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Old 07-27-2003, 07:23 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 92
floor replacement techniques

I now have the '57 Bubble's frame almost totally exposed, cleaned, repaired, reinforced, and painted. I left a perimeter of the plywood frame about 6 inches wide, still intact and under the side wall channel. An equal or wider amount of bellypan is also intact around the perimeter from the bottome. I am just about to the point of taking out the old plywood and putting in new, polyurethaned plywood. I plan to do one section (say the first 3 frame cross-memembers) at a time.
Has anyone developed or figured out a neat way to make the switch?? It will involve slipping one floor out while slipping the new one in - a magic act.
One last question. The two frame cross members at the very ends (front and back) of the trailer are directly underneath the forward and the back walls. How to get to the top of each to clean and paint?
I'm thinking of trying to jack up the wall in parts?
Jo Ann
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Old 07-27-2003, 08:04 AM   #2
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Pull the body off, you are 90% there. There are screws through the lower channel of the body, plywood and into the frame. You aren't going to get the plywood out without removing these anyway and they are all that is holding the body down.

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Old 07-27-2003, 08:25 PM   #3
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John - assuming one doesn't move the body far away - which I can't do due to space limitations and lack of courage - can I put timbers under the channel, jack it all up with bottle jacks or something and then slip the plywood in?
Have you done the body off technique? If so, did you put struts into the body to hold it all apart? jw
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Old 07-27-2003, 08:46 PM   #4
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I pulled the body of my motorhome, but have seen small trailers where they did basically what you suggest and set the body on saw horses when it was clear, then rolled the chassis out from under it. There was a member who did this and lost the body in the wind so be careful. I used a ratcheting strap on the rib nearest the center to keep the body pulled together.

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Old 07-27-2003, 08:47 PM   #5
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There are several posts in the forums about this. At the point you are at your probbably going to have the least effort if you take the body off. As small as a bubble is, iff you have the interrior romeve, weight wise it is easily managable by two people but four would be better for the extra eyes.

On the ends you can slide the plywood in from the ends up to the first side rib. THis is done by removeing the rub strip and any rivits up to the first rib. Putting some weight on the bumper or straping the bumer down so that you can slightly flex the frame just enough so you can slide the plywood in under the body work over the frame.

After the first side rib the U channel not only sits on the top of the plywood deck it raps under the plywood. To atempt to slide the plywood if from one end to the other would be quite difficult because of this. Might be possible because of the size of your coach but don't count on it being easy.

Its best, whenever possible to to install the full width of the coach. To have a seam in the middle creates a weak spot where the coach will flex and possible give you problems with the flooring over it.

It is highly recomended that you remove the old plywwod as intact as possible and use it as a templet.
1959 22' Caravanner
1988 R20 454 Suburban.
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