Restoration of Scott and Kathy's 1955 Flying Cloud Whale Tail - Our California Vintage Airstream.
Airstream Restoration by Colin Hyde Trailer Restoration

Monday, October 29, 2012

More A-Frame Improvements

 Around the jack there is rust, and structure missing.  Improvement needed.
 The bottom of the A-Frame is only 3" deep, so that will be strengthened to match the rest of the new deeper 4" frame.
The new metal hold-down plate is now welded to the frame.  It will be riveted to the front aluminum skin - strength and stability the old Airstream way!  Actually the 1950's trailers often had the hold-down plates bolted to the frames.  The welds are much stronger and another Colin Hyde improvement.
 New tube Steel to be welded on to reinforce the A-Frame.
New tube welded with a new jack plate.

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Little Secret is Out - and It Holds a Lot of Liquid

Our A-Frame did not connect in line with the main frame rails.  The angle will help make the frame and the connection the tongue more sturdy.  Improvement!  We are moving our vintage airstream from deconstruction back into construction!  Progress!!!
Newer deeper cross rails, the frame increased from 3" deep to 4" deep.
BUT - and this is a big one for me - From the sides and back of our 1955 Flying Cloud - the trailer will look like a vintage Airstream!  It will look to only have a 3" frame!  Scott and Colin Hyde have worked together to design a frame that tapers to 4" at the center, while retaining the original look of the shallow frame.  So cool!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Frame was 3" - Now 4" Deep - Or is it???

Prior to 1955 Vintage Airstream Frames were 3" deep.
The change to a stronger 4" frame was started in 1955.
Unfortunately, our Flying Cloud was manufactured in California with the 3" frame.  Our gray water and fresh water tanks from Vintage Trailer Supply are 4" deep.  As planned - to fit the tanks into the frame, Colin Hyde changed our frame to be 4" deep.

The longer frame will allow us to add a bumper trunk also.
With the small angle cut from the frame, the 3" bumper remains the original depth!
Welded closed, this also prevents water from sitting inside the frame causing rust.
And eliminates a way for mice and other critters to enter the trailer.

In 1955 and many other years, Airstream built trailers with  no rear cross member.  So the plywood floor was not directly supported by the frame, rather the floor was cantilevered from the next forward cross member.  And the plywood was originally attached through the C-Channel only to the aluminum shell.  
No wonder that attaching accessories to the back of an Airstream is a bad idea.  Spare tires, generators, even bike racks should not be attached to the trailer rear without significant frame work.
Colin beefed up our structure by adding a rear cross-member.  The aluminum shell, plywood floor, C-Channel, and shell will all be securely attached together with elevator bolts.
The front hold-down plate was removed, but will be replaced.  The hold down plate strengthens the connection of the frame to shell at the higher stress front area.