Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-21-2013, 06:51 PM   #15
Moderator
 
HiHoAgRV's Avatar

 
1991 34' Excella
1963 26' Overlander
1961 26' Overlander
Central , Mississippi
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 5,326
Images: 29
Blog Entries: 49
I just went out to snap a photo of mine but nothing shows up that looks like that. I do notice that both of those trailers have a vent over the wheel well, mine does not. I wonder if that particular floor plan (with the vent there) has a tendency to show skin wrinkles?
__________________

__________________
Hi Ho Silver RV! Vernon, Sarah, Mac the Border Collie -
A honkin' long 34' named AlumaTherapy http://www.airforums.com/forums/f205...num-54749.html
and a 26' '63 Overlander, Dolly http://www.airforums.com/forums/f109...ome-71609.html
HiHoAgRV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2013, 07:27 PM   #16
Rivet Master
 
A W Warn's Avatar
 
2000 25' Safari
1999 34' Excella
Davidson County, NC , Highlands County, FL
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,571
I am curious to see if anyone comments about the sag going further and developing a crack just aft of the rear axel.
__________________

__________________
Alan
2014 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab 5.3L maximum trailering package (yes, I'm towing the 34')
A W Warn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2013, 07:58 PM   #17
Rivet Master
 
1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,941
I know that two past International Presidents of WBCCI both had late model 34 foot trailers and towed with 3/4 ton vehicles and equalizer hitches. Both units experienced rear end separation after many miles of hard towing. Both were repaired by the installation of the elephant ear fix by a dealer in Texas but I do not know whether the frames were cracked or bent. I do not know whether, during the repairs, if frame doublers were installed. They both continued to use their trailers after the repairs. I saw one of the trailers at a rally and asked him, why the elephant ears.
__________________
dwightdi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2013, 10:08 AM   #18
Rivet Master
 
A W Warn's Avatar
 
2000 25' Safari
1999 34' Excella
Davidson County, NC , Highlands County, FL
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,571
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi View Post
I know that two past International Presidents of WBCCI both had late model 34 foot trailers and towed with 3/4 ton vehicles and equalizer hitches. Both units experienced rear end separation after many miles of hard towing. Both were repaired by the installation of the elephant ear fix by a dealer in Texas but I do not know whether the frames were cracked or bent. I do not know whether, during the repairs, if frame doublers were installed. They both continued to use their trailers after the repairs. I saw one of the trailers at a rally and asked him, why the elephant ears.
Thanks for your response!
Does anyone have a guestimate for the elephant ear repair?
__________________
Alan
2014 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab 5.3L maximum trailering package (yes, I'm towing the 34')
A W Warn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2013, 12:10 PM   #19
4 Rivet Member
 
withidl's Avatar
 
2002 31' Classic
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 440
Images: 1
My 2002 ASCL 31' which I purchased new with an ~175# genset under the rear curbside twin bed, has always had some skin waveness around the hot water heater vent door (between the streetside wheel well and the exterior storage door) which could be mistaken for rear sag if I didn't know it was there from OEM. After 35,000+ miles nothing has changed and there is no waveness on the curbside where the genset is, but if I were to put it up for sale a buyer might be concerned.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Skin Waveness1-20130422.jpg
Views:	98
Size:	265.0 KB
ID:	183974   Click image for larger version

Name:	Skin Waveness2-20130422.jpg
Views:	94
Size:	283.9 KB
ID:	183975  

Click image for larger version

Name:	Skin Waveness3-20130422.jpg
Views:	86
Size:	280.0 KB
ID:	183976   Click image for larger version

Name:	Skin Waveness4-20130422.jpg
Views:	104
Size:	272.3 KB
ID:	183977  

__________________
withidl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2013, 12:19 PM   #20
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,648
These things are dynamic structures. It is normal to see some buckling behind the rear wheels. Pulling the lower skin and inspecting the rear of the trailer will tell you if you have problems with rear end separtion. You will also be able to tell if you have double 5" C-Channels facing each other or a single C-channel on each side like the 70's trailers. The double C-channel is much better. Also if there is an opening behind the wheels like for a water heater that will distort the skin a little there as well. The water heater is probably the weakest part of the skin since there is not an aluminum frame around the opening like there is for windows and hatches.

Perry
__________________
perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2013, 01:04 PM   #21
Rivet Master
 
A W Warn's Avatar
 
2000 25' Safari
1999 34' Excella
Davidson County, NC , Highlands County, FL
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,571
Quote:
Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
These things are dynamic structures. It is normal to see some buckling behind the rear wheels. Pulling the lower skin and inspecting the rear of the trailer will tell you if you have problems with rear end separtion. You will also be able to tell if you have double 5" C-Channels facing each other or a single C-channel on each side like the 70's trailers. The double C-channel is much better. Also if there is an opening behind the wheels like for a water heater that will distort the skin a little there as well. The water heater is probably the weakest part of the skin since there is not an aluminum frame around the opening like there is for windows and hatches.

Perry
Thank you for your response!

I can't dig into the belly pan to look, since I have not purchased it. I'm trying to figure out what is "normal" on a 34', before I spend the$
__________________
Alan
2014 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab 5.3L maximum trailering package (yes, I'm towing the 34')
A W Warn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2013, 01:48 PM   #22
cwf
Rivet Master
 
cwf's Avatar
 
1999 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Hillsboro , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,934
Images: 2
I am unaware of a "spec" for sag, but I would expect it is less than 1" from center axle to rear when unloaded.

To check, I would have seller pull empty trailer over a bouncy road while I followed. If you can SEE huge distortion in exterior skin, I might walk away. ... Because too much flex will cause metal fatigue.

Next, run a string fore to aft and see how much " deflection" is there.

Next, place jack under "jack point" and lift trailer while observing string. Should you see more than 1" deviation, you will need to pull lower skin to properly inspect for bent or broken or rusted.

Just bought 1999 34'. It has "character"...

Yes there are ripples in the skin... so do I! Pulling trailers all over I believe it normal to have some"give" and flex. With our special TTs it seems to be a "defect" when we see flex.

This weekend we pulled almost 600 miles through a couple tricky road and driveway dips and construction. When I stopped I noticed the sides had changed!

To me this is normal. Look at any OTR trailer and you will see "distortions"! They move, ripple, dimple.

Now this doesn't mean a TT doesn't have a problem, just that it may not mean you should exclude based on that visual.

I am unaware of a "spec" for sag, but I would expect it is less than 1" from center axle to rear when unloaded.

To check, I would have seller pull empty trailer over a bouncy road while I followed. If you can SEE huge distortion in exterior skin, I might walk away. ... Because too much flex will cause metal fatigue.

Next, run a string fore to aft and see how much " deflection" is there. Next, place jack under "jack point" and lift trailer while observing string.
__________________
Peace and Blessings..
Channing
WBCCI# 30676
cwf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2013, 10:30 PM   #23
Vintage Kin
 
slowmover's Avatar
 
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,595
Images: 1
out of balance running gear, worn out shocks, and a bunch of weight in the back,

Any of these trailers -- not brand specific -- can see this kind of problem. Probability is the differentiator (is that a word?).

If I saw the problem the OP has in concern I would use JG's assumptions and add to it the likelihood of full waste tanks + bad payload distribution and hard miles.

I don't have a dog in the "hard hitch" argument, but the TT is place to begin and end.

perrryg114's method is what I would employ: inspection. My first step on these long trailers is to find any FF to RR floor "bow" with an extra-long level. Other causes may be in play, but it's a good start.

By the way, does anyone have the dimensions from the outer tire[s] to either end of the trailer? I'd like to compare the tridem to my tandem (35') as to "overhang". Had one recently where I am staying at present but the owner got away before I could run a tape.

.
__________________
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 9-cpm solo, 15-cpm towing
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
slowmover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2013, 05:42 AM   #24
Rivet Master
 
A W Warn's Avatar
 
2000 25' Safari
1999 34' Excella
Davidson County, NC , Highlands County, FL
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,571
Quote:
Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
Thanks for your response!
Does anyone have a guestimate for the elephant ear repair?
Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

I have been doing some research regarding "elephant ear repair". What I found is this is so called because of the shape of the aluminum skin patch needed after repairing rear end separation. Since the trailer I'm looking does not have separation this repair is not needed.

What I found regarding a repair of rear end sag is that a gusset plate would need to be added to the sides of the frame in the area where it is bent. This would involve re-straightening the frame, by jacking up the front and rear end until the frame is straight, then applying the gusset plate. I found some references to bolting on a plate and others that note welding on a plate.

Anyone have experience with this type of repair, regarding engineering the plate or cost if I hire someone to do the repair?
__________________
Alan
2014 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab 5.3L maximum trailering package (yes, I'm towing the 34')
A W Warn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2013, 10:18 AM   #25
Rivet Master
 
JimGolden's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
1977 31' Excella 500
Berkeley Springs , West Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,619
Images: 7
Alan,

If I recall correctly, the "elephant ears' were a frame doubler that is welded onto the frame around the area of the axle mounts. I think they're called "elephant ears" because of the weird shape they come in to fit around all the stuff that's already there, so that you don't have to remove axle mounting brackets, etc.

I'd recommend you call Andy at Inland RV. He probably still sells these, and could tell you all there is to know about them.

But at anyrate, yes; you'll need a frame doubler of some sort to fix sag.

Cheers,
__________________
- Jim
JimGolden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2013, 10:20 AM   #26
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,648
Unless something is really wrong, the frame won't have cracks or bends in it. Does this trailer have a rear bath or center bath? Structural problems are more likely to occur with rear bath trailers, since the tanks are back there. I have not seen a 34 with a rear bath but that does not mean they don't exist. Are you absolutely sure there is no rear end floor rot? Carpet and flooring can cover it up. I have some minor buckling behind the wheels but no frame issues or separation issues. Also I can look down the bumper rail/belly band and not see any sag looking at that.

Perry
__________________
perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2013, 10:54 AM   #27
Rivet Master
 
1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,941
The axles are mounted on a flat plate that is welded to the frame rails. The straight plate extends a couple inches below the frame. The quick (but not definitive) way to check if there is frame bending is to look down (back to front)the bottom edge of this steel plate. It should be straight. If it has a sideways bow, the frame is likely bent. This is more likely to occur, if there has been frame separation and the body is no longer supporting the frame and those things attached to the frame in the rear.
__________________
dwightdi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2013, 07:25 PM   #28
Rivet Master
 
A W Warn's Avatar
 
2000 25' Safari
1999 34' Excella
Davidson County, NC , Highlands County, FL
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,571
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGolden View Post
Alan,

If I recall correctly, the "elephant ears' were a frame doubler that is welded onto the frame around the area of the axle mounts. I think they're called "elephant ears" because of the weird shape they come in to fit around all the stuff that's already there, so that you don't have to remove axle mounting brackets, etc.

I'd recommend you call Andy at Inland RV. He probably still sells these, and could tell you all there is to know about them.

But at anyrate, yes; you'll need a frame doubler of some sort to fix sag.

Cheers,
Thank you for your response!

I have been searching in the Air Forums and on the internet for images of the "elephant ears" repair. 99.999% of the information I find does not include images. But, I did find that the "elephant ears" are definitely the aluminum patch. The additional reinforcement on the frame is called a gusset plate, which can be either flat or bent plate steel.

I found the image below in the photo section of the Air Forums. I believe it is one page of a service bulletin from Airstream that is their recommended repair for rear separation. Elephant ear shaped patches are used to cover access holes cut into the exterior skin if the interior panels are not removed during the repair.
Click image for larger version

Name:	Airstream elephant ears.jpg
Views:	243
Size:	46.6 KB
ID:	184108
Does anyone know for sure if this came from a service bulletin?

I will continue to search for a picture of a trailer that has this repair and post it here if I find one.
__________________

__________________
Alan
2014 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab 5.3L maximum trailering package (yes, I'm towing the 34')
A W Warn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:26 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.