Tuesday, December 31, 2013


The new floor was bolted down using “elevator bolts.”  

I used  and a "forstner" bit to countersink the bolt heads into the plywood.

Aluminum was installed on top of the frame but under the floor at the step.

This area of the floor will be exposed and will need protection from the elements.

Improvement here.

Wally Byam’s familiar refrain, “Let’s not make changes, let’s make only improvements.” 

I designed an “improvement” on the floor edge.  I incorporated an “L” shaped aluminum piece that attaches to the bottom of the floor and onto the outside of the “C” channel.  My reasoning for this was to add strength to the “C” channel for holding the body down and for protection of the plywood edge of the floor.

"L" shape attached to the floor.

"L" shape attached to radius curves.

I made pie cuts every 2 inches along the bottom of the “L” shape to help wrap around the radius curves.  Steel screws with neoprene washers were used to attach the “L” shape to the bottom edge of the radius floor curves both in the front and rear floor areas. 

"C" channel sitting on top of the floor.  The "L" shape fitted below the floor and against the "C" channel.

"L" shape attached to outrigger and bolted to floor.  Plastic washers and plastic film were used to insulate the steel bolts.

The “L” shaped piece is held in place along the sides of the trailer with bolts through the “C” channel and outriggers.  In between each outrigger, bolts and plastic washers were installed on the bottom side of the floor to help hold the “L” channel in place and to provide the intended strength and protection. 

The steel frame comes into contact with aluminum in several areas and needs to be insulated to avoid dissimilar metal corrosion. Throughout the frame attach points I used a polyurethane caulk “Vulkem” sealant, thin plastic sheet material and plastic washers to provide a barrier between  those dissimilar metals.

Steel and aluminum insulation point at end of outriggers.

New aluminum installed under the step was also insulated against steel frame using rubberized tape.

New steel plate up front!

Notice the new steel plate in front of the floor area.  It is a standard item on this trailer and was used to securely fasten the body to the floor and to distribute the twisting forces over a wide area of the front of trailer.  I installed a new, over sized plate and bolted it to the frame under the floor instead of on top of the wood floor. The old one was severely rusted out from a leaking window.

It is almost time to invert the chassis (Rotisserie) for the last time.  Insulation and plumbing will be needed before the new belly pan goes on.

It is very cold outside and progress will slow down.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Plywood Flooring

I saved all the old flooring panels from the "dis-assemble" phase.   They were used as patterns for the new flooring.  They were also used as a reference to double-check original measurements. The old panels also held impressions on the top and bottom of the panels as to the position of furniture and mounting holes.  Using exact measurements is "key" to avoid problems placing the shell back onto the frame.  I also "referenced" the old panels to make decisions on where to place grey tanks and plumbing below the floor.

Here are some pictures of finished wheel wells and the cutting of new flooring panels.  I purchased the plywood from Lowe's, the "RV Superstore."  I decided to use a good quality cdx plywood 23/32 inch thickness.  I felt that it needed to be a bit stronger.  The previous flooring was only 5/8 inch thick.  

All furniture will be rebuilt anyway so I don't anticipate any problems with a thicker floor.  

The four corner curves on this trailer were somewhat symmetrical.  I used a simple method to figure a smooth radius curve.  It matched the original curve very well.  The rotted panels were missing some wood for tracing around.

The wheel wells need to be water tight.  As I installed the new flooring I caulked the exterior seems on the bottom side.  I also  plan to use black "undercoating" spray on the underside of the wheel wells. The upper surface (green side) will be out of sight and be covered by "interior" wheel wells.

 I was pleased when all the pieces were cut and fitted together.  Nothing is bolted down yet.  More measuring will be necessary to ensure that the overall dimensions are correct.

The trailer took on a familiar shape.  Notice the new steel panel in front for attaching the shell.  Planning well ahead is a daunting task.

I am having fun !