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Old 11-20-2010, 11:28 AM   #21
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These are the before pics of the outside of "the beast". I took them with my Macbook camera. I'm bracing the inside today. Ima post "before" pics later of the inside showing my frame issue.
Awesome..
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Old 11-20-2010, 11:39 AM   #22
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Daniel I thought at first you had some sort of strange A/S but then I realized all the pics are negative reversed. I have never seen an A/S with the door on the roadside.
Did you already strip off the clearcoat from the shell? Did you strip off the blue stripe? The beast looks naked without any color on it!
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Old 11-20-2010, 11:46 AM   #23
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These are the inside
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Old 11-20-2010, 11:49 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by wasagachris View Post
Daniel I thought at first you had some sort of strange A/S but then I realized all the pics are negative reversed. I have never seen an A/S with the door on the roadside.
Did you already strip off the clearcoat from the shell? Did you strip off the blue stripe? The beast looks naked without any color on it!
That whole negative reverse thing was weirding me out too..
The only thing that I have done to it so far it strip the lower inside panels and put up two horizontal braces.

The bottom right picture showing the bent plywood flooring is what makes me most nervous right now. I can see that there is a lot of upward pressure on the shell there. Not really sure what to do about it except to start at the front (after bracing) and slowly make my way back along the sides, releasing the shell from the floor until I get back there and get that area loosed up without causing some sort of slingshot effect... this is a rush...

The pictures on the third row up from the bottom are of where the frame bent. Also the picture on the top row right.. all of the same area. The pictures are backwards.. this area is between the door and the wheels just aft of the battery box.
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Old 11-20-2010, 12:35 PM   #25
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Daniel I would get some sort of support between the shell bracing and the ground as soon as possible. With all that floor removed there is not much holding up the shell and if you release the holdown bolts either the frame will comeup and impact the shell or it will drop down and the shell will fall to the ground. The shell may also come crashing down over the frame and well it'll be messy.
when I released my rear holddown bolts I didn't have any support between the frame and the ground. As I released the last bolt the frame dropped about 3 inches and scared the s**t out of me.
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:12 PM   #26
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Ok. I did that. The shell is straightening out.

Because the frame buckled on the curb forward of the wheels, the curbside rear was "dragging". I lowered the tongue of the trailer as low as I could, then put some blocks
under the curbside rear bumper, then raised the tongue as high as I could get it.

Then, as you advised, I jacked up each of the braces on the curb side where there was no floor, and put blocks and wood from the ground for the braces to rest on.

Major improvement in "the situation".

It is clear that because of the warped frame I'm not going to be able to get the shell straight until it is off the frame.

Which leads me to my next question..

I'm a little confused about how to release the shell from the trailer.
It has the U/C channel thing that the floor slides into and is riveted to the shell.
It looks like the only way to get the shell off is to drill the rivets out that attach the shell to the U/C thing, leaving the U/C attached to the floor. Is this correct?

Oh, and for color, I'm going to hang Christmas lights on it. :-)
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:07 PM   #27
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Daniel I'm so relieved. Those pics looked like the shell was about to collapse.
Your'e right on the money about the channel along the sides of the trailer. It's only about 300 rivets to drill out and the shell will be free from the channel. It does stay attached to the floor. The channel for the end caps sits on top of the floor and stays attached to the shell during liftoff. The hard part will be reattaching the channel to the new floor before the shell goes back on and lineing it up properly. I was able to use my old floor as a template and took measurements from it to find points on the new floor to attach the channel. The wheel wells aslo stay on the floor during liftoff. It is important to make sure they go back on in the right spot both front to back and side to side.
I don't want to freak you out but mark, measure,test,measure, dry fit, measure and measure again. If you get it wrong it's a lot of work to pull the shell up again and fix it.
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Old 11-21-2010, 12:14 PM   #28
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Chris, I have the shell loose except in one place.. the very front.
There is a thin metal plate that is riveted to the inside of the shell.. this is the plate that the connector for the tow vehicle plugs in. Is this metal plate welded to the frame? Do I need to remove the rivets that are holding this metal plate to the shell?
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Old 11-21-2010, 01:28 PM   #29
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Daniel The plate you speak of is the front holddown plate.
It is riveted from the front of the shell through the holddown plate.
There is also a row of rivets below the lower beltline throught the shell and the front C channel.
You have to drill out all these rivets to lift the shell.
The plate is indeed welded to the A frame(tongue of the trailer).
The plate slips between the outer skin of the shell and the C channel.
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Old 11-21-2010, 04:23 PM   #30
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Thanks. Done.

And we have liftoff. The shell is free from the trailer.
I did not put in diagonal braces because it would hinder me from getting the shell leveled out once I got it off of the trailer.
The shell is now off and level all around. The trailer looks like a pretzel.

There is a fabrication shop down the road from where I live. I found them by stopping by a big Sunbelt Rentals place (figured that they probably broke a lot of stuff) and asked them who did their welding. The shop rate for the welding place is $65 per hour for labor.

Estimate on time to weld a new trailer together, including cutting off and welding on the a-frame thing on the front?
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Old 11-21-2010, 04:34 PM   #31
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I'm also interested in knowing what the cost will be?
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Old 11-21-2010, 04:55 PM   #32
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Daniel and Judy, I had a local shop figure that I would take him 20 hrs to weld up the new frame. He was going to have the old one as a template to copy. Instead I had one of my campers do it here right on site so I'm not exactly sure about the time spent but it was probaly about the same or maybe 10 hrs more. That also included cutting off the A frame and installing the new axles. Because I had it done here it cost me a lot less($500) for welding. Between parts I ordered and had made,welding,POR-15 paint, and painting the whole frame cost about $2000. I paid $500 to a shop to paint the frame which included re & re the new axles during the frame painting. The frame received 4 coats of paint. This involved base coat on top flip, base coat on bottom flip,2nd base coat on top flip,2nd base coat on bottom flip, finish coat on top flip, finish coat on bottom flip,2nd finish coat on top, 2nd finish coat on bottom flip, install axles.
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Old 11-21-2010, 05:16 PM   #33
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I need to find a good local welder who will do it on his own time, at my house.

The only other real issue is the 20-odd foot steel beams. I was thinking that I could get them at a local steel place.. drag the old trailer there, strap the beams on and get them home like that. That would be an adventure..

How did you get the beams to your location?
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Old 11-21-2010, 05:30 PM   #34
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Daniel Well I had another camper make up the frame rails for me. He did it at his work and the brake(machine to bend metal) was only 12 ft long. So I recieved my main rails from him in 12 ft sections which he delivered in the back of his pick up. The welder here then welded the sections together on site. He staggered the joints so that they wouldn't be across from each other and boxed in the frame rails at that point. So it went like this: roadside from front 12 ft section,10 ft section, 5 ft section. Curbside from front 5 ft section,10 ft section, 12 ft section. The joints were at roadside 12ft and 22 ft from front, curbside 5ft and 17 ft from front.
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Old 11-21-2010, 05:32 PM   #35
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...

How did you get the beams to your location?
The last time I bought fill length steel without a trailer, I had them set on the ground and I parked the truck on top of them. I lifted the front end of the beams and tie them to the front bumper, the back end to the hitch. With the beams slung under the truck I slowly made my way home.
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:15 PM   #36
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That is crazy with the rails under the truck. lol
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:22 PM   #37
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The two places that i called today about c channel told me that they only sold it in lengths of 20' and 40'. The 20' pieces of 11 gauge ( I have no idea what gauge that I need) is $99.

I have the shell released from the frame, but it is slow going getting it leveled out and finishing up the bracing.

I got a service manual today. I'd have never guessed that there were that many parts to the steps.
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:00 PM   #38
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Daniel don't be too fussy getting the shell absolutely level. As long as you get your new frame perfectly straight and level both side to side and back to front and have it properly supported during thr reinstall the shell will settle down and level itself out.
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Old 11-23-2010, 05:13 AM   #39
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not pretty

Well it is not pretty, and it was nasty work, but the shell is off..
As for getting it straight, the canary in the coal mine was the screen door.
For the most part any twist or give in the shell I could see and adjust by how the screen door closed.. lol

The entire curb side trailer frame was gone. The pressure that this was putting on the shell was no small amount, I'm sure. It is amazing that the shell could take this and bounce right back.. cool

The pictures are negative reversed.. it is an optical illusion.
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:02 AM   #40
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Good Morning Daniel Excellent work. It's is amazing how much give the shell has. When you lift the shell high enough to remove the chassis give yourself plenty of clearance between the wheel wells and the shell. I tried to cut it too close and didn't leave enough room because of the spacer block I had to install to keep the skin away from the 4x4's on the sawhorses. I had to let the air out of the tires to get the chassis out. When I went to put it back I had to lift the shell another 10 " because once I added new axles the floor now sat alot higher of the ground. IIRC the final height was around 42" from ground for shell to wheel well clearance.
I rewired the tongue jack/breakaway switch and ran new wires to the electric brakes. If you do the same before you pull out the old wires from the A frame tie a small rope to them. You can then use the rope to pull in the new wires.
I look forward to seeing your progress.
BTW the price for frame rails sounds great. 3 pcs x 20' = $297.
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