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Old 01-17-2014, 08:05 AM   #21
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1957 22' Caravanner
1964 26' Overlander
1954 29' Liner
Washington , Washington, D.C.
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 95
Frank restored and I mean restored my 64 Overlander. It's a dream on wheels. There was some very minor reengineering to resolve design flaws he has seen in the past. His solutions work. I'm not an engineer, but an architect, and see this from the point of view of composition and design. I didn't want anything to change because those changes would compromise the original design integrity...I even reused screws, hinges and anything else that could be...the result is a truly restored trailer...a beauty. The original system lasted 48 years without ANY maintenance for the last 25 years. The trailer was useable barely when I found it. That said the restoration gives this trailer at least another 50 years of useful life...and if it is properly maintained it just might hold up beyond that.

If it ain't broke don't waste your time, money and energy changing it.
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:36 AM   #22
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1960 33' Custom
Athens , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,373
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I'm pretty sure I'm jumping the gun trying to evaluate my project before I've seen the bones of the frame but the thoughts and opinions so far have brought up some interesting questions in my mind. (I'm a big believer in honest opinions so keep em coming).

I love the look of the very late 50's and early '60's trailers but want something that more closely meets my needs. If this was a mint barn find I'd approach it differently but this is not a usable trailer by a long chalk. I picked up this unit because it's of my favourite era appearance wise, has a great "literally" layout and is also quite rare. A major downside is that as far as I know the railway trailers weren't built so much for actually travelling under their own steam, therein lies the crux of my challenge, a desire to add capacity both in terms of carrying what I want to for camping/ travelling and also that it doesn't fail or fatigue prematurely.

I do see a challenge ahead but not insurmountable, taking the design as a whole and tweaking it as needed it can't be that hard. In the sphere of aviation (structural) that my license covers it is common to increase skin thickness, alter rivet pitch etc as long as it meets manufacturer publications or even a standard practice on occasion. In the Airforums community we're quite happy to upsize all our rivets from 1/8" (#30) nominal to 5/52" (#21, #20) nominal so that we can work with a freshly drilled hole and keep the head size similar. We're altering the design. Most probably aren't even aware of the effect of decreasing edge distance and don't give it a second thought or even consider oversize rivets in a #27 hole which would be the next logical (from an engineers viewpoint) step. Going up a grade in the skin (which I think is a great choice) is again altering the structure and I'd suggest that it's mainly done for aesthetic reasons being as it's easier to get a smooth ripple free repair this way (it's also much more forgiving especially for the amateur riveter). I think what I'm trying to get across is that I don't see a huge difference between increasing rivet size, skin thickness, type of plywood used and adding a steel gusset or thicker channel to a frame.

I didn't think I'd be opening a vat of worms but really enjoy looking at all the suggestions and I didn't even know the Vinstream chassis was even on the road! Are there any reviews?

Here's a link to Icon vehicles which in many ways I'd like to emulate in my project, great usability and aesthetic. There's now way I could live with an original but the reborn version for sure. DeSoto_Chrysler 1952 Wagon Derelict | ICON

They make a the Thriftmaster too which is all new but just a little spendy….
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1960 Sovereign 33' Pacific Railroad Custom
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:22 PM   #23
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Phoenix , Arizona
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Originally Posted by truckasaurus View Post
I'm pretty certain that I'll want a new frame on my '60 Sovereign and I'm struggling to find much to read on the matter. I know Boatdoc made his Argosy frame from stainless and there's been a couple of liner stye pipe frames but I'm not feeling super confident in a home brew mega frame being my first project although to be fair I do have some welding resources to call on if I get going down that road. I even thought about looking into a new rolling frame for a 34' from Airstream but suspect it would require mega modification anyway.

I flip flop around keeping the original frame but as it's a double stacked 4" C channel with reinforcement it looks sketchy and doesn't seem up to job for a rehab'd 33 footer in 2014. I figure something with a much deeper section will give me much better tank options and a fresh start for the A frame which took quite a beating and for the axles which I'll upgrade from leaf to probably torsion although I am liking air as an option.

As I'll be replacing pretty much if not all the sheet metal with the exception of the compound curved sections I can accommodate the thicker frame no problem and will most likely go 040" with a modified rivet pitch on the exterior skin. I'd like to keep some give in the frame but am not concerned at all about the overall effect of increased stiffness to the frame.

But back to the point of the thread. I want to start scoping out resources that have the experience building up a frame like this and I'm keen to check with Timeless as TTT fabricated a deep frame for the 40' Pacific monster but I wanted to see if the forum had any thoughts about shops.
If it was my trailer I wouldn't hesitate a second to build a new frame for it. I would consider 6" or 7" standard structural channel for the main members and 3" or 4" cross members. I like to build them strong since the actual weight difference when you are done is minimal.
I like the rubber torsion axles, but I would consider the leaf springs since the use an equalizer. If Dexter still made the independent leaf spring axles that Avion used in the mid 1980s I would probably go that route.
Good luck with your project.
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:49 AM   #24
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1960 33' Custom
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I was reading up on axle-less axles; which would really only work with a substantially altered frame design and noticed VintageTrailerSupplies had a blog which I'd never noticed before. Not much to read but I saw an article by Wally about axles which might be interesting to some here.

Vintage Trailer Supply Insider: Dura-Torque Torsion Axle

I'm not seeing much to gain from axle-less axles really. Yes they are truly independent unlike most torsion axles which are just "nearly independent", but that's a tiny point that's pretty much irrelevant I think. They may be quite a bit lighter but how much extra weight would the frame need to compensate for the lack of axle? On a new 6' frame possibly very little so I could save a 150 lbs. They look pretty cool to me but that's not much of a deciding factor. Lighter to install, not a big deal at all. Better clearance by a few inches. A really clean undercarriage providing a an opportunity to get tanks in somewhere better, maybe.. . Overall I'll stick these in the possible file.

Timbren Axle-Less Trailer Suspension System - Straight Spindle Only - 3,500 lbs Timbren Trailer Suspension ASR3500S05
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:36 PM   #25
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1957 30' Sovereign of the Road
1959 28' Ambassador
1949 24' Limited
Peru , New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truckasaurus View Post
I was reading up on axle-less axles; which would really only work with a substantially altered frame design and noticed VintageTrailerSupplies had a blog which I'd never noticed before. Not much to read but I saw an article by Wally about axles which might be interesting to some here.

Vintage Trailer Supply Insider: Dura-Torque Torsion Axle

I'm not seeing much to gain from axle-less axles really. Yes they are truly independent unlike most torsion axles which are just "nearly independent", but that's a tiny point that's pretty much irrelevant I think. They may be quite a bit lighter but how much extra weight would the frame need to compensate for the lack of axle? On a new 6' frame possibly very little so I could save a 150 lbs. They look pretty cool to me but that's not much of a deciding factor. Lighter to install, not a big deal at all. Better clearance by a few inches. A really clean undercarriage providing a an opportunity to get tanks in somewhere better, maybe.. . Overall I'll stick these in the possible file.

Timbren Axle-Less Trailer Suspension System - Straight Spindle Only - 3,500 lbs Timbren Trailer Suspension ASR3500S05
Axle-Less Suspension System............Interesting concept, however the problem is that 1) it is quite a bit more difficult to align two separate axle spindle assemblies than one axle assembly alone, unless you use the optional square tube to connect the two together, but then you lose the ground clearance advantage, 2) you can't get load ratings in 100 lb increments, so you may end up too heavy for your trailer, 3) the weight of the two assemblies + the cross tube is more than a torsion axle assembly, 4) a pair of these assemblies cost more than a "bare beam" torsion axle, in fact they cost more than a torsion axle that includes brakes.
I don't see any benefits.
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