Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-22-2012, 09:59 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
TouringDan's Avatar

 
1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,371
Dan's '66 Tradewind Improvements

I have decided to start this thread about the improvements and repairs I am making in my 66 Tradewind. The reason I am starting this thread is so I have all the documentation in one location about the work I am doing on my trailer. The improvements and repairs I have made thus far are scattered about in different threads and I can not easily locate the information about what I have documented.

I am quite fond of my 66 TW and want to provide the history about it since I purchased it in July, 2009. I already had an 84 31' Excella 500 that I bought about 12 years ago, but it was really too large to haul to a lot of the places that I like to camp- bluegrass festivals and some of the Forest Service campgrounds where a trailer less than 25 ft works a lot better. Anyhow I had decided that I would like to have a smaller trailer in addition to the 31' Excella. My wife wanted me to sell the Excella, but I just could not since it was a really different trailer from the Tradewind (you all understand that). I was driving back from Roanoke to Lynchburg, and I glanced over at an RV dealership to see if they had anything interesting. I spotted a cool looking vintage airstream in the back row behind all the other SOB trailers. It was really in great shape and I figured that nobody would be selling it and that it was probably just being stored there. To my surprise when I asked if it was for sale, the salesperson said yes, and that it was owned by one of their employees. I looked over the outside of the trailer and it was really love at first sight. I liked the size of the Tradewind (24'), the dual axles, the way it was polished and the tinted windows, even the sob wheels and tail lights. It just really had style. When the owner showed me the inside, I was hooked- just look at all that real wood. The owner told me that he had some medical issues and had just too many trailers and he wanted to sell off two of them. He told me the price and it was more than reasonable, so I committed to buying it right then and there. Notice that I did not wait and discuss it with my wife- that story will have to wait.

Anyhow I was thrilled to get this trailer. I did not even know what a Tradewind was at the time, but I quickly researched it and could see that this trailer had a great floor plan. The trailer had obviously had pretty good care over its first 43 years, and the PO made some great improvements- new water heater (propane and electric), new wheels and tires, new tail lights, new carpeting, new curtains and soft goods, new awning, new water pump, new electric jack and tinted windows and then he polished it. I felt so lucky that I had stumbled across this gem of an Airstream trailer. I was thrilled to take ownership of it.

After I bought it I felt like the trailer really needed nothing. However after I started camping in it, I realized that it did need some improvements and some repairs, so I went about completing these items and documenting them in various threads on this forum, but as I said in the beginning they are scattered all over the place.

Here are the repairs and improvements, I have made so far:

1. Replaced the univolt with a Progressive Dynamics 9245 converter and also installed a Voltminder (accurately displays the battery voltage and highly recommended, so that you have some idea of the charge level of your batteries).

2. Replaced one 12v marine battery with two deep cycle 6v golf cart batteries.

3. Replaced the original fridge, that I could not get to run on propane, with about an 85 vintage fridge that actually had been used very little. It was essentially the same size, so installation was mostly straight forward. It still does not cool real well in 90 degree weather, so some more improvements are planned some time so that it will always be below 40 degrees in the fridge.

4. Replaced the leaking 40 gal water tank with a new 40 gal tank. The biggest problem here was finding the right kind of hose to connect the exterior tank filler nozzle to the tank. I patched the old tank and carry it empty in the back of my truck. I use it to fill my trailer tank when boondocking.

5. Repaired the oven so it would light and wrote a primer on how to light the oven.

6. Replaced all my ceiling lighting (20 1157? bulbs) with 10 LED bulbs for about $40. Works great. With this improvement and my two golf cart batteries, I can easily go 4 days without charging my batteries. In fact I may be able to go up to 7 days, I just have not boondocked more than 4 days yet.

7. Replaced all my copper plumbing lines with Pex.

8. Replaced all my 120v receptacles and 12v ceiling light rotary switches.

9. Installed a 22" Vizio 12v tv with a 12v power supply to the tv.

10. Removed the original Armstrong roof top unit and installed a 5k unit in a side window (only install in the side window on an as needed basis).

I have lots more improvements planned. I like the idea of improvements the same way Wally referred to them. Don't make changes for the sake of change, but do make improvements to make the trailer better.

Here is my list of planned improvements:

1. Paint the roof white.

2. Install 4 Fantastic fans. Insulate the fan openings to reduce the load on the air conditioning.

3. Replace the 120v panel box.

4. Replace the 12v panel box and fuses.

5. Install new axles with disc brakes.

6. Replace interior curtains.

7. Install an Airhead composting toilet.

8. Replace 4 reading lights with LED reading lights.

9. Replace bathroom sink and shower faucets.

10. Refinish bathroom sink.

11. Refinish kitchen sink, fridge panel and oven door.

12. Install two more batteries.

13. Install a 1,500 watt inverter.

14. Install solar panels.

15. Install Direct Link brake controller.

16. Install new recessed water supply connection.

17. Install new recessed 30 amp power cord connection.

18. Install new cork floor.

19. Design/install a 12v pump to transfer gray water from the trailer tank to a tank in the bed of the truck.

Stay tuned.

Dan
__________________

__________________
TouringDan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2012, 12:46 PM   #2
New Member
 
1969 25' Tradewind
Seattle , Washington
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 4
A good plan, Dan. My '69 Trade Wind needs a gray water system, either in the truck, as you plan, or retrofitting the trailer to receive a tank. I will be interested in your progress.

Thanks for the thread.
__________________

__________________
ghostbreath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 10:32 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
TouringDan's Avatar

 
1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,371
Floor Covering Replacement

Floor Preparation

Floor covering replacement has been on my list since I got the TW 2 years ago. It has had commercial carpeting which was installed over some sheet vinyl flooring. I considered solid oak flooring, engineered hardwood flooring, cork flooring and marmolian flooring. Marmolian flooring may have been the best choice, but I just liked the look an feel of a cork floor and that is why I chose it. Plus I had never installed a cork floor before and I wanted the experience of installing a cork floor.

Removing the carpeting and staples was pretty simple. Removing the vinyl flooring was a lot of work. I bought myself one of those new vibration tools last Christmas and that is what I used. It was still a lot of work removing the vinyl and adhesive but the power tool did make it easier. Below is a photo of the floor in front of the entrance door after the vinyl and adhesive was removed.

I was real lucky that the entire plywood floor was solid- no indication of any water penetration anywhere. I don't know the history of the trailer, whether it was stored inside or what. I have owned it 2 years and unfortunately I store it outside. A garage for storage is in my plans, but we will see.

The installation instructions for the cork floor indicate that no barrier is needed between the cork and the plywood subfloor. I decided to apply polyurethane to the floor- 3 coats. This trailer is 46 years old and has a solid floor. I plan to own it and use it for the next 20 years and I don't want any floor damage to happen on my watch. I don't know how much 3 coats of poly will help, but I will definitely sleep better. Below are 3 photos. of the floor after 3 coats of poly have been installed. I also used a floor leveler to fill in some low spots. I used S-194 by Armstrong. It is very easy to sand. I am now ready to install the floating cork floor.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4534.jpg
Views:	190
Size:	348.4 KB
ID:	168052   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4536.jpg
Views:	202
Size:	444.5 KB
ID:	168063  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4535.jpg
Views:	203
Size:	285.7 KB
ID:	168064   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4537.jpg
Views:	209
Size:	379.0 KB
ID:	168065  

__________________
TouringDan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2012, 10:30 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
TouringDan's Avatar

 
1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,371
Cork Floor Installation

I finished the cork floor installation except for the trim, and I am quite happy with the results.

The cork floor is a floating floor and as such the pieces lock together. Locking the pieces together in a trailer is not easy due to the small size of the trailer. To lock the pieces together you have to insert the tongue into the groove at about a 20-30 degree angle. You then tap the pieces together to tighten the joint. The first joints were tough to make, but after some practice it becomes easier. I started at the door and moved to the street side of the trailer. To install the last piece, you need to use a "puller" to pull the last piece so it fits tightly. I bought one at Lowes for $10. Proper planning is crucial. The only way to install the finished floor under the fridge is to make the connection away from the fridge and then slide the finished floor under the fridge. The short small cross walls were another challenge. I decided to cut them off and slide the finished floor under them. This made locking the last piece on the street side even more difficult.

I measured the needed square footage at about 70 sq ft. Each box covers 23 sq ft, so I ordered 4 boxes to make sure that I had enough. I have about 1/2 box left over.

The manufacturer recommends a 1/2" gap around the edge to allow for differences in thermal expansion between the wood and the cork. This gap is covered with a small base shoe trim. I decided that the 1/2" requirement is excessive since the trailer is only about 7.5 feet in width. I planned for a gap of only 1/8" around the edge. I plan to cut my base shoe down from 1/2" wide to 1/4" wide to cover the 1/8" gap.

Here are some photos:
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4561.jpg
Views:	239
Size:	346.7 KB
ID:	168602   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4576.jpg
Views:	213
Size:	383.7 KB
ID:	168603  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4577.jpg
Views:	209
Size:	325.1 KB
ID:	168604   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4588.jpg
Views:	229
Size:	272.8 KB
ID:	168605  

__________________
TouringDan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2012, 02:18 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
TouringDan's Avatar

 
1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,371
Cork Floor Install Completed

I have finished installation of the cork floor. I only left an eighth inch gap around the edge because I felt that it was adequate. I then covered this with some 5/16" x 3/4" base shoe trim that has been cut down from regular 1/2x3/4 base shoe. I felt the thinner trim would look better and that it would cover the eighth inch gap just fine. I should add here that in some places the floating cork floor wanted to lift up at the outside edge. Installation of the trim allows the floor to float but will hold down the floor to the plywood sub floor. Here are some photos before installation of the trim.

Dan
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4598.jpg
Views:	231
Size:	263.8 KB
ID:	169182   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4599.jpg
Views:	223
Size:	255.9 KB
ID:	169183  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4600.jpg
Views:	214
Size:	261.0 KB
ID:	169184   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4601.jpg
Views:	223
Size:	257.2 KB
ID:	169185  

__________________
TouringDan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 07:01 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
TouringDan's Avatar

 
1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,371
Cork Floor Trim

I finished installing the 5/16 by 3/4 base shoe to cover the 1/8" gap for the floating cork floor. I have not completed the trim for the bathroom as I still need to install the composting toilet and paint the fiberglass shower and vanity with white epoxy paint. Here are some photos:

Dan
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4793.jpg
Views:	196
Size:	282.2 KB
ID:	170022   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4794.jpg
Views:	193
Size:	320.9 KB
ID:	170023  

__________________
TouringDan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 07:29 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
TouringDan's Avatar

 
1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,371
Cork Floor Door Trim

I thought long and hard about how to trim the 1/8" gap at the door. I needed to install some trim that would cover the 1/8" gap, but still allow some movement of the floating cork floor.

I decided to install a 1/2 x 1/2 piece of aluminum. I am not going to secure this with screws or rivets because I want it to lay flat on top of the cork. I am going to use a silver Tempro caulking, I am just not sure which one. This will secure it to the aluminum door sill and will still allow movement of the cork floor. The caulking will also prevent water infiltration at the gap.

Here are some photos: Note that the trim is not laying flat in the last photo because I have not actually caulked/secured it in place.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4791.jpg
Views:	189
Size:	477.8 KB
ID:	170024   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4792.jpg
Views:	197
Size:	380.3 KB
ID:	170025  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4797.jpg
Views:	201
Size:	290.7 KB
ID:	170026  
__________________
TouringDan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 10:12 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
TouringDan's Avatar

 
1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,371
Golf Cart Batteries

About two years ago I decided to replace the battery in my 66 Tradewind. It was a size 24 RV battery sitting on a metal shelf next to the toilet. The shelf was rusty and not very study, so I decided to replace the shelf. I built a wood shelf out of 3/4" plywood. I secured it at the front with 4 sheet metal screws and the back just sits on a wood support attached to the wood floor (see photo below). I then decided to replace the group 24 battery with 2 golf cart batteries because I had the room and I wanted to install more battery capacity for boondocking. I had to figure out some way to hold these batteries in place. I installed a metal ss threaded rod at the back and one at the front. Both rods come up through a metal strap and are secured with ss washers and nuts at the top and at the bottom under the wood shelf (see photo).

The batteries have been installed two years now and they work fine. I bought them at Sams. They are GC-2 batteries and cost $72 each. Their rating is 215 amp-hours. I usually boondock for 3-4 days and have never had to charge the batteries while boondocking. The voltage only drops about .04-.05 volts per day. For example when I start out the voltage may be 12.8 volts. After 4 days it has only dropped to 12.6 volts. Now granted, this is warm weather camping only with light fan use and LED lights.

I just added water today for the first time. Each cell only took about 2 oz of water. It only took about 5 minutes to remove the batteries so I could examine the batteries closely and add water. None of the cells were even close to having the plate uncovered.

Dan
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_5011.JPG
Views:	173
Size:	474.7 KB
ID:	170037   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_5013.JPG
Views:	179
Size:	608.7 KB
ID:	170038  

__________________
TouringDan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 11:58 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
TouringDan's Avatar

 
1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,371
One of the improvements I have made to my TW was to replace all the overhead interior incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs. This was a cheap and easy fix, less than $8 per fixture, it does not change the look of the fixture, provides more light and uses only about 10% of the battery power and gives off only 10% of the heat of the original incandescent bulbs. Details and photos can be seen at posts 37, 39 and 40 of the following link:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f447...d-79632-3.html

Dan
__________________
TouringDan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2013, 10:50 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
TouringDan's Avatar

 
1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,371
Alternative Toilets- No Blackwater Tank

My original toilet is broken and needs to be repaired or replaced. Since I do not have a gray water tank, I have decided to use my black water tank as a gray water tank, and will not have any black water tank. Of course I could just add a gray water tank, but I just don't see the motivation to do this. We don't seem to use the toilet all that much for solid waste, just for urination. We usually camp where there are bathrooms or at least porti pottys available. I considered composting toilets, and put an Airhead toilet on my wish list as a future improvement because I thought that it would work for me and would fit my confined space better than the Natures Head. The major stumbling block was spending about $900 for a toilet; so far I just had not needed one all that badly (at least not $900 worth).

Well, I started reading the thread last week about the 100k 2013 Bowlus Road Chief and it has a cassette toilet typically used in Europe and maybe the rest of the world. I did reading and found out that a cassette toilet is a permanent RV toilet where you remove the small black water (cassette) tank from the outside of the RV when it is full and you just dump it in a toilet. The one in the Bowlus Trailer is a Thetford C-200 model. You can find it on the Thetford site under permanent toilets (HOME). This toilet requires access from the back to remove the cassette. It looks like this might work in my Tradewind without having to add a special access door for the toilet as I have an access panel across the rear of the trailer (see photos). The height is 19.5", depth is 19.7" and width is 13.9". I found one for sale on a New Zeeland mail order site for $660. While looking at the Thetford site I learned that they have a new portable toilet available that might also work for me, the Porta Potti Curve. You can see it on the Thetford site under portable toilets. It has similar dimensions- height is 17.6", depth is 17.75" and width is 15.25". It appears to be similar to a cassette toilet in that the black water tank is portable and gets dumped in a regular toilet. The difference is the the top of the toilet has to be removed before you have access to the lower cassette. Typically this means that it will be carried through the interior of the trailer to take it outside to a toilet for dumping. There is a video on the Thetford web site that show emptying the tank. It only costs $135 from PPL RV Parts. While both toilets may work in my Tradewind, I decided to go ahead and order the Curve model today and give it a try. Installing either toilet in the Tradewind is going to be a real challenge (see photos) but I am looking forward to it.

Stay tuned, Dan
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_7224.JPG
Views:	178
Size:	517.8 KB
ID:	179875   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_7223.JPG
Views:	170
Size:	415.0 KB
ID:	179876  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_7226.JPG
Views:	191
Size:	557.2 KB
ID:	179877   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_7229.JPG
Views:	183
Size:	888.0 KB
ID:	179878  

__________________
TouringDan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2013, 06:18 AM   #11
Rivet Master
 
eljay's Avatar
 
1968 24' Tradewind
Rural, blink and you'll miss it , Missouri
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 692
Images: 19
Interesting. Please post pics (as always). I'll be looking forward to how this turns out!
__________________
Not knowing enough to be afraid... (I know more than I did, but I did it anyway!)

Eljay

1968 Tradewind Double.
eljay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2013, 09:37 PM   #12
3 Rivet Member
 
tlsmit1's Avatar
 
1962 24' Tradewind
Saint Louis , MO
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 106
So jealous - both the cork floor and cassette toilet were on my original wish list. Pared down this time arond to a vinyl floor and std Rv toilet. Anxious to hear how your install turns out.
__________________
tlsmit1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2013, 08:52 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
FreshAir's Avatar

 
1966 24' Tradewind
Placerville , California
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,327
Images: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by TouringDan View Post
About two years ago I decided to replace the battery in my 66 Tradewind. It was a size 24 RV battery sitting on a metal shelf next to the toilet. The shelf was rusty and not very study, so I decided to replace the shelf. I built a wood shelf out of 3/4" plywood. I secured it at the front with 4 sheet metal screws and the back just sits on a wood support attached to the wood floor (see photo below). I then decided to replace the group 24 battery with 2 golf cart batteries because I had the room and I wanted to install more battery capacity for boondocking. I had to figure out some way to hold these batteries in place. I installed a metal ss threaded rod at the back and one at the front. Both rods come up through a metal strap and are secured with ss washers and nuts at the top and at the bottom under the wood shelf (see photo).

The batteries have been installed two years now and they work fine. I bought them at Sams. They are GC-2 batteries and cost $72 each. Their rating is 215 amp-hours. I usually boondock for 3-4 days and have never had to charge the batteries while boondocking. The voltage only drops about .04-.05 volts per day. For example when I start out the voltage may be 12.8 volts. After 4 days it has only dropped to 12.6 volts. Now granted, this is warm weather camping only with light fan use and LED lights.

I just added water today for the first time. Each cell only took about 2 oz of water. It only took about 5 minutes to remove the batteries so I could examine the batteries closely and add water. None of the cells were even close to having the plate uncovered.

Dan
OH. THANK YOU. I just stumbled upon this post. My battery is nearing 6 years and still strong...but I plan on the dual 6 volt install. I will need to replace the plumbing with pex to gain more clearance. Thanks.
Neil
__________________
Neil and Lynn Holman
FreshAir #12407

Avatar;
Kirk Creek, Big Sur, Ca. coast.

1966 Trade Wind

1971 Buick Centurion convertible
455 cid

1969 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight
455 cid
FreshAir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2013, 03:05 PM   #14
Full Time Alumaloafer
 
louaxtjr's Avatar
 
1966 24' Tradewind
Livingston , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 143
Images: 12
Dan, really appreciate the information on your renovations/upgrades and repairs. My wife and I are currently making a flooring selection for our '66 Tradewind and hadn't condsidered cork until seeing yours. Looks great! Also have been making many of the same improvements, though we are sticking with 12 volt batteries, so that one can be removed for use in the tow vehicle if needed, since our tow vehicle is of similar vintage. Also, we just ordered a 130-watt solar charging solution to reduce the need to run a gennie when boondocking.

As our original toilet is not functional(broken lower section and inoperable valve) we are looking into cassette toilets as well. Still weighing the choices, such as finding an original is working or repairable condition or buying a new alternative.

Looking forward to hearing how the Curve works for you!

FreshAir, Great tow vehicle choices!

-Lou
__________________

__________________
Lou Axt, Jr.
1966 Tradewind
1969 Chevy C10
_____________

Phillipians 4:13
louaxtjr is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1963 Tradewind Original Wheel & Tire size?? BurritoWagon 1959-69 Tradewind 20 02-08-2012 02:27 PM
HENSLEY CUB w/73 Tradewind my3sonsdad Hitches, Couplers & Balls 5 08-02-2011 07:31 PM
1961 Tradewind Custom dorchstream Member Introductions 5 05-07-2011 08:51 AM
Adding a larger grey tank to a 78 Tradewind johnhh Waste Systems, Tanks & Totes 3 04-04-2011 12:43 PM
uh, oops. original Tradewind dinette design? SpaceEgg 1959-69 Tradewind 4 01-21-2011 08:54 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:06 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.