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Old 12-07-2011, 08:08 PM   #1
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DandTPerez's Avatar
1966 20' Globetrotter
Long Beach , Mississippi
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 46
Floor replacement.

OK I'm sure there are hundreds of threads on this already, but here goes. We have a 64 (90% sure thats the year) Overlander that the bathroom caught on fire, so its getting gutted. We removed the old floor (some had been replaced by the PO, I was not in there to see how the floor came out. Question 1: The floor does go under the wall and the lower wall needs to be removed to get to it, right? 2: Does the belly pan have to come off to do this? 3: Can you use screws instead of bolts (my husbands question, I told him no screws ever)...I dont want the inside walls out all at one time, so its going to be done in sections. All the walls have to come out eventually because they need stripping and fixing/replacing but Im going to do that as we remove for other reasons. Any suggestions for any of this would be great...Thanks!


PS-My husband also wants to know if he doesnt remove the belly pan can he weld bolts head-down to the frame and notch the wood out around it then tighten the nut from the top so the belly pan doesnt have to be removed, or is that not a good idea? Thanks again!

Pics from before it got the floor out...its totally empty now.

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Old 12-07-2011, 08:30 PM   #2
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
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Floor replacement.

Greetings Tiffany!

There are variables involved so it is difficult to say whether removing the bellypan will be necessary. My suspicion is that the bellypan may need to come off for at least two reasons:
  • I strongly suspect that the blackwater tank will either need to be replaced or repaired . . . . and often a part of that repair is replacing the supporting structure below the tank (the tank is approximately centered below the rear window). If the coach is earlier than 1964, it may have an above floor blackwater tank, but I know that 1964 the tank was below the floor.
  • I also strongly suspect that you will find that the coach has a problem with contaminated fiberglass insulation in the bellypan. Particularly if quantities of water were utilized to put out the fire, the fiberglass was likely saturated . . . and has also likely been home to various vermin over the years as well.
Your husband's plan to substitute welded studs for elevator bolts might be workable, but I am not certain whether it would result in a significant labor savings. I suspect that getting the floor, frame, and aluminum wall baseplate aligned with welded studs could pose some difficulty, particularly when it won't be a shell-off restoration.

Something else to be prepared for when opening up the rear end of a coach of this Vintage is rust perforation of frame, crossmembers, and/or outriggers -- some metal repair may be necessary. Moisture was frequently present in the area due to the bath along with infiltration through rear hatch as well as vent and window openings. Rear end separation is also something else that should be checked and repaired (if present) while the bathroom floor is being replaced.

Good luck with your project!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:44 PM   #3
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1966 20' Globetrotter
Long Beach , Mississippi
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 46
The black tank is inside the frame (husbands discription because I didnt go in it), and getting replaced since the po punched holes in it and the belly pan and stuck pipe straight out the bottom. So maybe its older than 64? The frame has slight surface rust but we are using a rust converting paint over the whole thing (the entire floor is out). So as far as the insulation goes, its all gone too. The walls are also going to be reinsulated as we go too. Theres no serious problems so far, but I just want to do everything right the first time. We were hoping just to patch the belly pan where the po put the holes in it and tried to jack it up in the wrong spot and put a hole in the front. We have a 63 trade wind for parts. Mainly the door, bathroom, lighting, window parts, and upper wall pieces in the bathroom (since the fire melted them). I should have got pics, but I didnt know I was going to be posting tonight, but my husband is driving my nuts to find out info on doing it (since I wont let him do anything without consulting the fourms, lol)...
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:11 PM   #4
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1966 20' Globetrotter
Long Beach , Mississippi
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 46
OK lucky I live in south MS so its not TOOO cold to go outside real quick...I put some sweats on and went and took the best pics I could. I wasnt going to walk in it because I dont have good balance. The pics look worse than it is, but we havent vacced it out yet so theres debris all over...I tried to get some close up pics of where the wall meets the floor/channel/frame but didnt bother uploading because you cant see anything...Just go to the link in the first post and they are in there...I want to start a blog/journal with it, but my fb album is as far as ive gotten...
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Old 12-08-2011, 10:12 AM   #5
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1964 19' Globetrotter
OH - Ohio , waynesville
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just had this same issue. I removed the lower walls, and used a router to cut down the center of the left frame support. It is my understanding that shell on is impossible to do in one large section, it must be divided into at least two sections to fit back in. Since my curbside was in good shape, i only removed the streetside two thirds. I cut out the peice of floor over the black tank first and removed the pan that held the tank too. Not planning to replace bath so leaving it empty. As for putting the floor back, after playing with several options from the local hardware store I finally opted for the trailer floor repair bolts from Haven't gotten them yet. I'll let you know if they work. I cut off all the elevator bolt in the c channel and plan to replace them with the floor repair bolts. Then, I plan to use a few straight brackets to tie the old floor with the new. My belly pan was half off when I started, so it is partially dropped in the back, but I don't think it is necessary to drop it. I'll probably drop in a few wood screws through the c channel just for safe measure. I also treated the edges of the new flooring with marine varnish to prevent future water damage. hoping to have the floor in this weekend.
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:02 PM   #6
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1966 20' Globetrotter
Long Beach , Mississippi
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 46
Good luck to you. Thanks for theadvice. We are going back and fouth about picking up the shell to do it all or leave it on and do it in sections. Im going to look into thosefloor repair bolts. I always like to have a game plan before diving into something, but my husband just wants to start and figure it out as we go. My nerves cant handle that. Lol.
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Old 12-08-2011, 03:42 PM   #7
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
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Shell on floor replacement is do-able. We did it in our 31 sovereign (see Little girl refurb thread - 72 Sovereign). We had all the inner skins out and bellypan removed to do it. You have to be careful with the outer walls - don't want them falling off the frame because it's a *&#@* to get back on if you do (take my word for it) We did the floor in whole sheets - stronger that way. Shell off is probably easier than what we did, but we didn't have an option at the time. Remember that the floor is what marries the frame to the upper shell - you want to make sure that connection is very very good. I wouldn't notch around bolts on the outside edge for that reason. You want to bolt thru the C channel into the frame for the best connection. That's why elevator bolts were used. If you're going with screws, make sure they were designed for that purpose. We, too, want to do this ONCE! Good luck!

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Old 12-08-2011, 04:34 PM   #8
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1959 17' Pacer
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holly springs , Georgia
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hi Tiffany

Sure looks like a 64, if it was a 63 it would be 7 panels, and if it were a 65 there would be no door w/in a door. The belly pan will need to be at least partially pulled back, cause like kevin said the galvanized box that holds the black tank in place is almost surely shot. Since the belly pan is under the rub rail I can understand why you would not want to remove it, but you can cut a section under the coach where it does not show. That way you dont have to remove the rubrail. Tried to find a pic but no luck.

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Old 12-08-2011, 05:57 PM   #9
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1966 20' Globetrotter
Long Beach , Mississippi
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 46
Im thinking we are going to do shell off. Just try and get it apart repaired and back in 4 full days of work. Having it apart for too long will freak me out. Lol. Thanks for all the help. Its nice to at least know what NOT to do and know what works.
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Old 12-08-2011, 08:04 PM   #10
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1991 34' Excella
1963 26' Overlander
1961 26' Overlander
Central , Mississippi
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Greeting from a fellow Mississipian and Overlander owner.

Wow, ya'll have project! 4 days for a shell off is aggressive. I'm doing a shell of on a '63 and just passed a full year.

It took me a full day to drill out the rivets, another to support the shell and lift. A full day to lower and position the shell then at least a day to re rivit. The frame, flooring and belly pan took weeks...

Keep us posted!
Hi Ho Silver RV! Vernon, Sarah, Mac the Border Collie(RIP) -
A honkin' long 34' named AlumaTherapy
and a 26' '63 Overlander, Dolly
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Old 12-08-2011, 08:10 PM   #11
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Hi and welcome. The shell on is defiantly do able. The shell off is easier to do if floor and frame need to be worked on. In both cases the belly must come off, but it is simple to replace. All the parts are available on line VTS, Inland Rv, etc. as are lots of folks like me that have been there and done that. Just avoid the temptation to re invent the wheel so to speak. The floor bolts that hold the floor to frame lasted for 40+ years for a reason. I switched all the bolts to stainless steel, expensive but worth it. You can check out my (and a lot of other) re do threads. Good luck and post lots of pics!
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