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Old 11-13-2006, 08:21 PM   #29
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If you're on a buget you can patch it, go to HD and get alum flashing to cut up into patches, just use small rivets to hold them in place.

New material is $50 for a 4X8 piece.

You also can get a cutting wheel to get off anything like the LP clamps or hex bolt heads.
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Old 11-13-2006, 08:28 PM   #30
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On gas lines you must have two wrenches by design so they won't back off through vibration - if you can allign wrenches to be able to leverage both with a one hand squeeze you might be amazed how easily they seperate; the brass and copper stretch or compress when tightened and require exact anti-tourqe to seperate. If its still binding get one wrench hand loaded w/ unloosen tourqe by hand and clap the other in its unloosen direction w/ a chunk of 2X4...

To keep from breaking drill bits one should get a square face punch and drive the mandrel back so the drill bit is better self-alligning going through the softer rivet head aluminum and not going off center then catching on the hardened aluminum mandrel. When I removed my lowest skins I used an old wood chisel sharpened on a belt sander and a hand sledge & got through them with two or three taps.
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:18 PM   #31
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Since these tanks are WAY out of date, would there be anything wrong with sutting this copper tubing off at the front tanks, and then coming in later with new compression fittings to link it up?

I found a welder who will work for $25.00 per hours. He currently welds concession trailers and I hope that everything will work well. The separation he said can be hammered back into line, but that some of the crossmembers will need total replacement. UGGGG!

Starting to think that just doing a full monty would work better. That way I am able to do whatever I want to the inside (Rear Bed, Side bath, etc).

It really stinks that I live 2.5 hours from where my home and the A/S are. I only see it for 1-2 days a week .
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Old 11-18-2006, 10:02 AM   #32
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Frame....REPLACE IT OF FIX IT????

Ok,

I just got off the phone with a company in town that fabricates concession trailers, but they do welding work when they are not busy. I was just quoted a price of $2,800 or less for a completely new trailer with marine plywood floor. The company will pick my trailer up, brace and remove the shell, fabricate a trailer directly from the old chassis only using a few parts from the old (Axel, and anything else that is needed). The shop said they would also improve anything that they see is out dadte as far as trailers go.

With being a month out of surgery, not knowing how to weld, and the rusted out frame causing me significant scares for safety...is this a good option? I think that $2800 is pretty good, but I don't know the costs of fabricating new trailers. I would also be able to insulate the floor with foil bubble, and paint the entire frame with a rustoleum primer, or rust inhibitor. I guess I could take the old trailer to the recycler to cut costs.


Comments, thoughts, concern?
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Old 11-18-2006, 11:00 AM   #33
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With a $2800 outlay I would discard the old axles and have Andy provide new ones in a heartbeat. I would also think about what an additional 20% for refinements could buy - better trunk storage area, Honda eu2000 mount behind propane tanks for slightly extended hitch tongue along with 120VAC cable provisions to your converter area, dedicated jacking points, spare tire nook behind A-frame, provisions for large gray water tank framed out, gnarly foam or other thermal barrier in between frame and floor and something to act as dissimilar metals protection for all iron to aluminum joints... Any one think of more tweaks since this is still in the ether-stream?

You keep speaking of scary corrosion; I for one would like to see what would condemn the ladder frame. I've got the split english muffin nooks & crannies (w/o perforation) on a 12 inch segment where the city water inlet is, but the BW tank area extra frame piece and no serious loading on that section made it easy to POR-15 over it w/ a good conscious. Without a doubt I would put money into refurbishing a corroded A-Frame joint area, hitch tongue, or axle mounting plates if they've lost huge amounts of metal.... but what makes a huge amount too much I'm not sure of.

If the lower edges of spars have vanished 3/4" angle iron or even better 1/8" sheet stock fabricated into 3/4" right angles and welded to the spars would be fine.

Before you count your salvage bonus note my two sagged axles with brake drums & two F-150 leaf spring packs plus odd crap, err scrap came in at 640 pounds at the local salvage yard, I was paid 27.85 or 3.5 cents per pound.

About the frame renewal - 100 hours of your time at $25 dollars an hour has nearly bought a 1st class trailer frame. I have alot more time invested than that; If someone would've quoted me $3000 for new frame I probably would have done it. Can you share their materials list? What dimensions and thickness for the main ladder frame rails etc?
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Old 11-18-2006, 11:29 AM   #34
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Red face Hey Wabiteer

Since it is a 22 footer it only has a single axel. I guess I would need to look into the cost of a new axel (probably alot), but most likely worth it if I am redoing the whole frame. I currently have no plans on purchasing a generator, but it is a thought.

As for cable provisions to my convertor I must say "What Convertor?" My A/S came with no battery and no Univolt. I plug it in by plugging into my house with a 15 to 30 amp convertor, then I have to plug a battery charger into the external 110, and hook up the battery terminals to the battery charger. Since all the wiring in my A/S is aluminum, I have thought about replacing it with copper instead. The spot underneath the bathroom lavatory where my univolt should be has an open set of 110v wires, and that is it. In one of the closets, there is an open 12 volt wire (A similar with runs to the
thermostat and the lights on the panel.

I wouldnt mind adding a grey water tank, but since I am not doing the frame, I would have to make sure the shop knew exactly how and where to place such a tank....would the plumbing be hard to rerig for black and gray?

Also adding to my decision are a few things.

1.) I am a mobilized soldier that lives about 2.5 hours from my home where the A/S is. I only get one day to work on it a week at most.

2.) I recently had shoulder surgery on my dominant arm for the second time in two years. I am very limited in what I am able to do, especially when it comes to lifting.

3.) I dont have the alot of the tools or equiptment to do a frame rehab, and have never welded before, so I wouldn't trust myself to do it. For the safety of me and my family I need a pro.

4.) With a new frame and floor, it would be road worthy much faster and would allow me to use it, which is better than sitting on the side of the garage.
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Old 11-18-2006, 01:24 PM   #35
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From a health & hygeine aspect I think Uncle Sam would say spend the money - I woke up some nasty stuff and kept annoying it untill I had fever and doctors appointments. Old timers here in the forum say you won't get rid of smells & other nasties untill the liners are dropped and new insulation; Anything that got through the the carpet is still in your plywood; old time mosquito insecticides, repellants and deoderizers, mine had formaldehyde and phenol disinfectants that made my eyes water. Flooring is painted now with stuff even bleeding through two coats of acrylic epoxy in the bathroom - hot water tank comes out as soon as my missus gets home this afternoon - flooring underneath it reeks of black tank chemicals. Probably the beginning of a bathroom flooring tear out, I had planned on next winter but hey...

Expect $850 for your axle delivered, Uniformed Military may have earned something off or something extra. (vendors, did'ja feel your ears burning?)

Yes new copper is smart money spent, even if existing was copper the insulation has improved.

A new converter won't care if a battery is attached or not, for someone not interested in boondocking the battery would earn it keep while y'all are in transit and stop for lunch or a rest-stop nap, or pause for weather.

I lost my bookmarks so I can't direct you to grey-tank vendors, link was posted recently in a GT posting if you search. I plan on at least a 10 gallon addition, currently the bathtub acts as GT (eww) if more than gallon goes down any sink. PVC is almost as easy as paper & paste, a little hacksaw action and dry assemble needed pieces one at a time untill plumbed level from tank to main drain line (raise tongue jack up to drain), stainless steel hose clamp & rubber gasket pipe connectors connector clamps make bonding a piece into main drain a snap.
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Old 11-18-2006, 01:48 PM   #36
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Powered by ringing ears?

I have been told by others that a new frame is NOT worth it, but I want to look at all of my options. If I add a grey tank, it needs to hook to the same plumbing as the blacktank correct? I would want to be able to flush the lines just like a normal trailer with both tanks. I do not know the full extent of shell bracing and removal, but I am sure it won't be something that I can do myself. This company has the means and ability to do what I need.
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Old 11-18-2006, 03:34 PM   #37
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I apologise - I must remember few others do their rehab thinking the economics terms I do. I wanted a new Airstream. I accepted a horrible trailer so now I'd have to accept the losses of my poor purchse.... OR spending equal to my purchase price plus some and keeping the unit unit my estate disposes of it..

I certainly can't afford the 60 or 70K for a new one. If you are profit minded there isn't justifacation in putting an extra dime in it let alone a new frame. I am not profit oriented at this stage in my life so some would call me reckless giving you the above advice.

There are add-ons that are plumbed in to allow forced water rinsing of a tank and some provision for future inspection or access from above should be allowed but you've got it - the toilet holding tank remains seperate so the BW valve drains it while the grey tank line valve keeps BW from backing up into its lines while draining - and vice versus.

Do you expect to keep the trailer for 10 years? What money spread out over 10 or more years are you willing to spend to retreat relax and rest in th 22-foot trailer?

Yes I have intense ringing in my ears and have had it for a long time. Gunshot loud. Higher powered, powered by tinnitus about the only positive thing I can say about it. Thus the Wabbiteer (rabbit ear) nick name, since my ears seem big enough to step on too darn often.
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Old 11-19-2006, 12:17 AM   #38
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Not profit minded

I do not intend on flipping this trailer once I finish refurbishing it. I do plan on keeping it awhile, and want to make it comfortable for myself and family. Tonight was my mother's 50th B-day party and I was able to network with many professionals who can help me in my refurb. One of the guys there has a starcraft travel trailer, but has always wanted to work on one....he offered free assistance just so he could check it out. How cool is that? I figure that if I spend $15,000 or less from initial purchase, to frame, to inside restoration than I am looking very good indeed.
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Old 11-19-2006, 09:23 AM   #39
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You need to first determine if you really need a new frame. It looks like the damages you have shown so far are repairable.
I can tell you from my own account, that a new floor and a soundly repaired frame that is prepared to receive new holding tanks is a thing of beauty. The trailer's original integrity is restored, and you have no bacteria, odors or structural concerns, leaving your attention to enjoying the trailer, in whichever form you choose. Having done both, I would 100% prefer the shell off method of floor replacement and frame repair.
$ 2800.00 for a new frame and floor is CHEAP! So cheap that I would make sure that the shop understands the work that is involved and has the proper tools and skills to do this work. If all that checks out, then I would run to them right now, trailer in one hand, new axle in the other, check for $ 2800.00 in pocket.
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Old 11-19-2006, 10:16 AM   #40
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They only build trailers and frames.

This shop only works on trailers, and will be recreating mine so to speak. From speaking with many people, they believe that for $2800 it is a steal and I should go with it because of the safety aspect. I want this trailer to last another 40 years, and a new frame that I can POR or rustoleum before the subfloor goes down will be of benefit to me. I will then foil bubble the floor. I believe you and boat doc said to use one inch foam spackers, and to either tape or caulk the ribs. What kind of tape was that again?
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Old 11-19-2006, 11:29 AM   #41
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In response to an earlier post about transitioning from copper to PEX, yes there is a great product, the fittings are pricey but just push on and are rated for 200 PSI. The fittings run about $7 - 10 each so you will want to limit joints where possible. If you go with the normal PEX compression fittings, you could use these fittings at the copper=to-PEX transitions only. The product is called SharkBite. The fittings will seal either copper or PEX with the same seals. There is a tool for releasing the fitting in case you have to take it back apart, then it is re-usable. Simple Push-on system, good for tight spaces.
I installed some yesterday in a waterheater retrofit project, I hope to complete that today.
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Old 11-19-2006, 12:30 PM   #42
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POR-15 likes the texture of rusted metal, to get it to bond well to new metal it should be degreased and etched (of course they sell products to do just that) so that could be a point of negotiation w/ trailer shop to deliver trailer either unpainted or you provide the paint, etc. POR-15 is fun to use but not that fun.

I agree the $2800 may be just a starting point; wait till they seemingly can't reuse the wheelwells or really miff one or more dimensions essential to having the shell bolt on easily so they re-invent the wheel and build trouble in. How much weight is in their replacement? If your old frame, axle and floor weigh 1500 pounds (fictional number) by what percentage will they 'over-build' the new frame? Andy has said there is no limit to the number of out-rigger supports one can put on an Airstream, I would take the time to make sure they understand the out-rigger : bannana wrap : shell attachment model since as you've dropped the belly skins it may not be obvious..

The one-inch spacer is simply how they recommend installing it, that is, how it was tested to get advertised high 'R' value; note that applies only in the horizontal plane and perfectly sealed with the metal-foil duct tape so when applied on walls or curved surfaces the efficiency drops. Also the bubble type insulation is fairly transparent to sound - I chose the Prodex foam type (http://tinyurl.com/ofwg4)to help restore the noise-proofing the old fiberglass batts provided in the trailer.

You won't put a 1" air gap between the floor and frame; the original compressed fiberglass ended up about 3/16" thick so thats a good measure to try and duplicate after the floor bolts get tourqed down. I arbitraily made the 1/4" thickness for air-gap space but doubled that in the centers of floor area as seen from beneath so any liquid water will drain to the center and out through the staple holes. If & when the shell comes off everything I've done most likely will get discarded but a 1/4" frame-floor gap will line up with what has already been done.

Take the time to write out design points and questions - I am nearly overwhelmed with details that I didn't document. The discipline required to keep a daily diary and brainstorm flow-chart is nothing compared to the let down of missed opportunities and re-working dead ended ideas in the future... I certainly welcome reading and contributing to your posts when I feel competent to do so
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