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Old 10-31-2013, 06:30 AM   #57
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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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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1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
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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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Old 11-09-2016, 09:29 PM   #61
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Here are 3 more photos. The first photo shows the 4" penetration through the left rear of the Tradewind. I have this part if anyone would like it. I would be happy to send it to you.
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Old 11-10-2016, 03:04 PM   #62
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Hi touring dan. Nice to see some more improvements made to your lovely old Trade Wind. They make perfect sense to me.

I chuckle at Airstream's 1966 idea for a "one stop service center" where you can string the shore power cord through a hole in the bottom of the trailer, and connect the sewer line through a hitch on the bottom of the trailer. You can also water the battery and replace a fuse. The idea didn't last very long.

So I did a similar thing where I ran the shore power connection to the side of the trailer. I'm still 30 amp due to the old air conditioner and our microwave. And I ran the sewer connection to the side of the trailer too.

We're thinking alike on our Trade Winds.

David
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Old 11-10-2016, 07:04 PM   #63
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Thanks David. I put the electrical connection in the back because it just made sense to me.

I may not even install a city water connection because we just usually boondock and that is what we are used to. I don't mind the noise of the water pump and it makes me more aware that we are using water and filling the gray water tank. We don't have a black water tank as we have the "Curve" portapotty that works fine for us.

Some of the changes we have made make things simpler and lighter. For example having just a gray water tank, the Curve portapotty that only weighs about 7 lbs, no heavy 30 amp cord, the 5,000 but/hr air conditioner only weighs 40 lbs, the 40 amp three stage converter is much lighter than the original. Ok I do have 2 heavy golf cart batteries that weigh about 120 lbs. They will be replaced with a 30 lb lithium battery down the road.

Dan
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Old 11-10-2016, 07:23 PM   #64
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1986 34' Limited
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Here is a change I made last summer. I'm not sure it is an "improvement", but more of a change due to my preference.

Your Excella probably has one of these folding tables like our Classic did. I removed it some years ago as we never used it.

So I installed it under the window by the gaucho. I didn't care for the table on the curb side kinda half in front of the door. This folding table allows for seating of 4 for dinner. Four smaller people that is.

I put two folding chairs where the old table used to ride. Now I have a bigger window to look out while enjoying a bowl of corn flakes.

I don't know, we will see if it works. Like you, I enjoy projects on this old Trade Wind. By the way, my trailer's original owner was from North Carolina. They participated in caravans and rallies. They had the trailer for over 25 years. Here is a lousy photo of some of the rally stickers they collected and put on the entry door. They even went to Mexico with it! We're going to use ours to explore the Rocky Mountains. The big Classic is too big for mountain state parks and the like.

David
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Old 04-03-2017, 10:19 PM   #65
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Installation of 1,000 watt inverter

I installed a Zamp 1,000 watt pure sine inverter in my 66 Tradewind. Because of Air Forums I was made aware of a 60% off sale on this inverter at Lowes. I believe I paid only about $132 for the inverter. I was hoping to operate a small microwave using this inverter, but I have not been able to find one. I did find a 600 watt inverter that was suppose to use only 825 watts but it actually required over 1,000 watts so it would trip the inverter when I tried to operate the microwave. I can't operate my microwave but I can operate a lot of over stuff- hairdryer, toaster, oscillating fan, TV, dvd player, laptop computer, vacuum cleaner and blender.

The inverter came with 2 ft long cables to connect to the batteries. I was able to install the inverter right behind the batteries (two 6v golf cart) using the 2 ft cables (see first photo).

Electrically, when I do not have shore power connected or my 1,000 watt generator connected the panel box is supplied from the inverter. I do this with a simple 3 way switch. Photo 2 shows the 3 way switch down which means shore power is connected and the converter is also plugged into the receptacle so the batteries are being charged when needed. If shore power or the generator is not connected, the 3 way switch must be up, the converter unplugged and and the inverter turned on. Now power to the panel box is being provided by the inverter. This is shown in photo 3.

Dan
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:28 AM   #66
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Hi TouringDan, it's been a while... We tried boondocking off the grid last summer for just two nights. We were mostly out of battery power when we checked out. I was glad the batteries had enough power left to lift the tongue with the tongue jack. We decided we really like our electricity! It would take us a good long while to get used to living without it. I guess I'd have to go back to back packing and tent camping which develops a mindset that your flashlight is all the electricity you've got. But sitting an an Airstream with a laptop, furnace and microwave that is not useable was frustrating for us.

So your inverter install helps take that anxiety away a bit. I've read about expensive solar, battery, and inverter installs in Airstreams so you can be "off the grid" yet be your own power plant. Me, I just rent a campsite with electricity and plug in, or maybe someday spend for a quiet generator to charge my batteries.

As usual, you did a great job on your new "improvement". It's fun to see how independent and comfortable a guy can get while parked in the middle of a COE woods somewhere. Wally Byum at his best.

My Trade Wind sat all winter with no improvement projects completed. The wife has nifty "yacht" like curtain material in her sewing room with the vision of making curtains for it some day. I can't sew, or they would be done by now.

I did work on the 86 Limited. I had a plumbing leak below the subfloor and above the fresh water tank. A big job, but now our trailer is all PEX, no polybutyl at all. I also fixed a soft spot in the OSB subfloor where our tail light fixture was leaking. And I did quite a bit on the son's 69 Globetrotter. But my favorite Trade Wind sat.

David
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:47 PM   #67
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1966 24' Tradewind
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David

I really love to boondock. I like the independence and freedom that it gives you. I know of a beautiful COE campground where you can just drive in on a Friday and get a very nice campsite if you don't need power. Our favorite local campground has a few beautiful sites that I can get into just fine. No power, but the sites are large, level and very private. Here is a photo.

I have two golf cart batteries. I can easily go 4-5 days without having to charge my batteries. Charging phones and computers, LED lights and judicious use of a cooling fan when it is needed really does not use that much power. I usually start out with the voltage at 12.8 or so. After a few days it is usually not any less than 12.3v. Now if it is cold enough to operate the furnace than that is a different story. In that case then I may need to run my little 1,000 watt Honda generator. It uses very little fuel, only weighs 28 lbs and is very quiet. I usually carry it with me as an insurance policy.

A large bank of batteries, lots of solar and a high powered inverter with sophisticated controls can get very pricey. My system is very simple and very economical.

My inverter does have a hard wired remote control on/off switch (see photos). I have mounted it on the inside of the bathroom closet door. When we are boon docking this allows me to keep the inverter turned off except when I need it. After I am done using the AC power, then I just turn it off so it doesn't use any of my battery.

BTW, I found another item that I can power with my inverter- my oscillating saw. It takes less than 300 watts.

I was really hoping to find a small microwave that I could operate with my 1,000 watt inverter. I failed. Some time down the road when I go to Lithium Ion batteries that are smaller and lighter, I will upgrade to a 1,500 watt inverter that I will be able to install next to the batteries. Then I will be able to operate my microwave.

Dan
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:48 AM   #68
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You have really engineered your Trade Wind to suit you and your family's style of camping. Your picture could be in an Airstream brochure. I have a friend who also enjoys the solitude and beauty of back country COE camping. He has golf cart batteries too.

I wish my Trade Wind had an awning. Maybe someday I can get this improvement.

David
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:25 PM   #69
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All

My gray water tank has had a small leak for a while now. I have not been too concerned about it since it is only gray water from the shower and sinks.

Now let me explain how my gray water tank works. This is a 66 Tradewind and as such it came from the factory with only a black water tank. The waste water from both sinks and the shower ties into the single waste outlet downstream of the black water tank dump valve. See photo 1. The original design just allowed the gray water to dump onto the ground. When it was time to empty the black water tank the single dump valve was opened. We elected to replace the toilet with a Thetford "Curve" porta potty, so we sealed off the top of the black water tank. Now this tank becomes our gray water tank if we keep the dump valve open and just put a cap on the outlet of the dump valve. So instead of adding a gray water tank like most folks have done we just turned our black water tank into a gray water tank. All I can say is that this has worked very well for us. We only pea in the porta potty. We empty the tank about every 4-6 days.

Now back to the gray water tank leak. When we came back from Florida a few weeks ago I noticed that the gray water tank had dropped down slightly. See photo 2. Well I figured it was time to drop the belly pan under the gray water tank and see what was up. Jeez, what a mess after I removed the patch just in front of the dump valve. See photos 3 & 4. Photo 5 shows where the leak was. It was in the connection between the dump valve and the attached fitting. The good news was that there was no leak in the tank at all. The tank was fine- basically just like new except that it is 51 years old. Next I took the belly pan down. This showed that the steel pan was self destructing due to water damage. See photo 6. The steel pan coming apart was what was allowing the gray tank to drop down, which caused the water leak to get worse. I finally understood how the gray tank was supported. Airstream fabricated a sheet metal box and secured it to the floor using elevator bolts. They put styrofoam between the box bottom and the tank to insulate the tank and support it. Once I removed all the sheet metal box and the styrofoam insulation, the tank was left and looking at photo 7, it looks darn good. As I was removing the box, I figured that I would need to have somebody fabricate another box. Then I realized that the function of the box was mainly to hold up the tank. Looking at photo 7 you can see that there is a 1" flange all the way around the tank. So I figured that I would just secure the flange to the bottom of the plywood floor. I used #10 1" wood screws and a fender washer to distribute the force on the plastic and spaced them about every 4-5". Additionally I installed them with Gorilla glue to make sure they stayed in the wood. See photo 9(photo is upside down). I think these screws should be adequate to secure the tank for the next 51 years. It should be about 25 lbs lighter also. Anybody know what the white metal pan is for that is attached to the bottom of the plywood floor in photo 8? I still need to replace some snall pieces of floor that are rotted/missing, scrape and paint the rusty metal, insulate the area under the tank and install a new rear belly pan.
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:31 PM   #70
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This is photo 1 for the previous post.
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