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Old 04-12-2005, 11:26 PM   #1
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Back to work on the Caravel

I had to take a break from working on the Caravel for a couple weeks. I had to make room in the garage to fit all of the interior in there. So a major cleaning was in order. Now that is over, I just got started again today. I pulled the back section of bellypan off. Guess what ? The floor is totally gone under the black tank. I also found out why when it started raining this afternoon. The water is running off the hose compartment, thats in the rear bumper, right into/onto the floor in the back streetside corner. There is actually no floor left in one spot. Seems like I have been taking it apart forever. Stop the merry go round, I want off ! lol. I posted more pics in the members photos section.
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Old 04-12-2005, 11:49 PM   #2
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Deep breaths now.... Repeat after me:

It'll be great when it's done
Better than new
I'll get all money back and more - if I ever wanted too.....
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Old 04-13-2005, 12:04 AM   #3
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Thanks

I needed that !
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Old 04-13-2005, 12:31 AM   #4
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Sorry to hear about your discovery. Better to find it now than when the black tank falls out enroute to somewhere! When you get done you'll have a trailer as good as a new bambi for a fraction of the price. At least, that's what I keep telling myself...

Hang in there, and we'll all share our restoration miseries at the rally! I'll be there with a mostly non-functional Caravel myself, but the end is near.
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Old 04-13-2005, 08:19 AM   #5
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Work in Progress

Last night I got the new Fantastic Fan vent hooked up (all those City / Battery switches to make sure are correct to get it going). Taking out the carpet tonight. Lots to do.

Rob

Here are a couple shots of the Caravel, sitting next to it's big brother.
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Old 04-13-2005, 08:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C Johnson
The water is running off the hose compartment, thats in the rear bumper, right into/onto the floor in the back streetside corner.
Sorry to hear it. That's a very common affliction in all vintage trailers. There's an important bead of caulk along the edge where the bumper compartment hits the rear of the trailer. Any gaps in that caulk will cause the problem you mentioned, resulting in fast rot of the bathroom floor. Every vintage owner should check that spot regularly for tiny leaks.

Also, a lot of people don't know that on many trailers the lower rub rail (sometimes called banana wrap trim) must also be caulked along the top edge. Water that seeps under this trim will basically be injected right into the floor edge and rot it at the most critical point (where the floor meets the C-channel of the body).

My eyes have been opened to the many ways that floor rot can happen, as a result of doing Project Vintage Thunder and having my Caravel fixed by GSM Vehicles.

Another example is rot caused by small dents along the banana wrap or lower trim. Such dents can loosen rivets in a hard-to-see way, and splinter the floor edge so that it can more readily accept moisture. We had both those issues on my Caravel, resulting in quite a bit of front floor rot.

The trick about all these water entry points is that they are not where people expect them to be. Everyone knows rainwater leaks are usually in the roof. With Airstreams and Argosies, you have to look at the seams, edges, trim, and even the underside, to find all the potential leak points.
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Old 04-13-2005, 08:47 AM   #7
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Turtle--

Take heart, you have company in this category! We'd had wierd feelings about our trailer for months, but nobody could point out anything wrong. Last weekend Colin Hyde (a professional restorer from upstate NY) checked out our unit at the Cherry Blossom Rally. The news felt like a punch in the stomach! But I asked for it--and after a few beers, moral support from the rally and a bit of perspective, it's really not so bad.

We started up a MS Project workplan last night and quickly realized that the measure of how much work this will take is how many extras we thow into into it. The bare bones solution would be to just address the problem and no more. But once it's open, other possibilities appear...Will we add in new wiring? New plumbing? Paint the frame? Grey tank? Zolatone? These possibilities are endless (and right now we think "yes" to everything)!

The end result should be a trailer we can use with confidence for many, many years. We'll enjoy the unit until next week when the nephews visit--then we're tearing it apart!

Mary

PS. Rob, that Caravel is sweet!
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Old 04-13-2005, 08:51 AM   #8
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I was in the same spot as you about a month ago. Replacing the floor covering turned into doing a shell off floor replacement. I am now getting ready to bolt down the plywood and reattach the frame. It's not real hard work disassembling, just tedious. The fun part begins now in putting it back together and knowing I have a solid rig. I would say go for it! You definently won't have any regrets.
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Old 04-13-2005, 11:15 PM   #9
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Thanks for the moral support !

I worked on taking the inside apart in the bath area today. I got the water heater out, both closets. I think I now know where my funky smell is coming from. Its the rotted floor !! From what I have read on here, Airstreams don't usually leak from the skin joints. It's all the things attached to it that tend to leak. I found that the water heater cover was leaking in one spot too. It is good to find this all out now. I am feeling a bit better about taking this on now. As long as I have the bath out I am going to get it refinished. Might as well right ? lol I have decided that I am going to do it all. Por 15 the frame, marine grade ply for the floor, new sewer lines, new dump valve, yep it looks like I am doing the full monty folks, or very very close to it anyway. Thanks again all.
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Old 04-13-2005, 11:18 PM   #10
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Robandzoe -- your caravel looks just like mine (well almost, yours is in one piece). I am used to seeing the a/c on top of mine tho. I have one question. Where is the switch located on yours for the porch light? I bought one as mine does not have one. Of course I stuck with the original equipment style.
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Old 04-14-2005, 07:15 AM   #11
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Switch light

I'll take a picture of it and send post later today. There is the flip switch for the porch light (you are talking the scare light, right?) and there is also a bezeled jewel light that is green in color that lights up when the scare light is on.

Rob
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Old 04-14-2005, 08:32 AM   #12
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Light Switch

Silver,

Here are two pictures of the light switch just inside the doorway.

Rob
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Old 04-14-2005, 11:53 AM   #13
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Front Window cover

I am going to re-do the window cover for the front window - the rock guard for better words. Mine has a frozen hinge, and the original green greenhouse type fiberglass in it. I want to have a black, shiny rock guard. What are people using, and where can you get the hinge / and arms to hold it up while parked?

Rob
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Old 04-14-2005, 11:03 PM   #14
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Rock Guard

Robandzoe, Thanks for sending the pics of the light switch location. Yeah, with the size bulb it has in it right now I bet its bright. I am goin to put a smaller C.P. bulb in there when I put it on. I did see a website that sold the black stone guards. I will have to look for it and send you a link.You are lucky to have any of the workings for the stone guard. Mine are all missing. They put some funky hinge arrangement up there and the arms are gone. That is one project that can wait, I have bigger fish to fry !
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