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Old 10-22-2018, 05:44 PM   #1
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1963 22' Safari
West Palm Beach , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 13
Frame Condition

I've removed the subfloor of my 1963 Safari. I was concerned about the condition of the frame because of the age of the Airstream and the condition of the subfloor. Overall, I think the frame looks really good, but I wanted to get a second opinion.

I have attached a few photos. Most photos show the areas I am concerned about.

Specifically:
  • Is the frame (in general) in as good condition as I seem to think it is?
  • How do you recommend I repair the areas of concern?
  • Are there specific wire brushes that are recommended for removing the rust? Are certain brushes too "rough"?
  • Do I need to address the area beneath the frame (the area that touches the aluminum belly pan)?
  • What should I apply to the frame to prevent further rust?
  • Is it okay if the rust protection "paint" ends up on the belly pan aluminum?
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Old 10-22-2018, 08:14 PM   #2
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2016 30' Classic
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Hinckley , Ohio
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Frame Condition

There is a chemical call Ospho It is a rust neutralizer. You can purchase it at a auto body supply house. It will leave a black primer ready to paint. I would put that on the rust after you scrape the loose stuff off.

Metal studs could replace the rotted pieces. Just use heavy gauge ones and weld them in.
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Old 10-22-2018, 08:44 PM   #3
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 651
I would think having the belly pan in place would limit access and rework on the frame. It has been done and I know what a pain it is to detach everything. There’s a lot of surface rust. You need to knock that off to determine the thickness of the remaining steel. The damage may extend deeper than thought. Steel angle is not that expensive. Cut out the questionable members and replace them. There are wire brush attachments and 50 grit sanding attachments for 4” side grinders. Get through the rust and expose the steel. A stable frame is very important. Allow access to do the work properly if needed. Good luck and I’m sure others will chime in on the frame repair. Bubba
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Old 10-22-2018, 11:23 PM   #4
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1958 26' Overlander
Battle Ground , Washington
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 143
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Personally I agree with Bubba in pulling the belly pan to do a thorough inspection of the frame members. I found most of my corrosion was on the bottom of the frame members. Listed below are a few thoughts that may have an effect on how you want to approach this decision.

Is the belly pan attachment still in good condition? Any sections need repair/replacement? I found most of the corrosion on aluminum panels was in the belly pan.

Are you planning to pull the shell? If so, putting the frame on some type of A frame or rotisserie makes rotating the frame simple. This will make a lot of work much quicker and easier.

Another consideration is what are you planning to do in the rebuild? New or additional tanks? If they'll be below the floor, will they fit with the original cross members positions?

Good luck and remember to have fun.
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