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Old 09-08-2013, 08:08 PM   #43
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1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
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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:
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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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