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Old 04-22-2010, 12:30 PM   #1
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Best way to fix this

I have this old repair that was done before I got the trailer. I am replacing the bathroom floor and thought "now is the time to get this fixed". Any suggestions on what I should do with this. I am trying to find an alum. welder to see if they can fix this better. That is puddy and screws holding it on, not welding.
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:22 PM   #2
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The 2024 aluminum alloy used in the older Airstream skins is not weldable. There are weldable aluminum alloys, but this is not one of them.

A neatly done patch with rivets is probably your best bet.
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:59 PM   #3
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Not to distract from the issue at hand but if this is at the rear corner it could be a patch done after a rear-end seperation repair. If so, I would open it up and see if it is fixed permanently or "not". They used to cut a hole to access the C-channel and add bolts or screws to the connection from shell to frame. For a top-notch repair it should have the panel replaced. Second choice is to add a patch after removing the old, and inspecting the area.

Best to you,
Rich the Viking
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Old 04-22-2010, 03:16 PM   #4
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I thought I was the only one who found wood screws and putty holding an aluminum patch together...
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Old 04-22-2010, 03:35 PM   #5
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I thought I was the only one who found wood screws and putty holding an aluminum patch together...

What's nice is to see the red rust drooling over the putty. Looks like... victory!
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Old 04-22-2010, 04:25 PM   #6
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No it was not from separation - I currently have the entire bathroom floor removed (due to rotting wood from an unrepaired properly broken drain, you cannot repair a broken drain with superglue and elec. tape). I am looking for the link to Andy's Separation reinforcement thread. Thanks for the info on the welding though. I will repair it with rivets.
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Old 04-22-2010, 04:37 PM   #7
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mwells,

I'm also looking for more information on Andy's rear-end separation fix, specifically diagrams or pictures that show specifically where to weld brackets onto the frame of my 69 Sovereign. I've found the one that details out what needs to be done, but it's true that a picture is really worth a thousand words. I've searched through a bunch of threads on here but have yet to find a diagram or picture. Thanks if anyone can point me to the right thread.
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:53 PM   #8
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Me too!!

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Originally Posted by BruiserWagon View Post
mwells,

I'm also looking for more information on Andy's rear-end separation fix, specifically diagrams or pictures that show specifically where to weld brackets onto the frame of my 69 Sovereign. I've found the one that details out what needs to be done, but it's true that a picture is really worth a thousand words. I've searched through a bunch of threads on here but have yet to find a diagram or picture. Thanks if anyone can point me to the right thread.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I have a '69 Sovereign, rear bath, that has the same problem. I have been looking for Andy's fix also, but have not found it yet. Found a good site at:
Airstream Trailer - Rear End Separation
but no pictures. It has a link to Andys fix, but it does not open. I need to bite the bullet and fix it right and I understand that Andy debunks the "old" elephant ears fix so when I find it I think I can follow it.
cheers, bill b.
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Old 07-11-2010, 12:19 PM   #9
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My understanding of "Andys fix" is that you bring it to Andy, and he fixes it.
If you just look at what is holding the rear end together it become apparent pretty quickly that there are just not enough fasteners. To increase the number of fasteners you need to add steel under the C-channel where there is none now, and add fasteners where it is possible. I added a 2" by 2" piece of angle-iron that goes from the end of the last full-length outrigger, and follows the curve of the back corner of the Safari, ending at the frame rail under the rear wall. Basically, it runs under the C-channel around each back corner, and allows you to bolt through the C-channel, plywood floor, and angle-iron (which you can weld to the frame and outrigger). This, plus adding 5/16" bolts with large fender-washers through the frame rails, floor, and C-channel where the frame rails pass under the rear wall made my Safari WAY STRONGER.
The elephant ears was never a good idea. It was a great way to gain access to the problem area, but who wants those big patches on their Airstream? Silveerhoot had a different fix in his unit: The PO had removed the rear rubrail and cut slots under where it sits so he could add bolts through the floor into the frame, and tighten them with an open-end wrench, then just replace the rub-rail to conceal the repair. Neater, but still not enough to keep it together forever.

Best to you,
Rich the Viking
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Old 07-11-2010, 05:01 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=VIKING;870321]My understanding of "Andys fix" is that you bring it to Andy, and he fixes it.

I can see the wisdom in the "Andy fix," if you are financially well fixed. For me I have to go the "I Cheap" route. (semi-retired school teacher) So I am gathering together all of the various solutions (thanks for yours) and am going to adapt them to my particular need.

It has been a long time since I took physics, but, I can not visualize how (if the shell and the floor are the source of strength, not the frame) when the frame and rear floor fail suficiently to cause the "droop" how does it cause the rear of the shell to drop enough to cause ceiling cracks and ripples in the sides over the wheel wells? It seems like the shell would not bend unless a whole lot of the floor rotted out. Ah, since physics is not my only area of ignorance, I think I'll just do what everyone says works. : - )
thanks again, bill b.
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:19 PM   #11
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drawing.

I will post another drawing tomorrow, when I am in my office.

Andy
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:25 PM   #12
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I will post another drawing tomorrow, when I am in my office.

Andy
Thanks Andy...we all appreciate your help!! Could you also explain this, I thought that Rear End Separation is the sagging of the frame in the rear of the trailer. To fix this I would think I would have to force sag in the opposite direction and then reinforce the frame. From the previous comments it sounds like the fix is to add additional fasteners from the base rail to the frame which essentially would be using the shell to hold up the frame. Is this right? Thanks again.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:53 PM   #13
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Thanks Andy...we all appreciate your help!! Could you also explain this, I thought that Rear End Separation is the sagging of the frame in the rear of the trailer. To fix this I would think I would have to force sag in the opposite direction and then reinforce the frame. From the previous comments it sounds like the fix is to add additional fasteners from the base rail to the frame which essentially would be using the shell to hold up the frame. Is this right? Thanks again.
The "frame" is "NOT" the problem.

Beefing up the frame, in fact, will make the matter, worse.

The problem is the manner in which the shell holds up the frame.

The drawing will clearly show you how to solve the rear end separation issues.

In addition to the drawing, one must remember to "NOT" mount anything on the rear end, "AND" to have the running gear properly balanced.

Having full or nearly full holding tanks, have many times been blamed for the problem, but in fact, it has nothing to do with the origination problems. Just an excuse, if you wish.

Andy
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Old 07-16-2010, 11:29 AM   #14
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The "frame" is "NOT" the problem.

Beefing up the frame, in fact, will make the matter, worse.

The problem is the manner in which the shell holds up the frame.

The drawing will clearly show you how to solve the rear end separation issues.

In addition to the drawing, one must remember to "NOT" mount anything on the rear end, "AND" to have the running gear properly balanced.

Having full or nearly full holding tanks, have many times been blamed for the problem, but in fact, it has nothing to do with the origination problems. Just an excuse, if you wish.

Andy
Quickie drawing, not to scale.

The more bolts, the better.

Andy
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