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Old 06-20-2012, 05:05 PM   #1
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1975 31' Sovereign
Pierre , South Dakota
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What Holds The Tanks in Place?

I am in the process of welding up a new Frame for our 1975 31 ft rear bath. All the support for the black and gray tank had long rusted out. The PO had 2 pieces of angle iron wedged under the tanks for support.
So my questions are what type of frame support did airstream use ? At what frame member did tank support attach? Are the tanks and tank support structure contained within the 5 inch main frame rails? There was pieces of a sheet metal pan around the gray tank what was the purpose and do I need to fab new pans for the tanks.
thanks,
Jack
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:38 PM   #2
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 195Pilot View Post
I am in the process of welding up a new Frame for our 1975 31 ft rear bath. All the support for the black and gray tank had long rusted out. The PO had 2 pieces of angle iron wedged under the tanks for support.
So my questions are what type of frame support did airstream use ? At what frame member did tank support attach? Are the tanks and tank support structure contained within the 5 inch main frame rails? There was pieces of a sheet metal pan around the gray tank what was the purpose and do I need to fab new pans for the tanks.
thanks,
Jack
Jack,
You are in luck...if you want to call it that or I guess you could call it misery loves company.

I just dropped what was left of the frame on my rear bath 1975 and have just put together the order for the materials.

I can give you a quick verbal rundown, sketch will be Friday or Saturday.

The main tanks support frames are 1"x1"x1/8"angle, there is also a 3"x1-1/4"x3/16"x4'-10" angle that is welded along the bottom of the C-channel frame. The tanks were supported in a pair of frames that had hinges on the inboard end that allowed them to drop down. I am also going to assume that your tank boxes are missing too. I will include dimensions for those in my drawings. They are made from 26ga (I think) galvanized sheet.

I am attaching a scan from the 1975 Service Manual of what is supposed to be back there.



Aaron
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File Type: pdf 75 Tank Scan.pdf (3.33 MB, 209 views)
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:09 PM   #3
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1975 31' Sovereign
Pierre , South Dakota
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Aaron,
Thanks for the reply.I would appreciate what ever help you can give, as I have very little to go on.
So I guess I will have to make some pans to fit into the angle frames? These pans just hold everything together, compact?

thanks,
Jack
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:43 AM   #4
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Jack,

The pans/boxes have a couple of purposes. They hold the insulation against the tanks as well as hold the slope plate that tips the tanks for draining. If you check the pdf I attached against what you have you can see what you may have missing. I have pictures of the components that were on mine if you need to see them. I will also be taking pictures of the new stuff as it gets fabricated.

Aaron
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:01 AM   #5
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Wow, AS really changed things from year to year. My 77 Sovereign has one massive pan that is supported around the perimeter and center with bolts... that most were never even drilled in to the frame. The QC was lax, and most of the bolts skipped off the edge of the frame. As I rebuild I will have to re-drill the holes.. IN TO THE FRAME!

I am going to modify their design and make it swing down for easy removal in the future. My previous 72 Overlander had a bar in the front similar to what your drawing has that you could unbolt to lower the pan. Much better design.

If you have to rebuild the entire structure, make it easy on yourself for future access and make sure you design in some way for water to escape. This area is probably the most prone to rust. Good luck!

Miserable and loving company too!
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 195Pilot View Post
I am in the process of welding up a new Frame for our 1975 31 ft rear bath. All the support for the black and gray tank had long rusted out. The PO had 2 pieces of angle iron wedged under the tanks for support.
So my questions are what type of frame support did airstream use ? At what frame member did tank support attach? Are the tanks and tank support structure contained within the 5 inch main frame rails? There was pieces of a sheet metal pan around the gray tank what was the purpose and do I need to fab new pans for the tanks.
thanks,
Jack
I am sadly in the same situation the PO had removed the gray and black tanks and discarded all of the supports. I do have the tanks at least but will have to fabricate the rest. so count me in on the Misery loves company..
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:06 AM   #7
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I have the tanks, the plastic tank support with what I can only describe as cups moulded in and there was sheets of white stryofoam. The plastic tank support does not have a slope, and the tanks are flat on the bottom.
My thought s are to take angle iron, weld up supports for the tanks,hinge the supports off the front bulkhead and bolt at the rear to the frame. But how much drop do you need for the tank to drain.
Also thought about copying the design of the fresh water tank supports for the black, gray tanks.
Trying to make this simple, not redesign the trailer around the tanks.
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 195Pilot View Post
I have the tanks, the plastic tank support with what I can only describe as cups moulded in and there was sheets of white stryofoam. The plastic tank support does not have a slope, and the tanks are flat on the bottom.
My thought s are to take angle iron, weld up supports for the tanks,hinge the supports off the front bulkhead and bolt at the rear to the frame. But how much drop do you need for the tank to drain.
Also thought about copying the design of the fresh water tank supports for the black, gray tanks.
Trying to make this simple, not redesign the trailer around the tanks.
The cup looking plastic plate is the slope plate. If you look very carefully at the cups some are higher than others. They seem to slope towards the middle where the tank outlet is.

Aaron
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:10 AM   #9
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here is another dumb question. Do those tanks get covered by belly skin or are they bare?
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:33 AM   #10
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yes, the tanks are covered with a skin. I can't remember if it was alum. or galvinized sheet metal that went over the frame area. here is a thread with photos of when I had to rebuild the back half of my tank frames.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...ing-45324.html
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:39 PM   #11
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here is another dumb question. Do those tanks get covered by belly skin or are they bare?
Covered by the belly pan.

Aaron
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:02 AM   #12
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Ok my belly pan was removed (looks like it was chewed of by a giant rat) from just behind the axles when I got it, so I was not sure what it was supposed to be like under there.
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Old 07-02-2012, 01:37 PM   #13
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Gray and Black Tank Supports

I am in the process of re-installing the tanks in my 74 Ambassador, still have everything out. I can try to load / send pics of what I have if it would be of any help. I had new galvinized steel boxes made at a local HVAC fabrication shop, and welded up new angle iron frames, I had the old peices of rust to use as a guide. The inverted "muffin tin" plastic support under the tanks taper from about 2 1/2" at the forward (hinge) end to about 1/2 near the drain. The gray water tank had 1" styrofoam under the plastic support and the black tank had 1/2" styrofoam.
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:46 AM   #14
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Any Pictures and Measurements would be great as I have nothing to pattern off of.
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:38 PM   #15
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I took a few pics of the tank pans with a couple of measurements. I hope the notes on the pics help some, I am a novice at using Paint program. I am close to finally getting these installed again.. My wifes new name for our " Rosie Rivets" has become "money pit"
I had the new pans made from a little heavier gage material , from 22 ga to 20 ga, for a little extra rigity. The weak point in my opinion is the small 2 1/2" hinges used at the forward mount. I went up to a little heavier grade 3" hinge. The pans are 42 3/4" long x 7" tall. Gray is 22" wide and the Black was 29 1/2". These were for my '74 Ambassador / 29ft rear bath, don't know if yours are the same, The styrofoam under the tanks, plus the plastic support trays allow for pop rivets / Olympic rivets to go into the support pans to hold the underbelly skin up. When I saw the rivets under there, I was afraid I had many holes in the tanks, but all was okay.
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:08 PM   #16
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I won't to thank you guys for replying to this post.
Maybe my ADD is firing off on this but the rear end of this trailer is getting the better of me.
So there is no bulkhead/crossmember aft of the tanks? looks like 1"x2" angle laying flat and a single angle member welded vertical then the bottom is bolted to this? If there is no cross member aft of the tanks, how does this seal, to keep out moisture off the road?
I've got to be missing something here.
I have my frame welded up with most of the outriggers welded in. I've been working on other stuff because this section is just not looking right. I haven't had the right vision!
I will take pictures of what I have and try to post tomorrow. Never posted pics so this will be another challenge.
thanks,
Jack
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:15 AM   #17
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Ora, Great pictures!

That is exactly what the stuff in the rear of my 1975 looks like, except you have more frames to work from. My frames were almost completely gone on the back end.

Aaron
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:49 AM   #18
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Great pictures,

Thanks!
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:24 AM   #19
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Thanks, I am new to this ... great to be able to contribute something, I've gotten alot of info from the forums.
I took another pic of the sheetmetal that forms the bottom skin of the aft compartment between the bumper and tank frames. The lid or cover looks like an aluminum extrusion, but a piece of .060" aluminum would probably suffice if the original is missing. It attaches with a piano hinge to a piece of sheetmetal that comes from under the rear skin of the camper body (fuselage ), and has latches (like AS door latches) near ends of bumper.
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:25 AM   #20
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Wow thanks for the pictures and measurements that will be a great help. those are some nice looking pans you have made up. May I ask where is everyone getting there metal supplies from?
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