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Old 10-05-2014, 12:04 AM   #1
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
Step by step shell on, front floor replacement '69 Safari

Well we finally got motivated to do the soft front floor in the '69 safari by the fact yet another trailer followed us home. I figured posting pics along the way will help someone else out that may want to do the same but is to afraid to try.

Here's her exterior
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Old 10-05-2014, 12:05 AM   #2
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
and the obvious reason she needs a new floor

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Old 10-05-2014, 12:10 AM   #3
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
Start by taking pictures of everything you will be removing

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Old 10-05-2014, 12:23 AM   #4
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
Get ready to remove the lower panels

And since you need to remove the curtain rails before you can remove the panels you may as well wash the hardware. I soaked the curtains sliding eye carriers in a solution of bleach and oxy clean diluted with water. I left them in the solution over night. Since of bunch were very brittle due to the age of them some had already broken in years past or broke during my curtain removal process. I found replacement ones online at outofdoorsmart.com I also ordered some new I rod curtain carriers as some were rusty lookingClick image for larger version

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Old 10-05-2014, 12:26 AM   #5
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
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ID:	223636As you can see in the last pic I also chiseled off the ugly yellowed weathered covers that were around my window lever handles. I am getting replacement ones made at my neighbourhood plastics shop.
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Old 10-05-2014, 12:31 AM   #6
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
Guess what they had 8 by 8 boards...

I chiseled up the tiles looking for the seams to take the front out and there isn't one till past the door. They would have had to use full 8' by 8' pieces back in the day. Click image for larger version

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Old 10-05-2014, 12:34 AM   #7
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
But that's OK because I also learned that if you pull up floor tiles looking for seams you might not find what you are looking for...you may find more rot instead Click image for larger version

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Old 10-05-2014, 12:58 AM   #8
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
Sorry we got so excited by how happy we were to find all the rot we forgot to take pictures of the removal of the wall panels. We did not use any special tools for this part, it was just a whole lot of rivet removal using a bit just large enough to drill out the center of the rivet heads. We had a couple that just spun and spun that Mike got out the dremel and ground the heads off of. On one scary occasion I went straight through the rivet head as far as then drill bit would go. After a panicked rush outside to make sure I didn't drill out of the exterior wall I wrapped masking tape several times around the drill bit about an inch up to make a depth gauge, this way when I drill to hard I didn't have to have heart failure, Sadly I did drill to far a couple more times so I will have to put slightly larger rivets in those holes when we re-apply the wall. I purchased the 1/8th" almond colored rivets from vintage trailer supply for about 6 bucks for a hundred. It will save me a huge amount of time not having to paint all the rivet heads. (it would drive me batty to have silver ones showing on the ivory walls)

We had to pull out the refrigerator in our girl as the first floor seam lands midway under it in our trailer. At that point we also realized that the lower wall panel on the galley side goes the full length of the trailer...

We decided that as the floor in the center area of the trailer is in great shape and the PO had already done the rear bath floor that we would just use the dremel to cut the panel in behind the refer. When the time comes to put it back together we will back it up with a two inch panel of aluminum and grommet it back together
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Old 10-05-2014, 01:26 AM   #9
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
Here is the method we are planning to use for removing our floor

Floor Replacement - Vintage Airstream

The next step for us was setting the circular saw blade to 3/4 of an inch and cutting up the middle of the trailer, we cut it off center on purpose though as I was concerned that if we removed the entire floor before putting the new half in that the weight of the trailer shell may come down and clamshell itself to the frame. We made the decision of which side to remove first based on the side that had the most solid wood got to stay in longest. By leaving the one side in I ensured that I had a spacer so I wasn't fighting gravity when it was time to slide the new halves of the floor in.

Well we cut though it and assumed that given the soft state of her floor we would be able to just rip up the board and that is would crumble around where all the elevator bolts are, wrong...Got out the circular saw and made some more cuts this time from the center line to the curbside, We made about four more cuts. Using a large pry bar we were able to pull up just one rotten panel, sadly the elevator bolts were doing their job well and holding here together.Attachment 223641
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Old 10-05-2014, 02:03 AM   #10
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
sorry this should have gone before my previous post

For those that don't know Steel and Aluminum don't like each other. They can have a galvanic reaction, so to avoid the metallurgic reaction airstreams were designed kind of like a sandwich. The steel frame below, the plywood floor that covers the entire frame and the aluminium shell that fits to the plywood floor pretty snuggly...

Right on top of the plywood there is a C channel that runs the perimeter of your trailer, it is called a C but it sits on your floor like a U.

The side of the U facing the exterior wall is buck riveted to your exterior shell, those rivets are within your lower belt line. To do this kind of shell on flooring job you do not need to do anything with them, leave them be.

You will just remove the stuff that faces the bottom of the U and of course the inside wall of the U is where the lowest row of your interior walls rivets are placed. Once the interior walls have been removed and you have exposed your C channel you will see that you have a bunch of philips screws to easily remove but there are bolts coming upwards and all of them bent... Those are the elevator bolts. The factory bends all of the bolts so that the nuts on them cannot wiggle themselves of with the vibration of travel. You will find that your elevator bolts are installed pointing downwards in the plywood floor area. So it means at this point you will need to drop the portion of belly pan to be able to access those. It a good time to get your trailer to a nice level area because you'll be here for a bit.Click image for larger version

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Old 10-05-2014, 02:09 AM   #11
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
What the heck does an elevator bolt look like and where do you buy them?Click image for larger version

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We searched all the usual big box stores and they did not carry them. We found these at Fastenal
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:12 AM   #12
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
good morning

as I slept I realized I left out the part about the wing window frame removal. Unfortunately to get to all of the rivets that hold all the bottom wall panels on, the wing window plastic surrounds have to come out as a bunch of the wall rivet are under the plastic .
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:30 AM   #13
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
Drill out the rivets holding it in place and if needed use a utility knife to cut it away from the inside. Our windows has a thick bead of vulcum around the rivets that were holding the frame in a few places. This plastic is old and will likely be brittle take your time and wiggle it out gradually.

If your are already damaged, or damaged during the removal process replacement wing window shrouds can be purchased from Inland RV for about $150 ea The replacement parts are fiberglass. Mine survived the removal so I will restore the plastic ones.
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Once we had them out we hosed them off and chucked them in the tub with a a 1/2 cup of pine sol to de-grease them.

After soaking them for a day rinse them off and give them a good scrub down with a Mr. Clean magic eraser and soap. Leave them to dry in a safe place where they won't get damaged

After they were dry I took them outside and gave them a couple coats of krylon fusion spray paint for plastics. Look for my restoring a 70's dometic fridge interior for more info on how to paint and do paint bond-ability tests if you are not using the krylon fusion
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:42 AM   #14
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
If you have any other windows within you lower wall panel you will need to remove their shrouds to. Undo all the rivets on the other edge and then you will need to drill out two of the rivets in the top of the oval to be able to slightly contort the frames to get them out of the hole in the wall panel

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Old 10-05-2014, 09:46 AM   #15
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
well back to floor removal, it was not coming up in one big piece that's for sure. we set the circular saw to the right height and cut strips in to the floor so we could work with smaller areas for the removal
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:54 AM   #16
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
Here is the nicely painted wing window surrounds

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oops and a sneak peek of what my finished floor looks like...
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:09 AM   #17
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
after killing ourselves prying the piece up, trying to break through the elevator bolts as well as fighting with the super glue strength of the spray foam we thought there has to be a better way...

Voila....out comes the hole cutting drill set, remove the center drill bit from your mandrel and cut around each elevator bolt head
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why the " H, E, double hockey stick" didn't we think of this earlier?
Life just got so much easier... Spot the Canadian there?

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Sadly if you have glue down laminate flooring your life just got harder as you will need to remove your flooring to be able to find your elevator bolt heads are. or I guess you could climb under the trailer and grind them off but that would involve pulling your belly pan back further than I have at this point.

It is now easy the pry the boards up, once we had all the boards we had sectioned up from the one side removed we hooked a cut wheel up to the compressor and cut them all off

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Old 10-05-2014, 10:16 AM   #18
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
I was amazed at how well preserved all the metal was given the level of moisture in the plywood, whatever paint they used on the structural beams it was still very intact. I suspect they may have applied the plywood board to the floor beams while the paint was wet as when we pulled the boards up some of it stayed bonded to the plywood instead of the beam
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:35 AM   #19
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
You will need to purchase about 24 elevator bolts for the front end replacement. There are six along each support beam including one hitting an outrigger at each end, (more on outriggers later) with two beams that get the bolts and 10 within the perimeter C channel There is the one beam where the piece you are replacing meets the next sheet of plywood it has a sort of plywood bridge underneath that the plywood sits on top of. I saw no noticeable adhesive or mounting screws here. You can see a bit of the plywood mounting plate in the lower left of this picture.
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The metal mesh you can see in the floor at the top is the venting area under the refrigerator. We went up and pulled the upper refer roof vent and it was in very bad shape. The PO's obviously thought it wasn't worth the effort to remove the hood scoop to repair/replace the sealants and just kept reaching in adding more goo.
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A little metal work and painting and proper resealing will make it good as new. New scoops and flashing can be purchased at Vintage trailer supply or Inland if yours are to far gone
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:51 AM   #20
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
I have decided I love spray foam insulation. All of the metal I have chiseled the foam away from is in excellent shape. I was stunned to see that the area under the broken window was still very solid. I know the PO's had a hack job for a window replacement that leaked like a sieve so I expected to have extensive welding in this area
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So all was good with with our frame with the exception of an outrigger on the drivers side. I suspect that was damaged due to leaky plumbing at some point. We'll be redoing the plumbing so that is no problem. We cut out the one religious outrigger to replace the holy part later. The was no visible weld from the top side so we will continue on with our floor replacement and weld the replacement in from the bottom when we get the new part bent by a friend later
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