Bonair 1999 "1200 SL" Floor rebuild project

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Bonair 1999 "1200 SL" Floor rebuild project

Post by Yanster on Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:28 pm

Bonair 1999 "1200 SL" Floor rebuild project


Hi campers!

We've been experiencing with camping for a few years already renting tent trailers. The kids fell in love with the experience so that meant we were ready to buy our first camper!

As we started looking we were presented with an opportunity to purchase a 1999 1200SL Bonair Tent Trailer. The connection came from one of my wife's friend that knew someone that knew the cousin of the aunt's daughter etc... Laughing

Their initial price was $4,300 CAD... I managed to get it for $2,000. Needless to say they were pressed for money... And thankfully so because if I would have paid the requested price knowing what I know today... Not going to go there Shocked

Picked it up the next day, cleaned the outside as it was dirty as heck, cranked it up (the door wouldn't close as it wouldn't go any higher; at the time I didn't make anything of it), cleaned the inside and we had our first tent trailer ready to go on our 2011 vacation!

When we got to the camp site as I cranked it up, POW, one of the cables broke affraid What a way to start your vacation... Anyhow, tied a 2X4 as support and even if the tent trailer was not 100% straight that wasn't gonna stop us...

We ended up finding someone on the campground that fixed the cable. As we were trying to adjust the cable tightness to get the same height from all 4 corners, we noticed that all 4 corners were rotten. The support arms were lying on the trailer frame... Guess what I was gonna do on my 3rd week of vacation Evil or Very Mad

So there it is, I had to replace the entire floor. The guy I had bought it from told me that he had replaced the floor on 2010... Yeah right as you will see in the pictures and video, he replaced only portions of the floor forgetting about the rotten corners...

Unfortunately I cannot post the link to the pictures just yet. Have to wait 7 days as I am a new member. If you would like to take a look please send me a request and I will be glad to provide.

Includes pictures and videos (the language on the videos is French - no worries I'm not providing any work details, just "bitching" about certain details that the previous owner had forgotten to provide Sad )

It was my first floor replacement job; for that matter it was my first hands on experience with a tent trailer... I hope I can help someone like myself that was looking for details on how to go about it...

The following is a high level description of the steps:

1. Removed the floor cover
2. Removed the portion of the floor he had replaced (center of the tent trailer)
3. Removed all furniture - that was the fun part... The furniture is screwed from the outside wall (boards) covered by the aluminum sidings. Was I really going to try to remove the sidings? Not... So what I did was pry the furniture enough to leave a gap between the inside wall and the furniture to slip a rotating cutter to cut the screws. I wasn't able to do this for all screws so I did have to carefully rip the furniture from the walls (no damage done)
4. Once the furniture was all removed I was able to remove the rest of the flooring. The hardest part was to remove parts of the floor that line the bottom contour of the tent trailer - it's held by staples including screws.
*** One important thing was to make sure that the outside walls would not entirely lie on the frame as it would have either dented the aluminum sidings or worst bent the walls. Also, I made sure that the beds were not extended to their fullest not to put all the weight on the extremities. I also added 2X4 support underneath the beds to elevate the extremities ***

Before adding the first layer of plywood I took the opportunity to replace cables that needed replacement as the access was easy... To replace cables I found that adding 2X4 supports to the lift arms on all 4 corners (approx. 3' in length) tie-wrapped to the metal lift arms ensured proper support and added security. Unwinded the crank shaft until the cables were slack and from there was able to easily work. (If you want more instructions on how to change the cable, feel free to write to me)
5. Once the frame was exposed, the aluminum sidings clear of any remaining plywood, staples and/or screws I added the first layer (foundation) of flooring.
6. Purchased 1/2 inch plywood that I covered / painted with tar (purchased in a home harware store by the gallon - used 1 gallon).
7. Made sure that I was able to screw the first layer into the frame using existing supports or in the case were support was not available I added tar covered blocks to create my own support. I used self metal piercing screws to screw through the frame making sure the tar covered side was face down
8. Finally added the top layer of plywood. Screwed the top layer to both frame and using the short deck screws to the bottom plywood *** the tricky part was to get the top layer into the space reserved on the bottom of the side walls - I recommend the assistance of a buddy to help make sure the plywood is lined up into the dedicated slots before fixing.
8.A Make sure you screw the bottom metal slot area (U shape - where the plywood slips into the U shape area) of the side walls into the top layer of the plywood to ensure stability
9. Measured the cushion floor area (twice Very Happy ), laid out the cushion floor on a hard surface and cut with (sharp) blade *** careful not to cut on a delicate surface as blade cuts right through *** Important: my brilliant wife chose the color of the cushion floor which I recommend to be darker than lighter as it covers the dirt much better; but more importantly she purchased a cushion floor that doesn't require any glue! Works beautifully. All I had to do was lay it out (making sure I removed and dirt before) and staple the extremities ***
10. Re installed the furniture - instead of having the furniture screwed form the outside, I screwed it to the walls from the inside (same result only that it is much easier to remove if necessary)
11. Installed baseboards and finishing touches here and there... fixed to door that wouldn't shut without a small gap in the middle... One trick that I used was I installed a plastic $8,00 door wind breaker board that covers form the door to the side of the trailer (see pics) - I used 2
12. Reapplied silicone all around bottom contour areas and holes made for the propane and waste water pipes.

Materials (floor):
1 box 100 self piercing metal screws
1 box 50 short deck screws (screwed both plywood layers together no to leave any gaps (air) between boards)
3 sheets of 4X8 1/2 inch plywood (foundation layer)
3 sheets of 4X8 3/4 inch plywood (top layer)
1 gallon of tar (paint roll and brush)
3 8' white baseboards
12X14 cushion floor cover

Materials (lift arms - cables)
50' 1/8 steel cable (good to have extra just in case...)
8 X 1/8 couplers (bought an extra box of 6 just in case)
Crimping tool - *** expensive *** $100.00 (in my case I used it to fix all the cables and returned it to the store) - call me cheap by $100 for a pair of pliers that hopefully I won't have to use again...

Yanster

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Join date : 2011-08-29

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Re: Bonair 1999 "1200 SL" Floor rebuild project

Post by RickyBoy on Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:33 am

OMG...I can't wait to see those pictures and videos....Oh and when you find out that the roof is rotten to, please tape your reaction...I'm French too so....I want to hear the swearing ....LOL !

You could pour all your pictures and videos on photobucket.com and link them here if you like !

Merci !

RickyBoy

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Re: Bonair 1999 "1200 SL" Floor rebuild project

Post by Yanster on Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:39 am

Salut!

Crossing my fingers but the roof so far looks good! Very Happy

I did put all the pictures on google and have enabled sharing. The ony problem is I'm not able to post a URL link in my messages for the first 7 days of membership to this forum.

Will try to send you the URL via private message.

Let me know what you think...

Yannick


Edited to add link to pictures:

http://picasaweb.google.com/118395739563368029184/Bonair1200Project?authuser=0&feat=directlink

Yanster

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Re: Bonair 1999 "1200 SL" Floor rebuild project

Post by RickyBoy on Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:27 pm

Wow...Thanks for sharing...You have just become our resident Bonair expert..lol Nice job !!!


Where are you from by the way ?

RickyBoy

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Re: Bonair 1999 "1200 SL" Floor rebuild project

Post by Yanster on Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:54 pm

Thanks Ricky,

I'm from the South Shore of Montreal (Sainte Catherine)

Yanster

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Re: Bonair 1999 "1200 SL" Floor rebuild project

Post by RickyBoy on Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:25 pm

I'm in Gatineau...

Thanks again for being an active member here !

RickyBoy

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Re: Bonair 1999 "1200 SL" Floor rebuild project

Post by olyman08 on Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:42 pm

wow, looks like a big job, wanna do mine i have a bonair 1200 same as yours, need to repair the floors as well, not sure i could do all that thou

olyman08

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Re: Bonair 1999 "1200 SL" Floor rebuild project

Post by andrevw on Sat Aug 18, 2012 11:21 pm

Yannick, that's an impressive floor rebuild! I just looked at a 2000 Bonair 1200 that's for sale for $2500 but before going to see it I came across your project post. The seller told me that the floor was just replaced but I noticed that not the entire floor was replaced and the corners are definitely soft. I'm not really looking forward to doing what you had to do but wondering how hard it would be to replace the corners of the floor without redoing the whole floor. After your experience, would you say this is a good buy at this price? How much work am I looking at, depending on what I find of course. Other than the soft corners, the trailer seems in decent enough shape, although probably not the best cared for unit.

andrevw

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