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Old 03-17-2016, 11:45 AM   #57
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1968 24' Tradewind
1968 26' Overlander
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@ David - Among other things, I rebuilt my TradeWind's step this past week and learned a bit more about it in the process. On closer inspection it appears Airstream inserted an unthreaded elevator bolt (essentially a flat head on a smooth shaft) through the outrigger into the step arm and then welded the shaft to the step arm. To remove it, I suggest you grind the weld down to the level of the arm and then use a punch and drill to bore out the rest of the shaft.

You'll need to decide if you want to replace the connection with a similar attachment system (which requires welding). Since the step arms have a very tight clearance, a standard bolt head cannot be used on the step arm as it would prevent the step from being fully closed. I decided to cut the head off a bolt and weld it to the step arm while it was in place on the outrigger (see picture on previous page). I then added a locking nut on the bold protruding outside of the outrigger.

In retrospect, I suggest you source a 3/8" elevator bolt and push this through the step arm into the outrigger. The elevator bolt head should clear the other arm. Then put the locking nut on the outside of the outrigger. This would negate the need to weld anything and allow the step to be removed in the future with simple tools (no grinding, drilling, or welding required). You'd want to modify the skin so that you can access the locking nut for maintenance.
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:12 PM   #58
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Thank you very much for taking the time to explain how Airstream attached the folding step on these old trailers. I find it curious that Airstream decided to weld the "pivot" shaft to the arm and make it much more difficult to remove in the likely event it got bent.

I like your idea of providing a flat head bolt welded to the arm, and a lock nut on the back side of the outrigger. Yeah, you still have to drill out rivets on the lower part of the skin and belly pan, but you can remove the step without cutting or grinding the bolt.

I think I can proceed with the step repair on our 69 Globetrotter. Thanks again!

You are making great progress on your Trade Wind frame. It sure looks sturdy and rigid. It won't be long before you will perform "touch down" marrying the shell (body) to the new frame. Bolt it down to those beefy outriggers and new subfloor and away it goes.

David
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:36 PM   #59
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Very nice work!!!


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Old 03-17-2016, 09:35 PM   #60
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Been following your rebuild adventure... Serious Frame Envy here!
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Old 03-18-2016, 12:43 PM   #61
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1968 24' Tradewind
1968 26' Overlander
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Thanks, all. I'm looking forward to painting the frame and finishing the belly pan work. A few more weekends of work and I'll be ready to put the shell back on.
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Old 03-26-2016, 12:48 PM   #62
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1960 24' Tradewind
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Hey , just bought the same trailer, 1960 Tradewind, interior gutted (50%) not home yet (too wet outside to get t her) but would love to hear how your rebuild is going, and what you decided as to steel etc.... our frame is rotten, even the tongue, I'll hae to put it on a float to get it home me thinks. Cheers, M.
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Old 03-26-2016, 03:33 PM   #63
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1968 24' Tradewind
1968 26' Overlander
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I opted to use 11 gauge (~.0125") steel throughout. My main frame rails and A frame are 2"x6" steel tube. In retrospect, I wished I would have stuck with 2x5 rectangular tube so I didn't have issues getting my corner banana wraps to fit. Once I work out that obstacle, I'll enjoy the added space for holding tanks and more insulation (plan to winter camp as well). With 6" I was able to fit in two 26 gallon grey tanks (52 total capacity) which will be nice.
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Old 03-30-2016, 06:54 PM   #64
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Step Removal

Thank you Atomic 13 for the good information on the goofy Airstream folding steps on these vintage Airstreams. Out step is badly bent from leaving it down while pulling out of a campsite. It is hard to imagine Airstream welded the pivot pins through the grooved outriggers. I guess they figured no one would ever need to repair a bent step.

I have the belly pan down on this trailer as most of it fell off. Corroded rivets. So I might as well take the steps off and try to repair or replace them.

I ended up grinding the weld off the pivot pins on the step side of the forward links. Then I punched the pins out. I plan on using a flat head shoulder bolt. Maybe I will find one with an allen socket head, and then use a locking nut on the back side.

Okay, now back to your Trade Wind frame fabrication project.

David
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:05 AM   #65
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I just welded one inch studs to the arms after I cut the heads off. My steps were also all bent up. All I have to do is just flex the arms to remove. I haven't had a lick of trouble, and the steps have stayed in place. I didn't want to remove parts of the belly pan to remove steps.
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Old 05-31-2016, 07:05 AM   #66
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1968 24' Tradewind
1968 26' Overlander
Kansas City , Kansas
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The Tradewind was put on hold for a landscape project while the weather was nice. Click image for larger version

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With that behind me, it was great to make some progress on the trailer again. I started finishing some odds and ends on the frame welding.

The holding tanks were dry fitted and support arms were welded for the tensioned support straps that will hold them up.
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A piece of angle iron was welded across the four outriggers under the entry way.
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A rear receiver hitch was fabricated and attached.
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After degreasing the new metal, the frame was painted with two part frame epoxy.
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I spent Monday afternoon disassembling three windows and removing lots of hot glue from the glass clamp that holds the windows in place. Evidently, double sided tape was originally used as the adhesive. After an afternoon behind the heat gun, I think I'll use the original approach.
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Old 05-31-2016, 02:25 PM   #67
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Looking Good, I wish i had your time
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:42 AM   #68
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1968 24' Tradewind
1968 26' Overlander
Kansas City , Kansas
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Kit, I'm not breaking any speed records.
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Old 07-15-2016, 04:43 PM   #69
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Quote:
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Well, life always throws you curve balls... grab a cup of coffee, this will be a long post.



As for the disposition of the TradeWind, it will have to take a back burner position. Once we get the Overlander's shell on the new frame and everything water tight, I might divert my attention to the TradeWind, getting it ready to sell. If we decide against making the TradeWind a parts trailer, I'm not sure how far I should restore it before trying to sell it. I know for sure I'd want to modify the original Overlander's frame, add a fish plate to the C channel to improve it's strength, and treat it with POR 15. We'd need to add a new plywood floor and reattach the shell. It only makes sense to get it water tight, as well, so I don't have to keep it covered in our shop (which has limited space). To, me this would be a great opportunity for someone who wants to restore an airstream right, but doesn't have the space, time, tools, or skills to do a shell off restoration. I'm leaning towards not rewiring and closing up the interior skins as I suspect the next owner would want to do some work on the dents, dings, and scratches. Guess it boils down to how much I want to sell it for and how much time I have. Perhaps, it would take less time and money to part the trailer out... tough decision.

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Old 09-20-2016, 05:20 PM   #70
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Burned a vacation day to take a 3 day weekend... During which I attached the fender wells and installed 24 gauge galvanized sheet between the frame and plywood floor in the spare tire and entry way step areas.

I pre-fit and cut (using templates from the old trailer) 5/8" ACX plywood for the floor. Prior to attaching, I treated the plywood edges with WEST penetrating epoxy. The floor was attached with construction adhesive and self tapping screws.

We (Dad and I) flipped the frame over to install the holding tanks, plumbing, and belly pan electrical (brakes, 7 way conductor, LED light inside step area, etc).

Finished up the weekend by sealing various areas with Trempro (inside the fender wells, in the spare tire and step areas). These will get spayed with auto underbody paint. All should be water tight...

Next up:
1) Attach the C channel using elevator bolts
2) Finish the remaining electrical (tank sensors, etc)
3) Add a conduit below the floor that connects the street side and curb side of the trailer at its mid point (just aft of the doorway). I'll use this to pull wires later down the road (if needed) rather than needing to pull interior skins to run wires up and over.
4) Add reflectix (nearest to the plywood) and then pink fiberglass insulation
5) Seal up the belly area with 0.025 belly pan aluminum from Airparts

Oh, and by the way, I found a gantry substitute to help move the shell around... Haha

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