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Old 08-16-2011, 07:09 AM   #1
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salzburg , salzburg
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Strengthening the frame

Hi all, i've been reading your shell off threads with great interest, there's some great work going on out there, i was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on strengthening the frame on an airstream for catering use, would you think it would be enough to lift the floor and drop the belly pan and weld gussets onto the frame or is the overall thickness of these frames not strong enough, i was thinking if i could strengthen it enough and then try and keep the load as close to the axles as possible it may work, I am handy but i must say shell off looks quite alot of work and to make a completely new frame in europe would run very expensive!, also does anyone have an idea about which years frames were the strongest for the airstreams,
many thanks,
Richard
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:46 AM   #2
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Hi all, i've been reading your shell off threads with great interest, there's some great work going on out there, i was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on strengthening the frame on an airstream for catering use, would you think it would be enough to lift the floor and drop the belly pan and weld gussets onto the frame or is the overall thickness of these frames not strong enough, i was thinking if i could strengthen it enough and then try and keep the load as close to the axles as possible it may work, I am handy but i must say shell off looks quite alot of work and to make a completely new frame in europe would run very expensive!, also does anyone have an idea about which years frames were the strongest for the airstreams,
many thanks,
Richard
Not sure which years were the strongest but the longer frames had a lot of issues with rear end separation. Use the thread tool and search "rear end separation". There are tons of info and fixes for this. I boxed my frame to give it more support.
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:36 PM   #3
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boxing

thanks for the reply, i went through your thread and never registered the boxing but that's certainly what i'll do on the inner frames and gussets for the outriggers, i am looking for definately under thirty foot i think 26 will do nicely so fingers crossed that what i get delivered will have a half decent frame to start with!! seems to be luck whether you get a good one or not!
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:29 AM   #4
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thanks for the reply, i went through your thread and never registered the boxing but that's certainly what i'll do on the inner frames and gussets for the outriggers, i am looking for definately under thirty foot i think 26 will do nicely so fingers crossed that what i get delivered will have a half decent frame to start with!! seems to be luck whether you get a good one or not!
Yeah depending on where your trailer is comming from... could have some issues. Mine wasnt too bad but knowing how to weld comes in handy
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:36 PM   #5
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what thickness

o.k so i have finally sourced a 1969 25ft tradewind and it should be on it's way to me in the next week or so, in the meantime i need to teach myself to weld!, i'm quite handy and a quick learner and have the airforums equivelent forum on welding to help me! and being frame it doesn't need to be pretty! just strong so if anyone could tell me the thickness of the frame it would be much appreciated then i can practice on that thickness metal (i know it has issues by the rear tank (last crossmember is not good!) although the seller says the rest is solid, so fingers crossed it's only a matter of rear crossmember and a bit of strengthening and a load of por15!, any replies much appreciated,
thanks,
Richard.
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:40 PM   #6
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The frame should be 12 gauge steel. It is actually quite easy to mig weld. I didnt use flux core because the gas shield produces better welds. I would sand blast the frame to remove any old paint and rust then wash with a good degreaser ( any new metal needs to be prepped well before welding) then use a coating like Por15 metal ready. This step actually makes the metal more conductive when welding. I had my frame metal fabricated heres a drawing. Good Luck!!
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Old 10-21-2011, 05:53 AM   #7
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I'm in the middle of reworking frame on a '73 Tradewind. I went ahead and rebuilt the frame using 2x5 box steel. A little heavier but much stronger than original channel. If you examine frame you will see original is boxed in high load areas - near a-frame and at axles. I spent one weekend cutting and tacking new frame. Hope to get new frame welded real soon.
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