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Old 03-01-2018, 03:39 PM   #41
2 Rivet Member
 
1970 31' Sovereign
Anderson , Indiana
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 36
40 degrees and misting today, i did 2 more sheets of plywood, only 1 left! Looking like the frame welding will be only in the rear.

My por15 showed up today.

I ordered all new tanks, stabilizers, power jack. I ordered a pair of 8" deep 33gal tanks that are about exactly the frame square size. They both side exit and will meet at a dual dump valve on the street side. One gray one black, obviously. I thought about doing the ones that fit in the frame rail, but would of still had a pipe below the belly to empty anyway. This seemed like the simpler and more economical solution to me.

Freshwater tank ordered from vts. The original one is too science expirimenty for me to consider drinking ever.

Trying to see if i can pick up some outriggers and frame rails in Jackson center.

Need to get wheels and tires.Click image for larger version

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Old 03-01-2018, 07:08 PM   #42
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 6,431
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The rear 4' of our trailers are where the problems are typically. The frame can sag and even buckle when it looses connection with the rear of the body.
The poor rear body seal allows rain water to soak the subfloor and then trouble begins. And I think there was too much weight at the rear of the trailer to reduce tongue weight. Things like waste water tanks, water heaters and batteries. I moved some of these things forward as much as I could.

Outriggers are readily available. Cross members I don't know about. Some folks use other structural members as cross members. I added 3/16" by 1 1/2" angle irons as cross members. They are also convenient for hanging waste water tanks. Angle irons may be heavier than the original cross members. There are two kinds of cross members, the regular ones and the shorties that accomodate the plywood floor splices.

I passed on the POR 15 on my current project. It is a very good paint system. I just didn't have a strong need here in dry Colorado, and my trailer sits indoors most of the time. It will stop and prevent rusting. It is a mess to brush on though.

David
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Old 03-01-2018, 09:41 PM   #43
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1970 31' Sovereign
Anderson , Indiana
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 36
Theyre available from airstream as i understand but they are too long and must be cut. And they are full 5".

Im going to have to replace the back several feet of both main frame rails but that's a normal metal c channel and i can get it about anywhere. I may opt for a similar solution for the cross members. Its only 2. I also need to weld in some angle irons to support the new tanks on their rails

The only trouble spot forward of the rear is the step outrigger area.
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Old 03-02-2018, 07:31 PM   #44
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 6,431
Images: 1
I hung my new tanks from angle irons with bolts through the upper frame rail and subfloor. I wanted the tanks removable.

Your trailer sounds a like classic example of the frame problem our 70s trailers are plagued with. My step box appears okay, not too rusty looking. I guy without your skills would struggle with all the frame repairs, or find the cost way exceeds the value of the trailer in the first place. Some folks just want to hang new curtains and install a fancy floor covering and hit the road.

David
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Old 03-04-2018, 05:50 PM   #45
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1970 31' Sovereign
Anderson , Indiana
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 36
Im going to make my tanks drop able too. Well, probably would have to destroy the toilet flange to do it but mostly drop able.


Update for those interested. Spent all weekend getting rust off this thing, almost done with the cleanup phase.

Dropped the axles, flipped the frame over with the gantrys in one, sorta awkward move. It worked though. Lot easier to clean the bottom upside down.

I need to replace 5 cross channels, 5 outriggers, the back 7 feet of main frame rail, and some other miscellaneous patches, also need to build supports for tanks.

Im considering boxing in the main frame rails, at very least from axle back. What's everyones opinion on that?

Im probably just going to have the metal shop bend me up some solid 5 and 4.25 x 1 1/4 c for the replacement cross bars. Nothing passes through the holes anyway.

Also, thoughts on couplers? Replace or just rebuild kit? Fwiw, it seemed fine for the 60 mile pull home.Click image for larger version

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Old 03-04-2018, 09:45 PM   #46
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Images: 1
You must have worn out 3 wire brushes doing all that rust removal. At least now you can see where this old frame needs attention.

I've read here that long 70s Airstreams like yours and mine tend to buckle or crack the frame rail(s) just aft of the axle mounting plate. If the rear of the body separates from its frame attachment points, then the frame and subfloor flex eventually overstressing the frame rails. Inspect carefully for any cracks in the frame rails and axle plates. As you have observed in handling your frame, the thing is quite flimsy. And so it the body. But stack up a flimsy frame with a fresh piece of 3/4" plywood and drop the flimsy body on that. Then bolt the body to the outriggers, and bolt the c channel to the plywood and the whole structure now becomes quite strong and lightweight. Semi monocoque: a wee bit like some of the aircraft you might have worked on.

My 75 Overlander has about 48" long rear "skid rails" welded to the frame rails. this was to accommodate the rear mounted waste water tanks, both black 20 gallon and gray 10 gallon. That long 3" high skid rail has tank mounting angle irons between them which appears to box in the rear of the frame pretty good. See photo.

Airstream or somebody does make and sell a "stiffener" kit for the axle plates. It does strengthen the frame rails a bit. Since I didn't see any cracks, I did not pursue this stiffener kit. You can read about it here on Air Forums.

I don't think boxing in the frame rails is needed. I think good outriggers and cross members, with the new subfloor well attached to them just like the factory did, and then the c channel and body well attached to all of that will give you a like new Airstream structure.

I probably would "blow off" the old coupler with the plasma torch and have the mobile welder mount a new one. My 86 has quite a bit of wear to the socket. I can feel the slop when I insert the ball even though I did replace the "shoe" in this coupler.

Like all advice on these Air Forums, my advice is absolutely free, no charge! Take it for what it's worth.

David
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See my 1966 Trade Wind Renovation Documentation:
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Old 04-03-2018, 11:15 AM   #47
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1970 31' Sovereign
Anderson , Indiana
Join Date: Jan 2018
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Indiana weather has not been nice to me but im almost done welding on the frame.

I reworked the step area to accommodate my $8 clearance hickory step from camping world. Id love to have an airstream one but $900 is too steep. Now the step is bolted and probably easily replaceable for life. Its strong and it works.

Tank rails ready to go.

Now need a warm day to por15.

Axles are in the garage. Need to get tires put on wheels.

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Old 05-10-2018, 12:14 PM   #48
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1971 31' Sovereign
White Pigeon , Michigan
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 54
I almost looked at your airstream

Hi,
I'm from Indiana as well and I was looking for an Airstream the same time you were and stumbled upon yours on craigslist! I found another that I fell in love with but it's so cool to see all of the work that you're doing on this one! I'm sure it'll look great when you're done. I got mine in March and I'm a little behind you in progress. Hoping to have the shell off the second week in June but doing other tasks while waiting. The lovely Indiana weather has not been very helpful with getting things accomplished so far Good luck to you! I'll be following along for inspiration!
Emily
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:14 AM   #49
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1973 29' Ambassador
Lethbridge , Alberta
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 19
I am subscribing and following with interest to pick up ideas for my own reno which may start next year. Where did you order your grey tanks from?
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