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Old 08-07-2007, 05:27 PM   #1
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Help Req near Lordsburg New Mexico

Hi
We are in a bit of a fix we have a guy who is transporting a trailer for us
from Phoenix to Galveston for shipping to the uk.
He is on Highway 10 and has got almost as far as Lordsburg New Mexico He has just called to say the belly pan is dropping and he can see a bean
plant and an ants nest that is weighing the belly pan down
The guy knows very little about Airstreams....
we are contacting some pest controllers to get rid of the ants but I'm worried that the belly pan and trailer will get even more damaged... is there any kind person in the area who knows about Airstreams or has some local knowledge who could go and keep an eye on the trailer and advise on how to go about doing this without too much further damage....
A lot to ask I know but its difficult doing this from England....

Please contact me as soon as possible if you can help in any way

Many Thanks
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Old 08-07-2007, 05:37 PM   #2
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A bean plant??? What the?? I think the driver is feeding you a line of bull. How could something grow to any substantial size where there is no light? Plus, an ant's nest? They must be some monstors to weigh down the belly pan. Was the thing sitting in the dirt on the belly pan? I don't see how a substantial amount of dirt could have gotten in any other way... Lordsburg is a loonnng way away from where I am here in New Mexico. Wish I could be of more help because I think you've got a loony driver.
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Old 08-07-2007, 05:54 PM   #3
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Hi
The guy seems the be on the level and very concerned... lol
He is sending us some pictures.... so we will see! I hope he isn't as loony as the situation sounds... worried sick about it... I think it may be the ants nest that seems to be in the insulation that is weghing it down.
Only wish you were closer as we only have his word for it. This could only happen to us... this is one of those sagas that you dine out on for years to come...lol
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:01 PM   #4
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If the "ants" are in the insulation, so much the better. A long stick ought to be able to push the insulation off the pan.

The belly pan wouldn't be a big deal to replace--sounds like it's in poor shape anyway. If it's drooping in the front, he needs to somehow get a stick in there and swish the crap off the pan, then use duct tape to hold it up. Otherwise it will act like an air scoop pointed forward.

Drooping in the back isn't as big a deal, but he should still scrape the "stuff" off the pan. If you go to page 3 in this thread
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...xle-21438.html
you can see some photos of the underside of my Caravel. This might give you a good idea what your transporter guy is facing. The photos are of a 1970 Caravel.

The pan is often one piece. If yours is a vintage from the 1960s, it also wraps up around the edge to meet the side skin, so it's dang hard to remove--takes a lot of time to drill out the pop rivets and you really don't want to lose it, since the sides are formed to curve around the edges. If it's a 70s model, the belly pan is a flat single piece and the curved edges are provided by what are called banana skins. So taking the 70s pan off is much easier, but still a fair job.

There really isn't a fix unless he has a pop rivet tool and big head rivets. One thing he could do is get some sheet metal screws, probably #8 (are you guys totally metric? that's an old "standard", which I call English, size), but could be #6 or #10, and some washers (if the rivets have pulled out, they leave a hole about 3/16" diameter, so you need a washer). Put the screw in the old rivet hole. He might have to remove the old rivet--sometimes you can do this with a set of slip joint pliers, but usually you need a drill. He only has to replace a few of the rivets to hold the pan up enough. It won't be perfect, but it will get him to Galveston.

Zep
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:05 PM   #5
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Thank you I will copy your email and send it to him
I will post some pics when I get them... what a nightmare!
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:06 PM   #6
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Sorry you are having difficulties long distance. What year and size is the Airstream. The pan on my ’67 Trade Wind rusted (steel) around its fasteners and dropped onto the road returning from a trip, right in front of my driveway! If I had been on the highway I would have never known. If your trailer has done the same thing, it doesn’t take much weight at all for the pan to drop.. Some sort of supplemental bracing or strapping may be in order.

Any idea what kind of bean crop you can expect?

Best of luck, and keep us informed.

Vaughan
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:14 PM   #7
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Hi
It sure seems like we're havin a heavy bean cr*p ... and we're sure gettin a good sample!
It's a 67 overlander and it seems wot happened to yours is wots happenin to ours
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:46 PM   #8
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Absolute worst-case scenario is to take a pair of tin snips, and cut the part that has dropped, toss it inside the trailer, and deal with it when it arrives in England. I have some resources there that may be able to help you, but you will have to get it to them.
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Old 08-07-2007, 07:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dork
Hi
It sure seems like we're havin a heavy bean cr*p ... and we're sure gettin a good sample!
It's a 67 overlander and it seems wot happened to yours is wots happenin to ours
Zep, as always, made excellent suggestions. Karma coming for such a quick and complete post.

I “repaired” mine using lengths of galvanized electrical conduit and the clamps to hold them to the wall. I drilled into the angle iron frame around the black water tank and put pieces of conduit arranged front to back supporting the pan. The conduit is light and the tubular shape is strong.

I also have a bunch of rear facing tubes for rockets for those people who tailgate me with the bright lights on.

Vaughan
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Old 08-07-2007, 07:39 PM   #10
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We now have pictures and quite a large problem!





Perhaps if nothng else maybe someone can identify the beans....





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Old 08-07-2007, 07:44 PM   #11
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Thank you all for your suggestions... we have asked him to cut away the ripped pieces under the belly pan and see if he can buy a strap to go right around the trailer to hold what is left together....
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Old 08-07-2007, 07:49 PM   #12
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Hi
The tin snips sound like a good idea! Wish we had changed our name... lol
Would be grateful if you could you give the details of your resources please.. looks like we may need them!

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Absolute worst-case scenario is to take a pair of tin snips, and cut the part that has dropped, toss it inside the trailer, and deal with it when it arrives in England. I have some resources there that may be able to help you, but you will have to get it to them.
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dork
Hi
The tin snips sound like a good idea! Wish we had changed our name... lol
Would be grateful if you could you give the details of your resources please.. looks like we may need them!
Contact Steve Vizard, Airframe Assemblies, Isle of Wight. They should be able to get the aluminum part of your trailer back to rights. I can PM you with his phone number, if you can't find it.
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:09 PM   #14
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That ain't no bean plant it's mesquite pods

From a mesquite tree. My learned southwestern guess is you got critters that make nests. Like some kind of rodents? Or some really strange humans using mesquite pods for belly pan insulation. Unfortunately we're pretty far from Lordsburg too. Maybe somebody south of Tucson or near Las Cruces NM.
Good Luck,
-Ken
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