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Old 05-05-2012, 08:54 AM   #15
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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Jack,

I had a 2x8 that ran from end to end, stopping right at the edge of the interior end-caps. I drilled a hole in it for the antenna deployment shaft to come through. All my skins were off, so I wasn't worried about marring any surfaces, but since you are leaving your skins on, I would probably drape a mover's blanket over it. I then just wrapped some webbing slings around the 2x8, and ran my hoists down through the fore and aft vent holes and attached to the slings. My Air conditioner is still in place, but I did remove the interior lower unit venting/controls so that it would be flush with the ceiling. I had the original aluminum caps over my vents, and I removed all of the hardware associated with the vent just to be sure.

Be sure when you build your lifting frames that you keep in mind that you will have to lift the shell at least 14" in order to clear the wheel wells. Your hoists will consume some of the height capacity of your lifting frames, so be sure to take them into consideration in your design.
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:14 PM   #16
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1975 31' Sovereign
Pierre , South Dakota
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Thanks for the info. I have all the rivets out and ready to lift but the weather is not, winds are 20 to 30 and forecast high winds for the next 4 days. Thats life in the high plains.
I think I will have to have make a complete frame. Holes are rusted out from bow to stern so the shell will be of for a while.
Looking forward to your shell install keep us informed on how it goes.
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:55 PM   #17
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1985 34' Sovereign
1958 22' Flying Cloud
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Great project! I would highly recommend that you remove the rest of the interior skins. Start fresh. Its only a few more rivets...right? Trust me... I would bet you have leaks. I just put a 34' shell back on and it rained the next day. I was surprised were water was coming in. Honestly they leak like a sieve. Our is leaking mostly where there is no Vulkum. That black tar stuff they put on at the factory seems to be prone to problems. I will be removing that junk in areas and brushing in Vulkum. Good luck.
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Old 05-06-2012, 02:51 PM   #18
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1975 31' Sovereign
Pierre , South Dakota
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Thumbs up leaks

Yes I may go ahead and remove the other interior skins.
The only water leaks I had were at the rear separation and door,(no gasket) I have sat out in the trailer while it's raining and cant see any leaks also no tale tale signs of previous leaks. I know that sounds strange that an airsteam has no leaks.Now that being said I have approx. 5 gal. of black tar on the roof around the vent holes that a PO smeared up there, and it was not to improve the good looks of the camper. Thought I would address that after I get the frame straightened out.
My problem is the frame. I really am lucky this thing did not break half in two on the short drive home. The pink monster drooped down in the entire belly pan and rusted out the entire lower part of the frame. I don't mean alittle hear and there, the entire length of the street side main beam is gone, The only intact outriggers are at the step.On All of the cross members only the tops are left. There had been the famous #29 service bulletin preformed at some point and the bolted in bace is all thats holding it together. 6 of the seven sheets of plywood are in excellent condition, you can read the manufactures stamps and dates,(manufactured in 9/74)
This Bulletin also advised to install additional rivets in the rear quarter panels to Strengthen the bond to hold up the rear end. Well who ever preformed this little work of art took the service bulletin to heart. The bottom of the panels look like swiss cheese, and they used pop rivets. I will have to make new panels and replace, I knew 40+ years of rebuilding aircraft would come in handy one day.
Also on another note,all the veritcal ribs are riveted to the C channel at the floor level.In my research every thing I have read the vertical ribs are sitting in the C channel and not attached.
thanks for the advise,
Keep in touch
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:21 PM   #19
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Another believer in the 'shell holds the frame up' club, eh?

Ribs all attached on my '73 - sometimes creatively when the rib has a 45-60į twist to it but they were all riveted - on both the C and double-C channels. (double-C channels clip onto floor edges and have ribs nested in second C-channel when shell lands on floor)
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:38 PM   #20
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Yes and pop rivets no less! Those guys put alot of faith in a MISPLACED,ANGLED, WHOOPY JAWED pop rivet.
i'm really glad those guys were building trailer and not airplanes. The FAA would be pulling all there tickets.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:49 PM   #21
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1964 22' Safari
Brenham , Texas
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Im curious about lifting the shell off too. I have a 66 Safari and want to do a shell off restoration. Where and how did you lift the shell?
Thanks
Craig
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:28 AM   #22
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Craig,

Look at post #4 of this thread. I used the wooden frames in the picture, positioned over the fore and aft roof vents to lift up the shell (pulling against a 2x8 that ran the length of the roof). I thought I would be clever at the time and use a couple of threaded rods to lift the shell up, and it worked fine, but was really slow going. I have since purchased three 1 ton chain hoists, and I will use two of them to lift the shell again when it is time to put it bak on the frame.

good luck
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:09 PM   #23
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1975 31' Sovereign
Pierre , South Dakota
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Craig,
I am ready to lift the shell. I am going through the fore and aft vents and will use 2x8 inside along the roof with 2 chain hoist.
I am not going to brace up the shell.I have the lower inside skins removed, after I have lifted the shell I will screw 2x4 along the bottom edge to rest the shell on.
It will be a couple of days as I live on the prairie, we have high wind forecast for the next few days, I will work on the gantry's.
Hope my plan works.
Jack
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:23 PM   #24
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Before you lift (I learned this the hard way), use a Sharpie and run a line around the inside perimeter where the c channel meets the skin. This way you can easily see where the correct elevation is when the time comes for reassembly.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:24 AM   #25
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Just wondering if those are just 4x4 posts and top beam?
I'm looking to pull my shell and this would seem the easiest way for me. Around the wheel wells the shell has started to slide of the frame, so I didn't want to brace the inside as it would put it back in the wrong place.
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:10 PM   #26
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All the beams pictured are 4x4s. I hadn't done any real engineering calcs to confirm the structural safety of the contraption, so a word of caution is probably in order. I can say that the 4x4 frames did not deflect noticeably lifting the shell, and the stripped down frame, but then this is only a 21 ft. trailer. I have seen examples of other folks' lifting frames where they ran doubled 2x6s or 2x8s for the cross beam and made a more "boxed-in" design for the uprights.

Just for yucks, I did an Euler buckling calculation (from an online engineering "calculator") for the 4x4 uprights assuming they are 10 ft long with a 3.5" x 3.5" cross section. This calculation suggests that each of the vertical sections of the frame can take a load of over 10,000 lbs before buckling. Since my whole trailer is only supposed to weigh less than 4500 lbs, I have an almost 10x safety factor (4 x 10,000) in the design. I also just did a calculation for the 4x4 cross beams, and it would suggest that I could lift my entire trailer with one cross beam and only see .5" deflection (again, proceed with caution).

End of the day, if I did it over again, I might use something beefier for the cross beams, just for psychological protection.
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:16 PM   #27
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And another question . .

Awesome thread - very useful information for someone about to lift from above with chain hoists.

We have everything stripped out, ready to go, but wondered if anyone has encountered the belly pan being buck riveted onto the C channel? The buck rivets are not chiselling out. Do I have any option but to lift the bottom of the exterior skin and drill? The rivets seem to be about 3 to a foot.
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:17 PM   #28
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well thought i would wade in, i lifted mine from the bottom up as the guy who owns my barn didn't want me lifting something heavy on his beams!! well if i knew what i knew now!!, these are not heavy, i have a 25' totally stripped out and i would geuss that it wouldn't weigh more than 400 pounds, i braced and lifted it myself with jacks withoutr problem, when ihad to move the trailer from the barn i had to put the frame back on and the door was not secured and the whole body wanted to go sideways and i corrected this by myself (although a change of underwear was required!) so summing up the body is not heavy and if i ever did this again i would run a couple of 4x6 through the windows or a long one through the vents end to end and lift!! the body should hold itself up, many people talk about this semi monocock system but i can tell you that not one of my ribs went to my c-channels, the strongest point i believe was over the wheel wells so my new frame of 24 gauge steel should support that body just fine!! this aint rocket science and when we talk about trailer weight you can talk about fitout/axles and count the body out as a major contributor (although a top heavy air conditioner should be taken into consideration!)
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