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Old 02-02-2004, 05:33 AM   #15
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
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Posts: 10,326
I see. Thanks guys for the input. I also have been reading the thread on balancing the hubs as well. There they talk about simply balancing the tires might be worse. I'll have to go see what if the tires came balanced. If I recall, I didn't see any wheel balancer at the factory when I took the tour.......

Also, JPAIRSTREAM's coach seems that it was balanced and he still had the issue. Not that I think my 25 C will do what happened to the 31' units, but I still wonder what could happen if it's not a smooth as it can be.

One last note that I found interesting is that of the current models only a small handful of units have a rear bath, the largest being the soon to be released 30' Safari. From there the 25 C Safari followed by the 22' Safari (which had a TSB released that required frame braces-- I think in the back) and the 19' Bambi.

So, do the 25 C and the new 30' Safaris have large diameter frames or could they too possibly have a rear end seperation (or have similar issues to that of the 22')? I'm not trying to find an issue where there isn't one, but that nagging little voice keeps saying, the 22' had an issue and that coach was suppose to be engineered to deal with the added weights (and the 22' also has a dual axle). The 25 C and 30' Safari have even more weight in the back by some 15 gallons (or approx 129lbs). This could be the reason why the 30' Safari has the same tanks as the 25 C.

Any thoughts?


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Old 02-02-2004, 07:18 AM   #16
Rivet Master
2003 25' Safari
Eden Prairie , Minnesota
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Eric - You have a good point. Believing that our newer trailers will never have a problem is wishfull thinking (based on the 22' problems). Following Andy's advice on wheel balancing makes sense. Also minimizing travel with full grey and/or black tanks seems like a good idea, and storing the trailer indoors should prevent floor rot (and many other problems). Beyond that there is not much we can do.

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Old 02-02-2004, 08:08 AM   #17
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
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I think one of the reasons it "seems" that there are a large number of units that have this problem is due to the longevity of the units. I can't think of any other company that can bost that 60% of all units ever manufactured are still on the road. Also I suspect the rear bath was one of the more popular units. And I would believe that multiple owners comes into play also, the information that balancing was critical seems to have been lost along the way. A lot of these vintage units have been sitting unmaintained, or abused, that in itself speaks volumes for the quality of construction. Even the factory doesn't balance running gear anymore. Face it, if it wasn't for this website would you realize how critical balanced running gear is? I noticed the other day that snow and ice pile up on the rear bumper of my unit...I wonder how much that has to do with the problem too. The seperation starts with the vibration, then the water freeze/thaw cycle helps finish the job. Just some more observations.

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Old 02-02-2004, 08:44 AM   #18
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1978 28' Argosy 28
Tampa Bay , Florida
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Besides the balancing issue there is also the yearly maintenance issue.
I believe JPAirstream's unit only had rot in the back 18 inches. This can be from several water sources. One is the seal between the top of the bumper and the shell. On a rear bath unit you also have a huge hatch with a seal there. I f the rear hatch seal or the sealant between the frame and shell are not properly maintained then you will have water penetration and the associated rot. The rot will weaken the bolts and no matter how well balanced your running gear is, things will move, flex, and snap.
That is one drawback to the style of construction used. The stress of the frame shell connection is spread equally. If one part goes the others may not be up to the task of holding it all together.

Our 77 had a soft spot in the floor along the back and it was a rear bed model. So it can be an issue no matter the floor plan.

I will admit that one of the reasons we traded up from a rear bath to a side bath trailer was due to the frame concerns. (74 to 77 models) At least there is a fix for both old and the newer trailers that have or may have a frame issue. Some manufacturers would have just hoped that they made it out of warranty before failure and said too bad.

So check the sealant across the bumper, a $7.00 tube of vulcem is cheaper than the repair cost.
Brett G
WBCCI #5501 AIR # 49
1978 Argosy 28 foot Motorhome

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato

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Old 02-02-2004, 09:07 AM   #19
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1967 26' Overlander
Huntsville , Alabama
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Other water leaks

I'm currently replacing the bathroom floor in my Airstream. In addition to the yearly maintenance checks in the post above, I'll add what I've had to fix on my Overlander in preparation of the new floor:

Sealing between taillights and body.
Gasket between tail light lens and assembly (it was supposed to be round; It had shrunk into a triangle).
Backup lights - lens was chipped on sealing edge; water got in, filled the lens up to the lower mounting screw. Screw rusted, water leaked in through missing screw.

Amazing thing was that all the lights still worked.
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Old 02-02-2004, 11:15 AM   #20
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
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Though I do appreciate the info, my comments are more geared toward the rear end sagging due to main frame structures that either failed or could possibly fail. I think good a good water tight seal is a no brainer and although some might not consider this, for the most part to me it's common sense.

My question is not to condem, point fingers, etc, but to more ask the question which no one has addressed....that question being what is to stop a newer unit with a rear bath from having the frame fail or need additional support? Some folks have said that there is little to worry about with a new coach. Then I see what happened on the current 22' units (which appear similar to the 25' and the new 30' Safari in design).

So the question still stands. Is the frame (besides length and width) a different thickness, size, etc that the 25' and 30' Safaris with the rear baths won't need this additional support that the 22' units needed?
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Old 02-02-2004, 12:01 PM   #21
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Corona , California
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Newer frames are stronger than years ago.

Also, the method of holding the shell to the floor was changed many years ago.

Back then the floor channel as an example, was on top of the floor. That channel is now slid over the floor so that the channel is on top and on the bottom of the floor.

Rear end separations are a thing of the past, unless a coach has been grossly abused.

Lack of proper running gear balance, as an example, will not cause rear end separation as it did in the past. However, other damages can and will occur, when balancing is ignored.

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Old 02-02-2004, 12:33 PM   #22
Site Team
, Minnesota
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Rear end separation

Quote: "Back then the floor channel as an example, was on top of the floor. That channel is now slid over the floor so that the channel is on top and on the bottom of the floor." -Andy at InlandRV

Please, for the benefit of those with older units, could someone post a picture or dimensions of the newer style channel?
Much appreciated.
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Old 02-02-2004, 02:54 PM   #23
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1972 31' Sovereign
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I see that we are saying running gear being improperly balanced. Is a great contributor to rear end separation and frames warping.

Therefore, my question is.

If you have disc brakes and still have these issues what is causing the separation? I still feel being improperly designed to hold the additional weight of their rear bath was the main reason.
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Old 02-02-2004, 05:07 PM   #24
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ok..just a few more questions...

1. Do i have to repalce the entire piece of plywood or just the rotted section??

2. is there anyway to replace the U-channel piece that runs around the rear of the airstream??

3. what type of rivots/rivot gun do i need to to replace the outer "finishing" rivots.
Brian Travnicek
31' Sovereign Land Yacht
Pulled by a 2001 Silver Dodge
2500 Truck with Cummins Diesel Power and a 4.10 rear end.
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Old 02-03-2004, 10:22 PM   #25
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1990 32' Excella
jonesboro , Arkansas
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rear floor

I would replace the whole rear section if your repair will cross the holding tank. I did one and only replaced the rear 24" and I could not get the Edges to meet well enough due to not having any support under it and no room to put braces under them due to the tank . I had to do that one twice.

The u channel may not need to be replaced . If the problem is the frame bolts are pulling thru the channel. You can make a tracing of the channel and take it to a local metal shop they can cut you a piece of 1/4 thick flat stock to fit inside of the channel .If you have access to a jig saw and a grinder you can cut your own piece. Just go to a scrap metal recycler and buy some aluminum flet stock and cut your own. Some metal shos can also make the channel for you also.

As for the rivets I used 1/8 and 3/16" rivets on the trim and inside and olympic rivets on the exterior skin. I got the plain rivets from my local industrial supply house and my olympic rivets from inland rv.

I did my repairs by removing the inside rivets for about 12" up the walls and did not cut any holes in the exterior skin.

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