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Old 10-03-2015, 11:13 AM   #15
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Thanks for the tip Peter, it mirrors my own thoughts as well. I was born in '82, so I'm kind of partial to it anyway

I will be full-timing in a cold weather climate (where it's often -5f (-20c) for weeks on end) for a couple years while I build my house. For this reason, and for a few others, I'm going to be doing a complete shell-off restoration of whatever I end up buying, along with the addition of closed cell insulation, in-floor heating, and new windows (as req'd).

The question becomes, can most of the issues you highlighted about the 1982 year be fixed in a shell-off restoration? My budget is around $40k USD, but I will be doing all of the work myself.

And if so, can the frame be reinforced so that frame separation is no longer an issue? Are there any model years for the 34' that are known to be particularly good?

Thanks again, I appreciate all the knowledge in this forum, tremendously.
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Old 10-03-2015, 11:21 AM   #16
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mattler, May I suggest you study up on just what "frame separation" entails..It might make your life easier, or you could just let Andy solve it for you~..
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Old 10-03-2015, 11:33 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattler View Post
Thanks for the tip Peter, it mirrors my own thoughts as well. I was born in '82, so I'm kind of partial to it anyway

I will be full-timing in a cold weather climate (where it's often -5f (-20c) for weeks on end) for a couple years while I build my house. For this reason, and for a few others, I'm going to be doing a complete shell-off restoration of whatever I end up buying, along with the addition of closed cell insulation, in-floor heating, and new windows (as req'd).

The question becomes, can most of the issues you highlighted about the 1982 year be fixed in a shell-off restoration? My budget is around $40k USD, but I will be doing all of the work myself.

And if so, can the frame be reinforced so that frame separation is no longer an issue? Are there any model years for the 34' that are known to be particularly good?

Thanks again, I appreciate all the knowledge in this forum, tremendously.
Beefing up the frame, IS NOT THE ANSWER.

The trailer is built like an aircraft, which is called MONOCOQUE

That means the "SHELL" is load bearing. When you beef up the frame, you will add to the failure rate of the rear end.

What must be "beefed up" is the way the shell is attached to the frame. Using larger rivets, and much more of them, is the answer. Then you can ignore doing anything to the frame.

Andy.
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Old 10-03-2015, 01:06 PM   #18
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Imho, providing the frame is good forward of the last four feet fixing rear separation is about a day or two job less removing and reinstalling bath fixtures. Add a day each for removal and replacement. Of course this is not a factor at all if the trailer is a shell off job because you have to do it anyway.


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Old 10-03-2015, 02:30 PM   #19
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Nothing money can't fix.

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Originally Posted by mattler View Post
Hello,

I'm looking to purchase a 69 Airstream Sovereign 31' for a complete, shell-off restoration. I have found one that is in very good condition (very little rust, all original) for about $5500 USD. The catch is that it has a very large dent at the rear.



So for all the experts and aficionados with relevant experience, does this dent look fixable to you? If so, is the over all price reasonable?

Thanks in advance, and happy airstreaming!
It is fixable, just takes money and if you are planning a shell off renovation it won't be a big deal.
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Old 10-03-2015, 02:48 PM   #20
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This thread may have information on frame separation:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...-end-2202.html
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Old 10-03-2015, 11:14 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattler View Post
Thanks for the tip Peter, it mirrors my own thoughts as well. I was born in '82,
good?
Crap, now I feel old. April of 1982 (17 years old) I was sent on a 12,000 km adventure to the South Atlantic to rescue some crotchety old sheep.

I'm glad to hear you're the same as me....blissfully ignorant and handy.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 10-04-2015, 08:24 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattler View Post
Thanks for the tip Peter, it mirrors my own thoughts as well. I was born in '82, so I'm kind of partial to it anyway

I will be full-timing in a cold weather climate (where it's often -5f (-20c) for weeks on end) for a couple years while I build my house. For this reason, and for a few others, I'm going to be doing a complete shell-off restoration of whatever I end up buying, along with the addition of closed cell insulation, in-floor heating, and new windows (as req'd).

The question becomes, can most of the issues you highlighted about the 1982 year be fixed in a shell-off restoration? My budget is around $40k USD, but I will be doing all of the work myself.

And if so, can the frame be reinforced so that frame separation is no longer an issue? Are there any model years for the 34' that are known to be particularly good?

Thanks again, I appreciate all the knowledge in this forum, tremendously.
It would be a real cold day in hell that I would even start to consider removing the shell of a 34'.
But thats not my cup of tea anyway, I just enjoy ripping panels off and replacing them. Its soo darn rewarding.
The front end shell/frame separation is a known issue on the 34' and there is info and fixes out there to follow, all without removing the shell.
In 1994 Airstream introduced the widebody and also made a limited addition of the same, which I consider to be one of Airstreams Flagship of the 90's .
Here is one for sale in NM
AIR STREAM LIMITED 34FT
and a picture, since the link will go away sooner or later
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:27 PM   #23
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Well Peter, I certainly appreciated your advice. I've opted out of the trailer in the OP, and will hopefully be buying a 1997 34' Classic tomorrow.

It's got "a little bit" hail damage on the front and rear shell, but they're giving it to me for $16,000, so for that price I don't mind doing the repair work myself.

Thanks again for your advice.
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Old 10-08-2015, 06:02 AM   #24
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Quote:
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Well Peter, I certainly appreciated your advice. I've opted out of the trailer in the OP, and will hopefully be buying a 1997 34' Classic tomorrow.

It's got "a little bit" hail damage on the front and rear shell, but they're giving it to me for $16,000, so for that price I don't mind doing the repair work myself.

Thanks again for your advice.
Very exciting, go for it.
Here is a little step by step on how to remove and replace endcap panels:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f311...ml#post1675813
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