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Old 02-04-2005, 09:20 PM   #21
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1968 17' Caravel
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I honestly don't know how I would pick out another AS after this. There's so many possiblities for stuff being messed up that you can't even see...
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Old 02-05-2005, 07:07 AM   #22
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I think the best way to detect floor rot is with your nose.My sailboat had a musty smell and I assumed it was because of it's age when I first purchased it.I cleaned the inside many times and it would not go away.Later found a section of rot deep in bilge.After repair the smell was gone.
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Old 02-05-2005, 12:58 PM   #23
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Ok, I hope this doesn't make you think I'm an idiot, but here's the current plan. These are tough decisions, and Dave and I have spent a lot of time discussing it and poking around in the trailer.

I'm going to leave the bellypan where it is and call out the welder and see if he can fix the exposed parts that need welding. I spent the whole morning out there cleaning up the debris, and I really don't want to remove the bellypan. It's never been off, and I'm sure I will never be able to put it back on as securely as it is now.

The floor in the rear of the coach is solid. I have poked around extensively, and can find no rot, no evidence of previous repairs. There's no reason to think the joints in the back should be broken. In the front the floor was rotted all around the preimeter, which I think allowed the extra flexing that broke the frame.

The axels are new, and were mounted to the frame rails with a new mounting plate. I can see the welds for the axels and they look very secure. The shop had the bellypan off in that area and put new bellypan panels on when they were done, and I trust they did a good job, as they came highly recommended. I don't think there's any reason to expect the axel welds to fail anytime soon.

I have a tendancy to overdo things, to make projects harder than they have to be, so I'm really shutting myself down on this one. I REALLY don't think the trailer is going to disintegrate on the road if I don't examine that last crossbeam (remember, it's a short trailer, so there's not much more behind the axels), and everything from the A frame to the axels I can confirm is in good shape after the repairs. So I'm going to fix what I can see right now and go from there.
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Old 02-07-2005, 12:42 PM   #24
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The welder's coming in the morning. We'll see how it goes.
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Old 02-07-2005, 06:16 PM   #25
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Well, we'll all be sitting with fingers and toes crossed for you, Stephanie! Report back 'cause we'll want to know how it all turned out. By the way, your reasoned decision above is well thought out. Following the track of your thinking will help others along the way when they have to weigh the pros and cons of repair. Good luck for a late winter finish to your project and a great Spring trip
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Old 02-07-2005, 08:52 PM   #26
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Thanks, I'm so excited I just want to go to bed so morning will come sooner! I spent about two hours in the trailer today scraping off old spray-on insulation and flaking paint, and cleaning up the areas to be welded with a wire brush. I found one more, so that's nine welds!

The guy sounded real nice on the phone, and confident he could fix the frame without damaging the bellypan, so we'll see how it goes. He's the same welder Malcolm used to fix his frame, so it won't be the first time he's seen an Airstream.

I'll let you know how it goes!
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Old 02-08-2005, 02:53 PM   #27
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The welding is done! The guy came out this morning, got right to work on it. About an hour later he had welded all the broken places and reattached the outriggers. He fixed the step and did put one patch on a thin area. I'll take a pic after work. It's amazing to walk in it now, it's so tight, no popping and leaning. The step is solid as a rock! I'm very excited, I might really have this all done by spring!
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Old 02-08-2005, 03:01 PM   #28
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Ahhh the ups and downs of trailer restoration...... hopefully we have more ups than downs.....

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Old 02-08-2005, 05:53 PM   #29
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I'm definitly feeling 'up' today It's like we turned a corner, and are heading for the finish line!

Here's a picture of his work on the step area, which was pretty badly damaged. The part by the door was too thin, and although he welded the crack closed I felt it would be better off with a patch over it, and he agreed so he added that. I will have to take some off the bottom of the plywood that will go over it to make room for the patch, but I don't think it's a big deal. The step works perfectly now. No wonder it used to get stuck in the up position after a trip!
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Old 02-09-2005, 07:34 AM   #30
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Frame Repair

Way to go Stephanie !!

Please show us interior shots when you are totally finished.

You will enjoy your trailer for many years to come. We sure do admire your determination and tenacity.

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Old 02-11-2005, 06:45 PM   #31
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Today I spent my morning scraping all the old spray-on insulation off the frame rails and cleaning them, and this afternoon I painted them with POR-15. Boy is my back tired from all that crawling around on my hands and knees! The respirator worked great, I couldn't smell the paint at all. Still, I had all the windows and doors open in the trailer to keep the air moving. Luckily it was a beautiful 60 degree day. I can't believe the weather is so cooperative this winter!
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:14 PM   #32
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Looking Good!
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Old 02-12-2005, 04:38 AM   #33
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
Today I spent my morning scraping all the old spray-on insulation off the frame rails and cleaning them, and this afternoon I painted them with POR-15. Boy is my back tired from all that crawling around on my hands and knees! The respirator worked great, I couldn't smell the paint at all. Still, I had all the windows and doors open in the trailer to keep the air moving. Luckily it was a beautiful 60 degree day. I can't believe the weather is so cooperative this winter!
Looking great~
Question.. Is that one or two coats of paint?
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Old 02-12-2005, 09:43 AM   #34
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Just the first coat. The stuff goes on thick. It took a whole pint of paint, but I bought two. I'm going to be touching it up today and getting any little spots I missed, and trying to get the underside of the frame rails everywhere I can. It's drying slow because although the temp got up to 60 yesterday, it didn't stay there long, so it got quite a bit cooler by the time I finished. It was still tacky late last night when I checked on it.

I think it's almost time to go buy plywood!
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Old 02-12-2005, 01:09 PM   #35
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Stepanie,

Do you have a small electric heater you could put in you AS to heat the space up? That might help the paint dry faster.

The frame is looking great by the way.

Malcolm
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Old 02-12-2005, 03:18 PM   #36
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Thanks, I think it's looking pretty good too. Actually, it was dry this morning. POR-15 hardens with exposure to moisture, at least that's what the instructions say, and it rained last night. Stuff was hard as a rock this morning - it's like armor plating. I did make one misjudgement, I opened all the windows before painting, and then after I was done I couldn't get to the front window to close it (without stepping on the wet paint), so I couldn't heat the space up if I'd wanted to. But it all worked out ok after all.

Today I went and bought two sheets of Marine grade plywood. Next step, cardboard templates to be sure I have the shapes right before cutting into my EXPENSIVE plywood...
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Old 02-12-2005, 04:20 PM   #37
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How many plys are in plywood?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
....Today I went and bought two sheets of Marine grade plywood. Next step, cardboard templates to be sure I have the shapes right before cutting into my EXPENSIVE plywood...
Steph:

Food for thought here --

The original flooring in the '78 is 5 ply 1/2" plywood.

A lot of the 1/2" plywood at the big box DIY stores is only 3 ply.

5 ply is a BUNCH stronger (usually) than 3 ply -

I ended up doing my patch with 5 ply 1/2" and a 7 ply 5/8" underlay to tie the patch to the original floor.

Are you keeping track of your total time on this project?
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Old 02-12-2005, 05:17 PM   #38
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The original floor in the 68 is 3/4 inch. I coulted the plys and it's 6 ply counting the thin face plys. The Marine plywood I got today is seven ply. The interior plys look like a similar thickness to the original. Also, the original had voids, and the marine is not supposed to. I don't know if it makes much difference. Anything's better than the rotted stuff that was in there.

I haven't been keeping track of my time at all. I took a lot of time off over the holiday. When I have been working on it it's usually only a couple hours at a time, because I just can't stand working on my hands and knees for much longer than that! It's very tiring work! It has actually gone pretty fast. I think I could have done everything I've done so far in an easy two weeks of evenings and weekends if it wasn't for getting tired and frustrated, and of course all the trips to the hardware store. I wasted a LOT of time trying to get that vinyl floor up in the beginning. I still haven't figured out how I'm going to handle covering the new floor and the old floor which still has vinyl. I'm considering carpet, at least for this season. My priority has switched from making improvements to getting it back together as fast as possible. Camping season is coming soon!
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Old 02-20-2005, 01:30 PM   #39
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Post Great job on the floor replacement !

Wow what an undertaking ! I wanted to chime in here and say great job. I just bought my 1965 Caravel and have yet to get it home. I read the post on your floor tearout. I got a little freaked out, lol. It was after I bought my Caravel. I wish I had seen your post before I went and checked it out. I think I made a good buy tho. I poked around extensively in the battery compartment and as much as I could in front. Good luck and I can't wait to see the finshed product !

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Old 02-20-2005, 11:28 PM   #40
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Thanks for the support. I am glad we didn't buy a trailer that needed this right away - at least we got two great seasons of camping out of it first, which makes it a lot easier to put up with the hassle of fixing it up. I think a Caravel is a perfect size for two, and a great layout. I haven't seen anything else I'd rather have. So it's worth the work. I hope your Caravel doesn't need much done, and you can start enjoying it right away. In fact, you should be sure and come to our next northwest forum rally! I'm sure we'll be planning another one in the spring!
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