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Old 06-09-2013, 01:01 PM   #15
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Vintage Kin Owner
1977 31' Excella 500
Berkeley Springs , West Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Sold her :(

Hi Jeff,

Sadly, I wound up selling my Excella. As I tore into it, it just kept snowballing. And, my friend in Elkhart couldn't build the frame for me because Airstream uses a narrower frame than "industry standard." His company builds frames for big 5th wheels and the like, where the floor and all is higher than the tops of the tires. Their main frame rails are wider than on an Airstream. He was going to do this for me as a favor, and just slip it into the production line. But as it turned out, he couldn't easily do that because of the frame width. No slipping anything in if you have to change the production tooling I was looking at having to fab the frame totally from scratch.

I did take a class on welding, and bought a really nice welding machine. But I'm just not good enough.

I was also in the middle of building my house at the time and just couldn't put those kinds of hours into the Airstream.

So, I sold it to a nice couple that had a 19' they were already using and wanted a bigger trailer to restore for later on.

I bought a 34' Avion triple axle and have been using it ever since. Avion is very similar to Airstream, but their frame is a lot heavier. Actually, my 34X's frame is heavier than the one I'd designed for my Excella. We've been pretty happy with it; in fact I'm building a custom bunkbed setup for the kids right now to replace the front fold out couch (I think they call that a gaucho).

Still, someday I'd like to make a new frame and take two Excella shells and make a really neat 40 footer or so. Maybe do a slide on each side. Could be the return of MONSTREAM

Best of luck with your restoration. If I can help you at all, don't hesitate to give a shout.

See ya,

- Jim
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:56 PM   #16
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Vintage Kin Owner
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 470
I really like my 34' Avion even though I don't use it much anymore. If I had a late model 22' with a bad frame, I wouldn't hesitate to make a new frame for it. As you stated, the Avion frames are first class.

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Old 06-13-2013, 08:31 PM   #17
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1974 31' Sovereign
Alvin , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1
Folks I've been reading this thing on the frame and I'm likin' all of it. I too was going to start with a detailed drawing until I read Markdoane's post in which he observed that every single detail need not be replicated. In fact, if one is intent on upgrades in depth, thickness of material, coatings etc, one wont use most of the original details anyway. That said I think I am leaning toward getting the critical dimensions correct and just building custom. That decision alone has freed me to work on other issues. Thanks for the posts.

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Old 06-16-2013, 10:12 AM   #18
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Vintage Kin Owner
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 470
If I was going to build a new frame for an Airstream, the only dimensions that I would need are the outer dimensions where the "C" channel goes and the axle location. I would also need to know where I would put the tanks and where the drain piping would go since it needs to be at a grade. Other than that, I would build the frame to suit me, since the original Airsteam frame gives me nothing of significance that is useful. I may even look at an Avion frame for some ideas.

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