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Old 10-20-2006, 02:06 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by airstream74
You are right, the worst spot is just aft of the axle mounting plates.

The suggestion about using a 6 foot long 9 inch deep plate spanning the axles is essentially what I thought the airstream reinforcing kit did. Is that true, do you know?

In regards to boxing the frame, I had planned to buy 20 foot lenghts of 1/8 x 5 inch mild steel (hot roll) and cut to fit between the cross members on the frame rails notching them to fit the cross members, and welding them to the cross members. Would this not work?

Also, did I read somewhere that boxing would be stronger if it were not welded solid but rather stitched -- weld a few inches, skip a few inches, weld a few inches, etc. (this makes no sense to me, I can't understand how it could be ), is this true?

I will try to take some pictures over the weekend and bore you with these too. Maybe you will see something I don't see.

Thanks again.

CAUTION..

Remember that the pricipal method of construction is called "monocoque."

It means a load bearing shell. It also means that it is supposed to flex to some degree.

Beefing up the frame excessively, could restrict that flexing and in turn cause a number of other problems.

Andy
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Old 10-20-2006, 05:01 PM   #16
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"Problems" plural?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
...Remember that the pricipal method of construction is called "monocoque."...Beefing up the frame excessively, could restrict that flexing and in turn cause a number of other problems.
I thought it was "semi-monocoque". But either way I can't come up with a problem that would be caused by excessively beefing up the frame other than eating up one's load carrying capability.

Outside of that, what other problems might possibly occur?

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 10-20-2006, 05:24 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by TomW
I thought it was "semi-monocoque". But either way I can't come up with a problem that would be caused by excessively beefing up the frame other than eating up one's load carrying capability.

Outside of that, what other problems might possibly occur?

Thanks,
Tom

Semi-monocoque is correct.

Flexing of the shell softens the impact of a sudden shock, such as hitting a bump with a tire.

The more rigid the shell or it's frame, the greater that same impact will have.

The greater the "impact shock" the greater chance of metal fatiguing to the frame as well as the shell.

A good example is the wings of old piston engine aircraft wings compared to the new type wings on commercial jets. The old style bouced around the sky even from the smallest turbulence. Not so with the modern jets. The wings flex which minimizes the shock to the fuselage.

Same is true with an Airstream trailer. It must flex to minimize the shock of impacts. To make it rigid, either the frame or shell, should in due time show cracks in the frame as well as the shell.

It would also, and probably in short order, start shearing rivets.

A soft cushion is the ideal. Worn out torsion axles, bad shocks, unbalanced running gear all take a toll on the shell and frame. Same will be found true with excessive rigidity.

Andy
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Old 10-20-2006, 07:24 PM   #18
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How 'bout a case example?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
...It would also, and probably in short order, start shearing rivets...


"Probably"? In an earlier post, I got the impression you had seen specific issues due to a well meaning individual strengthening the frame

Quote:
The greater the "impact shock" the greater chance of metal fatiguing to the frame as well as the shell.
The extra beefyness proposed by the proposed, mild steel mod would counter that. I am still trying to visualize why the shell would be affected MORE than usual.

Quote:
A good example is the wings of old piston engine aircraft wings compared to the new type wings on commercial jets. The old style bouced...Not so with the modern jets.
ALL aircraft wings on aircraft of size still flex within the realm of visual perception. If no flex occured, the wings would shear off the fuselage in short order.

I am open to the possibility that beefing up the frame affects more than the load carrying capability, but specific case examples of bad results would be nice to hear about.

Tom
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Old 10-22-2006, 03:27 PM   #19
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Suspension is the key

Hey guys,

Let me pose a question here: Which Airstream would last longer (all else being equal), one that's sitting immobile or one that's being hauled over railroad cross ties going humpty bumpty all along?

OK, so the answer is obvious, but here's the deal: If the suspension is working properly, and you have the correct spring rates and the correct damping rates on your shocks, then the stiffer the frame the better. The idea is that the wheels move up and down but the frame and shell keep on cruisin' nice and smooth. You don't want the frame/shell to be flexing around, you want them to move in a straight line. It's the wheels that you want to do the vertical moving.

If the spring rates were too high, then I would tend to go along with what some of the other guys have said about beefing up the frame too much might make it too stiff to where it cannot flex to absorb shock. However, in my opinion, that is true only if the trailer has suspension that is too stiff.

Now, we get into complications with springing it for a heavy load and then pulling it with light loads. So that is a big no no.

However, if the suspension rates are correct, I would think that a frame of infinite stiffness would be fine because the shell would not see any flexing at all then, and so there would be less stress on the rivets.

Anyway, if you do stiffen your frame, look at your spring rates. Don't buy 20,000lb axles for a 7,000lb trailer.
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Old 10-23-2006, 09:25 PM   #20
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Well, as you can tell I haven't posted the pictures yet. I have taken them, but just haven't figured out how to post them. Will work on that again within the next few days.

thanks guys, hang in there with me, I need all the help I can get.

airstream74
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Old 11-04-2006, 10:02 PM   #21
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Just received the frame reinforcing kit from Airstream. And it came with "zero, zip, nada, none, no " instructions.

Does anyone have the service bullentin for the installation or any installation instructions at all?

The reinforcing kit looks like the one in the pictures posted earlier in this thread by wahoonc.

thanks for any help
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Old 11-05-2006, 12:33 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airstream74
Just received the frame reinforcing kit from Airstream. And it came with "zero, zip, nada, none, no " instructions.

Does anyone have the service bullentin for the installation or any installation instructions at all?

The reinforcing kit looks like the one in the pictures posted earlier in this thread by wahoonc.

thanks for any help
Instructions don't come with any parts from the Airstream factory. The dealer that sold you the parts should offer the assistance.

The frame reinforcing kit, does not and will not do anything for rear end sag or separation.

It's sole basic intent is to give you more weight carrying capacity.

Keep in mind, that the frame does not hold the shell up, but the shell indeed DOES hold the frame up.

Therefore you can beef the frame up all you want to, but it does absolutely nothing to help the shell hold up the frame, or to prevent rear end sag or separation, nor will it cure it.

Bottom line for the frame kit, is simple.

Unless you want to carry more weight, you have wasted your money, and probably, time and effort with it.

Andy
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Old 11-05-2006, 01:01 PM   #23
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C'mon Andy, where's the love?.....
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Old 11-05-2006, 01:10 PM   #24
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C'mon Andy, where's the love?.....
Love the Airstream, along with your bank accounts.

No need to waste money.

On the other hand, there is always beer to turn to.

Andy
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Old 11-05-2006, 01:44 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PizzaChop
C'mon Andy, where's the love?.....
Ron - Thanks! You made me laugh.

'74 - Post a few pictures of the kit's parts. The forum, en masse, will have plenty of love to share. I'm willing to bet the prep work will be tougher than the actual installation.

Tom
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Old 11-06-2006, 12:11 PM   #26
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Math equation

Hey, I've got an equation for you guys:

Airstream = depleted bank account

They're fun though!
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Old 11-06-2006, 12:58 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGolden
Hey, I've got an equation for you guys:

Airstream = depleted bank account

They're fun though!
There are several other equations that have been around for years.

Airstream=gray hair, sometimes complete loss of.

Airstream=unhappy moma (And we all know that when moma's unhappy, everyones unhappy).

Airstream=Divorce ( Biggest fight? Who gets the Airstream, but doesn't really want it).

Airstream=what bank accounts????

I bet others could add to this list with many more.

Andy
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Old 11-06-2006, 01:42 PM   #28
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MID 70's BEHIND DROOP

Hello All - I have recently purchased a 1975 Overlander and have begun the long process of clean-up and fix-up. I have now pulled out carpeting, broken cabinets, galley etc. I have discovered the floor in the rear bath is dipping pretty severly and it feels very spongy. Is it possible this is just a floor problem rather than the dreaded tail end sag I have been ready about? I have no wrinkles on the skin. My family and friends are telling me to cut and run from my loses on this "monster". I am a single women trying to do this on my own - my heart wants me to go forward but I am very scared of the potential problems and costs. Any suggestions?
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