Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-06-2017, 12:17 PM   #1
Flp
Silver Sausage
 
Flp's Avatar
 
1973 31' Sovereign
Key West , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 27
Frame/floor replacement '73 Sovereign

Working my way through the front-end frame repair and am hitting a few hurtles I'm sure someone here has come across. Backstory on the project, we've had the Silver Sausage for 6 years and I'm finally getting into the resto. Because of our limited space and storage (life in Key West) I am repairing the bones (frame/floor) in quarters. The front 1/4 was the reason for the teardown as the curbside front 6 feet of frame rail was completely disintegrated. I demoed the floor and decided to leave the front tied into the steel plate. I've replaced the frame rail with 5x2" tube and have outriggers and the second crossmember from out of doors mart going back in.

Question 1: Is there a supplier of the forward most crossmember that the spare tire holder attaches to? We are limited with steel suppliers locally and the only option besides shopping online would be to use either 1/8" or 1/4" plate with angle welded top and bottom for flooring and bellypan. Any recommendations?

Questions 2: The outriggers that arrived from out of doors mart are 10.5" but originals are 11". Did I goof on the order? I couldnt see the 11" available. I'm thinking of just extending the outriggers (while reinforcing) the extra 1/2 inch.

Question 3: I noticed the door frame is outta wack (as it was after the frame failed) and now there are waves in the skin on either side of the door. I'm hoping these will fix themselves once I install the subfloor but not sure how that'll happen. Anyone else had the doorway bow out?
Thanks for any insight you all may have. I'll try to attach photos.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0090.jpg
Views:	174
Size:	450.1 KB
ID:	277740   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0093.jpg
Views:	140
Size:	229.1 KB
ID:	277741  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_8480.jpg
Views:	147
Size:	331.6 KB
ID:	277742   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_8537.jpg
Views:	136
Size:	257.5 KB
ID:	277743  

Flp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2017, 09:16 PM   #2
2 Rivet Member
 
1974 31' Excella 500
Chicago , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 59
Oh Man! Congrats on the restore. Its a ton of work, but I've had a blast thus far brushing up on my "bro skills".

So I'm working on a 1975 30 ft excella. Thing was a complete beater when I picked it up. Similar you, I had to cut off the rear frame and rebuild it from scratch. The frame was in terrible shape and like what you're explaining, I also had some bowing in the rear that was defined as "rear sag" and also "rear separation". Up to that point I hadn't done that much in the way of welding, so I was a little intimidated.

Anyways, in regards to the sag, I wouldn't worry too much about it the shell is for the most part flexible. The important thing that you'll want to be sure of is that the top of frame rails, cross members, and outriggers are true and square from one contact point to the other.

Instead of purchasing the cross members and outriggers I cut mine out of 2x5 steel tube. I did end up purchasing a plasma cutter, but in the end it was much cheaper, and I got a free plasma cutter and a new skill out of the deal. For a backyard diyer I purchased a lotos ltp5000d plasma cutter for about $400. The thing is amazing, and by far my favorite tool. Satisfied all of my needs and my outriggers are much stronger than the original. A little added weight, but totally worth the additional durability.

One thing I would note is that on the front you might want to consider two pieces of angle to place at the meeting point from one side of the floor to the other if you're using two pieces of floor joined in the center of the trailer. Basically, you'll screw down your floor through the angle. 1 angle piece welded in on each side to create a 'T' shape for boards on either side of the trailer.

Hope that helps!
raphspeaks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2017, 09:23 PM   #3
2 Rivet Member
 
1974 31' Excella 500
Chicago , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 59
Q1. If you can make it, do it
Q2. Make it. Its pretty easy. Make a template out of an old outrigger and cut away.
Q3. Should be good. Once the channel and floor meet the frame and are secured using teks and bolts through the outrigger.
raphspeaks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2017, 10:11 PM   #4
Flp
Silver Sausage
 
Flp's Avatar
 
1973 31' Sovereign
Key West , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 27
Progress

Thanks Raphspeaks.
Ended up finding a piece of 4" channel that is way overkill I'm sure but fit Id rather err on the strong side. Plus there is plenty of surface to screw the floor to. Although a plasma cutter is on the list, I'd be in big trouble if I bought another tool at this point.
Since I already had the outriggers i just lengthened and reinforced them. All and all progress is being made. Just gotta keep goin.
Flp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2017, 10:14 PM   #5
Flp
Silver Sausage
 
Flp's Avatar
 
1973 31' Sovereign
Key West , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 27
Pic of channel

Front end framework done.
Flp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2017, 07:20 PM   #6
3 Rivet Member
 
Tbeck11931's Avatar
 
1990 34' Limited
2013 27' FB International
Conroe , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 207
I bet it's difficult to find the metal you need way down south.
I will be in need of a plasma cutter myself soon. I do have a mig welder that I'll be putting to use.
Did you opt out of doing a shell off restoration? I plan to lift my shell off and roll the frame out. Much easier to work on since I have work to do front to back.
Thomas
Tbeck11931 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2017, 09:00 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member
 
1974 31' Excella 500
Chicago , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 59
@Tbeck11931 - I probably should have done a shell off, but I didn't have the time or the space.

That little plasma cutter works wonders! Requires compressed air. Highly recommended.
raphspeaks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2017, 11:43 AM   #8
Flp
Silver Sausage
 
Flp's Avatar
 
1973 31' Sovereign
Key West , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 27
Shell on....sort of

@Tbeck11931 I also have space and time constraints so I am not doing a shell off. One problem we are finding the further we get into it is that the shell has fallen off the frame anyway. Partly floor rot, partly outrigger failure, mostly neglected repairs. The curbside shell before and over the wheel well has sagged about two inches so I'll be jacking up the shell just to repair/replace more outriggers and expected frame rot soon. My last attempt at attaching photos failed, I'll try again.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0141.jpg
Views:	104
Size:	242.3 KB
ID:	278163   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0130.jpg
Views:	101
Size:	259.9 KB
ID:	278164  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0123.jpg
Views:	97
Size:	258.8 KB
ID:	278165  
Flp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2017, 12:38 PM   #9
2 Rivet Member
 
1974 31' Excella 500
Chicago , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 59
Wow, Thats pretty wild! All of your outriggers curbside near the wheels must have failed. Which seems like those are the least likely to fail.

I don't think I've seen a trailer where its sagging in the middle like that.

How do the cross members near that sag area look?

I think in the end you're going to wish you took the plasma cutter route. The cost to purchase the outrigger vs making them will be much lower at the end of the day especially on a 30ft'r. So those who read this post to prep for their airstream renovation take note and look for a plasma cutter

Where do you plan to jack? Be careful you don't want a buckle. I'd use on jack with a perpendicular board to spread the load on each side of the outrigger.

Good luck! Looking forward to following your progress.

Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
raphspeaks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2017, 09:51 AM   #10
Flp
Silver Sausage
 
Flp's Avatar
 
1973 31' Sovereign
Key West , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by raphspeaks View Post
Wow, Thats pretty wild! All of your outriggers curbside near the wheels must have failed. Which seems like those are the least likely to fail.

I don't think I've seen a trailer where its sagging in the middle like that.

How do the cross members near that sag area look?

I think in the end you're going to wish you took the plasma cutter route. The cost to purchase the outrigger vs making them will be much lower at the end of the day especially on a 30ft'r. So those who read this post to prep for their airstream renovation take note and look for a plasma cutter

Where do you plan to jack? Be careful you don't want a buckle. I'd use on jack with a perpendicular board to spread the load on each side of the outrigger.

Good luck! Looking forward to following your progress.

Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
The outrigger in front (and possibly rear of) the wheels is snapped off. This is most likely to wheel balance issues, or so I've read. Looks like the middle outrigger is solid however the floor is sponge and has compressed along with the aluminum channel above the OR.
I do wish I had a different location/situation for the project but basically boon docking and all tools and power is brought an hour up from key west every time i need to do the work. Still can't swing the plasma cutter but would definitely suggest to those that can to follow your advice.
I will try to support and jack up as you mentioned between the outriggers. After removing the floor, I'm also going to try to jack from the frame to the ceiling with a board lengthwise forward-aft to disperse the load. Im anxious to see what the frame looks like around the H2O tank and over the wheels...
Flp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2017, 08:48 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
sgschwend's Avatar
 
1986 25' Sovereign
2008 F350, 6.4L diesel , Oak Harbor, WA
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 605
Images: 13
If you have a section of frame with large holes or failed vertical sections then I recommend you sister a flat steel part over that area to take up the load.

I would use material that is a bit thicker. Purchase a 21' long length of a width about one inch under the total height and then cut the length you need. Stitch weld in place.
sgschwend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2017, 10:08 AM   #12
Flp
Silver Sausage
 
Flp's Avatar
 
1973 31' Sovereign
Key West , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgschwend View Post
If you have a section of frame with large holes or failed vertical sections then I recommend you sister a flat steel part over that area to take up the load.

I would use material that is a bit thicker. Purchase a 21' long length of a width about one inch under the total height and then cut the length you need. Stitch weld in place.
It looks like the PO did just that. It looks like they either didnt account for the sag or it also bent after the fix but I am thinking it may need more reinforcement now. I think he used 1/4 in plate for it. I'll attach photos. Headed back up today to finish the reared gutting and belly pan removal. Expecting to see lots more damage considering what I've found.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0190.jpg
Views:	107
Size:	327.2 KB
ID:	278360   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0201.jpg
Views:	141
Size:	334.7 KB
ID:	278361  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0200.jpg
Views:	96
Size:	260.7 KB
ID:	278362   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0195.jpg
Views:	114
Size:	268.7 KB
ID:	278363  

Flp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2017, 10:19 AM   #13
2 Rivet Member
 
1974 31' Excella 500
Chicago , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 59
If you have the time and the tools, I'd just cut out those old cross members ans put in new ones.

That crack in the main frame channel is an easy fix. Jack up to the point where the channel is true to a straight edge weld then add a plate to the inside. On the plate I would drill a few tack holes just to get better adhesion to the inner channel.

Our frames are on par in terms of condition. A frustrating experience, but definitely worth the work.

Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
raphspeaks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2017, 12:20 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
sgschwend's Avatar
 
1986 25' Sovereign
2008 F350, 6.4L diesel , Oak Harbor, WA
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 605
Images: 13
Stitch welding is important too. Your photos show it was not done correctly. Too much weld can cause the frame to bend towards the welded side. Something like a 1" wide stitch and a 5" gap to the next stitch.

Also 1/4" is too thick, check the original it will be a lot less. I would go no more than one size over the original thickness (.187 is plenty).
sgschwend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2017, 07:17 PM   #15
Flp
Silver Sausage
 
Flp's Avatar
 
1973 31' Sovereign
Key West , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 27
But wait, there's more. I found a few more sheered off outriggers. Front and rear of axels, both sides.The undercarriage is the scary part. I'll attach photos of the wavy plate that is holding the axels probably on a wing and a prayer. I think I'll have to cut the plates off of the frame but I'm not sure how that'll work. Maybe just cutting the whole section of frame and replacing it with 2x5 tube and making a new 1/8 or is it 1/4 plate to weld to the tubes that'll hold the axles. Man, seems like I can't catch a break.
Anyone been here as far as the axle plates?



@sgschwend, thanks for stitch weld advice. I'll keep the steel at a more reasonable thickness.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0230.jpg
Views:	98
Size:	304.0 KB
ID:	278372   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0241.jpg
Views:	117
Size:	355.7 KB
ID:	278373  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0235.jpg
Views:	96
Size:	257.0 KB
ID:	278374  
Flp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2017, 11:46 AM   #16
Flp
Silver Sausage
 
Flp's Avatar
 
1973 31' Sovereign
Key West , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 27
Well...shell-off will be. Gantry bracing question.

Due to the amount of welding that I'll have to do it looks like it'll be a frame off.
I'm leaning towards building gantries but wanted to ask a couple questions first.
If I don't remove the upper interior skins (leave all but the lowest) do I. We'd to brace the interior for when I set it down?
Also, I understand the gantry but what about the 4x4 that the hoists attatch to, how long is this? For my 31 it seems that it would have to be over 20ft long!?! Would two shorter 4x4s independent of each other work or would the stresses in the middle be too much?
__________________
'73 31ft Sovereign
Post hurricane Irma rebuild from the tires up.
...helping me become a professional welder.
Flp is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bracing, frame, frame repair, gantry, outrigger, sovereign


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
Floor Replacement & part of the frame Angel73 Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame 6 05-23-2006 09:57 AM
Floor Replacement - Frame Weld pinkflamingoes Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame 9 01-04-2006 08:54 PM
Price for floor replacement and frame repair 68Glbtrotter Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame 35 12-07-2005 12:28 AM
Shell-on, frame repair/floor replacement all at once?? pinkflamingoes Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame 12 09-13-2004 06:11 PM


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 05:49 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.