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Old 08-13-2017, 07:54 AM   #1
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Hauling airstream without subfloor

I have someone who is going to weld frame damage on my 72 ambassador. Problem is he is located 1.5 hrs away from where I am working on the airstream. I am wondering if it is possible to haul the airstream to him with the subfloor removed or would the shell come off the frame in transit?

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Old 08-13-2017, 09:34 AM   #2
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I'm surprised no one has answered. I think you're asking for trouble. The subfloor acts as a shear element, stiffening the lower portion of the trailer. Without it, as you move down the road the frame will be torqued and twisted by going over bumps, hitting dips, swaying from side to side and being buffeted by winds. I think at the very least you'll end up twisting some frame members, probably worse. If you must do this try attaching some temporary plywood to the frame, take the back roads and drive very slowly. Let us know your route and date of travel so we can be sure to be out of state that day

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Old 08-13-2017, 09:47 AM   #3
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While not the ideal condition to transport your trailer, it's not impossible and has been done many times. Someone is probably doing it right now.
I'm not certain how much "shear" strength really matters as much as the shell being connected to to the frame. Since the shell/subfloor/frame combine into one unit, your trailer may only be attached by the lower belt line. Is the interior skin in?
With some judicious placement of some 1x4 cross bracing and as the above poster said, going slow, you should be fine. As long as the shell is attached to the frame.

Your 1.5 hour drive may end up being 3hours, but hey, you gotta get the thing fixed right?
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Old 08-13-2017, 10:04 AM   #4
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The risk is that the shell will spread open and fall off the outriggers, the shell kinda swallowing the frame and falling to the road. I suggest adding some lumber along the sides screwing to the ribs and the outriggers
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Old 08-13-2017, 10:28 AM   #5
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... errr ... welding damage on the frame?

I would be at least as concerned about the frame as anything else. The floor and the frame to some degree work together to add strength. A lot depends on exactly what your frame issues are.

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Old 08-13-2017, 11:36 AM   #6
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If you have no sub floor how is it attached to the frame?
Why not just lift the shell off the frame and transport the frame only, easiest for the welder as well.
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Old 08-13-2017, 12:42 PM   #7
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I pulled my 1972 31' Sovereign from Newport Tn to Soddy Daisy Tn with 2" straps holding my shell on after we threw the pieces of plywood on the frame and piled all of the loose interior parts on the plywood. My 31' is almost finished now and had not one single problem pulling it that distance and it mounted perfectly. I slid some small pieces between the frame and the channel to help support a little bit.
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Old 08-13-2017, 01:02 PM   #8
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Echoing the questions raised so far, and also the need for towing to the welder.

Wouldn't it be simpler to have a welder come to the trailer?

For all the effort you have to make to get to him, plus the risks of problems, the cost of hiring a welder seems like a relatively lower cost IMO.

Good luck!

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Old 08-14-2017, 08:25 AM   #9
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Most pro welders have mobile trucks. Find someone who will come to you or do it yourself.
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Old 08-14-2017, 04:53 PM   #10
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Thanks for the responses everyone. Think I'm just going to remove the shell and just transport the frame.

Originally Posted by matthewsx View Post
Most pro welders have mobile trucks. Find someone who will come to you or do it yourself.
He is mobile. Problem is work in shop is only $35 an hour. If he has to travel it's upward of $60. Plus, he does any needed fabrication in his shop, so it's better to have the airstream on sight.

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