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Old 10-10-2018, 11:47 AM   #1
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1983 31' Excella
Holden , Massachusetts
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Broken frame

Looking for help or advice. We were traveling North on I95 in South Carolina Friday night and after hitting a few bad bumps the front of the frame snapped at the body and dropped the front of our 1983 excella 31cb on the pavement. In a shower of sparks I managed to get it into the brake down lane. We then spent 14 hours there until we could find someone to move it.
I have never seen a trailer break like this. Does anyone have any idea what we can do ? Does anyone know a good welder south of Charleston SC.
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:22 PM   #2
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enosburg , Vermont
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man, feel bad for you. do'es sound like you had some good luck and good driving. I've had a couple older than yours with A- frames cracked enough to open a few thousandths. Just to make you aware, on those there were worse frame problems up to 3 ft back under the floor. I guess if it were me I'd cut the belly pan along the frame rails a couple ft back to see if I could get a patch/splice welded in to get it home.
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:31 PM   #3
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Great.... Something else to worry about!

Sorry you're having trouble!
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:22 PM   #4
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1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
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I had a badly rusted A frame on my 32 foot, 1988 Excel. Fortunately I caught it before it actually broke. The web of the frame was completely rusted out but the paint held and it looked good until I stuck a screwdriver straight through it. I braced it up, towed it to Airstream, and they installed a new A frame for a fairly reasonable cost.

But without a frame at all to tow it from you are going to have to pick a shop and just hope.
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldwrench View Post
Looking for help or advice. We were traveling North on I95 in South Carolina Friday night and after hitting a few bad bumps the front of the frame snapped at the body and dropped the front of our 1983 excella 31cb on the pavement. In a shower of sparks I managed to get it into the brake down lane. We then spent 14 hours there until we could find someone to move it.
I have never seen a trailer break like this. Does anyone have any idea what we can do ? Does anyone know a good welder south of Charleston SC.
Don Mar RV is north of you on I-95 at exit 141. They were formerly an Airstream dealer, and still do a lot of work on Airstreams. You might give them a call to see if they can do the work, or recommend someone with a portable welding rig to come to you.
They replaced some panels on my 34', for the prior owner. They did a pretty good job.

https://donmarrvsales.net/

They are at:
265 Puddin Swamp Rd
Lynchburg, SC 29080

803-453-5011

ps:
The above is their mailing address. They are located near a small town named Turbeville, SC.
Not much around there, its a really small town. But they are right on the service road beside I-95.
It's been several years since I've been there.
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:45 PM   #6
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Would love to see a picture.

I suspect a lot of rust is involved. The long-term solution might not be as simple as welding the broken stuff back together.

Tom
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Old 10-10-2018, 05:05 PM   #7
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A family showed up last week with a 34' that had suffered severe frame damage from bad roads on I-40 in Eastern Tennessee. The trailer looked like a banana from the axles forward, and drooped severely behind the axles. There didn't appear to be any rust, just impact damage. The trailer's owner submitted a claim to his insurance company, which promptly denied the claim.
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Old 10-10-2018, 05:08 PM   #8
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

Anything is possible. You might have had a bad weld when the frame was first built. If so it holds the record (at least in my book) for something like that holding up.

I agree with others above, it's likely that you have some rust involved in the frame separation. If so you may have knocked more stuff loose as the frame hit the pavement. (indeed a good job managing that .... yikes !!!).

I would vote for a bit of a tear down and check as part of the next few steps. You will have some of that just as part of any patch that gets done. Your trailer is old enough that there could be some issues ..... for that matter, mine is way newer and it's already rusting in spots ...

Bob
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Old 10-10-2018, 05:41 PM   #9
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Just replace the A-frame, dont try patching the old one.
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Old 10-11-2018, 07:36 AM   #10
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1983 31' Excella
Holden , Massachusetts
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I appreciate all of your input but I think I am going to rent or buy a trailer to haul it home. Can anyone tell me how wide the weelbase is ?
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:17 AM   #11
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The Owners Manual for your trailer did not give the wheelbase dimension in the specs.
It list the body width as 95.5". I suspect the wheels set in 2-3" so the wheel base would be 90-91".
The problem with finding a flatbed trailer that will haul your Airstream trailer is getting the load to balance on it. The Airstream wheels shouldn't be behind the flatbed's wheels (load to far to the rear) because sway would be difficult to control. If you load the Airstream rear end forward with the Airstream wheels in front of the flatbed's wheels tongue weight on the flatbed will be high. Hope your tow vehicle is heavy enough to handle that load. If you haul it backward, don't forget to protect the rear window.
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Old 10-13-2018, 12:30 PM   #12
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1983 31' Excella
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Hi all. I just received a reasonable price for shipping Dielia home but not sure if I can trust them. Is anyone familiar with Trusted Transportation llc out of Ohio ?
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