Airstream Forums

Airstream Forums (
-   Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame (
-   -   Need HELP in Tampa- Looking for someone to fix frame/ subfloor in Tampa? (

Mixter 11-07-2012 10:00 PM

Need HELP in Tampa- Looking for someone to fix frame/ subfloor in Tampa?
Although I'm pretty handy and love a project.... I've got 3 little ones under 7 and time is tough to come by these days. We got this thing to go camping this winter and during our cleanup we found the dreaded floor rot, like so MANY posts I'm reading... Me doing this myself, puts a pretty big setback in getting out in the woods. Our plan "was" to get this thing "clean and empty" so we can use it as a glorified tent while we rebuild. But we need to get the floor and frame in solid condition before we do this.

I'm almost gutted to be able to fully inspect the scope of this project so we can get started repairing the floor (and what I presume is inevitably going to be some "minor" frame maintenance).

I'm looking to either hire this out completely, OR hire someone to help me. If there are any streamers in the area that need to practice on someone else's first, I'll Guinea Pig for you! :punk::punk: I will also be replacing the interior, so I have parts to donate, and can return the help on yours. I also have a cabinet shop and can help with any custom interior needs.

Any help is appreciated!!
Tampa/ Carrollwood

Safari-Rick 11-07-2012 10:12 PM

When I read the Subject title on the "Portal" "Need HELP in Tampa"... I thought you were looking for the guy who has yet to provide the Florida vote results ! LOL

Mixter 11-07-2012 10:17 PM

Ha! Florida always needs help during elections... Especially this one which we certainly did not get.

Mixter 11-15-2012 01:37 PM

AS is now gutted, but still looking for help....

Forum is awesome- Meeting some great contacts in my area.... but still looking for someone for hire.. :hammer:

AS is now gutted... getting ready to drop the belly pans, tanks and interior skins tomorrow...

Just wanted to bump this up in the event I might get lucky and get a referral! Any takers? Its getting easier the more I do!!!


VeggieBullet 11-16-2012 04:16 AM

Hi Mixter
What kind of frame work do you need?

Mixter 11-16-2012 08:19 AM

Hey VeggieBullet! Another local streamer coming out of the woodwork- nice!

Not exactly sure what the extent of frame issues yet- going to see what im dealing with today when i get the belly skins off and drop the tanks. I am anticipating rusty crossmembers or outrigger here and there... "Hopefully" nothing too crazy.. I have no reason to think its swiss cheese or anything... mostly feels solid, but I'm sure I'll find some stuff to address when its opened up.

I just don't have the time to keep this project moving as fast as I would like with my 3 kids, so was hoping to hire the floor and frame work out. I've got a cabinet shop in my garage, so the re-build I can do over time while we are at least using it as a tent.

Was referred to a guy for hire that will "help" me, but he's a general RV repair guy and didn't seem to know much about Airstream. At least, not nearly the extent of what I know now after reading hours and hours of threads. So that said, I'm not totally excited about paying someone good money to help ME...

I'd rather pay someone to either do all the floor and frame work themselves without me having to teach, OR I can help THEM, but I'd like to generally take the weight off myself.

Let me know if you've got any ideas? PM me if you want to.


Silverflames 12-07-2012 01:59 PM

Hello from Brooksville! I have a guy up here in Brooksville that did some welding for me, not sure if he is back in town or not, but he did a good job. Have you discoved what kind of damage you are looking at so far? Is your overland rear bath, any rear end seperation going on?

Mixter 12-07-2012 02:31 PM

Hey bud! Its a rear bath. Veggiebullet is very cool and smart dude and willing and able to help a brother out. Dont know if you already know him, but if you ever need any help, keep his contact info. Mine too for that matter- this forum is awesome and so many streamers willing to help each other... very cool.

We've got the belly pans removed, dropped the tanks and rotten sub-floor is out. We were amazed how good the frame looks. No separation and still black paint on the main frame rails and the interior crossmembers. Alot of surface rust on the outriggers- about 8 of them need replacing or scab up some metal so that the belly pans can rivet back on- but nothing really major. Contemplating purchasing new ones for $24 each.... or just have some metal added to them so they function. Other than that, only the rear cross member is swiss cheese and the cross member that divides the grey and black tanks is deteriorated on the bottom pretty bad. I need new belly pans to cover the tanks. Found out why my Fresh tank pan was so badly rusted.... the tank was completely cracked- almost in half... must have been leaking for quite some time. Have to figure that out... Andy was looking into a tank for me, but he's in Hawaii and the original tank he showed me was not the same. Not sure if he'll have the same, or if I'm stuck re-configuring a new tank fitment. Veggie's got one he pulled out of a 72, but I'm wondering if I should be putting new in.... I dont really want another tank issue. All in all,, I think I'm in pretty good shape considering what I could have found. Should be easy fix for someone with metal working skills.... I have a buddy who is a complete artist with metal, but he's slammed with much bigger jobs and cant help me until end of January.... Sooooo... if you've got a guy- PLEASE send him my way! My contact info is in the first post if you want to contact me direct. Thanks for the reply!

Silverflames 12-08-2012 12:17 PM

Vintage trailer supply has a 50x 21x 3 7/8 tank that could work for fresh water. I believe it's 16 gals. Also I know you can get tanks made to spec, but its pricey. Who many gals did your old one hold? What was the size? And yes I would go new as well. You don't want to be pulling it back out a few years from now. Plus how many years of stuff have been growing in there?

I went a different route. I extended the frame down 3" so I could fit almost 8" tall tanks. The down side is that all three will be behind the axles. So I'll need to make sure I keep the grey and black tanks dumped before I tow. I will end up with a 30 Gal fresh tank, and 27 gal black and grey tanks.

Cutting off the outriggers can be a pain if the floor is still in place. If the floor is out it's much easier to cut them out and weld them back in place. On a couple my outriggers I welded on 1/8 gal angle to the bottoms that were rusted a bit. Others were well beyond saving, so the were cut off and replaced. Your rear sounds like it is in pretty good shape overall. While you have the belly pan off think about other things you might want to fix or upgrade. New holding tanks, sensors, etc..

Sneakinup 12-08-2012 03:30 PM

My manual states that the 27' in 1977 has a 50 gallon fresh water tank. Could they have changed it from 76 to 77?

Mixter 12-08-2012 06:13 PM

No- its the same one as '77. Part no 600571- 50 gal. 44x56x6. I think I'll be making some mods to mount it like the '72, which uses z angle and plywood for the bottom to hold up the tank. I'll just do it out of marine 1" ply and make it so its relatively easy to access.

Barry- did you replace any outriggers or crossmembers? I'm debating on whether to buy those flimsy outriggers or just buy some square tubing and cut the radius for the belly skins to wrap. I think they would be easy to make, much stronger and certainly cheaper.

Sneakinup 12-08-2012 07:50 PM

4 Attachment(s)
I thought the tanks in the Overlander were the same as my Sovereign. :blush:

I replaced/repaired about 15 outriggers... so far. The only cross member I will be replacing is the one in the bumper compartment that has the holes in it for the waste valves. All the other ones were in good shape.

You can see the start of my outrigger repair at the following...

Outrigger repair...

I bought some 16 gauge sheet metal from Tampa Steel, then with a template, brought it over to Didden Sheet Metal... also in Tampa. In one day they cut 20 of them for me. Total cost per outrigger including the steel was in the $5 range, and I had a 3' x 8' piece of sheet metal left over for other areas.

The only parts of my outriggers that were bad were the bottoms that sat in water soaked insulation. I cut out all the cancer and decay, prepped them against rust, and welded the outriggers to them.

I drilled half inch holes in the outrigger so I could "puddle weld" them to the old outriggers. Oh yeah, before I welded them on, I added some 1/2" angle on the bottoms of each outrigger to rivet the bottom of the banana wrap to.

They were all rust treated again, and painted with rubberized paint. It has been six months of them sitting exposed in the Tampa humidity throughout the summer, and they are still like new.

Mixter 12-08-2012 08:02 PM

EXACTLY my same outrigger issue! Good stuff man. Did you have any outriggers that appeared to be sagging? I have a few and not sure if jacking up the side to bring it back to 90 degrees is a good idea...

Also, did you already have welding skills? I would love to be able to weld, but not sure I want to take the time to learn and buy all the equipment.... Since you have first had experience with the difficulty level, what would you think the job should pay for a skilled welder to do 15 outriggers like that? $100-200 bucks for a days work?

Sneakinup 12-08-2012 08:19 PM

I thought the outriggers to the back of the wheel wells were sagging, but after seeing other trailers, it appears that there may be a slight angle. However, the outriggers I welded on were true 90 degrees, so I think it may just be an illusion. The curves of the wheel wells and the curving aluminum of the banana wrap makes it appear angled downward, when it really isn't. I checked the box part of the frame for squareness and twisting. No twist, and it was square. I am satisfied with my results.

My welding skills came from owning a previous Airstream! I taught myself how to weld for the most part... out of necessity. It isn't difficult, just time consuming and dangerous. I kind of enjoy welding. It is much like hearing that steak sizzling on the BBQ... only don't breathe in the smoke.

I have no idea what a skilled welder would charge. I do know that it is truly an art form. My welds are not pretty, but they will hold. I think the greater expense in having someone else weld it is not so much in the welding itself, but rather in the location. Welding while lying on your back is not easy. My trailer sits on dirt. Yours is on concrete. That helps. If the trailer was raised up very high, the job would be much easier. That is a lot of the reason people do the shell off. Easier access to repairing the frame.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:08 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.