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Old 03-28-2009, 03:28 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1965 24' Tradewind
Warner , New Hampshire
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 32
Front and Rear ABS replacement

Hello Everyone. I am in the process of restoring/redoing my A.S. When I first brought the trailer home I thought I would only end up repairing the rotten floor in the rear. Well as you can guess I have gone much further. I have removed all of the interior skin and am considering replacing the ABS front and rear with polished aluminum like the exterior. I have seen others of you on this site that have done this and I like the look. I noticed after I removed the rear ABS that there aren't any cross members/ribs to attach the skin to. Does anyone have some suggestions how this can be done and how involved it will be. Thank you.


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Old 03-30-2009, 03:09 PM   #2
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1976 31' Sovereign
ozark , Missouri
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,029
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Welcome to the forum...I personally don't have an answer for you but thought it was very unusual not to have any responses to this question.
If i were you I would go to the "forums tab" (upper left with little rivet buttons) click on it and scroll down until you find a section on your particular unit and repost your question there....

Good luck

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Old 03-30-2009, 08:43 PM   #3
2 Rivet Member
1965 24' Tradewind
Warner , New Hampshire
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 32
Kani and Jack

Thanks for your help. I checked out the section that you requested and found some helpful information. From what I found it seems that if I go this route I will have to fabricate my end panels on the ground then install them. It seems that I don't need to worry about adding extra frame members since the ABS didn't use them either. I will take some pictures of the project and post them soon. If I am missing something please feel free to let me know. Again thanks for your help.

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Old 03-30-2009, 10:08 PM   #4
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1963 26' Overlander
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,633
Hi Brian,

The ABS endcaps are thought by some to be structural. It is believed that they don't have any ribs supporting them because they act as the ribs themselves. I'm not a structural engineer and can't really comment on this, but thought you should know, before pulling them out.

To get the look you want, I think you have a couple of choices. The first is to fabricate an entire metal endcap on a bench, and then install it by riveting it along the edges, like your current ABS endcap. The idea here is that the bench-fabricated endcap unit should be at least as strong as the ABS unit, so if it IS structural, you won't lose any strength. This has been done before, AirForums member Zeppelenium discusses it here starting with post #64:

An alternative would be to leave the ABS endcap in place, and just build an aluminum facade over it. This, too, has been done in different ways by different people. Frank aka Overlander62 covers his method in his blog, here:

Anna Lumanum: here's where I'm at...

Good luck!
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:24 AM   #5
2 Rivet Member
1965 24' Tradewind
Warner , New Hampshire
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 32
Hello Marcus

Thanks for your help. I sent Zeppelenium a PM and plan on giving him a call today. I first thought of doing like you mentioned and applying the aluminum over the ABS but I thought that since they are still in excellent shape that maybe someone else could use them or I could use them on another restoration in the future. Your project is looking great. That's exactly what I'm hoping to do in my trailer.

Thanks Again
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