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Old 12-14-2016, 07:13 AM   #1
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1956 22' Caravanner
Don Pedro Island , Florida
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Cool Now It Starts...Rebuild of Audrey

This will be my "official" thread on my rebuild of the 1956 Caravanner.
I have had a few posts but now since the AS is home I feel as I should keep everything in one area.

Few facts...I bought the AS from the airstreamguy back in September. Asked him to put on led side lights, make sure axle and tires where good, and anything else that needed to be done before I come back in Dec. and tow it 1500 miles home.
That mission was accomplished with out a problem.

Now that Audrey is home my plans are to do a restoration...as needed. Meaning the shell will not come off, but most likely everything else will be addressed as the tear down begins.

1. Gut the inside ...nothing is worth saving...imho. (stove will be sold)
2. Remove the floor and see how the frame looks and then start making the list on the white board.

Any suggestions are always appreciated. I have read or scanned a lot of the rebuild threads, and already all I can say is "wow" and thanks. After this long post I will try to keep up with pictures and questions. However since this has been done many time b4 I will try not to bore anyone.

Some pictures...I just can not believe how people torture these old AS.
Home and tucked away. How not to wire. Drawer fix...haha
Is this bath set up original??
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:30 PM   #2
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1965 26' Overlander
appleton , Wisconsin
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Nice canvas to start working and that garage space is awesome. No space issues there. Keep us updated. Not sure how you are going to inspect the frame without taking the shell off. Maybe you could cut out sections and splice back in but the way these things are built if you want to work the frame you have to pull the shell off.
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Old 01-04-2017, 06:09 AM   #3
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I plan to remove many original interior pieces (dinette, couch, wardrobes, bathroom) on my 1984 excella. Message me if you want any of that for your stream!
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Old 01-22-2017, 07:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjmtb View Post
Not sure how you are going to inspect the frame without taking the shell off. Maybe you could cut out sections and splice back in but the way these things are built if you want to work the frame you have to pull the shell off.
Not sure I understand the question...I plan on removing the floor and the belly pan. By doing this won't the frame be visible for inspection.
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:08 AM   #5
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Don Pedro Island , Florida
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Making a little progress...need to get all the interior panels off and then get down to the floor.

The panels would not be so hard to remove if there wasn't 100 coats of paint on the rivets...haha

The floor looks like original...than a redo of 1/2 inch ply and then another redo with 3/8 inch ply and then some fake sticky wood strips ugh.

While removing most of the floor and cabinets the trailer must of decompressed the springs by at least a inch. I had to go out and crank up the jack stabilizers a couple of times...




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Old 02-12-2017, 04:00 PM   #6
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Don Pedro Island , Florida
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Cross Member

Is this a stock piece or is it an add on...it was supporting a plastic tank that had no bottom (go figure).
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Old 03-11-2017, 02:34 PM   #7
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1956 22' Caravanner
Don Pedro Island , Florida
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Change of plans!

How does that go again? The best laid plans of mice and men...

I quote this from another member;
I think every shell-off started off as a superficial change of upholstery fabrics and flooring. Like they say--a vintage Airstream is like an onion--the more layers you peel off, the more you cry....

My original intent was to strip out the inside to the bare bones...leave the shell on and start from there. The short story is that after pulling the floor out...or should I say letting the floor fall out, the shell was sitting only on the outriggers.

So all I had holding it to the frame was the little L brackets . The front plate was rusted through so there was no connection there.

Also the A frame was in sad shape and welded up by the PO (and not very good).

So as they say "the full monty is here"

In reality I think this is a good thing since it will give me a chance to address everything and do it right.

Below are a few pictures that show where I am at now. In the next few days the shell will be separated from the frame.


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Old 03-25-2017, 07:59 AM   #8
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1956 22' Caravanner
Don Pedro Island , Florida
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Shell off and progress

Just updating as I go along. Not much to say except the shell lifted off pretty easy and now the frame is off to the welder.

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Old 04-14-2017, 07:30 AM   #9
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Updates

Since pulling the shell off the frame has gone to the welder...the frame was in good shape, with the exception of the rear cross beam.Replaced 6 out riggers.
The A frame up front showed a jackknife sometime in its past. That got cut out and replaced.

As soon as the welder is done, then the trailer goes to the "trailer shop" and gets a new axle (torsion) .

In the meantime I have been removing windows and doors to re-hab and re seal them...this is a big PIA.

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Old 04-14-2017, 08:15 AM   #10
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1957 22' Custom
Lago Vista , Texas
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Looking Good

Windows are incredibly time consuming. So. Much. Work. It's rewarding to re-install them and make them work again. My window frames were put together with tubular rivets, but I didn't want to buy the tool for $120, so I used buck rivets which worked just fine. It's not 'correct' but my trailer is a renovation, not a restoration, so I'm ok with deviations like this.

I still don't know why your door has two lock sets
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Old 04-15-2017, 09:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDickey View Post
Windows are incredibly time consuming. So. Much. Work. It's rewarding to re-install them and make them work again. My window frames were put together with tubular rivets, but I didn't want to buy the tool for $120, so I used buck rivets which worked just fine. It's not 'correct' but my trailer is a renovation, not a restoration, so I'm ok with deviations like this.

I still don't know why your door has two lock sets
I'm with you on the windows...I just ordered the gaskets and screens, so I will have those when installing.

The difference a year makes??? All my windows are bucked in, and you are right about the lockset.

I like your reasoning...renovation not restoration! My feelings all the way.
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Old 04-23-2017, 08:38 AM   #12
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Window Rehabbing

While waiting for the frame to get done...I thought I would tackle the windows...trying to do one at a time. What a chore.
As soon as the gasket material shows up then time to put them in. Yes!

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Old 04-27-2017, 06:54 AM   #13
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Islandtrader, thanks for creating this thread. I have looked at many shell-off threads, and it seems that your shell and shell removal are the most similar to what I expect mine to be. Can you please tell me what exactly you had to unfasten to free the shell? I see that your c channel appears to be left in place and that is what I plan to do. Did you just have to remove all the elevator bolts and the rivets to the belly pan?

I am going to have to do a shell-on floor replacement. Do you think that if I just remove all the elevator bolts that I would be able to lift the shell a 1/2" or 1" even with the banana peels and belly pan still attached?

Did you run into any elevator bolts that weren't actually through your outriggers? It seems that Airstream missed several of the outriggers on mine! I will post some pics if anyone wants to see.

Thanks
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Old 04-29-2017, 07:04 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Venturewest View Post
Islandtrader, thanks for creating this thread. I have looked at many shell-off threads, and it seems that your shell and shell removal are the most similar to what I expect mine to be. Can you please tell me what exactly you had to unfasten to free the shell? I see that your c channel appears to be left in place and that is what I plan to do. Did you just have to remove all the elevator bolts and the rivets to the belly pan?

I am going to have to do a shell-on floor replacement. Do you think that if I just remove all the elevator bolts that I would be able to lift the shell a 1/2" or 1" even with the banana peels and belly pan still attached?

Did you run into any elevator bolts that weren't actually through your outriggers? It seems that Airstream missed several of the outriggers on mine! I will post some pics if anyone wants to see.

Thanks
I will try and answer the above
Can you please tell me what exactly you had to unfasten to free the shell?
The original floor was so bad that literally all I did was cut it out and pull it away from the c channel. Then I cut the belly pan off near end of the frame. Leaving it attached to the shell (I plan on installing a new pan) so this was really a hack job just to get the old stuff off.
You can not leave the c channel on if you want to save your belly pan. I am making all new c channels since mine were pretty well shot.

My airstream had L brackets that were attached to outriggers with the elevator bolts. I was missing one outrigger also. The final outcome was I felt it would be easier faster and better to just pull the shell and start from the beginning .
A lot of this stuff is hard to imagine until you just jump in.
If you need any questions answered in detail, just PM me your phone number and a good time to talk and I will be more than happy to go into more detail.
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