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Old 03-23-2014, 04:49 PM   #1
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1978 23' Safari
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1978 23' Frame....How bad is it?

I recently purchased a 78 23 foot Safari International Airstream with the intentions of restoring the interior (the exterior is almost perfect). However, when I decided to remove part of the sub-floor I discovered this....


I need some input for some seasoned Airstream vets.
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:51 PM   #2
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hrmmm

my pictures seem to be refusing to post.

by George I think I got it!
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:18 PM   #3
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Well from what I see it don't look good. I would pull the corner, side, and bottom skins to get a better look at what you are dealing with. My gut feeling is that you are looking at a shell off to do it right. Part or all of the frame may need to be replaced.

Perry
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:53 PM   #4
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I was afraid you might say that. Unfortunately I do not have the space or time to do a proper shell-off restore. Looks like I might have to sell her off to somebody that has the means to get her back on the road again.

Chris
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:04 PM   #5
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Maybe I am not seeing the pictures right on my phone, but I don't see anything bad. I see surface rust with maybe a little crusting in the seams.

Am I missing some holes, rust through and /or heavy pitting in those pictures?
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:07 PM   #6
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Picture one and two look fine to me, and picture three looks pretty good but would require a closer examination to be sure.

My knee jerk response is that it is a little ugly but sound.
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:08 PM   #7
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1978 23' Frame....How bad is it?

Ok, I see the bottom of the frame on zoom , yea it is rusted out.

Is that back where the dookie tank was ?
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:50 PM   #8
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You really need to pull off all the lower wraps and the belly pan to see what you've got. On the bright side, I don't think you need a shell off to fix it but I would take it to some place that does that type of welding. They may need to cut out the rusted sections and patch in some new steel to fix it, but I doubt that would break the bank. The thing with these trailers is they can look pretty on the outside and harbor some nasty surprises where the sun doesn't shine. I've been doing just this kind of work on my '73 Overlander and while mine wasn't that bad, I don't see where any frame repair would have to have the shell off. On my rig, I worked the back half last year and am working the forward half this year.
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
Ok, I see the bottom of the frame on zoom , yea it is rusted out.

Is that back where the dookie tank was ?
That is on the left side of the door. Here is some clearer pics i just took.
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:41 PM   #10
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Where on the trailer is this? can you take a photo from inside so we have a frame of reference?

From the looks of it would would have to cut the bottom half of the channels off and weld in a new piece that had the exact same contour as the piece you cut out. You would be better off selling it to someone who can fix it right than trying to patch it. You start welding to that egg shell of a frame you don't know what will happen. If it were a few isolated holes I would say ok. But the whole bottom of the frame is gone on both sides of the beam. There is not much to weld to .

Perry
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:43 PM   #11
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It looks fine to be. Just use a wire brush to clean off the rust, then paint some rust cap on top. You should be fine.

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Old 03-23-2014, 08:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
Where on the trailer is this? can you take a photo from inside so we have a frame of reference?

From the looks of it would would have to cut the bottom half of the channels off and weld in a new piece that had the exact same contour as the piece you cut out. You would be better off selling it to someone who can fix it right than trying to patch it. You start welding to that egg shell of a frame you don't know what will happen. If it were a few isolated holes I would say ok. But the whole bottom of the frame is gone on both sides of the beam. There is not much to weld to .

Perry
here's the interior shots.
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:34 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mariusg78 View Post
It looks fine to be. Just use a wire brush to clean off the rust, then paint some rust cap on top. You should be fine.

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Hopefully this guy is joking, but after seeing the amount of rust and whats left, I'm starting to agree with Perry, it may be more serious than it initially seemed. To me the question is, how much else of the frame is damaged. Find a local shop that does welding and or trailer repairs and see what they think.
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:46 PM   #14
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Hopefully this guy is joking, but after seeing the amount of rust and whats left, I'm starting to agree with Perry, it may be more serious than it initially seemed. To me the question is, how much else of the frame is damaged. Find a local shop that does welding and or trailer repairs and see what they think.
+1 on this view point. That aint good. BUT if that's the only place, and is accessible, then should be a fairly easy fix. That said, I'd put my wager that its not the only place....
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