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Old 10-14-2010, 02:30 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
2013 25' Flying Cloud
san mateo , California
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 72
framing issues on vintage airstreams

have a 73 sovereign and was told that there's a known framing issue w/ vintage airstreams...something about frame these a known issue? was told that it will cost 37 hundred to here thought aitstreams were manufactures to last?
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:22 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,177
Welcome to the forums.
There is a weak area across the rear of pretty much all of the old ones. It hurts less if you find this out before you buy, but not many do.
I fixed mine with my own labor and about $50.00 worth of parts from my local hardware store. You will have to decide if you can tackle it or not.
Airstreams were not really manufactured to last, they were made out of a long-lasting exterior material. The frames are weak and they rust through quite often, and the floors are plywood, and usually the first thing to go bad.
Now how many 50 year old travel trailers do you see on the road that are made by any other manufacturer? Airstreams are just too cool for school, thats why there are so many out there still. We fall in love with them, take them home, and fix them!

Rich the Viking
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Old 10-14-2010, 04:10 PM   #3
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,785
Rear end separation is a known Airstream "fault", and is more prevalent in longer A.S.'s with rear bathrooms. Some were fixed previously with a less than stellar solution, as ours was, but now it's FIXED! Not difficult but takes some investigation on the forums with different ways to do it and some labor to get everything level and fastened together correctly again.
Our problem was that the rear floor had rotted out. The trailer is put together bottom up: frame, floor, C-channel and trailer walls on top of the floor. The floor being plywood, rots due to a couple of other inherent problems such as not waterproofing correctly when originally built, or lack of maintenance over many years. The solution for us was to replace the rotted floor, and beef up the connection between the rear frame and shell of the trailer. We used angle aluminum to do this along the rear C-channel. It's very solid now. It was not expensive in materials but took a little time and finnesing. We also gutted our trailer so we had very good access to all of the problem areas to fix. If you can do the work yourself, you can save yourself a bundle!

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