Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-03-2014, 07:01 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
nickclifford's Avatar
 
1972 31' Sovereign
Currently Looking...
felton , California
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 504
Images: 1
frame/chassis strength '72 31ft

sorry to raise this question again ... just purchased my first airstream, should probably have gone with a shorter model but loved this 31 footer i found. my drive way is steep and the back end ground out, just towed it up and with the angle that's a little off camber too, one side completely lifted off the ground by about 6" .. all the weight was on the back right corner of the frame and the other wheels, i put a large board on the ground under the far right corner of the frame so not dig into the asphalt. No damage to the body or anything, wondering how strong the chassis is and if this could result in serious damage. i need to build a "bridge" to support weight evenly on both wheels but easier said than done I'm sure !
anyone insight on chassis/frame strength would be most appreciated. not sure how these trailers are constructed, assume they sit on fairly solid metal chassis?

thanks in advance
__________________

__________________
nickclifford is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 07:55 PM   #2
King of the Zebra Speedo
 
Panama Red's Avatar
 
Obrien , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,405
Images: 7
They actually sit on a relatively flimsy frame. If you tried to jack up your trailer from anywhere besides the vertical plates that the axles bolt to, you'd probably bend the frame of the trailer. When the frame is tied back into the body, it stiffens up quite a bit, but I wouldn't want to put that kind of stress on my shell... Guessing you got away with it this time.

-Red, waiting on someone to disagree...
__________________

__________________
Somebody ought to clean these windows. There is a tremendous buildup of gook all over them...
Panama Red is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 07:58 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
J. Morgan's Avatar

 
1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
Currently Looking...
Benton , Arkansas
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 5,040
Images: 11
If it doesn't have extensive rust damage, and the shell is hooked to the frame well in back, it is stronger than a lot of people will give it credit.

I intentionally jacked mine up from the rear of the frame when I was putting new axles under in order to take some sag out of my frame.

It is pretty darn strong. I don't think you hurt your frame in the dragging, but consider lifting your trailer up by lowering the axles.

I raised my trailer 3", it made a huge difference regarding ground clearance.

There are kits available to raise the trailer 2".
__________________
The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

J. Morgan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 07:59 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
J. Morgan's Avatar

 
1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
Currently Looking...
Benton , Arkansas
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 5,040
Images: 11
frame/chassis strength '72 31ft

Red,,, my message was posted before I saw your reply....



Take note, I was TRYING to bend my frame where it had settled (bent down) fore and aft of the axles, which I did accomplish to a certain degree, but I was lifting the trailer WAY off the ground to the ball one side at a time with the jack placed way back on the frame.
__________________
The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

J. Morgan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 08:02 PM   #5
King of the Zebra Speedo
 
Panama Red's Avatar
 
Obrien , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,405
Images: 7
frame/chassis strength '72 31ft

Quite alright. I agree that it is quite a bit stiffer when connected to the shell, but I still wouldn't want to stress it like that. I've seen every glorious inch of my frame, and I wouldn't trust it. Good idea on the new axles. Loved the extra clearance I got on my Sov when I replaced the axles...

-Red
__________________
Somebody ought to clean these windows. There is a tremendous buildup of gook all over them...
Panama Red is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 08:06 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
Belegedhel's Avatar
 
1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,198
As pointed out above, the frame is pretty floppy, but when joined to the shell, the unit has some strength and rigidity. It is unlikely that you did damage to your frame, and as long as you don't see any creases in your shell, you can consider yourself lucky.

The frame on my 21' '73 GT was so rotten in the rear ~4' that I doubt it would have survived such a move as you describe. Maybe you can consider it an integrity test!
__________________
Belegedhel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 08:14 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
J. Morgan's Avatar

 
1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
Currently Looking...
Benton , Arkansas
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 5,040
Images: 11
frame/chassis strength '72 31ft

And,,,, if the axles are stock,,, they are shot and need replacing.....

Dont drive it much without changing them or you like I will have to try to straighten your frame by jacking it up...

The old axles don't have any spring left in them, and as you tow the trailer over bumps, the axles are hammered upward and the frame collapses around the axle mounts.

Axles are not that expensive, and can be ordered with additional down angle to raise the trailer higher than stock.
__________________
The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

J. Morgan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 08:19 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
J. Morgan's Avatar

 
1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
Currently Looking...
Benton , Arkansas
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 5,040
Images: 11
By the way,,, I like 72 Sovereigns too...
Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1409793563.897316.jpg
Views:	101
Size:	871.1 KB
ID:	220725
__________________
The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

J. Morgan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 08:23 PM   #9
King of the Zebra Speedo
 
Panama Red's Avatar
 
Obrien , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,405
Images: 7
Nice looking trailer!
__________________
Somebody ought to clean these windows. There is a tremendous buildup of gook all over them...
Panama Red is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 08:33 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
J. Morgan's Avatar

 
1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
Currently Looking...
Benton , Arkansas
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 5,040
Images: 11
Thank you!

It was a well used trailer, but it polished up pretty well,,,, well enough to hide a lot of Imperfections...
__________________
The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

J. Morgan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 09:32 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,648
In the late 70's they started to beef up the frame with a full box beam as opposed to a single channel beam like what you have. It is easy to dent the rear corner skin right above the frame when bottoming out. A trailer that old should not be stressed no matter what the condition.

Perry
__________________
perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 11:23 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
nickclifford's Avatar
 
1972 31' Sovereign
Currently Looking...
felton , California
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 504
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
If it doesn't have extensive rust damage, and the shell is hooked to the frame well in back, it is stronger than a lot of people will give it credit.

I intentionally jacked mine up from the rear of the frame when I was putting new axles under in order to take some sag out of my frame.

It is pretty darn strong. I don't think you hurt your frame in the dragging, but consider lifting your trailer up by lowering the axles.

I raised my trailer 3", it made a huge difference regarding ground clearance.

There are kits available to raise the trailer 2".
thanks, i'm sure that would make a huge difference, just a few extra inches of ground clearance would help. Think I saw in another posting something about not possible to lower the axles on my vintage of trailer. (1972)
i'll do some investigations. For now at least, can't imagine towing more than once or twice a year so can make shift some kind of bridge to support full weight on the wheels but would be a pain if needing the trailer more often ..
__________________
nickclifford is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 11:24 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
nickclifford's Avatar
 
1972 31' Sovereign
Currently Looking...
felton , California
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 504
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
In the late 70's they started to beef up the frame with a full box beam as opposed to a single channel beam like what you have. It is easy to dent the rear corner skin right above the frame when bottoming out. A trailer that old should not be stressed no matter what the condition.

Perry
no sign of any damage at all, maybe stronger than we realize but will not risk that again without more support
__________________
nickclifford is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 11:24 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
J. Morgan's Avatar

 
1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
Currently Looking...
Benton , Arkansas
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 5,040
Images: 11
frame/chassis strength '72 31ft

It is for sure possible to raise a 72, I guarantee it.

(Mine is a 72)
__________________

__________________
The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

J. Morgan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ford frame strength BillTex Tow Vehicles 25 04-30-2014 12:32 PM
Question on frame strength on 31' Sovereign hinz57 Airstream Trailer Forums 15 04-18-2009 08:17 PM
Ford Frame Strength--Pt. 2 Brad Hunt Tow Vehicles 3 10-24-2007 12:11 PM
Roof Strength Lee Davis Roof 3 09-04-2005 01:20 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.