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Old 08-27-2016, 09:35 AM   #1
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1972 27' Overlander
nola , Louisiana
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 6
Should i lift the shell or not lift the shell..

Hi there guys! I'm in the process of renovating a 1972 27 ft Overlander and pretty much all the way. It's gutted completely belly pan / banana wraps dropped windows out and yeah pretty much just the bones. I don't know how I didn't notice this when we purchased our AS but the rear C channel is broken in spots and it actually goes under the shell and outside at a point. now I already have gantries built and ready to go just in case I do lift off but is it necessary to do so to fix this problem? I couldn't find threads on this problem. I appreciate any feedback. here some pics of the problem
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Old 08-27-2016, 09:47 AM   #2
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1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
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Benton , Arkansas
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My 72 was the same way.

I did not lift the shell because the rest of the shell and frame was in good shape.

You can remove the rear section of c-channel without pulling the shell once you get the plywood under the channel out.

My black tank had leaked onto my frame for a long time causing a couple of rust outs at the front corners of where the tank sat.

I replaced the last four feet of frame and replaced the rear c-channel without removing the shell.


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Old 08-27-2016, 09:53 AM   #3
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1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
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Benton , Arkansas
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Should you?

That is a you and your trailer question.

If the frame is good, and most of your plywood is in tact, if the trailer were mine I would strongly consider NOT pulling the shell. That will get you camping faster.

Time was a real consideration in my build because I needed to be camping (and was camping) 120 days after purchase.


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Old 08-27-2016, 10:13 AM   #4
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1972 27' Overlander
nola , Louisiana
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Well we had leaks in most windows vents and ac so lets say 95% of floor was bad and pulled out but the front and rear have only what wood is left under the channels. Our frame is in good condition will only minor welding needing to be done and we are adding additional support. I'm in no real rush honestly although I would like to be done in a years time.
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Old 08-27-2016, 10:56 AM   #5
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1972 31' Sovereign
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If you have to replace the entire floor, you might consider shell off, although it is not a requirement.

My floor was better than 75% good.


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Old 08-27-2016, 12:48 PM   #6
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1980 24' Caravelle
Pocatello , Idaho
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Question Frame Rebuild

I would remove the shell and do it right. I just finished a total rebuild of a 1980 24' Caravelle. The 1st step is to rebuild the frame, stabilize, prime, and finish with Por15. Clean and repair the bottom aluminum channel. Cut the plywood floor and coat with marine epoxy resin both sides and install. Then replace the shell. Takes time but it will last. It's your project so it is up to you.
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Old 08-27-2016, 12:56 PM   #7
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1969 18' Caravel
Deer Harbor , Washington
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I am 12 months into a shell off complete rebuild of a 1969 Caravel. A lot of the work on the frame is much easier with the shell off. If you use 3 chain hoists it is also easy to flip the frame for detail work, running lights wiring, new axel, insulation, new pan and jacks. I am now working on the inside and paneling it in cherry plywood (a challenge on the compound corners, but doable). I am open to talk but don't know how to share phone numbers.
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Old 08-27-2016, 09:03 PM   #8
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1972 27' Overlander
nola , Louisiana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Proks View Post
I would remove the shell and do it right. I just finished a total rebuild of a 1980 24' Caravelle. The 1st step is to rebuild the frame, stabilize, prime, and finish with Por15. Clean and repair the bottom aluminum channel. Cut the plywood floor and coat with marine epoxy resin both sides and install. Then replace the shell. Takes time but it will last. It's your project so it is up to you.


how long did it take for your rebuild? also when you lifted your shell how did you go about bracing your shell on the inside?
thanks for the reply!!!
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Old 08-29-2016, 08:41 PM   #9
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1967 22' Safari
Fort Collins , Colorado
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I'm new to all this and I have a similar question. I have to replace my entire subfloor. I'm sure I have some rust as the A/C and rear window have been leaking for some time. I am a perfectionist and want to take the shell off for the easier detailed work I can accomplish. I'm ready to take the shell off but the sides wrap up under the belly by a foot or so. Do I cut them off or bend them down. Also, I need a really good video or tutorial on how to take the shell off. Any help is more than appreciated.
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Old 08-31-2016, 01:11 PM   #10
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1971 27' Overlander
Jackson , Tennessee
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I finished a redo of my trailer including rebuilding rear 4ft of floor and frame, sealing off the rear, adding grey tanks and plumbing, replacing insulation, replacing belly pan, replacing LP copper tubing, and replacing axles. I did it all flat on my back on a tarp in the back yard, crawling in and out for every forgotten screw and rivet. I started 4 years ago when I was 52. I am now 105.

I would recommend a shell-off.

Have fun,
Alan
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Old 09-01-2016, 12:04 PM   #11
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1972 27' Overlander
nola , Louisiana
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it took me a minute to realize how the age gap happened but made me laugh when it hit me ( little slow this morning ). I do believe i will be doing a shell off, to do everything right and save my back a few years. my only worry is bracing this big girl but i know i can get her up and back down. thanks for the response!
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Old 09-01-2016, 12:20 PM   #12
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Superior , Colorado
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Prettybrent
The bracing is not too complicated. I have a 33' streamline in the air right now. I braced it in a few places and cross braced to keep it from racking. No drama.
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Old 09-01-2016, 01:00 PM   #13
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1973 23' Safari
1970 27' Overlander
Boerne , Texas
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I did a complete subfloor replacement, some welding on the frame. I put the new subfloor back in in full sheets - all without taking the shell off. Not a problem for me. I would do it that way again.
Greg
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Old 09-01-2016, 01:11 PM   #14
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1973 23' Safari
1970 27' Overlander
Boerne , Texas
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I did a complete subfloor replacement, some welding on the frame. I put the new subfloor back in in full sheets - all without taking the shell off. Not a problem for me. I would do it that way again.
Greg
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Old 09-01-2016, 01:38 PM   #15
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1972 27' Overlander
Denver , North Carolina
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Your C channel is actually in pretty fair shape. My PO actually used Chicken wire and lots of silicone to patch mine. I did the rear without removing the shell.


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Old 09-01-2016, 02:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg1410 View Post
I did a complete subfloor replacement, some welding on the frame. I put the new subfloor back in in full sheets - all without taking the shell off. Not a problem for me. I would do it that way again.
Greg
Clearly, Greg1410 is a Dark Wizard.

But very often I have wondered why I took the top off.......
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Old 09-02-2016, 09:19 PM   #17
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1970 23' Safari
Denton , Texas
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+1 for doing it right. It takes longer, but if you like the thought of "lasts a lifetime," or "for the grandkids," then your frame of mind is frame off! http://airstreamdiary.com/why-do-a-full-monty/
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Old 09-03-2016, 12:18 PM   #18
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1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
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Should i lift the shell or not lift the shell..

Doing it right all has to do with condition, and there is something to be desired about counting the days from purchase to camping rather than years from purchase to camping.

Make a project too big, bigger than it needs to be, and often the project never makes it out of project stage.

Seen that, and done that.


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Old 09-03-2016, 12:20 PM   #19
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1980 24' Caravelle
Pocatello , Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prettybrent View Post
how long did it take for your rebuild? also when you lifted your shell how did you go about bracing your shell on the inside?
thanks for the reply!!!
If I condense the time into months it would be about 40hr.s per week for 10 months. I made every thing from scratch. Made all of my cabinet frames, booth
seats, folding bed and shower stall from aluminum and powder coated them then covered them with baltic birch plywood. Took a lot of time but it came out nice.

As far as the shell goes I put the entire unit on 4 steel horses removed the axels, jacked the shell above the frame clamped spreaders across the bottom then stabilized it and then I did the frame work right in place. I then cut the plywood coated it and screwed it onto the frame. Then removed the spreaders and dropped the shell back onto the floor. It worked out well. I have a large shop with a bridge crane but I only used the crane to put the entire unit on the horses then did the rest of the job using jacks. Go to 1980 Caravelle to see frame shots.
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Old 09-04-2016, 11:13 AM   #20
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1992 29' Excella
seattle , Washington
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I can totally relate

Have spent almost the last month trying to decide whether or not the frame in our 1978 Sovereign 31' has a viable frame. My husband and I have been around and around discussing our options since we have a goal to get on the road at the end of the year. Replace the sub floor? Shell off? Leave as is and just roll with it? etc. It's exhausting and almost cost us our marriage. (well, we're both pretty stubborn

Finally, my father in law had the brilliant idea to just cut open a few sections and take a look, so I did that and found there was a bit of rust, but not catastrophic like we thought. Yes, the back 6" of frame is in pretty bad shape, but totally repairable. My husband is still not convinced, but remember I am stubborn.

Right now, we're having a race...I'm scrapping together a punk rock welder, a bike polo turned contractor, and all my years of experience to try to pull this trailer together. Of course, the weather has just turned to fall and we do not have a covered area to work. Meanwhile, my husband is still searching for a replacement trailer. Whomever gets a trailer on the road at the end of the year wins. Despite the fact that every single person I have talked to says I will throw my hands up in the air, they have no idea who I am and what I am capable of, and how I am not afraid of a little (or quite a lot) of grueling hard work completely out of my comfort zone.
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