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Old 01-31-2011, 07:48 AM   #21
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The future of my '73 door pull opener might be removal, bead blasting, bake in oven and a light sanding, then POR-15, then body filler & paint to a lovely shade of silver. But that is just a guess, I'm on a if-it-aint-broke-don't-fix-it department stand-down for the near foreseeable future
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:57 AM   #22
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Clean interior skin

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattkroff View Post
Great progress. The inside skin looks so clean!
I thought the skin exceptionally clean and free of the black tar like sealant that was on all my seams. Maybe they stopped using it at some point.
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:47 PM   #23
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1975 25' Tradewind
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I started out with a goal to get the fresh water tank out. It was such a nice day. Warm and sunny. I decided to power wash the exterior. The trailer came with a nice coating of mud and mold. All the windows had mud in their sills about 6 inches up. After I finished the exterior I decided to do the interior too. I wanted to power clean all the mouse and mud residue inside.

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Old 01-31-2011, 07:50 PM   #24
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Inside clean.

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Old 01-31-2011, 08:00 PM   #25
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Next I decided to get the belly skin and wraps off, in preparation for taking the tanks out.

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Old 01-31-2011, 09:00 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breadbug
Inside clean.

Ed/Breadbug
You missed a spot right by the door......also appears to be some sort of vermin right outside the door.

All kidding aside, great progress.
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:15 PM   #27
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That little critter is one we decided to keep. Cute isn't he? Not potty trained though. LOL

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Old 02-01-2011, 09:31 AM   #28
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It's amazing how you can wash or strip or sand away the years on an Airstream. It's just a lot of work.
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:39 PM   #29
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I started today with a goal to get the fresh water tank out. It was a beautiful day here. I decided to do as much outside work as I could. First, the tank. I got a 10' length of heavy chain and screwed an end link to the middle front of the plywood platform. I hooked the other end to my SUV. The plywood came right out. Smooth as butter. Fresh water tank out! Yippy. It's good that I did too. The tank had a crack along the top that i would never have seen.

Next I decided that I really want to remove the interior endcaps. I gave this decision about three weeks of debate. I really want to make my own paneled endcaps. With them out now, the trailer looks so much cleaner. Now I can do the new insulation the way I really want too.

Next, I removed all the wiring and finally got the Black tank and vent plumbing out. Uh oh! Now there's more floor to replace. The floor right behind and under that black tank is rotted. Not really bad,but enough to get me to do another sheet of plywood.

Ok, now back out in that great weather. I decided to start stripping the clear coat. I used Jasco. It was warm enough that the Jasco was drying too fast. I turned on the garden hose and sprayed down each section before I applied the Jasco. Worked perfect. I used a soft plastic scraper and then used a soaking wet towel to wipe before hosing it off again. This turned out a lot easier than I thought it would be. I got 2/3 of the trailer done before the sun started to fade. Wow, the trailer looks sooooo much better already. What a satisfying job!

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Old 02-06-2011, 09:17 PM   #30
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Great progress! Re your outside lock. If you're considering to reskin your door, now would be a good time to change your lock to another type of lock. Inland RV sells a "conversion" kit to get rid of the old KT lock with a more modern type. You wouldn't need the skin shims if you reskin. MUCH cheaper and better working than trying to keep the old lock.

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Old 02-07-2011, 05:06 AM   #31
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Great job. Thanks for documenting. We started a 73 Tradewind around the time you started. We are not going to go so deep at this time and hope we don't regret it. How are you going to put the flooring back under the wall and tie into the existing? We are going to have to make the same repair in the same spot.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:55 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by constructor
Great job. Thanks for documenting. We started a 73 Tradewind around the time you started. We are not going to go so deep at this time and hope we don't regret it. How are you going to put the flooring back under the wall and tie into the existing? We are going to have to make the same repair in the same spot.
Hey there. Congratulations on your purchase, I think. Ha ha.

After my progress yesterday I found more rot in the floor under the black water tank right behind it's cut out and under the c channel. I also removed the fresh water tank yesterday. The tank had a crack in one of the goose neck risers. There is still a smell of decay emanating from under the trailer. I thought that it was coming from the fresh tank area. Nope. No foreign body's found. It seems that the carcass must be further back in the belly.

I've got to cut out the floor in the front under what was the galley. Now in the back too. I can still do just the two areas and not lift the shell completely off. I power washed the interior. That means I got water everywhere. That means I got all the insulation under the floor wet. That mixed with the rodent still entombed in the belly has made the decision to remove the entire floor the right move.

I am a bit nervous about doing the whole floor. I didn't want to have to. I really want to get at the whole frame to do the POR 15 and get the insulation replaced. It's a shell off for me now, kinda. I'm gonna cut out around the perimeter today. I'll get the majority of the floor out first. I will remove only the rivets in the back when I replace that floor. After I have replaced the back floor and gotten it riveted back down, I will move up to the front and do the same. It will be a big job. I'm not looking forward to it but I will love the fact that it's all done and like new when I'm finished.

Here goes!

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Old 02-07-2011, 06:48 PM   #33
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Oh boy, that will be a ton of work but you sound cut out for it. And when you are done you will have something you know what is in it. Do you listen to the VAP (vintage airstream podcast)? They are great and really push doing what you are doing as after 30 years it is time for a redo.
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:09 PM   #34
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Well, the floor is out. Man am I glad that's done!!! I finally found the critter that was giving off that smell. It was a squirrel I think. At least rats don't have bushy grey tails, right? It was where I thought it might be. Right along the first axle. It had friends too, I think. There were nests and all kinds of stuff in the belly between the two axles. As I got the floor over the grey water tank up I saw that the vermin had chewed a hole in the tank. Good thing I decided to go this far!!

After I got all the floor up I decided to power wash the frame area to get any remaining urine smell and debris off and out.

So, is the axle supposed to be arched like mine? Ha ha, the first one is not as bad as the back. The frame is buckling a bit back there too now.

Should I get the new axles on before I measure the floor for new plywood? I'll bet the trailer gains an inch or two in width if I take the axles off.

Now that I have the floor out and am removing all the tanks, I can decide if I want a completely new floor plan. Maybe a mid bath???? Any one see any really cool ideas with that? I still have the original black tank and I think it would mount almost anywhere, given the space through the floor for it's drain.

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Old 02-07-2011, 08:45 PM   #35
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I certainly feel your pain, frustration and yes, gratification. We bought a '77 Tradewind back in April, 2010. Had to buy four tires just to get her home. Knew we would have some renovation, but the deeper you get, the more you find. The more you find, the more you need to do. The more you need to do... Well, let's just agree it means $$$.

Because of the floor rot we found in the rear, under the bathroom, we ended up yanking the entire bathroom out. One moldy, greasy surface after another got me pulling everything else. Once gutted, we decided we didn't really have to (read: want to) put it back like it was.

We decided that we didn't need the bathroom. Some will gasp, "What?" But we always stay in parks that have very nice restrooms with larger than RV showers, and frankly we were not excited about sleeping three feet from where our guests are relieving themselves in the middle of the night.

We opted for replacing the rear, four feet of plywood flooring, building a queen size bed platform for us and a convertible dinette in the front for guests. We replaced the middle with some Ikea cabinets, aluminum counter/table tops and cork flooring. It was the orange shag carpet and upholstery that got us started.

We started the gutting the day in April 2010 when we brought her home and finished (mostly) just in time for our Thanksgiving trip. Two new axles, new AC, new refrigerator, new stereo, new convection/micro and other thing$ later, we're happy campers. We even took out the gas furnace and made it through two 23 degree Florida weekends with our little Walmart space heater.

Could have had something shiny and new for half the money, but it wouldn't have been half as gratifying. What I'm not excited about is the stripping of the exterior clear coat and the polishing that is sure to follow.

I plan to compile a diary of photos soon to post.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:52 PM   #36
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Breadbug, I so admire your bravery and tenacity. You have jumped into this project with both feet, and have made so much progress in a very short time.
This once wonderful Tradewind will be wonderful again! You are doing a great thing...and doing a great job!
Thanks for sharing this with us!

David
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:51 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FL Crackers View Post
I certainly feel your pain, frustration and yes, gratification. We bought a '77 Tradewind back in April, 2010....Knew we would have some renovation, but the deeper you get, the more you find. The more you find, the more you need to do. The more you need to do... Well, let's just agree it means $$$.
Wow, Cracker summed up the whole process both simply and eloquently...

If I may paraphrase...and add my own mantra...

Bought it, knew it needed work, the more you fix the more you find, the more you find the more you need to do, and that means time and money...so, suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time.

Everyone undertaking a renovation should print out their own version of of the above and placard it in a conspicuous place for constant reference.

Another workplace addage I remember from my sport/business flying days is one a German homebuilt airplane mechanic had in his workshop - the quote is not exact, and I do not remember just where it originated, but it went something like this...

All of the work is my own, I know what I'm doing, therefore I have no concerns of the outcome.

Congratulations to ALL who have documented and posted their work here on the Forums.

Breadbug - good job with the pics and documentation - obviously you know what you are doing (or are not afraid to learn) and have the work ethic to "git it done". Please document your time and cost invested as you go along. More info insofar as the hours and dollars required to "do it right" would undoubtedly help people blinded by vintage aluminum realize the true cost commitment (dollars and time) prior to getting in over their head.

It's a shame to see all of the salvageable shells being absoutely ruined by individuals who attempt rebuilds, either reincarnations of travel trailers or conversions to lunch wagons ("roach coaches"), "Cupcake Servers", Weinie Wagons, or others.

My plea to all who are considering resurrecting a Vintage Shell (Airstream, Avion, Spartan, Silver Streak, or other) is PLEASE honestly consider your financial and physical abilities prior to taking on a project. Don't take on a commitment you can't see through to fruition.

A huge "job well done" to all who have their vintage trailers on the road and are utilizing them to camp and travel.
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:57 AM   #38
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That is what I had painted at eye level on a homemade 2x4 ladder used to board a 36 foot wooden boat I was rebuiling in the early 80s. Sal.
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:55 PM   #39
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Keep up the good work.
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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:29 AM   #40
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I can make you feel good about the process. Spent over 8K on my Tradewind fixing everything, custom curtains, fridge Axels brakes shocks and Oak paneling only to have her stolen after all was done. All I got left is a 72 Manual and a ball hitch.
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