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Old 05-17-2020, 08:17 PM   #21
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1986 34' Limited
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Bertha's frame got some serious attention over the weekend. You were wise to remove the body and address this old frame. Your trailer will be much better for it. New outriggers and cross members are available. However it looks like you folks may not have any trouble fabricating your own frame parts and maintaining dimensions.

You have jumped in the hobby deep end.

David
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Old 05-18-2020, 05:58 AM   #22
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Bertha's frame got some serious attention over the weekend. You were wise to remove the body and address this old frame. Your trailer will be much better for it. New outriggers and cross members are available. However it looks like you folks may not have any trouble fabricating your own frame parts and maintaining dimensions.

You have jumped in the hobby deep end.

David
Yep David, I'll be ordering new outriggers and cross members from Out of Doors Mart in central NC. My husband knows how to weld, but fabricating the new pieces will be a new level of metal work for him. If anyone has advice on how best to source pieces of channel for the rear of the frame, please speak up. We have some ideas, but we are truly making this up as we go along
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Old 05-18-2020, 02:59 PM   #23
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I checked out the Curve Porta Potty. That's pretty nice. We're planning to go in a similar direction. Maybe a Nature's Head down the road, but a bucket with sawdust is in our immediate future.
Here is my solution. It's relatively easy to build (relatively), and will save you the $1,000 for the Nature's Head. Not to mention, I think it actually functions better than the Nature's Head. Plus, no saw dust bucket "in the mean time."


https://beahmstream.com/custom-hybrid-rv-toilet/


...
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:24 PM   #24
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Here is my solution. It's relatively easy to build (relatively), and will save you the $1,000 for the Nature's Head. Not to mention, I think it actually functions better than the Nature's Head. Plus, no saw dust bucket "in the mean time."


https://beahmstream.com/custom-hybrid-rv-toilet/


...
Very cool! I'll show this to the hubby
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Old 05-31-2020, 06:12 PM   #25
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Bertha Gets a Pedicure

We scheduled Bertha's "pedicure" for Memorial Day weekend, but the paint didn't come in on time. We made it up to Bertha this weekend. Her frame got a deep exfoliation first, then we freshened it up with some really fancy paint.



We had no idea how long it would take to sandblast the frame or how much sand we'd need. Scott purchased thirty 50-lb bags of play sand, and we ultimately used twenty. It was a sweaty job done in hot, humid conditions under an ugly veil. Have I ever mentioned that my husband is awesome😜?!



Four hours and 1000 lbs of play sand later, and Bertha's frame was looking much better.



Surprise, surprise . . . sans rust you can read the trailer info stamped on the tongue!



The frame developed a little surface rust overnight. So, before painting, we did a little more sandblasting and drilled out any old rivets still stuck in the frame. We also cut off her rotten rear end with a side-grinder. No reason to waste good paint on bad steel.



We chose Eastwood Rust Encapsulator Platinum paint for the job.



It has a metallic silver finish so it's kinda hard to tell the difference from raw steel to painted, but trust me, it looks sooooo much better.



Scott sprayed it on with a Sata Mini-Jet paint gun.



Bertha's front and rear end frame repairs are next, so there is a lot of grinding, welding and general metal fabrication in our future. Plus a little more painting too.



Thanks for looking.
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Old 05-31-2020, 07:04 PM   #26
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He sure is taking all the right steps to getting a long lasting frame. I would imagine he didnít tell you all that sandblasting and paint is more fun than work. Nevertheless, great looking job.
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Old 05-31-2020, 07:08 PM   #27
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He sure is taking all the right steps to getting a long lasting frame. I would imagine he didnít tell you all that sandblasting and paint is more fun than work. Nevertheless, great looking job.
Thanks Bubba. Every weekend that we work on the Airstream, he reminds me that he's "a really good husband," so I assumed it was hard work. Good to know that he's just getting husband points for having fun
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Old 05-31-2020, 07:18 PM   #28
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Wow, you folks are doing right by Bertha, except cutting off her rear end. I think the Eastman paint is a very good product. Wish that was what I used on my old 66 Trade Wind. I just use rattle can paint now due to cost.

Fabricating and welding on a new rear end will be quite a job. But a very necessary one.

Your DH is doing a super job. Tell him Bertha will be worth a lot more once done right.

David
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Old 07-19-2020, 05:15 PM   #29
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Bertha Gets Her Ass Back In Shape

Bertha started getting her ass back in shape just after July 4th . . . in 94 degree weather!



Last weekend, several feet of c-channel, two new cross-members, several new outriggers, and a husband who can weld transformed her backside.



Cross-members and outriggers were purchased from Out of Doors Mart, Greensboro, NC.



FYI - Solid outriggers are sized to fit the double thick sections of frame and hollow outriggers are sized to fit single thickness sections. So, contrary to what I was told, it does matter what you buy.



This weekend, the front end got some love too.



Above you can see a section of rot removed and a partial patch applied with interior reinforcement.



Completed patch above! Completely repaired trailer below.



Next weekend we plan to paint the repairs and start adding the new plywood floor.

Thanks for looking!
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Old 07-19-2020, 06:28 PM   #30
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Looks great. I still think heís having more fun than work. Question, do you plan on placing a spare tire rack in the front A-frame assembly under the trailer?
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Old 07-19-2020, 06:47 PM   #31
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Looks great. I still think heís having more fun than work. Question, do you plan on placing a spare tire rack in the front A-frame assembly under the trailer?
Funny you should ask Ours came with one and we weren't going to put it back, but thought better of it today and decided to keep it. I spent a little time knocking the rust off with a wire brush mounted on a side grinder, then Scott ground out some really rotten spots and welded a reinforcement piece on both sides to make it stronger than before. I don't have a picture of it handy, but I'll try to post one when we put it all back together. We had to replace the cross piece up front where the tire rack mounts and Scott welded some nuts in the new piece to make it work just like the original.
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Old 07-21-2020, 08:11 PM   #32
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I got my outriggers from OODM too. Except I live farther away. There are what, 9 different outrigger configurations. The OODM webpage does make finding the right one easier. We had to weld on 9 new outriggers to replace the rusted ones. They serve as the main body mounting points. They are important for sure.

Bertha's value is going up. Soon she will get all arrogant and difficult. A real prima donna.

David
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Old 07-22-2020, 05:35 AM   #33
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Bertha's value is going up. Soon she will get all arrogant and difficult. A real prima donna.

David
Yep, we're in infancy now but the teenage years are coming. I'm not looking forward to that
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Old 07-26-2020, 12:06 PM   #34
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Bertha - Frame Completed

With a focus on the repaired sections that were completed last weekend,
we fully encased Bertha's frame in Eastwood Platinum Encapsulator paint this weekend.





She's come a long way, baby



Next weekend, we start the new floor. Thanks for looking.
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Old 07-26-2020, 08:42 PM   #35
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Geez it looks brand new. Great job. I see Bertha out there in the field carefully watching what is going on with her new frame. See looks pleased.

David
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Old 08-30-2020, 04:55 PM   #36
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Rolling with New Flooring

We covered Bertha's reborn frame with new flooring over the past several weekends. We attempted to buy high grade 3/4 inch A/C plywood in town, and it was out of stock basically everywhere. Luckily, we use a lot of plywood where I work, and my boss said I could buy some from the company. The stash at work was way better quality and actually less expensive (because we buy in bulk) than what we could have purchased at at home center. Score!



We used the old flooring as a pattern to cut the new flooring, and then sealed the edges with West Systems epoxy in hopes of avoiding future rot. We bolted the pieces down with 2-inch long 1/4-20 elevator bolts and secured them with Nylock nuts using a pneumatic ratchet. That tool made life so much easier!



There were two tricky areas during the floor install. One was the front recess where the spare tire goes and the other was installing the wheel well covers. Keeping all the old parts was critical to making these installs a success, and taking pictures of the disassembly was super helpful too.



Once the floor was completed, we put Bertha's axles back on so we could move her out of the way. My hubby is picking up a new surface grinder for his bladesmith shop this week and needs access to the front bay door to get the tool inside. It was nice to see Bertha up and rolling again. Belly pan and electrical are next! Stay tuned.
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Old 08-30-2020, 08:37 PM   #37
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I bet you folks hated covering up all that good work on Bertha's frame with the subfloor. But Bertha is now stronger that the subfloor is bolted down. Bertha will get stronger yet when the body is bolted to the frame and subfloor. She will look like an Airstream from a distance after that.

Keep on rolling...

David
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Old 08-30-2020, 09:52 PM   #38
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Make sure you put together a scrapbook (brag book!) Of your work. When you go to a rally and the round-eyed newbies come visiting you can give them a virtual tour of what was versus what is. So many people buy without knowing anything and assume that a few weeks of spring cleaning will turn an ugly duckling into a swan. Always better to have them know the facts before they just start hacking away at the surface.
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Old 08-31-2020, 05:55 PM   #39
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I bet you folks hated covering up all that good work on Bertha's frame with the subfloor. But Bertha is now stronger that the subfloor is bolted down. Bertha will get stronger yet when the body is bolted to the frame and subfloor. She will look like an Airstream from a distance after that.

Keep on rolling...

David
Definitely looking forward to seeing the body back on the frame! Scott said I should have danced a jig on the new flooring, but I think I'll wait until she looks like an Airstream again to do my dance
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Old 08-31-2020, 05:58 PM   #40
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Make sure you put together a scrapbook (brag book!) Of your work. When you go to a rally and the round-eyed newbies come visiting you can give them a virtual tour of what was versus what is. So many people buy without knowing anything and assume that a few weeks of spring cleaning will turn an ugly duckling into a swan. Always better to have them know the facts before they just start hacking away at the surface.
"Brag book". I love it Yes, good to know what you're getting into with these Airstreams. Tackling one is not a project for the timid or faint of heart.
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