Originally Posted by juel
I have been reading that the 70's rear bath trailers have a problem with the rear of the trailer sagging. Is this true in all lengths? If so, how do you spot it and how do you fix it?
There are two problems that can be found, one being droop and the other being separation. It is possible that a given coach could suffer from either one or both. Droop is a condition that generally is found in longer coaches (over 25'), and can be identified by ripples in the exterior skin near the wheelwells that may be accompanied by a crack in the frame rail(s) near the axle mounting point. In the severest cases, droop may be evidenced as a noticeable sloping of the interior floor beginning near the center of the coach progressing toward the rear. There is a factory remedy for coaches suffering from droop that involves installing reinforcement plates on the frame rails (the usual referenced cost is between $1,000 and $2,000). Rear separation is a condition where the body of the coach moves independent of the frame and is a malady that is often accompanied by rear floor rot. This condition can be identified by placing weight on the rear bumper and observing for movement between frame and body (watch the gap between the top of the frame rails where the bumper attaches - - if this gap increases noticeably with the application of weight there is likely separation present). Again, separation is repairable with a variable cost in the vicinity of $1,000 to $3,000+ depending upon the extent of related damage (foor replacement, etc.).
There have been fewer reports of droop with Argosy coaches, but that may be more a result of lower numbers of Argosy owners participating in the Forums. Separation, however, is a condition that can be present in any Airstream product coach regardless of size. It seems that separation is related to the quality of preventative maintenance undertaken to prevent leaks, keep running gear balanced, and avoiding placing unnecessary weight to the rear of axle(s) on the coach (I attribute much of the separation problem that I had repaired on my Overlander to the aftermarket spare tire mount that was installed on the rear bumper very early in the coach's life).
Good luck with your coach!