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Old 03-01-2009, 12:21 PM   #1
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Tail sag repair instructions needed

I know there are tons of threads on tail sag repair, but so far I have yet to find a clear (to me) set of instructions about exactly how to repair the problem. I get lost in the endless threads and need some conciseness. Can anyone enlighten me or point me to the instructions somewhere? Also, does this repair require the gutting of the unit, or can it be done from the outside?
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:03 PM   #2
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Check with Andy (InlandRV) on that..
I recently saw his list of the proper/recommended steps to take. It was under a thread on elephant ears on a newer unit..Good Luck~!
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:20 PM   #3
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I should also add, is this a definite hire out project? If yes, can the local welder do it or is should it be done by the factory or what? Any idea what I should expect on cost?
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:46 PM   #4
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Rodney, you would be well advised to contact Andy.
Given the distance between the two of you and, if I were you..
I would opt to ask him first his opinion as to what your options will be. First and foremost, I believe he will ask for photos. Are you sure you have a tail sag problem? What test have you performed to come to that conclusions? No one should give you any recommendations without seeing the unit in question first or, those pictures first.
Good luck~!
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:46 PM   #5
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I should also add, is this a definite hire out project? If yes, can the local welder do it or is should it be done by the factory or what? Any idea what I should expect on cost?
Correctly repairing rear end separation, seems to have several opinions.

For perhaps 30 years, we have yet to have a failure.

Somewhere in this Forums, I posted a step by step way we do it, that takes more steps, but upgrades the rear end better than it was built. I do not know how to find that post.

The cost depends on how bad the seaparation is, how much rotten wood must be replaced, and the floor plan.

The bottom line cost can vary between $1600.00 to over $3000.00.

Perhaps I can better help you, if you provided some detailed photo's.

A welded, would not likely understand the monocoque construction, and therefore would be at a loss as to what to do, and why, as well as how.

This is not a job typically for a DIY or for an experiment.

Ah, success.

You can find that post under elephant ears, dated 2-17-09, post # 104


Quote:
To replace the rear section of floor, the banana wraps, quarter panels and the panel below the rear window, should "all" be remove, to properly replace that plywood, as it should be, in one piece. Remember the floor is part of the "monocoque" construction. Piecing it, weakens that area.

Extra tie down brackets should be welded to the outside of the frame, just inside of the banana wraps. That will provide extra "hold down." You may find the floor channel cracked. If so, it should be removed at welded. Install more bolts, thru the floor channel, thru the plywood and theu the frame. Add steel plates inside of the floor channel, and then run the bolts thru them, for even greater strength.

Make sure the rear hold down plate is clean and secure. A water leak from the past, will cause it to rust, sometimes very bad.

Old, major parts, for the baths, are typically not available.

The "elephant ear" repair is a bunch of "HOG WASH."
Andy

There is another more detailed post that is way before that one, but............I can't find it.

Amoung other things, many more pop rivets should be added to the interior quarter panel to the floor channel. The floor channel may need to be removed and welded. Extra hold down plates should be added. More bolts added.

Andy
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Old 03-08-2009, 06:48 PM   #6
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Who all does this kind of work?

Where would one go to get this fixed? Anybody with experience hiring this out? Would Jackson Center eat me alive on the deal?
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Old 03-08-2009, 07:11 PM   #7
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Where would one go to get this fixed? Anybody with experience hiring this out? Would Jackson Center eat me alive on the deal?
Sunny southern California is about as close to you as Jackson Center.

Lawton to Jackson Center is 1000 miles.

Lawton to Corona is 1253 miles.

I have no idea what Airstream back log is.

Typically, we can have you on the road in 2 to 3 days.

Andy
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Old 03-08-2009, 07:57 PM   #8
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Bummer Rodney. I'm sure this is not something you wanted to have to deal with and I wish you luck in deciding what to do and it gets fixed well and economically.

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Old 03-08-2009, 10:33 PM   #9
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These may be the step-by-step instructions you are looking for. They don't seem to be anywhere on these forums but I found them here.


I believe this comes from Andy at Inland RV.

QUOTE:

The proper repair is easy.
  1. Remove the rear quarter panels.
  2. Remove most of the rivets from the rear plate, so that you can curl the rear plate upward, out of the way.
  3. Observe the damage to the floor channel. Remove the channel, have it welded back together.
  4. Add an additional gusset the outside of the frame, under the floor, for additional bolts.
  5. Jack up the frame to it's correct position.
  6. Assuming the floor is ok, and that the rear "hold down plate" is ok, reinstall the floor channel, with new 1/4" grade 5 or better hardware. Drill additional mounting holes through the gussets that were added. Use washers under the bolt heads and at the bottom of the plywood floor. Add steel plates above the floor channel at the frame and gusset areas, that will spread out the stresses.
  7. Add additional rivets to hold the "INSIDE" quarter panels with greater strength.
  8. Reinstall the quarter panels and rear plate, with olympic rivets at the sides and top. Use plenty of Vulkem sealer between the seams.
  9. Use 3/16" pop rivets at the bottom of the quarter panels.
  10. Reinstall the rub rail molding.
The above is a professional way to correct the rear end separation problem, and, at the same time, gives the rear shell to frame attachment considerable additional strength. Done properly, no evidence of repairs can be seen, other than the olympic rivets.

Here is a recent thread

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Old 03-09-2009, 02:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post

The cost depends on how bad the seaparation is, how much rotten wood must be replaced, and the floor plan.

The bottom line cost can vary between $1600.00 to over $3000.00.

Perhaps I can better help you, if you provided some detailed photo's.

Andy
Exactly what photos would you need?
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Old 03-09-2009, 02:51 PM   #11
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Exactly what photos would you need?
One or two closeup photo's where the frame goes undreneath the molding at the rear end.

A couple of photo's showing as best you can, the damage to the rear floor as you see it thru the access compartment.

In looking at your 1 photo, the huge carrier mounted to the bumper, more than likely caused the separaton problem. Obviously, it would have to be deleted.

You can forward them direct, if you wish.

Andy
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:18 PM   #12
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If you check out garthbf profile he has a thread about rear end separation with some great photos. I'm sorry I can't provide an exact link.
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:48 PM   #13
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If you check out garthbf profile he has a thread about rear end separation with some great photos. I'm sorry I can't provide an exact link.
This might be it - http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...tml#post622064
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Old 03-09-2009, 07:39 PM   #14
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I haven't found signs of wood rot, which I take is a good thing. My hope is that this ends up on the lower end of the price range, but somehow, I doubt it. Because the after market gray water tank is part of the ugly box extension I will be loosing my gray tank in the process. I had hoped to install a new one up above the axles this spring, but I never dreamed the rear end separation repair was going to cost so much. Looks like a long season with the tote boy is in my future. Pic from below is from when I first got the rig. Separation is visible now- I can think of a couple long forest service roads and one rapid beach egress that didn't do much to help the basic problem of the box

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