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Old 04-03-2009, 07:26 PM   #1
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Burlington , Massachusetts
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 6
Frame Inspection

I'm almost embarrassed to ask such an amateur question, but this is how we learn, right?
As I continue my search for a 1980's Excella, how do I inspect for frame rot on a trailer with an intact belly pan? Or do I just assume that the frame is OK if the unit has no other visible signs of past or current water damage (one of the main reasons I walked away from the last trailer I looked at)
Also, I got some great advice here on how to check the axles (the other main reason I walked away from the last one). Should I expect that any A/S from the '80s will probably need new axles? What is the typical life expectancy on the Dura Torque axles?



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Old 04-03-2009, 09:29 PM   #2
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1967 30' Sovereign
Los Lunas , New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,333
Well, you buy the thing, hitch up, and head out here to New Mexico, and I'll show you how.

It's a whole lot easier to show how in person. I'll bet a buck that somebody up your way will be able to help you assess the rig.


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Old 04-04-2009, 06:43 AM   #3
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2016 20' Flying Cloud
Centennial , Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,068
Please don't be embarassed to are way ahead of the game by asking these questions before you buy.

Go to and read about the axles. There are also lots of posts on this forum about axles and how to test for frame rot.

I am sure lot's of folks will chime in with the best way to answer your questions.

Good luck with your search....before you know it you will have the Airstream of your dreams.
Steve "Centennial Man"
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Old 04-04-2009, 07:17 AM   #4
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1972 25' Tradewind
old mystic , Connecticut
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 320
OK I'll take a stab at this one, having been there and done that. Get yourself an ice pick. Open the lower cabinets. Pull back the carpet a little and poke the icepick into the subflooring. Solid means probably no water damage, hence probably no frame rot.

Place that are most vernerable, bathrooms, does the bath room floor flex at all? Poke under the cabinet with your icepick, does it look like its been leaking around the toilet? If so assume more rot.

Roof vents also leak. Check the floor directly under the AC unit and Vents if its carpet poke it with your ice pick, OK maybe owner won't like that but, your are the one spending the money.

Also in front of the door, water leaking in under the door rots of course the floor and then migrates down onto the frame.

There really is no other way to check the frame unless you remove the bellypan.

And done be afraid to ask questions, some of mine have been pretty dumb, I didn't even know what a blackwater tank was when we first started our Airstream journey!

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