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Old 05-03-2020, 11:30 PM   #1
apogue
 
1974 31' Sovereign
Williams , AZ
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 33
Banana Wrap + Belly Pan Restoration

We made it! We are finally putting on the belly pans on our 1974 Sovereign Airstream and we are full speed ahead.

Well, as we began to install the rear belly pan, we paused and questioned if we should be riveting both the belly pan and banana wrap at the same time into the frame.

We thought we could put on the belly pan first then the banana wrap at another time, but wouldn't that mean we rivet the wrap over the already riveted belly pan, creating some pretty wicked gaps or spacing or bubbles (or whatever it is called that allows for water to creep in and destroy all things Airstream) between the ends of each piece?

All in all, HOW do we properly install the belly pan and banana wrap (i.e. rivet the belly pan first to the frame and then simply rivet in a different place with the banana wrap over the belly pan or do we have to install them at the same time?).

We have been reading online about if the belly pan should go over the wrap, but will be doing belly pan inside the wrap to help clear things up, but after many hours of research still cannot figure out how to do this.

Help us to keep on keeping on, my friends!
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Old 05-04-2020, 04:32 AM   #2
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1976 Argosy 28
Buford , Georgia
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At least on my 76 Argosy and my sisters 85 international the belly pan goes over the wrap, in other words you will need to attach the wrap to the frame first (tack it in a few places I would say) and then the pan goes over that .
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Old 05-04-2020, 11:05 PM   #3
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1992 29' Excella
Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Alia Devick,
Just installed the belly pan on our 92 Excella. As "strangepod" said the side wrap aluminum does go under the belly pan. In our case we could not practically install the side wrap first as there was too much risk of it getting damaged before the shell is attached and we'd have no place to attached the top portion to before then.

Here's what we did. We laid out our belly pan aluminum and pre drilled all of the holes for our 3/16" large flange pop rivets using clecos to hold the belly pan sections in place.

When we installed the belly pan we only riveted it to the cross members of the frame and not the side rails.

Then we cut our side wrap using our old side wrap as patterns. Then using the old side wrap as guide we lined up the new side wrap and dry fitted it to the frame, sliding it under the partially installed belly pan which, as mentioned, we left loose along the side rails. Then we used the holes that we'd already pre-drilled through the belly pan into the side rails to drill holes into the side wrap. We used clecos to hold the belly pan and side wrap in place while we worked. Once the holes were drilled into the side wrap and it was marked as needed for easy reassembly we removed the side wraps and used a few clecos to secure the belly pan along the side rails while we flipped the frame upright. Then we installed the subfloor and channel.

Now, after we attach the shell we'll insert the side wrap sections between the belly pan and the frame side rails and use our markings and pre-drilled holes to line them up properly, clecoing them at first and then pop riveting. Then we'll bend the side wrap up around the outriggers and attach it to the bottom of the shell and floor channel.

I hope this was clear enough. I'll post a few pics below. Click image for larger version

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Old 05-05-2020, 01:04 PM   #4
apogue
 
1974 31' Sovereign
Williams , AZ
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Re-Pete View Post
Alia Devick,
Just installed the belly pan on our 92 Excella. As "strangepod" said the side wrap aluminum does go under the belly pan. In our case we could not practically install the side wrap first as there was too much risk of it getting damaged before the shell is attached and we'd have no place to attached the top portion to before then.

Here's what we did. We laid out our belly pan aluminum and pre drilled all of the holes for our 3/16" large flange pop rivets using clecos to hold the belly pan sections in place.

When we installed the belly pan we only riveted it to the cross members of the frame and not the side rails.

Then we cut our side wrap using our old side wrap as patterns. Then using the old side wrap as guide we lined up the new side wrap and dry fitted it to the frame, sliding it under the partially installed belly pan which, as mentioned, we left loose along the side rails. Then we used the holes that we'd already pre-drilled through the belly pan into the side rails to drill holes into the side wrap. We used clecos to hold the belly pan and side wrap in place while we worked. Once the holes were drilled into the side wrap and it was marked as needed for easy reassembly we removed the side wraps and used a few clecos to secure the belly pan along the side rails while we flipped the frame upright. Then we installed the subfloor and channel.

Now, after we attach the shell we'll insert the side wrap sections between the belly pan and the frame side rails and use our markings and pre-drilled holes to line them up properly, clecoing them at first and then pop riveting. Then we'll bend the side wrap up around the outriggers and attach it to the bottom of the shell and floor channel.

I hope this was clear enough. I'll post a few pics below. Attachment 367221Attachment 367222Attachment 367223Attachment 367224Attachment 367225Attachment 367226Attachment 367227Attachment 367228Attachment 367229


Hi Pete! This was great and we will fasten the belly pan pieces into place with clecos until we are ready to slide in the wrap and rivet them to the frame.

Can I ask why you placed a piece of metal on top of the frame near the rear where the body will sit? (Referencing the second to the last image).

You have helped immensely and you have done such great work with your frame!
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Old 05-06-2020, 09:59 AM   #5
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1976 Argosy 28
Buford , Georgia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alia Devick View Post
Hi Pete! This was great and we will fasten the belly pan pieces into place with clecos until we are ready to slide in the wrap and rivet them to the frame.

Can I ask why you placed a piece of metal on top of the frame near the rear where the body will sit? (Referencing the second to the last image).

You have helped immensely and you have done such great work with your frame!

this is how it is from the factory. This piece of metal (aluminum) goes under the shell and the back side holds the rear bumper compartment door. If you are going to do it this way (back how it was built) then it is VERY important that you seal this well between that and the shell/frame as water can migrate and get into the back side of the camper on the underside of the plywood floor.


John
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Old 05-06-2020, 12:25 PM   #6
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1992 29' Excella
Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alia Devick View Post
Hi Pete! This was great and we will fasten the belly pan pieces into place with clecos until we are ready to slide in the wrap and rivet them to the frame.

Can I ask why you placed a piece of metal on top of the frame near the rear where the body will sit? (Referencing the second to the last image).

You have helped immensely and you have done such great work with your frame!
Alia: I'm glad it was helpful. *In case I wasn't clear we did partially pop rivet the belly pan in place. *We just left the areas where the side wrap will fasten in loose and that's where we left some clecos in place to keep the belly pan edges from gaping once we flipped the frame upright. *

So, I just know the 1992 Excella when it comes to design elements. I'd be lying if I said otherwise. *The metal piece I believe you're referring to is about an . O32 thickness 8" x 62" sheet of aluminum that is used as a fastening plate for the rear bumper trunk lid. *I have know idea if your sovereign has a bumper trunk. *But, if you do this is most likely how it's lid is attached. *When Airstream built our Excella they did not use any sealant on this plate. *I know first hand because I paid close attention when I took it apart. This was a source of water incursion on our's, and from what I've read, many, many other Airstreams, causing the floor to rot out along the tail section of the shell where it was often hidden under beds, etc. This allowed it to go unnoticed until the damage was severe. Ours certainly was. This was definitelya design issue, and I've read it went on for years.*

This should never be a problem for us because we are using Coosa board for our subfloor. *Even so, I thoroughly caulked that plate top and bottom with Trempro during the installation of the floor. *Once the shell and bottom trim are installed I will co continue to caulk this area asa matter of exterior maintenance. *
We had to wait until we were done flipping the frame to install this plate as it would have been in the way otherwise. That is why we ended up installing our belly pan first and then the floor. *

We'd initially intended to install the floor then the belly pan. *In hindsight that was a terrible idea and I'm glad we did the belly pan first. *It added very little additional weight which was great. *I was always worried about how much the frame weighed during the flipping process. *We never had a bad experience, but we routinely wore hard hats during our flips and never lingered beneath the suspended frame. *I was always nervous until it was over.

Pictures below. Click image for larger version

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Old 07-12-2020, 06:04 AM   #7
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1968 30' Sovereign
Yantis , Texas
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I am trying to make decision on subfloor, was interested in Coosa, what was the cost?
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Old 07-12-2020, 08:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mwahler View Post
I am trying to make decision on subfloor, was interested in Coosa, what was the cost?
For 3/4" Blue Water 26, my best recollection is about $215 to $220 per sheet. We needed 7 sheets. Because we found it local we did not pay shipping.
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Old 07-13-2020, 09:41 AM   #9
apogue
 
1974 31' Sovereign
Williams , AZ
Join Date: Apr 2020
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Pete—you’ve been an immense help. I was wondering if I could pick your brain on something else. We are putting in new subfloor between our Wheels Wells (also replaced the wheel wells). For our model, the wheel wells sit between the frame and the subfloor. Where the wheel wells sit, there are no holes in the frame where bolts or screws would have gone to secure the wheel wells and subfloor to the main frame so we are trying to figure out how to move forward.

Any suggestions on how to secure both the wheel wells and subfloor to the frame / what did you do for yours?
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Old 07-13-2020, 12:12 PM   #10
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1992 29' Excella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alia Devick View Post
Pete—you’ve been an immense help. I was wondering if I could pick your brain on something else. We are putting in new subfloor between our Wheels Wells (also replaced the wheel wells). For our model, the wheel wells sit between the frame and the subfloor. Where the wheel wells sit, there are no holes in the frame where bolts or screws would have gone to secure the wheel wells and subfloor to the main frame so we are trying to figure out how to move forward.

Any suggestions on how to secure both the wheel wells and subfloor to the frame / what did you do for yours?
Alia,
I can help you with this and I'll answer your question, but I've got a few questions first.
  1. Is your shell on or off?
  2. Is your belly exposed in that area (no belly pan)?
  3. Are your outriggers exposed?
  4. How is your floor fastened down to the frame?
  5. What are you using for sub flooring?
  6. How thick is it.
It would be helpful if you could attach some pictures of everything relevant including the wheel wells.

I've thrown BB code at this so hopefully that works since I'm posting from my phone and it's been my experience there are no do overs on a phone post.
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Old 08-08-2020, 07:10 PM   #11
apogue
 
1974 31' Sovereign
Williams , AZ
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Posts: 33
Hi Pete! I hope this helps to clarify:

1. Our shell is on, but we have replaced the majority of our subfloor already
2. Our belly pan is on as we just replaced it, but they are currently held in with clecos as the banana wraps are not on yet.
3. Our outriggers are exposed
4. We used self-tappers to secure the subfloor to the frame and bolts to secure the frame, subfloor, and shell.
5.We are using plywood with epoxy for our subfloor
6. Our subfloor is 3/4" thick (the thickness of the prior subfloor)

I have attached an image of the wheel wells that are fastened into the shell, but not secured to the frame. This is the area that we are uncertain to how we should secure this portion of subfloor to the frame (with the wheel wells underneath) as the frame where the edge the wheel well and subfloor meets does not have any prior holes (indicating that there was something holding everything together). I hope this makes sense, but let me know if you need anymore clarification.
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Old 08-09-2020, 12:49 PM   #12
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Alia
Here are some pictures of what we did. Maybe this will be helpful. Our floor is also seamed down the middle. The screws we used are self threading. That means we drilled a pilot hole slightly smaller than the diameter than the screw threads and the the screw cut threads into the steel as it screwed in. I also routed the floor sections that went around the wheel well so they would fit over the wheel well covers. The Screws (1/4-20 x 1-1/2)and drill bit(bit size is a #2) were purchased from Albany County Fasteners. Here's a link to the screws and drill bit. The star drivers and the drill bit links are below the screws on the same page. Also I used three lengths of screws in that area to avoid hitting my poly water tanks.







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