Originally Posted by dkottum
Colin Hyde, what do you think causes this? It's been suggested too-heavy tow vehicle suspension, and/or rigid weight distribution itches. Or in some cases an Airstream design flaw.
This problem is pretty rare in this era of trailer, even if the front floor is rotted out. We did however encounter this last year in a late 70's Trade Wind 25'. A bunch of the hold down plate rivets were missing & many other were sheared, but the heads had not fallen out yet. After removing the interior wall, we discovered that the problem originated at the Factory. This era of trailer has two large washer plates seated inside the "C" channel just above the frame structure bridging the "A" frame & the front end of the ladder frame. There are typically 3/8" diameter bolts running through these washer plates, the "C" channel, the plywood floor & the frame. As this trailer also had a single battery box located on the CS front face of the trailer, the washer plate was omitted in favor of a regular flat washer. The "C" channel was also shortened slightly to cope with the battery box position. The flat washer pulled through the end of the "C" channel & into the dried out plywood, allowing movement, thus beginning the process of shearing off the hold down plate rivets etc. As this client was in the shop for new axles in preparation for a trip to Alaska, they mentioned the missing rivets up front. Fortunately this was discovered as a journey of this magnitude would have certainly caused greater issues. They have since returned from the trip with no issues, although others on the caravan had numerous issues.
I'm afraid I can't stress this enough, front end & rear end separation issues are critical & should not be brushed off.