Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-18-2010, 08:54 AM   #1
4 Rivet Member
 
PA BAMBI II's Avatar
 
1964 17' Bambi II
Vintage Kin Owner
Strasburg , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 471
Frame repair for Bambi II

Hi-The Bambi II I recently posted about ("Bambi or Bambi II?") turns out to be a very early Bambi II, perhaps the second off the line in Jackson Center. I paid $1000 knowing of the frame/tongue rot where the tongue protrudes from the body. It sat in a South Jersey backyard for twenty years...last registered in 1984. Lots of salt air down there!

Well, I have a very tentative repair estimate (actually given to the PO) for $1500...but that is just on what can be seen. Who knows what lies under the belly pan? The floor is very sold, and the rear bumper frame part looks very solid.

So...a few questions:
1) How to remove the center section of the belly pan? (I am guessing the front and rear seams/connections are hidden under the rub strip front and rear of trailer).
2) If we decide to, how to remove the body from frame? I have a mechanic friend with the equipment to lift the body off the frame and a collision repair friend who can do metal fabrication to fix/repair/replace frame sections.
3) What is the rectangular metal tube size for the main framerails/tongue on a Bambi II? (I am guessing 2" x 3" thick wall tubing). I can't get to the trailer right now and forgot to measure the other day!
4) Final one for now...my hope is to find solid framerail back a few feet from the tongue, weld up a new tongue/coupler combo to weld in and sister it to the existing (hopefully) solid frame. Is this an advisable way to handle this repair?

I think the low production number of this trailer makes me want to continue this project...but I would like to have some opinions on how to proceed. I have even thought of sistering the Airstream Bambi II body to a modern utility trailer frame ready to roll. All just ideas. Thanks for any responses!!

Ben
__________________

__________________
PA BAMBI II is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2010, 09:17 AM   #2
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,193
On that era Airstream, the belly pan wrap can be unriveted to expose the attachments of the belly pan. They can then be removed. You'll need to remove the LP lines so you don't damage them when you drop the belly pan. I don't know if the trailer can be safely towed as-is, but if it can you might want to tow it to a welding shop, and ask them to perform the repairs. They will probably charge by the hour, so time spent gaining access will be minimized by your removing the belly pan so they can get right into it. $1500 would probably be about 10 hours labor plus materials.
__________________

__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2010, 10:03 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
safari62's Avatar
 
1962 22' Safari
1957 22' Custom
Vacationland , Maine
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 922
Images: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by PA BAMBI II View Post
Hi-The Bambi II I recently posted about ("Bambi or Bambi II?") turns out to be a very early Bambi II, perhaps the second off the line in Jackson Center. I paid $1000 knowing of the frame/tongue rot where the tongue protrudes from the body. It sat in a South Jersey backyard for twenty years...last registered in 1984. Lots of salt air down there!

Well, I have a very tentative repair estimate (actually given to the PO) for $1500...but that is just on what can be seen. Who knows what lies under the belly pan? The floor is very sold, and the rear bumper frame part looks very solid.

So...a few questions:
1) How to remove the center section of the belly pan? (I am guessing the front and rear seams/connections are hidden under the rub strip front and rear of trailer).
2) If we decide to, how to remove the body from frame? I have a mechanic friend with the equipment to lift the body off the frame and a collision repair friend who can do metal fabrication to fix/repair/replace frame sections.
3) What is the rectangular metal tube size for the main framerails/tongue on a Bambi II? (I am guessing 2" x 3" thick wall tubing). I can't get to the trailer right now and forgot to measure the other day!
4) Final one for now...my hope is to find solid framerail back a few feet from the tongue, weld up a new tongue/coupler combo to weld in and sister it to the existing (hopefully) solid frame. Is this an advisable way to handle this repair?

I think the low production number of this trailer makes me want to continue this project...but I would like to have some opinions on how to proceed. I have even thought of sistering the Airstream Bambi II body to a modern utility trailer frame ready to roll. All just ideas. Thanks for any responses!!

Ben
last question first.

Reattaching this body to a utility trailer frame is not a good idea. Work with the existing frame measurements and replicate and repair the frame as it looks now. That does not mean you cannot add and reinforce parts inside the belly pan if needed.

What would be the point of restoring a vintage trailer with a low production # (that does not add to the value by the way) mounted on a utility spec frame? Kind of lowers the value right there.

Why consider removing the body from the frame if the floor is solid? You will know what you have to do after inspecting the underside of the floor after removing the center section of the belly pan. This will have to be done to expose the subfloor, remove insulation, current and former inhabitants and also fix the front frame. The fun is just beginning. Any snakes down there?

Removing the center section of the belly pan will allow the curved side sections of the belly pan that are is attached to flex down enough to get a look at the outrigger supports attached on the outer frame rails. If your front main frame rail is rusted through enough so the trailer cannot be towed, I will bet the outriggers and even the lighter gauge cross members are compromised also. But maybe not.

Of course this is a good time to take some measurements of the axle to order a replacement.

This is a classic case of why a deal trailer ($1000.00) can be not such a great deal. It is often not the fact that you will save money by going this route as opposed to buying a much better condition trailer, but the extented time frame (no pun intended) it takes to restore a unit with larger issues.

If you have the resources and time this can be a fun project that will pay dividends in camping fun in a few years.Yes, years. But if you want to restore it for resale to make money, stop right now and sell it to me. I will give you 2k for it so you just doubled your investment.

Of course there will be many other issues with a unit that has not moved for this long. But this is all part of the fun of owning vintage.

Please read all the restoration threads here if you will be doing this work yourself or even if you hire a pro.
__________________
safari62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2010, 06:58 PM   #4
4 Rivet Member
 
PA BAMBI II's Avatar
 
1964 17' Bambi II
Vintage Kin Owner
Strasburg , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 471
Thank you for your reply and your thoughts. I appreciate what you have said. I am trying to weigh my options...I know what I am getting into with this for the most part. I grew up with Airstreams (Dad is on his third), however I was not completely aware of how the "early" ones were put together. I was a tiny kid when Dad and Mom had their '66. For me this is a great deal for a Bambi II, and the only way we would sell it is if we got a reasonable chance at a '61-'63 Bambi...which is not likely. I am just happy to be "in the club" with a small, vintage Airstream. And...trust me, it will not take me years. We will be rolling well by end of summer. Not completely finished, but it will be clean, structured, and ready for camping.
__________________
PA BAMBI II is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2010, 11:30 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
safari62's Avatar
 
1962 22' Safari
1957 22' Custom
Vacationland , Maine
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 922
Images: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by PA BAMBI II View Post
Thank you for your reply and your thoughts. I appreciate what you have said. I am trying to weigh my options...I know what I am getting into with this for the most part. I grew up with Airstreams (Dad is on his third), however I was not completely aware of how the "early" ones were put together. I was a tiny kid when Dad and Mom had their '66. For me this is a great deal for a Bambi II, and the only way we would sell it is if we got a reasonable chance at a '61-'63 Bambi...which is not likely. I am just happy to be "in the club" with a small, vintage Airstream. And...trust me, it will not take me years. We will be rolling well by end of summer. Not completely finished, but it will be clean, structured, and ready for camping.
Hi Ben
That's great that your family has been into Airstreams so long. I would think that will help with your prior experience and memories when it finally comes to actually camping.

My trailer lived in NJ and later Delaware where I found it. It also sat for a long extended period unused. Because of my lack of experience with campers it took me much longer to restore, hence the "years" comment regarding length of repair. After the running gear repairs the restoration of the interior and exterior took much longer then I thought. I also became obsessed with the restoration but that almost never happens to anyone else.

But if you are thinking end of summer as the cast off date it must be in better shape then I was imagining. And as far as actual square footage of area to work on bambi is way ahead already.

So it sounds like a go. Post some photos and war stories of the rescue when it happens.
__________________
safari62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2010, 05:19 PM   #6
3 Rivet Member
 
JFerguson's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
Gloucester , Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 162
It is interesting to me that you found a 64 with a solid floor. I wonder if the floor had been redone by a PO? My 64 Overlander will need a complete shell off restoration as the floor is ruined and the frame needs love too. Incidentally mine was a 'bargain' at $750. I like your energy but I am giving myself a few years to finish mine and do it right. My short term goal is simply getting it roadworthy this year. Your Bambi II and my Overlander are probably constructed similarly so if you need to a picture of a space that I've been in and you haven't let me know.
JFerguson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2010, 05:22 PM   #7
3 Rivet Member
 
JFerguson's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
Gloucester , Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 162
Oh and I agree you can put out a little more initial outlay and have a much easier resto situation but for me it's about rescuing something that would have eventually faded away. These old Airstreams are Americana at it's finest and worth saving.
__________________

JFerguson is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Frame Repair... MJMarkhams70 Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame 5 08-06-2009 06:03 PM
shop repair of 1970s rear frame separation (non elephant ears repair) RV shop review simonhanbury Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame 49 06-24-2008 10:16 AM
Frame Repair Aluminati Belly Pans & Banana Wraps 2 10-12-2007 07:55 AM
Frame Repair or New Frame muddy_hollow Brakes & Brake Controllers 14 09-26-2006 06:55 PM
Frame Repair greg176 Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame 40 07-29-2004 10:05 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:00 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.