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Old 03-04-2014, 08:18 PM   #15
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1959 22' Caravanner
Tampa , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 38
Blog Entries: 30
Ok, Thanks again. Based on the above, I think I'll add a horizontal plate and small angle across the main frame members. I'll replace the 4" channel strut and set it up so I'm welding the edge of the horizontal plate to the top surface of the new channel. The small angle will make up for the corroded bend that used to make the angle that MarkR is referring to. That way, I'm not forcing the skin back over the 1" gap to meet the vertical front plate.

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Old 03-04-2014, 10:34 PM   #16
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1959 26' Overlander
Western , Massachusetts
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,453
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The front plate is one of the key elements of the structure of the trailer. From what I've read, the '59 era trailers had an undersized front plate. Wally Byam and/or his Engineers increased the size and number of rivets after their evaluation during the 1959 CapeTown to Cairo Caravan.

Your plate rotted out like mine did. The 7-panel construction is prone to leaks above and around the forward window, letting plenty of water in to corrode your frame members.

If Wally knew about the plate sizing in 1959, he probably would have made a plate like mine after the rebuild at Colin Hyde’s. Hopefully this picture helps clarify the purpose and size needed. If you look at '60s trailers, you'll see quite a few rivets in the front of the trailer, below the window. This is the redesign of the front plate after Wally discovered the design flaw.

BTW, if you haven't discovered theVap and have time to listen to podcasts, you'll learn quite a bit listening to back episodes.

Given the fact that you're doing a major restoration, I want to be sure that you've seen some of these threads. See major renovations if you haven't. I wish I remembered which one it was -- probably NorCalBambi -- who did a great drawing of the key structural components. It is important to understand before you button up your trailer.

Essentially this: the frame supports the plywood floor. There is a bolt that bonds the frame, the floor and c-channel together. It needs to be properly isolated with a plastic washer so that no galvanic corrosion occurs. Additional screws bond the c-channel to the floor, but are not critical.

The outer walls bond to the c-channel, and on our '59s, the belly pan slips between them. The strength of the trailer is the frame/floor/c-channel/outer skin, forming a monocoque construction. The inner skins stiffen the assembly.

Hope this helps,

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Old 03-05-2014, 01:44 PM   #17
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1966 17' Caravel
Newport , North Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,286
Oh yes the hold down plate is very important rivets into the c channel and the shell and keeps it all together. Will the shell fly off if not attached? Not right away but that freak Yankee wind could come out of nowhere and may do the damage. Best safe not sorry.

Gotta get busy! Have a great day! Now where did I put those revits?
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