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Old 10-05-2011, 06:39 PM   #1
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Wilmington, NC , North Carolina
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'62 AS bumper question

I am looking at purchasing an older airstream. The very first one I have looked at seems to be in good condition inside and out. During my initial inspection (not knowing what I am looking for), I stood on the bumper and the frame seems to move up and down differently than the body. That is to say the frame coming out of the body has "play". The frame definitely moves more than the body of the AS. There is clearly a hole/opening where the frame comes out and there is maybe a 1/2" or less gap where the frame comes out. Is this normal, or has something come loose from the frame/body? any help will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:17 PM   #2
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1993 21' Sovereign
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I am looking at purchasing an older airstream. The very first one I have looked at seems to be in good condition inside and out. During my initial inspection (not knowing what I am looking for), I stood on the bumper and the frame seems to move up and down differently than the body. That is to say the frame coming out of the body has "play". The frame definitely moves more than the body of the AS. There is clearly a hole/opening where the frame comes out and there is maybe a 1/2" or less gap where the frame comes out. Is this normal, or has something come loose from the frame/body? any help will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Welcome to the forum.
What you have found is a case of rear end separation. While it's not the end of the world, it will need to be dealt with, usually by removing a bunch of stuff in the bathroom, and replacing the floor.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:28 PM   #3
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I figured something like that was happening. Thank you very much for your help. this is a 62 overlander. bunch of stuff meaning everything or can this be done from underneath? weekend worth of work or a week? trying to figure out price to offer and it is somewhat in line of what I think it would be worth with out having to spend a week of work. want to offer appropriately.

again thanks.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mactooo View Post
I figured something like that was happening. Thank you very much for your help. this is a 62 overlander. bunch of stuff meaning everything or can this be done from underneath? weekend worth of work or a week? trying to figure out price to offer and it is somewhat in line of what I think it would be worth with out having to spend a week of work. want to offer appropriately.

again thanks.
Sounds like the dreaded rear end separation.

Depending on how bad it may be, if a shop that knows how to fix were involved, it could cost as much as $3500.00 or more, for a correct fix.

It would be far better to look at that Airstream from the worst side, instead of it's best side.

If you wished to correct the separation, again depending on how bad it may be, at worst you would have to gut the rear end, remove the lower interior and exterior aluminum panels, remove some of the rear flooring, replace some of the rear frame, and who knows what else you may find. Plus probably an axle to boot.

Better to be cautious about the purchase.

Andy
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:13 PM   #5
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Originally Posted by mactooo View Post
I figured something like that was happening. Thank you very much for your help. this is a 62 overlander. bunch of stuff meaning everything or can this be done from underneath? weekend worth of work or a week? trying to figure out price to offer and it is somewhat in line of what I think it would be worth with out having to spend a week of work. want to offer appropriately.

again thanks.
I was able to repair the separation in our Sovereign in a weekend, but that was with a more-or-less fully-equipped shop at my disposal. Airstreams were built by installing whatever was in the rear first, then building forward. What that means is a lot of disassembly in the bathroom. While you have the bathroom out, I'd remove the black tank, which should be on the floor under the toilet, and build or adapt some kind of drain valve for it. The big honkin' brass valve that's probably there now is something of a pain to accessorize, and it would be a lot easier to fix it with all the stuff out of there.
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:32 AM   #6
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I will stay away from it. Thanks all for the help. You saved me going from being an excited, happy, newbie, to an AS owner that wishes I never did!
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