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Old 06-07-2004, 01:18 AM   #21
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Bolts vs screws...

I read the discussion about the merits of screws versus bolts. In myh mind it was not entirely conclusive. It seems that we could use some specific information about the relative stregth of different types of connections. There is no doubt in my mind that a bolt would be stronger as far as pull out is concerned compared to a screw of the same size but how much stronger? Would 2 or 3 screws equal one bolt for example? Also I wonder if the main forces on the attachment would be trying to pull it out or trying to shear it off?

Some other types of blind fastners come to mind that were not suggested as candidates. I wonder if a moly or toggle bolt of some sort might be a good idea? Do pop rivits come in sizes that would be big enough to use? Can they be had with a flat head so that they would finish flush with the wood surface like a flathead screw? I think I will do some further investigation if I have time.

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Old 06-07-2004, 08:54 AM   #22
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I just had the pan off my 73...I'm confused about a couple of things. I did something similar to your drawing as a temporary measure, to shore-up the rotted floor along the back wall of the trailer. (about six inches or so is just completely gone) I don't understand why you want to do that instead of a single sheet of plywood that extends all the way out under the u-channel.

I also don't understand what the big deal is about dropping the bannana wraps. I had the back corner one's off in 2 minutes. and what I found was soaking wet insulation, as well as soaking-wet and rotted plywood battery-box supports. (get that insulation OUTTA there! ). The rear outriggers (only one's I uncovered) were in good shape, though...but there isn't anything supporting the plywood floor back there at all, and on the curbside corner, it was pretty badly damaged. I would think that a solid piece is the way to go.

Another forum member replaced the rear flooring with a type of 3/4" plastic that is used in boats...I'm thinking about going with that. it'll never rot. ever. allegedly, it cuts and holds screws just like plywood. another argument for that type of material is that the outer skin doesn't extend down far enough to cover the edges of the flooring...water will eventually get to this edge, one way or another. someone had smeared caulking along the edge of the plywood on my trailer as an attempt to protect it. don't know that it really did anything.

Oh, and that "shim" you mentioned: I noticed that there is a 5/8ths splice between the cross member and the floor, 48" from the rear edge of the trailer. I'm pretty sure this must be "factory", considering that its above the x-member at 48", and that the x-member is 5/8ths shorter that the other x-members to accomodate it. it is there to strengthen the seams in the plywood flooring panels.
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Old 06-07-2004, 09:24 AM   #23
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Dropping the belly is has to be one of the yukiest jobs in the world - but your right - it does go very quick and easy - and in my opinion, it needs to be done on most any older trailer. Its a good idea to wear a hat, gobbles and paper resporator - all kinds of junk will fall out.

I've done it 3 times and this week will be my 4th - trying to work up the motivation to do it, lying on my back drilling up with not much room and all kinds of junk falling out - just can't wait - but I also know the project is at a standstill until I get it done.
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Old 06-07-2004, 10:44 AM   #24
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Regarding screws vs. bolts, for what its worth...

As I have mentioned in my other posts - the PO yanked the original floor and threw in the "Psuedo Floor" - thats what I am calling it at least. They just used self tapping screws and screwed down a patch work quilt pattern of very small pieces of plywood - never anchored the walls at all. We drove the trailer 1300 miles back home - not knowing how weak things were back there. Anyway, even with all of those small sheets sheering and moving, none of the screws were loose when I removed the Psuedo Floor.

So, I think that screws hold okay if you need to use them in a pinch to get things done. Just my two cents...

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Old 06-07-2004, 11:36 AM   #25
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I would like to point out that on my A/S at least, maybe yours too I don't know, but there are no penetration's of the main frame at any point, the only attachment penetration occurs on the crossmembers. I think putting self-tapping screws or drilling holes for rivets could weaken the frame.
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Old 06-07-2004, 11:46 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upallnight
I would like to point out that on my A/S at least, maybe yours too I don't know, but there are no penetration's of the main frame at any point, the only attachment penetration occurs on the crossmembers. I think putting self-tapping screws or drilling holes for rivets could weaken the frame.
I noticed the same thing in my '67 Overlander with the exception of the aft portion of the shell - the shell's U-channel was attached to the frame with elevator bolts.

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Old 06-07-2004, 12:12 PM   #27
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You are correct, upon reflection mine is the same way.
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Old 06-07-2004, 02:20 PM   #28
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To drop or not to drop...

Chuck,

First of all let me explain that I might not end up using the approach I suggest depending on what exactly I actually end up needing to do to my floor and frame.

My initial motivation for the propsed approach was a perhaps nieve thought that I might not need to drop the belly pan and banana wrap. I thought that if I were to take all the floor panels off I certainly could remove and replace the insulation from above and vacuum out any junk. So I thought maybe an approach that let me replace the floor entirely from the top might make sense. I also wanted to avoid lifting the body off if possible. The proposed approach could be done entirely from the top and without lifting the body. As it turns out I already have about 1/2 the belly pan off for various reasons.

The idea of having a shim and splice around the edges was motivated partly by the fact that it would allow me to securely tie down the walls working only from above. If I were to use bolts and nuts I could access both the top and bottom entirely by myself. With the full sheet of plywood in place I would have to have someone help me tighten them up (one person above and one below). It was also motivated partly by my thought that it would be easier to ease shims into place under the walls than it would to slide a whole sheet into place. I could, for example, lightly persuade the shims to slide into place with my rubber mallet. Another factor that I was considering was that the splice strip would also help strenthen the edges by giving me twice as much plywood thickness around the edges where the body attaches. At that point in my thinking I was not aware that there were no side rails between the outriggers so I might like the extra strength even if I were to run the plywood all the way out. I was also partly thinking that I could make the shims and splice strips out of something more waterproof and use more common (and therefore less expensive) plywood in the middle if that were to make sense from a budget perspective. Since making the proposal I have also discovered that I have c-channel under the u-channel. That would make it virtually impossible to use the clam-shell approach for inserting a full sheet of plywood under the ends of my trailer. Doesn't your 73 also have the c-channel under the u-channel?

I would be intersted in knowing more about the 3/4" plastic that you referred to. I am interested in considering alternative materials and have done some investigation along those lines. If you have any specific pointers to what was used I would like to know about them.

That is an interesting point about the shims. I am going to have to look more closely and see if my cross members are shorter where the shims are used. Thanks for the tip about that.

Thanks for the comments,

Malcolm
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Old 06-07-2004, 03:04 PM   #29
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check this thread: http://www.airforums.com/forum...ighlight=floor

post #9 has a cad drawing that illustrates how mine is put together...with the exeception of the rear curbside corner. the bannana wrap wraps OVER the exterior skin in that area. if the molding isn't completely sealed, water can (and apparently, HAS) poor right in there and saturate the plywood. I didn't find any c-channel...looks just like the drawing. with the bannana wrap off, you're staring right at the edge of the plywood. this is only the back 2 or 3 feet of the trailer though....I've read other posts that imply that there might be some in different areas in different years/models of trailer.

couple of things that concern me about the plastic flooring idea are the fact that it may not be as rigid as the plywood...may have too much flex. And...what if water does get in there from a leak from above? where will it go? Maybe we should keep the campers parked a tad nose-high, and any water that gets in there will roll out the back. seems inevitable that some water is going to get in there someway, sometime.
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Old 06-07-2004, 03:35 PM   #30
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Malcolm

You can do all the bolting by yourself, if you use elevator bolts you set them with a hammer driving the shoulder or tang (depending which type you use) into the wood then go below and tighten them, I am about half way through mine and haven't had a problem yet (other than all the up and down). I am using a 1/4 drive ratchet to avoid overtightening the bolts (only twisted one in half so far). Good Luck.
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Old 06-07-2004, 03:50 PM   #31
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Leonard,

What are you using to lock them on? Split washers, Loc-Tite, Nylock nuts, or a hammer?
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Old 06-07-2004, 04:05 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upallnight
Malcolm

You can do all the bolting by yourself, if you use elevator bolts you set them with a hammer driving the shoulder or tang (depending which type you use) into the wood then go below and tighten them, .

so, are these the same thing as "carriage bolts"? I've seen the term "elevator bolts" on many of these threads, and never knew exactly what they were, but what you describe sounds like what I know as a "carriage bolt".
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Old 06-07-2004, 04:27 PM   #33
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Elevator bolts have a much larger head..

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Old 06-07-2004, 04:38 PM   #34
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The term elevator bolt is rather archaic, they used to be used exclusively for attaching grain buckets to grain elevators, hence the name. Some have smaller heads about the size of carriage bolts only they are flat on top and have cleats protruding from the bottom to grip the work surface, the other type have a larger head and a shoulder underneath like a carriage bolt.
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Old 06-07-2004, 04:43 PM   #35
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I am not using any washers, the factory didn't so I didn't see the need, when I get all the floor in I'll go back and bend the protuding end like A/S did. Judging from the amount of trouble I had getting the old ones off I don't forsee a problem with them working loose. I'll be going now have to put some more floor down.
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Old 06-07-2004, 05:12 PM   #36
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My 73 is different...

Chuck,

Your 1973 and mine do seem to be different. Mine is a 31' Sovereign. It looks almost like the drawing along the back of the trailer where the floor sits over a cross member and is bolted like the drawing. There is a c-channel part, though, that covers the edge of the plywood more like the drawing in post #8. Once I get around to the sides, though, there is no metal frame member under the plywood except at the ends of the outriggers (again a bit like #8). Sadly there are no bolts along the side even to the outriggers. There are only screws down into the plywood. They may be long enough to extend into the bottom of the c-channel but, if so, not by that much. I think that the bottom of the c-channel may come in further and be about even with the inside of the u-channel (I will have to have a closer look). Can you get the belly wrap to go under the outside skin? I am going to have to check and see how mine is set up back there. This area is where the worst floor damage was and that could explain a lot if mine is the same as what you describe.
I have been giving some thought to ways to get water out of the walls without it getting into contact with the floor panels. I will post if I come up with something that seems workable. My driveway where I currently have the trailer parked has plenty of slope to let the water drain toward the back. It drops about 9" per 8'. In fact the back of the AS is jacked up about 3' in the air so I could get it level to work on.

Elevator bolts are almost the same as carriage bolts. The principle difference is that they are flat headed instead of having a crowned head like a regular carriage bolt. The idea is that they will pull into the wood so that the head is flush with the surface more like the head of a flat-head wood screw. You probably have some of these somewhere in your current floor assembly.

Leonard,

I know I can use elevator bolts as you suggest for the floor to frame connections. Again I originally hoped I would not have to take off all the belly wrap and banana wrap. I do get tired of all the up and down though. What can one expect with bolts with a name like elevator?

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Old 06-08-2004, 09:54 AM   #37
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Ok, then. that explains the "elevator bolts". I do remember seeing those flat heads countersunk into the plywood, now that I think of it, when I put in some new finish flooring a couple of years ago.

about the "c" channel: I'll have a closer look at my service manual when I get home tonight. I did look last night, and didn't notice any mention of it. They have 2 exploded diagrams of the chassis; one for single axle, and one for tandem axle...which means you have to do some extrapolating, as there was more than one lenght single axle trailer that year, and many tandem axles. anyway, the diagrams consist of the frame, and all the stuff attached to it, such as axles, tanks, and so forth. The "u" channel and hold down plates are shown, as well, but the detail is not good..they don't call it "u-channel"...can't remember exactly what they call it. but I didn't see anything that looked like the "c channel" that many have reported.

One interesting blurb I came across was a description of how to replace a damaged section of flooring. they weren't specific as to location, but basically described what was in your diagram. cut out damaged piece, make 4" wide support splices out of plywood, and glue n screw 'em 2" inside the cut edge of the non-damaged floor, then glue n screw replacement floor on to the other 2" section of splice. so...whatever that's worth. i can't imagine how a piece of flooring would become so damaged in the center of the trailer that it would require such replacement, but "whatever".....

that belly wrap on the curb side wouldn't have fit under the skin. I can't remember exactly why, but I do remember thinking that same thing, and saw that it wouldn't work, so I put it back the way it was, and just sealed the molding really well w/ vulkem. also the seam around the battery box. In fact, the fitting issue may have had something to do with that battery box, now that I think of it. It was hard enough to get it to fit back in there the way it was.
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Old 07-13-2004, 05:30 PM   #38
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More of the same...

This thread is giving a lot of good info...which we need because one thing has lead to another and now we have a bit of the floor cut out for repair. It is basically where the hot water heater sat, which apparently leaked at some point and rotted a hole right next to the wheel well (under our side gaucho) and along edge of trailer. I am attempting to get a picture on here soon to better explain. The repair area is running from one crossmember to the next lengthwise and about 1/2 foot into middle from the side of the trailer. Part of our problem is that a portion of the plywood that runs under the sidewall is still in wonderful shape and is not wanting to budge from the channel. The rest of it is cut away because there was no sidewall or channel, just the hole where the hot water heater slides in. Once I post pic maybe you all could help figure best way to patch w/integrity, but for now here are ???:

Ours is 5/8" plywood - local Home Depot does not have 5/8" in. finished on one side, not on other (don't know what grade that is). Where do you get it? Don't have router to cut thicker plywood.

Elevator bolts - where can you get these?

Thanks for now,
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Old 07-13-2004, 05:45 PM   #39
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Leigh,
21/32 is the same as 5/8.
Sometime they carry it under the /32 size. 19/32 might work fine for you.
5/8 is 0.625 inches.
19/32 is 0.593 inches.
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Old 07-13-2004, 07:05 PM   #40
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Thanks Uwe - anything on those elevator bolts?
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