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Old 10-01-2010, 07:40 AM   #15
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1975 Argosy 26
1963 24' Tradewind
Seattle , Washington
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Yikes.... but it's hard to tell where those last two pics are shot from. Honestly, it looks like this trailer was from the EAST coast, or stayed along the sea or sound for awhile, the way it's rusted. I'm shocked that the Aframe didn't collapse on the pull home.

I'd get some cheap electric shears from Harborfreight and cut the center panel of the bellypan off (leaving about 12" or so of wrap down the sides) and check it out.
So sorry.... is this a tandem TW or single axle?

The good news is that the frame construction is really quite simple... the bad news is to really rebuild the frame or make a new one means you probably will gut the trailer and lift the shell.


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Old 10-01-2010, 08:35 AM   #16
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The frame can be fixed. I doubt the rest of that trailer is in as gooda shape as you think it is either. I'd want a look at the rest before I called the welder. Now'd be the time to re-sell it if ya don't want to rebuild it.

Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:56 AM   #17
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1972 29' Ambassador
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Actually fertilizer runoff, being around agricultural areas, can be worse than being ocean-side (if they don't run their trailer through the actual surf at Daytona Beach)... And the folks who run away from winter weather a little late and track through ice-melt chemicals set up problems just like what you are seeing there!

Good luck, don't let your momentum wind down half way into it if you decide to proceed!

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Old 10-01-2010, 01:45 PM   #18
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On the grand scale of things, this is bad, but not The End.

If you were looking at making light repairs to get a usable trailer, you have ended up with a full restoration project.

If you were planning on a restoration that involved floor work, yes, this adds a couple of steps, and some additional costs but in the grand scheme of things it probably isn't a deal-breaker.

The quotes normally bandied about on airforums are of retail about $3000 to replace the frame with a new one. Often, people have (or make) strategic friends with someone who can weld, who can then either heavily repair the frame or make a new one with measurements from the old one. In those cases, materials are the main cost, and the main material is beer*

If you can accept the idea of a shell-off restoration, this is merely a bump in the road.

An alternative is that you could donate the trailer to someone willing to do a full resto, and set the loss against your next tax return as a true loss. (Any tax professionals here to advise?)

*do not provide the beer prematurely, or workmanship will suffer, and you may end up worse off
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:11 PM   #19
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1952 25' Cruiser
Foresthill , California
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Building a new frame is fun and it gives you peace of mind.
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:27 PM   #20
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Nice work, nice shop!
"A settled wisdom, plus the itch to be elsewhere"
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Old 10-02-2010, 01:59 AM   #21
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North Everett , Washington
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Yeah lifes a challenge sometimes and I could hate the person who sold us this trailer but I'm gonna fix this Little Trade Wind and its gonna be the best Trade Wind in the world and we're gonna love it and rock it from coast to coast and in 30 yrs. when we retire its gonna be the coolest 68 yr. old trailer on the road.
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Old 10-02-2010, 02:05 AM   #22
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And yes that shop is BAD ASS!!! Jealous
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Old 10-02-2010, 02:19 AM   #23
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rozenburg , netherlands
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Yeah, just build a new frame! Keep up faith. Ok it is a setback but if you do it, do it bthe wright way.
i am just finished building the new frame and now in the process off building up again. Alot, a lot of work but finally it will be ready for another 40 years.
1974 31ft sovereign international
1976 SMV 520
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:41 AM   #24
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Good luck on your restoration, that's a project but with the expertise that we have seen in just a few looky here at mine, you'll be in that club soon.

To the frame replacement guys, very impressive work.
S/OS #001
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:29 PM   #25
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New guy looking at 72 International 31' Soveriegn

We are just getting ready to buy a 1972 31' International, rear bath, clean skin, everything works, new converter, battery, hot water heater, rest is stock. Looks to good to be true. I have gone though the trailer with the check list off this web site. Is there anything I should look out for in the 72 models made in Calif....?
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:40 PM   #26
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The good news is that your new frame shouldn't be substantially more expensive than the repair cost you were anticipating already. The bad news is that you will have to dissasemble the interior and remove the floor and bellypan, take the shell off the frame, and have the new one made. I seriously doubt that your frame is any better behind the A-frame.
So you weren't planning on doing a frame-off restoration, hey? If you are handy and don't mind taking the time to do this, then it can be very rewarding and you can end up with a personalized Airstream for a fraction of the cost of a new one.
If this isn't what you were planning to spend the next couple of years working on, you may want to put it up for sale and try again, or get another one, in good shape, to use while you fix up this one.
Any chance you can get back to the seller and tell him you won't hardly feel the need to take him to small claims court if he refunds your money in full or at least a very large part, like enough to replace the frame? If you really got hosed as you say, at least you have the threat of a lawsuit as leverage to have them refund as much of the purchase price as it would take to make it a worthwhile deal. What the hell, right? If you sue him for the amount you paid and win, you still keep the trailer, and get your money back, if you can collect it...

This is fraud. They sold you something that is extremely unsafe to have on any road, and they not only knew about it, but they tried to pass the expense of the repair and the liability in case of injury or death, on to YOU. What if this thing seperated from YOUR tow vehicle on the way home, and killed or maimed somebody?

I'm pissed! You should be too.
Rich the Viking
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Old 10-04-2010, 04:17 AM   #27
Living and Learning
1973 29' Ambassador
Pemberville , Ohio
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See your beer friends above

Given the earlier statements about beer buddies that can weld. I'd work to become friends with the folks above showing their frame off restorations. I'd just hope someone lives close to you. Most folks who have those welding skills, and the time to do it, can sometimes be wonderful willing folks to work with. Especially if you are up to the task of helping. Do the dirty and tedious work for them, and you can end up with something done absolutely right, at a discount, and you will walk away with more wrinkles in your brain than you thought were possible.

Good Luck, it look doable.
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:13 PM   #28
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MILAN , Illinois
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Do Not Tow The Trailer! The best thing to do is to remove the belly skins back from the tongue A-frame until you find the original welded connection to your floor frame members and cut it off so all the new A-frame is a full solid frame. Any aluminum that has corroded will need to be replaced as well. Removal of the flooring will be required to get this welded in right. Ed

1967 Safari Twin "Landshark" w/International trim package
1999 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT
"My tire was thumping, I thought it was flat. When I looked at the tire, I noticed your CAT!" Burma Shave
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