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Old 07-06-2011, 03:06 PM   #29
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What a relief!!! I was thinking I might have to put you on "not nice person" list.

This is like arranging the chairs on the Titanic (perhaps we named our trailer prematurely). I am a ways off on the insulation. However, thats why I was thinking of only a 1" coating even though more would be nice. IF I can clean up my wiring, I may consider filling it up.

By the way, your input is great, its not nearly as lonely around here anymore.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:08 PM   #30
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What I have learned today...
The interior of the frame looks like new. The factory black paint is still shiny. The perimeter is where all the rust is occurring. Nothing major though.
Since the factory paint is still good, does that mean I still have to sand blast the entire frame - or at least etch it - for the POR15 to stick?

We have the floor up and off today and will pull the frame out from under it in the morning.

I like the suggestion of keeping the 3/4" floor and routering the perimeter top side. So I am keeping my stack of plywood for now.

Darkspeed, about that wiring... how did you handle the clearance lights and the other trailer fixtures with the conduit? If you have some more specific pics (I believe I saw a couple on an earlier thread before but they only showed under the sink) that would be really swell of you. (hint-hint)
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:16 PM   #31
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What I have learned today...
I like the suggestion of keeping the 3/4" floor and routering the perimeter top side. So I am keeping my stack of plywood for ... (hint-hint)
A handheld power planer works great for this process...
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:15 PM   #32
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On the inside of the ladder frame, forward of the axles, all I did was solvent wipe the old paint to renew the surface by wiping away dust and mold, moss & moths away - then hit it with flat black Rustoleum. Outside of the main frame rail 'ladder frame' got the whole works, old paint stripped, solvent washed, POR-15'd.

Note - the faces of the iron that contact aluminum deserve POR-15 but the rest of it just got 2-3 coats of spray paint, the flat black choice was just what was handy... Anywhere that gets POR-15 direct over 1973's creosote-asphalt frame paint might be setting it up to peel eventually, though I have only seen it peel around a weld I did but it went 360 for potato chip size flakes around the weld line..
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:51 PM   #33
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I hope I don't seem like I am rambling on here... but, Oh well.

Good news today on the frame. The frame (so far) looks excellent, and has only rust on the outside, and very little on the inside. There was one shock mount that was broke, but I will worry about that later.

The best news today though, is that (unbeknown to me since this is my first shell off project) there is a spine that runs through the middle of the frame for the floor to be supported on. This should really help my splice/seem issue. I may add some additional metal down the middle, especially in the front and rear.

Since the tanks will be coming out, is there a way to test the tank probes now before I put them back in?
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:03 AM   #34
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What a relief!!! I was thinking I might have to put you on "not nice person" list.

This is like arranging the chairs on the Titanic (perhaps we named our trailer prematurely). I am a ways off on the insulation. However, thats why I was thinking of only a 1" coating even though more would be nice. IF I can clean up my wiring, I may consider filling it up.

By the way, your input is great, its not nearly as lonely around here anymore.
Haha.. no problem.. I know the feeling .. When I have to work on the house I put on Home improvement shows so I dont feel like I am working alone

Frame is looking good! You lucked out!
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:29 PM   #35
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Landscaper any idea what your bare frame weighs???
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:19 PM   #36
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With or without wheels? If its important, I may be able to get it weighed if needed. I am not sure that I will be needing to take the frame anywhere to be worked on though, so drive-on scales are probably out of the question. We will be having the frame on a rotisserie, maybe I can find a beefy set of hanging scales. From what I was looking at in the factory specs, the 34' was (I think) about 6-700 lbs heavers than the 31'

Overall weight loaded (this is from memory now) was about 7000#.
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:47 PM   #37
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Dont go out of your way to weigh it, i thought you might have had a load meter on your boom truck. It was more just curiosity.. I am about to build a new frame for my 31' from scratch and it will weigh more than the factory frame. I did the math on the factory 71 frame and it came in about 20% under-designed, there are some here who agree with that and some who dont
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:06 PM   #38
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Darkspeed,
About the only good news I have had about our trailer, Monty, is that the frame is of 5" tubing. From what I understand, they started using 5" in about '84 for the big trailers. I am not sure if that included 31', but I think it did.

With the shell off our frame and no floor, it is rather "springy" to say the least. I can't imagine what it would be like with 4" rails.

However, in Airstreams infinite wisdom on frame building, they decided that 5" was just "too much" and went back to a 4" around 1991. I personally saw a '94 34' last week that had rippled sides by the wheel wells, ripped skin above the door, and other problems related to an under-built frame that twists and turns more than our presidente without his teleprompter.

And in case Andy is reading this, the owner had a standard 3/4ton TV and a very sophisticated shock dampening system to prevent transfer to the trailer. He was doing all he could to minimize shock to the trailer but apparently it was just under-built during those years.

If I was you, I would use no less than 5" for anything longer than 27'. Despite all of the other problems with our trailer, it appears that our era frame was built better than some much later trailers. Ours has more rivets in the skin and a stronger frame.
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:54 PM   #39
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Lucky you.. My 71' is 5" C section that measures out at 1/16 thick. Without the shell it bows before and after the axles, must be a feature somewhere on the 71' brochure
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:03 AM   #40
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Sand blast the frame trust me it will be worth the headache. Por15 doesnt really need the frame to be sanblasted to stick, but all of the old paint needs to be gone. Por 15 is really cool stuff.
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:05 AM   #41
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Keep in mind blasting removes good metal too... of which there may be entirely too little off in some places
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:44 PM   #42
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Just put the por-15 on 3/16" thick and you'll be strong as new.... Just kidding....
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