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Old 10-18-2017, 06:27 PM   #57
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1986 34' Limited
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Hello GTG in Minnesota: You did it! You have essentially a new frame with the shell back on. Getting it sealed up before winter is important. Maybe you have a heated garage for the winter's work? Glad to see your dog and cat helping out.

Axles are a PITA. You have overcome the nightmare. You did that too. My axles were Axis from Colin Hyde and he specifically told me they will require modification to the frame. But the shock mounts were correct. I made a template and started grinding slots and drilling holes. Colin Hyde did well by me in 2013. We were living in Delano, MN, at the time.

I need new axles on my 86 Limited, all three of them! I think the major manufacturer of torsion axles is now Dexter. My local commercial trailer retail outlet carries Dexter and claims they can order new axles from Dexter to the exact configuration. I will bring my old axle to their store and watch them fill out the order. If it isn't an exact replica and won't fit, I'll take'm back. It might be an easier way to go. Your axles may be made by Dexter.

David
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Old 10-19-2017, 06:03 AM   #58
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GTG

You certainly had major problems with your axles. My only problems installing axles in my Tradewind were improperly located shock mounts on one side (Airstream QC problems) and my own stupid mistake of twisting off one of the upper shock mounts. I was glad that I ordered from Colin.

Your frame and subfloor looks great. Nice job of getting the shell back on.

Dan
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:06 AM   #59
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Bathroom questions

Dan and David,

Great to see your both still following the build. My next area of concern is the bathroom. My girlfriend has grand plans for it and I am trying to make those happen. It's hard to describe all of her plans through text here but essentially we plan on building out a new wet bath where we will tile most of the bathroom or at least anywhere that has any potential of seeing water and then put down some teak slats on the floor over the tile. The bathroom is located in the rear and I was wondering if either of you had any thoughts on the following:

1. I have a good friend who specializes in bathroom renovations (residential) and he recommend trying the Schluter Kerdi system for the shower pan and water proofing but replacing the standard thin set mortar with a high flex version. Here's a link to their site:

https://www.schluter.com/schluter-us...er-System/c/SS

2. Any other suggestions for building a custom shower pan in the rear that will essentially encompass the entire bathroom.

I am trying to solve this issue now as finishing up the waste water plumbing in the rear is what is holding me back from finishing the rear section of the exterior(belly pan, banana wrap, etc).
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Old 10-19-2017, 06:12 PM   #60
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I got an idea; forget the shower part. Who needs a shower anyway? A total waste of clean water. Think "Navy shower". When I lived in Minnesota, I would just take a dip in the lake after a long bike ride. Refreshing and the dirt was gone. Many state parks and RV parks have a bath house if you get desperate. Traveling in an Airstream is a lot different than a cruise ship. You have to give up some of the luxuries in life.

The Trade Wind had a tub in it originally. My 75 Overlander also has a tub. A tub sold a lot of trailer to folks who thought it was just like home. Airstreams don't have tubs anymore.

There are many configurations of shower pans out there. I purchased a 2'x2' fiberglass one for my rear bath. It's a bit small. Airstream has several configurations of shower pans thermoformed in plastic, ABS I think. I don't know enough about "flex tile" and some of these modern materials. But I do know the rear of the trailer is one bouncy place to be at 60 mph on rough pavement.

I recommend to stick with traditional construction techniques that are proven over time. Here is how my rear bath turned out. Not fancy, but functional. Your girlfriend wouldn't like it.

David
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Old 10-20-2017, 07:23 AM   #61
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David & GTG

Unlike David I enjoy taking a shower in my Tradewind. The convenience of taking a quick shower in the comfort of my trailer while not having to get dressed and walk to a bathroom of questionable cleanliness means a lot to me. It may be a navy shower but the water is always as warm as I need it and it takes very little time.

Like David I say to go with proven materials and construction practices for your bathroom. I understand that your GF wants to be creative. That is fine, but a trailer is no place for ceramic tile and thinset mortar (or a flexible alternative). You want your materials to be light weight and to tolerate vibration. The light weight quality is doubly important since all the weight is behind the rear axle. Have you heard of rear end sag? I don't think it is a problem with Tradewinds since the overhang is not much, but it could be a problem in your Tradewind if you go with a tile bathroom. Save the tile bathroom for your stationary home. It would be a shame to rebuild your whole trailer and then have a problem with the bathroom not holding up down the road.

Wally said to make improvements not changes. I think the original 66 Tradewind bathroom was very well designed. My bathroom is stock except for removal of the 50 lb original china toilet and replacing it with the 7 lb plastic Curve porta potty. This also allowed me to modify the black water tank and turn it into a gray water tank. No extra tank needed and the plumbing needed to drain the gray water tank now extends only 1.5 inches below the belly pan.

Dan
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Old 10-20-2017, 12:34 PM   #62
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Thanks for the responses guys. As we plan to full time in it skipping the shower all together is definitely out of the question. I think I'll have a chat with the girlfriend and see what kind of alternatives we can come up with.
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Old 10-20-2017, 06:38 PM   #63
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Okay, I understand the full time desire. We have a saying here on the Forums, your trailer, your rules. I'll admire anything you folks decide to do.

But hey, don't full time in your Trade Wind during a Minnesota winter. Your newly installed shower will freeze up for sure. I was laughing at the plumbing arrangement in my new to me 75 Overlander. The "main" water line runs along the very rear of the trailer in the rear cargo compartment where there is little interior heat. The previous owner had it all papered with bubble wrap, I wonder why. There is an open vent next to the toilet that I presume is to allow some heat to reach this area, but more likely will allow the cold to reach the bathroom. Who ever figured out that plumbing route has never been in below freezing temps with a strong north wind.

People from Minnesota think thick insulation, big furnaces, long underwear and down comforters are a necessity.

David
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Old 10-20-2017, 06:53 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
I got an idea; forget the shower part. Who needs a shower anyway? A total waste of clean water. Think "Navy shower". When I lived in Minnesota, I would just take a dip in the lake after a long bike ride. Refreshing and the dirt was gone. Many state parks and RV parks have a bath house if you get desperate. Traveling in an Airstream is a lot different than a cruise ship. You have to give up some of the luxuries in life.



The Trade Wind had a tub in it originally. My 75 Overlander also has a tub. A tub sold a lot of trailer to folks who thought it was just like home. Airstreams don't have tubs anymore.



There are many configurations of shower pans out there. I purchased a 2'x2' fiberglass one for my rear bath. It's a bit small. Airstream has several configurations of shower pans thermoformed in plastic, ABS I think. I don't know enough about "flex tile" and some of these modern materials. But I do know the rear of the trailer is one bouncy place to be at 60 mph on rough pavement.



I recommend to stick with traditional construction techniques that are proven over time. Here is how my rear bath turned out. Not fancy, but functional. Your girlfriend wouldn't like it.



David


A shower is one of the primary reasons I would own a trailer, and I pretty much threw traditional techniques out on their head...
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Old 10-20-2017, 06:56 PM   #65
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Thanks for the responses guys. As we plan to full time in it skipping the shower all together is definitely out of the question. I think I'll have a chat with the girlfriend and see what kind of alternatives we can come up with.


I used a three piece fiberglass shower enclosure from Lowe’s. It was easy to install, relatively light, and 30” x 30”.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:39 AM   #66
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We used fiberglass panels from Menards for the shower walls. You can get them with the tile "look" also. Sealed corners with silicone caulk, and no problems for 6 years. We shower pretty much daily in our trailer when we're out in it.
Weight is an issue with tile and any kind of mortar slab, I would think, as well as flex when traveling. BUT, a wet bath is frequently done and very doable. It's mostly a matter of looking around to see what materials will work for you. There are the light weight tiles that you can cut with a knife, are supposed to be waterproof, and use a flexible caulk "mortar" that might work in your situation. You could build a shower pan yourself into the trailer - people have done it on the forums with fiberglass sheets and epoxy using a form - make your whole bathroom a pan!

Kay
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Old 10-25-2017, 07:42 AM   #67
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I used a three piece fiberglass shower enclosure from Lowe’s. It was easy to install, relatively light, and 30” x 30”.


This was my original plan, definitely easy to install and would work well. But I think we are going to go a little more custom than that.
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Old 10-25-2017, 07:44 AM   #68
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We used fiberglass panels from Menards for the shower walls. You can get them with the tile "look" also. Sealed corners with silicone caulk, and no problems for 6 years. We shower pretty much daily in our trailer when we're out in it.
Weight is an issue with tile and any kind of mortar slab, I would think, as well as flex when traveling. BUT, a wet bath is frequently done and very doable. It's mostly a matter of looking around to see what materials will work for you. There are the light weight tiles that you can cut with a knife, are supposed to be waterproof, and use a flexible caulk "mortar" that might work in your situation. You could build a shower pan yourself into the trailer - people have done it on the forums with fiberglass sheets and epoxy using a form - make your whole bathroom a pan!

Kay


Thanks Kay! That’s some good info. I’ll look into the fiberglass and epoxy method too. That should do a good job of staying light weight and waterproof.
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Old 11-28-2017, 09:23 PM   #69
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My last update showed the shell getting back onto the frame and a few other minor updates. Since then a lot has happened, yet for some reason it doesn't seem like I have progressed as much as I thought I would.

First up, fans and patches. Here is a pic of what you to be a little vent that I replaced with a fantastic vent, and a patch partially installed beside the vent where there used to be a bunch of holes from the old Antenna.

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I also installed a bathroom vent that I picked up from VTS and patched some other areas on the roof that were left behind from the old AC. You'll be able to see the bathroom vent in a picture later in this post.

Since I purchased the trailer the stack window near the door has always been missing, I purchased a whole new one from VTS, as I haven't had the best luck reinstalling glass lately. It turned out looking great, we just had to open up the hole by a few mm's, put some vulkem around the window and then rivet it in place.

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Then this happened...it's not much snow but was a great reminder of what is right around the corner.

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So because of this snow and how far behind schedule I was I worked out a deal to get the trailer into a warm covered location. It's costing me a small amount of rent as well as some manual labour helping a roommate out at his shop.

BUT before I moved the trailer I wanted to get my custom shock extensions on. These came in two pieces one collar that slipped over most of the old shock then another piece that had a threaded hole on one side and a new stud on the other. Here's a pic of the new one installed, it lined up perfectly with where the stud should be and turned out great.

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After getting the shocks installed and getting the trailer ready to go I hitched her up and towed her to her new home/rehab center.

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And here's the toaster's new home until spring!

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One more post incoming...
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Old 11-28-2017, 09:46 PM   #70
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Sealing up the exterior...part 1 of 10000000

I doubt all of you want to hear about all the tiny holes, loose rivets, bad seals, etc...which need to be fixed before this shell is "water tight." So instead just trust me that there was a lot and its tedious work but it's gotta get done.

I did get some slightly more interesting bits re installed though. Starting with the tail lights. I replaced the bulbs with LED's, got new lens covers, replaced the tail light canisters, and tried to clean up the housing as much as possible. Here's a pic of the refurbished lights installed.
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I also put the trim around the wheel wells back on...but only after attaching the wheel wells to the shell. I'm not sure which part of my rebuild caused this or if it is just because I replaced the old wheel wells with new ABS ones but the wheel well no longer came down low enough to line up with the old holes. I used a washer on the ABS side of the rivet and bucked a new line of rivets above where the trim is. I made sure that these were evenly spaced and level as I wanted the look as original as possible.

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The next two pictures I am really proud of. I didn't have either of the two compartment doors on the street side when I purchased the trailer and finding new ones seemed next to impossible. So again like many times before I went to my girlfriends Dad. We searched for any pictures that we could find of the original doors and took measurements of the current frames and set to work designing some replica's. We also added a bunch of louvers to the fridge door as that door is also the air intake for the fridge.

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I also FINALLY, decided what I am going to make my wet bath out of. I haven't found anyone else using this stuff yet but after a lot of research I am feeling pretty good about using it in the trailer. It's extremely light weight, does not require thin set between seems, is flexible, and the walls can be curved. Also the compound that is used between seems is rubber based so it should hold up well to the stresses of that the trailer sees. Here's hoping it works out as planned, I am going to be putting some tile into the bathroom but I'll be using the lightest stuff I can find and keeping flex, vibration and weight in mind the whole time. Here's a pic of the substrate I am going to use to waterproof the bathroom, it's called WEDI.

I was also on the VAP episode 284, pretty cool to hear your own voice on a podcast! I might need to speed up my call next time though, I think I went a little long on that show.
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