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Old 02-15-2016, 09:06 PM   #29
2 Rivet Member
1968 22' Safari
Tulsa , Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 80
"Fixing rear separation is not hard once all of the interior and fixtures are removed."

Bless you, my son. Truly. Now, tell me:

What exactly is "rear end separation"? Whatever your response, I'm sure we have it.

We have a 68 Safari, now gutted to the subfloor. There's virtually nothing left of the aft-most foot of subfloor, and doesn't appear to have been for several years, though the unit was taken on the road somewhat regularly by the PO. Completely rotted at the rear. Standing where the bath once was and looking down past the maze of waste and copper plumbing traversing the rear wall, one easily sees the ground almost all the way from one side to the other. Running just fore of that is what I assume is the black tank. I have no idea what happened to the banana wraps across the back. Not sure I want to.

I've seen references to some sort of "connecting plates" at the front and rear. Is that the correct term? What are those? Is it something I should see as I glare at the ground from inside the thing? If so, it ain't there - at least not in the rear.

I don't intend to replace the floor until I've addressed all leak issues in the shell and windows but would like to start planning, acquiring necessary tools, supplies, sub-contractors and, if appropriate, despairing over the rear end, well in advance.

Jay and Lisa

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Old 02-15-2016, 10:18 PM   #30
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J. Morgan's Avatar

1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
Currently Looking...
Benton , Arkansas
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 5,056
Images: 11
Rear separation is where the rear of the shell separates from the frame.

Usually the rivets that hold the shell to the bottom C channel shear or otherwise fail, and the bolts that go through the C channel and plywood flooring fail.

This is often associated with rear frame sag as well. It is caused by rot and years of being hammered down rough roads.

My fix was to remove the last sheet of plywood, to make a new C channel, to rivet everything back together, and to rebolt the shell to the frame and crossmembers.

I also replaced the last four feet of frame because of marginal rot where the black tank had been leaking.

I could have patched a small segment of frame, but it was just easier to replace a larger section.

I also jacked the sag out of the frame and shell and welded in a reinforcement that also serves to raise my trailer three inches higher than stock.

This might sound like a lot, but it all only took a few days. It is simply about putting things and then securing them where they should be.

A lot of the water that gets into the rear area of these trailers is due to separation, and then the water causes more separation, it is kinda progressive.

The plywood floor is sandwiched between the frame and the shell C channel, when it rots away, the shell "falls" into the void causing looseness and more separation. When the floor rots here, the bolts that hold the "sandwich" together get slack and they rust away.

Brevi tempore!

The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

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Old 02-15-2016, 10:24 PM   #31
3 Rivet Member
1971 31' Sovereign
Palm Desert , California
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 136
Originally Posted by AnnArborBob View Post
I know this thread has run it's course and the OP has likely decided to pass on this particular unit but I have to add that just because a trailer has lived it's entire life in the desert does not mean that there cannot be floor rot or rear end separation. A lot of floor rot/frame rust is caused by ongoing undetected slow leaks inside the trailer from plumbing lines, connections and fixtures. One reason that the rear bath units are so subject to rear-end separation is that over the years, there are leaks in the bath area that rot the floor and rust out the frame. Anyone who plans to buy a 30 or 40 year old rear bath model should take great caution with this issue.
True, but living it's life in the desert (in my case) means the copper water lines never froze and are still leak free after 45 years, negligible sag and minor surface frame rust.
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Old 02-15-2016, 10:43 PM   #32
1977 31' Excella 500
1977 31' Excella 500
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 73
Went into it with my eyes wide open...

Yes, I thought/think I had an inclining(sp) of what I am into. Bought the 77 RB Excella 31' Feb. 5. Knew it needed a end cap segment, rear frame rebuild, frame stiffener, polish, everything inside the skin new, from water pump, batteries, fridge, furnace, inverter, plumbing, tanks, cabinets, ect.

Here is the typical rear frame. You know how it will go. Its worse that it looks. Rear crossmember, tank separator member, both tank straps. Then the frame supplements. And the replacement tanks (suggested used source on those?)

It's halfway polished and the new upper rear curb side segment being replaced. I kinda hope to take it camping this weekend. Haaa
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Old 02-16-2016, 08:45 AM   #33
1977 31' Excella 500
1977 31' Excella 500
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 73
Something I may add, I think we need to recognize there is a simple element to this deterioration as well. What about the rear door seal. Keep them fresh. There is a large draft-driven wash coming into the rear of these coaches as they travel in rain.

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