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Old 06-15-2010, 10:59 PM   #1
New Member
Duluth , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2
Airstream Floors Scare Me!

Love the forum! Relatively new here. My family is looking at purchasing an airstream for years of family fun. After reading these forums and other info, I am scared to death of spending a good chunk of change on an awesome AS, only to find a rotten floor! Short of stripping up all the floor covering and dropping the belly pan for a real inspection, how can I avoid the flooring nightmare so many are posting about (floor replacement, separation, etc)? I would like to buy a 70s-80s model, but I wonder about the feasibility of finding a rig without floor rot. Would I be able to get a vintage unit's floor replaced or repaired at the mothership in JC ohio, or do they only work on the new stuff now? Roughly speaking, how much does a floor replacement cost if done at the JC plant? I initially thought buying newer was the answer, but now I see people with 2000+ trailers with rotten floors too! Yikes!

I think I may be stuck looking for a trailer with documented total floor resto by someone who knew what they were doing! This ought to limit the selection!

Any thoughts out there about this? I am not scared of replacing axles, refrigerators, etc. I can handle the occasional pricey repair, but completely gutting the rig and replacing the floor is more than I can imagine.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:30 PM   #2
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1984 31' Excella
Abernathy , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 863
when you go inspect the prospective trailer, carry an ice pick. you can poke around on the floor through carpets with it in the corners and under the counters etc and check for rot.
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Old 06-18-2010, 05:09 AM   #3
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Arlington , Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 22
Scared of floors? Don't be sacred, be forewarned

I own a 24' 1979 Argosy (Minuet) by Airstream. Here's what I've learned.

The camper had a few small leaks from various points above the floor level which were due largely to age or lack of maintenance. I've tracked them down and repaired them one at a time. The aluminum portions of the trailer from the floor up have survived very well. The end caps had to be taken down to bare metal and repainted.

The fabrics were worn due to age and UV damage. Some of the appliances, particularly the fridge, were simply shot due to age. The A/C works very well.

The camper has sustained serious damage to isolated sections of the floor and frame due to leaks. Two leaks were traced to a sloppy awning bracket installation. I have traced NUMEROUS other leaks to the connection between the upper body of the camper and the underbelly and bannana wraps.

When I removed the first piece of lower belt line it was clear to see why. The upper body doesn't lap over the lower body. It's built exactly the other way around. The bananna wraps wrap up and over the upper body. IDIOTIC! This is like roofing a house with the shingles on backwards and wondering why it leaks. I've seen other posts about campers as modern as 1985 with completely trashed undersides.

If you can find a model which doesn't use a lower belt line such as some of the Safari models, look to see that the upper body laps on top of the lower body. Otherwise be forewarned, rebuilding the underside of a camper is a lot of work. If a lower belt line conceals what I feel is a defective design, at least make a knowledgeable decision.

The one picture I attached shows you a small part of what I'll repair.
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