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Old 08-20-2009, 08:24 PM   #1
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Chicago Crack .... our summer souvenir

We went to the Madison WBCCI rally and another convention in Chicago this summer. The Illinois roads were broken, cracked concrete and bounced our 63 Airstream around pretty bad. We even were charged $7.50 in tolls to leave the city on these wonderful roads. When we got home the door was almost detached, the tub had broken away from the wall and we had a 2 inch crack in the skin above the door. We've been working to fix the damage ever since we got home.

I finished patching the crack this afternoon. The forum had plenty of info on ways to fix the crack. I drilled a hole in the end of the crack. Then cut (used a jigsaw) a .032 T2024 patch to cover the skin above the door. I used the olympia pop rivets to rivet the patch. The slanting rivet lines on the right are on each side of the crack.

Now on to reinforcing the door....
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:29 PM   #2
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Herb, how old are your axles? You may have some frame issues going on as well.

Roger
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:42 PM   #3
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Yep, the Chicago interstate and toll roads are disasters, although there is lots of construction on some of them to completely replace the old roadbed and add lanes. I avoid Chicago like the plague. The one exception I have found is I-355 because it is only a couple years old. Glad I have never towed my AS through Chicago.

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Old 08-20-2009, 08:44 PM   #4
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That's horrible... so sorry to hear that! IL roads are famously horrendous. Many times you wonder if your CAR is going to fall apart driving some of those roads. Makes you wonder where all that toll money goes (especially since that was supposed to be a temporary charge many, many moons ago, but they're still collecting). :/ I guess the moral of the story is to drive really slow through Chicago, or try to avoid it all together!!
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:50 PM   #5
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Herb, how old are your axles? You may have some frame issues going on as well.

Roger
Axle is 3 or 4 years old. I replaced the original with a Henschen.
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:18 PM   #6
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Wow. That's some significant frame flex going on for the skin to crack. While not frequent, I know it does happen though.

Roger
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:00 PM   #7
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Herb,
I am so sorry to hear that. Your trailer was a shining beacon at International. But it sure looks like you will be able to make the best of the situation short of replacing the entire panel. Good luck with the repair!
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Old 08-29-2009, 12:59 PM   #8
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Sorry to hear that, Herb, especially on such a beautiful trailer as yours. The condition of the axle is almost irrelevant I'm afraid, and every time I take ours anywhere I'm grinding my teeth the entire time.

Last spring I drove from South Carolina home to Chicago, but whether it's due to the freeze-thaw cycles, or so much traffic, or whatever... it was that last hour of the trip in Chicago that popped all kinds of interior rivets and had me swearing up a storm. Lake Shore Drive was particularly horrible.
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Old 08-29-2009, 01:09 PM   #9
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Sorry to hear that, Herb, especially on such a beautiful trailer as yours. The condition of the axle is almost irrelevant I'm afraid, and every time I take ours anywhere I'm grinding my teeth the entire time.

Last spring I drove from South Carolina home to Chicago, but whether it's due to the freeze-thaw cycles, or so much traffic, or whatever... it was that last hour of the trip in Chicago that popped all kinds of interior rivets and had me swearing up a storm. Lake Shore Drive was particularly horrible.
Hummm.... We're heading up to Elk Grove Village (Zip Dee) tomorrow from Bloomington, IL. Should we be worried? We're coming up I-55 to I-355N to I-290N to IL-72 to Higgins Rd and turning right on Crossen and into Zip Dee's lot. We're not so worried about traffic on a Sunday afternoon yet the condition of the roads sounds questionable.

Nancy Mac
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Old 08-29-2009, 01:23 PM   #10
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I would guess you aren't in for a world of hurt on those roads, though I haven't towed on them specifically. They're west enough out of downtown that I'd hope they aren't be as bad as others in the area. Still, it'll be interesting to hear what you find tomorrow, so let us know.

Say, maybe I can make a million bucks writing an iPhone "app" that lets users grade the quality of highways so people can plan the smoothest ride.
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Old 08-29-2009, 01:26 PM   #11
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Thanks and we'll let you know about the road condition when we get back.

You're right about that iPhone app.

Nancy Mac
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Old 08-29-2009, 02:05 PM   #12
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Hello... We took Costalotta to ZipDee last Oct... and I swear Chicago has some of the worst roads in the world... but it was worth it ... the people at the factory are great and did a great job. We camped at the front overnight with no problems. Air traffic can be noisey in the evening. Going in on a Sunday is the best idea. That is what we did. Traffic busy but not crazy ... just beware of the roads and don't try to keep up with all the other speeders.. Safe trip
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Old 08-29-2009, 08:05 PM   #13
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Thanks for the reassurance Happycampers and Bredlo. We're heading up tomorrow to boondock for a Monday morning appointment. We've been most impressed with Zip Dee's customer service so far. This will be the first time we've "boondocked." Of course, we'll have electricity, plan on going to Ikea to do some shopping, and eat a couple of meals at restaurants around Golf or Higgins Rd. Really roughing it we'll be!

uh oh ... am I hijacking this thread? Back on topic -- Chicago roads. We won't try to keep up with the speeding traffic and will report back on our Chicago road experience.

Nancy Mac
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