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Old 04-23-2012, 09:48 AM   #221
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Also, Silverbacksurfer and Marzboy are friends of mine as well. I would also like to see your trailer
Hey this guy is only an acquaintance. Just kidding, Kenny is legit. I was thinking, I have 2 Centrimatic balancers that I have to exchange at Inland RV. I will bring em with me when we hook up. They dont fit my new axles and they have never been used. If you dont want em I am just going to exchange them any way no big deal.
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:42 PM   #222
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So much SoCal love

I go away for a weekend of music-aided brotherly love in the 106 F desert, and return to the brotherly love of Airstreamers on this thread- Most excellent. I will reply to all of these via PM since they are all quite specific. The only exception is Timk-- I will get those pictures literally as soon as I build the system. Just have to find some time to work on it....

Thanks guys.

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Old 05-02-2012, 08:25 AM   #223
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Originally Posted by worldinchaos View Post
One of the purposes of us going this far back in age for our trailer was to get the aluminum interior, and we knew the Zolatone would be a pain. This previous weekend we experimented with various methods of stripping the interior paint as per the endless libraries of posts here regarding the topic. The rear has one layer of paint on top of the Zolatone, and the front has approximately 3 layers, plus the Zolatone. One of those layers is also closer to a mortar than a paint. I'm not really sure what they were trying to do, but they gave up after the first 6 feet thankfully. Also, they literally gave up mid-brush stroke.

I love Aircraft Paint Remover and have used it before on projects. Now that I found the "low odor" version at PepBoys I bought two gallons and we haven't smelled a thing. We got a system down, with me brushing it on to a section, keeping it wet while starting the next, then coming back after 30 minutes to an hour later to scrape it off with a plastic scraper. Then the SO follows up with a smaller blade plastic scraper and 0000 steel wool to bring it to spotless aluminum finish. After 6 hours spread over the last three days, we have done about 25%, but that also included many failed ideas along the way, and we will be much more efficient now with our system down pat.

Our one "discovery" so far has been something that I'm surprised I overlooked initially. I guess I was too caught up with the mechanical condition of the trailer, frame, and running gear that I missed this major detail. While I had paid attention to the fact that the interior front endcap was a multi-coated aluminum, I never noticed that the rear didn't have any seams. And is actually fiberglass. Despite being a 1959 which is part of the "transition period" it seems, I saw the front aluminum interior endcap and didn't even think to question the rear one. I've even read threads about people who only had one, but oh well. We would have still bought it regardless. As others have mentioned, these Pacer models really did have a lot of weird quirks about them. Anyway, we are now brainstorming on what to cover it with. Always trying to look on the positive side, at least we don't have to strip that whole section!!!

The pictures show how the 4 layers of paint come off one to two layers at a time making the aluminum show up first in different places. It also shows the two-stage process where the mottled light-white panels are what I leave it in, and the plain aluminum is where the SO gets it to after me. The last picture shows a few of the panels we've already stripped, and the endcap that we don't have to.
Did you use the aircraft paint remover for the vinyl as well? Did you remove the vinyl all together, or did this model not have vinyl walls?
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:25 AM   #224
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Did you use the aircraft paint remover for the vinyl as well? Did you remove the vinyl all together, or did this model not have vinyl walls?
I did not have vinyl walls, sorry. Just lots of Zolatone. Good luck though!
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:01 PM   #225
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Update 5/2/12:

Things are certainly progressing, but I've been all over the place the last few weeks. School got time consuming, and I took on the extra-curricular task of submitting a video for the commercial competition. We ended up winning the grand prize last weekend, which justified the work, and it was fun nonetheless. Also in the process of donating my sailboat to a charity, which takes a lot more work than I would have hoped. At least it's for a good cause, compared to a self-fulfilling competition.

In the Airstream world, I officially put away my plumbing supplies yesterday as I finished gluing the drain system, and bought the last fitting I needed for the freshwater. Note to others: only use 3/8" PEX if you plan on buying online. Finding individual parts for the 3/8" size is impossible. I would have switched to 1/2" if I hadn't already bought the 3/8"-only crimper. PEX itself is awesome. Seriously, it is flexible, easy to cut, easy to connect- I love the concept.

My freshwater system is pretty typical of a small trailer: tank to filter to pump to check valve to sink and water heater, with the city water pressure regulator tying in separately. The hot water heater outlet has a direct line for a shower wand, and also back to the sink faucet. There is no cold line for the shower because of the type of water heater I installed. More specifically, I am choosing to be the guinea pig on a custom install of an EZ101 Tankless Water Heater with direct venting. This is an on-demand water heater that costs 15% of the other ones but IS NOT RVIA APPROVED. I do not endorse others to use it in any way unless they really know exactly what they are doing. I work on large propane systems and with large heaters and other similar assemblies every day, and feel comfortable with my installation method and controls, but I am not guaranteeing this would work for everyone.

As for my method of install-- .032"gauge aluminum box on all 6 sides, with heat resistant sealant, which rates as 15 minute fire protection for home building standards. This is enclosed in a solid 1x3 frame for support and in the extreme case of blowouts, to direct the energy out the access door instead. I used my previously described custom access door, for the inlet vent, access to the controls, and storage of the shower assembly. The exhaust vent is a 4" duct that goes to the upper side vent. The whole box will be insulated to prevent accidental burns upon contact with the hot aluminum box panels during use.

This is all very likely overkill, but we shall see. Since I am the "guinea pig" , I obviously wanted as many safety controls as possible, in addition to the numerous shut off features built into the device. Our actual use will entail no more than a few minutes per day, for potentially some hot water for cooking and mainly for doing the dishes. Showers will be rare and infrequent since the drainage will be on the ground. Because of these low usage requirements, I just could not justify $400 to wait to heat up 6 gallons or $1000 for the RVIA approval, but there is nothing wrong with those for larger use demands.
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:32 PM   #226
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Fabulous and no sailboat?

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Originally Posted by worldinchaos View Post
Update 5/2/12:

Things are certainly progressing, but I've been all over the place the last few weeks. School got time consuming, and I took on the extra-curricular task of submitting a video for the commercial competition. We ended up winning the grand prize last weekend, which justified the work, and it was fun nonetheless. Also in the process of donating my sailboat to a charity, which takes a lot more work than I would have hoped. At least it's for a good cause, compared to a self-fulfilling competition.

In the Airstream world, I officially put away my plumbing supplies yesterday as I finished gluing the drain system, and bought the last fitting I needed for the freshwater. Note to others: only use 3/8" PEX if you plan on buying online. Finding individual parts for the 3/8" size is impossible. I would have switched to 1/2" if I hadn't already bought the 3/8"-only crimper. PEX itself is awesome. Seriously, it is flexible, easy to cut, easy to connect- I love the concept.

My freshwater system is pretty typical of a small trailer: tank to filter to pump to check valve to sink and water heater, with the city water pressure regulator tying in separately. The hot water heater outlet has a direct line for a shower wand, and also back to the sink faucet. There is no cold line for the shower because of the type of water heater I installed. More specifically, I am choosing to be the guinea pig on a custom install of an EZ101 Tankless Water Heater with direct venting. This is an on-demand water heater that costs 15% of the other ones but IS NOT RVIA APPROVED. I do not endorse others to use it in any way unless they really know exactly what they are doing. I work on large propane systems and with large heaters and other similar assemblies every day, and feel comfortable with my installation method and controls, but I am not guaranteeing this would work for everyone.

As for my method of install-- .032"gauge aluminum box on all 6 sides, with heat resistant sealant, which rates as 15 minute fire protection for home building standards. This is enclosed in a solid 1x3 frame for support and in the extreme case of blowouts, to direct the energy out the access door instead. I used my previously described custom access door, for the inlet vent, access to the controls, and storage of the shower assembly. The exhaust vent is a 4" duct that goes to the upper side vent. The whole box will be insulated to prevent accidental burns upon contact with the hot aluminum box panels during use.

This is all very likely overkill, but we shall see. Since I am the "guinea pig" , I obviously wanted as many safety controls as possible, in addition to the numerous shut off features built into the device. Our actual use will entail no more than a few minutes per day, for potentially some hot water for cooking and mainly for doing the dishes. Showers will be rare and infrequent since the drainage will be on the ground. Because of these low usage requirements, I just could not justify $400 to wait to heat up 6 gallons or $1000 for the RVIA approval, but there is nothing wrong with those for larger use demands.
The work you have done looks fabulous and I won't even pretend to understand all that you figured out to do it. I was happy and sad that you donated your sailboat...mostly because my husband built his sail boat and I think he plans to take it to his grave but good your boat went to charity. So does this mean you won't sail anymore or do you have a back up boat?

I am taking notes as you go along with your work so we can use your experience. Thanks!! Once we get the Albatross launched, we will be able to start on the Pacer so keep up the great posts and photos.
Sandy
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:50 PM   #227
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worldinchaos View Post
Update 5/2/12:

Things are certainly progressing,...the 3/8" size is impossible.... am choosing to be the guinea pig on a custom install of an EZ101 Tankless Water Heater with direct venting...
3/8 verses 1/2 is good info...I'm pretty close to making that step...

Thanks for posting your venture into uncharted areas...I tend to think that the lack of some certification should not stop an educated person from exploring possibilities. I look forward to the results
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:04 PM   #228
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Originally Posted by HiHoAgRV View Post
3/8 verses 1/2 is good info...I'm pretty close to making that step...

Thanks for posting your venture into uncharted areas...I tend to think that the lack of some certification should not stop an educated person from exploring possibilities. I look forward to the results
Yes, 3/8" has been a nightmare. From last weekend through yesterday, I have been to two different Home Depots, a Lowe's, an OSH, an Ace, and a specialty plumbing place, and not just once, but twice (except the plumbing place, which was worthless for PEX under 3/4"). I just don't understand how a store can sell 3/8" PEX sticks, 3/8" Tees, 3/8" elbows, and 3/8" crimp tools, but no appropriately sized crimp rings, and no conversion fittings to change size to 1/2" PEX or even get to a threaded connection. What do they think people are doing with the stuff?

Now I know why the big box stores have the 3/8" only crimpers on sale now for $20 while the others are $80+. I'm pretty sure the industry is dropping it for everything except radiant floor installations. Online there is still stuff, but it is hard to justify the shipping prices on individual fittings from multiple retailers.

Of course, the advantage of 3/8" to keep in mind is less volume to heat up in the system before it reaches the faucet, and less stagnant water sitting in pipes when the rest of the plumbing has been drained down. (and when you can actually FIND the fittings, they are slightly cheaper) But with 20/20 hindsight, I don't think those small difference are worth the hassle.

And thanks for the positive comment about the water heater trial. I know there are some big proponents on these forums of NOT doing it this way, but someone has to try it, and as long as it is in a controlled manner I think it's fine.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:06 AM   #229
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Bigger storage space

OK I really need a bigger yard, because I am sooo tempted to convince Marie to let me buy this:
1957 Airstream - 18'

Perfect contender. Look at all the windows!!!!
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:53 AM   #230
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OK I really need a bigger yard, because I am sooo tempted to convince Marie to let me buy this:
1957 Airstream - 18'

Perfect contender. Look at all the windows!!!!
Peter, You buy it. I will pick it up and store it for you at my place. I am a lot closer to Michigan! Then you can have Airstream bases across the country Great looking little trailer!
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:59 AM   #231
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Peter, You buy it. I will pick it up and store it for you at my place. I am a lot closer to Michigan! Then you can have Airstream bases across the country Great looking little trailer!
If it was ready to go, that wouldn't be a horrible concept. My challenge is that I only have a couple weeks of vacation a year, and yet I really want to take my trailer on my trips to all the National Parks. Some are just impossible because I would use up half my vacation getting there and back, but with Airstream bases.....

That would be so cool. If only it didn't take me a year and half to get it ready to be used....
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:50 PM   #232
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Originally Posted by worldinchaos View Post
If it was ready to go, that wouldn't be a horrible concept. My challenge is that I only have a couple weeks of vacation a year, and yet I really want to take my trailer on my trips to all the National Parks. Some are just impossible because I would use up half my vacation getting there and back, but with Airstream bases.....

That would be so cool. If only it didn't take me a year and half to get it ready to be used....
I know what you mean, we feel the same way! We have been to Oregon and Washington for just a couple days each, it would be great to explore the west coast more, retirement can't come soon enough. We do enjoy our area here in Wisconsin and Minnesota and spend time every year on the north shore of Lake Superior.

Maybe we should start a Airstream trading program, set up our campers in a nice campground for each other then fly out and explore. There are very few that could borrow our Cruiser but another airstreamer that has gone through the pain of a rebuild??
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:14 AM   #233
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Fregin awesome!

That looks so pro... seriously.
I don't see any issues, other than the shower wand getting hot?
Where does it vent other than the door?
Also, how did you make the door frame and door? I was looking through your posts, but had to crash out. I'll keep looking. The compartment looks so, so cool, I mean really cool, I want to start cutting holes in my trailer just to have a compartment like that!

Is that a 50K BTU? Also, who is the actual maker of the EZ101? 12V ignition?

Probably a dumb question, but what is RVIA approval or whatever?

Also, how hot can the water get? For ever and ever?
I'm looking for 2 gal./min at 120 deg. (5-10min max)

Drip rain looks spot on, Bravo Peter, Bravo!

TIMK
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Old 05-05-2012, 02:44 AM   #234
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDSLED88 View Post
That looks so pro... seriously.
I don't see any issues, other than the shower wand getting hot?
Where does it vent other than the door?
Also, how did you make the door frame and door? I was looking through your posts, but had to crash out. I'll keep looking. The compartment looks so, so cool, I mean really cool, I want to start cutting holes in my trailer just to have a compartment like that!

Is that a 50K BTU? Also, who is the actual maker of the EZ101? 12V ignition?

Probably a dumb question, but what is RVIA approval or whatever?

Also, how hot can the water get? For ever and ever?
I'm looking for 2 gal./min at 120 deg. (5-10min max)

Drip rain looks spot on, Bravo Peter, Bravo!

TIMK
The construction of the vent door starts on post 78 here.

Yeah, the shower wand is the one that came for free with the heater. I plan to replace it and the hose with some of metal construction as soon as I get the propane and water hooked up for a proof test.

The intake vent for fresh air is the holes in the door when acting as a sink faucet heater, and obviously the entire door will be open when being used as a shower. The exhaust of the combustion product gases goes through a 3" duct out of the top of the shower compartment box, and exits through the upper side vent on the trailer, 3 feet above that door, just below the window.

Specs on the heater are here: The EZ101 Tankless Water Heater by EZtankless.com

It is the basic model made by "EZ101" company and is probably manufactured in China, although upon looking inside, half the parts have Made in USA references, which is amusing. It is 42k BTU, and 2.0 gpm of flow will receive a 35F temperature rise while 0.9 gpm of flow will receive a 77F temperature rise. It all depends upon your water supply temperature, but 120F will be pushing it for this heater, except for lower flowrates or higher ambient temperatures. 12V ignition is provided by 2 D cell batteries, and it has a master power switch which I will be using regularly to keep it from accidentally turning on, even though it supposedly has many safety features to prevent it doing so.

Finally, RVIA certification is the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association which publishes standards and certifies products for use in RV's/Trailers according to those standards. The claim would probably be something along the lines of excessive road vibration leading to premature failure of this device, and thus to produce it to the tolerance and reliability required ends up costing 8 times as much...? I relate to this from some oil industry standards for refining which are more than just overkill -- some are purely obnoxious and end up increasing costs dramatically, but even if these are legitimate, I could replace this one ~6 more times and still break even after shipping and installation material cost and everything.

Thanks for all the compliments on the box by the way. I'm just glad that appliance is pretty much done. Time to move on to the fridge install.

I'm done writing now. My posts are getting wayyyy tooo long.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:52 PM   #235
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Marie and I spent a decent amount of time at the trailer this weekend, half of which we spent talking through and planning out the final interior details, like drawer placement and design vs. shelf placement, convertible forward berth/ table design, etc.

Had a visit from Javier and Kenny, and that helped spark some discussion about table design again. We had been planning a kidney bean shape with a separate pull out bed extension, but due to the water tank and minimal space, we have gone the opposite direction, and settled on a typical sailboat table design which is removed and sits on top of supports around the sides to create a flat platform.

Then we went ahead and built most of it.

As usual, I did some plumbing touch ups and electrical work to mix up the tasks a little.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:55 AM   #236
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Very impressive! Thanks for the pictures! Great thread!
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Old 05-14-2012, 01:31 AM   #237
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Coming together

It really feels like its coming together now.

Only had a little bit of time over the last few days, but tried to make it count.

Found some better stubby elbows to improve the freshwater fill which was pinching with the sharp curve under the sofa back. We are going to have to notch out the cushions to make it fit, so you will be able to feel it if you move around a lot. We thought about alternatives for a long time but settled on this.

Towed the trailer over to the water spigots today and tested the entire water system (minus turning on the heater). It all works beautifully, with no leaks. What a relief. I was really hoping that would be the case because I realized I had jumped the gun and glued some of the cabinetry in place which would have made it 10x more difficult to repair any spots. I left some water in the tank so I can test the heater soon. That leads me to...the propane system. I installed most of it today. Went with 1/2 black iron for the main 10 foot header, branches out to the appliances on individual 3/8" OD copper lines. Double flare for everything, shut off valves for everything except the fridge which has it's own convenient one on the back.

I'll be finishing up the copper this week, working some more on the final cabinet frame, and maybe following a lead on some discount Corian remnants for the counters. Of course, I always jump around and do 5-10 other things at the same time (electrical, some work with the router, etc.)

Things are looking very bright for having my basic goals accomplished by the July camping trip. Yay!
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:32 AM   #238
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Great work! Love the cabinetry work on the bases.. nice curves too! Did you cut those quarter rounds yourself? What diameter did you use?

Re the water fill... can some elbows be put to use to make the pipe sit closer to the wall?
Again, great work! What kind of overlay or veneer will you be using for the seat bases?
Marc
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:23 AM   #239
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Ms75Argosy View Post
Great work! Love the cabinetry work on the bases.. nice curves too! Did you cut those quarter rounds yourself? What diameter did you use?

Re the water fill... can some elbows be put to use to make the pipe sit closer to the wall?
Again, great work! What kind of overlay or veneer will you be using for the seat bases?
Marc
Thanks thanks and thanks!

Marie cut the quarter rounds with a jigsaw out of 1x4's. Thus, they are all 3.5" radius curves. I think she cut 16 (+ lots of "imperfect" scraps). I was planning to go a little larger for ease of bending the veneer around the long sections but using 1x4's made sense, and it also minimizes the wasted space in the sides of the curve.

The veneer will all be 1/8" Baltic Birch throughout, stained to match the endcap in that medium brown oakish color, with semi-gloss poly.

The water fill does have elbows now to hug against the wall, but our seat backs are going right up against the wall with only 7.5 degree angle, so it still sticks out. I'll take a picture to better explain. Really my mess-up was using the vintage Bargman water fill where I did. But I am interested in other ideas...
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1959 Pacer 18' Renovation - Knight in Shining Armor

Our Adventure Blog - Documenting our backpacking, hiking, camping, and Airstreaming
(still updating, haven't gotten to the Airstream trips yet)
worldinchaos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2012, 11:05 AM   #240
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West , California
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 907
Images: 3
Looking good! I always feel a little A.D.D. when it comes to working on my trailer. I like to think of it as multi tasking.
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