When it came to removing the bolts securing the plywood to the frame, I was a little bit intimidated. The wood is bolted to the frame with "elevator bolts". One of my kids asked me why they are called elevator bolts. I told him it's because they use a lot of them to build elevators. He seemed satisfied with the answer. You have to remove these bent, rusted, 47 year old (in my case) fasteners some how. I was not looking forward to it.
When I was underneath the trailer looking at these little suckers, I was cursing the sadistic Airstream line worker who put them in years ago. I was thinking that he must have been having a bad day and decided to make life a living hell for whoever restored this trailer someday. It looked like there were 50 of them for every 4 feet of floor.
My first attempt at removing them was to put a 1/2 inch open end wrench on the nut and give it a try. Bent, rusty, 47 year old parts that were designed not to come apart do not come apart that easily. Nice try. My second attempt involved an angle grinder. It worked, but I almost caught my hair on fire with the sparks. Note - it was a Harbour Freight angle grinder. If I'd had a DeWalt or Milwaukee grinder all I would have had to do is wave it at the bolts and they would have fallen right out. Finally, I was on Skype with Rob one evening and I asked him how he did it. He said it was easy. He just wrote a check to Colin at GSM. Rob was, however, chatting with Frank on another channel at the time so he asked him for me. A few minutes later Rob replied that all I had to do was grab the nut with some Vise Grips, wiggle it back and forth, and it would come right out. I thought they were pulling my leg.
When will I learn to trust? Sure enough, all I had to do was get a good grip on the nut, wiggle it a bit, and it snapped right off. The first one I thought was a fluke it came off so easily. But it was no fluke. They all came apart just as easily. Sometimes it was a challenge to get a good grip on the nut, but once on there it was "wiggle, wiggle, snap".
After they were all off, I went back and used a punch to push the broken stud up through the floor. Some were trapped under the old linoleum, but a tap with a hammer and they broke right through. Next is to remove the bolts holding the c-channel from above, cut the wood, and remove the floor.
Chris Hillman's Story
3 days ago