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Old 07-08-2004, 12:00 PM   #1
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1975 Argosy 26
Villa Ridge , Missouri
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: 1964 24' Tradewind
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Pipe frames revealed

We have just begun what will surely be a very long and very expensive restoration of our 1949 Liner. We purchased the trailer knowing it would be a gut rehab that will hopefully result in a combination of the style of 1949 and the systems and safety of 2004.

The engineering company my husband's passenger railroad car rebuilding firm uses came out today to start taking measurements and information and preparation for creating drawings for a new frame. We lifted the trailer and removed a section of the belly pan to reveal the original pipe frame. For those of you who have never seen a pipe frame, or for those of you still pulling an early pipe-frame trailer, I thought I might post a few pictures. I knew the pipe frames were poorly constructed by today's standards in order to save weight, but I had no idea just how poorly.

This is a photo of the Liner in the air with the engineer taking measurements underneath.
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Old 07-08-2004, 12:02 PM   #2
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1975 Argosy 26
Villa Ridge , Missouri
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Location: 1964 24' Tradewind
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The stringers

The aluminum stringers are literally paper-thin and have 4 different radii at the ends. They simply screw on to the steel pipe by means of tiny aluminum tabs.

The original writing is still quite legible and reads in part "Reynolds Aluminum" and "Pureclad."
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Old 07-08-2004, 12:23 PM   #3
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1956 22' Flying Cloud
Durango , Colorado
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Great project - be sure and keep us posted.

Ken
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Old 07-08-2004, 12:56 PM   #4
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Reno , Nevada
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for a photo gallery of a similar project, see
http://sierranevadaairstreams.org/me...una/index.html
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Old 07-08-2004, 01:05 PM   #5
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1975 Argosy 26
Villa Ridge , Missouri
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: 1964 24' Tradewind
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Bryan,

Thanks for that link. I've read many of Tuna's postings on the VAC/VAL list relating to his Trailwind and printed several for reference, but I didn't know he had a website. And just when I thought I had visited every vintage Airstream-related site out there!

For comparison, here are a couple of photos of the inside of our Liner. We're going to save the stainless galley and hopefully the oven, but that's about it. Unfortunately, the wood chests and wardrobe are not salvageable, and we definitely won't be saving the mattresses!
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Old 07-08-2004, 01:22 PM   #6
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2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Hays County , Texas
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A thought

When Bud Cooper, of the VAC, restored his pipe frame trailer, he constructed a box frame and welded on a protruding pipe at the rear and a pipe tongue. The box freame makes a much more robust trailer and it can not be seen from the outside. We had dinner with him one night and he regaled us with tales of his restoration.

As an engineer, I applaud his decision to build a better frame. He now has a trailer that he can (and does) to anywhere.
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Old 07-08-2004, 01:32 PM   #7
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1975 Argosy 26
Villa Ridge , Missouri
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: 1964 24' Tradewind
Posts: 157
Images: 19
Bud and Bettye's trailer is indeed a beautiful restoration. We're planning to follow a similar route but are planning a stainless box or tube frame with inert spacers between the stainless frame and aluminum body where they meet.

We'll have to determine with the engineer whether to go with an A-frame tongue or a pipe tongue; the pipe will look more original, but the A-frame will more easily allow use of a weight-distributing hitch and sway control.
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