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Old 12-31-2015, 10:21 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1976 31' Excella 500
Chesapeake , Virginia
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 8
Metal supplier

I'm having trouble finding the metal channel to replace the frame on my '76 Excella project. Everything is to big, I found a place that can bend sheets but only 10' long. I'm in Chesapeake, Va.

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Old 12-31-2015, 11:19 PM   #2
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1975 Argosy 28
Springville , Alabama
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 675
Are you doing a total new frame build or repairing the original? Most original frames and be repaired with angle iron or channel. New frames I would with 2x5 or 2x6 rectangular stock found at most metal supply yards. Hope this helps.

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Old 01-01-2016, 07:18 AM   #3
1 Rivet Member
1976 31' Excella 500
Chesapeake , Virginia
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 8
The structural steel at the standard supply yards is available. It is at least twice if not three times as heavy and thicker than the original frame. I want to improve the original design but still want to be reasonable on the weight.
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Old 01-01-2016, 07:30 AM   #4
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2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
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If nothing available locally check out shipping cost is the killer with ordering metal on line.

Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
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Old 01-01-2016, 09:08 AM   #5
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1976 31' Excella 500
Chesapeake , Virginia
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 8
I know, it's crazy. There is a ton of military and construction around here I should be able to find what I need eventually. I've been reading some threads on frame builds trying to figure out what is best.
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Old 01-01-2016, 10:12 AM   #6
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1991 34' Excella
1963 26' Overlander
1961 26' Overlander
Central , Mississippi
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The frame work I've done has been limited to the '50's/'60's that have 4" tall rails. I've used 2x4 x .125 thick stock that's available locally in 40' long sticks.

I'm looking at a scratch built 32' frame and I plan on 2 x 6 or even 8" material.
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Hi Ho Silver RV! Vernon, Sarah, Mac the Border Collie -
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Old 01-03-2016, 05:55 PM   #7
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1976 31' Excella 500
Chesapeake , Virginia
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 8
That's the thickness I was thinking 1/8. Everything seems to be 3/16 or a 1/4 I've seen so far which seems heavy. Rugjenkins I have to repair the original just to get my Jewel home to build the frame from new. The frame is basically rotted from the front door to the ball with nothing to weld or bolt to with new metal. Frame is broken in two where the A frame for the hitch turns into the straight 5" C channel that runs the length of the trailer. Trying too figure out a way to make it move able, not neccesarily to tow but move it into a position I can get it on a landoll or similar to get it to my house. It is parked between two rows of boxwoods with about 50' before it has to make a 90 degree turn onto a 1 1/2 lane road. I was thinking 5 X 2 channel or box to attach to the original channel near the axles where the frame is still "good" or at it's best to the front and redo the A shaped part of the tongue. 20' or a little less. Channel, some angle as cross members and a 2x2 square tube to make a new hitch. Bolt the channel together where that original metal is strong and screw through the floor the rest of the distance to the front of the trailer for support. I'm probably the poorest person to ever own an Airstream so I'm trying to figure out how to reuse metal when I get it back to my house for the repairs. I was thinking I could grind off the hitch assembly and be able to reuse that metal and the 5x2 metal in the new frame I have to build. I've learned a ton of info from searching the threads. HiHo I looked at your blog your trailer is gorgeous, if mine can end up half as nice as that I'll be happy. This forum is awesome, I've been doing mostly frame research since that is my immediate need but looked at window rehab, plumbing etc.. everything is out there just need the confidence to make a decision and move forward. Thanks Streamers!!!

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