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Old 03-07-2009, 11:46 AM   #1
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1971 25' Tradewind
whitehouse , Texas
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Angry please HELP - what have I gotten in to?

always wanted airstream found a 1971 land yachat bought on the way home noticed bumper sagging tied up with rachet strap after getting home pulled the rear bumper to find frame rotted what have i gotten myself into please any help what do i have to do to repair thanks
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:13 PM   #2
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First, since you have just bought it, was there any disclosure of anything wrong with it from the seller? Did you pay too much for it to be a major project trailer? If the previous owner sold it to you as a ready to use unit I would bring it back to them immediatly and ask for a refund, or determine the extent of the damage and ask for a discount based on what you find. That's only if you want to do the repairs.
If you have no recourse with the seller you should go to the frame repair section in the forums and read about what it will take to fix it. Keep in mind that if you have frame rot you will have numerous other issues to deal with as well. It will almost certainly mean gutting the trailer, removing the floor, and inspecting and repairing the frame.
If that's not your bag, and for some folks it just isn't, then you should pass this one on(please, with full disclosure to the buyer) to someone who can take it on and fix it.
Alternativly, it could be used as a guest room or really big yard art, or parted out to recover some or all of your losses. Just don't stick some other unsuspecting soul with the same problem you just got. It's bad for the karma.
Best of luck to you, Rich

I forgot, Welcome to the forums! It's good to have you here.
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:27 PM   #3
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Many older Airstreams have "frame issues." And many folks on this forum have resolved them... though it is not necessarily easy or inexpensive. My first suggestion is to take digital pictures of everything you can see and post them where folks can see them. The experts here will have an easier time helping you if they can see what's going on. This probably means cutting out some rotten sections of floor and, potentially, dropping the belly pan.

Even with all of the sage advise, you'll need to make a decision. Do you have the time, resources, dedication and interest to make the trailer "right" or not. Frankly, unless you buy someone else's renovated or restored Airstream, you are going to have some work on your hands. Most 30 to 40 year old travel trailers (even Airstreams) are simply not ready to hitch up and go camping.

Owning an Airstream is like owning a ranch or farm... it's a great dream and then you find yourself sitting in an icy creek bottom at 4 a.m. delivering a calf. (That's a story for another day.) The challenges of owning a vintage travel trailer can be daunting... but when it is a labor of love, it can also be very rewarding. It is like I have told my wife and daughters (much to their annoyance over the years). The idea of something is often quite different than the reality of it.

If you decide to push forward, you'll find tons of help here. Understand, though, that issues like frame work are a bit more technical (e.g., welding crossmembers) than many other renovation issues. A proper evaluation (and repairs) may mean bringing in some pros. Good luck to you.
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:27 PM   #4
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Photos would help in getting the right advice. Depending on the extent of damage it may or may not be possible to repair without dropping the frame. Sounds like at a minumum you will have to peel back the belly pan. The other question is is there more frame damage you cannot see.

What do you know about this trailer's hsitory? Was it in an area with high humidity and/ or salty air? Was it exposed to road salt?
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Old 03-07-2009, 04:35 PM   #5
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Rusty Frame Pics

thanks for quick response here are some pictures of damage so far the owner told me he bought the trailer 10 years ago replaced the floor and took it to a deer lease in ark. and parked it there until now
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Old 03-07-2009, 04:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fat&lazy View Post
thanks for quick response here are some pictures of damage so far the owner told me he bought the trailer 10 years ago replaced the floor and took it to a deer lease in ark. and parked it there until now
If you do not want a "patch job", which at best would more than likely be short lived, then I would suggest that you gut the interior, remove the shell, and overhaul as necessary the frame, "BIG TIME".

It's not as difficult to do as it sounds.

The shell supports the chassis, or in this case, what's left of it, which based on your photo's is in very bad shape.

If you do not want to get involved with a project such as that, then I would suggest that you disposed of that trailer, in any reasonable manner that you can, and as soon as you can.

If the previous owner allowed the trailer to deteriorate that bad, then more than likely, the axles are shot, as well as probably the wheels are as rusty as the chassis.

Andy
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Old 03-07-2009, 05:02 PM   #7
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Boy oH Boy, I don't envy you. We have just finsihed doing what you're gonna have to do. If the floor stringer is rotted then you probably will have to remove the entire belly pan to see how far back the rot goes. Ours had 3 rotted stringers , 4 rotted outriggers and part of the frame on the curb side. And that was just in the back the front was a whole other story.

We gutted ours to replace them. If you see my thread under the Tradewinds section you can see how we replaced them. Hope you know how to weld!

Come here and ask questions the knowledge of these people is tremendous.

Annette
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Old 03-07-2009, 06:04 PM   #8
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yep- nothing a little new steel, a welder, and some new plywood can't fix, sort of par for the course for a 38-year old travel trailer. Have fun with it- tim
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Old 03-07-2009, 06:16 PM   #9
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Nothing that I didn't find! Wasn't near as bad as i thought 3 months and 22 mexicans (jokeing) later and we are done!
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:30 PM   #10
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The frame members that you've shown in your pictures need to be replaced.

As traumatic as that might sound, as Andy from Inland RV Center points out, it's really not that bad.

It's only REALLY bad if you thought you were going to be able to camp in it with no work. But if you were ready for (and paid for) a major project, well, you have found it.

There are plenty of people on these Forums who have done what will be required to get your trailer ready to go. I am in the midst of a frame-up restoration on my 63 Overlander, with floor replacement and frame replacement too. If you're interested, feel free to check out my blog linked below in my signature.

But, if you were told this trailer was perfect and ready to go as-is, and you're not up for a major project, then you should probably seek to get your money back ASAP.

Good luck!
-Marcus
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Old 03-08-2009, 05:10 AM   #11
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I recommend Marcus' blog... a good read.
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Old 03-08-2009, 11:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utee94 View Post
The frame members that you've shown in your pictures need to be replaced.

As traumatic as that might sound, as Andy from Inland RV Center points out, it's really not that bad.

It's only REALLY bad if you thought you were going to be able to camp in it with no work. But if you were ready for (and paid for) a major project, well, you have found it.

There are plenty of people on these Forums who have done what will be required to get your trailer ready to go. I am in the midst of a frame-up restoration on my 63 Overlander, with floor replacement and frame replacement too. If you're interested, feel free to check out my blog linked below in my signature.

But, if you were told this trailer was perfect and ready to go as-is, and you're not up for a major project, then you should probably seek to get your money back ASAP.

Good luck!
-Marcus
Here's how we do it. Howie do it.

New style hub and drums, are reasonably in balance, so if you can balance just the tires and wheels, your at least fair shape.

Wheel Balancing Photos - Inland RV

"BUT" the hub and drums must come from a well known supplied and not just a knock off company.

Likewise, only major brand tires should be used.

Andy
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:24 PM   #13
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fat&lazy as you have probably found out by now this is a very serious matter. Your trailer needs major work and there is no way around it. Furthermore the cost of hiring the work done is more than the trailer is worth.

This means, you must be an experienced do it yourselfer with plenty of time and money to do the work OR do not tackle it at all. Anything you do at this point will be a major waste of time and money, short of redoing the whole trailer. If this is not feasible or desirable for you that is fine too. Try to make the seller give you back your money. If not, sell the trailer to someone who can do it justice.

Even in the condition it is in you can probably get $1000 to $2000 as a project.

It would be far better to pass it on to someone else as it is, than to dig in and tear everything up then find out it is too much.

I hope I don't offend you but this is straight talk about a serious issue. You need to go over the trailer, figure out what it needs, and make up your mind what to do before you commit.

You may well be better off to sell out for what you can get, and buy a better trailer.
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:26 PM   #14
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Others on this board who have tackled similar projects have $10,000 $15,000 or more in them plus a year or 2 of spare time work and still are not finished.
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Old 03-08-2009, 03:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganaraska View Post
Others on this board who have tackled similar projects have $10,000 $15,000 or more in them plus a year or 2 of spare time work and still are not finished.

Yep, he's right we're getting close!

Annette
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Old 03-08-2009, 03:22 PM   #16
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I do know the feeling about having to fix something like that. I intended to remodel my trailer when I bought it, but found a crack in the frame and decided to pop the shell of to do the repairs. Here's where I'm at in my project:



It's really not all that bad. I've learned a lot and doing something like this really makes it feel like "your own" so to speak.

I've invested about every weekend since late December and this is where I'm at. Once I get the frame fixed and back underneath my shell, I'm hoping that the rest of the remodel will go a little quicker, but probably not

Anyways, just wanted to share and let you know that the fix can be done. I knew practically nothing about Airstream's when I bought mine except that I wanted one! Now I'm feeling like an Airstream mechanic Have fun and certainly use the forums. They've helped me out quite a bit.
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Old 03-08-2009, 07:19 PM   #17
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Everyone has different resources—time, money, expertise and desire to tackle a major restoration project. This must feel pretty awful. You haven't gotten a lot of good news here. I have no idea what kind of laws Texas has (or wherever you bought it), but I suspect if there's a Consumer Protection Act it probably does not apply to private sales. Nonetheless, if the previous owner won't refund your money, if he assured you it was in good condition or could be camped in right away, you may have a claim for misrepresentation (easier claim to prove than fraud) or promissory estoppel (basically that you wouldn't have bought it except for his promises). We have no idea what you paid for it, so maybe it wasn't a bad deal for what you got. And it's good that you found out about this right away. Depending on how much you have into this, you may need help (lawyer) if the previous owner won't budge. I hope not.

If you have to tow it anywhere, you'd better make sure the tires are ok—10 years sitting means bad tires, wheel bearings needing repacking, possibly bad wheel bearing seals, seized up brakes. The wiring for the brake and taillights may be bad, and the wires to the brakes may also.

Some people would look at this as a challenge and an opportunity to learn everything about their new baby. I would not be one of them even though I have certainly taken on some big challenges. No shame in trying to getting out of this. Good luck!

Gene
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:20 PM   #18
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Our Guys here in WV @ Shermantic Service have done 2 now and would be happy to give estimates on doing the 3rd! We pride in quality work.
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:49 AM   #19
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Gee I hope Fat&Lazy didn't get scared off. Maybe he is just trying to regroup his thoughts on how he should fix the problems or maybe he is trying to get his many back.

Either way I hope he reports back, so we know how he made out.

Annette
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Old 03-09-2009, 07:52 AM   #20
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This is, by no means, an endorsement nor, to be taken as a recommendation for.
I found this by "Google" just as anyone else could.
So, you do have options..
1.Jackson Center, Ohio
2.Andy's InlandRV in Ca
3.Griffith R.V.

http://www.griffithrvservice.com/

Phone: 405.495.2590
E-Mail: grvs.tom@juno.com

Address: 8113 S.W. 15th
Oklahoma City, OK 73128

Directions: Exit 142 off I-40
(West part of Oklahoma City)

Turn south on Council Road
˝ mile to S.W. 15th
Turn west to Griffith R.V.

Hours: Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
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