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Old 03-29-2011, 01:36 PM   #1
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Signs of a sound frame

Andy
I have chatted with Greg at Inland RV and he was great ... I am considering ordering the axles, hubs, brakes and tires for my 1964 safari twin ... definitely needs it based upon what I have been reading these last few months ... could I ask you, before I replace the axle, what is the best way to check the integrity of the chassis iself, it doesn't have any rear end separation ... should I take up the floor boarding? ...what am i looking for ... any hints or threads that you could help me with or point me to, I would appreciate it ... I don't want to spend loads without knowing the chassis is ok or at least spending it on the chassis ahead of time if it needs it. I hope that makes sense.
Great forum, great contributor thanks in advance for ANY advice
Best
Rob

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Andy
I have chatted with Greg at Inland RV and he was great ... I am considering ordering the axles, hubs, brakes and tires for my 1964 safari twin ... definitely needs it based upon what I have been reading these last few months ... could I ask you, before I replace the axle, what is the best way to check the integrity of the chassis iself, it doesn't have any rear end separation ... should I take up the floor boarding? ...what am i looking for ... any hints or threads that you could help me with or point me to, I would appreciate it ... I don't want to spend loads without knowing the chassis is ok or at least spending it on the chassis ahead of time if it needs it. I hope that makes sense.
Great forum, great contributor thanks in advance for ANY advice
Best
Rob
Rob.

Rear end separation, can be a big problem, but if your Airstream does not have it, then "GREAT".

Next would be to see if the frame, was bent in any way at the axle mounting plate.

Lastly, check for any rotten wood in the flooring. If none, then "GREAT" again. Discoloration of the plywood, does not necessarily mean rotten wood.

If all the above is OK, then you can replace the axle as soon as you want to, without any problems.

But, while your checking things out, check the window and door gaskets, to make sure the trailer is waterproof.

Andy

Thanks andy for that
There is rotten ply at the very rear, accesses from outside ... Do I rip out the flooring to check the frame or take out bellypan cover ... The frame is not bent at the mounting plate ... Just wondering the best way to have a peek ... It all seems solid but I guess there is no sure way to know without actually looking at the raw frame ... Am I over worrying or is there a 'way in' to check further ... Thanks andy in anticipation

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Thanks andy for that
There is rotten ply at the very rear, accesses from outside ... Do I rip out the flooring to check the frame or take out bellypan cover ... The frame is not bent at the mounting plate ... Just wondering the best way to have a peek ... It all seems solid but I guess there is no sure way to know without actually looking at the raw frame ... Am I over worrying or is there a 'way in' to check further ... Thanks andy in anticipation
The easiest way to check the frame at the rear, is to remove the underbelly and holding tank, if necessary.

If there is a small amount of rot, it can be fixed, so to speak, by pouring a slow setting fiberglass liquid on the damaged area.

That will stop further rotting as well as add some strength back to the plywood, in that area.

Andy
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:54 PM   #2
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Signs of a sound frame

Andy
Sorry to butt in ... Have a safari 64 needs new axle and wheels, no separation that I can see .... Where should I begin to ensure the frame is
Sound ... Can you advise me or point me to a thread...?
Thanks
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:03 PM   #3
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Robert first check the floor for rot all the way around the perimeter of the trailer where the shell meets the floor. Look under furniture and inside cabinets. Pat particular attention under all windows, doors and all openings in the shell. look very closely at the rear as airstreams have a basic design flaw that leads to the rear floor area to rot. If you have floor rot more than likely the frame below that is rusted as well.
Next check the belly pan for sagging or loose sections. look for signs of corrosion around all the rivets holding up the belly. If it is sagging, loose or shows signs of corrosion around the rivets they are further signs that the frame is rusted.
The only way to be absolutely sure of the floor and the frame is unfortunatley to remove the belly pan and inspect for damage. Lots of times the floor seems not to bad from above but is actually rotted from below. When water gets into the belly the fiberglass insulation traps it there which leads to the floor rotting and the frame rusting.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:15 PM   #4
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:02 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for the advice .... Would you suggest belly pan or through the floor above.. There is no rear end separation and the opening to floor seems good, the belly isn't sagging, the rivets seem ok, the frame mountings straight, there is rotten plywood at the rear that I can see from accessing the back end door flap, so I guess if the frame has begun to rust that's the place to start first??? ... Where would I begin in your opinion... I want to replace axle, brake and wheels but would like to check for a sound frame first ... It APPEARS solid but that's without seeing the frame raw ... Where should I peek first?, thanks so much for your tine and advice ..... Rob
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post

If there is a small amount of rot, it can be fixed, so to speak, by pouring a slow setting fiberglass liquid on the damaged area.

That will stop further rotting as well as add some strength back to the plywood, in that area.

Andy
I have used this method to repair plywood floor which has been subjected to water and has "checked" and separated.

You will need two part epoxy and denatured alcohol. Mix the epoxy in a paper soup bowl along with a couple of "glugs" of denatured alcohol. It will be a watery mixture. Pour that mixture on the plywood in the bad area. It will soak into the wood about like paint thinner would soak in. The alcohol will evaporate from the mixture, the epoxy then "go off" over night, and you will be left with a sandable surface, much harder than the original wood.
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:22 PM   #7
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Thanks so much for the advice .... Would you suggest belly pan or through the floor above.. There is no rear end separation and the opening to floor seems good, the belly isn't sagging, the rivets seem ok, the frame mountings straight, there is rotten plywood at the rear that I can see from accessing the back end door flap, so I guess if the frame has begun to rust that's the place to start first??? ... Where would I begin in your opinion... I want to replace axle, brake and wheels but would like to check for a sound frame first ... It APPEARS solid but that's without seeing the frame raw ... Where should I peek first?, thanks so much for your tine and advice ..... Rob
Robert,
The easiest way to see if the rear end is separating is to get someone to bounce up and down on the bumper while you watch the joint area where the body meets the frame at the bumper. If everything is OK, the body & frame will move in unison, if not, you've got a problem. There are bolts inside the wall that fasten the "C" channel (base of the wall) through the plywood floor to the rear crossmember. You will need to open up the bellypan at the rear, in order to access the other end of the bolts. Now, if the floor is rotted in this area, the crossmember is likely rusted to some degree as well. There may be separation even if the wood is not completly rotted out, as the "C" channels often corrode due to electrolysis causing the steel bolts to pull through the aluminum "C" channel. If bolts have pulled through, or if the rear crossmember has severe rust, no amount of epoxy will cure it. Get in there, assess the problem & fix it properly. The next owner will appreciate it.
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:15 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone, yet again ... great forum
so ... I have no belly pan sag, no rotting rivets, there is no rotting on the floor/wall joins, the axle frame mounting is straight, there is absolutely no separation when I have someone jump up and down on the rear ... but there IS that wet flooring patch in the bathroom/rearend (safar1 64) ... how do I access the rear section, replace the plywood and check the floor at least in the most likely vulnerable area?? ... through the belly pan rear section, from above?, do I take the bathroom out .... Are there threads to this?, how do i remove the bellypan to have a look without a 'shop pit', hmmm, am i worrying too much?, need to do something, and I do want to sort out the axles/wheels .... thanks everyone as always for all your help
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:18 AM   #9
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sorry; not to mislead (above) ... '.... check the 'frame' at least in the most vulnerable area? ...' ...
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:19 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone, yet again ... great forum
so ... I have no belly pan sag, no rotting rivets, there is no rotting on the floor/wall joins, the axle frame mounting is straight, there is absolutely no separation when I have someone jump up and down on the rear ... but there IS that wet flooring patch in the bathroom/rearend (safar1 64) ... how do I access the rear section, replace the plywood and check the floor at least in the most likely vulnerable area?? ... through the belly pan rear section, from above?, do I take the bathroom out .... Are there threads to this?, how do i remove the bellypan to have a look without a 'shop pit', hmmm, am i worrying too much?, need to do something, and I do want to sort out the axles/wheels .... thanks everyone as always for all your help
Sewer vent pipe leaking?

Rear window leaking?

Rear clearance lights leaking?

Tail light wiring holes leaking?

Rear access door leaking?

Water heater leaking?

Toilet leaking?

Any of the above could cause water to be on the rear floor.

Andy
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:54 AM   #11
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Robert in regards to post 9 you can edit your posts within 15 minutes by using the edit button. You also might want to edit your profile to show the year and type of trailer you have. That way everyone knows what trailer you are talking about.
Now on to your issue. How large is the wet patch, is it wet or rotted. You can patch in that section of floor and you will need to remove the interior walls to get at the mounting bolts that mount the floor , c channel in the wall to the frame. You will also need to remove the belly pan to get at the bolts from below. How much of the bathroom that needs to be removed depends on how much of the walls need to be removed for access.
The belly pan is riveted from below into the frame. It is just a matter of drilling out all those rivets in order to drop the belly. If the repair area is small and at the rear drill out only enough rivets to drop down the rear of the belly. The belly consists of three pieces, the center section and two side sections which wrap up around the sides to meet the shell. The side wraps can be left attached to the shell and allowed to just hang down during repairs. The center section can be left lying on the ground where removed and hanging where still attached. There are pieces on each corner which are called banana wrpas they will need to be removed for repair and inspection. They are riveted to the belly and to the shell like the side wraps. The side wraps and banana wraps are riveted to the shell under the lower beltline trim. This trim is also riveted to the shell.
You can raise the trailer up by pulling up on some blocks under the wheels to give you some ground clearance. Make absolutely sure that the trailer can`t roll off the blocks before crawling under it.
As far as threads are concerned look under the frame and floor repair section and start reading, there are several. You can also look under the sub section for 64 safari`s or other 64 models which will be very similar in construction to your safari.
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:27 PM   #12
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Thanks so much ... what 'blocks' and any other security measures would you recommend before 'going under' ... best
Rob
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:14 PM   #13
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Rob nail three of four 2x6 together to build ramps for the wheels. They should be long enough to have the wheels completely on them with about a foot to spare in front and behind. Cut the ends on a 45 degree angle to make it easy to drive up on. Cut four 2x4 pieces to wedge in front and behind the wheels to Chock the trailer from moving. Again cut the ends at an angle. Once the trailer is up on the ramps and chocked you can screw the 2x4`s to the ramps to securely lock them in. Of course try to start with as level a surface as possible. Once the TV is not attached level the trailer front to back with the tongue jack and you should be safe. Ultimately you will have to decide if it is secure.
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