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Old 10-20-2006, 12:55 PM   #1
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1955 16' Bubble
Bend , Oregon
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2 questions about the outside

First is this step original to a 1955 bubble? there are 2 pictures below, need a better angle just ask. Can a replacement be found or a replica?
Second look at the toung of this trailer It is all but jacked up. I have seen some simular parts have the trailer parts changed that much that I can not replace (with some grinding and welding) this with new ones?
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Old 10-20-2006, 01:07 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BB 55 Bubble
First is this step original to a 1955 bubble? there are 2 pictures below, need a better angle just ask. Can a replacement be found or a replica?
Yes, that looks like an original step. No, OEM replacements are not available that I am aware of. It doesn't look to be in too bad of shape, is it structurallty sound? If so, just cleaning it up and painting it with POR-15 will make it look better and protect it from rust.
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Originally Posted by BB 55 Bubble
Second look at the toung of this trailer It is all but jacked up. I have seen some simular parts have the trailer parts changed that much that I can not replace (with some grinding and welding) this with new ones?
Huh? Tongue...it doesn't look bad either. Maybe I don't understand the question...

Shari
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Old 10-20-2006, 02:47 PM   #3
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Reply

The step works great! The frame for it is not so great, and the pull handle is a little worn. The guy that I am going to have do the welding thinks it is an easy fix; I was looking for some back up options.
The tong of the trailer is missing the lock handle release, it broke off The ball lock is about 50% its original size on the inside. The safety chain I do not think is so safe any more. My concern is that I will be investing a considerable amount of money into the trailer. I would hate to let this slide and watch my trailer pass me on the road!
Here are some pictures.
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Old 10-20-2006, 03:36 PM   #4
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1975 31' Sovereign
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safety chain.

I am not sure what the law is but... when I had a equipment trailer made several years back they said that they could not just weld the chain to the trailer. so they welded a D shaped metal tang on the each side of the A frame. then with a hole drilled in each you can put whatever size of chain on with a shackle.
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Old 10-20-2006, 05:17 PM   #5
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Step looks great

I think the step is an incredibly good rebuild simply because of the diamond-plate steel present in your photos. My '67 Overlander has smooth plate-steel with traction strips. Additionally, the side pieces which provide a track for the step's action go all the way back to the frame member on mine.

Functionally, there is no reason to replace your step. If you have a desire for originalness, grind off the diamond pattern & stick on traction strips.

FWIW,
Tom
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Old 10-20-2006, 05:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomW
I think the step is an incredibly good rebuild simply because of the diamond-plate steel present in your photos.

<snip>

If you have a desire for originalness, grind off the diamond pattern & stick on traction strips.
The older ones had diamond plate...mine is almost identical & I am 100% sure it is original.

Maxwell's Step

Shari
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Old 03-08-2009, 08:35 PM   #7
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My 55 bubble(sn 211) has the exact same step as BB 55 Bubble. In reguards to the coupler on the tongue,mine is also the same type,and frankly,I'm nervious about it. I could easily replace it with a new one,but,if the original one is still servicable then I'd like to retain it. Any vintage Airstream owners with this type ball hookup? How reliable are they?....walt...tulsa,ok
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Old 03-08-2009, 08:41 PM   #8
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The step is in-fact original and please do not get rid of it. The step is diamond plate steel (not AL) and I would be willing to bet that there is nothing wrong with it. As for the coupler, I think those old orginals are scary!! I have however seen many of them in use, and Lord knows that there have been many many miles put on those in some very harsh conditions.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:42 PM   #9
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1962 22' Flying Cloud
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Question Are my stairs missing somethig??

I agree with Insideout, I think the diamond plate is original. It looks to me like TomW's steps were very nicely rebuilt? Anyway, I am seeing in his picture what appears to be a curved aluminum under plate that would serve as a cover for the step hole when the stairs are retracted. My question is, (and I have attached a picture of my steps) is there supposed to be something like this on my steps as well? I have wondered what keeps the weather out of the step hole? It would seem that the grove where the steps guides slide would allow moisture into the next compartment on the frame? I looked through the photo gallery a bit and did not see any pictures that would answer my question. Any thoughts out there??

FLYNCLD
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLYNCLD View Post
I agree with Insideout, I think the diamond plate is original. It looks to me like TomW's steps were very nicely rebuilt? Anyway, I am seeing in his picture what appears to be a curved aluminum under plate that would serve as a cover for the step hole when the stairs are retracted. My question is, (and I have attached a picture of my steps) is there supposed to be something like this on my steps as well? I have wondered what keeps the weather out of the step hole? It would seem that the grove where the steps guides slide would allow moisture into the next compartment on the frame? I looked through the photo gallery a bit and did not see any pictures that would answer my question. Any thoughts out there??

FLYNCLD
I believe Tom's step is original to his trailer...1966 was a major design change year mostly recognizable by the Corning Glass windows - but also other features from the early 60's and older trailers were changed &/or updated.

Both our '64 & and '56 have the checkerplate steps. The hanging down shield you see on Tom's is not present on either of ours - but came about later than '64 - I suspect '66 when the other major changes started.

We just re-built our '56 (It's a Girl!!!) and the way it was designed originally was to protect the wood floor with a sheet of aluminum between the floor and the frame in the step area. The vertical members of the frame act as protection to the inside of the belly pan - it creates a kind of "box" that the step folds up into - just as shown in your picture.

We rebuilt ours essentially the same, it seemed to work well for 53 years - so hopefully it will last another 50+ years. We did paint the frame with POR-15 to help protect it from rust...but that's about it for the changes.

Shari
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:50 PM   #11
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Thumbs up

Thanks for the info Insideout! So it sounds like other than a few screws that I'VE got loose, my steps are all there.

I will use your tip and install a sheet of aluminum to protect the flooring. Thanks for all the great pics you have posted!

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Old 03-09-2009, 02:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I will use your tip and install a sheet of aluminum to protect the flooring.
It looks like you already have the aluminum there in this picture:



Unfortunately, the only way to replace it is to remove the floor from the topside ~ but your's looks fine, I'd leave it alone - unless you have floor damage and are replacing the plywood anyways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FLYNCLD View Post
Thanks for all the great pics you have posted!

FLYNCLD
Your welcome...that's what AirForums is all about!

Shari
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