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Old 11-25-2006, 11:09 PM   #15
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Ok ,Im now thinking I may have unscrewed the front shroud of the old bowen possibly from the outside and inside unscrewing the retaining screws and separating the two parts ,that may be why Im thinking i took it out the front .After three years I guess its hard to remember .By shroud I mean the front retaining portion boxy shape holding the heater to the outside skin


Scott
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Old 11-26-2006, 08:17 AM   #16
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Scott,

The shop is only going to move it back if it is necessary for equal weight distribution. I had thought about a tandem safari, but that takes even more space out of the floorplan with a really big wheelwell instead of a single well. He is going to take all measurements and weights before he even draws up new plans. I like that he is taking alot of time in the process and design.

Thanks for clarification on the heater.

Steve
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Old 11-26-2006, 02:17 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by soldiermedic
I
The shop picked up my trailer today and will beging the new frame and floor on Monday. I believe that they are moving the axel slightly furthur back to reduce the separation issues.

Comments?
Moving the axle back 3 feet, won't stop the separation.

But it would tremendously increase the tongue weight.

I would suggest that you obtain a complete, before hand game plan from your service center, before you spend a dime.

It almost sounds like they know very little about what you can and cannot do to an Airstream.


Many of us here can help you, if you just ask.

Andy
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Old 11-26-2006, 10:07 PM   #18
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Doc, here's an idea for you. Rather that moving axles (or adding axels), ask the shop if they can increase the thickness of the steel used in the new frame. It only takes a small increase in thinkness to gain much more stiffness in the frame. There's probems with this as well. As Andy has pointed out, the frame and the Aluminum shell work together. You would also probably need to get a (new) beefed up axle. Once you get your answer, let us know what they told you. It's an interesting idea you have there.

PS, I would have them POR-15 that new frame, also. Simply painting it is pretty much a waste of time. There are other options as well, but they get very expensive, very fast (powder-coating and electro-coating come to mind).

Jim
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Old 11-27-2006, 01:23 AM   #19
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The separation issue isn't axle location ,its the floor rotting out especially
in the rear if you have the rear trunk .water can get in easily over the years
and along the top of the bumper/rear compartment extention also ,going under the floor. Once the new floor and everything is reattached ,the rear
floor/frame area needs to be sealed from water entry ,new door seals on the rear hatch if it has it .The year you have is especially prone to this .So Id
pass the info you find here on to your resto Rv guys so they have an idea as to what happens on these trailers if they aren't that familiar with them in
some respects .One thing that I haven't seen discussed that much at all is
these vintage coaches had light frames in the design and weight was a big
factor as well ,using heavier steel is ok but you'll add weight ,how much Im not certain ,would have to weigh the steel and calculate the weight increase.
You ,can make it stronger with more supports and such ,but the shell /frame
is suppose to be a unit type structure ,hence the shell and its attachment to
the floor /frame etc will give you that structural integrity as new . it won't
separate due to the axle location .Certainly the greater the distance from the rear of the trailer to the axle as in an 28 -32 + length does increase the tendency for the frame to want to droop ,tanks full and so on ,but again
the shell /floor /frame structure keeps it all tied together as a unit provided
its all in top condition .If they move the axle ,what will you do about the
outer skin wheel well position ,are they going to recut the skin back and reshape it for the wheel moving back ? Id not go that route ,itll get into a
can of worms messing with the skin /wheel opening and all .Just some thought to your project and the intended reworking of the trailer.


Scott
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:21 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottanlily
The separation issue isn't axle location ,its the floor rotting out especially in the rear if you have the rear trunk .water can get in easily over the years and along the top of the bumper/rear compartment extention also ,going under the floor. Once the new floor and everything is reattached ,the rear floor/frame area needs to be sealed from water entry ,new door seals on the rear hatch if it has it .The year you have is especially prone to this .So Id pass the info you find here on to your resto Rv guys so they have an idea as to what happens on these trailers if they aren't that familiar with them in some respects .One thing that I haven't seen discussed that much at all is these vintage coaches had light frames in the design and weight was a big factor as well ,using heavier steel is ok but you'll add weight ,how much Im not certain ,would have to weigh the steel and calculate the weight increase. You ,can make it stronger with more supports and such ,but the shell /frame is suppose to be a unit type structure ,hence the shell and its attachment to the floor /frame etc will give you that structural integrity as new . it won't separate due to the axle location .Certainly the greater the distance from the rear of the trailer to the axle as in an 28 -32 + length does increase the tendency for the frame to want to droop ,tanks full and so on ,but again the shell /floor /frame structure keeps it all tied together as a unit provided its all in top condition .If they move the axle ,what will you do about the outer skin wheel well position ,are they going to recut the skin back and reshape it for the heel moving back ? Id not go that route ,itll get into a can of worms messing with the skin /wheel opening and all .Just some thought to your project and the intended reworking of the trailer.


Scott
Scott, I truely do believe that the rear hatch and tail lights were what rotted my rear floor out. I hope to seal all that stuff once the shop finishes with it. This was one reason I opted for marine grade plywood for the new floor as water would take much longer to destroy it if I miss a leak. The shop has this thread, and several other threads from this forum bookmarked when it comes to frame repair/replacement including UWE, JCFERGUSON, ETC. I have to admit, I never really thought about having to redo the wheelwells, and will most likely keep them put to not have to deal with the skin issue. They were not going to be moved three feet like Andy's post above said, but more around 6-8 inches to help the floorplan. I also think that moving the black tank will still be a good idea to forward of the axel if I move the bathroom. All in all what you have to remember is that I am a soldier that is based 2.5 hours from my home where the airstream and my family are. I get one day each week to work on it (most of the time). I also only have one good arm since I was injured and had surgery just over a month ago. The price he is charging also include removing the remainder of the interior, and that means properly without the use of a sawzall. I also do not have the room or tools to take the shell off...and then there's that arm thing again. Andy stated that a shell of restore of the floor is proper due to the monocoque design, so I am having it done. Overall, the new steel will be stroger than the old, and it may be a little heavier, but many people modify their airstreams and deal with weight, so a professional trailer company should be able to do so as well.
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:54 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soldiermedic
Scott, I truely do believe that the rear hatch and tail lights were what rotted my rear floor out. .
You should also "very carefully" check the clearance lights.

They are notorious leakers.

The window gaskets also contribute to many leaks as well as the shell itself.

Andy
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Old 11-27-2006, 03:01 PM   #22
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You should also "very carefully" check the clearance lights.

They are notorious leakers.

The window gaskets also contribute to many leaks as well as the shell itself.

Andy
Once I remove all the interior skin, I was planning on sealing from the inside with Vulkem. Is this a proper way to do this? I know alof of the seams on the outside of my trailer look very bad with the old sealer flaking out. I see that people have used gutterseal and parbond for this. I want to polish eventually, and have been told not to seal until I have done this. I am wary of that because then water can still leak into the trailer. As for the lights, I want to replace my tail/brake lights with LED, and the backup lights as well. Can these be sealed from inside the hatch with vulkem as well?
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Old 11-27-2006, 04:09 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by soldiermedic
Once I remove all the interior skin, I was planning on sealing from the inside with Vulkem. Is this a proper way to do this? I know alof of the seams on the outside of my trailer look very bad with the old sealer flaking out. I see that people have used gutterseal and parbond for this. I want to polish eventually, and have been told not to seal until I have done this. I am wary of that because then water can still leak into the trailer. As for the lights, I want to replace my tail/brake lights with LED, and the backup lights as well. Can these be sealed from inside the hatch with vulkem as well?
Sealing all the holes from the inside is what Airstream strived to do.

Sometimes one or two got missed.

You should leave some slack in the wires outside of the shell, as best you can, so that of you have to pull that light, the slack in the wire will allow you to do that.

Andy
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:50 PM   #24
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soldiermedic ,I am sorry for your injury and to your service I salute you !

Scott of scottanlily
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:54 PM   #25
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soldiermedic ,I am sorry for your injury and to your service I salute you !

Scott of scottanlily
Scott,

There is absolutely no need to appologize. I was injured back in 2004 during some training and had surgery in Sept of 2005. After almost a year of rehab and not getting much better, a new MRI and Arthrogram revealed the problem was not only still there, but worse. Had new surgery in October. Hopefully another year of rehab wont be a waste!

Steve
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