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Old 01-18-2013, 01:17 PM   #15
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Thanks, reinergirl! I thought about calling him and asking but I feel bad harassing him too much and only being able to buy a couple axles in return. I sure wish we lived closer to him and could have him do it!

I wonder if metal caps could just be put on with Vulkem instead of welding. We don't have welding skills or equipment and I really didn't want to have to remove our coupler just to seal those up. We'd have to re-seal them periodically, but it sure would save us a lot of time and money. Hmm.
I have also tacked 1/16" steel caps on the ends of the rails without having to remove the coupler. Then just seal up the remaining gaps with vulkem. Shelly's Overlander has a "C" channel frame that is "boxed" from under the front floor area & up to the front of the "A" frame. The rear of the "boxing" is open so it can breath. The main goal is to stop water from getting in the front of the A frame, along with any sort of vermin.
You should also create a full rear crossmember & weld it completely to the frame rails. This should stop vermin from entering from the rear. The next spot is to seal the wheel wells really well & make sure your dump valve protrusion is as tight as possible. Perhaps vulkem that gap too.
Have fun,
Colin
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:30 PM   #16
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Thanks, Colin! I think we'll be doing exactly what you recommended, and probably spray some rust encapsulating paint in first if we can find the one with the long applicator that others recommended.

I figured it needed to breathe, so we'll leave it open under the floor but seal it under the coupler. I'll do insect mesh on the interior end too, just to be safe.

You should have bumper stickers or shirts made that say "When in doubt, Vulkem". It would be a great inside joke for Airstreamers.

For now I sadly have to wait for her to thaw. We had our first "big" snowstorm in Knoxville in several years. Last weekend it was 70 degrees and we were painting the frame! Looks like I'm painting plaques and doing fiberglass repair this weekend.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:49 AM   #17
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I have been kicking around the same idea. I think I will be making caps out of aluminan flashing, and then riteving them over the ends with SS rivets. Adding in Spray Foam would be a good idea.
Spray foam holds moisture. Would be better to just seal in the patch piece. ??
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:46 AM   #18
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Spray foam holds moisture. Would be better to just seal in the patch piece. ??
In 1968, Airstream used spray foam under the floor, & it was a nightmare. The floors rotted & the frame rails in the area of rot were typically very rusty. The foam holds the water against the underside of the floor.
We removed the floor from one trailer, & after my staff pulled up the first panel, they came running out of the door. There was an infestation of carpenter ants living on the foam & munching away on the plywood. We have seen a lot of "treasures" in bellypans, but this time the underside of the floor was "boiling" with ants.
On another trailer we discovered a hollowed out cave that was likely a squirrel nest, or perhaps rats, we're not sure.
Moral, spray foam has it's uses, but applying it near steel or wood in an Airstream is a "no no"
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:15 PM   #19
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So it was factory foam? I was invited to see a project nearby where he'd found the rear half of the frame of a '68 either disappeared or hideously maimed - rust covered foam w/ no/low metal remaining. Seeing an older gentleman near tears sure made an impression...
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:34 PM   #20
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[QUOTE=Wabbiteer;1250811]So it was factory foam?



yup.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:59 PM   #21
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So it was factory foam? I was invited to see a project nearby where he'd found the rear half of the frame of a '68 either disappeared or hideously maimed - rust covered foam w/ no/low metal remaining. Seeing an older gentleman near tears sure made an impression...
Yep, that's sounds like the rear end on my 69 ambassador. That spray foam was really nasty.. It burns your eyes and get every where when you scrap it off. Plus it burns fast.. I don't know if the new spray foams have better moisture resistance. Letting the inside of the frame breath is probably a better idea.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:05 PM   #22
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Yikes. As much as I loathed the moldy, itchy fiberglass removal from our trailer, it sounds like it would have been much worse if we'd had spray foam to deal with. I think we'll play it safe and not use any foam, and just use mesh and a metal cap on one end to keep the critters and creepy crawlies out. Will post pics when finished.
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