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Old 04-24-2007, 08:10 AM   #1
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Years to Avoid?

I may be in the market to replace my 73 Sovereign that has frame damage. What years should I avoid to make running into the same problems of frame bending or tail drop less likely? I have heard Airstreams when the company was owned by Beatrice in particular should be avoided. What are those years?
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Old 04-24-2007, 08:49 AM   #2
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Somebody will correct me if I missed the dates, but I think the "weak frame" issues were from about 1971 to 1977. I think The Vap guys identified 1978 as the "year Airstream cleared up all the frame issues". Not meant to be a direct quote, just going by poor memory.

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Old 04-24-2007, 11:25 AM   #3
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Biggest problems were with the rear bath 31 footers. You want the units that had the 5 inch frame and the mid bath, if you want maximum durablity.
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:37 AM   #4
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others asking the same question...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f141...ears-8242.html

how 'bout mohos?

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f156...void-2273.html

and it always helps to read about units WITH issues from that era..

especially with inland andy supplying the history.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...ion-23099.html

how about 'finish issues' ?

this thread seems timely now...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f4/e...year-5238.html


cheers
2air'
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Old 04-24-2007, 07:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall
I may be in the market to replace my 73 Sovereign that has frame damage. What years should I avoid to make running into the same problems of frame bending or tail drop less likely? I have heard Airstreams when the company was owned by Beatrice in particular should be avoided. What are those years?
Marshall, since I had a rear bath '77 31' with a slight frame issue and axles with still some life in them, I went to an '86 Sovereign mid/side bath and rear corner bed. I saw an '80 mid twin rear bath 25' Excella II that had the larger frame and wish I could have purchased it but didn't have the money at the time. I've been happy with my '86.
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Old 11-22-2009, 08:07 AM   #6
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I am looking at older Airstreams and was just wondering if this is true?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan View Post
Somebody will correct me if I missed the dates, but I think the "weak frame" issues were from about 1971 to 1977. I think The Vap guys identified 1978 as the "year Airstream cleared up all the frame issues". Not meant to be a direct quote, just going by poor memory.

Jim
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Old 11-22-2009, 08:19 AM   #7
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I am looking at older Airstreams and was just wondering if this is true?
My '77 29' has a full 5" frame. It was made in late '76. Kinda hate to sell it
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Old 11-22-2009, 08:33 AM   #8
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The units that have the 4 inch frame and the rear bath and gray water tanks were particularly subject to rear end droop, frame separation, fatigue failures in the frame over the axles and were recalled by Airstream to install frame strengthener plates and "elephant ear fix" to better attach the frame to the shell. I would avoid them, unless they did a really good job installing fixes to the problem. Likewise, the first years of the prefinished aluminum had clearcoat deterioration problems and you should figure on paying to have them repolished and recoated.
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:38 PM   #9
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Thanks. I'm looking at center bath models, so I guess I should be fine...
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:51 PM   #10
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How would one know if they have a trailer with a 5" frame? We have a 29' "78" Ambassador.

Bob
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:42 PM   #11
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Hi, how and where do I look to see if I have a 5" frame?

Two Blades
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:10 PM   #12
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The frame rails exit the shell at the rear and go all the way to the bumper. That's one place to measure the height.
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