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Old 02-26-2007, 10:17 AM   #1
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1973 27' Overlander
Waterdown , Ontario
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Smile Airstream dealer repair vs. Custom shop

I have a '73 Overlander that needs work to remove some rusted frame components in the rear end, and will need to have new parts welded on.

From everyone's experience here, I am curious where you think I should take these major frame repairs to.

1) Would you suggest that I take it to a dealer? I live about one hour away from Can-Am in London Ontario. This might have the potential to be more expensive, but they are most likely very familiar with the trailer.

2) What about taking it to our local auto body shop? They do a lot of repair work on trucks and trailers frames and bodies. Might be cheaper, also right around the corner, and excellent customer service.

3) What about a custom shop? There are a few shops around here that regularly slice and dice vehicles. They may be the most creative at repairing the frame and adding reinforcement or alternate materials.

Any ideas?
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Old 02-26-2007, 10:25 AM   #2
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I had the same issues on my '60. I found a local welder ready to do the work. I had to remove all of the *stuff* that would be in his way. Like the enitre bathroom and subfloor.

If you want to find a do it all type of shop, I'd look around and find someone who has done the work before. I doubt a run of the mill dealer would touch it.
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Old 02-26-2007, 01:01 PM   #3
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1973 27' Overlander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari Tim
I had the same issues on my '60. I found a local welder ready to do the work. I had to remove all of the *stuff* that would be in his way. Like the enitre bathroom and subfloor.

If you want to find a do it all type of shop, I'd look around and find someone who has done the work before. I doubt a run of the mill dealer would touch it.
What kind of $$$ outlay did you end up with? Did he do anything special ie. coatings, etc?
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Old 02-26-2007, 01:12 PM   #4
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I lined up all the welding I would need in one shot. Provided access to the areas so the welder would spend his time welding.

I got the following done for $675.

Last two feet of curbside main frame rail replaced
cross member in the middle of the frame moved to make a tank space
step area welded and reinforced
hitch area welded and reinforced

After it was completed I painted everything with POR15.
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Old 02-27-2007, 06:03 AM   #5
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1973 27' Overlander
Waterdown , Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari Tim
If you want to find a do it all type of shop, I'd look around and find someone who has done the work before. I doubt a run of the mill dealer would touch it.
Was the welder you found specialized in trailers or vehicles?
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Old 02-27-2007, 03:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlang905
Was the welder you found specialized in trailers or vehicles?
Not that I know of. Just a local welder that a friend recommended.

It worked out well. I'm going to have him replace my axles that require welding in the next few weeks if everything works out.
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