5.01.2012

Rear End Separation

Rear end separation affects older airstreams. It happens when the rear body becomes separated from the frame causing the rear end to sag. The damage can be moderate to severe and will need to be fixed sooner then later. We knew when we bought our airstream it had rear end separation. Unfortunately information is hard to find online about how to fix the problem. Information bulletins on rear end sag are out dated and don’t properly address the separation problem. Most forums are vague and lack pictures. I have spent the past four days with help from friends repairing the rear end sag on our 1972 Sovereign Airstream. I plan on creating another blog to show people how to identify rear end sag, separation severity and how to go about repairing it based on my experience. I will include detailed photos from start to finish. But for now ill just do a quick run down on what was recently done


First we did a quick test to see if we had rear end separation. Sometimes you can’t always tell just by looking. There are two quick ways to tell.


One way is to look at the trim on the rear of the trailer. The trim should be in its proper location if its not you’ll see a line of were it once was. If you look real close at the picture you can see a dark line just above the trim. That was the original location of the trim and has since dropped.



The other way is to lightly jump up and down on the bumper. The body and the bumper should NOT move independently of the body


After I identified that we had rear end sag it was time to start taking apart the airstream to determining the extent of the damage. Although I knew that corrosion was definitely going to be an issue, I had no idea how bad it really was. Years of neglected leaks had taken its toll. It was more then just the rear end separation that need to be fixed. The floor, frame, cross members, bolts, aluminum, rivets, insulation, septic tank, septic tank tray, pluming and belly pan all had damage and needed to be either repaired or replaced.  




 

 


 


Another good shot of rear end seperation

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