Trailer Frame: Before and After

This week we’re discussing the welding work we have had done on our Airstream frame.

The condition of the trailer frame is one of the most important considerations when preparing your trailer to go on the road. Since this is going to be our primary living space, we want to be sure that the frame is stable, solid, and, most importantly, road worthy.

Airstream frames are subject to any number of problems, including corrosion, rust, and damage from previous collisions, just to name a few. When we removed the shell of our Airstream, we found all of the above and more when we looked at the condition of our trailer frame. Not only was there the expected rust and corrosion, leading to moth-eaten and unsafe crossmembers and outriggers, but we also had some significant bends and instabilities in the frame likely due to previous owners running the trailer into something (or over something!).

We took the trailer to a few different welders for quotes on the work, before deciding to go with Truck Alignment Frame in Waxahachie, TX. Not only were they the most reasonably priced, but they also did the frame work for Two Beards and a Babe, so we knew they had a proven track record for working on Airstreams.

Several of the other welding shops that we talked to wanted to do major overhauls of our frame including adding a ton of reinforcement, which not only is unnecessary due to the Airstream design, but would also add a lot of weight. This was a significant consideration for us as we are trying to stay under 5000 pounds, dry. Airstream frames are also designed to be more like aircraft, able to bend and flex as the trailer moves. The first few welding shops we went to were used to working on 18-wheelers, which have more rigid frames.

A final consideration when working on our frame was that we are trying to not only improve our Airstream, but also restore it to its original glory where possible. To this end, we provided reproduction outriggers from Out of Doors Mart for the welders to replace when we dropped off the frame, instead of having them replace the broken and damaged outriggers with newly fabricated pieces.

Check out our before and after video below, and be sure to like and subscribe to our blog and YouTube channel for more updates!

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