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Old 01-28-2010, 07:32 AM   #1
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Unhappy Rotten frame photos attached arrgghh

I desperately need opinions from airforums members on what I should do! Colin Hyde (great great guy) just started working on my 1960 Tradewind to replace the floor, axles, etc to get her major parts in order since is way beyond what I am capable of. The floor had some mild rot in the rear and minimal in the front. However when he dropped the belly pan he discovered massive damage and corrosion of the frame. Now we are looking at a MAJOR repair job...he can certainly do the work but now this has become huge financial commitment for us just to get her back to a stable frame with no bells or whistles. What would you do if you were me...cut and run, use the home equity loan, try to find a better trailer, or drink lots of beer? I know ultimately this will be my choice but what did you do when presented with a serious setback with your trailer? See photos...brace yourself!
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:40 AM   #2
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I say, start with the beer, then get the angle iron and welder out.....
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:50 AM   #3
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Just looked at the photos of the exterior and interior....real nice If you are financially able, fix the frame. Only you can decide what's too much financially. There are people on here that have built entirely new frames.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2vets View Post
What would you do if you were me...cut and run, use the home equity loan, try to find a better trailer, or drink lots of beer?
Me Personally:

I'd assess the damage after the floor is removed. It is not uncommon to have frame repair, or rebuilding included in the restoration process so unless the frame is totally trashed I wouldn't let it stop me. If it was a trailer I really liked I'd have no hesitation performing a major frame rebuild, or even building a new frame all together. We're actually planning to overhaul or replace the frame on our 31 footer.


As for your decision: It really boils down to what level of financial and emotional commitment you're willing to accept. As such I'd recommend you follow your gut instinct and read other posts to this thread to help you determine your path.

Oh and beer is always a good option.

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2vets View Post
I desperately need opinions from airforums members on what I should do! Colin Hyde (great great guy) just started working on my 1960 Tradewind to replace the floor, axles, etc to get her major parts in order since is way beyond what I am capable of. The floor had some mild rot in the rear and minimal in the front. However when he dropped the belly pan he discovered massive damage and corrosion of the frame. Now we are looking at a MAJOR repair job...he can certainly do the work but now this has become huge financial commitment for us just to get her back to a stable frame with no bells or whistles. What would you do if you were me...cut and run, use the home equity loan, try to find a better trailer, or drink lots of beer? I know ultimately this will be my choice but what did you do when presented with a serious setback with your trailer? See photos...brace yourself!
Hi 2Vets
Having seen all the photos of your TW and commenting on it's generally VERY good condition and originality, I would say it is very worthwhile to continue with the project.

This may look like a huge and expensive part of the project, but minimal floor rot and rear frame sections are par for the course (I know it looks bad!) The frame repairs are now visable and the rear floor needed attention anyway. Now is the time and once repaired you are good for another forty years.

What would be MUCH more time consuming would be large interior rehabs and exterior panel replacements. Just remember how lucky you are to have found such a nice trailer to begin with.

This is what vintage Airstreaming is all about and you will have great stories to share about the restoration and many happy trails to come.

Gary
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:24 AM   #6
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Lightbulb To each their own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin245 View Post
Me Personally:
As for your decision: It really boils down to what level of financial and emotional commitment you're willing to accept.
Kevin
That says it all.

But if I might add;
So what are you going to do with the trailer when and if it is redone?
Park it nearby as a cabin? Travel? Use it as a clinic annex? It's purpose might be a factor in scope of repair.

Colin is AFAIK (as far as I know) a reputable and honest guy. You are lucky to have him for advice I think. Ask him about other options as in locating different trailer cost vs this refurb.
BTW where is he located now that he has changed outfits?

Why are you interested in a 1960 model with that silly door within a door?
(conversation piece-yes, nostalgic-yes, practical-Not IMHO).

It would also depend on how deep you already are into it. (money already spent).

Do you have a barn or warehouse where you can store the 1960?
If so I'd consider putting it away and finding another more ready to use trailer of the '69-'88 vintage, preferably post '74 with a grey water tank.
Enjoy the new one and make the old one a longer term hobby project. But if you can't keep it out of the weather & moisture the rust will advance too quickly and I'd sell it asap. It is a find for many who are inclined to tackle such a project themselves.
Course you can just spay a few more Calicos and tell Colin to make haste. .
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:38 AM   #7
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:49 AM   #8
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Hi 2vets;
Wow! This is not what anyone would wish to find. It is obvious that your frame is beyond repair and you need to replace it. Pending of what you have invested in this trailer and what is going to cost you for off frame restoration, decision belongs to you. We all have different reasons for doing things which others would consider insane. I have restored durring a two year period, and [2000+ of labor hours] and $25K in cost of materials my newly purchased 1973 26' Argosy.
The only componnents I have saved is inner and outer shell. If you can believe it, there was only one reason which drove me to it, the love for my wife. I have spent countless nights sleeping two or three hours per day because my obsession with it would not allow me to sleep. Determined more than ever I have eventually reached the time of our first outing last year. The time of repayment for my efforts came due the day when I showed up at home towing a trailer to be loaded for our first trip. I cannot possibly describe the moment when my wife came running out of the house screaming with joy. My payment was received in full. Each time Friday comes my wife is in her glory. This alone is a well worth while reward for my hard work. Life is fragile and short while your happiness within it cannot be appraised. You need to find your own reason and find a drive to do it, by balancing it against the cost in order to find your answer. Please feel free to read my posts in reference to my restoration. Thanks and good luck. "boatdoc"
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:57 AM   #9
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This the rear, correct? It isn't that horrible a job... cut out the rear parts of the frame and splice in new... that said, I have some crossmembers to fix too on my '63. Is cost an issue? You might ask if it's any cheaper for you to do the gutting and then bring it back to fix.. gutting is the "easy" part. I'm sure you'd save some labor dollars there.

That said, Collin should have that fixed up well for a long time after.

If you just want to camp, I agree that an '70's trailer MIGHT be a better start, but be aware they're no turn key trailers either. I replace almost every system in my 76 Argosy.

What ballpark figure are you looking at, and what scope of work? Both before and after the discovery?
Marc
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
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I say, start with the beer, then get the angle iron and welder out.....
I'd say start with the angle iron and the welder, and then celebrate with beer.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:12 AM   #11
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Oh, what a disheartening sight.

But, I clearly remember your pictures from your earlier posts and you've got a really good shell and great original cabinetry inside. You've got a really nice trailer with frame issues.

You're in the right place with Colin and whether it's repair or replace on the frame, you can now set it up exactly the way you want to for frame mounted holding tanks. And, you'll never have to worry about the frame again.

Any 50 year old trailer is going to have issues, somewhere. Probably several somewheres. Just can't touch what we'll have when the work is done, though. My trailer's original owner is 92. I want my trailer to still be around when she is 92 as well.

Don't quit.

steve
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:41 AM   #12
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Welcome to the world of vintage Airstreams.

When the underbelly comes off, who knows what you will find.

It appears you have a nice unit.

Maybe you just could have the frame repaired and park it till something else comes along in better shape.

Good Luck with your final decision.
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:12 PM   #13
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I know it's a bummer for you but all of us who own vintage Airstreams have gone through this more or less. I've invested $15k in my Airstream and it's been worth it.

If I was you I would repair the frame. It looks like there only a few bad areas from the pics, but I don't have a complete view like you do. If it's just those few bad areas, scab weld new angle iron and move on. I think you got a pretty nice Airstream there. Keep it and fix her up.
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:00 PM   #14
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That is a sad site. I'm a bit partial, so I say fix her up right. Now is the time to put those black and grey water tanks in and get the frame repaired as well. It will hold up another 50 years and probably longer. Do it right and do it now. After all, it IS an early TradeWind. They just don't get any better.

Brad
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