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Old 04-30-2007, 08:23 PM   #15
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1964 17' Bambi II
Vintage Kin Owner
Schererville , Indiana
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Does anyone know of a shop (other than an Airstream dealer) near Northwest Indiana or Chicago that does this kind of work? I might just take her in & have her looked over. Hubby still thinks I should buy newer, but he's not the one who spent an entire summer polishing her up!


1964 Bambi II
1988 Avion 32S
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Old 04-30-2007, 08:40 PM   #16
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
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The Great Frame Debate

Greetings Becky!

Originally Posted by beckybillrae
Does anyone know of a shop (other than an Airstream dealer) near Northwest Indiana or Chicago that does this kind of work? I might just take her in & have her looked over. Hubby still thinks I should buy newer, but he's not the one who spent an entire summer polishing her up!
In the years that I have lived in Northern Illinois, I have run across very few garages that I would trust with my Airstream. For potentially serious problems, I always trust my coaches to Ace Fogdall RV. They have been selling Airstreams for the better part of forty years, and have competent mechanics who know Airstreams and welcome our Vintage units.

They performed just the kind of check that you are proposing for your coach on my Overlander more than ten years ago. They did discover frame separation which was professionally repaired for a reasonable cost given the skill that the repair required.

The other potential option would be the Airstream factory in Jackson Center, OH. I suspect that both the factory and Fogdalls would be approximately six hours from you -- I am about in the same boat since I moved to Decatur, but still take my coaches to Fogdall for major repairs as well as specialized service work.

Good luck with your investigation and decision!


Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 05-01-2007, 05:55 AM   #17
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1973 31' Sovereign
Danielsville , Georgia
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Just remember that newer units come with newer "issues" (issues that the P.O. was either unaware of or unwilling to address).

After reading so many posts regarding factory issues on "NEW" Airstreams, it would be difficult for me to advocate parting with (or even worse, borrowing to part with) that kind of money.

You have a very nice unit that you have personalized for your needs. Given that you've already demonstrated the perserverance and skill necessary to polish the exterior, I'm somewhat surprised at your reluctance to remove a few rivets underneath to have a look at your frame. Usually our fears are much greater than the actual danger and you've already prepared for the worst case scenario anyway.

While actual repair may require more skill and tools than you have available, you are entirely capable of performing a preliminary basic inspection. It's just not that difficult. (If I lived closer, I'd be happy to do it for you...seriously!)

A question I do have is regarding your axles. You stated that they were good. Are you sure? Unless they've been replaced, they're 30 years old. I recently put new ones under my Sovereign and was amazed at the difference in ride, just from watching in my rear view mirrow. It appeared to be almost floating over bumps (bridges, etc.) whereas the Overlander (never did replace the axles) took things very harshly. I guess I'm a true believer now.

Anyway, if you need any assistance or tech advice, I'm happy to help. Just PM me.
Ron Kaes
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Old 05-01-2007, 10:30 AM   #18
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2003 22' International
hillsboro , Texas
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frame issue

the frame on the new int. model is a new, never used befor design. thinner steel with smaller outriggers. i understand that the factory has beefed it up somewhat and may have solved the problem. two issues i have, 1] the durability of this new frame should not be tested by customers in the field, 2] there should not be any maintance required on a 3yr old airstream frame.
there is not much that can be done since the belly pan covers 90% of the frame from view.
as you can tell, i am not a very happy trooper right now. a good % of my time with this rig is dealing with broken frame problems. so far the factory has responded well . mr.dave schumann is working with me and doing the best he can.
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Old 05-01-2007, 10:44 AM   #19
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1964 24' Tradewind
Portage , Michigan
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Becky, try contacting this place. Should not be to far from your hometown. Innovative Transport Solutions, Inc. I received an estimate from them for roll over damage to my enclosed snowmobile trailer; Triton trailer distributor for this area has used them in the past for repair work. I might go with some place closer to me for the repair work to my trailer, depends on the insurance company and a second estimate.

Innovative Trailer, Inc.
531 S 300 E
Monticello, IN 47960
Ph 574-583-8137
Fx 574-583-8369

Derek (formerly from Portage, IN)
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Old 05-01-2007, 11:14 AM   #20
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Becky, you can buy a fiberscope for $211, drill a few 1/2 inch diameter holes in the belly pan, inspect with the fiberscope, and plug the holes with rubber or plastic plugs from your local Ace hardware store. That's what I've done. The fiberscope has a light, and a focussing device. The glass-fiber tube is about 2 feet long, and it can be bent by hand to the desired curve.
A more modern trailer which has been leaking could have way more corrosion than your trailer. Just take a peek. The fiberscope takes a few minutes to get used to focussing with one hand while pressing the light switch, but it's worth the effort, in my view. This is discussed here:

Typing "fiberscope" into the search box will produce further discussions.
Nick Crowhurst, Excella 25 1988, Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel. England in summer, USA in winter.
"The price of freedom is eternal maintenance."
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Old 05-01-2007, 07:44 PM   #21
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1964 17' Bambi II
Vintage Kin Owner
Schererville , Indiana
Join Date: Jul 2005
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I guess I'm reluctant to take the bellypan off because every small project that I've started on the trailer has turned into a big one. My husband & I were under there last year (the trailer, that is!) and started to take some screws out. A bunch of them were rusted & broke off. We were trying to look at the plumbing, but discovered we could access it through the back bumper & didn't have to take the bellypan off after all. Anyhow, it looked like a gasline was under there that would probably break if we moved it, and whatever else could go wrong probably would! As far as the axels, my husband is a farmer and has dealt with lots of axels on trailers. He thinks they're good. Also, some people of this forum have posted pictures of where the wheels should be in relation to the skirt & mine look pretty high as they should. We don't travel very far in her (probably only 300 miles a year), but when we do, she seems to tow really nicely. Maybe that's because I towed a 26' hugemongus bunkhouse before & this seems like nothing. Maybe I'll look into the fiberscope!


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