The frame is ready!

With the shell off, the next step was to remove the old floor and start on frame repairs.  We knew this trailer had spent some time in the Florida Keys so we were holding our breath and expecting the worse. What a pleasant surprise to see that the only bad area was right at the front door.  The floor was bad there so this was no big surprise. We originally thought the door was leaking and causing the problem but after we took off the inner skins we could see that the door hinge was a bad leak source too.  We ordered two new outriggers and the right hand step outrigger from Out of Doors Mart. We replaced all the belly pan strapping that runs between the outriggers also.  Dan welded some angle iron in the frame section behind the axle to attach the pan that will hold up the new grey tank and in the back section for the new black tank as well.  He also added a piece of angle above the black tank in front of the toilet area. This was a pretty large unsupported area of the floor in a heavy traffic spot so we decided it was worth the extra weight. We did the same across the front to support the weight of the fresh water tank and the new location for the battery.  When the welding was complete, we used a wire wheel on the frame, cleaned it, and used Metal Prep everywhere. After a day in the sun drying we pulled it back under the car port and brushed on the POR-15. We love this stuff! It covers great, levels out, and dries rock hard. Next we brushed  Sterling Silver Topcoat on the bumper, steps, and A-frame. We weren’t exactly thrilled with that though. It dried really fast making it impossible to get a smooth finish. The next day we sanded it all and tried spraying it. The good news was no brush marks but, once again, it dried too fast and has a rough finish. It’s not great but we are calling it “good enough” …for now anyway!

The new 5000 lb. axle and the new waste tanks should be here in a week or so. In the mean time, we can get the new floor cut and ready to install, run the new brake wire, clean, repair, and paint the inner fender wells; and start making an electrical plan. Our initial plan to keep this trailer original has been scrapped. We want to make it better than original! Someone once recited  a Wally Byam quote to me that was something like, “Don’t make changes, only improvements”. That’s our plan…to make the improvements that we feel we need to do to be comfortable, and to make the necessary upgrades to keep our ’66 Safari on the road for another 48 years!

Hope to see you all at the HOTCU Halloween Camp Out at the LBJ Grasslands! We, of course, won’t be camping (BOO), but we will be visiting all weekend. Trick or Treat!

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9 thoughts on “The frame is ready!

  1. Debi Rich

    What a great job you all are doing! Can’t wait to see it! So sorry we won’t be at the Halloween camp-out. We just moved to a new home last week and are still in the midst of it! We plan to be there in December. Hope to see you all then!


    1. I was just thinking about you guys! I looked at the list for the camp out and saw you were missing. 😦 We will be excited to see you both at Christmas though. Congrats on the new home! Unpacking is always more fun than packing. Good luck, great to hear from you and we will see ya’ll at Christmas!


  2. Wow! You guys are doing a great job. I have a 1970 Sovereign Intl, and I am afraid I have some of the same issue with the area around the step at the door. Your repair looks fantastic. Just curious…do you think it would be horribly difficult to make a similar repair to this area with the shell on?


    1. Thank you! Your Sovereign looks great! I visited your blog and really admire you for following your dram and your passion for art! Yay you! I guess it depends on what kind of repairs you want to do on the steps. We had to replace the right hand step outrigger and the one in front of it. I don’t see how we could have done that with the shell on. 😦 I’m sure though if there is a will there is a way! We had to replace the floor so removing the shell was a “have to”! Good luck and I’ll be following your blog! Happy Holidays!


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