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Old 09-10-2009, 04:49 PM   #15
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1977 25' Tradewind
Waskesiu Lake , Saskatchewan
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Originally Posted by zacfrd View Post
Ok Is it best to get to the frame from the inside or under the trailer? I am going to just rip it apart and take a look.
Actually, I suggest waiting a few days before just ripping into it from any angle. I'm sending you the service manual for your 1977 model and it shows the "exploded views" of your trailer. Best to make a plan first and be organized...

Also, I was asking about the indents just in case you could see an impact point that would suggest a dent from something striking the side.

Hang tough, the manuals are on the way. In the mean time - do as much research as you can here about this issue. There is a wealth of info on this site!
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:33 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zacfrd View Post
Ok Is it best to get to the frame from the inside or under the trailer? I am going to just rip it apart and take a look.
When you are "ripping it apart" do so with slow and methodical ripping. Just grabbing a crow bar and Sawzall will only provide future trouble. From the pictures you provided I don't see anything that dramatically wrong. But if you have to do the entire interior, AND a bunch of body and frame work, I would gently suggest you might want to sell it for what you can get and move on. And, to be brutally honest about it, owning and maintaining an Airstream trailer is not exactly easy or cheap.
Been there, several times, still own one, but there are many things I would not do again.
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:55 AM   #17
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You should also check out InlandRV.com - They can offer a lot of assistance. Best of success.
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:00 AM   #18
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Sorry to jump in here, but something you said made me wonder:

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Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post
  • Frame sag is evidenced by ripples or bulges in the exterior skin in the vicinity of the wheel wells -- it seems that the bulges typically appear to the rear of the wheel wells. Another indicator may be found by carefully examining the portion of the frame that is exposed between the axles . . . in bad cases of sag, it is possible to find a visible crack in the frame. The factory has a technical service bulletin covering this problem as well as a reinforcement kit that addresses the problem.
A question for you, Kevin: do you feel that frame sag is always accompanied by the bulges or ripples you describe?

I ask that because my TT has none of those evident, but both the closets (between the rear bath and the sleeping area) won't close properly, one, the streetside one, much worse than the curbside one. Looking at the top of the door, the aft part of the door's top is much closer to the door frame than the fore part.

I took that to mean frame sag. I don't see any signs of that, but the frame isn't visible on my TT except where the axles are mounted.

I ruled out rear end separation because the wood that is visible from the trunk area is all good, showing no signs of rot at all, and same for the wood in the bath area. I have had the carpet out, and it's all dry and hard. I haven't removed the furniture, though.

You reminded me of the jump test, which I will do next week when I'm back at the TT.

To be honest, I haven't really been underneath the TT yet. It has sat in its present spot for the last ten years, and the wheels have sunken into the sand a few inches, which, together with the way the grade goes, don't offer enough room for me to get under it.

I mean to have it on the road next month though, and so am getting ready to have whatever is bothering the rear end repaired.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Aage
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:44 PM   #19
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1977 31' Excella 500
salem , Wisconsin
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I think we should have local repair parties seeing as there is so much knowlage out there on repairs. I think it would be fun. I am new to these and have decided to keep mine and repair anything I can. I dont know if I even have the frame problem but I know I need axels. Thanks to the person who is sending me a repair manual so I know what I am doing. I am going to remodel the inside and I hope to be ready to take a trip in the spring. I want to go south. Anyone know a good place to go??? whats a good place to get new interiors?? I am so excited to get going on this silver bullet.
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:50 PM   #20
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1977 31' Excella 500
salem , Wisconsin
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Here is a pic of under my air stream The tank pans are shot and its rusty. I can't see any cracks in frame and it looks straight to me?? I would like to get it cleaned up and look over it all. I also need new leveling jacks. I know I am going to have to have the pans made. Can I remove all the skin under the trailer with no problems and see everything?
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:50 PM   #21
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1977 25' Tradewind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aage View Post
A question for you, Kevin: do you feel that frame sag is always accompanied by the bulges or ripples you describe?
I know your question was for the 'other' Kevin (Overlander64), but i'll make a note - I have seen sag without any buckling of body panels. I looked at a 1976 31' that had about 3" of rear droop without any noticeable body change other than the trim line seemed to go downhill. I think it's mostly in advanced, severe sag that the aluminum buckles and warps.

The fitting of closet doors, etc. can also give an indication, but just because doors are out of alignment does not necessarily mean severe sag.
IMHO.
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:08 PM   #22
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I've also seen buckling without the sag. It is more pronounced on the streetside of the longer trailers, because there is so much continuous metal.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:45 AM   #23
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1977 31' Excella 500
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Well I gutted fron half of airstream. I guess I am commited now. I am going to take it to have frame looked at after gutting rear half.
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:43 PM   #24
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you will find that all the older trailer have some leakage in the seams on top and around the trim and elsewhere. You will want to seal all the seams, pull down the belly pan especially in the rear, and see how the frame looks there. It might need rust clean up, and painting to prevent future rust. If it is worse it will need some metal welded in there.
All this is nothing new to any of us, it is just to what extent yours is effected by it.
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:01 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by zacfrd View Post
I am going to just rip it apart and take a look.
Don't start ripping yet. You have gotten some good information from other forum members already. I am sure others will respond in time with more details for what to look for to analyze the farm issues.

Don
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Old 09-14-2009, 04:23 PM   #26
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Don't start ripping yet. You have gotten some good information from other forum members already. I am sure others will respond in time with more details for what to look for to analyze the farm issues.

Don
Don,

Read a few messages before yours; he ripped the front out already.

Nothing wrong with gettin' at her, I reckon! Those moldy floors aren't going to replace themselves!
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Old 09-15-2009, 11:20 AM   #27
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1977 31' Excella 500
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Has anyone done floor repair and frame repair without removing the shell? also looking for some good interior ideas.
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Old 09-15-2009, 01:48 PM   #28
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I replaced the front and rear floors on a trailer without removing the shell. I removed the interior in these areas, belly pan and pulled out the old wood, sand blasted the frame, painted, slid the new wood back in and reassembled the interior and exterior. Not easy but do-able. If I would do it over I would gut the entire interior of the trailer. Fun - Fun!!
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