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Old 04-29-2009, 08:06 PM   #883
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Terry does know of a good shop.

He works for one.

It happens to be us.

Andy
No kidding? you mean just like that tagline he's had for the last month or two?

"Terry

(that guy from Inland RV)"




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Old 04-29-2009, 08:14 PM   #884
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Originally Posted by azflycaster View Post
I also visited Terry's trailer in Flagstaff, AZ which was only a few hundred miles from where the frame let go. I noticed no sag or weakness on the trailer as well.
We were all tromping around pretty good in there, and there was no indication the frame was that far gone.

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Originally Posted by Aage View Post
No kidding? you mean just like that tagline he's had for the last month or two?

"Terry

(that guy from Inland RV)"




yeah, that one...
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:18 PM   #885
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Hey, that frame rot doesn't look so bad. A hand full o'rivets, some new bent up steel and a bucket of POR-15 and you're back in business. Didn't you tell me once that a guy could rebuild a truck engine in his garage with a screw driver and pair of pliers? Rebuilt Airstreams are cheaper than new ones. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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Old 04-29-2009, 08:33 PM   #886
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Originally Posted by Jim & Susan View Post
Didn't you tell me once that a guy could rebuild a truck engine in his garage with a screw driver and pair of pliers?

Jim
It was two screwdrivers, and a pair of Vice Grips...
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:47 PM   #887
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan View Post
Hey, that frame rot doesn't look so bad. A hand full o'rivets, some new bent up steel and a bucket of POR-15 and you're back in business. Didn't you tell me once that a guy could rebuild a truck engine in his garage with a screw driver and pair of pliers? Rebuilt Airstreams are cheaper than new ones. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Jim

I lost the vice grips putting together a potted plant stand!!!

Marie
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:51 PM   #888
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I lost the vice grips putting together a potted plant stand!!!

Marie
Houston, we have a problem!
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:55 PM   #889
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New Thread?

Hi,

Bertha is born again.

Bertha gets second life.

Bertha gets second chance.

Bertha gets spinal surgery.

Bertha's frame transplant.

Bertha gets California make-over.

Dr. Andy helps save Bertha's life.

Bertha gets ready for another forty five years.

We couldn't part with faithful Bertha.

Bertha now receiving treatment in Airstream hospital.
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Old 05-16-2009, 06:08 PM   #890
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We've been framed!

No, Joe Friday isn't coming next Thursday to arrest us for stealing a Sundae on Wednesday.
There has been some progress on Bertha's frame, however. I pulled out most of the furniture, carpet, and vinyl flooring from the front of the trailer, and pulled down the rest of the belly pan, bananna wraps and belly pan wraps, so I could better evaluate the condition of the frame. What I found, while very serious, was somewhat less of a terminal case than it looked while all the body parts were installed.
I crawled underneath, and took some measurements of the rotted area, and found we needed 7.5 feet of new frame on the street side, and a couple of reinforcing patches on the curb side. I made a few phone calls and found out how much 8 feet of box channel would cost, and who all had it in stock.
It wasn't as bad, cost-wise, as I thought. It was much cheaper than a new trailer (imagine that). I picked the piece up on a Friday (one of my days off), and took it over to the shop on a Saturday, hacked off the old chunks of frame, and tacked the new piece in place. My welding skills are a bit rusty (in fact, I set the floor on fire during this process), so I decided to haul Bertha over and have someone that welds daily make sure the frame was adequately welded. I removed the front 7 feet of floor so the welding guy could access the top of the frame the following weekend. This served two purposes. The first was to replace the part I inadvertently tried to use to build a campfire inside the trailer, the second became obvious after removing the floor. It was pretty rotten almost all the way around the edge, not a good thing.
Here are some pictures to this point:
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Old 05-16-2009, 06:23 PM   #891
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After getting all that old, crappy stuff out of the way, I went out the following Tuesday (another day off), and found a welding shop not far from where we live in Riverside that was able (and willing) to finish my welding job. I found (again) California is not like Florida. Everybody is worried about liability, and no one dares touch anything for fear they will get sued. I did find one guy (that must remain anonymous) that was willing to do the work. So, the following Saturday I hooked up Bertha, and hauled her over for finishing touches on the frame. The job took longer, and more materials, than I thought. Several hours, several pieces of angle iron, a couple hundred dollars in cash, and a case of beer later, the frame was done, both the street side main piece, and the reinforcement on the curb side. When I towed Bertha back, I discovered Bertha no longer "wiggles" like before. The new frame pieces seem to have eliminated the little extra movement that has always been there. Here are more pictures to this point:
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Old 05-16-2009, 06:32 PM   #892
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When we got back, I discovered that towing an Airstream with no floor and no belly pan tends to stir a lot of dust...Another blinding glimpse of the obvious.
After cleaning all the road dirt out, I went to Home Depot the following Tuesday and got two pieces of 7 ply plywood, and discovered that 3/4" plywood is no longer 3/4" plywood. It's 21/32", which means we now have a slight "step" right at the main door between the old 3/4" and the new 21/32" plywood. I guess 21/32=3/4 in New Math. It took another Saturday to install the new floor, and place carpet, flooring, and furniture back inside. I came back Sunday and installed the banana wraps, belly pan wraps, belly pan, stabilizers, and all the other odds and ends. We were facing a time crunch, as we were slated to go to the Pismo Beach rally.
Here are photos of the floor installed:
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Old 05-16-2009, 06:55 PM   #893
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The suspense...:)

That Sunday, after getting everything back together in some semblance of order, I again took Bertha for a short test drive, with Marie following in the B van, in case of trouble. The only "trouble" was Marie had difficulty keeping up with "us", while I hauled Bertha over, around, up down, and anywhere else I could think of for a torture test. Railroad tracks, dips, bumps, curves, even the 11% hill we found shortly after we got here. I was backing Bertha into her spot when Marie finally caught up...
There were no problems, and we went the following Friday to the Pismo Beach rally that Silverbacksurfer put on. Other than a glitch in the GPS that had us leaving the main highway and going over and through the mountains from Santa Barbara to Los Olivos (reminded me of US 64 in Georgia, without as many trees), everything went well.
This was the first rally we have been able to attend since the Falluminum forums rally in Hiawassi in October of 2007. I didn't think to take any photos of the completed interior of Bertha, but next time I go to the storage lot, I'll snap a couple.
In the meantime, here is a photo taken of Bertha at Pismo Beach:
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:36 PM   #894
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Wow, Terry, you are the most go-to-it guy I have EVER known! it is amazing to see how much you get done and how quickly when you go to something!!

I am so glad Bertha will be resurrected!

Susan
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Old 05-16-2009, 11:52 PM   #895
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For my next trick...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alumatube View Post
Wow, Terry, you are the most go-to-it guy I have EVER known! it is amazing to see how much you get done and how quickly when you go to something!!

I am so glad Bertha will be resurrected!

Susan
Thanks.
The front Fantastic Fan is leaking around the base, where it is sealed to the roof. There were several drops of water under it, and water along the edge of the inner garnish, so I have to pull it off to re-seal it (it rained at the rally). While it's off, I'm going to install a 6000RBTA in its place, and move the 4000R that is there now to the rear vent. The rear vent is the only original vent assembly on the trailer, and I had replaced the lid with an Inland Solardome cover a year or so back. That way, we'll have three operating Fantastic fans in the trailer, two of them fully automatic (one with a remote), and one manual.
It may be a bit awkward getting on the roof, as Bertha is parked between two diesel pusher motor homes, with less than 18 inches clearance on either side. I'll probably have to hook up and pull the trailer out of its spot a bit to get a ladder on the side. I'll have photos of that install later. The rear vent will have to be removed, and the inner ceiling panel will have to be trimmed so the Fantastic will fit. I'm still working on a lighting solution for that area, as the original vent has lights mounted inside the cover, and they will have to go when I remove the old vent.
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Old 05-17-2009, 05:29 AM   #896
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I am looking forward to seeing your lighting solution. I have had nothing but trouble with my front vent fan and the main reason I have not swapped it out is that it has two nice bright lights installed under the cover that are a lot of the light in the living room.

Just a bystander question, back on the welding pics, the framing still seemed pretty rusty, did you treat it with anything before putting the floor back on or is it OK the way it is?
Thanks,
E
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