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59toaster 09-06-2003 12:55 PM

Full monty floor repair is looming A "docupost"
Well I set up some vacation day's for end of Sept first of October to do the major repairs on our 59 Caravanner. Started pulling some stuff out today. Old girl was still packed and ready to go.

I began poking around and started pulling up some trim and carpet in a few places. What I found is starting to look "worst case scenario". The PO (my Fother-in-law) has installed a second layer of ply over the original. That leads me to believe there is some floor rot right down the middle that he covered over. This is in edition to the rot I am aware of under the bath.

At this point my thought is the only way to do it right is pull the full interrior and 90% chance I will be pulling the body.

For future refference I think I will be documenting this here in the forum. Hopefully help the next person out. I have been researching this since we inherited the old girl. I have received some great replies to my questions. Now it's my turn to put out this information for future refference.

Tomorrow I will get the rest of the loose stuff out. Hopefully the carpet out and start shooting some pictures.

The goal is the floor will be replaced by first weekend of October. Yeah ambitious I know. This is ntn a ready to go camping but just back to a sound plaform with the body on. The restoration of the cabinets will take place after that.

Pointers are welcome!

greg176 09-06-2003 02:58 PM

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Best of luck with your floor replacement. I'll be replacing the floor in my '61 Overlander this fall. I brought the interior to the dump today.The trailer now weighs only 2000 lbs - a lot easier for my little Bronco to tow.

74Argosy24MH 09-06-2003 03:50 PM

Good time to think about any upgrades you might also want to do- phone, cable, computer, electric. It will never be easier than when the skin is off.


InsideOut 09-06-2003 05:28 PM


I brought the interior to the dump today.

I hope you didn't just toss away salvagable parts! Folks will spend ridiculous amounts of $$$ for original parts...or can use the old cabinets for templates...

Shari :confused:

59toaster 09-06-2003 06:17 PM

Re: Modernize

Originally posted by 74Argosy24MH
Good time to think about any upgrades you might also want to do- phone, cable, computer, electric. It will never be easier than when the skin is off.


Yeah your right. I need to make a list of some stuff we want to add. Cable is a good idea. I want to install a Antenna and booster. Might not have the cash right now for those parts but I would like to preqire for it while it's apart. Also going to prewire for a roof A/C and install a drain for it. Most of our stuff like vents have a transformer actually in the vent to step down to 12V. I'm going to wire that for a central power supply.

Does anyboudy have a wiring digram for a 80's Coach? I would love to have a copy of that to refference.

geof 09-06-2003 09:52 PM

If your really going nuts on this replace[like I did!] the fiberglasss batts with foam insulation board glued in place and spray can foamed to seal the edges....mine is now a it's quiet and needs very-very little heat or A/C to be very comfortable....even when the temps are 100 in bright sunlite.....I had it at a chilly 65 degrees.....geof-near Cincinnati

greg176 09-07-2003 05:47 AM

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Everything went to the dump because of extreme amount of mold in trailer could not keep that stuff around.

greg176 09-07-2003 05:54 AM

There are some great photos of floor replacement by William Henshall at [ - old link broken - ] If that link doesn't work try searching for keyword channel then clicking link to Williams photos - that's how I found it.

59toaster 09-07-2003 07:00 AM


Originally posted by greg176
There are some great photos of floor replacement by William Henshall at
If that link doesn't work try searching for keyword channel then clicking link to Williams photos - that's how I found it.

I have veiwed those and exchanged a couple posts with William on the subject. Very helpfull photos and information that he has provided. They actually helped me decide to do this. Glad they are back.

My goal is to document with photos, like William did, and add some text along the way. A Step by step guide for folks who take on a older coach. Something that will be in the forums that we can point new folks too when they ask the same questions many of us have asked when we found those soft spots.

I want to incorperate a some new products as well. I also want to document some of the electrical upgrades, wiring methoids and adding a A/C to a unit that needs roof bracing. I want to capture other people experiances and refferences, like to Williams photos and links toother posts on the subject. Make this one post that has links to the good posts that already exist.

I want to pick up where William left off as well. William took a different direction once he had his floor repaired because his cabinets were in bad shape and he deamed them unsalvagable. I want to include some information on cabinet restoration. Our cabinets are rough but they are salvagable. Many people want to restore and we have some good posts in the forums but not a lot.

I want to show how Airstream built a light sturdy interrior and how to repair it. Part of the great things about Airstreams, vintage in particular, is how light the coaches are. The cabinet designe and construction is an important part of of why they are light. You simply cannot build the cabinets like you would in a home, it adds to much weight. I don't think this has been covered enough. It's easy to look at a bad peice of cabinet and go "well I can replace this with a peice of 3/4 finish ply easier then I can built this space frame and use 1/4 for the finish" and not think about the weight that has added. I don't think that has been covered enough.

DataMover 09-07-2003 07:22 AM

Geof, do you have any photos or documentation on the isulation upgrade. I am interested in updating mine.


markdoane 09-07-2003 08:48 AM

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I have all the interior cabinetry out of my "original" '59 Tradewind. The wife and kids want to rearrange the inside, like replace the twin beds with a single std size in the rear. Also, I plan to add graywater tanks and a macerator pump for the black tank.
Short of it is, after I get the body off and frame checked, new sub-floor, etc., I will end up with a lot of very good condition cabinets, gaucho, and stuff that I won't be reusing.
All was carefully removed and is in a storage locker right now.
I can't say I'll be "giving it away", need to recoup some of the value for the restoration. But I will be posting some of it later.
When I get done, I guess I'll have a 24' Caravanner?
Where do you plan to install the A/C? Are you going to use the middle 1414 roof vent? It looks like the easiest place to add some bracing.

59toaster 09-07-2003 09:55 AM

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Yeah I am leaning towards the center vent. It appears that Airstream ment for a new hole to be cut between the center and rear vent for eh A/C. I think that applied more to the 60's units. That just won't work on ours. There is a recessed light in that location and I don't see how it could be installed with where that is placed. I also have a cross bar that the privicey divider slides on that may be in the way. Center vent looks like the place to put it.
Here is a picture t o give you an idea of the light. you probably have simular in yours .

markdoane 09-07-2003 12:33 PM

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Hey, that's different? Mine has a 14" vent right behind the light (same as your fixture, removed for tearout)
Further comment on your documentation of rebuild: I agree that the casework was designed to be as light as possible, and is well built. BUT WHY DID THEY USE MATRESSES THAT WEIGHT A TON!

74Argosy24MH 09-07-2003 12:52 PM

Losing the vent
I would try and relocate the vent rather than deleting it. They are nice on days when it is not hot enough for the air or when you are boondocking. A fantastic fan might not be period, but does move a lot of air and really makes a lot of difference.


geof 09-07-2003 02:56 PM

DataMover -I can't help you at all with any pix-I'm not that 'puter literate....I photographical attemps are a joke...sorry...geof-near Cincinnati

thenewkid64 09-07-2003 03:43 PM

One of the other things to consider when mounting the AC is how it is going to affect tounge weight. I know, I know, it is only 105 lbs or so, but up that high in reation to the center line of the coach can have an effect.

I have to agree with John, the fantastics move a ton of air and the replacement covers are available everywhere for 1/4 the cost of a period cover. I have 3 in my MH beacuse the roof vents were all trashed and the fantastic was a less expensive and more feature rich fix for me.

greg176 09-07-2003 04:01 PM

I am planning to remove my a/c and install an Astrodome vent. I will have to build all except lid as can get one from Airstreamdreams.

greg176 09-07-2003 04:27 PM

Check out this shell on floor replacement - not an option for me as frame requires alot of repair.

59toaster 09-07-2003 04:45 PM

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Well we managed to put in a few hours today and get the Galley removed. What a pain int the keister. took forever to figure out what the order was to remove. to make things really entertaining the gas line for the light was routed right through the counter top and had to cut the line to get it out. The some PO entertainment also played out. The Galley was nailed to the bed frame in a inaccessible location. :rolleyes:

For refference how the galley was attached to the coach. THe base boards had screw verticaly into the floor. There was a trim peice on the back edge of the counter that needs to be removed. under that trim strip is screws into a wood strip that is screwed to the skin. I would assume that most models of simular vintage would be the same. there are vertical trim strips the locate the cabinet sides. The cabinets float in these strips and they do not need to be removed. Ours has a forced air heater under that cabinet. The cabinet needs to be lifted vertically about 14 inches to clear the heater.

I did get a better look at the floor......It's pretty rough with some less then pretty repairs. The more I look at it the more I think there is a structural issue. The repairs down the center has left a seam over the top of the frame rails. this is allowing the wood to sag more than if it was a solid peice from side to side. I have some waves over the fender wells that can be expained by this.

Here is a picture in the demo stages.

59toaster 09-07-2003 04:53 PM

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My next question is about the inner pannels. They are running up under the edge of the interior window frames. If I remove just the bottom rivits of the frame will this pannel slide out from under the frame?

Here is another picture with Janice aka "Chili Pepper" here pulling some hardware out.

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