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Old 03-27-2018, 07:00 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Atomic_13 View Post
Before you install the rear section of plywood, coat the plywood edge and in six or so inches on the top and bottom with penetrating two part epoxy to protect the wood from future water infiltration.

Regarding painting the entire subfloor, I’d suggest thinking ahead to what flooring you plan to use. If you are glueing down a sheet of vinyl it may not adhere to the paint. Some argue the wood should be allowed to breathe I’m undecided on the best approach.

Regarding electrical, I’m having to learn a lot as well. So take this for what it’s worth and consult a pro. Here are a few tidbits I’ve learned along the way.

Regarding the AC system, it is very similar to home wiring except 1) neutral and ground are not connected in the distribution panel inside the trailer (aka floating neutral), and 2) the late 60s regrettably used aluminum wire.

Due to fire hazard concerns from loose connections/shorts, some remove the skins of this era of trailer and rewire. I found several sections of burnt insulation behind my walls. If you pull the walls, rewire using 12/2 or 14/2 copper romax or BX cable (12 gauge for sure for the air conditioner, water heater, and microwave if not everywhere).

If you opt to continue to use the aluminum wire make sure all your connections are tightened and use aluminum compatible outlets, etc. While your rear interior skins are out, I’d recommend you install a shore power inlet/disconnect on the rear street side so you can remove and store your 30 amp cord (that runs to the campground pedestal) somewhere besides the bumper trunk (away from the stinky slinky and offending dump valve)

The DC system often uses a daisy chain approach for lights and other low voltage items with some grounding to the exterior skin or ribs. I chose to home run all my DC circuits as poor ground connections explain the etiology of many RVers headaches. I also used multiple separate circuits to isolate future problems. Crimp connections with built in heat shrink are what the cool kids use now a days. Consider voltage drop versus wire size on long runs.

Grommet all wires that pass through metal. A step drill bit makes short work of installing new wire pass throughs on a rib. AGMs batteries are nice since they are often not vented to the outside like wet cell batteries require. Progressive Dynamics converters have a loyal following. I suspect you are not interested in lithium batteries or solar at this time but you might consider running 25’ of black and red 4 AWG flexible welding cable (pretty cheap on amazon) through the fridge vent if you ever think you want to be fully powered off grid by solar. Zip tie a ~4’ coil at the roof for future access.

Of course both the AC and DC circuits are respectively fused with circuit breakers and blade fuses (appropriately for the wire size) in their own distribution panels. Some opt for a combo box sold by progressive dynamics.

Read up of battery monitors (e.g. trimetric 2020), shunts, appropriate fusing, battery shut off switches for storage/repairs, surge protection, etc.

Other possible electrical system considerations could involve a relay and remote switches for the water pump (limiting power drain from the pump except when you need it to run), WiFi or cell phone boosters, back up cameras, USB charging ports, an inverter, tank heating pads, tank volume sensors smoke/CO detectors, coms cables like RG6/HDMI (tv) or RG58 (ham radio), speaker wire, UFO detection systems (kidding), etc. Doesn’t sound much like camping, eh?

Don’t forget that the AC thermostat, water heater, and some fridges need both 110/120v and 12v power to run. Some thermostats will also control the heater if you route two wires from the AC to the heater.

Mainly just tossing the above out there if there is future interest. It can be overwhelming but it’s sure easier to route some of this now than later (especially with the furniture and some skins out). At minimum, lay a piece of PEX tubing around the backside of the trailer prior to resetting the tub. It’s so much easier to fish future wires through this than without it. Being able to easily run a wire from one side of the trailer to the other will come in handy.

Before you seal up any interior wall panel, coat the heck out of any rivets with Trempro 635 sealant. Don’t bring a tube of silicone within 10 feet of anything aluminum. not joking... it’s awful to remove.
Thanks for taking the time to write that extensive post. I only had time to skim for now but I can see there is a lot of helpful info. There are a few items I have thought of as I plan ahead and a few I haven't thought of.

One interesting note: I dug into this project with the expectation of finding some aluminum wire. There is no aluminum in this trailer. It is all copper and seems to be in excellent shape. I don't know what year Airstream made the switch but this must have been one of the first models that had copper.

I love the idea of running extra conduit around the trailer. I will definitely do that as I am plumbing out all the pex.

I have been using Smith's Clear penetrating epoxy sealer on all the edges and joints. I am going to do the edges of the old plywood as well. I plan to use some sort of floating laminate in the visible areas. I don't really need to paint the floors in those areas. Under all the cabinetry, access doors, under appliances and bath, and in the rear access area I need a good floor treatment. I would like to keep the sub floor visible so that any damage is easily detectable. I also want it to be attractive and durable so I thought a nice gray gloss paint would work well. I am researching the type of paint I will use.

Thanks again. I will delve into the details of your post. Especially the electrical related.
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Old 03-27-2018, 07:28 PM   #44
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I vote for the installation of a UFO detector.

Gosh, I woke up the other morning and was admiring the morning stars when suddenly a huge bright "rocket ship" streaked across the western sky. It was big, fast and bright. I figure it was a meteor falling from space. It is the first I've ever seen.

UFO detector would be nice. You never know.

David
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Old 03-28-2018, 06:33 AM   #45
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I vote for the installation of a UFO detector.

Gosh, I woke up the other morning and was admiring the morning stars when suddenly a huge bright "rocket ship" streaked across the western sky. It was big, fast and bright. I figure it was a meteor falling from space. It is the first I've ever seen.

UFO detector would be nice. You never know.

David
David,
I think that's a reasonable addition to a vintage Airstream. I will probably mount it to the front antenna so I can use my little crank in side to orient the direction. That sounds like an amazing experience the other morning. Did you end up figuring out what it may have been?
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Old 03-28-2018, 09:38 AM   #46
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Someone should check on David. He might be hammering his Airstream into an Anti-Alien Pyramid. Those "Close Encounters" can change a man...
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Old 03-28-2018, 09:52 AM   #47
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One interesting note: I dug into this project with the expectation of finding some aluminum wire. There is no aluminum in this trailer. It is all copper and seems to be in excellent shape. I don't know what year Airstream made the switch but this must have been one of the first models that had copper.


First, a myth to dispel.


It is well documented, and clearly explained with a little research, that corporate greed, not “Bullets for Vietnam” (a lie, actually fabricated by the copper magnates, and still perpetuated today), is the reason that aluminum wire is found in Airstreams 1966 to 1968. It's a sad story of mine worker exploitation, squalor, pollution, disease, human rights, mining union, corporate greed, and Taft-Hartley.


Our nation never ran out of copper, the collaborating 3 big Copper King suppliers demanded a prohibitive price to gain control of the miners striking for better conditions and living wage. The magnates didn't budge, knowing that the workers would eventually be Taft-Harleyed back to work.


Which trailers got aluminum wire in that era might depend on what was specified, on hand, dumb luck, purchaser upgrade, length, Ohio or California, land yacht or international, early or late build in the years. If anyone knows, it's not published on this forum anywhere that I can find. I've yet to hear of an aluminum wired 1969.


From the last three digits in your serial number, You can sorta guesstimate build date. You're a twin, so it should be less than 500. There's some confusion, but I guess the TWs were built after Christmas. I've read that “Small Trailers” only were built before the Christmas break, but I don't know if that's exclusively the Caravel, or all the single axle trailers. If enough people cared it could be a mystery to solve. My aluminum wire Ohio 68GT was sold in Tennessee, early November 1967, so that supports the theory. I read somewhere that if you wanted to order a Caravel in February 1968, you got on a list for a Fall delivery 1969.


It's said that all those records perished in a great fire, sometime after Byam's death, and before Beatrice?? Is that more conjecture and myth that is turning into fact?


That's great that you don't have aluminum wiring. Who knows why?? Maybe a late build in '68...
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Old 03-28-2018, 04:04 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by ALUMINUMINUM View Post
One interesting note: I dug into this project with the expectation of finding some aluminum wire. There is no aluminum in this trailer. It is all copper and seems to be in excellent shape. I don't know what year Airstream made the switch but this must have been one of the first models that had copper.


First, a myth to dispel.


It is well documented, and clearly explained with a little research, that corporate greed, not “Bullets for Vietnam” (a lie, actually fabricated by the copper magnates, and still perpetuated today), is the reason that aluminum wire is found in Airstreams 1966 to 1968. It's a sad story of mine worker exploitation, squalor, pollution, disease, human rights, mining union, corporate greed, and Taft-Hartley.


Our nation never ran out of copper, the collaborating 3 big Copper King suppliers demanded a prohibitive price to gain control of the miners striking for better conditions and living wage. The magnates didn't budge, knowing that the workers would eventually be Taft-Harleyed back to work.


Which trailers got aluminum wire in that era might depend on what was specified, on hand, dumb luck, purchaser upgrade, length, Ohio or California, land yacht or international, early or late build in the years. If anyone knows, it's not published on this forum anywhere that I can find. I've yet to hear of an aluminum wired 1969.


From the last three digits in your serial number, You can sorta guesstimate build date. You're a twin, so it should be less than 500. There's some confusion, but I guess the TWs were built after Christmas. I've read that “Small Trailers” only were built before the Christmas break, but I don't know if that's exclusively the Caravel, or all the single axle trailers. If enough people cared it could be a mystery to solve. My aluminum wire Ohio 68GT was sold in Tennessee, early November 1967, so that supports the theory. I read somewhere that if you wanted to order a Caravel in February 1968, you got on a list for a Fall delivery 1969.


It's said that all those records perished in a great fire, sometime after Byam's death, and before Beatrice?? Is that more conjecture and myth that is turning into fact?


That's great that you don't have aluminum wiring. Who knows why?? Maybe a late build in '68...
That was a great little history lesson there. Thanks for sharing that. Now I need to get a converter and hook some of those wires back up.
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Old 03-28-2018, 07:27 PM   #49
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I'm not as crazy as you guys think. I did see a UFO "fire ball" streaking north across the western sky the morning of March 24. Like aluminuminum, I looked up the facts. I "googled" it (verb ?) and found a website booking meteor sightings. Sure enough, at 4:40 MDT there were 4 postings of Coloradans seeing a meteor. These sightings were from Colorado Springs to Longmont. I'm rather in between those two cities. I was surprised how many meteor sightings there actually are.

On to converter installs. That's an easy job even I can handle. I put my new converter where the old one originally was; on top of the battery box. It will be difficult to get the thing back out once the tub is installed. Possible, but difficult.

David
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Old 03-29-2018, 08:15 AM   #50
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I'm in agreement with all of atomic's electrical advise.


One of the moronic “improvements” of the '68 was the much advertised “all in one rear service door “. 1967 models nested the battery and univolt near the axle. Then the not so bright idea to move all that weight to the proximity of the rear bumper, and coil the shoreline in the bumperbox with the sewage discharge accessories… Brilliant... Relocate 100lbs to the most aft possible, and coil the shoreline outside in a wet, unsanitary box...


Repositioning the battery that way also made it impossible to safely add battery capacity, and impedes access to 120V breaker panel, hence, a swing-a-way battery tray. It's all botched-up nonsense.


Could have only been marketing and not engineering that pushed that dumb idea through. Are the “tacks” in Airstream's Engineering box actually that dull? Moving the shoreline dry storage from inside the back service door to commingle with the wet sewage slinky is especially disgusting.


I moved my battery and converter to in front of the curbside wheel in an area where I can add two more group 31s if needed. It's nice to have all electrical access indoors in one place. I don't ever want to be outside, on my knees at night in the rain, reaching over and around the battery flipping 120v breakers.


On the TW twin, is there room under the streetside bed? More battery, inverter and solar controller will be somedays to consider. Looks like a short run of stranded 10/3 from a marinco type plug located at the streetside rear to a battery/converter in proximity to the Central Control (assuming you'll restore that), and a conduit back to where the old steel 120v breaker panel was. I added two dedicated copper circuits for dual fuel water heater and microwave.





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Old 03-29-2018, 06:43 PM   #51
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My long gone 66 Trade Wind also had the "one stop service compartment" in the rear of the trailer. The battery, shore power cord, city water hose, dump valve, fuse panel, and what else all located there. That old toilet must have weighed 50 pounds, also in the rear. My 115vAC circuit breaker box was located in the "medicine cabinet" in the bath. There was a 3" port to drop the shore power cord through. You had to get on your hands and knees to open the bottom hatch and connect the sewer hose.

I speculate Airstream was adding weight to the back of the trailer to lower the tongue weight so you could tow it with a 66 Fairlane station wagon and keep the front wheels on the ground. But I don't know for sure.

David
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Old 03-30-2018, 07:11 AM   #52
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I'm in agreement with all of atomic's electrical advise.






On the TW twin, is there room under the streetside bed? More battery, inverter and solar controller will be somedays to consider. Looks like a short run of stranded 10/3 from a marinco type plug located at the streetside rear to a battery/converter in proximity to the Central Control (assuming you'll restore that), and a conduit back to where the old steel 120v breaker panel was. I added two dedicated copper circuits for dual fuel water heater and microwave.





I could potentially mount my my converter and battery under the kitchen cabinet next to the fridge where my furnace used to be. Then I would run a conduit back to the old panel location to feed my 120v? I also have a 12 volt fuse bar mounted to the skin back there. I need to figure out how to integrate that as well. What type of breaker panel did you buy? Do you need GFCI or Arc Fault? Are there only certain types of batteries that should be installed in the living space? Do you have any more photos of your setup regarding fuses and breakers?
Thanks a lot.
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Old 03-30-2018, 09:35 AM   #53
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Dumping the Original Fridge under the Central Control

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ID:	307503To me the most problematic aspect of my Tradewind's design is the Central Control resting on the original fridge. I had to suspend my central control, the counter, and the upper cabinet from the ceiling so I could pull the fridge out. Even if I can get the old fridge working to perfection again, I am just not sure I want to put it back in. It would be nice to make a nice walnut frame to support the Central Control so that a fridge could be easily installed and removed.

I recently became aware of the residential fridges they are putting in larger travel trailers. These come with inverters. I could go to a small inverter/ solar setup for less than the price of a new RV fridge and maybe even cheaper than a used RV fridge. I wouldn't have to have a vent hole in the floor. I wouldn't have to worry about the fridge chimney or a roof vent. It would save a ton of weight. It seems the more efficient little fridges only draw about 1 amp. This is tempting. I realize I will need to size my battery capacity and all that. I don't foresee ever wanting to run any other large draw items from the inverter so I will stay small if I do this.

What do you think?
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Old 03-30-2018, 10:25 AM   #54
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I could potentially mount my my converter and battery under the kitchen cabinet next to the fridge where my furnace used to be.


If that's a serviceable space, go for it. All the electrical stuff likes to be clustered together, and away from water. You might fish solar wires down your refrigerator vent someday. What can fit in the towel bar space next to CC?


Use long wires attached to a VOM, then map out and verify all existing wiring. Cross-refer to the original diagram in your owner's manual. I probably diagrammed and simplified my harness on paper ten times before I finalized it.

BTW, Internet electrical advise should always be verified. In the end, the responsibility and liability is yours. I can tell you what I did, what I would do, what you can do, but not what you should do...


If you have the space for a face panel, an all in one converter/breaker/fuse device makes it super easy. That's what I did. About seven years ago WIFCO modernized the plastic facade of model #8935,600W 35A, and I found the older, brown, less modern looking one on sale for $90. It's three stage, quiet, and works fine. Otherwise the individual components, converter, 120V breaker box, 12V distribution block, can be arranged to suit the space. You might easily convert the 12V breaker bar in your CC to blade fuses if you want to keep its vintage look.


My “Del Centro” is near the door. I don't have to enter the trailer to monitor or adjust. It's convenient, as I live a no shoes life in my home and trailer. I added generic digital 12V and DC amp monitors on moment switches so the monitors are not parasitic. My shoreline power is switched with a Levitron 30A double pole single throw, the 120V meter comes on with 120V power. I can isolate the converter from the system. I can isolate the battery from the system. I can read and disconnect TV charge. Surge protection is plugged inline at 120V campground pedestal. All these types of choices can vary pertinent to an individuals needs and concepts. There's flexibility in the basic design.


Then I would run a conduit back to the old panel location to feed my 120v?


Yup… two 12/2 with g will supply the AC and Appliance circuit, and another 12/2 wire for WH if you go dual fuel. Any 12V should be in a separate conduit or tie into the abandoned univolt wires that (not sure) might go to your CC?


I also have a 12 volt fuse bar mounted to the skin back there. I need to figure out how to integrate that as well.


Your new system will allow you to abandon those glass fuses.


What type of breaker panel did you buy?


Wifco


Do you need GFCI or Arc Fault?


It's probably a modern code, as the old trailers didn't use them. GFCI is definitely safer. It'd be good to at least have one for your outside outlet. Replace outlet in CC panel?


A group 31 AGM is a good all-around performance/cost choice. When you pick a battery, the manufacturer has published all its charge requirements. These specs should match the charge profile of your converter/charger. A Decca brand AGM harmonized with my Wifco perfectly. A Lifeline brand, not quite.


Are there only certain types of batteries that should be installed in the living space?


Yes. Very yes...


Do you have any more photos of your setup regarding fuses and breakers?
Thanks a lot.



Don't worry, with a little study, you'll become fearless of words like shunts and diodes… Trailer wiring is pretty simple, and a fun puzzle to solve. Follow its rules, and Take Your Time figuring it out..

.
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Old 03-30-2018, 10:40 AM   #55
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The picture of your current status doesn't look bad.

Here's a thread that could prolong your misery.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f7/a...od-129180.html
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Old 03-30-2018, 04:05 PM   #56
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The picture of your current status doesn't look bad.

Here's a thread that could prolong your misery.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f7/a...od-129180.html
Thanks for sharing that. You did some incredible work. I would love to work with aluminum like that some day but it's not going to happen on this project. I am pretty sure that would blow my Memorial Day time budget.
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