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Old 10-27-2015, 05:49 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1976 31' Sovereign
Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 74
Shell off - How do I secure the shell once it's off?

Hello all,

I'm a few days away from lifting the shell on my 76' Sovereign. I will be using homemade gantries (thanks to the forum for plans and instructions). I know I need to do some work to the frame so the shell will likely be off for a few months.

I do not have a paved driveway so my options are a flat yard or gravel driveway for its resting place. Any reason I would choose one over the other?

I imagine I will need to bolt it to new wood to keep its shape and prevent it from working its way into the soil?

Any feedback on this side would be appreciated.


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Old 10-27-2015, 06:24 PM   #2
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,901
My shell sat in the driveway for a month or two (or more) while I worked on the frame. I set it down so that the "ribs" rested on short sections of 2x4, so that the edge of the shell was not supporting the weight. I don't suppose it would make any difference if it was on grass or gravel, but gravel might be easier to "level" the 2x4s I set it on. You don't need anything to make it hold its shape--the shell does more supporting of the frame than vise-versa.

Now, if the shell might be exposed to winds, then find a way to anchor it to the ground so that it can't be blown over. I have heard of shells being quite ruined as they bounce across the prairie like a tumbleweed.

Good luck!

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Old 10-28-2015, 07:59 AM   #3
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1973 27' Overlander
Fonthill , Ontario
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 101
I had no choice but to put mine on the in level grass. I also used 2X4's under the ribs with blocks under the 2X4's to keep the whole shell level. Be careful when lowering the shell not to get the skin on the wood. Have lots of helpers to be your eyes from the outside. As for the anchors, I used a number of "corkscrew" dog anchors into the ground. Then a low stretch Dacron rope to tie the anchors to multiple ribs. This lasted over 4 months and a few summer thunderstorms. A lot would depend on your local soil conditions if it could work for you. But it was cheap and easy for me.
Although it seem like I know what I'm doing, I'm just standing on the shoulders of giants who have done this before and kindly posted their journey.
73's VE3ZPW
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:50 PM   #4
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1975 Argosy 28
Springville , Alabama
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 304
I like the dog anchor idea. Also cementing 4 treated 2x4 in the ground on the corners would work too. Then attach shell the to the 2x4's. The shell is very durable just as long as it doesn't fly.
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Old 10-29-2015, 08:17 PM   #5
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1974 31' Sovereign
1979 23' Safari
Wayland , New York
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,177
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I used some cross 2x4s bolted through ribs on the ends and also used the dog run screw in anchors and ratcheting straps between anchor and 2x. Just tight enough to be snug not so tight to pull down so hard it might cause damage.
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Old 10-29-2015, 08:31 PM   #6
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1976 25' Tradewind
, Florida
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 284
Mine just sat in the level grass beside my house for months without anything under it with no ill effects in florida sandy soil.

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76 'Airstream Tradewind
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Old 10-29-2015, 09:03 PM   #7
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1975 Argosy 28
Vintage Kin Owner
Camrose , Alberta
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 65
i did a piece of 2x4 under the 4 corner ribs and set it it the grass. i figured if i kept it low wind would not get under it. sat like that for about 9 months even through a freak 100km/h plus wind storm.
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Old 10-30-2015, 12:02 PM   #8
2 Rivet Member
1963 22' Safari
Vail , Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 23
Securing your shell after it is off

Here in Arizona the wind can get pretty fierce. So I staked it to the ground by sitting it on concrete blocks and nailing (1 ft long nails) the straps to the ground.
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Old 10-30-2015, 12:22 PM   #9
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1969 18' Caravel
Deer Harbor , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 8
I just lifted the shell off our 69 Caravel 18, probably using the same "Frank's" directions and plans from the Forum you did. Then lowered the shell onto 4 sawhorses with double 2x6's across the width of the trailer. Hopefully you braced the interior walls before lift off. I have moved the gantries ahead and have hung the frame, less axel and wheels, from them. Much easier to clean off rust, etc. preparing for painting Por-15 soon. New axel ordered. Incidentally, I saved $500 shipping charge on the axel by buying it at a local truck parts store. Good luck and have fun. Dave

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