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Old 07-22-2012, 11:32 PM   #1
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1972 25' Tradewind
McKinleyville , California
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 64
5" C Channel Rail Supplier?

Does anyone know where the 5" C-Channel steel can be purchased so I can have 4 ft of rear rail replaced? I am only finding the much beefier structural C-Channel which would not match the factory steel.
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:38 PM   #2
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
mapleton , Utah
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I just had new parts made at a local heating/AC sheet metal shop. cost was about $15 per 4 ft length. measure it or take them a sample. very simple
tim
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:12 AM   #3
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1972 25' Tradewind
McKinleyville , California
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I just had new parts made at a local heating/AC sheet metal shop. cost was about $15 per 4 ft length. measure it or take them a sample. very simple
tim
Are you saying that a large metal shop can make the 5" steel channel? Would the steel have the same (or better) tensile and shear strength as the original?
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:48 AM   #4
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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Most metal shops can get you any wall thickness you want. You just have to specify what you want and they can order it.

Perry
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:00 AM   #5
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1972 25' Tradewind
McKinleyville , California
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My local metal works says they can make the C channel no problem. My welder says the original C channel is 12 gauge, so I think I will beef it up a bit and use 10 gauge instead and use 3" x 3/16" thick C channel for the skid plates. The original design only had one street side skid plate. Not sure if I should add a curb side skid plate as well.

Also I think I will use a Z cut graft to join the new with the old C channel and the use 13" x 1/4" thick fish plates on either side. Not sure if i should bolt the plates together with 1/2" bolts or just weld. I see both approaches used. Any ideas on this would be appreciated.
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:34 PM   #6
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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My 81 trailer uses the 5" C-channel but there are two of them facing each other and welded together. You might consider doing it that way. This would double the strength of the rear end. You could put a second channel in there facing the other and weld it up stream of the cut and then add the second piece and weld a plate over the seam that was cut at an angle. If you have a rear bath this may mess up your tank mounting.

Perry
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:38 PM   #7
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Phoenix , Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tesstoaster View Post
My local metal works says they can make the C channel no problem. My welder says the original C channel is 12 gauge, so I think I will beef it up a bit and use 10 gauge instead and use 3" x 3/16" thick C channel for the skid plates. The original design only had one street side skid plate. Not sure if I should add a curb side skid plate as well.

Also I think I will use a Z cut graft to join the new with the old C channel and the use 13" x 1/4" thick fish plates on either side. Not sure if i should bolt the plates together with 1/2" bolts or just weld. I see both approaches used. Any ideas on this would be appreciated.
If your new "C" channel is only 10 guage then I would use 3/16 plates on both sides. Butt weld the joint, grind the welds smooth, and then put the plates over them. I would MIG weld it to reduce warping.
For those who have actually removed the frame from the trailer, it appears that it is actually easier to make a new frame than chase the problem all over the existing frame with reinforcements everywhere. It is an unfortunate situation.
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:15 PM   #8
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1972 25' Tradewind
McKinleyville , California
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If your new "C" channel is only 10 guage then I would use 3/16 plates on both sides. Butt weld the joint, grind the welds smooth, and then put the plates over them. I would MIG weld it to reduce warping.
For those who have actually removed the frame from the trailer, it appears that it is actually easier to make a new frame than chase the problem all over the existing frame with reinforcements everywhere. It is an unfortunate situation.
Since I am giving the OK to the metal shop in the morning and specified 1/4" plates, do you really think it is prudent to downsize to 3/16"? I have decided to have the fish plates drilled with 1" holes so they can be welded around the holes instead of bolts. In my case the rest of the frame looks great with little rust. It's just that damned read end that rusts out on almost all of the earlier (and some newer) AS.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:46 PM   #9
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1972 25' Tradewind
McKinleyville , California
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Can anyone think of why I shouldn't have two skid plates even though the original only had a street side skid?
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:24 PM   #10
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1972 23' Safari
Burlington , Kentucky
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Doing the same thing to our 72 Safari....I'm cutting the back 4 feet off each side. Have the shop making the 5 in C (1/8 or 11 gauge), welding a 4 11/16 plate across the inside spaning 12 inches on both sides of the joint. Then I'm boxing it in on the inside with a 4 11/16 C. And yes putting the skid on both sides. Can't hurt. I believe they only put it on the street side because thats where the toilet and black tank are.
Be sure to DOUBLE check that you are squared up...I think mine was repaired before and it definitly went a lil to the right.....
One additional thought...Where the tool box was (yea... rusted and gone). THe shop is making two 61 1/4 cross members to replace the back one plus I'm tackin the other one on the end just before the bumper. That way I've got 2 sides of the box completed. Just need to add the plate for the top and bottom.
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