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Old 02-04-2012, 11:21 AM   #15
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At least I still have the faded "lifetime warranty" paper glued to the old closet door. That ought to count for at least half a soul!
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:03 PM   #16
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At least I still have the faded "lifetime warranty" paper glued to the old closet door. That ought to count for at least half a soul!
I think that counts for a lot! My husband likes to mock me about my trailer. He says the only thing you need to make it "vintage" or an Airstream for that matter is the VIN badge! My Bambi II will only have the outer shell and some of the interior sheets as original material. My husband & son made me a new frame & everything else on the interior will be new. I just look at it as a hobby that might be useful someday! I made a trip out to Elkhart & SW Michigan for lots of stuff for my interior. You're lucky to be so close! It was great fun (like a kid in a candy store, that's for sure!). Good luck with whatever you choose to do!
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Old 02-05-2012, 06:50 AM   #17
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This reminds me of an old airplane story.

The Douglas DC-3 was the greatest aircraft of its day. It was faster and more capable than anything flying at the time.
Even as they began to age, they remained in commercial use for years. To keep them flying, parts and body skins were replaced.
Sometimes a point was reached that it could be said that the only thing left original on a particular aircraft was the serial number plate and the shadow the airframe left on the ground…….
Good Luck with whatever route you choose.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:47 AM   #18
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Its a dilemma for sure. The frame is surprisingly fixable. I guess the real questions are:
1) How much did you pay?
2) How much do you got?!
A friend told me regarding my resto project "..dude you are eating an Elephant sandwich. Deep breaths and small bites."
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:33 PM   #19
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My father-in-law owns and RV conversion business (they turn horse trailers into living quarters and horse trailers) so he is checking on the price of a new frame. All is not lost on the old frame, however. As we pulled up more floor, it turns out that the back two and the front crossmember, as well as the two front outriggers need to be replaced. Everything else looks in pretty good shape. I will start sandblasting this week (hopefully) and then we can send it off for some welding.
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:46 PM   #20
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Boy, if that's the case, then the best advice is to concentrate on keeping your marriage in great shape... and let those in-laws take care of the rest!
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:11 PM   #21
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Even though my Safari has really bad rust damage that I'm fixing now, I still know a new frame would have cost much much more then fixing it. The frame may seem bad, but with some patience and the right tools it can be brought back up to it's original strength or greater easily enough.
It's an old trailer, so it's rusty. If it's like my Safari then there will be parts of the frame that have huge chunks of bulging rust. Scary, yes, but now you know about it and can fix it so it's not a safety hazard. I agree that starting at one end and working a bit at a time is a great plan.
If you're up for doing it yourself you can fix any part of the frame except the 1/4 " A frame with: an angle grinder with cutting wheels and grinding wheels, a flux core mig welder using .035 wire (not very expensive), some C clamps and some patience.

IF YOU ARE GOING TO HIRE A WELDER THEN MAKE SURE THEY ARE GOOD! Also, have someone you trust inspect their work. Welding is not rocket science, but the PO of my trailer had hired someone to do work on the trailer frame and I've spent a good amount of time fixing their sketchy welds.

If I had to say, I would say I see the soul of my airstream is in the shiny skin. That's what we like about them after all...the curves and the silver shine.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:32 PM   #22
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A quick question; on your pictures you have that one cross member with three Xs on it, is that the one you're thinking needs replacing? Is it just the top that is rusting? From what I can see from the picture it looks like it could be repaired...
You should be able to grind off the rust and sister some steel L beam onto the top. If you do it correctly (which isn't super difficult) you 'll be as strong or stronger depending on the width of the steel you use. You really have to get in there and give it a good looking over to see if there are just bad parts which can be fixed, which is usually the case. Steel stock from a place that specializes in it is pretty cheap (just don't get it at Lowes or a similar place).
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:29 PM   #23
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Thanks Eric. I was thinking the X-ed out cross member would definitely have to be replaced. You can't see it from that angle, but the bottom of the other side is completely gone. For some of the other spots, maybe we could get away with a patch. The front crossmember is also completely shot.

The whole thing wobbles like crazy. Living around the Amish, there are tons of welders around (they all own little machine shops). How do I know if one is "good" or not?
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:53 PM   #24
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From all the work I've seen done by Amish (furniture mainly), they take lots of pride in their work (I'm sure you know that!) My son (who welds a lot for his work) said you would need to know what a good weld looks like in order to judge their work. Word of mouth is always a good thing!
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:42 PM   #25
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From all the work I've seen done by Amish (furniture mainly), they take lots of pride in their work (I'm sure you know that!) My son (who welds a lot for his work) said you would need to know what a good weld looks like in order to judge their work. Word of mouth is always a good thing!
All good points above. Word of mouth is great, or an established shop with a good reputation. The good part is that you can actually see the work they are doing since the frame is all exposed, you don't just have to trust that they are doing it right. What you would be looking for is not just a good weld, but moreover if they are making it structurally sound by adding and /or overlapping enough steel to really make it strong again.

After seeing that last picture I will admit, that's some pretty bad rust on the cross members, how are the C channels? I think the fact that it wobbles some is only really bad if you can actually see it flexing at the joints (or in spots the rust is really bad), otherwise the frame will have some flex to it since it's not super thick steel and it doesn't have it's floor to help hold it together. In my opinion these trailers were able to keep the weight down by using an integrated system where all the parts of the whole are dependent on each other somewhat for their structural strength.

In closing, you may want to post a few more pics and see if someone like Colin Hyde could take a look and give you a better idea on the best way to approach the trailer.
https://sites.google.com/a/colinhyde...ions.com/home/

I'm still not sure it can't be fixed with a couple days of replacing cross members and welding. But what I might decide to tackle may be silly and may not be what you all are willing to tackle.

I still wouldn't let it get you down, this is all part of it, just the dirty part!
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:46 PM   #26
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Also, if you look on the bottom of this page on the thread I started you can see some of the rust I've been working on... rust though the C channel in places and the C channel completely rusted though in the rear and replaced with bad bad welding. I'll be posting pics of the fixes soon.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f421...ybe-85368.html
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