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Old 05-21-2010, 07:11 AM   #225
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Neato! I love the wee trailers!
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Old 07-13-2010, 10:24 PM   #226
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Assumptions are dangerous

First, apologies for not posting in the thread recently. I have been working on Island Girl, but mostly on the belly pan. I was advised to be patient on this task by the Someday 59's and I have really tried to do that. But, Iím a month or so into it and it isnít yet done, close but not done. Iíve not yet thrown any tools, but I have walked away from it several days. I don't like it and I haven't wanted to post about it.

Even at this incomplete stage, the trailer looks a bunch better. The worst piece of the old pan was right by the door, so you had to look at it all the time. It really looks better now. But it hasnít been a fun task and Iíll be glad when itís totally done. Since my fresh water and grey tanks extend down, the pan isnít solid underneath. I used 5052 aluminum, .025 on the ends with the curves and .032 on the straight bits. The Large Flange Rivets from VTS are really good for fastening underneath.

This post, though, is supposed to be about the dangers of assumptions. Iíve dealt with 12 volt electrical systems for years and didnít expect any troubles with the system on the trailer. Since I had no battery installed, I didnít do a lot of checking of my work. Itís simple: what could go wrong?

Recently got the batteries in place, so Iíve gotten most of the lights installed. Everything has worked just fine, except for those three LED puck lights running down the overhead center. How could they not work? The fix involved drilling out an eight foot line of bucked rivets and pulling one whole side of the overhead down to get access, just a few hours of work. The troubleshooting was easy: I had a loop of positive wire between two of the lights that should have been cut and wired into the light circuit, but wasnít. Stupid mistake that could have so easily been checked earlier. What could go wrong?

Everything works now, though. Iíll get the solar hooked up in a day or so and weíll be able to use our Fantastic Vents as it looks like weíve finally made it to warm weather.

New Airstream signs too and we even got to tow for the first time, all of about 100 yards to move from a sunny spot to a shady spot for the summer!

cheers,
steve
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:54 AM   #227
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Looks great from here Steve! Nice work.. like the new T.V. too...
How's it working for you?
Marc
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:27 AM   #228
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The Tundra has just been great, Marc. Did quite a bit of work on it when we got it and it's been totally reliable since. Sure was nice having something with room for 4x8 sheets of belly pan aluminum. Gas gauge seems to move quicker than the old 4 banger Tracker, though. How's the Sequioa?

-steve
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:12 AM   #229
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Hi Steve, I'm so anxious to hear how you've made out as you're about a year and a half ahead of me, although the former owner of "Sylvia" did alot of the true grunt work. I still have all of the water systems, including some kind of black water holding tank to deal with. Several cranks for the window missing and for the overhead vents. My most obvious issue is the fridge.....I would buy your old Marvel in a heart beat, what did you end up doing with it? I've had the new version 3 way expensive fridge in my pick up camper and it's been a pain in the ass, only 4 years old and now it's completely on the fritz. It's so fun seeing the inside of your rig that looks identical nearly to mine. I'll try to post interior photos this weekend......well after some cleaning up. Keep me posted so I can learn from your experiences, thanks in advance.
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:20 AM   #230
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Did you see...?

Steve.....Did you happen to see the '56 Caravaner that was listed on Craigslist last week..?
It is located on the Kenai, somewhere, and had been there forever. From the pictures I saw it looked fantastic. I thought of you and the "boat ride" and the adventure of getting it back here. Gone from the list now...I hope it goes to a respectful home.
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:40 AM   #231
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hollyhunter View Post
Hi Steve, I'm so anxious to hear how you've made out as you're about a year and a half ahead of me, although the former owner of "Sylvia" did alot of the true grunt work. I still have all of the water systems, including some kind of black water holding tank to deal with. Several cranks for the window missing and for the overhead vents. My most obvious issue is the fridge.....I would buy your old Marvel in a heart beat, what did you end up doing with it? I've had the new version 3 way expensive fridge in my pick up camper and it's been a pain in the ass, only 4 years old and now it's completely on the fritz. It's so fun seeing the inside of your rig that looks identical nearly to mine. I'll try to post interior photos this weekend......well after some cleaning up. Keep me posted so I can learn from your experiences, thanks in advance.

Hi Holly, great looking trailer you've got. Couple of other older, but really good, Caravanner threads are Muddy Hollow's and soldiermedic's. Those window cranks are a pain: we've got so many windows and the original cranks seem to either be broken or will be broken. Vintage Trailer Supply
will get many orders from you.

My Marvel was toast on the inside and it was 110 volt only. I kept the door and door frame and hope to merge it with a newer propane fridge, but that's down the road. Blackwater tank is coming sooner, as I'll probably fabricate it out of fiberglass this winter along with the rest of the plumbing stuff. Sometimes my time estimates are off by a year or two, however.

Looking forward to interior shots of your Sylvia.

cheers,
steve
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:45 AM   #232
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melody Ranch View Post
Steve.....Did you happen to see the '56 Caravaner that was listed on Craigslist last week..?
It is located on the Kenai, somewhere, and had been there forever. From the pictures I saw it looked fantastic. I thought of you and the "boat ride" and the adventure of getting it back here. Gone from the list now...I hope it goes to a respectful home.
No, MR, I missed that one. Bet it has some stories to tell. BTW, your polish job is looking really great; can't imagine doing it the way you are in the heat.

-steve
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:55 PM   #233
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Back to Stripping

Marcus advised me to try Aircraft Stripper, the nastiest stuff available, for stripping off the old Zolatone. I was too stubborn to follow good advice until I had used up all the other stuff I had. Finally got to that point today and got a gallon of the good stuff. Sort of goes pop when the cap is unscrewed and it has plenty of dire warnings written on the can. You are warned against using Aircraft Stripper on airplanes. No warnings concerning Airstreams.

It smells awful and you don't want to get it on your skin, but it does seem to get much more off on the first pass. It'll still take about three applications to get rid of the Zolatone. I'm now doing the lower interior skins that won't be replaced by Baltic Birch. The end of stripping is in sight.

Up front, I'm fitting the lower panels in birch. Once they're in, I can start on the cabinet that will house the batteries and the rest of the electrics.

Meanwhile, Pam, who loves to "talk" to that girl she sees in the mirror, found a really huge girl to talk to inside the trailer.

cheers,
steve
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:09 AM   #234
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Oh yeah, the sight of those panels on the ground looks AWFULLY familiar.

Sure is easier to strip outside on the ground though, and safer and less stinky too. Polishing on a work table is a bit easier, too.

Glad Pam has someone to keep her company.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:31 PM   #235
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Fixing Up the Door

My buddy Brissy loves her sailboat. Sheís nearly nine now and has almost never left it since she joined us when she was five weeks old. In the first picture, sheís hanginí out on the boom in Trinidad after crossing the Atlantic ocean. Up until this week, she had never walked on grass, but sheís now made three trips to the trailer to help me work on the days that Iíve had respite care for Pam. Bris thinks that grass stuff has real possibilities.

I had care for Pam today, but Brissy bailed on me and decided to stay on the boat and sleep all day. That made it a good day to work on that door through which both of them tend to walk, not knowing where they are going. Iíve had two real goals for the summer months: getting the belly pan installed and doing a general fix up of the door before wet weather hits us again.

The door is in really good original shape and fits very well. Mostly it just needed new gaskets, stripping and polish of the interior panels, and replacing pop rivets with bucked. I drilled out a couple of pop rivets on the hinges and they just fell right off. There was a little corrosion, so that was cleaned up and sprayed with aircraft primer. I also added a doubler inside the door and interior wall at each hinge attach. Quite a bit more work to do on it, but itís at least back on to keep Pam and Brissy secure.

Seems like nearly all the tasks right now show as a big improvement on the trailer. All that ripping apart and tearing up has to be done, but this stuff is more rewarding.

cheers,
steve
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Old 09-04-2010, 12:05 PM   #236
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Door Handle

Steve,
One thing I discovered is that just above the door handle there was a space the thickness of 2 quarters. That is where water was getting in on my door. So, check that out and make sure you fill the space with some blk plumbers type putty. Your trailer is looking good. J
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Old 09-04-2010, 07:12 PM   #237
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Steve,
One thing I discovered is that just above the door handle there was a space the thickness of 2 quarters. That is where water was getting in on my door. So, check that out and make sure you fill the space with some blk plumbers type putty. Your trailer is looking good. J
Thanks for that tip, Jaimie. Trim plate around my door handle is loose, so I know I've got issues there. Planning to take it off and rechrome it over the winter and get it sealed up after that.

I've got the interior door panels off, stripped, and started with polishing. Not much progress the last few days as Pam has had the flu, but she's feeling better today. No fun being sick when you have Alzheimers and can't understand what is going on.

-steve
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:19 PM   #238
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I hear ya. Hang in there Steve.
I really enjoy reading your blog.
J
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