Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-06-2017, 09:48 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
1974 27' Overlander
Mathiston , Mississippi
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 7
'74 rear bath reno

I am slowly and carefully restoring my '74 Overlander, which I purchased in an excellent original condition, which I am striving to maintain. There wasn't much to this restoration thus far, mostly cosmetic. The rear bath is next. The biggest issue is that the elevation at the rear appears to have dropped at least an inch with respect to the level of the rest of the floors. I am beginning to suspect that the frame in that area is damaged or deteriorating. The seams in the original extruded piece including the countertop, sink and tub, are slowly getting wider. The issue has been there since I bought the AS, but has slowly gotten worse over the last 4 years.

I hope someone recognizes this problem. I suspect the first advice will be to open up the access door at the back and look - which I have - but not sure what I am looking for if it is the frame. Be gentle on me - this is my first AS restoration. I restore homes and buildings - but this is a whole other animal.

Thanks!
__________________

ciemcm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2017, 02:21 AM   #2
4 Rivet Member
 
1977 31' Sovereign
Vintage Kin Owner
Vintage Kin Owner
Sunset Valley , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 336
Sounds like you have rear end sag/separation.
There are countless threads here on diagnosis and remedy. It is fairly common in '70's era AS's with rear baths.

Google: rear end separation Airforums

That should get you started.

Best of luck,
Ian
__________________

Iansk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2017, 09:57 AM   #3
1 Rivet Member
 
1974 27' Overlander
Mathiston , Mississippi
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iansk View Post
Sounds like you have rear end sag/separation.
There are countless threads here on diagnosis and remedy. It is fairly common in '70's era AS's with rear baths.

Google: rear end separation Airforums

That should get you started.

Best of luck,
Ian
Thanks, Ian. Will take your suggestion and run with it

Cie
ciemcm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2017, 10:38 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Belegedhel's Avatar
 
1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,353
There are several ways to diagnose rear end separation. A simple one is to step up on the back bumper and gently bounce up and down while watching the frame rails where the bumper meets the rear of the shell. If everything is solid, you whould see no separation/movement of the frame without the shell moving with it. If you see a gap opening up, then you have rear end separation.

If you look in the rear hatch, you would hope to see nice solid plywood, with a few holes cut in it for plumbing to go through. IF there is no plywood visible, then it has all rotted away. This is very likely in a trailer as old as yours that hasn't had extensive repairs done already. If you see frame rails and cross members, you can look at the condition of them. They will likely be significantly rusted away.

Anyway, correction will require you to remove the entire bathroom interior, remove the lower-most interior skins, remove as much of the rear-most plywood as is rotted away, repair the frame, and then replace the rotted subfloor. It is major surgery, but not rocket science. Many of us have done this job. Search for terms like "rear end sag," "rear end separation," "shell on floor repair," and you should find many threads.

good luck!
Belegedhel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2017, 01:54 PM   #5
1 Rivet Member
 
1974 27' Overlander
Mathiston , Mississippi
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belegedhel View Post
There are several ways to diagnose rear end separation. A simple one is to step up on the back bumper and gently bounce up and down while watching the frame rails where the bumper meets the rear of the shell. If everything is solid, you whould see no separation/movement of the frame without the shell moving with it. If you see a gap opening up, then you have rear end separation.

If you look in the rear hatch, you would hope to see nice solid plywood, with a few holes cut in it for plumbing to go through. IF there is no plywood visible, then it has all rotted away. This is very likely in a trailer as old as yours that hasn't had extensive repairs done already. If you see frame rails and cross members, you can look at the condition of them. They will likely be significantly rusted away.

Anyway, correction will require you to remove the entire bathroom interior, remove the lower-most interior skins, remove as much of the rear-most plywood as is rotted away, repair the frame, and then replace the rotted subfloor. It is major surgery, but not rocket science. Many of us have done this job. Search for terms like "rear end sag," "rear end separation," "shell on floor repair," and you should find many threads.

good luck!
Excellently explained. Seems this is going to be (hopefully) the most extensive repair I will have. I know, LOL, right?

Thanks for your response!

Cie
ciemcm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2017, 07:58 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
dbj216's Avatar

 
1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,459
Images: 1
Hello from Colorado ciemcm: I have a 75 Overlander that I purchased in Louisiana last fall. I knew it had rear end separation when I bought it because failed the bumper bounce test and it failed the ice pick poking along the floor in the rear compartment. And the bathroom floor tilted downward like you mentioned yours does. I liked the trailer and bought it anyway.

I am currently in the throws of rear end separation repair. I have the bath furniture removed. I have the water heater removed. I have the rear belly pan removed. I have the rear cross member removed. I have the old holding tanks removed. And I have a plan to make my trailer a bit stronger. It will take a lot longer to put the trailer back together again. There is quite a bit of welding needed.

As Belegedhel mentioned; many, many 70s Airstreams have had this repair done. Many, many more need it. The frame will fail if the repair isn't done.

There are several reasons for the problem. Mainly, the rear body to frame joint leaks rain water and rots the floor and rear cross member. Also extra weight in the back of the trailer exacerbates the problem, like water heaters and batteries. Last, the frame rust protection and strength was inadequate for the loads carried. Remember, Airstreams are built lightweight like an old aluminum aircraft.

There are two bolts, one on each side, from the body through the subfloor, through the frame rail and rear cross member. These two bolts are critical in holding the trailer together. Mine were rusted junk. The frame rails begin to sag when they are not attached to the body structure, especially bouncing down a rough highway. Sometimes the frame rails will buckle or crack due to the lack of support from the body. Lucky for me I have not found any frame rail cracks. Yet.

Here are a couple of photos of my project. They may help you grasp the magnitude of the project. I am happy to share what knowledge I have, but there are others here that are much more experienced than me.

David
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	1711 Frame Street Separation .375 (Small).JPG
Views:	32
Size:	114.4 KB
ID:	300602   Click image for larger version

Name:	1711 Frame Street Jacked Back (Small).JPG
Views:	35
Size:	121.7 KB
ID:	300603  

Click image for larger version

Name:	1711 Floor Rot Rear 2 (Small).JPG
Views:	37
Size:	123.7 KB
ID:	300604   Click image for larger version

Name:	1710 Frame Rust Rear Cross Member 1 (Small).JPG
Views:	36
Size:	156.8 KB
ID:	300605  

dbj216 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2017, 01:29 AM   #7
4 Rivet Member

 
1970 25' Caravanner
Incline Village , Nevada
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 449
Going to follow you along as I am going through a renovation of my own. Good luck. Post pics along the way.
Jeremy9107 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2018, 11:11 AM   #8
1 Rivet Member
 
1974 27' Overlander
Mathiston , Mississippi
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Hello from Colorado ciemcm: I have a 75 Overlander that I purchased in Louisiana last fall. I knew it had rear end separation when I bought it because failed the bumper bounce test and it failed the ice pick poking along the floor in the rear compartment. And the bathroom floor tilted downward like you mentioned yours does. I liked the trailer and bought it anyway.

I am currently in the throws of rear end separation repair. I have the bath furniture removed. I have the water heater removed. I have the rear belly pan removed. I have the rear cross member removed. I have the old holding tanks removed. And I have a plan to make my trailer a bit stronger. It will take a lot longer to put the trailer back together again. There is quite a bit of welding needed.

As Belegedhel mentioned; many, many 70s Airstreams have had this repair done. Many, many more need it. The frame will fail if the repair isn't done.

There are several reasons for the problem. Mainly, the rear body to frame joint leaks rain water and rots the floor and rear cross member. Also extra weight in the back of the trailer exacerbates the problem, like water heaters and batteries. Last, the frame rust protection and strength was inadequate for the loads carried. Remember, Airstreams are built lightweight like an old aluminum aircraft.

There are two bolts, one on each side, from the body through the subfloor, through the frame rail and rear cross member. These two bolts are critical in holding the trailer together. Mine were rusted junk. The frame rails begin to sag when they are not attached to the body structure, especially bouncing down a rough highway. Sometimes the frame rails will buckle or crack due to the lack of support from the body. Lucky for me I have not found any frame rail cracks. Yet.

Here are a couple of photos of my project. They may help you grasp the magnitude of the project. I am happy to share what knowledge I have, but there are others here that are much more experienced than me.

David
David: I apologize for the very, very delayed reply. Had two deaths in the family and a lengthy estate process to deal with, which is just now closing down. Basically I am starting on this rear end sepation issue again and your post is inspiration to get going again. I don’t believe I can put it off to move the trailer from MS to Texas where I will be moving very shortly. It is a seven hour trip over good roads, but I will have considerably more resources in Texas, such as an uncle who owns a metal fabrication shop. I know you moved your AS quite a distance from Louisiana when you first bought it. What are your thoughts on this?
ciemcm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2018, 11:17 AM   #9
1 Rivet Member
 
1974 27' Overlander
Mathiston , Mississippi
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy9107 View Post
Going to follow you along as I am going through a renovation of my own. Good luck. Post pics along the way.
Jeremy: I bet you are way into, if not finished with your AS renovation by now. As I explained to David, we had two deaths in the family and a long estate process which delayed my work on the AS. If you are still following, would you mind catching me up on your progress.
ciemcm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2018, 07:31 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
dbj216's Avatar

 
1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,459
Images: 1
Hello, we meet again. So sorry to hear about deaths in the family and all the legal hoops we must jump through to close out the affairs of the dearly departed. Family comes way before old Airstreams.

I believe you can tow your trailer in its current condition even if I don't know its current condition. I might recommend removing weight from the back of the trailer if possible. For example, draining 80 pounds of water out of the water heater, and no water in the holding tanks. I'm an old geezer and pull my trailer 60 to 65 mph. Slower speeds will apply less forces on the back of the trailer. If you come upon "wavy concrete" that causes "porpoise-ing" where the tow vehicle and trailer start bouncing up and down, I would reduce my speed to 55, or even 50. This condition could be hard on the frame rails.

I towed my Overlander across Texas and half of Colorado with a similar condition and no issues. I have a new Airstream friend here in Colorado who has a 75 Sovereign 31' with a classic case of rear end separation and frame sag. He has used his trailer this summer before he knew he had these common issues. I feel a 27' long trailer like ours are a bit stronger per foot than the 31' long trailers that simply have 4 more feet of the same size frame rail.

You now know you have a rather big project ahead of you. I believe there are good resources in Texas that can help make the needed repairs. Then your vintage Airstream will be solid again.

David
__________________
WBCCI #8607
VAC Region 11

Link to my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f17...ml#post2053792
dbj216 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2018, 01:04 AM   #11
4 Rivet Member

 
1970 25' Caravanner
Incline Village , Nevada
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 449
Tough times, glad to see you back.

Yes, much has been done since December. You can check progress on this thread. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f7/7...ml#post2159018. Has been a long and often times frustrating process. Over budget and have passed several deadlines. No longer have a budget or timeline so no longer frustrated. Goal was to have gray tanks, and those are in. Will feel better when have bottom on and axles installed, hopefully this weekend.

Have received much help along the way and will be glad to offer up suggestions as you proceed.
__________________

Jeremy9107 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Center bath or rear bath Sovereign? desertratt General Repair Forum 9 09-24-2011 10:40 PM
Converting Rear Bath To Side Bath musicmaster Waste Systems, Tanks & Totes 17 12-04-2010 03:39 PM
want to trade center bath for rear bath? nomader General Repair Forum 7 02-23-2010 06:40 PM
Move a rear bath to a side bath? rjacques General Repair Forum 11 12-27-2008 11:25 PM
Has anyone ever converted a regular rear bath to a wet bath? tvadman1963 Sinks, Showers & Toilets 2 12-29-2006 12:15 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:32 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.