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Old 08-19-2009, 08:26 AM   #1
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1965 20' Globetrotter
Janesville , Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 13
Alternative Floor Material for a 64 Tradewind

Hello all -
I am fairly new to the forum and this is my first post -- I recently purchaced a 1964 Tradewind and plan on redoing most of it -- so I have many questions -- first off I am going to replace the floor - (Body on) and am wondering if anyone has used anything except plywood ?? On my boat I used a product from a company called space age synthetics -- Its a fiber reinforced Urethane Composite that is lighter and stronger than plywood and is water and mold resistant and will not rot - the website is -- this product has been on my boat transom for about 6 years and looks just like the day I put it on - Has anyone here used this on there trailers ??? I think that it would be a one time replacement even if your trailer developed a leak it would not effect the integrity of your floor - So that being said -- does anyone have any advice for replacing floor (body on) -- Tips, Hints, Do and Donts????
Thanks again
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:44 AM   #2
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2000 30' Limited
battle ground, , Washington
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 516
non-wood floor

fatwgn, you are my hero! I am considering a rebuild and have been touting a floor material that is not a wood product. no-one has stepped up yet that I know of. so, keep us posted and in the loop.
it is an idea whose time has come...
ol' bill
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:09 AM   #3
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
Lawrenceville , Georgia
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alternative to ply

I'm going with this. . It is a recycled carpet fiber material.
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:23 AM   #4
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1975 23' Safari
Portland , Oregon
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Quick correction on the link -> Nyloboard-The Next Generation of Green Building > HOME

... and welcome to the Forums. Keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:59 AM   #5
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1956 26' Cruiser/Overlander
Kennewick , Washington
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I have been thinking of using one piece of Fiberglass Reinforced

Been wondering about it being too rigid. I have a 26' Overlander.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:14 AM   #6
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1967 26' Overlander
Altoona , Pennsylvania
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The alternative flooring issues has been discussed on other threads. Nyloboard has been mentioned along with a range of other materials.

Here's the thing. The monoque Airstream design relies on the floor for rigidity with a degree of "flex." One of the problems with a rotton floor is that it can affect the structural integrity of the overall design. Ninety percent of the plywood in my 40+ year old Overlander was in excellent condition. The other ten percent was rotton in predictable locations... the door area where the gaskets were shot and the rear bath area. I think the carpet (which holds moisture) contributed to the rot. If you keep the interior of the Airstream dry, I think plywood is an inexpensive, proven flooring material that will outlast most of us.

When it comes to a floor, I think it's important to look at weight, tensile strength, flexibility and other structural considerations... not just durability or resistance to moisture. Just my two cents, gents.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:23 AM   #7
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I don't think the rigidity would be a problem Shermybaby.
I just went through the floor replacement in my safari and I had the same dillema about what to use. The thing about recycled plastics is that they don't all have the ability to retain there shape when subjected to a lot of heat. Add to that the fact that the weight of the shell is concentrated around the perimeter of the floor and it looks like a potentially huge issue. I know someone who used a recycled plastic building material to replace the tops on about ten or twelve picnic tables at a campground. The first hot day that summer the tops all sagged down at the ends and in the middle, where they were not supported well. they sagged so much that they were unusable. You couldn't set a drink down without it tipping over. I just imagine what that would look like on a trailer floor after a hot summer.
I ended up using plywood exterior siding after all. I sealed it on all surfaces before installing it, to prolong its life as much as possible. If money was not an issue I would have used plywood with an aluminum skin on top and wrapped around the bottom edges. This keeps the construction very much the same as original and eliminates the possibility of water damage.
Regardless of what you use the shell must be kept watertight, so keep in mind that the bullet-proof floor won't remove the issue of sealing the shell and keeping it sealed.

Lots more to say, no time to say it.
Good luck!
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