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Old 12-17-2012, 08:33 PM   #1
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Is this tail sag?

Looking at an ad for a 1986 Airstream 31 foot, the picture shows a crease on the right side above the bumper. Is this an example of the dreaded tail sag?
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:47 PM   #2
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Someone jacked that camper up by the rear bumper at some point in its life.
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:16 AM   #3
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I have the same thing... however the streetside occurred while I was enroute... was not there as we left a campsite then was there at a field stop. I have no rot! I think a gap in the c channel allowed a bump to crush it. Very odd
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:41 AM   #4
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Damage like that is common on the longer trailers and is caused when leaving a driveway too fast and the frame skid hits the ground hard.

The frame and floor is jamed up toward the body too fast, and creases the skin.
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:49 AM   #5
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Yup! Stupid me hit the ground on my way out of a gas station. The upside of this is I now have a matching set! Symmetry is important to me, arrgh!
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:50 AM   #6
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I have thought of adding European spec reflector triangles to obscure my oops.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:33 AM   #7
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It can be a sign of floor rot due to a leak in that corner - road vibration then allows the unsupported wall to fold in. I know. Had mine fixed.

Paula
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:15 PM   #8
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It can be a sign of floor rot due to a leak in that corner - road vibration then allows the unsupported wall to fold in. I know. Had mine fixed.

Paula
That could be a "which came first, the chicken or the egg" situation, because after the panel is wrinkled, it will probably leak in that area which would cause floor rot.
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:30 PM   #9
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Jump up and down on the bumper and watch where the bumper area is attached to the body. There should be little if any independent movement. Also check the caulk line where the body joins the bumper area. Any cracks or gaps?
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:37 PM   #10
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Is there any way to fix it?
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:44 PM   #11
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Is there any way to fix it?
To fix it 100%, I believe it takes a panel replacement.
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:50 PM   #12
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If by rear end sag you mean rear end separation panel replacement does not have anything to do with it. You might replace that corner panel to fix that dent though, but it does not look necessary.

The fix is to reconnect the floor with the C channel at the bottom of the wall. Not a quick fix. There are numerous past threads on the subject.
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:22 PM   #13
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Just because that panel is dented, it does not necessarily have seperation. The dent could have and was most likely caused by exiting a driveway too fast and hitting the frame skid.
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:25 PM   #14
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If it did not have the dreaded bumper plate leak before the bottoming out event it most surely does now. Is it a rear bath or center bath? The bumper plate leak is the cause of rear end separation and rear floor and frame rot.

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Old 12-18-2012, 07:29 PM   #15
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Seems to me that moving to the next larger wheel size would help the tail drag situation some. My 15" rims and tires suck compared to a 16" rim and truck tires. One must also watch that you have room in the wheel well for your new tire.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:10 PM   #16
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Happened to me. My 34ft bottomed out on the skid plates going up an incline, I also had OSB floor rot that has since been replaced and dent was popped back out when I knocked the new pieces into the C channel on
both sides, there is a slight indention still there but nothing like before.
Not worth replacing the whole panel unless you have $$$ to spend.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:31 PM   #17
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I've been able to pretty successfully straighten and strengthen my rear corner panels without replacing them (see http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...ml#post1172246). Pappy19, you gain a little bit of height by going to 225-75R16 LT tires, but not probably more than 3/4". If your axles are saging, I'd say that you'd gain more height by going to 32 degree down axles to gain some ground clearance. I'm planning to do both this spring.

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Old 12-19-2012, 07:39 PM   #18
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0557,
I was able to strengthen and straighten out the rear corner panels pretty well without replacing them, but it was still a lot of work (see http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...ml#post1172246).

pappy19,
I think that you will gain some ground clearance by going to 225-75R16 LT tires (maybe 3/4"). But if your axles are saging, I think that you'll gain a lot more ground clearance by going to 32 degree down axles of a slightly higher rating. I'm planning to do both this spring (although I dread the expense). I need new tires because of age and I don't plan to stick with ST tires after all of the problems that they've caused in the last few years. That forces me to go to 16" wheels too. My axles are saging and tired so they need to be replaced anyweay.
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