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Old 04-21-2005, 12:58 AM   #1
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Hello all

I am not sure how many of you are following my project but, I was reading my first post about buying an AS and being able to use it right away. Ha, what was I thinkin ? I have migrated into the "full monty". Yep, its true. I am now doin a full floor replacement. I first initially wanted/intended to use it right away. I could not get past that old trailer smell. I noticed some irregularities in the floor. So I did some investigating and low and behold I have had battery acid rot, carpenter ants, water damage caused by leaks around the rear bumper and shower being cracked in the pan portion. So I have now taken all of the interior out including the shower/bath fiberglass. I am taking the shower pan down tomorrow and getting it professionally refinished. Most of the skin is off around the bottom on the inside so I can get at the "U" channel bolts. In the next couple days I will be taking the floor out and replacing it about 25% at a time so as not to compromise the shell integrity. The mice that inhabited the trailer b4 I bought it have made a habitrail all the way into the roof. That means that all the insulation that they "used" will have to come out to get rid of the smell. the coup de gras was the dead mouse hitting me in the face while I was taking out the upper part of the shower fiberglass. ACK !! The good part is that, once I get the floor in I think things will go back together fairly easily since there are no other things that seem to need attention. I could be mistaken tho ! My goal is to have to the break in trip in June on the Trout Lake trip. Time will tell. There are more pics in my members pic section. Something about a rally to get you inspired to get it done and do it right the first time !
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Old 04-21-2005, 02:01 AM   #2
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My experience has been that you can do the whole floor at once without compromising the shell integrity if you just do some simple bracing. It should be a lot easier on a shorter unit like yours too. Mine is a 31' unit and the techinique that I used was really easy to implement and did not take all that much in the way of materials. Seeing as how you are in Portland, Oregon too you are welcome to come on by sometime and I can show you what I did. You can also check out the Polyboard floor I put in to see what you think if you like.

For anyone reading this that has not seen my postings on floor bracing check out the following thread:

http://www.airforums.com/foru...ead.php?t=11814 especially post #74

There are a few photos of the technique in my photo album too.

Malcolm
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Old 04-21-2005, 02:41 AM   #3
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Trout Lake is.........

July 11-14th, and by no means a sure thing yet. We'll see what the response is.....although it would be a better time of year for a rally.......and would give you more time to finish your Caravel. It seems that you have the advantage of experience in restoring a lot of cars, giving you a better handle on tackling your project. If I remember right....you mentioned you had 28 cars at one time in various states of repair!
Would love to see your Caravel finished!

Jim
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Old 04-21-2005, 07:20 AM   #4
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Welcome To the Wonderful World of Airstream

After looking at a pretty trashed '75 Ambassador last January, we quickly opted for an all original '72 Overlander, intact, with all original appliances that were displayed as working by the PO.

A couple of weeks after bringing it home, and with a little inspection, I was quickly made aware of the huge bathroom floor problem.

The water heater and toilet had both been leaking for some time (years?) and the floor was wrecked (not repairable). I was soon waist deep in a project I had not foreseen. After removing the banana wrap and belly pan, I found a bit of frame rust and added a bit of reinforcement after using a wire wheel and before I sealed it and painted it.

We used Tough As Tile 2-part epoxy on all of the bathroom fixtures (avail @ Lowe's for about $25), prepped surfaces as per instructions, and sprayed them in my garage.

The final result actually exceeded my expections. (Oh yeah, new Sealand toilet.)
It was a whole lot of work, between fits of enthused energy (and progress) and depressed lethargy (I'll never finish this thing!) but we went camping in May, two and a half months after I started it. We've had a ton of fun and it has been worth it as I know it should now last another 30 years.

I've also added bunk beds and a wrap around dinette in the front that turned out really nice.

The irony? Today (less than a year after completing the Overlander mess) I plan to cut out the rear section of floor again...this time in a '73 Sovereign center bath unit that I recently acquired. (And this time, I'm on a tighter schedule than last year, as I'd like to be ready to camp soon so I can sell the Overlander for some $$ to complete Sovereign.)

This forum has been a great help as there are many who have gone before you. Pace yourself and you'll get it done!
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Old 04-21-2005, 08:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PizzaChop

The irony? Today (less than a year after completing the Overlander mess) I plan to cut out the rear section of floor again...this time in a '73 Sovereign center bath unit that I recently acquired. (And this time, I'm on a tighter schedule than last year, as I'd like to be ready to camp soon so I can sell the Overlander for some $$ to complete Sovereign.)
Glutton for punishment???
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Old 04-21-2005, 10:30 AM   #6
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I might eat my words later, but I don't think I'll be bringing home any more AS. This one has taught me all the stuff to look for, some of which you might not be able to see anyway, and how much work it is to fix those things. I think any vintage AS is going to have some problems somewhere, no matter how nice it looks. Believe me, mine looked pretty darn nice, and we got two years out of it before I had to do the work - but look at how much work it turned out to be! So that's just how it is, you can't see everything that might be wrong, and sometimes it bites you in the butt!

The good part is that it's just work. Not particularly difficult, not particularly expensive. Most of my time was spent thinking out the best way to do something before I dug into it. I have no doubt you can be ready to join us at Trout Lake if you work at it regularly. I stopped for the holidays, and to do a theater production. The actual time I spent working on the trailer wasn't all that much. Restoring the Mustangs was a LOT more work - and come to think of it I still bought yet another Mustang to restore - so obviously I don't learn my lessons easily!

Keep it up, Chris. My Caravel wants another Caravel to visit with during the rallys!
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Old 04-21-2005, 05:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C Johnson
I am not sure how many of you are following my project but, I was reading my first post about buying an AS and being able to use it right away. Ha, what was I thinkin ? I have migrated into the "full monty". Yep, its true.
Quote:
Originally Posted by C Johnson

The good part is that, once I get the floor in I think things will go back together fairly easily since there are no other things that seem to need attention. I could be mistaken tho ! !

Wanna Bet ?



Best of luck tho. It'll all be worth it. Just don't do a half Monty.

Flicka
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Old 04-21-2005, 11:52 PM   #8
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Half-monty isn't in my vocabulary ! lol New pics in my members section tonight.
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Old 04-23-2005, 10:44 AM   #9
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Hi Malcom, Thanks for the invite. I just may take you up on that. I have to do some other things on it this weekend before I am ready to put the floor down. Like take the old one out.
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Old 04-23-2005, 10:53 AM   #10
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Update

I received all my goodies yesterday. I have my axle now ( it looks like it will bolt right on ), my Por-15,Metal Ready, Marine Clean, Vulcem, Alcoa Gutter seal, and Olymipic rivets. I also got some of those acrlyic razor blades, haven't tried them yet tho. The only thing I am waiting for now is my Amtex silicone remover, boy they sure don't give that stuff away. Going to start taking the floor out this weekend and coating the frame tomorrow. New floor is on the schedule for next weekend if all goes well.
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Old 05-05-2005, 12:36 AM   #11
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Update on project 2005

I have cleaned all of the rust and scale off from the frame in the rear. Mike Taylor just came over today to do the welding I needed to get done. He welded my broken crossmember, installed new safety chains, added new welds to the backsides of all the rest of the cross members, and repaired three other cracked welds. http://www.taylorswelding.com He did a good job. I am pleased with it. He will be coming back at a later date to weld on a new spare tire carrier. So now that the welding is done I can get the frame degreased and painted. I have purchased my plywood, insulation for the walls, new wiring for the running lights from front to rear, and most all of my required hardware. I have been told that my shower fiberglass will be done this Friday. I managed to bend the curbside outrigger back to its original postion (the one behind the wheel well). Mike welded a brace in there to keep it that way. I tried the Por-15 on one of my wheels. That stuff is quite unbelieveable. Rock hard, I smacked it with a hammer just to see "what if" . It just barely scuffed the surface. It appears that I am going to have a problem getting a new black tank that fits under the commode. I called Inland RV and they said that the one they have is slightly different than the one I have. Inlet and outlets in slightly different places. I can't ressurect the old one, it's too brittle and too many cracks to be reliable. Well folks thats about it for now. Shooting for the Trout Lake trip in July ! Fingers crossed.....
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Old 05-05-2005, 07:26 AM   #12
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Insulation

What type of wall insulation did you decide on? There's lots of opinions about the best type to use and I can't seem to make up my mind!
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Old 05-05-2005, 10:04 AM   #13
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Jim & Susan, I am using R-11 in the walls. It has a kraft paper backer that i am goin to peel off. Under the floor I am using the 2" foam board and scewing it on. That way, should I ever have to do repairs under there, it will be easier to take out than regular insulation. Less of a mess for sure. Also a rodent deterrent !
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