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Old 08-31-2013, 11:10 AM   #41
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1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
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We generally boondock so I like to monitor utilities. We have a "battery minder" to keep track of battery voltage, so why not a water meter to keep track of how much water we have used and have left in the tank.

I bought a water meter, probably overkill but I could not find a cheaper more accurate way to measure water consumption. Cost was under $70 including shipping and I got it from www.watermeters.com. I installed it just after the water pump. I can read it after I pull down the back of the front gaucho. It was a very easy install.

Dan
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:11 PM   #42
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Toilet Console Repair

The toilet console originally had a 4x12 vent in the front and a slot for the flush lever for the original toilet. I replaced the toilet with a Curve porta potty (posts 23-32), so the slot is no longer needed. I wanted to fill in the vent because the batteries are in the area behind the console. I had some fiberglass pieces left over from making the hole in the top of the console larger to accommodate the Curve toilet. I cut these to size and used gorilla glue to secure them to the back of the console to patch the holes (photo 2). I used auto body putty (bondo) to fill in the 1/8" space (photo 3). I used sheet metal screws to hold the patches in place and then removed them and filled the holes with bondo after the glue was hard. I then primed the patches and painted the front of the console white (finally got rid of the 60's and 70's harvest gold (photo 4).

I still need to install the trim at the bottom.

Dan
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:08 PM   #43
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Improving Fridge Performance

When I installed my new fridge I did my best to install it in accordance with the manufacturers requirements. This meant adding a lot of baffling at the rear of the fridge and sealing the entire fridge vent path to keep hot air and propane exhaust products out of the trailer living area. The installation is detailed in a thread in the fridge section titled "Refrigerator Baffling and Sealing".

I recently bought a kill-a-watt meter. This tool/meter allows you to measure the power required to operate your fridge and to tell you how efficiently it is operating. This is all explained in the following link:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f425...it-109460.html

To summarize the results, the heater element to operate the fridge draws 200 watts, but the average power to maintain a fridge temperature between 34 and 38 degrees, using the number two setting, is only 120 watts. This means that the heater element is only operating 60% of the time.

Even though I am very happy with the operation of my fridge, I have decided to install some computer fans at the inlet to the vent for the fridge that is located at the bottom of the belly pan. The inlet area is about 4" x 18" and is shown in the photo below. Presently the vent and exhaust air goes up the fridge vent based on natural convection. My plan is to install the computer fans and improve the fridge performance by speeding up the air flow. Hopefully I will be able to maintain 34-38 degrees in the fridge, on number two setting, and use even less than 120 watts. I just ordered the computer fans from Amazon. Stay tuned.
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:46 AM   #44
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A great thread Dan. I have read it with considerable interest. I also did a cork floor, new plumbing and faucets, and a new fridge in our 86.

I will likely own a 66 Tradewind soon. Your upgrade experiences will be useful to me as I begin yet another Airstream project.

Your writting style and photos are A+.

David
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:09 AM   #45
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exterior light

Hi Dan! I was looking over some of your earlier posts and notice that you installed an exterior LED bulb in your outside light. Strangely my 66 trade winds doesn't have an exterior light! Do you think yours is original .

I was wondering if you could post a picture of where it is located on the trailer. Id love to retrofit one, and would like to see where yours is located - if yours is original, I'd like to see if I can locate some wiring on my trailer that I could hook into...


Thanks!
maggie
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:04 AM   #46
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My 66 has the flood light on the curb side front. It is the same hardware that is on my 86. My photo is poor, but if you squint, you can see the round flood light.

I have noticed some Trade Winds have the light, and some do not. I do not know if it was an option.

TouringDan may know.

David
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:15 AM   #47
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Thanks David. that location does make sense as I have an electrical outlet on the interior very close to that!! I checked EBay and I can get a similar type of light for $9.00
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:42 AM   #48
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Hi Maggie!! Hope all is well there, we just got back from a rally near here and the coffee is now all gone ;>(

I do believe all 66 Airstreams had the scare light by the door so I would suspect that your outside panel there was replaced. It's an easy retro to install a "new" one but there is an inside housing that the light lens screws into, make sure you get that also.
Good luck
Barry & Karen
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:57 AM   #49
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David

Thanks for the kind words. I just try to document what I have done to help others. They can either copy what I have done, or put a twist on it and improve on the modification to suit their own needs.

Maggie

I don't know if the scare light was an option. I would definitely install one. If 12v power is not there already you can get it from the reading light on the wall. Here are some photos.

Dan
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:19 AM   #50
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Maggie

I am not able to load the photos. The centerline of the scare light is 6" above the horizontal seam and 4.5" to the right of the vertical seam. The light switch is at the same level as the reading light.

Dan
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:31 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maggieevans View Post
Thanks David. that location does make sense as I have an electrical outlet on the interior very close to that!! I checked EBay and I can get a similar type of light for $9.00
Maggie

The electrical outlet is 120v ac. You need 12v dc for the light. You can get it from the reading light on the wall.

Dan
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:53 AM   #52
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Maggie

Here are the photos referenced in post #49.

Dan
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:38 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TouringDan View Post
Maggie Here are the photos referenced in post #49. Dan

perfect. thanks Dan. No more stumbling about in the dark!
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:43 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goshawks00 View Post
Hi Maggie!! Hope all is well there, we just got back from a rally near here and the coffee is now all gone ;>( I do believe all 66 Airstreams had the scare light by the door so I would suspect that your outside panel there was replaced. It's an easy retro to install a "new" one but there is an inside housing that the light lens screws into, make sure you get that also. Good luck Barry & Karen

I just read somewhere on the forums that they were actually an option, not standard, surprising that some one had enough for a new airstream but not an exterior light, lol. Although I do have an external ac outlet on the trailer on the other side of the door - maybe they used one of the old plug in porch lights instead. (Would love to find one of those).

VTS sells a gorgeous little chrome housing for a porch light very Art Deco but hefty price tag... Maybe I will put it on my Christmas list and Santa will bring it!


We attended our first regional WBCCI rally this past weekend. Really great bunch of people!
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:24 PM   #55
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Cellular Blinds

The PO installed curtains in our 66 Tradewind and they just did not work for us. First off, it was a real pia to open the windows and you could not open the curtains very much to let the light in. This was a major problem as the PO had also tinted the windows.

We decided to install cellular blinds. I have never had cellular blinds, but always liked the idea as they provide some insulation value when they are closed. They also do not take up much room when they are open. In our case they will be closed in the evening for privacy but completely open during the day.

We ordered them from Steve's blinds and the ordering and measuring process was quite simple. There are seven blinds and the total cost was about $375.

The biggest question I had when we decided to go with the cellular blinds was how to hold them close to the wall when the blind was closed due to the curvature of the Airstream walls. I looked in the window curtain section and saw that the best way to hold the blinds close to the wall was to use magnets. I ordered some 3/4" dia x 1/16" thick magnets from Amazon and glued them to some brackets that I made out of 3/4 x 1/2 aluminum angle stock. Each magnet has a pull of about 3 lbs. I really was not sure if this would be enough pull or too much. I have found that one magnet at each end is fine for the front and rear windows, but I like more pull on the curved windows, so I use 2 magnets. If I were to do this again, I would order 1/8" magnets with about a 6 lb pull. Anyhow I use super glue to hold the magnets to the angled aluminum and then secure the aluminum to the window frame using pop rivets. So far so good. I like them. They do look a little stark though. We may add a little curtain to cover the small gap at each edge and to dress up the appearance a little bit.

Dan
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:30 PM   #56
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The cellular blinds look sharp. And you don't have all the strings and actuating rods found on Levelor style blinds. Yeah, my wife the interior designer would want some color valances and side curtians to dress up the window some.

The PO on my Trade Wind used pillow cases for curtains! Saves a lot of sewing time.
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:30 AM   #57
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Good Morning TouringDan,

Did you ever discover how the bathroom sink piece was attached to the toilet console? It sure looks like it is a separate molded piece.

I have some classic floor rot at the curb side rear, kinda under the univolt. I have read that under the shower / tub is another place to find some common floor rot. My trailer has some caulking applied to the shower / tub seams, so I suspect there was some leaking there in the past. The floor at the outside storage access just in front of the bathroom wall appears okay.

I am planning on disassembling the bathroom pieces to gain access to the floor rot. I was just wondering if you found out how the sink is attached to the console.

David
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:55 PM   #58
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David

Sorry to take so long to respond.

The vanity is separate from the console. They are both made out of fiberglass. This can be seen if you look at some of the photos in post 37-40.

I never finished my vanity top because I ran into a problem painting it with POR Whitecote. I brushed it on. The first coat ran because I applied it too wet. The second coat dries very quickly; I probably did not apply it wet enough because I did not want it to run. I am going to sand it down and try to spray it to get a smoother finish. The big problem is that this is the first time I have every applied whitecote- no experience. Painting the vanity was probably not the best place to learn.

The vanity top appears to have been installed using rivets. I believe these were installed before the exterior panels were installed. Therefore you really can't remove the vanity top to refinish it and then re-install it; well you probably can, I just don't know how I would re-install it so it would be secured to the inside shell surface.

Here are some photos.
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:45 PM   #59
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Thanks for the info TouringDan. Your sink looks a whole lot better than mine. I kinda figured they were fiberglass. My 86 shower is all vacuum formed ABS.

I learn every day from all the great information on Air Forums.

David
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Old 11-09-2016, 09:21 PM   #60
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Downgrading Power to the Panel Box and Replacement.

It is kind of embarrassing that I have not posted on this thread for 3 years! I have done some work, but actually very little. Mostly I have been out camping and doing other stuff. It is not that the Tradewind did not have any work to do on it, more that there was nothing I really needed to do to go camping, so I mostly did nothing and did some camping.

We camp mostly without hookups because that is how we like to camp- cheaper, larger sites, less crowded and just a different experience. We camp mostly in the mountains where we don't need AC. We did not use it at all this past year.

We have 2 golf cart batteries, so about 220 amp-hours of capacity. We don't use much battery power. We usually are out for 3-4 days at a time. The voltage when we start is usually about 12.80 and after 4 days it is only down to 12.60 volts. We use the batteries for powering the led lights, water pump, charging cell phones and some fan usage. Our fridge is fairly new but does not use the battery at all except for the spark to light the fridge.

We had the original Armstrong AC unit but removed it because it was butt ugly and too noisey and too much vibration and now make do with a 5,000 btu/hr window unit. Power consumption is only about 6 amps.

We have had the original 30 amp 25 foot power cord exiting the 4" hole at the left rear of the trailer. I wanted to change this set up as it was cumbersome and overkill. Seemed like 15 amp service to the trailer would be fine- enough to operate the converter, the fridge and the AC if we were using it. This would allow me to plug into a regular 15 or 20 receptacle or my 1000 watt generator if we needed it.

At the same time, I figured why not change the panel box. The original one was GE with a 15 amp circuit breaker and a 20 amp circuit breaker (needed for the original AC unit). I went to Lowes and bought a new Square D panel box for $11 and $14 for two 15 amp circuit breakers. So just $25 for materials for a new panel box and circuit breakers. Replacement was easy. Anybody with mechanical aptitude can do it, just take a picture before and hook up everything the way it was using the photo. I decided to install a Marinco receptale/connector in the rear of the Airstream body. I did not like adding another hole, but it seemed like the right thing to do and worked out well. I think it looks fine. Now I can carry one extension cord with me to hook up to a 120v 15/20 receptacle or my little generator. I am not concerned about connecting to a 20 amp outlet because I don't think that I will ever draw that much current for the fridge, converter and AC as rarely as we use it and as small as it is. If this every becomes an issue we will just operate the fridge on propane.

Dan
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