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Old 05-01-2009, 11:24 PM   #43
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Hi, I think I could accept that; It doesn't really stand out and with the panel doubled in that area, it might last longer than than the single panel would.
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Old 05-01-2009, 11:43 PM   #44
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They did double it with an entire sheet so you don't see any seams.
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:10 AM   #45
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Did they open up the interior skin an add reinforcement to for the body to the frame mounts? If not, I fear this is nothing more than a band-aid.

With no offense meant, that fix doesn't look all that good. It is similar to what the factory has done with some corrosion...place medallions and trim over it. I don't see any metal on the underside of the door and, unlike other joint sheetmetal, your fix is overlapped the wrong way, so when the caulking starts to fail, guess where the water is going to go?

From what I understand there are two parts to this fix:

1) The damaged skin

2) Addressing the root cause, which is that the front shell is either not securely attached to the frame and or there is not enough bracing to stop the flex that caused it.

IMHO, what I see done is simply a quickie, easy down and dirty fix. Guess who's dime it'll be on if it continues.....

2Air had something similar done and part of the fix was to go open up the front inside and do some work in there, which addresses the root cause of front frame separation.

Here is some additional info on the issue, which I feel your unit may fall under:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...ion-35237.html
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:49 AM   #46
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Front body damage

The front shell, in the past, was held in place with a steel plate, called a front hold down plate.

That sort of went south when the two batteries were installed in the front end.

Adding another piece of aluminum over the original panel below the front window, in my judgement, does absolutely nothing. How that panel is fastened to the structure, does matter.

What does help, since all too may owners insist on a super heavy duty tow vehicle and excessive rated hit bars, is adding a front hold down plate, as in the past, that is welded to the A-frame. Additionally, fastening the front plate (the aluminum panel), to the hold down plate with about 40 to 50 rivets, will distribute most of the road shock as it should be, along with cushioning the excessive road shock cause by the "over rigging."

Metal fatigue below the front window, is directly caused by excessive rigging. You can add to that damage by not having the trailer running gear properly balanced.

The interesting thought is "why do some owners have the metal fatigue problem" at the front end and yet many do not?

HELLO!!!

Excessive rigging.

Ah, but shops love to have a coach come in to repair that type damage.

WHY???

Airstream will not cover it, an insurance company will not cover it, and they figure your pocketbook is deep enough to pay for it. If you fight with the factory long enough, they might say Ok, but what did they actually do??? Not good.

And when it does happen, it will happen again and again, "UNLESS," the trailer is modified as I pointed out above, "AND" the excessive rated rigging is reduced as it should be to what is reasonable.

I know, I know, many will say it hasn't happened to them.

My one word answer is.......... YET.

There is a reason for metal fatigue. Until that reason is "completely corrected" the problem will visit again.

The newer trailer design is such that if the tow vehicle and rigging offer a "soft" ride for the trailer, the fatigue probably won't happen.

Andy
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Old 05-02-2009, 12:03 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenG View Post
I'm a newbie, so pardon my ignorance. I have just purchased a used 31' Sovereign, 1978, and towed it home with a 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 with the factory installed tow package. The drawbar I used was rated for 12000 pounds. I did not have any other hitch or weight distribution system.... the trailer pulled like a dream, and trailer and truck viewed from the side were level.

So with that description, why would I need anything else? Weight distribution or whatever? Or was I simply lucky, or did I do something wrong, or did Dodge finally put a good tow package on the 1/2 ton truck?

Thanks!
Steven
A tow package has nothing directly to do with a "load equalizing hitch."

Based on the extensive data that Cravanner Insurance developed, I can only advise you that if you continue to tow with just a ball, that you are in a first class seat to have a loss of control accident.

Please tell your family and/or passengers, that extremely well documented safety towing rules, and facts, don't apply to you.

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Old 05-03-2009, 01:39 AM   #48
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Well Andy I think that I may have to visit you to look at my trailer in person. I was told they put plates to reinforce but I'm not sure if the proper fix was done. I got the Reese hitch with 600 lb bars as you had suggested to me in the past. I only hope I'm properly hitched.
Julie
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:57 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaojamjab View Post
Well Andy I think that I may have to visit you to look at my trailer in person. I was told they put plates to reinforce but I'm not sure if the proper fix was done. I got the Reese hitch with 600 lb bars as you had suggested to me in the past. I only hope I'm properly hitched.
Julie

Wow Julie, I just connected the dots....you have a floor issue, front sheet metal tearing......welcome to the elite club of Airstream ownership.
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:11 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaojamjab View Post
Well Andy I think that I may have to visit you to look at my trailer in person. I was told they put plates to reinforce but I'm not sure if the proper fix was done. I got the Reese hitch with 600 lb bars as you had suggested to me in the past. I only hope I'm properly hitched.
Julie
Just let us know a day or two, ahead of time.

It would only take a couple of minutes to check it out, as a courtesy.

Andy
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