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Old 03-17-2008, 02:39 PM   #43
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Don't know to be honest. Without the chimney in place it might not operate correctly. Those units need to be pretty level. In electric mode, a heating element heats the tubing to create a convection current inside the system. It does the same in propane mode, except it uses the flame to heat the tube. Maybe one of the Gurus can tell us how to bench test a fridge. George.
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Old 03-17-2008, 03:35 PM   #44
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George, it seems more likely to find these rare individuals posting under Refrigerator section of the forum. Perhaps I'll start a thread there on this issue.

BTW concerning the removal of the refrig there were two aluminum plates holding it in place.
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Old 03-17-2008, 05:05 PM   #45
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I also found some time to remove a bit more of the belly skin in the area between the waste holding tanks. It appears as if the PO had previously accessed this area. The aluminum sheeting "door" which was riveted in place was different from the main skin. The black water value is stuck in the open position. Not possible to close it. The grey water value stills works..opens and closes. I'm not sure if it's possible to remove the elbow joint and y joint from the thetford valves in such a way as to preserve the joints to be reused later. Trash these and the valves and replace all? Looks like the c-clamps on the valves were installed from above. Maybe I wait and access this area from above? Note the supporting framework for the waste tanks welded to the frame crossmember.
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:43 AM   #46
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Good morning, The elbow joint and sweep Y connection are solvent welded to the valves. In order to replace the valves on our Argosy I had to replcae those pieces along with the valves. Rebuild kits are available for those valves, but given the hassle of changing them out, I chose to go with new. Those valves are expensive, $50-60 bucks a piece. The newer trailers all use Valtera brand valves which are much cheaper, but I not sure they will last 30+ years like the Thedfords. One last thing, resist the urge to use PVC instead of ABS.The PVC is cheaper and easier to get but,the ABS does not get as brittle in cold weather. Sorry, don't mean to steer your thread in a new direction. George.
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Old 03-18-2008, 09:57 AM   #47
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George, how did you actually remove the joints and valves? Which pieces came out first? Cut the joints then remove the c-clamps from the tanks?
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:28 AM   #48
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Yes, That's pretty much how it went. I loosened the rubber coupler, then cut where the 90 goes into the sweep Y. I reused the rubber coupler because I couldn't find a new one. I believe it's called a caldera coupler. The black water valve used an adapter to the tank. I reused that adapter as it was vulkemed and clamped onto the black water tank. Be carefull on the tanks. There are many different styles of valves. I couldn't tell which ones I needed until I took it all apart. Inland RV had the ones needed in stock. Check their website, they have good pictures and descriptions of the diff. valves. They were a few bucks higher per valve, but they had them when I needed them. George.
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Old 03-23-2008, 07:10 PM   #49
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I got a second opinion from another welder concerning the frame. He recommended replacing the main c-channel with 5" inch tube including the cross sections. The outriggers would be fabricated from sheet metal. He estimate the price of the steel materials at roughly around $1,000 - $1,500. So the two welders I have consulted are both estimating in the same ball-park.

The interior is now completely stripped. The copper propane tubing has been removed inside and outside. I decided to toss the water heater, toilet, furnace, and the stove/oven. The local garbage man threw them into the back of his truck as I waved fair-well to these original applicances. The refer is still sitting in the drive-way as the cooling unit is definitely shot. Probably the garbage man will get this one too come next weekend.

The interior wheel-well covers have been removed. I found these to be brittle and cracked. I wonder if these plastic covers are still available and replaceable? The exterior wheel well trim, curbside and roadside, has been removed as this extends below floor level. After the frame is removed the shell needs to sit fairly flush to the ground. For the same reason I removed the battery compartment assembly as the door frame also extends below floor level. So at this point the shell should sit level with the ground after the frame is out.

Next up is removal of the lower interior skins so I have access to the floor channels. Now that the headers and main assemblies are removed the shell is far less stable and will easily sway side-to-side with a push of the hand. So I need to make a plan for supporting the shell (minus the frame)? And then a plan for lifting the stablized shell off the frame?

My thinking so far is to remove the flooring except for the two sheets of plywood fore and aft of the wheel wells. The rear-most sheet of plywood is already out. So I would remove the plywood flooring between the wheel-wells and the forward most piece in the front. My guess is the two remaining sheets (fore and aft of the wheelwells) would provide some stability side to side and would be the point of attachment for framing from below with 2X8 or even 2X10s. The framing would also serve as a point for jacking or lifting the shell?

I would really appreciate some advise on doing this drive-way shell off!
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Old 03-23-2008, 07:57 PM   #50
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I would pick the welder that chose the the 5" tube for the frame. I would not recommend that the outriggers be made of sheet metal as they are what really hold the shell to the frame. use the 5" tube for these as well except that you should be able to cut the profiles on the outboard sides to match existing. You will have a frame better then the lighter duty original when done
Your method of removing the shell sounds good to me. Remember that there's no totally right way to do it just as long as you get it off then on again without damage
Any good sheet metal shop should be able to match the wheel wells with galvanized.
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:19 PM   #51
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Aerowood, I'm leaning toward this welder too. He's a retired welder, has a large a shop, owns a travel trailer himself (non AS) and seems interested in the project. He described using "sheet metal" at least as thick as the existing outrigger material but taking it to a metal shop who could bend the top and bottom sections of the outrigger to spec. The outside would be a radius cut he said he could do himself.

I wonder how heavy the shell will be? If I remove the AC unit could two men lift the shell (minus the frame)?
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Old 03-23-2008, 09:00 PM   #52
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I wonder how heavy the shell will be? If I remove the AC unit could two men lift the shell (minus the frame)?
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Old 03-23-2008, 10:17 PM   #53
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I'm guessing it's pretty light. Probably two men could lift it. Actually I think it might be a good idea to strap it down after the frame is out. A good gust of wind and the shell might end up lifting off... A couple sets of anchors in the slab and tow straps should do it.
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:22 PM   #54
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Floor Channel

There's nothing like a completely stripped interior where it's easy to see and work at the roots of all the assemblies and systems.

Also a couple pictures of the midship floor channel which is different from the floor channel on the ends. Here the floor channel is actually a part of the upper wall channel. So this makes for a challenge in the process of removing and replacing the flooring in one whole piece?
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Old 03-24-2008, 03:45 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monocoque
I'm guessing it's pretty light. Probably two men could lift it. Actually I think it might be a good idea to strap it down after the frame is out. A good gust of wind and the shell might end up lifting off... A couple sets of anchors in the slab and tow straps should do it.
Todd,

You will find that the shell is heavier than you think. I doubt 2 guys could lift it. Keep in mind you will need to be moving it and possibly crossing over the frame and other stuff. I think it is best that you put bracing inside so that an accident can't happen that might cause it to collapse some and possibly bend some panels. The more interior panels you remove the weaker the structure is. This bracing will also add weight.
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Old 03-24-2008, 03:55 PM   #56
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Todd,

You will find that the shell is heavier than you think. I doubt 2 guys could lift it. Keep in mind you will need to be moving it and possibly crossing over the frame and other stuff. I think it is best that you put bracing inside so that an accident can't happen that might cause it to collapse some and possibly bend some panels. The more interior panels you remove the weaker the structure is. This bracing will also add weight.
Your comments mirror my concerns. My thinking is to use some kind jacking system to lift the braced shell off the frame. After the frame is removed the frame will be placed straight down back on the ground and then strapped to the driveway with anchors placed in the concrete. I don't plan on moving it around.

I plan to leave two sheets of flooring attached to the shell for to brace the floor channel. So the walls won't skate outward or inward. I suppose I could brace the upper shell by reinstalling one of the header assemblies.

At this point, however, the shell seems fairly stable, although there is side to side sway, without the headers. But as you suggest removing the lower interior skins might reduce this stability even more...
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