado David,
Sorry in advance. Long post...


Great info about your son's Globetrotter. I will have to check about the "slashes"...

The bath is indeed still out. All of the interior furniture has been removed, so I could remove that piece of the subfloor and move the cross member. I may have a slightly different approach, though... I am thinking that I will use a cutting wheel on my grinder to remove the "excess" metal, leaving the shape of the rear of the coach. This will undoubtably weaken the cross member, since it will no longer be the (in my case) upside down "U" shape -- or as I like to think of it, angle iron, side by side.

To remedy the strength loss, I have come up with two ideas, both which could be brilliant or possibly really dumb. Both involve the woodworking concept of a strong back -- essentially, a way to provide rigidity for longer spans.

The first is to take advantage of the fact that the cross member is welded BELOW the long frame members, leaving around 1/8" of space between the current cross member face and the bottom of the subfloor. I would use sections of angle iron that is simply slid (one face, anyway) into that gap and drilled through and fastened as in your "sandwich" method. I say sections because the rear of the coach is curved, so I would use at least three pieces to cover the majority of that distance. Vertical flashing could then be run inside the rear body skin and outside the C channel. Of course, it would run down past the point where the belly pan would be attached, and I would also use that super sticky flashing tape as described by other Air Forums forum members.

The other method is to use a more simple version of the strong back -- a strip of oak or other wood -- and attach it on its edge just inside of the cut area of the frame cross member. It would be protected from the weather and made invisible by the same flashing as described above. The problem with this solution is that the strong back would pretty much need to be the length of the span, or it would not lend enough support. This means that the strong back itself would need to be curved on its edge -- think long barrel stave minus the chamfered edges. In fact, I may have just given myself an idea there, as I have a stash of barrel staves (not sure if they are long enough or have the right curve). The edges would need to be de-chamfered, but it may be worth a shot.

Either method is easily tested for the rigidity it would bring before final re-assembly, and both methods come with the added bonus of having the original holes in the original cross member intact -- saving a little time in that I can determine where the holes need to be in the bracing material...

The sandwich of items at that intersection would include (please correct me if I am off on this):

On the vertical axis -- the C channel, rear hold-down piece, subfloor, angle iron, frame cross member. If using the wooden strong back, it would be below the frame cross member.

On the back of the coach (horizontal axis) -- the outer skin, flashing, rear hold-down piece, C-channel.

That's as far as my feeble brain has gotten, solution-wise. Thoughts?


Thanks,
California David
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Old 03-22-2020, 04:52 PM   #275
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Hi there David,
sorry for the delay in response, busy work week and crazy times.

Here is a pic of the flashing installed at the rear of the Airstream, I installed this flashing all the way around the belt line. Just thin aluminum flashing that is available at the orange box store, it comes in a coil roll. What I did was to drill out the buck or pop rivets in one section at a time and then slide the flashing in-between the skin and the C channel and then re install the buck rivets and pop rivets. The next section I would overlap the flashing end to end. Like I said not as pretty as others have done with the shell off, but it seems to do the job. As far as the frame at the rear I just shaped the aluminum flashing around the frame sections that extend out past the storage area. I also sealant behind the flashing at this area of wood floor / frame / aluminum skin and now flashing at the rear of the Airstream.

Thanks
Taylor
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Old 03-22-2020, 04:55 PM   #276
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Hi Taylor,
That sounds very much like what I'd like to do -- thanks for the reply!


Thanks,
David
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Old 03-22-2020, 04:57 PM   #277
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Hi Taylor,
Can you snap a picture of the side of the AS with this treatment?

Thanks,
David
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Old 03-23-2020, 08:57 AM   #278
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Hi David, ToolMan, All,
It just occurred to me that the is room on the inside (direction the front of the coach) for a piece of angle iron. It would not likely be in the "sandwich" with the C channel, but would still very much reinforce the rear floor area.

Just including that idea here, since I am occasionally referring to my own thread to remember what I was thinking, because sometimes fairly long periods of time go by without me working on the coach...


Thanks,
David
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Old 03-23-2020, 08:52 PM   #279
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Hi All,
Well, David, even your offhand comments are valuable. I had pulled the rotten subfloor out of the AS with the shell still on. I had not yet removed the "belt" or any of the banana wraps, so I had zero perspective about the position of the subfloor relative to the outer shell and to the C channel.

I thought about your comment about the subfloor being exposed, and finally looked more closely at the junction point of the shell, channel and subfloor. Of course, the C channel is around 1/2 inch above the subfloor at the very back -- not where it is supposed to be ! Tomorrow, I will grind the angle iron cross member into the shape of the curve and then work the shell off of the subfloor, so that the correct things are resting where they should be...

Is it possible that when the "elephant ears" work was done there was a small amount of the outer shell removed as well? It does not seem as if the subfloor will be covered by the shell even after slipping it over the edge of the plywood. If that is the case, the flashing that I am planning for will be even more important than I previously thought. More to follow tomorrow...


Thanks,
David
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Old 03-24-2020, 10:53 AM   #280
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Hi David,

Here is a pic of the side of my Airstream with flashing installed. Raining at the time of this pic, so you can see the rain dripping down and off the side of the skin. Without this flashing and the Airstream slightly off level side to side the rain would drip off of the bottom edge of the skin and some of the water would wick horizontally on to the edge and bottom of the exposed wood floor. After the belly skin is re-installed this water runoff will travel into this lower area and drain out the bottom of the Airstream and not on to the plywood floor. Why didn't Airstream do something like this ?

Today Im working on re-testing all of the 12 volt circuits before installing the last of the interior aluminum panels the ceiling panel.
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