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Old 10-19-2016, 09:19 PM   #15
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Well the high wind warning has gone and we had a sunny day after work yesterday so the roof panel is bucked in on 3 sides waiting now for the next panel.

New upper street side panel is laid out and cut (face down) and will go up Friday. No holes drilled in this 14 foot panel. Bow 1 and 7 are the only bows with original holes and those will get drilled in place with the handy hole finding tool since the original panel is too damaged to be certain things would line up perfectly (this is the panel that hit the previous owner's retaining wall during the descent back to earth.

Its lower neighbor panel will be next then two smaller panels (rear corner curb and below back window) due to pitting and scratches.

By Sunday it should start to look like a trailer again weather permitting!

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Wally Byam's 1955 26' European Caravan Trailer!
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Old 10-20-2016, 07:45 PM   #16
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Most excellent. That' s serious Airstream building. Glad you got through the storm with no "windy" issues.

David
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Old 10-20-2016, 09:28 PM   #17
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First time seeing this, excellent work. You've taken on a very noble project!
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Old 10-21-2016, 07:08 PM   #18
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Well first major panel is cleco'd in place for the night. Still need to finish drilling the roof seam but then will drop out the lower panel in and fit it before riveting the entire street side. Doesn't photo incredibly well but it's looking good. Things are laying flat and lining up well all things considered. Around the windows will flatten once we add the last partial bow between the big windows and install all the horizontal braces when the windows go back in. Took myself, our friend Wally, and my wife to finesse all 14' into place. Click image for larger version

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Old 10-22-2016, 05:36 PM   #19
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9 hours later most of the top panel is riveted, the lower panel is installed and we are ready for Windows and cross braces tomorrow after they get polished. Click image for larger version

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Old 10-22-2016, 07:08 PM   #20
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I can't imagine the amount of work required to reskin an Airstream. My roof was damaged in a hail storm some time ago. Insurance required a quote. The local dealer quoted 50k to reskin the roof and end caps. The trailer is worth maybe 20k. We left the dents alone. Patina.

May I ask what spec aluminum sheet you are using. Is it 2024 T3 at .032 thick? It sure has a nice finish on the outside. It is expensive material.

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Old 10-22-2016, 07:44 PM   #21
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50k? whoa!! I'd do it for 45k

the biggest challenge here is the upper metal was so stretched and creased that it couldn't be used as a template, AND the original bows in positions 2, 3, 4, 5 were destroyed so donor bows were used, but no two bows are the same so they had to be "adjusted" as close as we could to the original bows.

The best thing on this is that it's so far apart, that I will be able to reseal every window, every panel seam, every rivet and roof vent/opening before moving on with the rest of the renovation and are getting into our wet season so I'll be able to keep an eye on what may leak before putting the inside skins back on.

You are correct on the aluminum. I got it from Air Parts Inc. They sell it on the roll so I can order whatever lengths I want and they will put the PVC safety coating on roll it. Even though they ship from out east, they can send me up to 36' of 2024 for $45 in shipping plus $8 for the box. Can't beat it.

I ordered 3 14' sheets for the sides and enough to replace to other side panels, and a 16' piece of belly pan. Shipped to me in two boxes came to $983.42.
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Old 10-23-2016, 02:57 PM   #22
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Didn't work as long today. 3 windows and their horizontal supports in. Sure stiffens the wall back up! Refrigerator vent cap off for repair and solar dome frame cleco'd back in. More rain due tomorrow. We aren't water tight but better than it's been since it came homeClick image for larger version

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Old 10-23-2016, 03:17 PM   #23
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Old 10-23-2016, 05:55 PM   #24
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I used Air Parts in Kansas City for my aluminum also. I purchased a whopping 4 by 4 sheet of 2024 for some exterior "patches" I had to make for the new furnace, water heater and dented panel by the entry door. I also purchased my belly pan 5052 material from them in a 30 foot roll. Nice folks to deal with.

I really like the row of windows on the curb side of your 63. I bet they did stiffen the structure quite a bit once riveted in place. It is certainly more water tight than it was upside down in the street after the storm.

Good idea to list the parts you are looking for in your thread. I'll bet you will get some response.

David
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Old 11-03-2016, 06:30 PM   #25
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Realized that the front of this had been spray painted silver years ago. Started with Aircraft stripper. On the second coat I noticed some lettering in the front corner. Sent the ghost numbers to Joe this evening but it was on some caravans in 63, 64 and 65 for sure. Attachment 274767Attachment 274768Attachment 274769
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Old 11-03-2016, 09:20 PM   #26
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Tradewind and the wind

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Old 11-03-2016, 10:06 PM   #27
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Heard from Joe, the VAC Historian.

32 - Eastern Canada Summer 1963
38- Historical Summer1964
40 - Mexico Fall 1964
42- Mexico Winter 1965
43 - Alaska Summer 1965
45 - Mexico Fall 1965
1964 Princeton (N.J. location for International Rally that year).


This trailer project was a rescue mission so plan is to sell after it's back together. The question, do I repaint the caravans after polishing or leave it blank slate?
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Old 11-04-2016, 06:47 PM   #28
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Many of our vintage Airstreams have bits of history found during renovation. Mine had rally and caravan decals on the entry door, see photo. Others have factory worker names and dates on backsides of cabinets and inside exterior skins.

If it was a Wally Byam personal trailer, or some other piece of unique Airstream history, then it should be preserved. Maybe your trailer is like mine, just used and enjoyed by regular folks who liked to keep a record of where they had been, like bumper stickers on the back of the station wagon. I personally don't think the record of the rallies your trailer has attended in the past is all that valuable.

You have taken photos of what you found under the paint. Put these photos in your restoration folder as "before polish". Then restore the original luster of your trailer with a good polish job.

More free internet advice....

David
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