Originally Posted by RichD
@Kevin - I wish I could get someone to check those things out on my Airstream. Anytime I call a local RV place they all but hang up on me when I say I have an Airstream. Seems no one wants to dig into it. I have been doing all my own work. Only major system that worked was the furnace. Little by little I have been trying to get it in shape. Had a couple cabinets shift when I was on a trip from WI to VA. On the '79 there isn't more than 1/8" rivets holding things in place. I just figured enough road time will eventually do that to the cabinets. How would I even go about checking all that out?
My first suggestion would be to consider joining the Wisconsin Unit of the WBCCI. I see by your profile that you are in the Appleton, Wisconsin area; and as a long-time member of the Wisconsin Unit, I can assure you that there are members in your area with a tremendous amount of Vintage Airstream experience who would quite likely be able to assist you in identifying if there are any issues causing your cabinets to pull away from their mountings.
Some of the things that I would suggest checking are as follows:
- Check your axle to be certain that it isn't worn out. An axle that is worn out or has taken a set can cause a myraid of problems with the shell and components that attach to the shell. Inland RV has an excellent article on identifying worn axles at this link.
- Problems with outriggers can someteimes be identified by slight tears in the banana wraps directly over the outrigger that is failing or has failed.
- Problems with the frame or crossmembers is more difficult to diagnose without removing the bellypan. One way of identifying a frame that may have problems (and this is not a conclusive test) is to level the trailer (use the normal method leveling to the bottom of the refrigerator's freezer) then check the floor for level front-to-rear, and side-to-side . . . if there is a significan pitch to the floor in any direction it can point to a possible problem. Another indicator that can raise consern is if rust at the A-Frame hitch attachment points or the rear bumper attachment points is severe enough that it has thinned the metal.
- Problems with floor rot can be identified with a sharp ice pick or awl. The idea is to work your way around the perimeter of the coach inserting the pick/awl every few inches to determine whether the subfloor is soft yielding little or no resistance to the pick/awl.
- Overhitching (weight distribution bars that are too highly rated for the trailer/tow vehicle combination) can also play a role in creating a rough ride for the coach that can break rivets, and cause a wide variety of related problems. Often, with our Vintage coaches, the prior owners will include the hitch that they used with the trailer . . . this can often create an overhitching situation as when our coaches were new, they were often towed with the family car which was likely a full-sized sedan with boulevard ride suspension which required much heavier weight distribution bars than the typical pickup or SUV used for towing duties today.
Good luck with your investigation!
P.S.: You might try contacting Ed Emerick
. He is a member here on the Forums, and is a Past-President of both the Wisconsin Unit and of the Vintage Airstream Club. He is from the Appleton, WI area as well.