View Poll Results: Guess the tongue weight
under 250 lbs 3 9.68%
250 to 275 lbs 1 3.23%
275 to 300 lbs 5 16.13%
300 to 325 lbs 9 29.03%
325 to 350lbs 2 6.45%
Over 350 lbs 11 35.48%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-16-2010, 03:29 PM   #15
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I have the Tallest Airstream in the Land

Well it's official I now have a two piece trailer. It only took a couple of hours to carefully jack and block the shell. The cribbing on the shell is bolted to the 4x4's and the front and rear c channel is also attached to the 4x4's. The 4x4's are attached to the sawhorses with appropriately called hurricane brackets. I plan to add some weight to the 4x4's to make sure it doesn't go anywhere. It's very windy here today and the shell is very secure and not shifting at all in the wind. It is also sheltered by my house and workshop so I don't think it will blow over. I need to wait for the 4x8 sheets of marine grade plywood to arrive before I can cut the new floor. Once the new floor pieces are cut I can remove the old floor and start removing the tanks. I sure hope my frame parts come soon. I thought this would be very hard to do but if you take it one step at a time everything works well. More to follow -lots more.
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:02 PM   #16
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Black tank out

I'm itching to keep moving so I crawled under the frame and disconnected the drain valves and piping. I had to grind off the rusty bolts on the angle iron holding the black tank in. I supported it with a bottle jack until all the angle iron was free. Then just gently lowered the tank down and removed it. I finally got some good news from under the trailer. The black tank and it's galvanized box are in good shape. Just a little rust at the valve end of the box. POR-15 will fix that. I found a mouse nest inside the galvanized box. He had quite a home set up in there. Three rooms, a bedroom, a kitchen full of nuts as well as his own bathroom. Given that the tanks are heated as well he had central heating also. Tommorrow I will try to get the other two tanks out and prep the floor for the new one by removing the remaining double C channel still on the floor.
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:47 PM   #17
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Frame Ready

The frame is now ready to go to the welder. The floor is completely off and the tanks and steps are now out. My new marine grade plywood will arrive in the morning from the local building yard. I will cut the new panels and test fir them before sending out the frame. I have the new main frame rails but am still waiting for crossmembers and outriggers to arrive from the mothership. Inland Andy ordered them two weeks ago but we have not heard word one from them yet.
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:38 PM   #18
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New Floor

The plywood arrived this aftrenoon and after about 3 hrs the new floor is cut. I can't install it yet because I don't have a new frame to mount it to. Stll waiting for parts from the mothership. The other parts and new axles were promised to arrive late this afternoon but didn't show up. I guess that's what you get when you live in the middle of nowhere. United Parcel Smashers freight will not come here. They farm it out to a local courier company. It has taken 10 days for the freight to come from California. I could have driven there myself and been back by now. The welder is standing by Mig in hand ready to start assemling the frame but I don't have parts. In the mean time I will paint and seal the new floor boards both top and bottom and the sides too.
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:20 PM   #19
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1986 25' Sovereign
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 11
New plywood envy......

Hi wasagachris,

Looking good, you make it look sooo easy......

I am afraid to start..

Personally I am hoping I can just patch. Time will tell, I have to seal the leaks first......

Ken
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Old 08-19-2010, 10:04 PM   #20
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Hi Ken I sure hope you don't have to replace the entire floor or frame like I have to. I've been at this for 2 months now, most every day and I'm still tearing it apart. The plywood was $126 per sheet x 7 plus HST. Just under $1000 for the floor alone. I thought my floor was solid and had just a little rot in the rear. Once I pulled the shell I found that the rear sheet was completly rotten under the channel. That sheet was the hardest to cut because I had virtually no pattern to trace from. The front curved sheet was also very rotten but I was able to get a good pattern from it. By far the worst was the rear from the leaking in through the rear bumper cover. The rear aluminum panel will have to be replaced aswell as the rear steel holddown plate. The rear c channel is aslo corroded but I am going to try and save it. My fram was very rotten at the rear and also by the steps and beside the water tank on the road side the frame rail has only the top section of the C shaped rail left. I'm going to need to patch it just to pull the frame 3kms to the welding shop. I'm afraid it will fall apart otherwise and snap. Good luck with your leaks. Where is your's leaking from?
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:28 PM   #21
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Fantastic work there Chris. My heart sank when I saw your frame rusted through in the earlier photos but you're doing a terrific job. As you know I'm looking for an Airstream at the moment and my budget will probably mean one from the 70s if I want a 31 footer. I just hope I can find one with a decent frame.

I'll keep following your thread with interest. best of luck.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:44 AM   #22
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1986 25' Sovereign
Calgary , Alberta
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Posts: 11
Morning Chris,

Leaks.... found some more Saturday evening, went out for a 'visit' in the middle of a storm and found a puddle forming along the curb-side rear bed but this did not reach the back wall seemed to stop about 8-10 inches before (this had been hidden before as there was carpet that I had removed earlier this week - could not trace it as there is a storage bin and of course the metal bin liners .............. but it is not coming from the rear of the trailer..

She is also leaking from the antenna -- I have a bucket under that and the worst is of course the front curb-side. The floor is rotten from in front of the gaucho - to at least the door - probably further (means the kitchen is coming out.... I suspect) I think but cannot be sure it is coming from the window as I can see pooling on the bottom of the window 'sill' but that would not explain the water the appears to 'ooze' from the 2 light switches by the door....

Any idea on what to do where to start is appreciated. I have been fortunate and have re-negotiated my price (PO is a good friend, and just wants to see her restored/renovated) So I shall begin in earnest was holding back until that was sorted.

I know I had priced the marine plywood at $99.00/sheet figured I needed 8. But I have no way of (read I am terrified) of taking the body off... space being the primary reason. Driveway only sooo big.

Is there any way to replace a full sheet without removing the body. I have read much about the 'C' channel can you explain this a little further to me.

Thanks Ken

(Always watching and learning)
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:45 PM   #23
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Ken sorry I missed your post till now. Lets see if I can cover everything
1) bedroom leak probably vista view or roof vent could even be stink pipes. Inland Andy always talks about replacing the gaskets on these pipes. Mine was vista views but rot was along wall under each bed about half way along bed right under rear edge of window.Most of the floor rot was from bumper cover. Rot was under rear C channel
2) my antenna leaks also could be sealant on roof or o rings on shaft which requires removal of antenna and teardown.
3) front vista views leaking between glass and frame reseal for now with vulkem until you want to rebuild. I have a thread on that. It can be done using both panes but most people remove inner panes it is much easier.
4) water oozing from light swithces either from antenna vista view or leaking from door frame or light over door.
5) $99 per sheet great I paid $126 each you need 7 not 8. Front and rear floor sheets can be slid under wall after releasing bolts holding shell to frame. First you must gut all interior in order to remove inner lower skins. There are 3 floor bolts under each side of the curved C channel, 2 large bolts with holddown plates holding floor and channel to main frame rail and six floor bolts holding floor and straight C channel at rear below rear window.There is also a rear holdown bracket that is sandwihed between floor and rear crossmember. It is L shaped and is riveted to the outer skins about 12 inches above the floor with two rows of rivets. These buck rivets must be drilled out and removed. Use a small drill bit to drill into head and carefully chisel off the head and then punch the centre into the shell from outside. I just used vice grips on the floor bolts and bent them back and forth until they snapped and punched the remainder of them down thru the floor. The main bolts through the frame I used a grinder to cut off the nuts and punched them down as well. There are also several small screws holding C channels to floor. If I could remove the small screws I did or I chiseled off the heads. There are many floor screws holding the floor to the crossmembers and outriggers of the frame. Most of mine did unscrew with a lot of effort. I had to clean out all the screw heads with a pick tool and use a ratchet and phillips screw head to start them and then a screwdriver to remove them.The C channels are different, curved sections and front and back straight sections are on top of the floor. The C channels along the sides of the trailer have another C channel attached to them which is horizontal and wraps around the edge of the floor. This type of channel is one piece like a U with a C underneath it.You must also release wall ribs from C channel by drilling out rivets connecting the ribs to the C channel on the inside along the sides. The shell must also be released from the C channel on the outside along the sides by drilling out rivets on the outer skin. These buck rivets are located under the lower belt trim and under the belly pan skin. The belly pan must be removed as well as all the banana wrap to access the bottom of the floor to rebolt it down.Once everything is released you can jack up the shell a little and slide the new rear floor sheet in place. Then lower the shell back down and rebolt it to the outriggers through the C channel A small pilot hole drilled through the new floor will let you know if you are lined up with the outriggers original holes. Rebolt the two main bolts through the C channel into the main frame rails( same pilot hole process also). Rescrew the floor to the crossmembers and a small pilot hole drilled up through the new floor will let you know the location of the floor screw mounting points. This process can be repeated in the front as well. In order to replace the floor along the straight sections rerivet the outer skins to the C channel and the wall ribs to the C channel(buck rivets on the outer skins and pop rivets on the ribs. Then you must also remove all the floor bolts in the C channel as well as all the little screws in there. same process as front and back. The floor screws must be removed the same way. In order to remove the floor sheets here with the shell on you must cut the floor sheets in two pieces lengthwise (lengthwise in the trailer that is from front to back) and remove them by pulling them in to the centre of the trailer. I did not do this because my shell came off. Find a spot underneath to make your cuts off centre so as not to cut through black, grey and fresh water tanks or crossmembers of frame.The floor sheets here must be replaced in pieces the same way and must have a doubler or patch underneath the joint to support it. Then the floor must be rescrewed to the crossmembers and rebolted to the outriggers. Each floor sheet is stapled together at the seams and must be restapled for strength and there is a doubler underneath each seam as well sitting on the crossmembers. There are six seams, 5 sit on crossmembers and one sits on a piece of angle iron that is on top of the fresh water tank. It is very important that the frame be blocked at several points and be completely level front to back and side to side before reattaching the shell or you will fasten it together twisted and lock in that twist. I will attach a picture of the side C channel in the next post. The rear looks the same without the lower horizontal C. I know this sounds overwhelming and I felt the same way. But after getting in to it i feel much better about it. We`ll see how I feel after trying to reattach the shell and learning how to buck rivet. Let me know if any of this doesn`t make sense and I will attempt to clear it up for you.
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:47 PM   #24
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C channel pictures

Here are the picture of the C channel
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:54 AM   #25
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1973 31' Excella 500
Spring Green , Wisconsin
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Quite a task you've undertaken, Chris. I'm hoping I won't find near that amount of deterioration in mine. Thanks for posting the photos. Very useful information.
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:36 PM   #26
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Hi just a little progress to report. My welder showed up this afternoon and started to set up the frame. The two main frame rails are now one piece. I am still waiting for my order of crossmembers from the mothership. With any luck they will ship tomorrow. I included a shot of the new axles but they are still on the ground because I do not have a frame for them yet. Fooled around with a few other things on the shell. I started installing the new LED clearance lights and LED taillights. I have a little work to do on the taillight housings like polishing and repainting before the final install. Once they are all done I will post pics.
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:44 AM   #27
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1986 25' Sovereign
Calgary , Alberta
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Morning Chris,

Yes - there is a lot to take in in that post....

The antenna has previously been sealed lots of 'caulk' up there - So I I will take it off (my better half has said no TV so we will not need it) any suggestions on how to 'plug the hole that will be left?

I am going out now to remove the 'sofa' Gaucho? and the front wall cabinet (contains the dining table) will take a few pics and post them, so I can at least start to evaluate the extent of my floor replacement, I was hoping to patch only one side.

The whole removing the belly skin, 'banana wraps' etc really scares me...

IF you can give me a link to the post on sealing the windows that would be great - where did you get vulkem.

Cheers Ken.
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:54 AM   #28
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Good Morning Ken. If you remove the antenna you should thoroughly clean up the area and cut a patch from aluminum to cover the entire area including the old rivet holes. Inorder to use the factory style " Buck " rivets the interior skins need to be removed. You can use olympic rivets that require using a rivet shaver to obtain a seal and the factory look. Do a google search in the forums for rivet techniques. I haven't done mine yet because I want to either replace the replacement crank up one with an electric one I have or install a satellite dish- big $.
Here is the link to the thread I joined in on showing my vista view repair. Most people remove the inner pane but I chose to repair my units and keep it. You also have the option to order new single pane windows that require less work to install. Your choice here.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f454...ews-32184.html
I look forward to the pictures once you dig in to it.
Dropping the belly and wraps is not to hard just messy and time consuming. IMHO it needs to be done, really gross under there after 30 some odd years. The worst part is trying to remove the rear section without dropping the axles. But it is the only way you can see how bad the frame and floor are.
Vulkem can be ordered from any A/S dealer. I used Inland RV in california because I was ordering a lot of parts. Can Am RV in London has it also. I personally don't like Can Am but lots of other people are very happy with them. I will not elaborate publicly about my experience. You can also get a similar product from Carquest Auto, that is what I used for my windows. See my posts on windows.
Good luck just remember to label everything, take pictures for your reference and document the removal order to ease with reinstallation.
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