Thursday, 19 February 2009

And now the chassis...

Flying high & safely out of the way. Luckily the shell can stay on the hoist so no need to lower her onto trestles & possibly damage the edges of the outer sheets.

Out goes the chassis...   ...hopefully when it returns it'll look brand new.

As is pretty evident the floor was in a pretty bad state, or rotted away completely.

The front & rear sections where the ply foor had all but dissolved were pretty simple to clear. Despite the rot in the wood most of the frame was in surprisingly sound condition. The step will need reinforcing.


Much of the central section of the plywood floor was pretty sound, though the fixings were very rusty.  Unless this was a later repair (and there are no signs it was) it appears the sheets of ply were joined together with corrugated fasteners.

Once all the floor was removed, it was pretty clear that trailer had not just been home to wanderlusty humans... various nut-eating critters had hitched a ride too.

It was also clear that the subfloor insulation was laid over the steel frame and the floor fastened through it. The insulation had obviously acted like a sponge, retaining water and rusting the steel - we plan to use a flat rubber strip & Sikkaflex.

I cut templates (in hardboard) for both ends (bow & stern... after all she is named after a ship!) so the 'C' channel can go back in exactly the same place - with a few kinks removed.

All-in-all we were pleasantly surprised at the condition of the steel frame. A few outriggers and one cross-member will need replacing but otherwise its a case of repairing & strengthening.

The floorspace under the shell has now become useful storage for the sections and fittings removed.


  1. You have some amazing photos! Be sure to double check the hoist. Good luck with the rebuild.

  2. The progress is great. I wish I could pull mine into the shop you are using. Alas, there is this little "pond" between us ;-)

  3. Cheers Jamie. Glad you like the photos - its sort of my job so they should be good. Yes, I'll double-check the hoist; its a chain one so it shouldn't run free. Keep up the good work on your 56 Safari - I'll do my best to catch up !

  4. That old stash of hickory nuts tickles me. Even the critters know a good thing when they see it!

  5. Yes, Tim, its a fine 'shop' - run by Pete Ritchie of Vintage American Trailer Co (see link on my sidebar) - he has the experience & skills I lack and in this specialist field is one of the best in the UK. Unfortunately its a 4 hr drive from my home - but it'll be worth it. How's the thaw over the pond ? Will you have 'May' out soon ?

  6. I just located this blog. Nice to see the completely detailed restoration as it move along. Thanks for sharing.