Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-27-2010, 04:03 PM   #1
3 Rivet Member
 
1973 31' Sovereign
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 102
Images: 27
frame cracked, fixable?

Just pulled one of the brakes plates off (right rear) of my 1973 rear bath sovereign. When I bought it I thought it had a cool rear rack. (yes when it comes to older airstreams I was an idiot. I say was because I am getting way more of an education than I really wanted) Didn't take me long to figure out that the trailer had a rear end separation issue which someone had tried to fix.

We had bought this trailer, left our home, and went on the road full-time. I figured I would spend a month or so in Wisconsin at my parents house fixing what needed to be fixed (more and more as we went along).

The brakes weren't working very well. Now I have figured out that the axles are shot. I was going to put new brakes on and replace the axles when I saved up the money.

Then I found this and said oh @#$% to myself.

Is this fixable, patchable? We are supposed to leave here on October 7th.
__________________
We will soon begin traveling with our family of 5 (and a large dog) Looking forward to remodeling our Airstream, awesome adventures, and meeting new people.

www.steventothemax.com
steven2themax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2010, 05:34 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Mikethefixit's Avatar
 
1977 27' Overlander
Trotwood , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,153
Send a message via Yahoo to Mikethefixit
I don't know about Oct 7 but Id say YES FIXABLE . But you realize you will have to drop that axle that looks shot anyway. DONT PUT THOSE BACK IN unless you want the same problem all over again somewhere else.
If that break is not at the axle mounting plate I see no reason it cant be fixed.
GOOD LUCK
__________________
Roger & MaryLou
___________________
F350 CREWCAB SW LONG BED
7.3 liter Power Stroke Diesel
1977 27ft OVERLANDER
KA8LMQ
AIR # 22336 TAC- OH-7
May your roads be straight and smooth and may you always have a tailwind!
Mikethefixit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2010, 05:42 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Lumatic's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Estancia , New Mexico
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 7,593
Images: 16
Blog Entries: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikethefixit View Post
you will have to drop that axle that looks shot anyway
I'll go one better. It was probably the bad axle that cracked the frame.
__________________
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
Lumatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2010, 06:27 PM   #4
1972 Travelux Princess 25
 
Cobourg , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,059
Definitely fixable. If it was mine, I would be thinking in terms of reinforcing plates 3 to 4 feet long bolted to the frame, not welded. It is hard to be more specific without inspecting the frame myself. I would also want to get some paint on there, 2 coats of Rustoleum. You don't have to clean off all the rust, just give it a rub with a wire brush to knock off loose rust and dirt and paint it by brush.
__________________
Living in the trailer park of sense, looking out the window at a tornado of stupidity.
Ganaraska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2010, 06:29 PM   #5
3 Rivet Member
 
1973 31' Sovereign
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 102
Images: 27
So I need to drop the axles. remove the belly pan and then find someone to weld this back together. Any guesses on cost?
__________________
We will soon begin traveling with our family of 5 (and a large dog) Looking forward to remodeling our Airstream, awesome adventures, and meeting new people.

www.steventothemax.com
steven2themax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2010, 07:17 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
r carl's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Lin , Ne
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,430
Airstream used to have a reinforcing plate kit that looked slick.
r carl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2010, 07:21 PM   #7
3 Rivet Member
 
MDSilverado's Avatar
 
1977 31' Sovereign
Severna Park , Maryland
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 103
Blog Entries: 3
I just had a welder over to fix some corrosion and outriggers. Cost about 250.00 for about 5 hours work. I would the crack then add some stiffening plates if there is room. I would jack up the rear of that member to try and get it back to the original position if it has sagged before you weld. Just my two-cents!

Quote:
Originally Posted by steven2themax View Post
So I need to drop the axles. remove the belly pan and then find someone to weld this back together. Any guesses on cost?
MDSilverado is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2010, 07:41 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
silverleeper's Avatar
 
1967 22' Safari
1960 Caravel
Edmonds , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,499
Images: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by r carl View Post
Airstream used to have a reinforcing plate kit that looked slick.
I'm sure you can find these at all Airstream parts dealers. This is an example of reinforcing plate kit. The welder can probably come up with something too.

Main Frame Repair Plate 451120-01 [451120-01] - $279.95 : Out-of-Doors Mart!, More Airstream Parts on-line than anyone!
__________________
Lee

1973 F-250 4X4 390
1965 Chevy Suburban 454
AIR 6030
WBCCI 4258
TCT

silverleeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2010, 07:57 PM   #9
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,497
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by steven2themax View Post
Just pulled one of the brakes plates off (right rear) of my 1973 rear bath sovereign. When I bought it I thought it had a cool rear rack. (yes when it comes to older airstreams I was an idiot. I say was because I am getting way more of an education than I really wanted) Didn't take me long to figure out that the trailer had a rear end separation issue which someone had tried to fix.

We had bought this trailer, left our home, and went on the road full-time. I figured I would spend a month or so in Wisconsin at my parents house fixing what needed to be fixed (more and more as we went along).

The brakes weren't working very well. Now I have figured out that the axles are shot. I was going to put new brakes on and replace the axles when I saved up the money.

Then I found this and said oh @#$% to myself.

Is this fixable, patchable? We are supposed to leave here on October 7th.
Fixable? Yes indeed, if done properly.

More importantly, what was the cause.

Easy answers.

Unbalanced running gear, and/or a combo of excessive rated torsion bars and tow vehicle.

Combine that wih the possibility of bad axles, and there you have it.

Andy
__________________
Andy Rogozinski
Inland RV Center
Corona, CA
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2010, 08:19 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
1999 25' Safari
Currently Looking...
Somewhere , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 832
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post

Unbalanced running gear, and/or a combo of excessive rated torsion bars and tow vehicle.


Andy

Okay, probably a dumb question here (and, so you'll know, I'm not a blond -- no offense to any who are, but you know how guys like to kid about that) -- Andy, what do you mean by ".............a combo of excessive rated torsion bars and tow vehicle". (Especially wondering about the tow vehicle part in this.)

Thanks.

Deb
Air Cruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2010, 09:23 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
Wabbiteer's Avatar
 
1973 27' Overlander
1972 29' Ambassador
Itasca , Minnesota
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,044
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 2
"Excessive rated.. . tow vehicle" Folks buying a high load rated (3/4 ton and better) modern truck that has near zero give in the suspension when not carrying at least a good chunk of its rated payload, then add in the leverage advantage of the chassis length to the rear bumper beyond the rear axle and the trailer "A" frame ends up being snapped up and down following the hitch ball with more force than it was designed for.
__________________
The days are short and the night is long and the stars go tumbling by.. . ~Airstream~
Wabbiteer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2010, 09:50 PM   #12
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,497
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by D. Hall View Post
Okay, probably a dumb question here (and, so you'll know, I'm not a blond -- no offense to any who are, but you know how guys like to kid about that) -- Andy, what do you mean by ".............a combo of excessive rated torsion bars and tow vehicle". (Especially wondering about the tow vehicle part in this.)

Thanks.

Deb
Deb.

Relax.

Questions are never dumb.

We all learn by asking them.

It's the answers that we sometimes have to weigh.

Airstream and Argosy's must have a soft ride.

Vibration caused the cracks.

The question then becomes "what caused the vibration".

A heavy duty tow vehicle transfers road shock to the trailer.

Super heavy duty torsion bars on the load equalizing hitch, do the same thing. Add those two together and you are shaking the daylights out of the trailers.

Then, you can add to that, unbalanced running gear. The tire, wheel hub and drum assembly, should all be balanced.

If by chance you had all three negatives going, then the trailer reacted to that punishment, by having fatigue cracks in the frame. You should also probably find some damage to the shell, and furniture.

The soft ride, is not a wish, it's a "got to".

What tow vehicle do you have and what brand and rating load equalizing hitch do you have?

Plenty of verbal help is available for you.

Andy
__________________
Andy Rogozinski
Inland RV Center
Corona, CA
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 01:28 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
1999 25' Safari
Currently Looking...
Somewhere , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 832
Wellllll........we have been going 'round and 'round about this, discussing what we should do. We are in the process of buying a new TV, but can't quite settle on what it should be.

Our likes:

GMC; crew cab; 4x4; shortbed; at least a 6.2ltr engine with tow package.

What we'd like to have:

The above with a diesel and Allison transmission.

We'd like to go with a 1/2-ton, but that, we don't think, comes in the diesel/Allison trans. We may need to go with a 3/4-ton, but would rather not unless it is necessary.

We don't want to buy one thing now and find we really needed more power/strength.

We want to get the best mpg as possible. Most importantly is that we get what we need -- we don't want to max things out and not have enough power when needed to get over "that mountain".

I seriously doubt we'll go larger than a 25', but just in case, we may need to plan for an Overlander, should one jump into our lap.

Thanks for all the help.

Deb

PS -- We're trying to get this done before the end of this month so we can cash in on some of the rebates going on.
Air Cruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2010, 12:43 AM   #14
1972 Travelux Princess 25
 
Cobourg , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,059
Bolts can be stronger than welds especially on rusty metal. Have you ever inspected a car or truck frame? Some parts are welded together but many are hot riveted or bolted.
__________________
Living in the trailer park of sense, looking out the window at a tornado of stupidity.
Ganaraska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2010, 10:59 AM   #15
3 Rivet Member
 
1973 31' Sovereign
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 102
Images: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikethefixit View Post
I don't know about Oct 7 but Id say YES FIXABLE . But you realize you will have to drop that axle that looks shot anyway. DONT PUT THOSE BACK IN unless you want the same problem all over again somewhere else.
If that break is not at the axle mounting plate I see no reason it cant be fixed.
GOOD LUCK
Mikethefixit

This crack goes straight thru to the axle. is that an issue?

Steve
__________________
We will soon begin traveling with our family of 5 (and a large dog) Looking forward to remodeling our Airstream, awesome adventures, and meeting new people.

www.steventothemax.com
steven2themax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2010, 09:48 AM   #16
1972 Travelux Princess 25
 
Cobourg , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,059
Just buy the factory engineered reinforcing plates and bolt them on. Read the instructions linked from the ad. The position of the crack is not an issue in this case.

Frames crack because they are overstressed, like bending a wire back and forth back and forth until it breaks. Airstreams are built light and will not take a lot of stress. Worn out axles with no resiliance left in them, too heavy a tow vehicle, and too stiff hitch bars will pound your Airstream to pieces. Loose rivets, bent sheet metal, cracked frames are the end result of too hard use.
__________________
Living in the trailer park of sense, looking out the window at a tornado of stupidity.
Ganaraska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2010, 10:34 AM   #17
Maniacal Engineer
 
barts's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,239
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 4
From this engineer's viewpoint, likely causes (in order) are:

  1. The axles have insufficient travel to absorb road shocks; this can be because the axle's rubber suspension rods have taken a set (e.g. axles need replacing), or because the trailer was taken over rough roads at too high a speed.
  2. The original frame design is marginal and over time fatigued.
  3. Excessive mass at the front and rear of the trailer can cause higher than normal loads in the frame.
Note that a heavy tow vehicle suspension itself is unlikely to be the cause of this sort of damage; road shocks that would cause violent vertical movement of the tow vehicle's hitch would cause more problems when the trailer tires encountered them.

- Bart
__________________
Bart Smaalders
Menlo Park, CA
https://tinpickle.blogspot.com
https://smaalders.net/barts
barts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2010, 07:02 PM   #18
1972 Travelux Princess 25
 
Cobourg , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,059
Bart this garage mechanic agrees with you except for the part about the tow vehicle. A heavy tow vehicle suspension means a heavy tow vehicle, like a 1 ton dually truck. Such a vehicle will whip the Airstream around more than a light vehicle with soft springs, on big bumps and general vibration as you drive down the road. I admit this is a minor issue compared to collapsed suspension and rigid spring bars. But I have noticed that the type of owner who will not pull out of the driveway without a 1 ton dually to tow his Bambi, is also the type who believes he has to have 1200 lb spring bars when he would be better off with none at all.
__________________
Living in the trailer park of sense, looking out the window at a tornado of stupidity.
Ganaraska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2010, 08:11 PM   #19
3 Rivet Member
 
1973 31' Sovereign
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 102
Images: 27
So what's the best way to close this gap before it gets welded. I'm trying to use jacks and jack stands to get the job done.

Can I use a jack at the frame by the rear bumper?
__________________
We will soon begin traveling with our family of 5 (and a large dog) Looking forward to remodeling our Airstream, awesome adventures, and meeting new people.

www.steventothemax.com
steven2themax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2010, 11:22 PM   #20
Maniacal Engineer
 
barts's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,239
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 4
To fix this, I'd jack the trailer level using a minimum of six screw jacks: two in front of the axles, four to the rear to suspend the broken rear section. This should close up the gap to 1/16" or so; if not you may need to apply traction, welding temporary pieces to the frame to permit fitting heavy threaded rod to pull cracks closed; a come-a-long cleverly applied may also work. You may need to remove the axles before doing this; you will need to remove them to add the strengthening plates which are needed (others have mentioned the part #).

You'll want to weld the cracks closed, grind smooth, paint both sides and then fit the reinforcing plates. It will go pretty fast; like many of these sorts of things the deciding takes longer than the doing. Remember that molten metal has no strength - don't weld pieces under stress.

- Bart
__________________
Bart Smaalders
Menlo Park, CA
https://tinpickle.blogspot.com
https://smaalders.net/barts
barts is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
frame for entrance door cracked letsgo123 Exterior Storage Compartments & Access Doors 13 08-07-2008 06:45 PM
old Dometic fixable? or replace? prairieprinc Refrigerators 10 09-21-2007 04:04 PM
cracked Door frame Didgiman Doors & Locks 10 06-21-2007 12:00 PM
Door frame cracked till Doors & Locks 11 02-14-2004 07:06 AM
Cracked door frame 77caravaner Doors & Locks 5 10-11-2002 06:43 AM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:34 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.