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Old 07-17-2012, 09:14 PM   #1
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Ok this is JUST NOT FUNNY!!!

First my trailer is barely 7 years old. It is ONLY 22' long, I always travel with my black and grey tanks empty! I never put anything in the back of the trailer, always over the wheel base - besides I travel light!....that is just the hook to get you interested...

And of course I'm a woman so you have to have the whole story!!

Had to move her over a width off the deck to get at the wheels - my green bin is acting as my internet hub and router house cause the cable don't reach ug Also have to get the owner to give me some new slabs - no wonder I have not been level. He brought over a load of gravel so I'm thinking I have to do that myself as well
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I was deep into saving myself $800 and changing out my own brakes.

Got a great price for new complete assembly and drums that come with bearings. Just have to pack em with grease.
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Got her jacked up doing one side at a time. Got the wheels off, and then the Drums. And set her back down on the jack stands with safeties in front and back just in case - you know I do have to live in it while I'm doing this as well as work for a living too
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Got stuck on the brakes cause I could not budge the backing plates bolts - needed a real strong box wrench that fit - with some surrogate man power also known as a hammer - was going to beat the you know what out of that to avoid having to fire them up and set me and the trailer on fire with my LUCK!

Got the first one off after about 45 minutes of brute woman strength - oh PS men out their saw your dumb dumb thread - kind of a waste of time for us women to jump in that now don't you think

Got to the back wheel - hammering away on the first of four bolts and something caught my eye - well I will tell YA this is an eye opener alright.
Ya see it....I did not see it when I took this pic - just amazed at how rusted and bad my brakes looked.

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Look a little closer!!!

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There is NO WAY in tinkers bell a chassie main frame should be split clean through!! like this. I have worked on several vintage trailers and never seen anything like this.
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What GIVES here?? Is this a faulty frame?

I am putting a call into the Factory first thing in the morning. And I better get some serious "yes we will fix this right away MS" answers.

Man I don't speed, I don't over load, I'm hitched correctly - this just does not make any sense!

As it is I am going to need a temporary plate welded there just to get me to the factory. How the heck do they fix something like this - have to take the whole thing apart?

Send me lots of Karma cause I'm feeling mighty sick to my stomach right now. Just when I was getting so excited that I could get on the road again with all new brakes - wham!
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:29 PM   #2
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What's happened to your frame is not right, but a welded plate to mend the break will be the answer. Realistically, I don't think that you want to think about any other method of repair. At least it's in an accessible area, and that you found it!
Finish your brake job, get the frame welded, and keep goin' !
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:36 PM   #3
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A while back there where several threads about cracked frames on the 22'ers. Here's a long one. There's a kit from Airstream. You may have to get the kit sent to you and have it installed where it sits by a competent welder.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...ure-48105.html
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:37 PM   #4
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Nice pics. Zoomed in, the lower part of the crack almost looks welded. Those aren't weld marks are they? Wow, that's scary for a 2005. It will be very interesting to hear what AS has to say. Please keep us posted.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:39 PM   #5
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But the frame is sitting down below the floor about 1/4 inch where the split is - how will that be straightened properly?

With this I wonder what the rest of the frame is like - I'm scared to drop the belly pan now - which it is about to drop off anyway as most of the screws have rusted and flat head rivets corroded through.

I'm real good at washing this baby down after every trip during the winter...

Oh hum I will never sleep - I really do hope AS FAC has some answers for me, and how I am going to go about doing this - hopefully with their help!
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:42 PM   #6
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Oh sorry posted while you guys were posting. Will check out that thread right away Thanks.

No it has not been welded - but the bottom part has moved insides the top seems to spread out if you know what I mean.

I know she is a bit rusty - but heck all the paint has not come off yet...
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newroswell View Post
A while back there where several threads about cracked frames on the 22'ers. Here's a long one. There's a kit from Airstream. You may have to get the kit sent to you and have it installed where it sits by a competent welder.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...ure-48105.html

OMG - I'm on page 10 and can't read anymore!!!

How come the factory has not sent anything out to anyone about this - not even as a warning to have the frame checked periodically - this is pure negligence!

I shudder to think of my coming trip south in a few weeks if I had not caught this.

Something has to be done and I am not taking no for an answer. This is not a threat either - it is simply fact. This is not right, and peoples safety has been at great risk, when it could have either been avoided or forewarned.

When I bought the trailer from Paula it was completely serviced at the Factory - there was still a bit of warranty and I was changed over to receive any notifications - I have received nothing - and have been at the same address.

And the likes of this thread surely something should have been done or said. Trust me to take a hiatus from the forums a year after I bought it.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:36 PM   #8
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I know, it's a horrible situation. BUT, it can be fixed. It's just a matter of who pays for what and where it gets done. Julianne had Uwe of Area 63 Productions weld her kit on. It was quick, the trailer's better than new.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newroswell View Post
I know, it's a horrible situation. BUT, it can be fixed. It's just a matter of who pays for what and where it gets done. Julianne had Uwe of Area 63 Productions weld her kit on. It was quick, the trailer's better than new.
I guess when I call the factory I will find out if this "kit" is still available. And yes who pays for this?? (Not me!)

There are only two Airstream Dealers - one is 8 hours away and the other 4 hours away - so how do I tow this there - and who pays for that.

I know that if I contact my insurance company now - if they find out that this was a known issue from Airstream warranty or no warranty factory defects up here are taken care of free of charge. But they will instruct the Factory to take care of this even though I am a resident of Ontario - it is a USA product.

Oh Lord what a mess....and here I was having so much fun coming back to the forums...

Ha you never know - these forums may just have saved my LIFE! literally.

Ok yes a little drama right now but heck I've been through a lot lately.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:45 PM   #10
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I had a 2003 International 22 with the bathroom and galley in the rear. They were breaking the frame at that point regularly because of all the weight in the rear. I was lucky and had the kit installed before mine broke.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:51 PM   #11
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The model I have is the desk at the back and side bathroom - hardly any weight - galley is over the left wheel well.

We changed the dinette but the weight of the l-seating is the same or slightly more.

I only put my microwave on the seat along with my toaster oven. Big Mac sleeps on the bed - and the rest is stowed in bins as per the storage layout and mostly linens. Ha like I said I travel really light.

So if there is a question of overweight - doubt it. 500 pound level pars only run with the GMC sierra 06 model which does not have a supper stiff suspension.

Well I am sure this will all take time, and hopefully I can work this all out with the Factory in the morning.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:15 PM   #12
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Hi, this is obviously a factory designed defect and should be properly repaired [new beefier frame] and should cost you nothing execept for getting to Jackson Center and back.
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:09 AM   #13
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Lot of corrosion there. Unfortunately, it would take a metalurgial analysis to see which came first, the crack or the corrosion. Corrosion causes a loss of metal thickness which leads to a stress point, which leads to cracking. However, cracking of the frame also leads to a gap in the protective coating, which lets water in, which allows corrosion to happen. Chicken, meet egg.

If you want an enginner's opinionů

The good news is that doubler plates are a time-tested fix. Also good news, any competent welder can do it, and a local welder can come out to the trailer without you towing it anywhere. Tell the welder that you want the welds to conform to American Welding Society (AWS) D1.1. This is the Structural Welding Code.

First step in fixing it would be to jack up the rear of the trailer to get it back into proper alignment. You don't want to weld in a permenent sag. Once you get it aligned the way you want it, put cribbing under it (i.e. put it on blocks or jack stands to hold it so the load isn't resting on a jack that could give way while someone's working on the trailer; the welder will have to get underneath the trailer to do some of the work).

Next, clean off any corrosion at the break. At the same time, remove any coating on the steel, all the way back to "near white metal" which is the technical terms for no visible corrosion and no visible coating except for tiny embedded flakes that aren't worth grinding away metal to get rid of. Do this on the entire area that will be covered by the doubler plates.

You want two doubler plates sandwiching the break between them. You want one doubler plate slightly longer than the other so the welds on the inside and outside don't line up. You don't want new stress cracks forming later where the new welds are, so you want the welds spaced out if possible. Doubler plates should each be the same thickness as the framing member that broke, as tall as the framing member (or as close as possible, anyway), and at least twice as long as the height of the framing member.

You want a full-penetration butt-weld along the break itself, meaning that the weld metal completely fills the gap in the broken framing member. Welders understand the term "full-pen butt-weld" so that's really all you'd have to tell him. The weld then has to be ground flush, so it doesn't stick out from the frame. By the way, a butt-weld means that the pieces to be welded are butted together end-to-end. It has nothing whatsoever to do with welding someone's butt.

The reason why the initial weld has to be ground flush is so that the doubler plates fit tightly up against the frame. The doubler plates then have to be fillet-welded all around, so there is no gap anywhere for moisture to penetrate behind the doubler plate.

After both doubler plates are welded on, coat the whole area with the same type of coating that's on the original steel, whether that's a paint or brush-on galvanizing.

While you're at it, right after the welding is done would be a good chance to remove any other visible corrosion and reapply the protective coating on the steel. As long as you've got rust, the problem will never completely go away; it will just move to a new spot.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:29 AM   #14
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Thanks Protag...

I guess the issue is two fold - one the split frame and two the age old toddler question WHY?

I doubt the corrosion as it is surface as you can see all the paint has not gone yet - wink.

From what has been said about these frames - it is known fact that the design is flawed. So the bigger issue in my mind is HOW IS IT THAT PEOPLE LIKE MYSELF are left out in the dark about something a factory is fully aware of and is such a HUGE safety risk.

Sure I'm going to somewhat professionally (kick and scream) to have this covered by someone. Total different story if it were purely out of neglect or an accident or something - but this is not the case with any of these incidences. It is plane as day that is a accident waiting to happen - and there is a "fix" for it - but if that is not publicized how the heck does anyone find out about it if they are totally unsuspecting of what is going on under their trailer.

Yes mine is a little corroded and schedule for a complete underbelly maintenance - due to our winter roads and salt there is not much we can do - but to work on it every 3 years. This is my year and poof - good thing I have done what I have done. Or I don't think I would have ever taken it to someone and say...

Could you check the tire pressure, treadl, brakes, oh and by the way check the frame and all the outriggers for splits and cracks, wash the windows too please.
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