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Old 09-23-2008, 06:16 PM   #15
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Mike Welding

My son welded angle iron supports to hold grey water tanks.
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:22 PM   #16
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Ready to drop

We placed the shell back over the new floor to keep the rain off. We made a shield that we taped inside the shell to keep the floor dry.

All we needed to do was put the belly pan corners on. That was much tougher than expected.
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:31 PM   #17
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First bellypan attempt

I think I saw pictures in NorCalBambi's thread where he sculpted foam insulation then did some magic to bend the aluminum exactly how he wanted.

I'm not in his league by any means! This was the single most frustrating day of airstream ownership!

We started by installing foil-faced foam insulation, two layers, then cut it to shape. We then cut panels, using the old ones as templates to bend around them. If you look at old pictures, the old panels don't contour like our attempt.

We didn't know that at the time. After a few hours, here's the really bad attempt.

The first picture is before attempting to make the aluminum do what it didn't want. The plastic is the protective material that is partially off.

The second picture was the end of a bad day.
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:34 PM   #18
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Bellypan success

After looking at pictures the night before, we decided to remove the insulation completely and install the belly pan exactly as done originally. We did make one exception -- we cut the tabs a little closer than the Airstream guys did.

What a difference a day makes. The first successful panel took about 14 hours. The last took about 45 minutes. We insulated with fiberglass after bending them in place.

Here are two pictures of the setup and the final product.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:29 PM   #19
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Bucking

The shell was tricky to get back in place. We dropped the shell on and cleco'd it in place, but the rear sagged. I thought we were level when we finished bolting all the plywood in place. Unfortunately, we removed the supports that kept the frame level.

The frame sagged like an airplane wing. We ended up having to jack up the back of the trailer to get all the cleco's to line up properly. Rechecking the level on the trailer, it was the right thing to do.

Bucking turned out to be easy and fun. We picked up the rivets at Aircraft Spruce, along with a 3X gun. A few bucking bars from eBay and we were set to go.

My only surprise was that lower pressure with a larger air tank worked best. If you need rivet advice, search Aerowood's posts.

Man, is this thing solid now!

Here are pics of Mike and I bucking.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:37 PM   #20
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Panel Replacement

While we were on a roll, we decided to fix the street side panel. It had been scratched badly and apparently had a wheel blow-out. The tear in the panel from the blowout caused significant corrosion behind the panel.

Armed with our new tools, we tackled the job in a day and a half. Mike has a new vocabulary now: pancake drills, clecos, bucking bars, rivet removal tool, air nibbler and more -- especially after the belly pan fiasco above!

The rivet removal tool was great. It allowed us to get the old rivets off with minimal enlargement of the holes. We enlarged them from the original 1/8" to 5/32 and used the 5/32 rivets. The gold coating came off easily.

The pancake drill made easy work of duplicating the old holes from inside channels once the panel was in place.

Here is the before, during and after view:
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:39 PM   #21
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Miller Time

We just finished insulating the bottom half and are on to completing the belly pan. I'll try to stay more current with this thread.

Right now, my watch says "It's Miller Time".

John
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:28 AM   #22
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Skin Replacement

Forgot to mention. If you're doing a skin replacement, make sure you see this thread first.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...ment-9362.html
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Old 09-24-2008, 08:08 PM   #23
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Crunch time

The crunch is on. After today, I have 4 full days to get ready for our first outing in Tumbleweed. There are a bunch of after-work evenings, but it's getting dark quickly in New England these days!

Unfortunately, the WDCU Installation rally was moved up and we have no chance of making it. Instead, we'll head to northern New England for leaf peeking season in mid-October, boondocking in the aluminum tent for 4 nights.

The UPS guy is getting tired of coming here every day. The 2 6volt Lifeline batteries arrived a couple days ago. More parts from bestconverter.com followed the next day, along with 2 really good LED reading lamps and a Trimetric 2020. The Trimetric may not be installed until winter, but it would be fun to play with it a little on the trip. The recessed lights arrived from Yachtlights.com today. We went with 6 Newport recessed lights (ILSH30101) and the G4 LED replacements (LED12V1WG4). They'll go into predrilled holes in the ceiling.

All the interior wiring will wait for better weather -- we have another tropical storm remnant on the way for the weekend.

I took the last two days off to take advantage of the good weather and get as much done down below as possible. I finished the below-decks wiring, including a run of #6 wire to connect the two batteries that will be located on either side of the trailer, just aft of the wheel wells. I'm doing all the wiring with Ancor marine wiring, carrying the ground to all points.

Most of my time in the last two days was spent on the belly pan. I'm guessing that it will take 3 8-hour days to insulate with foam insulation and install the new aluminum from airparts.com. As of now, half is riveted, all is insulated, one panel drilled and cleco'd and one panel wasn't touched. That section under the untouched panel needs detailed measurements for the gray tanks. I'll cover it up for the winter, then open it up when it's time to do the plumbing.

Two more pics -- smaller this time since I'm using up my storage space quickly.

The first is the belly pan going into place. The jacks continue to come in handy as a spare pair of hands. The second picture is a slight modification of a great idea that I first saw on Chris Johnson's thread. He drilled 1" holes for drainage / breathing between the skins, at the base of the c-channel. Here, I moved the screen to below the plywood so that water can get out of the c-channel without puddling. Note that all the drilled holes were coated in West Systems epoxy, along with the outer few inches of the plywood base.

Back to work for a couple days, then wiring inside on Saturday. Hopefully the extra vulkem on that last leaking seam will make it leak-free (for now).
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:00 AM   #24
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What a blast to read... I remember you visiting with me at the Vintage Jam. Glad to see that you have launched into your project with such gusto and vigor. If for some reason you can get her buttoned up for next week please come over to the Installation Rally. You will be welcomed in with open arms.
You should be very proud of what you have done. your work is top notch. I can also see you spent many hours educating yourself on what needs to be done here on the forums. Keep it up and I WILL see you at CBR
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Old 09-25-2008, 06:15 PM   #25
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Next Year

Frank,

Thanks, but there's no way we will be ready for this weekend. It's going to be tight for 2 weeks from now.

We will be there for CBR. No old house projects scheduled this winter. We burned out on the kitchen this summer.

With no interference from the house, we'll actually have plumbing and an interior for CBR.

Enjoy the rally.

John
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:16 PM   #26
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We're back

I know it's been a while, but life happens.

We made it to Vermont in the aluminum tent last fall. It was a bit chilly using the campground's facilities, but the weather was spectacular and so were the leaves.

Here's Tumbleweed with it's fancy newspaper curtains. With a temporary catalytic heater and a thick latex foam mattress, it was really comfortable.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:21 PM   #27
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Didn't go with split a/c

We weren't able to do much at all on the trailer this winter, but started again after a long New England Winter -- which still seems to be hanging around in June.

Our original plan was to install a split Air Conditioning system, but the internal parts were just too big for a Caravel. Here's what it looks like mocked-up on the tongue. Too bad, the weight balance could have worked out if we moved the spare tire to a hitch on the rear. The horizontal 30# tank is from Vintage Trailer Supply and would have covered about 40% of the cooling fan -- marginal, but most likely workable. I like the look of the tank lines better in the horizontal mode. We may stick with that and a small backup tank.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:31 PM   #28
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Dealer installed a/c

So, off to the Airstream dealer, who did a great job with reinforcement and the installation of a Coleman low profile system on the roof. George Hernandez at Valenti in Waterbury, CT has a good reputation and didn't disappoint.

Unfortunately, we had to remove the upper panels and reinstall them. The trailer didn't leak all winter from the work we did earlier and survived a monsoon today with no puddles inside.

Here's what it looks like -- not bad for a roof a/c.
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