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Old 10-21-2012, 02:39 PM   #43
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That's an interesting idea. Bowl it down to one area were it would drain out. I guess you could do that with a router, but it would take some time. Another idea would be drill drain holes through the c channel, though the plywood, to the under belly area. I'd you have a leak it usually runs down the inner wall, and limit some that gets on the floor.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:01 PM   #44
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So I have done some work on the outer body...I thought replacing a panel with a donor panel would be easy....boy was I wrong.

So I had meet a gentleman named Stan that resides in the Florida area, he works on airstreams on a pro level...boy I picked his brain. I got a vista window, a ten gallon water heater, some furnishings 3 panels and a wing window, plus ALOT of advice and questions answered.

The airstream had some kinda electric 6 galling household water heater In it... I yanked it out and put the ten gallon in its place, and it fit like a charm..I had my doubts as the stock was a 6 gallon unit..but it worked perfectly. The vista window on the top had shattered from a jack knife impact that traveled all the way back and somehow destroyed that window..(previous owner), I took the one I got from Stan, disassembled it and cleaned it up, and put it back into place after removing the metal panel fix... The panel replacement....yeah.. Talk about work... Come alongs and jeeps are awesome for repairing alum sub frames, and I had to have a tig welder come out and re weld the sub frame because it had separated in some spots. After 2 weeks of going at this thing and juggling my 2 kids around, I finally got it done, sealed and compounded. I had also bought a magic chief stove from Stan that came out of a 1990 airstream 5th wheel? It think? It looks and operates much better the the monster that was in it...a little smaller but it mounted right in..I used the extra space and made a small drawer for pots and pans.
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:27 PM   #45
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Welcome. I'm in Virginia Beach... and you're lucky that Out of Doors Mart is located in western NC. I think it's about 85 miles from Cary - In Colfax.

Give the service department a holler - they've got some Airstream specialists there and can get anything you need to finish up your work.

Inland Andy gets a lot of space here on the forum - but his shop is in California - and if you need something in a hurry it's nice to know you've also got a great source an hour and a half away! Big savings on shipping!

OODM - Phone number 336-993-4518.

Oh, by the way, you might want to check around for flood restoration companies in your area - they specialize in mold remediation which may be an issue in an old leaky Airstream. Many have specialized equipment that can "see" behind walls etc..... though I don't know if they can see between two layers of aluminum, they can help you detect hidden mold in wood, cupboards and closets.

Paula
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:31 AM   #46
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I'm thinking of doing a frame swap now, I got to assist, well more like help, another fellow that had to do one and it's a lot less complex then I thought.. I found a frame with Axel's that I may go ahead and use for 100, I gota check it out, but it beats paying for every new outrigger and having the frame snap down the road..changing out this flooring after I did the bathroom is a really appealing thought to me now, and will allow me to check the panels inside to see if theirs any leaking..

And I'll def see about the mold stuff, if the furnishings are infected, then I'll just hit up Stan for new furnishings.

O I shoulda listened to the earlier posts but I didn't, but I learned basic welding, very basic! The floor supports we're rusted out..that's why I'm doing the frame swap now.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:19 PM   #47
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Ok, got a good bit of frame work done, and I have found it is ill advised to remove the frame with one or 2 people on a 31 ft Airstream. So I got another frame from Stan andI'm going to use the bits from that one and weld it onto this one.

We got the rear u-channel out and found it broken in several different spots. New u channel with a floor channel molded in it is an awsome fix for that. It looked mainly not like floor rot, but that the channel had broken and it went downhill from their. The 5 and 3 inch frame is missing, we are having it replaced. Also on closer analysis after I took it to a very reliable welder, we found out there was a frame crack from the sagging about a foot back from the rear axle. I have a new crossmember from Out of Doors Mart and as a previous post stated, a lot of outriggers. The same welder was also able to strengthen the frame where the step outriggers went, and assembled the steps into place with the outriggers we bought from Out of Doors Mart. He did an amazing job. I watched a 350 pound person jump on these steps and it didn't budge. Repeatedly..

We also found a shock bolt mount had broken off on the roadside front axle, and that all the shocks were shot. We're going to buy some shocks from Out of Doors Mart and some of those centromatic (?) wheel balancer things that Andy sells so we wont have to worry about balancing the rims ever again.

We also found a good portion of the the frame, about a foot long roadside under the front window gone, frame rot had taken it to hell, and our welder can easily repair it.

If anyone wants to get any welding done in this side of the states, I recommend him as he has an entire warehouse of space, he is right off I-74 and has a large pull in spot. Very clean, good equipment with YEARS of experience and very friendly. Loves to hear stories and pass some on.

Aside from that, we should hopefully have it all together soon. I have new backing plates on the axles and discovered hidden breakers in the trailer connector wiring harness box after chasing down a very nasty short. Surprisingly AutoZone carries the breakers. Pictures to post on next post.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:33 PM   #48
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The pics, more to come tomorrow morning, the before and after.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:33 AM   #49
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An update, life got in the way of this, and I'm finally back on track. I have Stan looking out for another good frame for me and i have new axels standing by. The frame I got we decided not to go with as the metal was to soft in key spots that the welder pointed out, and would require to much work to refabricate. We got our hands on a nice 1974 middle bath and are thinking of parting out the airstream we have including that 500 dollar door handle and new door.

Or I can keep it and finish the frame and transplant the shell and all the furnishings. I'm not sure yet.
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:45 PM   #50
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Center bath sure sounds nice - I thought it was a gimmick and fell all over the wrong rear bath trailer... and its still in pieces. (yes, look at the join date)

I have a parts trailer also, one that was gently laid over on its side when it dropped off the wrong size hitch ball some when. The only gotcha with that is the bazillion rivet holes for the refrigerator vent duct, and all the other unused holes, that will need to be filled and possibly create eyesores...
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Old 10-06-2014, 11:09 AM   #51
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Shadeemry, your first post to this thread Aug 2012, you reference pictures on page 10,11. Where is page 10,11 where are the pic's?
I'm interested in seeing how bad the rusting was especially near the axle and suspension.
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Old 10-13-2014, 08:31 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by inTransit View Post
I agree that your separation looks to be a result of rotted frame and likely plywood subfloor. You have a cracked and extruding aluminum u channel That may be able to be removed and welded. Your investment will be in frame members, welding and plywood subfloor.

I've done a rear end separation fix with the shell on, it can be done. Bathroom will have to come out and the back of the belly pan dropped. One you are inside the trailer and can see the ground through what's left of th frame you can then rebuild. Welding, rust converting, plywood sandwich in the uchannel with elevator bolts to hold it together.

The running gear and axles are important but I don't see the value of getting them done first unless you completely committed to see this thing through. Once you start tearing the trailer apart you will likely see far more important issues than axles.
Had a couple questions - (1) in replacing the frame out riggers, must the bellypan be dropped or shell removed? If so, can it be done a portion at a time? AND
(2) in replacing the subfloor (same question), must the belly pan be dropped or shell removed? If so, can it be dropped or hung a portion at a time?

My trailer is entirely gutted (just frame, wiring, shell, and holding tanks) - no wall skins (basically like an empty coors light can) I don't have a lot of space to work with, so I'm trying to avoid dropping the belly pan, removing the shell, or frame.
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Old 10-13-2014, 08:48 PM   #53
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Go ahead and drop the belly pan, lower wraps, and banana skins. There are bolts that go through the c channel, subfloor, and the end of the outrigger that you can't replace without at least removing the wraps... You'll also have to remove the inside lower skins.

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Old 10-13-2014, 08:49 PM   #54
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I replaced the back eight feet of subfloor in my 74 Sov, and the front six feet. You can do it in sections, but not without dropping the pan and wraps...

-Red
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Old 10-13-2014, 10:21 PM   #55
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Dropping the pan and wraps are not as much work as you might think. You going to want them down so you have access from the bottom.


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Old 11-26-2014, 03:45 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by shadeemry View Post
Hello, I'm new..

I'm a closet Airstreamer that's coming out.
my name is Jonathan, I'm a plumber/electrician/and certified MVAC tech, with ASE 1-6.. so allot of the issues on mine have already been fixed, the one thing I'm not is a welder....Yet


I just bought an airstream with the mind of knowing that I'm going to have to repair the frame. The rear end has separated to the point where the frame is broken on the right rear side, (but their is some silver rod that isn't that's inside of the frame??what is that) and what looks like long bolts that went into the wood;(?) are no longer connected.., can someone asses the damage by these photos real quick and tell me what all needs to be done? and please don't say anything about a shell off, because the interior is in amazing condition, and ripping that stuff out to me is out of the question. drilling out sections of the floor i'm fine with.. I have been reading here alot, and it seems that a gentleman by the name of andy seems to be a good authority in these matters..

1.)Can anyone tell if the axles need replacing by these photos? if not how do I tell?

2.)what caused the rear end to separate like this? bad running gear balance or lack their of? Some places even said AS mounted tanks in a bad area in the rear? (I don't trust this as AS have several engineers that test this stuff hardcore..) Do new axles come with running gear Already balanced from inland RV or any other place anyone knows about?? Finding that snap on tool is almost impossible to balance the running gear

3.)Where can I order the pieces I need for this repair? i'm going to take it to a welder I know, and I want to be able to provide the parts to him that are the correct ones. Fabrication to me goes against how these were manufactured, and AS engineers usually know what their doing, so I'm not a big fan of backyard fixes. For the record I'm not knocking anyone who fixes them properly in the backyard, just so long as their done properly.

Money is not an Issue here, this is going to be a gift to my mother, and I want this done right..I know I'm going to be doing allot of cleaning on the AS.


Their's much controversy on how to fix "rear end separation", So much in fact I cant discern fact from fiction about it anymore. Whats overkill, whats not..etc. I have seen many shell off's, where people gutted it fixed it up, and never put the furniture back in,and sold it for 2k or less.. I do not want to end up like one of those people.


pictures are on page 10,11

Airstream
Hi Shadeemry,
I just fixed a back end separation from the underside using a couple steps.
First I removed all damaged materials.
After all the rot was removed I cleaned out the back channel treated all the rust and sealed the metal.
I replaced the plywood with marine ply using a double layer gusset system so that I could get the ply into the back channel.
After getting the ply into the back channel and up to my undamaged cut line I laminated another piece of 3/4" ply on top to span the joint and give structural integrity to the floor. I used a marine grade subfloor adhesive between the two layers of marine ply to increase the strength. Where the first layer of plywood inserted into the channel I secured it using stainless steel etc-screws from the bottom.

Hope this works for you,
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