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Old 12-03-2017, 10:13 AM   #43
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Sag No More

I did the bumper bounce test when I inspected this trailer and it failed, although moderately compared to another trailer I inspected. So I knew this Overlander had rear end separation.

I have removed the rusted rear cross member, rusted rear body plate, broken rear c channel, rotted rear subfloor, and the infamous rear aluminum "flashing" that directs rain water exactly where you don't want it.

With the trailer on jack stands just behind the rear axle, I measured about 3/8" gap between the body and the frame rail. Then I used my aluminum stabilizer jacks and tighten them up at the very rear of the frame until the gap went away.

Re-positioning the frame rails to be tight to the existing C channel seems the best I can do. Now I will weld my new rear cross member in place, install my new oak subfloor patch, install my new steel body plate, attach the body plate to the subfloor, tighten the new body attach bolts at each frame rail, re-rivet the rear of the body to the body plate and c channel, and of course make sure every seam is caulked. That should re-attach the rear of the body to the frame rails again. Back to being a semi monocoque structure. Sag no more!

When done, I should be able to remove the stabilizer jacks at the rear of the frame rails and I expect this gap will not open up. If it does, I'm screwed. I'll need an antidepressant.

David
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Old 12-03-2017, 11:12 AM   #44
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1971 21' Globetrotter
Arvada , Colorado
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What type of Rivets are you going to use to hold it all together?
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:18 PM   #45
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Hi Aerowood: There were Olympic tri fold weaklings in there when I got it. Beauty over function I guess. At least they were not hard to remove.

I have about 15 rivets to attach the shell to the rear body plate and a bit of body to C channel between the frame rails. I am planning on using 3/16" stainless steel pop rivets that I will seal up. I figure they are a bit stronger than aluminum pop rivets. I figure they might behave a bit better in the steel rear body plate. I'm going one size up due to the wear in the existing holes. The rivet line is under the molding. The outside distance between the frame rails is 61 3/8". I did not remove any of the original rivets in the vertical ribs running on each side of the window and rear cargo door, left and right side.

Supplementing the rivets is a 3/8" bolt through the c channel, through the subfloor, through the top lip of the frame rail and through the welded in rear cross member, both sides. The rear body plate is riveted to the body, then bolted through the c channel, through the subfloor and through the rear frame cross member. I don't think the body will separate from the frame unless I'm rear ended by a fully loaded dump truck going 55 miles an hour while stopped at a traffic light.

I would welcome any recommendations you might have. I'm still hopeful you will tool up and sell an aluminum blind "pop" rivet that is shaveable. The aircraft "Q" style rivet comes to mind.

David
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Old 12-03-2017, 08:18 PM   #46
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1971 21' Globetrotter
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What is your timeline? Iíd love to come up and see your project. I am currently in Abbotsford BC until just before Christmas.
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:33 PM   #47
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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I'm retired. I have no timelines, no plans, no schedule, no income. Pretty much a ward of the state.

I would love to meet you; you are welcome here. Although a bit embarrassed to show you my work knowing how much a craftsman and perfectionist you are. (Reference your Globetrotter thread.) I know Zep would have a word for it; how about I'm "average", or a nice guy with tools butchering another Airstream. At least it is inside out of the cold and snow.

We are staying home over Christmas week, although the granddaughters may be here a day or two. PM me if you would like to take a look at my Airstream project and we can set a time. I would appreciate your guidance.

David
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:02 PM   #48
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I'll see if I can get up there between the holidays, if I can't, it will be mid February before I have time. I'm going to Tasmania 8 January.
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:05 AM   #49
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1966 24' Tradewind
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David

I am surprised at the extent of the rear end separation in your Overlander as it is only 2í longer than the Tradewind. It looks like you have a great plan to repair it and a nice redesign of the bumper trunk so you donít direct water to the bottom of the floor.

Dan
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:30 PM   #50
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Tasmania! I read they have little devils there. Watch your step Aerowood. David
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:37 PM   #51
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Hi Dan: There are 1975 Trade Winds with rear end separation worse than my trailer. The rear body design is the same between the two. Once the wood rots, the cross member rots, the bolts rot the body and frame can flap up and down worse than a politician's gums.

Here are the body attachment bolts I took out of my trailer. Better ones are going back in.

I had a lot of floor rot under the toilet in my 66 Trade Wind. The black tank galvanized pan was toast. But the rear cross member and the body attach bolts and rivets were fine.

David
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:57 PM   #52
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Another Outlet in the Galley

I installed a new outlet in the galley behind the cooktop. This Overlander model does not have conveniently placed outlets. They may have been adequate in 75, but not now. We wanted an outlet for the coffee maker and other small appliances in the galley. The only provided outlet in the galley was to the right of the kitchen sink.

A relative minor improvement like this sometimes runs into trouble. I tapped into the exterior outlet "circuit" and thought I could just "fish" a 14-2 romex between the walls to the new location just 2 feet away as there were no vertical ribs in the way. I ignored the fact that the horizontal "rib" was in the way. I gotta look both vertical and horizontal! Well, one 5/8" hole later the wire was in place and the circuit tested good.

The trials of working on these old trailers especially when I don't know what I'm dong.

David
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:14 PM   #53
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1968 26' Overlander
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Nice work, David. Iíve enjoyed following your progress.
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Old 12-08-2017, 06:04 PM   #54
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Moved the Fuse Panel and Converter

Thank you Atomic 13. I try to make a little progress each week.

Someone in the last 42 years placed the fuse panel and converter in the exterior storage compartment area. I decided to recover the storage compartment by moving the fuse panel and converter.

I believe the original location of the fuse panel and converter was behind the bathtub! The fuse panel was behind the bedroom to bathroom wall. I did not want to extend the wiring harness that penetrated the bathroom curbside wall so I decided to leave this electrical gear in the same location.

I kept easy access of the fuses and converter in the front of my mind. A guy has to have easy access to troubleshoot why the water pump isn't running and the like. Airstream did do a great job labeling this fuse panel. There are 4 12vDC 20 amp circuits protected by this panel. I picked a location easily accessible from the exterior storage compartment. There will be one wood panel to protect the fuse panel from cargo and that will come off easily to expose the fuse panel.

The converter is directly behind the fuse panel, and yes behind the bathtub. However, the converter fuses are easily accessible. The converter is mounted to the old plastic battery box. The converter can be removed by removing four screws in the roof of the battery compartment and sliding the converter forward. The fuse panel is removed by removing three screws and dropping it down and out. The battery cables will need removed also, but not hard to do.

Further, the battery storage compartment will be sans battery shortly. I will relocate it to the front of the trailer. I believe the 76 Overlander and maybe other longer models had the battery in the front of the trailer over the A frame. Maybe the 75s were the last year of the rear battery location. The old battery compartment can be more exterior storage for me.

I will have the world's longest battery cables!

David
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Old 12-10-2017, 07:01 AM   #55
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Rear Floor Rot Repair

Time to start the rear end separation repair. I now have the materials on hand. I have seen worse rear end floor rot that what this trailer had. And Airstream made a several cut outs in the last 8" of floor for plumbing and dump valve penetrations.

The first job in my mind is to cut out the rotted floor and make a solid patch. I cut out the rotted part straight along the bathroom wall.

The subfloor plays a rather major roll at the rear of the trailer. The subfloor bridges between the two frame rails and is sandwiched between the c channel and frame rail. Rear end separation happens when the subfloor sandwich rots and the bolts are no longer clamped tight. The rear body plate also rests on the subfloor.

I decided to use a 3/4" oak board for this important subfloor role. Why? Just because. I figure the red oak will be less subject to moisture damage and it might be less prone to compression as I tighten the rear body bolts. I paid $50 for this board. A whole sheet of good plywood is about the same price.

The oak board is located on the frame rails and the frame bolts go down the c channel, through the oak board, through the frame rail, and through the new rear cross member. The body plate will sit on the oak board and held in place with bolts through the c channel, through the oak board, and through the rear cross member.

The oak board will have a splice support at the joint between the old plywood and new oak board.

And moisture protection is paramount in this area the best I can.

David
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:31 PM   #56
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Rear End Separation Repaired

I cut, drilled, bent, filed and cussed some metal to make a new rear body plate and a new rear frame cross member.

The first photo is the old rusted parts I took out.

The second photo is the new parts I made.

The third photo is the rear body plate in place on top of the new oak subfloor patch

The fourth photo is the pieces all assembled and bolted tight.

I will have the new cross member welded to the frame shortly. I want to get the rest of the frame cross members and the tank supports made and in place before I start welding. I will also rivet the rear body skins to the rear body plate. I plan on flashing the rear body skins straight down so rain water can't splash and migrate into the new oak subfloor piece. The water will be directed down into the rear bumper storage and out the drain holes in the belly pan. Hopefully. There will be no decorative flat piece of aluminum between the bumper storage lid and the rear body. There will be just a gap. Gee, my sewer drain pipes will get wet. Who cares. And of course the joints and rivet holes will be caulked. Keeping rain water out of this area is very important.

There ain't no way the body or the frame rails can move independent of each other now. It will get more rigid as the tank supports are installed and welded in place. I should be good for another 40 years, especially here in dry Colorado.

David
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