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Old 04-27-2014, 06:49 AM   #43
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Okay now let's add a little thought! First find a picture from a previous post of a frame posted by someone and print it. Then look for a welder using the picture for the estimate and make sure they do not have a backlog of work and are not shade tree! You can negotiate your price and when you find one get a by date for the job max price 4.5k hopefully you can get it for 1k less! Then if you are going to repair the 1 you have go get like 20 1/8th drill bits and rent a 15x20 storage locker and buy a memory card for your camera and get started! Take lots of pictures for reassembly and start removing the interior front first put it in storage then the middle and so forth! Take pictures of the plumbing and while it is apart consider replacing it with pex water lines. Read about frame repairs and modifications for gouge to make yours better then original! Next remove the lower skins (if you want to replace the insulation then all of the skins but not necessary) next find a spot in your yard where the shell will be out of harms way and using the forums brace the shell using examples for others and yes scrap wood from the base scrap pit will work! Then using a jack and help from others (safety) raise the shell (yes by now you will have removed the buck rivets holding the shell to the frame) rest the shell on 4x4's on cinder blocks. Also place a picture of me on a disposable object so that you can shoot, spit, throw things at during those moments of utter frustration! You paid 9 you want to keep it below 16 so be a hard ass. Please keep us posted and yes if I were closer I would love to help!
Cliff
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Old 04-27-2014, 07:37 AM   #44
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Fwiw, for me "pretty quick", figuring mostly a weekend schedule , would be to have the frame replaced and safely movable by the time you PCS.

Which would save you from losing virtually all of your investment.
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:06 AM   #45
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Thanks fellas for the encouragement.... You all are trouble! Before long you are going to have me convinced I could actually pull this off.

Still need to talk to my boat frame friend on Monday see what he thinks. Also he might be able to recommend welders, vocational schools, etc.

There is an airstream guy in foley, al that bird-dogs airstreams from across the country. Mainly he resells as quickly as he finds them. He offered to let me put my trailer on his lot. Says he sells several airstreams a week to companies looking to use the for restaurants, etc. He said in our short conversation that we might be able to get 7k or more since the body is good and these guys aren't looking to tow. I just have a hard time believing that and feel a little nervous parking my property on consignment in his lot. Any feedback on this?

Seems like it would be better to take 2k loss and look for a trailer that's not rusted to heck and back....
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:10 AM   #46
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Just curious. Is it possible to convert a boat trailer to work here with expanding out the sides to equal the spacing of the outriggers? They usually have sub frames to mount the axles to to allow them to adjust the tongue weight depending on the size and configuration of the boat. It would also save having to buy a set of these funky rubber axles too. And in the FL panhandle, there are TONS of old boat trailers kicking around.

And to the OP. I feel for ya. 9g's was quite a lot to sink into this beast. The question is now, do you throw another 5g in just to get it roadworthy or walk away and try and recoup a small percentage back. You got small kids that you wanted to take camping, this project will still be a work in progress a year from now, they wont understand that. So take your time, get some answers to scope out your options. Whatever time you estimate for your work, double it or triple it. If you do it all right, the rig will probably be worth 15g's by the time you get done, especially with some new appliances along the way. Go spend 15g on a new SOB trailer and see what it will be worth in 5 years, you will have lost half your value. And if you decide to go ahead with the project, then find some cheap $1000 pop up that you can get the kids out in, they wont care if its half falling apart, they will love the time they spend with you in it and when the stream is done, you can dump it for about what you paid for it.
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Old 04-27-2014, 12:20 PM   #47
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You are definitely right. What we are trying to decide now is whether to cut and run on this one (if we could only lose a few thousand). Then regrouping and buying smarter and finding a trailer that's not rotten and rusted.


Is that even realistic? To find a trailer with a good body and a solid roadworthy frame (axles can be original can replace) for 7-8k?
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Old 04-27-2014, 02:45 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by millertimeUS View Post
You are definitely right. What we are trying to decide now is whether to cut and run on this one (if we could only lose a few thousand). Then regrouping and buying smarter and finding a trailer that's not rotten and rusted.


Is that even realistic? To find a trailer with a good body and a solid roadworthy frame (axles can be original can replace) for 7-8k?
It's realistic, but in your case its already OBE. We paid 6500 for ours about 18 months ago. While it wasnt perfect, the PO had done what he could to maintain it and had owned it for around 17 years IIRC. Even then, we ended up with some floor rot in the back and some rust up forward, both of which are fixed or in process right now. I havent kept a firm record, but we are probably another 4K into ours right now with just all the repairs and appliance/furnishing upgrades. (New AC, newer fridge, axles, wheels, and lots of wood and other supplies). But you are into it for 9 grand right now and unless the PO wants to do right by you and either take it back or at least give you a few grand back to help out, you can count on taking probably a 7-8K loss since I doubt that trailer will bring you more than 2 grand on a very good day with all that damage.

If you do go ahead with the repairs, then you may end up ahead several years down the road, but it will be with lots of time, money, blood, sweat and tears invested. You really have to love working on it, or you won't get it done. Personal experience talkng here. Again, keep in mind that any new SOB trailer that costs you 20G new will be worth about half that in so many years, and that doesn't take into account the financing costs. And it won't be an Airstream.
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:24 PM   #49
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Millertime's rear bathroom rot '76 Tradewind thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by aquinob View Post
It's realistic, but in your case its already OBE. We paid 6500 for ours about 18 months ago. While it wasnt perfect, the PO had done what he could to maintain it and had owned it for around 17 years IIRC. Even then, we ended up with some floor rot in the back and some rust up forward, both of which are fixed or in process right now. I havent kept a firm record, but we are probably another 4K into ours right now with just all the repairs and appliance/furnishing upgrades. (New AC, newer fridge, axles, wheels, and lots of wood and other supplies). But you are into it for 9 grand right now and unless the PO wants to do right by you and either take it back or at least give you a few grand back to help out, you can count on taking probably a 7-8K loss since I doubt that trailer will bring you more than 2 grand on a very good day with all that damage.

If you do go ahead with the repairs, then you may end up ahead several years down the road, but it will be with lots of time, money, blood, sweat and tears invested. You really have to love working on it, or you won't get it done. Personal experience talkng here. Again, keep in mind that any new SOB trailer that costs you 20G new will be worth about half that in so many years, and that doesn't take into account the financing costs. And it won't be an Airstream.

We will see what our custom boat trailer friend says tomorrow when the sees it. On the plus side I can't imagine a better person to help me figure out how to get a new frame put together. Will keep he group posted.

On the flip side I have started to envision a big gantry in my side yard. Neighbors are going to LOVE that if it happens.
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:39 PM   #50
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Okay swabby it's time to put the Dixie cup and roll up the sleeves get to work! If a boat frame work would not the cheap buttholes at airstream started using them? You can do this and yes you will be proud of it when it is done, so unless you are planning on calling it the ss whimpy you need to get busy! Take a 2k loss!?! That sounds like defeat trying to kick in and you just do not seem the type! You want to do this because you do not like to quit and I think that you would just love to drive the finished product past the scumbag that sold it to you and just smile! Listen to your gut not your lazy side and we all have them, I call it the drothers. If you have questions ask and if you quit cut and run it's all good! Later and if I offended I am sorry just want to rile and wake that sailor up and get him busy!
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:16 PM   #51
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And no don't let some one sell it for you!
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:32 PM   #52
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check out our thread. your pictures look all to familiar, we hired a welder off Craigslist and he did a great job and very reasonable, he was trying to start his own welding business and he had tons of experience. I purchased the frame parts on line. Our welder fabricated the main frame pieces. Our welders time fabrication materials plus the two cross members and outriggers I purchased cost was $500. Not to bad considering. We did the Axles ourselves, not a bad job, plus we got cash back from recycling the old axles.
here is a link to our on going re-do
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f420...d-98384-3.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f420...d-98384-4.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f420...d-98384-5.html
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Old 04-27-2014, 07:09 PM   #53
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You have to ask yourself...

Do you want to go camping with your family?

Or, do you want spend a great deal of your life to become a travel trailer restorer?
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:55 PM   #54
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I'll chime in here only because your oh-what-have-I-done realization is so familiar to many of us on the forums, and sometimes it helps to know that others made it through, learned a lot, and have something nice to show for it, too.

I was in your shoes 15 months ago, and decided to hold my nose and jump in the deep end. Now, my day job does nothing to prepare me for this stuff, and I deliberate too much (I'm slow). Plus, I have done it all by myself (with the incredibly ingenious people on this site, obviously). Still, I found only the rear quarter and the step area of the frame needed replacing, and I am now at the point of putting back the bath and working my way forward. The end is in sight, and we will have a very well-refurbished, updated Airstream to enjoy and pass down to our kids.

Your kids are small, but if they can become a part of the process with dad, some lasting dividends can come from that. At this point, attitude is 90% of it; whatever you decide to do, it will all work out for good…

Alan
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:21 PM   #55
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Cliff, no offense taken brother. Everyone needs a good kick in the tail. Thanks to all for their support as I have processed this over the last few days.

Oh and no intention of using a boat frame lol. He just makes custom frames and I figure he would know what he was looking at and give us the final answer on how to proceed.

Again I REALLY appreciate the support and don't know what I would have done without it.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:47 AM   #56
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I'm just finishing up repairs to my '77 Safari and going camping in a few weeks. We have the exact same bathroom. My frame was not quite as bad as yours but I had to replace the rear cross member and some outriggers, replace some floor, new rear hold down and I built new custom walls cabinets and counter tops.


I'm not a professional restorer, I'm actually an accountant, but I'm a handy accountant


Pull the entire belly pan and get someone who knows frames to assess the extent of the needed repairs.
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