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Old 02-28-2008, 11:52 AM   #1
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Cost of Frame 75 Ambassador

This is a new thread related to http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...rot-39673.html for anyone who hasn't looked there.

What's a new frame for a 75 Ambassador going to cost? The frame is definitely history. I have two welders who have agreed to drawing up bids at this point. The first looked at the trailer yesterday and agreed that the frame is not worth repairing.

Before these bids arrive I'd like to at least have some numbers to negotiate with. Interestly I spoke with a local trailer shop (not one of the welders) about a new frame and was quoted $6,000 which doesn't include the labor for removing and replacing the shell! I was stunned.

At that price looks like I'll either by buying a welding rig and learning to weld or returning this rig to it's lonely spot under the mesquite tree where I found it. My wild guess is about $2,000 - $2,500.
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:44 PM   #2
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Frame

Hi there....

I may have a frame for you, it is a 2000 30' Excella ( poss. wide body) that was wrecked. The frame is straight and new. The catch is, (there always is one) is that I live in Vancouver (2 hrs North of Seattle) and you would have to come and get it. If interested re-post and we'll exchange info.

Cheers

Pinebear
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:56 PM   #3
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His frame will not fit your 75!
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:54 AM   #4
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monocoque,

You have alot to consider. I would definately consolidate all of your threads out there because it is hard to follow everything with several threads about the same thing. Do you have room to remove your shell to repair/ refabricate frame areas that need it?

I had a trailer shop near me quote $3500 for removal of shell, fabricate a new frame, add wood floor, and drop the shell back on to it. We thought it was a deal. Well...the place built concession trailers and while whey could build a frame, I was conderned it would not work well enough for the airstream. After 6 months of them doing nothing but removing the shell, I took it back from them in terrible shape, and lost 1/2 my deposit. You definately want to go with soeone who knows what they are doing on this one.

Steve
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Old 03-03-2008, 02:26 PM   #5
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Steve,

Maybe too much to consider for a newbie like myself... But it's okay I like challenges even unexpected ones. And I brought this one on myself by not doing research first. Live and learn! And I usually learn best the hard way!

Not sure how to consolidate threads now that another new one is open. I had hoped that opening this thread would attract a discussion about how much a frame would cost rather than remain focused on the condition of the frame. But you're right. Best to have everything under one heading. Any idea how to consolidate?

Pinebear: I agree that one of my options is to locate a used frame but I wouldn't think a 2000 30' Excella frame would easily marry-up with a 1975 29' Ambassador. But thanks for the suggestion!

Back to cost. $6,000 sounds steep to me for a frame. The labor was estimated at the same shop as another $2,700. That's $8,700 to replace the frame parts and labor.

So it occurred to me, and others, to find a "cheap" or damaged 29 footer with a good frame from the 1970's and just buy the complete trailer. I'm sure I can find a whole trailer for less $8,700. Maybe one with a good frame but undesireable exterior and interior. At least then I would have extra parts for the rebuild. BTW I'm still waiting on the welder to call with a price for fabricating a new one.

In the meantime I'm finding it difficult sitting on my hands. So I had convinced myself to button it back up and send it back to the mesquite trees. I even bought the plywood to replacing the flooring and cut out the pattern this weekend. But still I can't seem to bring myself to put the flooring in...keep hoping a solution to the frame issue will appear. If something doesn't happen soon it looks like I'll be fastening down that new floor and riveting the skins back in place....
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Old 03-03-2008, 02:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monocoque
Not sure how to consolidate threads now that another new one is open. I had hoped that opening this thread would attract a discussion about how much a frame would cost rather than remain focused on the condition of the frame. But you're right. Best to have everything under one heading. Any idea how to consolidate?
You can PM a moderator with the list of threads you want consolidated and they can do it for you.

Shari
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Old 03-03-2008, 03:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monocoque
So it occurred to me, and others, to find a "cheap" or damaged 29 footer with a good frame from the 1970's and just buy the complete trailer...one with a good frame but undesirable exterior and interior.
monocoque,

You should be able to find such a trailer for $1500 or less... maybe much less.

I would contact all of the big Airstream service centers and let them know you are looking. People back these things into trees more often than you would think.

Call the factory... they should be able to help you out with who is big in your part of the country.

Good Luck!
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Old 03-03-2008, 03:40 PM   #8
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Steve,

Yup, my thoughts exactly. I'm not sure why it didn't occur to me before. Geez... I could just buy a whole, albeit damaged, trailer for what the trailer shops will charge in parts and labor! Now I've only to locate one. Thanks for your ideas. I'll contact the dealers. There is at least one in my area that I know of about 50 miles away.

Todd
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Old 03-03-2008, 03:51 PM   #9
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If you part out the "donor" segments, doors and windows on eBay, sell the rest as scrap, you might even turn a profit.
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Old 03-03-2008, 04:15 PM   #10
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Even better! I was thinking just how nice it would be have a "donor" trailer sitting there as a perfect source of parts that needed replacing. And as you suggest the remainder would be auctioned off at Ebay. Interestingly at a price far less than a new fabrication...and perhaps a profit.
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:32 PM   #11
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This is short note to update this thread. Two welders have assessed the damage and estimated the cost of replacement for my frame. The first welder estimated total cost, material and labor, between $2,000 - $2,500. The second estimated materials, using 5" rectangular tube, between $1,000 and $1,500. So I think both these estimates are in the same ball park and the cost of a new frame, not including new axles, is going to be roughly between $2,000 -$3,000.
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:34 PM   #12
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Andy will gladly sell you axles with increased weight ratings to compensate for added iron; after looking at mine for the longest time I know it's very lightweight compared to anything someone in the welding trade would dare to sell to the public I boosted the ratings 500lbs and am having trouble keeping added weight to that!
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Old 04-01-2008, 08:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbiteer
Andy will gladly sell you axles with increased weight ratings to compensate for added iron; after looking at mine for the longest time I know it's very lightweight compared to anything someone in the welding trade would dare to sell to the public I boosted the ratings 500lbs and am having trouble keeping added weight to that!
I'll be calling Andy very soon about those new axles. I still have bit more frame inspection up ahead but the welding phase will begin very soon and I'll need those axles to bolt up to it. What weight did you add and keep adding?
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