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Old 06-30-2011, 10:43 PM   #1
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1985 34' Sovereign
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34' Full Monty (not the funny kind)

My wife just had to have a dinette!! So we pulled home a 1985 34' - whom we have affectionately named Monty - that needs a lot of work (it had a fine crop of very cool mushrooms under the beds). Soooo....now itís completely gutted, rivets removed, and prepared for liftoff. So now to the floor. I have read every post on floor replacements until my eyes have nearly glossed over, and have yet to find an answer to my question. How do I join the sheets of plywood together since the cross members do not allow for a splice underneath? As you may know, the factory at that time thought that OSB was brilliant and used it throughout our trailer with only one seem in the front section. I have not yet removed the floor from the frame, but would like some idea how my new plywood will go back down (yes it will be sealed). Shouldn't the floor be basically one unified sheet? I was of the impression that all seems would be over a cross member so the e-bolts hold the seams down (I think this method would require more seems because of short sheets in order to hit the spacing of the crossmebers just perfect). Can my seams "float" in between the members using a lap joint and a splice strip underneath? That just does not seem strong enough.

ANY help would be GREATLY appreciated.
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Old 07-01-2011, 05:39 AM   #2
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The spar cross members between the ladder frame are not held at the same heights on my trailers, some are 3/4-inch lower than others to accommodate a backing doubler plate...
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:20 AM   #3
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You COULD make one big sheet by splicing them like this...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...tml#post737994

We have about 10,000 miles on this repair with no issues so far...
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:16 AM   #4
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1985 34' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbiteer View Post
The spar cross members between the ladder frame are not held at the same heights on my trailers, some are 3/4-inch lower than others to accommodate a backing doubler plate...
You are right on the cross members being lower on the 70's trailers, but on the 80's there were no seems. Granted I have not removed the floor, but since they used a "mega" sheet, wouldn't all the cross members be the sameheight?

As far as using a tapered splice joint, I saw your project, and it looked great! However, I have about 8 sheets of plywood (more if there are more seams) to be putting down so a lapjoint may be more practical, and easier to mass produce. But again, can my seem - the one between the sheets - "float", or does it have to land on a crossmember?

Any further thoughts? As this progresses, I will post pics on how we will be succedding or failing with the restoration.
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:23 AM   #5
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I have only done replacement of small areas. I floated my seams on purpose so I could put a lap piece under the seam. I glued the lap and used screws. It seems pretty darn solid to me. There are places, like under the sofa and in the compartments, where you can use a 3 layer joint, with a lap under and a lap over, so the seam is in a sandwich.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:48 PM   #6
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Does anyone know of complete shell off project on a mid 80's 34' that might be referenced? I have only heard of partial floor replacements, not doing the whole thing at the same time (probably due to the fear of the lift logistics).
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Old 07-02-2011, 06:21 PM   #7
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I've seen a couple of 31' full monty's here on the 'forum...it's lookin like you may be the first to document a 34'

It's only an extra 10%...
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:21 PM   #8
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First one? That is what I was afraid of. We just got back from the Baker City rally for Wally's B-day, and I heard the same sentimate. Still looking for advice on the OSB to plywood conversion from someone who has been there, done that. The wind is calm so my father and I will try to lift off today. Here are two pics of what I call my "daily does of depresion" (the trailer not the toddler). The second pic is of the braces not yet installed. We have bracing front to back, side to side, and crossed. Hope it works.
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:43 PM   #9
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Cool! Good luck!

I did my 31' today if you need ideas look at my photos
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Old 07-03-2011, 01:03 PM   #10
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What you have is 1 1/2" of space to break the floor on. This is not a problem in house floors because everything breaks 16" on center and you can nail the floor down at the break with a lot of nails.

The plywood should break fine, giving you 3/4" on each side to attach the plywood. The 24" between the cross-members will put more stress on the joint. This makes it more difficult to attach the plywood at the break. I'd think along the lines of a lot of smaller screws or (flat headed) bolts along the seams.

I'd be cautious and not assume that the cross members are exactly 24" on center.. after all, it is an Airstream. One cross-member off can throw the whole thing out of whack.
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Old 07-03-2011, 01:12 PM   #11
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Thanks DanielB,
I agree that the 1.5" is not much to attach to. Also, if one was to incorperate a lapjoint, that would ineffect shorten the usable width to less than 48". Once the floor is off I will probably throw the dimentions into CAD for the most effecient use of the wood. Is it possible to add a wider plate on top of the cross member to aid in the fastening? I supoose one could always add a member or two as well.
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:30 PM   #12
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Build a new frame. Then you can put the cross members where you like. Use L extrusions atop the cross embers on both sides and you're good to go. I'd change out the rubber axles too and go to swingarm type suspension.

Best of luck,
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:42 PM   #13
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Thumbs up

THIS MAY BE A FIRST (at least I have yet to hear of another 34' shell off)!!!!!

As you can see the shell is off and on the ground and most of the c-channel is loose and comming off.

Some things other people may be intereed in knowing. The C-channel does indeed fully wrap the front and back of the trailer. Not just the sides like in the earlier models. The floor is 5/8 OSB (my 3/4" will be returned tomorrow).

So far - with only looking in the front portion - I have found only one mouse carcus and one bee's nest. The count will surely increase when we get the rest removed.

My plan is:
1) get the correct plywood
2) coat all sides with penetraiting sealer (similar to rot doc)
3) Flip the frame
4) Prep and POR 15 the frame (possibly add additional cross members)
5) check tanks and running gear
6) start worrying about how to insulate reasemble the $*!@!!


More to follow. But please jump in and give your $.02 worth. Any sugestions or comments are appreciated.

By the way, if any of you has a spare front battery box that is in your way, I will be glad to take it off your hands. I am adding an extra battery.
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:18 PM   #14
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Was good seeing you Saturday, sorry things were so crazy. Cool to see lift off. Make sure to get that shell tied down good to the ground, just in case we get some of those winds coming through again. Awesome start!
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:38 PM   #15
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Awesome by the way!

Thats cheating with the boom truck and all...

I think some have used the 3/4 and just routed the edge down to 5/8 to slip in the aluminum.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:18 AM   #16
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That is waaayyy cool!

Have you also done the math on the price of insulation? It's more than the new wood for the floor
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A honkin' long 34' named AlumaTherapy https://www.airforums.com/forums/f20...num-54749.html
and a 26' '63 Overlander, Dolly https://www.airforums.com/forums/f10...ome-71609.html
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:39 AM   #17
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Insulation

Well my thoughts on insulation may start further controversy. But since you asked... I was going for prodex (like the factory does) between frame and floor, with possibly polyiso board attached between the cross members.

For the shell, (option one) I was first going to pressure test the shell, properly fix the leaks, and then professionally spray in about 1" of foam and then attach prodex over the ribs.

That method would give an air gap for the prodex, enough room for wires plus the benefits of foam - more dent resistance, prevents condensation, noise dampening, sealing the inside, and better strength. However, the downside is the possible corrosion between foam and aluminum but I live in a desert. Please spare me the "your foam will turn to dust" comments because of all the things I have heard people say, that one is not true with the correct products. They use this stuff in brand new, all aluminum reefer trailers that cost more a new airstream and they expect to get over a million (literally) miles on them and see lots of bad road. The railroad also use this in their reefer cars as well, but I am not brave enough to encapsulate the frame in foam like some have in fear of some freak rust thing.

Option two is to use prodex with swamp cooler mesh for an air gap and more prodex. Someone else, can't remember who at this moment, was going to do that and it seemed like a great idea.

P.S. Once you go Boarder Collie, you never go back. We have three of them.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:51 AM   #18
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I'm with you on the foam, I'm doing a spray of supertherm then fill the ribs with E-84 rated closed cell (tigerfoam), then a thermal break strip between ribs and interior skin
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:56 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkspeed View Post
I'm with you on the foam, I'm doing a spray of supertherm then fill the ribs with E-84 rated closed cell (tigerfoam), then a thermal break strip between ribs and interior skin
Are your ribs tubing? Mine are just formed aluminum.

I see the factory appears to sandwich the pink stuff between the ribs and the inside skin for a break (Its in the "how its made video"). That why I was thinking maybe the prodex sandwiched in between instead. I really want to avoid the fiberglass. We fiberglass can not be any worse than wet foam.
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:15 AM   #20
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My ribs are formed with a 3/4 lip facing the inner skin. Look at my thermal break thread. Pink insulation is the work of the devil lol. And when you sandwich it it does very little however it looks like the supertherm or hot surface 1000 will slow up the conduction of hot / cold

http://www.eaglecoatings.net/content/hotsurface1000.htm

http://www.eaglecoatings.net/content/supertherm.htm
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