Hi, so I am really new at this, so if I do something the wrong way please let me know. My husband and I were just given what I think is a 1950 Spartenette and the inside is in fantastic shape with most everything original. However, it looks like someone ran into the tongue and broke it and it's all rusted. I am trying to get advice on how best to replace the tongue. I found a place in Panama City that can do repair to the front exterior but I have to get it to them. The reason it was given to us is that they want it gone, so I don't have a lot of time to figure it out. I would appreciate any advice. I will check back tomorrow and see if there is anyone out there that might be able to help me with this. Thanks!
Could you post some pictures?
If the tongue is completely rusted out, you would need to fabricate a new one from steel box tubing and steel plate.
If it isn't too bad, I could be welded and reinforced.
Assuming there's a good frame to attach a new tongue to, or the tongue just needs to be welded back together, a mobile welding company could do it.
craigslist.org has an RV section. Often you find ads for RV transport. I used a "suck up bed" wreck once, that depends on the weight capacity of the wrecker.
I googled spartanette and saw pictures of that era. It appears there is a front cross-member. I am guessing, but the pictures suggest a 7 foot width. The frame rails left and right run the length. So if that front cross member is straight and not bent then the "tongue" looked like it was 6" x 1/4"(C) channel steel. Good Luck, there are still a few of 'em out there so thats a plus.
A tow company with a roll back flat bed may be in order or look for a welder to inspect it and or, make the repair/ replacement to get it off the other peoples property. A lot of times you can find complete tongs at scrap yards or possibly an RV dealer may have some parts or a good lead on who in the area can help you out. Good luck with your project.
As you can see the tongue is a compete goner. But the bottom frame is still straight, but the three pieces of frame under the front window are bent.
I would worry about it pulling straight even after repair.
I stole this image from Google to show how the A frame let's back into the cross members.
I personally would fabricate a new A frame and weld it in...but I have welders and a warehouse to mess around in....and a couple months of down time each winter.
To get it home, you'd best find a company with a roll back wrecker.
The materials would cost you $150 maybe, but the cutting, cleaning, fabrication and welding would be expensive if you couldn't do it yourself.
Pretty amazing how concrete disintegrates steel over time
Edit: That should have read "lets" as in notches or pockets. I didn't catch the aotocorrect
Mike, You dont steal on the internet you "LEECH"!
I've seen crushed beer cans in better shape. A good reminder make sure your ball hitch is closed and safety chains attached, cuz the driver looked in the rear view mirror to see it passing him.
if the trailer doesn't have brakes installed you might get that brake system where rearward pressure on the hitch forces fluid into the brakes.
i haven't used this but i like the idea.
there are 2 basic designs on the a frame/frame connection. the “deck over” that Mike has illustrated and a “through deck” design with the a frame integral in the frame. I would modify to a deck over design as I believe that to be easier and stronger in the long run. Maybe do an “axle swap” if necessary to raise the body unless you wanted to keep it period correct and not modify height.