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Old 03-03-2007, 12:32 PM   #1
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Belly Pan Opinion Please

Can someone please tell me what you see in these pictures of the belly of a '65 Caravel. Is that pink fibreglass insulation coming out of holes? Does the frame look pretty bad as it disappears behind the belly pan?

Thanks for your input.

Barry
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Old 03-03-2007, 12:56 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoconoAir
Can someone please tell me what you see in these pictures of the belly of a '65 Caravel. Is that pink fibreglass insulation coming out of holes? Does the frame look pretty bad as it disappears behind the belly pan?

Thanks for your input.

Barry
It looks like cobwebs and as far as the frame is concerned I would be pulling the pan and checking a lot more. I have two units, on the one just the bottom of the outriggers were rusted out, on the other the entire outrigger is shot. And mine are at least 10-15 years newer

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Old 03-03-2007, 01:15 PM   #3
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I see rust on the frame and corrosion on the belly pan. Belly pan and insulation needs to be removed to get a good overall assessment of the condition of the frame and sub floor. Looks like the belly pan is in the process of detaching itself already.
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Old 03-03-2007, 01:27 PM   #4
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Wahoon has definitely worked on a lot more of these than I have. But since our trailers are close in age and construction let me suggest a couple of things. First, what do you want to know? We cannot tell if your frame is more rusted under the belly pan. Yes, there's fiberglass insulation in there somewhere. And you have some minor buckling around were that sheet is riveted to the frame. But there's nothing wrong with what we see here. You'll need to look a little deeper, if you're really worried about a weak frame.

To begin to get an idea of what's under the skin, take off that sheet that is between the frame siderails...That's what we're looking at in your picture; just follow the frame back from the bumper, and drill out the rivets where the middle sheet is attached. You should be able to lay it down, with the front attached still. Look up in there with a flashlight. You WILL see rust, surface rust is a fact of life by this time. Your looking for major rust, or daylight seen through what should be solid metal...Of course the frame cross members have holes in them, but you will quickly learn the difference between surface rust and structure loss.

Let us know what you see, and take some pictures.
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Old 03-03-2007, 01:51 PM   #5
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be careful when you start pulling the belly pan off. you'll want to wear some sort of mask as your bound to have mice pooh in there somewhere. it's dirty, dusty, icky work but it looks like your frame will need some attention.
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Old 03-03-2007, 04:27 PM   #6
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The problem is I am in PA and the trailer is in FL, the trailer is priced reasonable and I am trying to avoid having to fly down and check it out in person. I believe I will get title and then have someone help determine if it is to be towed (with new tires and repacking the bearings) or hauled. Guess I should opt for hauling just to be safe.

Barry
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Old 03-03-2007, 11:13 PM   #7
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is this a beach trlr? last summer i had one from fla in my shop, customer bought it in fla.looked like that, we found last three ' of frame basically rotted away pull belly and get a look before you buy was big job to fix.cust did most of work i did the welding and yes pink fibre glass insulation.he paid a dealer 5000.00 for it.4500.00 too much. the dealer may have been unaware of the damage but refused to help fix it.
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Old 03-03-2007, 11:33 PM   #8
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I towed my Ambassador 2500 miles with the rear frame mail rail rusted through. I don't think that would stop you from getting it home.

The biggest concerns for me were new tires, barrings checked and repacked, brakes and lights working and a working hitch.
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Old 03-04-2007, 06:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoconoAir
Can someone please tell me what you see in these pictures of the belly of a '65 Caravel. Is that pink fibreglass insulation coming out of holes? Does the frame look pretty bad as it disappears behind the belly pan?

Thanks for your input.

Barry
My opinion (and it is just an opinion) is that for an unrestored 1965 trilaer, the bottom looks better than I would have expected.

It looks to me that previous owners have not neglected it too badly, and although rust and corrosion happens, it does not look out of control.

That being said however, I would guess that the frame does have some major rust, but may or may not have enough to require rebuilding.

In my limited experience, I think that any inside floor softness is a much bigger warning sign than the underside corrosion. If the floor is bad, then water has been sitting on the beams/outriggers, etc and rotting through them. If the floor is solid, I feel that there is a good chance that the beams/outriggers, etc. merely have surface rust.

Another thought is to ask for help from a local Forum member to do a visual for you. There are many volunteers who have the experience to evaluate/judge what is going on.

Good luck with your adventure...it is just beginning (as Katzklaw would say).
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Old 03-04-2007, 09:27 AM   #10
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for a long distance purchase and anything pre 1970, i'd say every major system is suspect, including the frame, axle, bearings, tires, etc. anything you buy pre1970 will need attention. i'd plan on removing the belly pan and doing something to the frame as it will be rusted in parts (maybe not all the way through though). you're gonna need new axles and wheels on anything pre1970 (unless it was already done). you're going to need to replace the subfloor. it will be rotted (atleast plan on it).

bottom line. i wouldn't worry to much about the condition of the trailer IF you plan on doing a lot of work to it (because it will need it). HOWEVER, if you're looking for something you can hook up and go, you'll need to limit your search to your area and only purchase trailers that you can inspect before purchase. BUT as i said before, anything pre1970 will need alot of work (you'll have people tell you otherwise, usually the person selling it, but think about it, you're looking at a 35-50 year old trailer. common sense is going to dictate that it needs a lot of work.)
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Old 03-04-2007, 09:44 AM   #11
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Inspection is everything!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PoconoAir
The problem is I am in PA and the trailer is in FL, the trailer is priced reasonable and I am trying to avoid having to fly down and check it out in person. I believe I will get title and then have someone help determine if it is to be towed (with new tires and repacking the bearings) or hauled. Guess I should opt for hauling just to be safe.

Barry
Barry, Before you buy (A pig in a Poke) as my Gramma always said make arrangements with one of the forum members here that does trailer inspections and is located close to the trailer. Then ask the seller to assist the inspector with any questions you have. Most of the folks who volunteer to inspect have a working knowledge of what is acceptable and what is too unacceptable when it comes to trailer age/condition, and price asked. Ed
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Old 03-04-2007, 11:06 AM   #12
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Interior as Indication of Frame Failure

Tomorrow morning I am going to double check with the photographer concerning soft spots in the floor but none were mentioned. Here are a couple of interior shots. It looks in pretty good shape to me.

Would someone venture an opinion of what they think those tufts of pink in the first images of the underside are. Does a pan develop holes and the FG starts to come through in tufts like that? I imagine if the pan is that bad it will need replacing and that means a shell off job to return the trailer to sound condition. Right?
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Old 03-04-2007, 11:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoconoAir
Tomorrow morning I am going to double check with the photographer concerning soft spots in the floor but none were mentioned.
i wouldn't bother about finding out about the softspots because you got 'em. PO's are infamous for not disclosing or glossing over something as no big deal. you'll have a soft spot by the door and in the shower area at the very minimum. if you don't, someone has done a mickey mouse cob job to patch it to make the soft spot "go away" but it's still there.

remember, it's a 30 year old coach and it's in florida (think wet, humid climate). i just pulled the subfloor off my '56 flying cloud and it basically came up in layers where the plywood had delaminted (and that was in the good spots), the spots by the door and shower area were basically gone and rotten through and this was a trailer that lived most of it's life in arizona (dry climate) which is why my frame appears to be in good shape so far.

bottom line is even if the interior appears to be in good shape, you're gonna have to take the interior completely out and replace the subfloor because it is rotten, and inspect the steel frame because it could be corroded in parts too.

you're looking at a vintage trailer that will require work, if you want to pull and go, you'll need to look at something much more recent.
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Old 03-16-2007, 01:25 PM   #14
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Yahooo!! Finnally got Title

The trailer is in Leesburg a few stones' throws west of Orlando and since I don't plan to go down myself, I need to find someone who will inspect it to determine if it can be towed or is best hauled. Guess I will send out some PMs to members of this forum who live in the area. Maybe members who indicate on their profiles that they wish to do inspections and who have a vintage trailer themselves would be a good place to start. Recommendations welcome.

Barry
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