Frame and shell are reunited
Back in place! It took some patience and a couple of fittings to find the tight spots.
This little sliver of wood made the front skin really tight fit, which in turn pulled everything behind it forward enough that our original rivet holes wouldn't line up. Given the new frame and floor I did not have the original holes in the frame to align the c channels on the frame. Perhaps expecting my rivet holes to line up again is too optimistic. In any case once we got it in position we first secured the rear with 1/4 in galvanized bolts every 4 inches throughout the curved section and rear. Then with the help of a 3 in strap we pulled down the rear sides and riveted one small section behind the wheel well. The buck rivets went in nicely and I was able to use the original rivet holes. I had to move my c channel about 1/16 of an inch to get them to align perfectly.
Still need to get the front secured with bolts then complete the riveting. Seems like each section needs little adjustments. I suspect after I secure a few more sections that the shell will be much more resistant to manipulation and I will have to abandon using all the original rivet holes. Time will tell.
It's a great feeling to get the shell back on. The idea of working on the trailer and not emerging covered in grime is nice
We purchased our 1976 Tradewind about 5 months ago, the first few weeks after we realized what we had gotten ourselves into was pretty stressful. Now that it is towable a lot of pressure is off and we can slow down, actually BUDGET for future improvements, and enjoy the process. The goal is still for a complete aluminum tent prior to January. That means all the electrical, insulation, interior skins, painting, lighting, vents, and exterior trim need to be complete. Plenty to accomplish by then.
Thanks to all for their support, encouragement, and know-how. Couldn't have done it without Airforums.
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