Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-26-2005, 11:03 AM   #1
3 Rivet Member
 
58BUBBLE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 105
Images: 9
No steel plate in my Airstream.

I'm trying to decide if I should install a steel plate in the front of my Bubble. Airstream did not install one at the factory, I can only assume they didn't feel it was necessary on the small units. Does anyone out there have more info on this subject? It wouldn't be too hard to do but I would have to drill a bunch of holes in the front skin to attach it with rivets. It has held together without one for almost 50 years so I don't really know if it is needed.
__________________

__________________
58BUBBLE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2005, 11:56 AM   #2
4 Rivet Member
 
greg176's Avatar
 
1961 26' Overlander
Gabriola Island , British Columbia
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 474
Images: 1
The steel plate was there to reinforce the front for the battery box and I believe the bubble did not have one.I don't think it would be necessary to install one now.
__________________

__________________
greg176 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2005, 12:21 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
fireflyinva's Avatar
 
1961 22' Safari
Vienna , Virginia
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 579
Images: 3
We just disassembled our front end, having discovered that a battery leak had seeped into the frame some years back. Our steel plate had corroded to the point where when we opened it, we found it completely detatched (see the link in my signature for photos). The thing is, we found it did have a structural value, though our Safari is a bit longer than your Bubble.

It appears to have provided rigidity to the frame, preventing it from flexing. Evidence of the flexing can be found in our trailer from popped rivets (especially in the interior) and evidence of the body detatching in the front from the frame. The plate also seems to have a particular role in holding the outside skin in place.

Your trailer may not need all of this support, because of its smaller size. Also, while it may not have the front plate, it may have the crossmember the plate attaches to--and that might provide satisfactory rigidity to your trailer.

Mary
__________________
Our Airstream adventure continues!
Read the details at Tales of the Toaster
fireflyinva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2005, 04:07 PM   #4
3 Rivet Member
 
58BUBBLE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 105
Images: 9
There is no crossmember there either. Has anyone else out there had a small Airstream with no steel plate?
__________________
58BUBBLE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2005, 10:26 PM   #5
3 Rivet Member
 
aztlanco's Avatar
 
El Paso , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 233
Send a message via AIM to aztlanco
Bubble;
Exactly what steel plate are you talking about? I don't think I have one either on my '58 Traveler. It doesn't have a cross-member either.
My battery box is on the street side, in front of the wheel well on that side.
Ernie
'58 Traveler, 18ft.
__________________
aztlanco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2005, 10:38 PM   #6
3 Rivet Member
 
58BUBBLE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 105
Images: 9
http://www.airforums.com/photo...s&searchid=436
The steel plate attaches the shell to the frame. It is riveted to the front center skin and then bolted to the frame. markdoan has a picture of one at the above address.
__________________
58BUBBLE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2005, 04:16 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
fireflyinva's Avatar
 
1961 22' Safari
Vienna , Virginia
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 579
Images: 3
58 Bubble's link didn't work for me. However, I posted a diagram of this plate here:

http://toastertales.blogspot.com/200...ssessment.html

If you wander around my site, you'll also find lots of photos of the plate and crossmember that detatched from our trailer.

My opinion (and it is just that)--the plate does have a functional role in the trailer. That functional role, however, may not be necessary for a smaller trailer. The smaller trailers did have certain elements cut out for reasons of economy, though (for instance, they used lower grade wood for the furniture). Also, what they felt at that time was unneccessary, may not have been the wisest engineering decision. If I were in your shoes, I'd look for signs of flexing (popped rivets, etc.). If you do see signs of problems, check further to see if other factors are contributing. Even so, I'd still consider adding reinforcement in this area if it were my trailer. But if you don't find any problems, then it's probably fine without it.

Mary
__________________
Our Airstream adventure continues!
Read the details at Tales of the Toaster
fireflyinva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2005, 09:32 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Ken J's Avatar
 
1956 22' Flying Cloud
Durango , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: 1975 25' Tradewind
Posts: 3,363
Images: 14
Welp I have a 58 26' International Overlander (top of the line) and there is no plate.

Hmmm - I've thought about adding one especially since I have a small crease on the lower front panel - but the crease is not from not having a plate - its from a rotted floor. I figure since there wasn't one there, and it seems to be pretty solid - I thought I would just leave it as is.

Ken J
__________________
1956 Flying Cloud
Founder :
Four Corners Unit
Albuquerque National Balloon Fiesta
Rally
Vintage Trailer Academy - Formerly the original
restoration rally
Ken J is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2005, 12:17 AM   #9
3 Rivet Member
 
58BUBBLE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 105
Images: 9
I'm leaning in the same direction.
__________________
58BUBBLE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2005, 11:09 AM   #10
3 Rivet Member
 
58BUBBLE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 105
Images: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflyinva
58 Bubble's link didn't work for me. However, I posted a diagram of this plate here:

http://toastertales.blogspot.com/200...ssessment.html

If you wander around my site, you'll also find lots of photos of the plate and crossmember that detatched from our trailer.

My opinion (and it is just that)--the plate does have a functional role in the trailer. That functional role, however, may not be necessary for a smaller trailer. The smaller trailers did have certain elements cut out for reasons of economy, though (for instance, they used lower grade wood for the furniture). Also, what they felt at that time was unneccessary, may not have been the wisest engineering decision. If I were in your shoes, I'd look for signs of flexing (popped rivets, etc.). If you do see signs of problems, check further to see if other factors are contributing. Even so, I'd still consider adding reinforcement in this area if it were my trailer. But if you don't find any problems, then it's probably fine without it.

Mary

I'm interested to know what they used for cabinets in your trailer since according to you, mine has lower grade wood. I was always impressed with the quality of materials that went into my Bubble. Heck, 50 years later everything has held up very well.
__________________
58BUBBLE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2005, 11:42 AM   #11
Rivet Master
 
fireflyinva's Avatar
 
1961 22' Safari
Vienna , Virginia
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 579
Images: 3
Sorry, there was no intention to offend here.I got my reference to lower grade wood in the Bambi (don't know about Bubbles) out of the Vintage Airstream Club's FAQs (personally, I have no opinion on this).

It's a bit irrellevant to this thread, but since you asked, my trailer is red oak. Drawers, frames are made of good quality stuff, doors appear to be from somewhat lower grade plywood with veneers.

If anything is clear, there appears to be little industrial consistency. We were surprised to notice that the frame on our unit is made from considerably larger bar stock than another '61 safari from the same year. I wonder how much worse the damage would have been if it had the smaller stock.

Looks like the steel plate may have been an innovation of the late 50s, maybe even at first just as an option or used for testing.

As I said before, if you don't have problems, then the plate may not be necessary. It is a problem for us--and the functional role is demonstrable in the flexing that is now visible since we removed the floor there. However, do note, until we took the floor apart, the signs of trouble were pretty darn subtle.

TTYL,

Mary
__________________

__________________
Our Airstream adventure continues!
Read the details at Tales of the Toaster
fireflyinva is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cost to restore a gutted Airstream Draco General Interior Topics 28 02-19-2013 12:17 AM
future airstream motorhome betteleal Airstream Motorhome Forums 11 02-12-2005 02:39 PM
Late '80s Airstream Aluminum Fifth-wheel acwdgw Integrity 5th Wheel (all Years) 17 01-09-2004 11:20 PM
Airstream Related List Servers Andy R Link Archive 0 02-22-2002 03:05 PM
AirstreamTrailers.com - Airstream Link Library Andy R Link Archive 0 02-22-2002 02:31 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:38 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.