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Old 04-24-2011, 07:10 PM   #1
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How does my rear end look?

Hey all.
I'm hoping for some advice on my 77 Sovereign rear bath and rear end separation.I've already swapped out the axles and so now I'm ready to tackle what I thought was some rear end separation going on.Now I'm thinking that I have some damage due to the rear end being dragged or bottoming out on a driveway.
My question is.How does my rear end look and any advice on how to fix?????Click image for larger version

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Old 04-24-2011, 07:15 PM   #2
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Wheelie wheels.
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:21 PM   #3
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Hey all.
I'm hoping for some advice on my 77 Sovereign rear bath and rear end separation.I've already swapped out the axles and so now I'm ready to tackle what I thought was some rear end separation going on.Now I'm thinking that I have some damage due to the rear end being dragged or bottoming out on a driveway.
My question is.How does my rear end look and any advice on how to fix?????Attachment 128029

Attachment 128030

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The wheels damage the rear end every time they hit a bump, especially the quarter panels.

That's why Airstream installed the "skid plates".

Andy
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:26 PM   #4
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Is that girder attached to the trailer,or is it resting on it for some reason?

If it is attached, your rear end is too big*.

I have no experience with something like that, but whatever the cause, it needs work, possibly the same work for a separation anyway. That means bracing inside and out. What does the inside look like?

Gene

*A friend's wife actually asked me years ago if her rear end was too big. He had told me a few weeks before she had asked the same thing and he replied, "yes, it's the biggest one I've ever seen". It was big and I replied, "yes, it's the biggest one I've ever seen". Never asked again. We were very happy for him when they divorced.
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:28 PM   #5
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Hey Andy
So do I not have any kind of separation?I thought the wheels were a good idea even though they were already installed.I'll be taking those suckers off right away.Is the skidplate considered the channel the wheel is welded to?
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:05 PM   #6
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desertair,
Your rear doesn't look all that bad to me. I'd just remove the training wheels and treat the wood with some epoxy or spar varnish and enjoy your camper. This is what real rear end separation looks like.
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:12 PM   #7
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I've never thought those "trainers" were a good idea. I have given the nut on my trailer ball a "scrape" or two (o.k., more than a few).
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:18 PM   #8
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Hey Andy
So do I not have any kind of separation?I thought the wheels were a good idea even though they were already installed.I'll be taking those suckers off right away.Is the skidplate considered the channel the wheel is welded to?
Hard to tell, but you may have a little separation.

Jump up and down on the frame, and see if there is any movement at the top of the frame. If so, bad news, if not then good news.

The skid plates are what the wheels are mounted to.

Andy
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:21 PM   #9
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Thanks guys and I'm taking the wheels off asap.
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:06 PM   #10
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Training wheels... not good

When I first got my AS a few weeks ago, I also thought the wheels were a good idea so I wouldn't scrape up the back end (all of the SOBs I rented had them). Thankfully I posted a question before I made any modifications and got great advice "Don't Add Wheels!". Although we have only had our AS a short time, we haven't hit bottom yet. Even pulling into areas our rental SOBs would bottom out on. As everyone else has told you, get rid of the wheels and enjoy our restoration project.
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:26 PM   #11
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The wheels damage the rear end every time they hit a bump, especially the quarter panels.

That's why Airstream installed the "skid plates".

Andy
Just curious....how come the wheels cause more problems than just the skid plate alone when the weight of the rear end bottoms out?
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:48 PM   #12
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Hi,

Just looking at the pics,
the rear end looks pretty good in comparison to some of the other units on here.

If no rot, I would remove the old insulation, seal the floor with varnish or some kind of product, paint the rear frame, seal the gaps with vulcuem or par-bond, and put it back together and use it.
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Old 04-24-2011, 11:50 PM   #13
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Just curious....how come the wheels cause more problems than just the skid plate alone when the weight of the rear end bottoms out?
Well, first of all they bottom out more frequently since they're lower,
and these are mounted off to the side, cantilevered off of the skid plates and are causing the skid plates to bend.

Bottoming the rear of the trailer hard puts stress on the rear of the trailer; remember that Airstream frames (esp. of this vintage and size) are quite flexible. The body ends up taking a lot of the load, and this is Not Good.

Give those skid plates a lick of paint every so often, and don't worry about 'em. If you wear one out, any competent welder can rebuild them.

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Old 05-11-2011, 12:19 AM   #14
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So I have some separation for sure.Standing on the frame allows me to see movement.shouldn't the plywood floor edge be covered up by the upper skin?Is my frame sagging or bent?
I've included pictures of both sides.
Help!
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