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 03-31-2014, 02:58 PM   #673
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1986 32' Excella
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Marietta , Georgia
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This is horrible! Where did this happen?

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Old 03-31-2014, 05:46 PM   #674
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1973 25' Tradewind
Ringoes , New Jersey
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Hello Chris, so sorry to see and hear about this. I know you spent countless hours on her. John

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Old 03-31-2014, 06:46 PM   #675
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Thank you to everyone for your kind words and condolences. I'm still in shock about this. I feel like as long as it is just a picture it can't really be my trailer. I know once I see it in person I'll probably burst into tears. I called the insurance company today and I am insured for what they call "actual cash value" at the time of the loss and not a depreciated value of the purchase price. I'm waiting to hear from the appraiser now and will begin to substantiate the value of my restoration efforts to date. It will probably require some estimates from restoration shops to put a dollar figure on my work. I have documents for the cost of materials as well as hundreds of pictures of the work and will probably need to find similar trailers to get a ballpark value on mine. I really have my doubts it can be repaired unless I can find a donor shell.
This process will probably take weeks to months to finalize a settlement I will be happy with but as I am not finished the trailer I have plenty of time to negotiate.
This winter was the worst ever in 30 years. The snow was and still is extensive. It never once got warm enough to melt off the snow from the trailer and just recently we got hit with a load of heavy wet snow. Then it got cold and froze up. Following that were several days of rain/freezing rain and sleet. The trailer was last checked on Thursday and it was fine. Then on Saturday morning it was found like that so it probably collapsed on the Friday.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:34 PM   #676
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
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Hey WC,

Good to hear from you, even for this horrible reason. Hopefully the insurance company will come through for you, and you can find either a donor shell or another trailer to start working on and call your own.

Best of luck my friend! Please keep us posted on what you end up doing.

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Old 03-31-2014, 07:43 PM   #677
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2014 30' Classic
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Apache Junction , Arizona
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That photo generated a huge knot in my gut. I really feel for you. I hope there is some good news in the situation somewhere.

You will find out how your insurance carrier really operates when the cash flow gets reversed.
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:52 PM   #678
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Sedgewick , Alberta
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We had to make a claim on insurance for parts that were in our garage that burnt down (we were in the process of a rebuild, and had gutted the interior with everything stored in the garage). Airstream co. was great for supplying a quote on a similar trailer that they rebuilt. Sent us a parts list that we edited and forwarded to the insurance company.
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Old 04-02-2014, 04:47 AM   #679
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1973 25' Tradewind
1960 28' Ambassador
New Smyrna Beach , Florida
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 268
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Chris, We are so sad for this loss. You work so hard on your trailers making them beautiful.
Ann - The Constructor's scribe TAC FL-20
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:02 PM   #680
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1969 25' Tradewind
1957 16' Bubble
1957 22' Flying Cloud
Hillsboro , Oregon
Join Date: May 2008
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Just revisited this thread after quite a while, the picture and your post gave me goosebumps. We put so much of ourselves into these projects that, at least for us, they take on a life of their own.

I'm sure your beauty will always have a special place in your heart.
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Old 05-09-2014, 11:07 AM   #681
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Temporary Fix

Well I finally got the nod from the Insurance company that they are going to cover the loss. Now all we have to do is agree on a value. That's where they are having some difficulty.
That being said I am now able to do something about mitigating the damages. Last night myself and a friend spent a couple of hours with a port a power jack meant for body repairs. We were able to pop the shell back to almost the original height and shape. However all the ribs are mangled beyond use. Right now there are cedar poles cut from my bush holding the shell up. The only real weight to the shell is the AC unit. It was amazing to see and listen to the shell groan and pop back up into position.
Here are a few pics as it sits today.
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I will still need to tarp it to keep the elements out as a lot of the shell is torn and many of the seams are seperated and it is now full of torn out rivet holes. The door even closes now. I'm on the hunt for a donor shell now.
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Old 05-09-2014, 02:40 PM   #682
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1973 27' Overlander
1972 29' Ambassador
St. Paul , Minnesota
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Awfully sorry sight, a winter kill Airstream. Whooda thunk it? Reminds me of the "cool a 55-gallon drum full of steam to watch it implode" trick. Here in MN last winters snow buildup was limited by wind scouring it down - and no wet snows in our little slice of Polar Vortex Heaven.

Can you tell where the weak straw that broke the Alumoose's back was?

I'd like to guess: the shell roof arch above the door opening flattened first, bowing out the sidewall door hinge rib(s) until distorted enough the doors' top slipped past the drip guard or striker/deadbolt popped free... I wonder if a couple of doomsday studs in the drip guard (to trap door as brace) could've stalled off total collapse? Okay, fine, maybe not, just thinking aloud, maybe it was the A/C cut-out sag happening simultaneously?

Anyhow, if I can help, ask away.

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Old 07-20-2014, 08:42 AM   #683
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Parting out

O.K. I have decided to part out my trailer. Everything must go, right down to the new frame/floor/axles combo. Windows, door, appliances, entire interior, brand new still in box 21ft awnings(2 patio & 1 window). Many many refurbished parts most not yet installed available. Armstrong A/C with brand new fiberglass shroud painted to match the trailer available.
You can view my ad here:
1973 Excella 500

call me with what you need,everything must go.
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Old 07-21-2014, 02:15 PM   #684
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2012 27' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 254
Chris, my profound sympathy. What a tragedy. Four years' work, gone in an instant.

I'm fairly new to the forum, and didn't know about your project until I saw your classified ad yesterday. I followed the link to your thread and read most of it. I assumed one reason you picked this particular trailer was the skin was in such good shape, at least the upper sections.

What will you do next? You impress me as the kind of guy who needs projects to preserve sanity. If you are, I not only sympathize, I empathize. I am the same kind of person. I need to have my hands and mind wrapped around something all the time, or I go bugs**t.

I was in the midst of a renovation project on a 28ft sportfishing boat when I met my wife, and the boat just wasn't going to work for the two of us, so I had to walk away from that project when I was only half done. After three years' work, i sold it for a third of what I had spent. We have since moved on to another boat, and plenty of projects await me there. I grieved over the previous boat, but time heals the wounds, and I have moved on. I am sure you can do the same.

BTW, when it came to purchasing our Airstream, I went for a newer one, not a project. You can understand why. I've reached the point in my life where I'm just not up to another total refurb project. I will stay as busy as a bird dog on smaller projects, but no more giant ones. Maybe you're not there yet. Maybe you are. Whatever comes next, enjoy it and move on.

Again, my condolences.
Like the tortoise, travelin' slow with the house on our back
2012 FC27FB "Ted Zeppelin"
2010 Tundra Crewmax Platinum "Silver Rhino"
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:16 AM   #685
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Update. I received my insurance settlement a while ago and yesterday I put the trailer into indoor storage for now until I decide what to do with it. It wouldn't survive another winter outside in such a vulnerable condition.

I tried parting it out and all I got was ridiculous responses about large frieght items like awnings, the A/C or end cap segments. I answered with reasonable prices for the parts and then the people decided against the purchases due to the cost of shipping.Well they knew where I was before contacting me so what did they expect, shipping included at 20% of the cost of new parts.
One vulture offered me a ridiculous low price for the entire trailer. She was just trying to take advantage of my misfortune. I told her to go pound sand and I would rather scrap it than sell it to her.

Anyway my cedar tree prop job holding up the shell did fine while travelling up the highway. The storage unit is only a few miles from me.

This will be the end of this thread for now and maybe forever.

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1973 excella 500, 31', full monte, polish, remodel, shell off

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