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Old 07-03-2005, 08:02 AM   #29
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1964 24' Tradewind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitty
Let me see if I understand this correctly. The wood flooring sits on top of the frame. Then the channel to which the sides are attached sits on top of the wood with bolts through the wood into the frame. So when the wood rots it leaves an unsupported gap between the channel and the frame??

My first reaction is that this sure seems to be a bad design. Am I missing some nuances here that would indicate this to be a good design???
i've asked myself that many a time. why on EARTH would the central piece to this trailer be wood? i'm guessing cost, weight and strength are the main reasons.

my trailer, like mark's had SO much rot around the sides that i pulled most of the floor out by hand! then took a screw driver and brushed out all the left over junk between the body and the frame. if you look at one of my pics, you can see how i've supported the original mounting locations with new plywood squares, just to keep the shell from dropping any more. i have 2 nice dents in the back where i didn't have these in before i drug the silver pickle home, and now i have to repair the exterior skins. it's also a good idea to support the body to keep it from flexing, but i tell ya, after i got all the bolts cut that held the shell to the frame, there is so much flex in the chassis, sometimes i wonder if that's totally necessary. the ribs and shell are one of the 3 main structural components (the other 2 being the frame and the floor).

the debate continues on shell on or shell off... but if your floor and belly pan were in the condition mine were, shell-off is probably the way to go. if i were just going to replace a few sections of floor, i would have left the shell on.

i know when i put this back together, i'm going to do everything i can to protect the plywood from the elements! good luck!

jordan
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Old 07-03-2005, 08:05 AM   #30
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1964 24' Tradewind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59
It's no fun if you don't hide a few rivets.

...I'm finding the tail belly a real challenge. I suspect the front will be interesting as well.
hey '59, is your shell currently off the frame? if not, how are you planning on doing the belly pan? (just curious!) weather permitting, my shell's coming off THIS WEEK! then the fun begins...

jordan
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Old 07-03-2005, 09:12 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitty
Let me see if I understand this correctly. The wood flooring sits on top of the frame. Then the channel to which the sides are attached sits on top of the wood with bolts through the wood into the frame. So when the wood rots it leaves an unsupported gap between the channel and the frame??

My first reaction is that this sure seems to be a bad design. Am I missing some nuances here that would indicate this to be a good design???
Wood pound for pound is stronger the steel. Food will flex without breaking. so its actually a good choice in this application. The down fall is the leaks that went unchecked for years that cause the failure of the wood.
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Old 07-03-2005, 09:36 AM   #32
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Jordan:

Welcome to the forum. I live right down the road for you off Hw5 in Marietta!

Alan is over in Roswell.

Good work so far. I been there done that and got the merit badge.

Few warnings. I saw where Mark told you about the hidden rivets. I was able to drill them from the back side enough to weaken them and the took a stiff putty knife and sheared them off without having to remove the outer panels.

When we pulled ours apart we learned these coaches are built upside down. Well not the body but the frame and floor. See the last couple pages of the full Monty post. The belly pan was on before the body. What you are going to find that will be the easiest way to deal with this is to go around and drill the rivets on the ribs that join them to the U-channel. Drill the outer ring of rivets at the base of the shell. Drill the rivets out of the plat on the A-Frame and you will be able to lift the shell off the frame.

I actually did this by myself with a pair of floor jacks and 2x4 wider then the body. Here are some pictures of the results. YOU MUST SECURE THE BODY WHEN ITS OFF THE FRAME! I cant stress that enough. The wind will blow it away if you don't. There are pictures of a on this site of a 28ft that was off the frame and the wind picked it up and blew it over and destroyed it. In the pictures I posted I drove 2x4's into the ground a couple feet as a support and to secure it. It faired a few good storms that way.

Anyway once you get the body off then you can deal with the Belly pan.
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Old 07-03-2005, 10:25 AM   #33
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Ohhh yeah....This place is off 41 behind the Coke plant. They will have Elevator bolts in stock. They are where 3 way and the other RV places in the area get them from.

http://www.tftsonline.com/
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Old 07-03-2005, 04:07 PM   #34
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dupont tyvek

I wonder if wrapping the edge of the flooring with dupont tyvek would work as a moisture barrier, or cover the entire floor with the tyvek on top and underneath.
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Old 07-04-2005, 08:19 AM   #35
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1959 18' "Footer"
1964 24' Tradewind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 59toaster
Jordan:

Welcome to the forum. I live right down the road for you off Hw5 in Marietta!...
wow! and a '59 as well? thanks for the tip on securing the body. i have actually thought about lifting the shell in my garage, rather than out in the yard for that very reason. one of the advantages of a 15 foot body! i'm still planning on poping the shell of either wednesday or thursday, so i can start welding on the frame. i'm planning on recruiting a few eager friends... luring them in with beer and pizza. once the shell is of, how did you support the actual body? i'm afraid to support it by the 3 temporary cross members i added, since they are only drilled into 6 of the ribs. i was planning on putting a 2X6 running under each wall so i can support a few additional ribs. is this necessary?

i'm planning on replacing the springs and axles (using an axle with electric brakes). did you replace yours when you did your restoration? if so, did you stick with leaf springs or change over to the tortion suspension set-up? i think i'm sticking with leafs, but maybe adign shocks. i might upgrade the axle and spring rating to 3500 in case my new interior weighs more than teh original. i think the original weight on mine was only something like 2100. it was lighter than our motorcycle trailer with 2 bikes on the trip home.

how long is your trailer? the window arrangementr looks similar to a '55 safari we were tempted by. the extra 4 feet would have made more floor layout options, but there's something about a shortie that i just love. good thing our dogs are small!

i'd love to see your trailer sometime! always nice to see another vintage silver pickle out there.

jordan
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:02 AM   #36
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I supported the body for a month on just the 2x4 frame you see in the pictures. It was more sturdy then you would think. Make sure you put a brace across the door opening as well.

The springs are a odd length and you are not going to find them off the shelf. Going to a 3500 lb spring might be a bad idea. It will pound the trailer rather then flex and absorb bumps. The 3500lb axle is just fine however.

My axle appears to be in good shape. The rust on my frame was not very bad at all. Just rust on the very last cross member that required it to be replaced. I was very fortunate in that. So far I have not found any reason to need to change my axle. If I do change mine I will by a off the shelf axle and if I need to adjust its width I will will cut it in the center and sleeve it. I may go with a straight axle with no drop as well. Get a little extra clearance under the tail that way.

Our Coach is a 22ft Caravanner. The Safari, Flying Cloud, Falcon, Custom and the Caravanner are all built on the same 22ft platform. The difference is interior lay out and window placement. The Safari and Cavanner in some years do run the full street side window arrangement.

Here is a great site with a VERY extensive photo archive if you have not found it yet. www.vintageairstream.com

The shell is much lighter then you realize. A sheet of exterior skin 4x12ft is only 22lb. 2 people could handle the 18ft weight wise. its the awkwardness of the size thats the problem.


Ohhhhh I have devised a trick for the belly pan. I used some 1 inch x1/8 bar and ran a couple strips to rivet to. The sides that are visible end just under the coach and I have four panels that are removable without having to get under the edge of the shell. I will try to get some pictures today. If it doesn't rain I am hoping to put the brake wires in and the Umbilical so I can get the front pans up.

The question of rot prevention has come up a few times. Most of us that were posting in the Full Monty all sealed the new decking with a Epoxy resin of the variety you would see used in Boats. I bought what I used at West Marine on US 41. I also put down Sheet Vinyl flooring before I put the U channel on. The hope was to seal it edge to edge. So far so good.

The thought with the sheet flooring is no seam and it should make a gasket when stuff is bolted down through it. The main areas may eventually get a laminate floating wood floor down over it. With two young kids It may be a little while as this will be easy to keep clean.

Have to shoot me some direction to your place so I can swing by one day and take a peak.
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Old 07-04-2005, 02:57 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 59toaster
Ohhhhh I have devised a trick for the belly pan. I used some 1 inch x1/8 bar and ran a couple strips to rivet to. The sides that are visible end just under the coach and I have four panels that are removable without having to get under the edge of the shell. . . .
I'd be very interested in photos or a sketch of the trick belly pan - trick is good. That's one of the issues I've been befuddled by - the idea of having to drill out rivets at the perimeter to get to a problem with plumbing or whatever else ends up in the belly pan seems crazy.
and thanks for all your help. Mark
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Old 07-04-2005, 05:56 PM   #38
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You really want to put the belly pan on before you put the shell back on. Trust me, you don't want to be doing it after the fact unless you had a prefect pattern for the belly pan. Your only wiggle will be slipping the belly pan / channel between the ribs and exterior shin. Don't forget the belly pan makes part of the wheel well detail.
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Old 07-04-2005, 08:05 PM   #39
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I'd be very interested in photos or a sketch of the trick belly pan - trick is good. That's one of the issues I've been befuddled by - the idea of having to drill out rivets at the perimeter to get to a problem with plumbing or whatever else ends up in the belly pan seems crazy.
and thanks for all your help. Mark
Still have to drill some but not where the Shell meets the belly pan. Our coach had been rn down a few things and damaged the visible edge of the pan. The rivets also failed and let the pan hang. That hanging and moving let the out riggers wear slots into the pan that were visible from the side.


What I did is took 1 inch wide 1/8 thing aluminum bar and ran a firing strip. That let me put a 12 inch wide piece of 2024 T3 Alcad when the pan rolls under that matches the shell. The belly is a cheaper grade of aluminum. At $12 a foot its a little pricey to do the whole belly in 2024 T3. I then used the original belly pan with the damaged edge cut off to fill in the bottom where it really is not visible.
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Old 07-05-2005, 10:11 AM   #40
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i like that idea. so it appears that the corner pan pieces are only at the edges, rather than wrapping around underneath the body. interesting approach, i can't wait to see it in person sometime!

i plan on welding some material on the edges of my outriggers to keep them from slicing the new pan when i do it. i think a 1 inch flat piece that follows the curve would work awesome, and even add some structure to it as well.

jordan
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Old 07-07-2005, 09:20 AM   #41
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Red face Poppin' the lid!

Another really productive day, despite the weather. It’s hurricane season, and all we get is the rain. Anyway, the shell is free from its rusty, mortal toils! Due to the weather (rains and high winds), I decided to leave the shell on the frame for now. All that’s left to do is lift it up on the supports, and roll the frame out. The “ugly” is almost over!

The first thing I did was finish removing the wheel wells. I wasn’t sure if this was totally necessary, but it enabled me to see exactly what the shell was doing. Also, when I reassemble it, I plan on putting it back together the same way it was built. The more I dig into this trailer, and see how things fit together, the more I realize, anything less than a full shell-off restoration just wouldn’t do a project like this justice, especially as the floor is the central structural element of the whole thing!

After the wheel wells were gone, next came the last parts of the front belly pan. The 2 end caps were the most important to me to remove in tact, so I could use them as patterns. After some drilling, prying, etc, they came out just fine, with the undamaged C Channel as well. I’ll probably make new channel when I put it all back together, but for now, they will serve as excellent patterns. I also added lots of cross bracing to secure the trailer from horizontal racking. Everyone tells you how flimsy the shell is once it’s detached, but I never believed how much until I saw it for myself. The good news is it leaves me a little wiggle room during the rebuilding in case a piece here or there is a little off. “Close enough for government work”, as David says ('62 Trotter, a month behind mine).

I took measurements of the interior dimensions before totally separating all the bolts, and even traced some corner templates on 1/8” plywood. It looks like the curves are a little elongated on the rear, compared to the front, but I could probably make them fit. Here are the square dimensions I measured (flat wall to flat wall) 88 1/2”W by 181”L. I hope they are accurate! That makes a 15’ shell, 18’ frame, just like I’ve read elsewhere. My plan, when the time comes is to install the plywood for a test fit square, and then cut the corners out. Does anyone know if the curves are supposed to be different front and rear? They look a little more symmetrical. Unfortunately, my floor was little more than pine chips, so I couldn’t save a pattern, though I do have the original C Channel.

Finally the lifting. It’s actually light enough to lift with 3 guys, I think. Since I was leaving it on the shell, I only lifted it enough to stack a couple of 2X4’s on the frame. One thought I had regarding lifting is lifting each end up one set of 2X4s at a time until the cross bracing 2X6 can squeeze through, then slide that in, and roll out the chassis. That might be the best approach. You could probably do that with just 2 guys, actually. I’m going to change the supports I built to make them a little more stable. I’ll post details and pics in the next post when the shell finally comes free.

My momentum and excitement in restoring the silver pickle is really picking up. I’m still in the ugly stage, but the shiny stuff is just around the corner! Those are the projects I’m looking forward to most… re-hanging the door with a port hole window, interior, skin repair, etc. with any luck, I’m still hoping to get the shell back on a month after she lifts free.




jordan
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Old 07-17-2005, 04:15 PM   #42
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she's FREE!

FINALLY, the lid is popped! (despite the weather). It has rained NON-STOP here for the past few weeks. Anyway, there’s no real rocket-science here, I built basic saw-horses to span the entire body, then jacked the body up one end at a time, using 2X4 scraps to do it incrementally, then roll the frame out. It's so simple, in fact that is it ALMOST a one man job. A little help from friends is always appreciated, though!



Now it’s time to start on the frame.
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