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Old 04-27-2015, 08:51 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1974 27' Overlander
Twisp , Washington
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 73
Uh-oh! NOT lining up...

Was hoping to get the shell back on my AS this weekend, set it back down on the new deck yesterday, and it won't line up with the front alignment plate. The door frame is also not sitting down properly, the door is hanging up on the lower frame. So some background, and maybe you older and wiser heads can help me come up with a solution.

I needed to replace a fair number of outriggers, fabricated my own and installed them so they were in the same plane from side to side. Made new support/spacer boards for the dropped cross-members, installed new 3/4" marine plywood for the deck, and had the frame securely jacked and leveled before dropping the shell. I truly expected it to settle right in and be happy, and for the most part, it did. But the front of the shell is sitting approx. 3/16" LOW at the alignment plate, and I'm not sure exactly what's going on with the door, other than that it's sitting high on the opening side .

From the door back on the curb side, everything lines up perfectly. Same for the road side, the entire straight section is good all the way to the back.

I've checked and double checked my alignment, level, and fit at the curves, and I've also checked and double checked that I don't have anything binding or hanging up anywhere. Needless to say, this was a big disappointment, and more than a little frustrating. As those who've done this know, I've got a lot of time and effort involved in getting to this point, and I'd gotten my little sister to make the 200 mile drive to come help, so I'd have a second pair of hands to handle the bucking bar. I'm eager to hear ANY suggestions, and I will NOT be insulted by anything, no matter how trivial. I just want to get my trailer back together and ready to face the next 40 years . Thanks, folks.


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Old 04-27-2015, 10:04 AM   #2
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Belegedhel's Avatar
1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,265
So, just a few clarifying questions:

Are the holes in your front hold-down (alignment) plate lining up perfectly with the holes in the front of your shell, but there is a 3/16" gap between the floor and the front C-channel, or is it that the channel is flush against the floor, but the holes in the shell are sitting 3/6" high?

When you say the door is sitting high on the opening side, do you mean that at the side of the door where the hinges are, the frame of the door is sitting flush on the plywood, but that at the opposite side (the opening side), there is a gap between the floor and the door frame?

Did you remove the front hold-down plate during your frame work?

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Old 04-27-2015, 12:32 PM   #3
2 Rivet Member
1974 27' Overlander
Twisp , Washington
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 73
With the channel sitting on the new deck, the holes in the shell are approx. 3/16" BELOW the holes in the alignment plate, so yes, with the holes lined up, there's a gap below the channel.

The hinge side of the frame is almost flush with the new deck, but the strike side of the frame is approx. 1/4" high.

No, I did NOT remove the hold down plate, no need to, and I also didn't want to risk losing my alignment .

Thanks for responding, I'm looking forward to hearing any ideas you might have. Later.

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Old 04-27-2015, 02:41 PM   #4
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,265
Hmmm... And I assume you left the C-channels in the front and rear curved sections in place(?)

Well, this is pretty mysterious. Almost sounds like your original floor was 3/16" thicker on the front-most section than it was elsewhere.

Here are a few things to try just for fun:
1) Put a jack under the A-frame, perhaps toward the passenger side, and slowly give it some lift/twist and see if/when your gaps close up (at least at the door).

2) Get on a ladder and have a look at the top of the trailer and ensure you aren't seeing any deformation.

3) Check the gap in the heat of the day, and in the cool of the morning just to see if there is any thermal expansion effect.

4) Put a C-clamp between the floor and the strike side of the threshold and put a little pressure on it to bring things together (be gentle, we're looking for a "rocking" effect here, not trying to brute force it into place).

5) With the front C-channel flat on the deck, and the holes in the hold-down plate coming in low, is the strike side of the door high even though the curved C-channel is flush with the deck?

6) Get a long straight edge and slide it around your floor to confirm that there is no bowing up or down, or twisting.

7) Does the latch on the door properly line up with the strike-hole? Does the door swing on its hinges just like it used to?

Good luck!
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Old 04-28-2015, 08:42 AM   #5
2 Rivet Member
1974 27' Overlander
Twisp , Washington
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 73
Thank you! All good suggestions, and I'll try them all. Won't be right away, I'm taking a couple of days off from this project, but I'll report back soon. Later.

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Old 04-28-2015, 08:12 PM   #6
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1976 27' Overlander
Tampa , Florida
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 796
Interesting.... I had a similar issue with my '76 Overlander. I too used marine ply- Although mine is 1/2" for my year. I got all my rivet holes exactly as they were, however my door threshold was also crooked. I think I had 1/4" gap between the threshold and the floor on the front/ opening side, and 1/8" on the trailing/ hinge side.

Super weird... couldnt figure out if something didnt line back up right??? OR if it was that way before I took it all apart. Perhaps my 2014 1/2" Marine Ply was a smidge thinner than the 1976 ply?? Still wouldnt account for such a gap. I too replaced many outriggers- including one of the step outriggers. However the fab shop that did it was SUPER attentive to detail and did a fabulous job. It was put back exactly the way the old one came out....

After alot of contemplation, I believe it was just that way when they built it. Not really sure why I'm surprised- the trailer is full of shoddy workmanship from the original builders. I'm re-doing and/or re-engineering all the crappy work they did in the first place.

In the end, other than driving me nuts, the problem was that I couldn't bolt down the threshold tight to through the floor and into the outriggers because of the gap. My fear was that I'd be putting too much stress on the threshold. I used a good solid piece of oak, and trimmed up a tapered sliver to fit under the threshold. Took some trial and error to get a nice fit, but I got it done. Then I bolted through everything with nice new stainless and its solid as can be. I'll be using engineered real wood floors that are 3/8" thick for my flooring so it will cover up the gap and it wont be seen.

But I know its there... and it will drive me nuts that I never figured out "why"....
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:27 PM   #7
"Space A" S/O Registry 11
2006 34' Classic S/O
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 612
The shells are lowered on the frames when built. But, the frames are not jacked level. The difference may be in a sagging frame as compared to one jacked level. I did a generator job with a large cutout and made the mistake of jacking level. When you do it that way, the problem is backwards or in reverse. It caused the skin to wrinkle the jacks were lowered. Your need support, but I believe you need to allow for original sag in the monocoque
shell. There is always some sag, albeit ever so slight. You ought sit in the back of a large fuselage airplane in turbulence. Every thing twists and turns and bends and flexes. It is downright scary. The same thing happens in Airstreams when moved. That movement eventually causes rivets and seams to separate. So the answer may be to move both frame and shell around until you find the sweet spot. Then tie it down. Good luck!
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Old 04-29-2015, 06:17 AM   #8
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,706
The shell with twist to fit the frame or it should at least. Pictures would help.

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Old 04-29-2015, 07:52 AM   #9
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,375
On our 72,the plywood floor is notched at the door. If memory serves, there is about a 1/4" notch in the plywood the entire width of the door frame, plus two deeper slits at each frame to allow it to sit flush and level on the floor. When we installed our new floor, I forgot that notch, and the door frame would not sit in place properly until I made it. It kinda looks like the crude drawing in the attached PDF file.

Attached Files
File Type: pdf Door cutout.pdf (78.5 KB, 54 views)

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