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Old 09-15-2015, 03:58 PM   #1
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1963 22' Safari
Vancouver , Washington
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Sagging rear end

Hi all-
Noob to this forum, and have been scouring around in search of an answer.
We own a 63 Safari that is now 2 years into a almost total restoration (belly pan corrosion + rotten floor = a lot of work ).
Anyway, with ours not useable, we borrowed our friends 64 Safari and wheeled it 1,500 miles around on vacation, getting home last week. When I went to back it in our driveway, the aftermarket rear jack stands/ stabilizers drug on the sidewalk which they hadn't before.
On closer inspection, some of the flooring in the bathroom is rotted, and it looks like someone added an 'extension' to the frame extending out to the bumper. This, along with the very heavy 'stabilizer' (which I unbolted/ removed to get it off the street), appear to have started tearing the back off at the access hatch.
It seems as there's a lot of excess weight out back without much supporting it. I can't seem to figure out a way to bolt/ strap/ weld the rear of the frame up.
I can tell by looking at the cracks that they aren't new- they're just getting worse. At the same time, I don't really want to return it without giving it at least some temporary bracing. Their trailer is pretty banged up, but if I can make it OK with doing a shell of restoration, I'd feel better.
Any suggestions?
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Old 09-16-2015, 04:39 PM   #2
cwf
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Good luck.
Without detailed pics, hard to make recommendation... but it sounds like a rebuild from your description. Anything less is a hack.

About all you could do to hack would be to place wood beneath, along with another piece of tubing you can bolt to the 'good' part of the frame... but, this will further damage with any use.
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Old 09-16-2015, 04:51 PM   #3
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You have a generous friend to lend you his Airstream. And it's nice to see that you feel some responsibility - or at least a desire to help this friend by returning his Airstream in the same or better condition than it was when you borrowed it.

You've almost certainly got a major frame repair needed - and floor rot and the cracks in the framer are as you mentioned, obviously not new. Call your friend over and SHOW him everything you've found. Any reasonable person wil know that the damage was pre-existing.

Offer to help fix the floor, but first help him find a good welder with experience on trailer frames. If only a bit of the floor is rotted it might not be a frame off fix.

I know you must feel sick, but this was waiting to happen for 3 - 4 years.
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Old 09-16-2015, 04:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scaler911 View Post
Hi all-
Noob to this forum, and have been scouring around in search of an answer.
We own a 63 Safari that is now 2 years into a almost total restoration (belly pan corrosion + rotten floor = a lot of work ).
Anyway, with ours not useable, we borrowed our friends 64 Safari and wheeled it 1,500 miles around on vacation, getting home last week. When I went to back it in our driveway, the aftermarket rear jack stands/ stabilizers drug on the sidewalk which they hadn't before.
On closer inspection, some of the flooring in the bathroom is rotted, and it looks like someone added an 'extension' to the frame extending out to the bumper. This, along with the very heavy 'stabilizer' (which I unbolted/ removed to get it off the street), appear to have started tearing the back off at the access hatch.
It seems as there's a lot of excess weight out back without much supporting it. I can't seem to figure out a way to bolt/ strap/ weld the rear of the frame up.
I can tell by looking at the cracks that they aren't new- they're just getting worse. At the same time, I don't really want to return it without giving it at least some temporary bracing. Their trailer is pretty banged up, but if I can make it OK with doing a shell of restoration, I'd feel better.
Any suggestions?
Contrary to some opinions, the frame DOES NOT SUPPORT THE SHELL.

With "monocoque construction", which is how an Airstream is made, THE SHELL HOLDS UP THE FRAME.

In your case, the frame has pull away from the shell. At least based on your verbal description.

Andy
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Old 09-16-2015, 07:23 PM   #5
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1963 22' Safari
Vancouver , Washington
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Thanks folks.
I spent the better part of today trying to find a solution- other than a 'shell off' rebuild- and there isn't one.
With the bathroom floor rotting, and has been for some time I suspect, and the cracks in the rear hatch being visibly old, I'm sure that they'll be reasonable. I just feel bad that it seems to have gotten worse while in our care.
A 'soft spot' in the floor on our '63 set in motion a long, and still sometimes painful, remodel and I don't wish that on them.
I've tried to upload photos, but get a 'failed' on each attempt.
Again, thanks for the advice!
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