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Old 01-29-2017, 11:29 AM   #1
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1981 31' Excella II
Katy , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3
Replacing front and Rear Subfloor on 1981 Excella Rear Bath

We got our Airstream!! Which was extremely exciting. It even had new laminate floors and all electric/gas working-so all I had to do was clean/sand/paint...

Except I found out about a week into it that the only reason for that new floor was to hide all of the rot. We've done a hose leak test and found our leaks. I just learned how to use the drill-if that helps with my lack of experience. I need to replace this floor myself. I'll have a little help-but I need to know what I'm doing.

From my research so far, it looks like there are three ways to go about this:
Shell On
Shell Off
Opening the belly frame and unbolting the floor to slide it out and replace.

I will not be doing shell off because I don't want to screw up the shell, and probably don't have the equipment to do so anyway.

What are some reasons that people replace front and back without opening the ends? Has anyone done either Shell on or Opening of the Belly and can you give me any pointers that you wish you would have known ahead of time?

Also-for those who have done it themselves, how long did it take you in actual working-on-it days. I have a pretty strict timeline and would love to get this (the subfloor) done in 3 weeks of less if possible. Is that realistic for a beginner?

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Old 01-30-2017, 01:34 PM   #2
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1974 31' Excella 500
Chicago , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 59
Congrats on the project! I'm just finishing up my floor. The time depends on the quality of the frame. If you look up the yooperstream Instagram account you'll see my pictures. I literally had to cut out the entire aft frame and start over. It took me about 10 full working days to complete it. I removed the entire belly pan because my out riggers needed replacement. Its quite the job, but very rewarding when you finish.
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Old 02-01-2017, 05:30 PM   #3
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1986 25' Sovereign
2008 F350, 6.4L diesel , Oak Harbor, WA
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 605
Images: 13
Keep looking on the forum for rear bath floor repairs. There are several good thread of folks who have redone the rear.

We have a rear bed model so we needed to remove the beds to expose the floor to be repaired. You will likely need to do the same with your fixtures. But read those other thread first to see how they took things apart. There is even a Youtube video on this type of work, I know of two of them for sure.

Good luck and post pictures when you have them.
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Old 02-01-2017, 05:55 PM   #4
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1983 31' Airstream310
Hillsburgh , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,805
As others have alluded to, seeing the rot is just the tip of the iceberg; fixing the possible frame rot underneath is a whole different ball game and you won't know how good or bad it is until you rip out the old subfloor or drop the under tray and banana wrap.

If you're a metal fabricator and carpenter with a garage full of tools and welding equipment at your disposal, a new subfloor and fixing any frame damage is doable in three weeks........if you don't have these facilities or skill sets .......

I think based on your explained lack of knowledge (only just learned how to use a drill) this project will be very daunting.

If I were you I would find the closest Airstream expert to you and approach them to drop by and see the problem. They could then give you tips on how to take out the interior gables and subfloor. Then you do the work until that part is finished. Invite the expert back to guide you through the next part of the project, like dropping the banana wrap, under tray, any frame repair and painting. Then you do that work until that's finished. Then invite the expert to help you lay up and lay out the new subfloor leaving you to finish off screwing it down and re-install your interior.

Be prepared to compensate them for their time and mileage, but trust me a good expert would save you a lot of time, money and heartache. Peter H Airstreamer is just such an expert and lives in Austin Texas. If I were you I would contact him to see if he, or someone he knows that lives closer to you, would help you.


PS 99% of Airstream trailers who's owners are faced with this predicament end up placing their Airstream up for sale with the ad saying, "Gutted Airstream trailer waiting your dream interior; all the hard work is done".
Per Mare, Per Terram and may all your campaigns be successful.

“It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose your own.” "Harry S Truman"
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floor removal, floor repair, subfloor

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