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Old 01-15-2015, 04:33 PM   #29
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2009 23' FB Flying Cloud
1959 24' Tradewind
1951 21' Flying Cloud
Northeast , Iowa
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As you can see in the pictures, I had a shop make new inner and outer wheel wells. They came out very well and made installation a lot easier.

Note how nice the step looks (after a lot of work to straighten it including cutting off one of the out riggers and repositioning it). The step had apparently had a bad encounter with an immovable object like a stump.

The other thing I noticed is that when they welded things at the factory, positioning things (like out riggers) was approximate. I got very comfortable welding so I would cut off and straighten out riggers when necessary (I think I did 5 or 6). This made fixing the step easier and it also made installation of the floor a lot easier.
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Old 01-15-2015, 04:45 PM   #30
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2009 23' FB Flying Cloud
1959 24' Tradewind
1951 21' Flying Cloud
Northeast , Iowa
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After all of the work repairing the frame, I would not do it again. The next time, I am starting from scratch and building a new frame. The additional cost of the metal will be more than made up in savings in time (especially if you are going to modify as much as we did to put in the stainless tanks and the spare tire carrier). I added additional plating (either 11 ga or 14 ga) to the entire frame except where I replaced the frame or cross members with new metal. This was a lot of welding and grinding which I did with the frame suspended in mid air on edge. This way I could weld both sides at the same time (3 or 4 inches of weld alternating on each side), and I did not have to do it laying on my back underneath the trailer.

You will also notice in some of the pictures that I added a lot of angle iron brackets that I used to bolt the floor to the frame. This worked very well but was also very time consuming. In the end, the frame with the floor and tanks installed is very stiff (better than I had hoped).
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Old 01-18-2015, 09:01 PM   #31
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2009 23' FB Flying Cloud
1959 24' Tradewind
1951 21' Flying Cloud
Northeast , Iowa
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Posts: 596
The first picture shows the tabs that were welded on the frame and used to bolt down the floor. This was done so we would not have to drill into the 2 X 4 tubing we added to replace the rear cross member and frame end. The bumper is also new.

The next picture shows one of the tanks ready to install. Each tank had to be put in and out multiple times to get everything to line up right. on the next trailer we will leave more room around the tank to make installation easier. These tanks only had about a 1/4 inch clearance which is not enough to allow the tanks to go in and out easily.

The next picture shows the PEX tubing going across for the shower. The tubing is running across by the black tank and is held in place with polyurethane caulk. I bedded the tubing in the urethane and taped it in with duct tape until the urethane cured (a couple weeks). After it is cured it holds the tubing very securely, but can be removed with a razor knife if needed. This way we did not have to drill into the cross members for mounting clamps. We did the same thing for the brake wire and for two #4 wires that we ran across to bring power across the trailer from the batteries (the batteries are going to be on the curb side next to the refrigerator). The next picture shows the wires going across.

Also note that we put 1/2 inch foil faced polyurethane foam insulation under the floor on top of the tanks. The insulation exactly filled the gap between the floor and the tanks. We ran a 4 inch wide 14 ga. strap down the length of the trailer on top of the tanks to support the floor over the tanks (you can see it in the last two pictures). Once the strap was welded to the cross members and bolted to the floor, the floor was very stiff and you do not feel any flexing when you walk over the tanks. Also notice the holes cut out in the floor for the toilet and vent.

We added drain valves to the hot and cold (red and blue) pex lines running across. We are planning on drilling access holes to run rods down to actuate the valves. The drain lines are in the space at the end of the black tank. The black tank was shorter because it is 38 gallons compared to the fresh and gray tanks which are 45 gallons each.

The tanks are not insulated so the plan is to keep the fresh tank water warm by running a control valve hooked up with a temperature probe at the outlet of the fresh tank. The control valve is placed in a circuit connecting a line from the hot water heater to the fresh water tank. When the temperature drops to a certain point say 36 F, the valve would open and the water pump would automatically start and pump hot water into the fresh water tank, thus keeping it from freezing. In our case, we will use the two lines running across to the shower as part of the circuit (to keep them from freezing). We will place a bypass circuit near the shower control valve that we will open when the weather is going to be below freezing. This idea came from Zep (Airstream Doctor or Zeppelinium on the forums). The black and the gray tank won't be as much of a problem since we do not plan on camping for extended periods in freezing weather and they can be protected by adding propylene glycol to the tank before you use it in freezing weather. You only need to add enough propylene glycol to protect the valves since the tank won't be affected by freezing (to a point).
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Old 01-18-2015, 09:04 PM   #32
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2009 23' FB Flying Cloud
1959 24' Tradewind
1951 21' Flying Cloud
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Forgot to press upload on the pictures so here they are.
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Old 01-23-2015, 05:46 PM   #33
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2009 23' FB Flying Cloud
1959 24' Tradewind
1951 21' Flying Cloud
Northeast , Iowa
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Finally time for more updates. Getting close to real time.

The first picture shows the tanks installed. The tanks are sealed in place with black polyurethane caulk all the way around (except the black tank which is only sealed on the sides. The urethane should help bond the tank to the frame. The bolts are 5/16 stainless and the nuts are heavy nuts that are tack welded to the cross members. Loctite on all bolts. The black tank was a special case since it is shorter than the other two. Two pieces of 11ga stainless had to be fabricated for the ends. One as a cover to provide access to the drain valves and the other piece of stainless was tacked on the other end of the tank to fill a gap we had missed in the drawings. Overall, the installation came out well in the end but a lot of time involved.

The tanks were installed last winter and the trailer was not worked on until this winter due to almost 5 months of travel in our '94 Excella. Eileen and I both retired this last year (Spring of 2014) and decided to do a couple of long trips. The first trip we took a ferry on the inside passage from Bellingham WA to Haines AK with 4 or 5 day stops at Ketchikan, Sitka, Juneau, Skagway and Haines. We got off at Haines and continued through Canada on the Alaskan Highway. It was a great trip and we were gone over 2 1/2 months.

Last fall we took another trip to the southwest and California. We were again gone for about 2 1/2 months. The trip included the Vintage Trailer Academy (again), the Balloon Fiesta (again) and rallies in California, New Mexico and Texas.

We got home in early November, just in time to saw up a bunch of black walnut logs that we had accumulated from various woodcutting opportunities. The last two pictures show the resulting lumber that is stacked and drying. I am guessing that over 50% of the lumber is quarter or rift sawn. I did this on purpose so that I would have a lot of very stable boards for wood working projects coming up. There is close to 1000 board feet of black walnut in these pictures of various sizes. Mostly 5/4 in thickness and between 4 and 14 feet long and 3 to 22 inches in width. If you have done this before, you know the amount of time involved.

We finished stacking and binding the lumber over the holidays and were able to get back working on the Tradewind just before the new year.
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Old 01-23-2015, 05:57 PM   #34
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2009 23' FB Flying Cloud
1959 24' Tradewind
1951 21' Flying Cloud
Northeast , Iowa
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Here are a couple of pictures showing the insulation. We have chosen to do the bottom is two layers of 2 inch extruded polystyrene. We are also going to mostly seal the belly pan and frame. I have drain holes in the bottom of the frame rails at the end of the frame by the rear bumper and will leave some small gaps in the aluminum where it is split by the frame but otherwise it will be sealed. This may be less problematic for us than others since the trailer will be in a temperature controlled environment when it is not being used so moisture will probably be less of an issue. Leaks are the number one concern and extra effort will be taken to seal the seams and windows. Not being outside year round will certainly help in the leak department but Airstreams will always leak!
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:05 PM   #35
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Sweet!

I've been looking for some walnut. Now I know where I must go.
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:53 AM   #36
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Your work is looking great, is the walnut to use in the trade wind? Congratulations on your retirement! Now you will have your trailers done in no time:-) I look forward to those long trips someday!
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Old 01-31-2015, 09:38 PM   #37
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2009 23' FB Flying Cloud
1959 24' Tradewind
1951 21' Flying Cloud
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Lance and Doug,

Good to hear from you guys. The plan is to use the walnut for the '59 if it is dry. This should not be a problem since my progress is so slow.

Lance, I am planning on putting together a list of the board sizes one of these days so if you have a particular need send me a private message and let's see what we can do.

Looking forward to seeing you at the vintage rally in Texas in April.

Ed
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Old 01-31-2015, 11:10 PM   #38
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2009 23' FB Flying Cloud
1959 24' Tradewind
1951 21' Flying Cloud
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Finally up to the present time. Have the belly pan aluminum cut and formed. The aluminum is 5052 H32 0.045 thick. The sheets are 5 X 10 feet (needed a 5 foot width to make the rear piece from one sheet). Had a local metal supply house find the metal for us. We have enough aluminum to do the '59 belly pan, the '51 belly pan, and also have the aluminum to do the inside and outside of a complete trailer (from the same supplier). Since we were borrowing a large trailer to pick up the aluminum, also bought sheets of 11 ga. steel, 1/4 inch steel, 1/8 304 stainless and a bunch of angle iron, all of which has come in useful so far.

There are a lot of comments about using various thicknesses of aluminum for these trailers. The main disadvantage of thicker aluminum for the belly pan is weight (especially if you are working under the trailer). Forming and cutting heavier sheets is a little extra work, but not too bad if you have the right shears and a piece of 3 inch PVC. The 3 inch PVC was used to help form the aluminum that goes over the out riggers. The radius is actually closer to 4 inches but a 3 inch pipe worked better for us because the aluminum springs back after it is formed and actually matched the curve of the out rigger better than if it had been formed with a 4 inch pipe. As you can see by the pictures, they came out well. Since we were working with smaller pieces most of the time it went fairly quickly and we were working with the trailer upside down so the weight was not a problem. The big advantage of the thicker aluminum is in how nice the aluminum looks once it is formed since it is pretty resistant to unwanted wrinkles and buckles while you are working with it. In addition, it should be a lot more durable.

The total extra weight of the heavier sheets is not all that great since we have a lot less total aluminum because of the stainless tanks and the spare tire carrier.

The first picture is of the shears we bought at a HVAC auction 30 years ago. They are incredibly sturdy and cut very well. Just need to touch up with a fine file every once and a while to remove built up aluminum that gets on the faces. Also have an electric Milwaukee shear that works well for the long cuts.

The next picture shows the first three sheets riveted in ( we started at the rear). Also installed the rear BAL jacks since we are using them to hold down the middle of the sheet. Did apply a fair bit of Vulkem along the cross members and frame rails to help hold down the sheets and keep the insulation from moving around. The straps are holding the aluminum down until we can get it turned over.

Took a picture of the detail around the step (not done installing the front sheets yet).

The next picture shows the front sheets. There are a total of six separate pieces in the front of the trailer (ahead of the wheel wells) and three separate sheets in the back (behind the wheel wells). Notice that there is a joint at the last full out rigger in the back and a cut at the first full out rigger in the front. These cuts/joints are essential to get the sheets to bend correctly for the slope of the aluminum as it goes down past the frame rails.

We started buying fittings and copper pipe for the gas lines. Always interesting to see how fittings and pipe sizes are done for soft copper. People usually talk about the pipe size as the inside nominal diameter (3/8 or 1/2 inch). The actual inside diameter depends on the schedule of the pipe. The fittings on the other hand are sized by the outside diameter of the pipe (exactly 1/2 inch outside diameter for nominal 3/8 inch inside diameter). What this means is that you buy 3/8 inch pipe and 1/2 inch fittings for the pipe. We are using 1/2 inch shedule L for the main run and 3/8 inch for each branch (which is a lot bigger than they used originally). Probably do single flare since not convinced that double flare worthwhile for 1/2 psi.
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Old 01-31-2015, 11:25 PM   #39
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2009 23' FB Flying Cloud
1959 24' Tradewind
1951 21' Flying Cloud
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Looks like we need to get a double flare tool since Lewster says we need double flares.
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Old 02-06-2015, 05:59 PM   #40
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2009 23' FB Flying Cloud
1959 24' Tradewind
1951 21' Flying Cloud
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Short update:

Ordered and started receiving the pipe fittings to install the drain valve assembly for the black and gray tanks. Also ordered and got the controller, thermocouple, solenoid valve and fittings for the heat loop for the fresh tank. It took a while to find all of the parts so if it works well we will list the part numbers and a sketch to show how we did it. To control cost everything is Chinese (which is not the first choice but too expensive otherwise).

Also ordered a complete 200 watt solar setup from AM Solar for the '94 Excella since we will be traveling in it at least one more year. Also gives us a chance to see if 200 watts is enough for our needs. Will be using two 6 volt Lifeline batteries.

Finally, we picked out and ordered the Marmoleum flooring. Want to get it installed before we punch a bunch more holes for the rest of the propane lines and wiring. Already going to be a pain getting around the pex water lines and electrical wires and brake wire.

Flipped the frame over and supported it only on the rear Bal jacks and front A-frame. Very stiff when we walk on the floor so are very pleased at this point. Anxious to get the shell back on but realistically not for a couple weeks at least (installing the solar in the '94 also somewhere in this time frame).

Ed
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:23 PM   #41
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2009 23' FB Flying Cloud
1959 24' Tradewind
1951 21' Flying Cloud
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Vintage Airstream get together

We are taking a break from our '59 restoration to host a vintage Airstream gathering.

We (Kathy and Scott Allen and Eileen and I) are hosting a vintage Airstream event at our place on 28March2015 (2 1/2 weeks from now).

The event is free and you do not need to be a VAC member or even own an Airstream to attend. We plan on starting at about 10:00 a.m. with early arrivals welcome to join us for home made blueberry pancakes. We will supply a mid afternoon meal (barbecue chicken, pork tenderloins, baked potatoes, sweet corn and salad). Bring a favorite snack and beverage if you like.

We are located near the intersection of interstate 380 and Hwy 20 near Waterloo Iowa. Guests are welcome to stay with us on Friday and/or Saturday night (we have plenty of room).

We have a heated shop where we have been restoring the '59 Tradewind with plenty of room for people to gather.

We will talk about vintage restoration and various topics associated with a restoration (we will be looking for input from guests that may have already restored a vintage trailer or are in the process of restoration). You can see our '59 Tradewind (in the process of restoration) and see our '51 15 panel Flying Cloud (not restored). We also have a '94 Excella that we are just completing a solar installation on.

Topics will include plumbing, electrical, flooring, frames, aluminum, propane and solar.

We will also be set up for people to practice buck riveting for those that are interested.

This will be a very casual event but we do need an RSVP so we know how much food to prepare.

Please private message us to RSVP and get directions.

Best regards,
Ed and Eileen
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Old 03-12-2015, 06:32 PM   #42
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What a wonderful neighborly gesture! Iowa is my home state! We're from Clarion. I've been following your thread and saw this Airstream Social and had to chime in.

I've been working on a 66 Trade Wind but not near to the extent your restoration is taking you. Having a MIG welder is a huge advantage when repairing or replacing the frame. Your 59 will be extra special when you are done.

I nearly bought this 59 Overlander instead of the Trade Wind. It was in pretty good condition but I'm sure had a lot of needs like my Trade Wind. I was surprised it was a single axle for 26 feet, and prefered the dual axle set up.

We plan on traveling on the date of your gathering. But it sure sounds like a lot of fun.

David
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