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Old 08-07-2016, 09:30 AM   #1
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1972 27' Overlander
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Need help fire damage

Good morning forum members. I seem to have had a run of bad luck recently and am asking for assistance in determining whether or not it would be feasible to repair or discard my vintage Airstream due to fire damage. I will need to to completely gut the interior as most is charred. After that I was thinking of possibly cutting & shortening the chassis, removing one set of axles and turning it into a Bambi-like trailer. I have not been able to get inside to determine the extent of structural damage as yet but after the fire marshalls investigation is concluded that is what I intend to do. Has anyone here ever taken on a project like this before?
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Old 08-07-2016, 09:46 AM   #2
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Photo

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Old 08-07-2016, 10:27 AM   #3
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If you cut it I assume you will have to make 2 cuts as the single axle will have to be moved forward to end up with the proper tongue weight ratio.

Was there real heat damage, melted or buckled interior shin, or just extensive smoke damage?

Post pictures as soon as the marshal is out of the picture.
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Old 08-07-2016, 10:35 AM   #4
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Thanks for your response. I really don't know the extent of damage at this point. For some reason I couldn't post a photo on this thread but was able to in
the "Photo" section under the heading "70s Airstream" which is likely the most recent. The Airstream was parked next to my commercial building which apparantely caught fire as well, so I have been dealing w/getting my business up and running again. After that and the investigation is done I can sort through the interior. The Airstream was not plugged into a power source nor was the battery on line(hooked up)& the propane tanks were not turned on either. The possibility of this "naturally occurring" is nil. Please have a look at the photo and tell me whether you think it's worth the effort to repair. The opposite side is still in perfect shape. Thanks for looking!
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Old 08-07-2016, 10:51 AM   #5
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Old 08-07-2016, 10:55 AM   #6
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There's your problem

Wow that must have been a hot fire!

Sad to see.
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Old 08-07-2016, 10:59 AM   #7
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Hot fire

Thankfully the fire department was on it quickly. I have high praises for those working for the San Marcos Fire Dept. She was a real keeper after I was done w/the renovation. I am heartbroken.....
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:32 AM   #8
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What in the world caused the fire?

She was a beaut. I honestly think you'll have more in it than you could spend on a replacement unit. Maybe moving over any salvageable parts.

D
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:40 AM   #9
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Can we have more pictures?

If you have the pictures on your computer start a post. When you want to attach a picture look in the tool bar and you will see a paper clip. Click on the paper clip and a box will open. Click the first browse and go out and get the picture. If you want to attach additional pictures continue clicking additional browse options. Once you have selected all the pictures you want to attach to your post click upload. You can now scroll down below the text box and preview your post before posting it.

Are they sure that fire was inside? the outer skin is melted but the inside skin opposite it is not.
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:53 AM   #10
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What an awful shame. I feel so sorry for you. She was a beautiful lady.
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Old 08-07-2016, 01:22 PM   #11
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Here's my guess(and that's all). I have an auto/motorcycle garage and sell tires, etc. The county charges me $3.00 per tire to dispose of them but there's a Mexican national that occasionally drives up from Mexico that will go through and pick out ones he wants and gives me $1.00 per tire. So instead of shelling out $3.00 I make $1.00. That's a win/win situation, however there are times when he doesn't come up for 6 months and the number of tires is large. I had stacked them next to the garage to be out of the way, which is also where my Airstream is parked. I think somehow someone started a fire in those tires & that's what burned against the Airstream & garage. Otherwise the trailer would've burned on both sides as you stated. What do I know.......really nothing as I have no background in fire assessment.
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Old 08-07-2016, 03:22 PM   #12
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Sadly I had a fire in my rear bathroom while doing some frame repairs. I was able to catch it quickly, but the smoke damage was extensive. I pretty much had to gut 90% of it.

I did not have any extensive body damage like yours, but I do believe it "stretched" the shell a bit.

From looking at your pictures, it looks like most of the rear street side panels will need to be replaced, along with the Main Street side walls.

The main walls should be easy enough, but the end pieces will be a different story. You would have to find salvage pieces, or go new. From what I understand the new production panels are not the same kind of aluminum, and will not match if polished. If you paint, then not a big deal.

You could cut it down and make it shorter, but it might just be easer to repair.

Other thoughts are is the frame is warped, was other parts of the shell warped from the heat?

Either way a ton of work. Might be cheaper to buy a new 70s unit and start over.
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Old 08-07-2016, 03:50 PM   #13
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First of all, we are so sorry for your loss. You are in our prayers.

It is enough to have your business damaged by fire, but your pride and joy too, thats over the top.

If the AS had been the source of the fire the roof would have been melted down into the cabin. I know this from a fire in one of our facilities that was the result of a client failing to blow out a sented candle inside their trailer.

Looking at the picture it appears that the fire originated in or very close the to the tires NEXT to the trailer and burned very hot for at least 20 minutes. A discarded smoke or deliberate act. Either way an idiot at thd controls.

Remember, Karma has a way of punishing the perps.

Bless you and I hope the pain passes very soon.

Your Airstream Family.
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Old 08-07-2016, 04:01 PM   #14
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The worse thing that could happen to a very nice cleanly done trailer. I know you were proud of her and hopefully your insurance company will acknowledge your effort and talent.

I think you will find that in order for the heat to melt aluminum like that the fire had to have been over 1200F. That kind of heat melts a lot of things like window glazing, seals (foam and rubber) even not touched by the fire.

I'm sorry, but if I were you I'd look for a new project. On the bright side, think of the new products you could use and use what you learn't on the first one to do an even better job on the second.

Cheers
Tony
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