I hurt. Trailer has taken us 7 rounds but we are winning.
Didnt' really have to bad of a time setting it on. Despite my under cutting the the radius of the corners a little had a slight fight but not bad. Ended up having a little extra help and Three of us working sure made the job eaiser.
Trick is to have a couple people with a putty knife on the outside as the shell is being lower to make sure that it doesn't hang on the U-track or belly pan. The body was light enough that we only had to be close. I had the side to side placement off by a couple inches. It was no problem for me by myself to scoot it over.
One of the things I did was to use only screws on the corners for the U-track. No bolts on the raius at all. This was planned and I used 3 times the amout of screws Airstream did. I had the track out just a hair too far. I was able to lower the body to the correct location but it cause a ripple in the radius of the side pannel on the end section. Took the screws loose and with a little "ped percussive adjustment" (I sat on my butt and kicked and pushed the bottom edge of the shell with my heal
) I was able to shift the u-track in some. Lined right up after that and the ripple disappeared.
I warmed up my puzzler and thought about how Airstream assembles these trailers. From photos I have seen of assembly and what I noted when I dissassemble our coach I figured a few things out. What became apparent as I lined everything up is the ends are attached FIRST. The side pannels are definattly the last thing attached.
Need to remeber that the body is as much of the strength as the frame. Once I sat the body down, before I put the first rivet in, I noted that the ends were still a good 3/4-1 1/4 of an inch from being in the proper place when all the ribs where on the floor. What I did is jacked up the bumper till I caused the frame to bow slightly down in the center. I jacked till the end walls were at the correct posisition (about 7 inches). This lifted all the ribs about 1/2 inch up. That's fine because you need to put tension on the end walls to suport the tail.
Once I had both ends where I wanted them I installed all the rivets. I did have to lift the front corners some. Did not seem to be an issue with the U-Track out to far. Looked like the deck had a little sag and possibly a little issue with the frame not being true. Once the corners were up into posisition everthing lined up. I installed the rivets half way around the radius of the corners and stopped.
I then removed the braced holding the front corners up and lowered the jack on the bumper till I cut the distance that the ribs were up off the floor down to about a 1/4 of an inch. Finish riveting the Radius and 1/4-2/3 of the distance to the first rib. I then Lowered the bumper till all the end ribs just made contact to the floor. I still was holding up the bumper by 3-4 inches or so. I then Riveted to the first rib on both ends. At that point lowered the jack till all the ribs made contact to the floor.
Now one thing of note is I had a couple ribs that were a little short from the word go. On those ribs I lowered till the holes from the original rivets through the U-track were lined up. Those sat about a 1/4 inch off the floor. Just the way it came.
When I Valkemed the perimiter I did it from the inside by using a putty knife to lean the u-track back enough to get the nozel wedged in. I also put the caulk in before the body had been lowered the last 1/2 inch. That worked well and almost no Valkem squeezed out the bottom seam but I did have some come out the rivet holes. That let me know I had a good seal.
Should have a couple pictures to add in the next day or so. We were hussling and didn't take as many pictures as we had planned. We were on a fight against the clock. and didn't get the finished riveting to the first rib and Midnight (boy our neighbors love us!).
Even with the rivets down the side wall not installed you can tell a BIG difference in the structure. It's much more solid feel as you walk accross the floor. Before I took the first rivet out the whole body had a shudder due to all the rotten areas in the floor. Really made all the work worth it to see how well it all worked out and how solid the coach now feels.