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Old 01-25-2012, 06:57 PM   #1
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1978 28' Ambassador
Byfield , Massachusetts
Join Date: Nov 2011
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Gap between floor & frame at the rear end

Hi there,

as we are gutting our 1978 Ambassador we came across the following issue. We already are planning on replacing the floor since there is some floor root due to a busted water line in the back.

However at the very end of the trailer there seems to be a gap of about 1/4 to 1/2 inch between the floor and the main frame members (see pictures)?

Even weirder is the fact that the wires of the tank gauge run between this gap!?

So is this considered normal? Or could we have some structural issues elsewhere, which could cause the frame to sag at the back? We heard of some tail sag issues in the 70s era.

Any thoughts are welcome!



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Old 01-27-2012, 09:47 PM   #2
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1991 34' Limited
Wichita , Kansas
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This is something that happens all too often with the Airstream trailers, but I could never consider it normal. I'm learning about some of these perils myself. You've done the right thing to start a thread as other folks can help you in this journey. I'd do a search on rear seperation (see Airstream Forums - Search Results). Again, there will be a lot of threads on this issue.

I'll be checking in on you from time to time.

All my best,

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Old 01-27-2012, 10:59 PM   #3
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1977 31' Excella 500
West Sacramento , California
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It doesn't look like separation to me. The plywood in the rear looks good and not rotted from moisture.The rust does not seem severe either given the trailer is outside 24/7 for 34 years.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:44 PM   #4
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1978 28' Ambassador
Byfield , Massachusetts
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 23
Images: 7
Thanks for your insight guys. I guess we won't be able to tell a 100% till all we completely expose the frame.

I hope the frame is not to beat up. Some outriggers definitly need to be replaced.

Anyway, Can't wait till spring, so we can get going with full speed again

Thanks again!
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:09 PM   #5
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1991 34' Excella
1963 26' Overlander
1961 26' Overlander
Central , Mississippi
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That does seem to be a bit odd...but...keep in mind that all of these things are 'hand'built and on that particular day, someone may have been having a bad day...and routed the wires in an odd way.
My '77 Ambassador was very well evidence of an undersized frame and no problems of the well publicized '70's stink' mind thought.

I'm betting you are in pretty good shape...
Hi Ho Silver RV! Vernon, Sarah, Mac the Border Collie(RIP) -
A honkin' long 34' named AlumaTherapy
and a 26' '63 Overlander, Dolly
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:02 PM   #6
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1978 28' Ambassador
Byfield , Massachusetts
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 23
Images: 7
You are right HiHoAgRV

Handmade can be a good and a not so good thing.

Besides that, the more I think about it, I think the last owner mentioned something about switching out the tanks or even putting a new one in. Maybe that is when those wires got "rerouted".

In any case we seem to be in alright shape, I don't assume to find a broken or cracked frame somewhere. It looks like it is in pretty good shape from where I can see it now.

We are still looking forward to renovating our Airstream, it's simply part of the journey
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:09 PM   #7
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1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
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Estancia , New Mexico
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Other than the weird wire thing I would say you have rear end separation. Get a heavywieght to bounce up on the bumper. If the bumper bounces and the body does not I think you got it. The good thing is the cure is a new floor, which you are doing anyway.
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
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motor scooter, floor repair, frame repair

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