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Old 02-21-2007, 12:50 PM   #15
Rivet Master
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1995 30' Limited
Ashland , Missouri
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Sharon, I love your story telling Keep the chapters coming. ~G

1995 Airstream Classic Limited 30' ~ Gypsy
1978 Argosy Minuet, 6.0~Minnie/GPZWGN
Chev Silverado 2500HD Duramax/Allison, 4X4, Crew Cab
WBCCI #5013 AIR #2908
Go, Mizzou...Tigers on the prowl!
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Old 02-21-2007, 07:02 PM   #16
Rivet Master
2005 22' International CCD
Buckhorn , Ontario
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Chapter Three - Road Prep

The oooss aaahhhs and YUKS had to be put aside for a bit we had arrived a little latter than intended around 2:00pm and had maybe 4 hours of light left.

In that time the following check list had to be completed:

- Wheel bearings checked and re-packed
- Brakes inspected and tested
- Wire Harness from trailer to Yukon deciphered, sorted and wired
- Install Eaz-Lift WD HitchClick image for larger version

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- Instal Sway Arm
- Check Coupler Ball seat and locking system
- Grease everything along with white grease for the Yukon receiver terminal Road Salt can kill ya
- Axle Check - Dead or Alive - Dead - thus we take a different approach to battening down the hatches! cause you know things are going to fly!
- Check Exterior for any loose items that can become projectiles and a cause for law suites
- Exhaust Pipe removal Large silver canister mounted under trailer (awning, flag pole or pooper hose??? still guessing on that one)Click image for larger version

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- Spare Tire Mount needed to be riveted - no way it was going to hold the wheel.
- Propane Regulator and Pigtail needed to be secured.
- Rivet down any vents or remove completely if possible.
- Break out the duck tape - and tape everything that could fly open - the cranks may be stiff on these old girls but give her a ride with a dead axle and anything can work itself loose in a matter of miles.
- Never trust the lock or closures on the door - wire it shut or the compartment doors - duck tape them.
- We also had a missing back window to take care of - found the perfect piece of 8mil plastic - wedged under the window frame and duck tape all the seems - worked like it was meant to be.
- Secure the inside (although really scary in there I managed to vacuum up a few more leaves and styrofoam packing noodles) secured all the draws, stowed away interior projectiles and removed all light lenses. The spare wheel and the two old ones along with the exhaust pipe were also put in side the trailer.Click image for larger version

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All sounds pretty good right - easy, and no hiccups eh?

The wiring went great to begin with....
The bearings looked brand new and packed nicely even the brakes although had not be used for who knows how many years - over 10 at least - stopped on a dime.

Then it came time to put the new wheels on. We brought with us the Marathons Load D's on the spiffy new rims that we bought for the Overlander. These same type of wheels fit on the 69 Globe Trotter that we bought for her too. We had confirmed the hub and nut centres were the same and we were good to go. "they don't fit" I hear Dale mumble to Peter "You better come and have a look Peter" I was on the other side of the trailer acting as the new found Duck Tape Queen and thinking that the garage was just warm enough for the tape to stick....they still sounded a bit worried on the other side of the trailer so I thought I would pop around and see what the matter was.

So guys what is the problem? "The wheels won't fit" Peter said. "well tell me what I need and I will go get new tires for the old rims if need be but why don't they fit" I asked. You could tell right off that there was no way they were going to slide in and up onto the hub.While they were baffled...I blurted out...."Simple just deflate the tire push it up and inflate it - you do have a compressor right Dale?" The two of them looked at each other and smiled and I received my first compliment, if you can call it one, of the day. "Good thing you brought your wife along Peter" "Yep she is not just a pretty face" Peter responded shyly. Click image for larger version

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It worked perfect and Dale was onto the second wheel in no time. Giving the second one a turn to make sure the brakes were working all of a sudden the wheel was not turning. I was still, you know, minding my own business playing with the duck tape and thought well it can not be serious. He could not get the wheel to fit or turn and started to take all the nuts off - I could not resist - "Hang on Dale....bent over and checked behind the wheel - I think the jack stand might be your problem - the lever is against the tire because the tire is wider than the one you took off" and just left it at that and walked around to the other side to continue with the duck taping. I did hear it I know I did - a second compliment wow!!!!

We were getting close to pulling out and just had the sway bar to mount - meaning drilling holes into the frame. Small hint bring half decent locking screws because the 'chinese' ones just strip in that good old American steel - from Rosies factory in Michigan!!!! It was this simple task that caused the most grief - we thought....with the sway now mounted correctly and the harness all set the coupler ball clamp was acting up - I had visions of running around trying to find a new one. they are tricky sometimes and you can catch them and miss clamping the ball altogether - that is not fun when your trailer pops off down the road.... happened with a landscape trailer - good thing those chains were crossed - made no difference!!!

Okay now we are all set and were getting really cold as the door was now wide open and the Yukon backed into place - slowly the blocks and chocks were all moved one by one. We were wired and while in park all the lights were checked Right, Left, Brake, Running, 4-ways, full lights and the brakes were humming - all good to go.Click image for larger version

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Put her in drive and pulled forward and all the lights went OFF! Now it was dark, outside and freezing. Peter had not eaten for quite some time and I could see he was not quite himself. Thought of backing it back in the pole barn but if you saw it you would have done what we did NOT - it was like threading a needle. Peter made one wrong turn of the wheel and I knew he had to eat and that he was low (diabetic).

Dale ran to get the trouble light and jumped right in - as Peter stuffed his face with frozen granola bars. His hands would not move it was too late they had frozen stiff. And of course Peter being so thorough had taped the wire harness ready for the 600 miles of snow and slush we were about to face. Never quite understood what went wrong but joined a loose black wire with the "green wire" and it gave us lights again. It was just the half hour getting the tape undone!

Little did we know that it was a bit too much on one circuit somewhere and we had lost the running rear lights on both the Yukon and the Trailer - but did not happen until the next day - they were working when we left and when we made our first stop.

Lets back up a few steps right about 3.5-4 hours into the Prep I thought I would ask for the bill of sale, just incase he had not done one up or had one signed by his Dad. It would give me an excuse to sit by the woodstove and warm up. Nope no bill of Sale, No Dad and a non current Title not in either his Fathers or his name - just signed over to whom ever paid her the money....Her.. yep the infamous NAN the name has been changed to protect the innocent US! There was that stomach down to the knees feeling again. You see you have to do things just right to import vintage trailers or anything for that matter these days. To find out the details of this portion of the saga you will have to sit around a camp fire with us one day! In the meantime I went looking around the barn and Found NAN, exchanged our funds and the deal was done. We were on our way.

Always a bit nervous pulling an old trailer - worse in the dark, more worse in the winter and even more worse when not in your own country! That is when you say to yourself what the heck are we doing here - can we not find some crapy little SOB in Canada to meet our needs?... Naaaa we need the adventure "eh"!

9:30 pm after a lovely hot coffee and a final 1/2 hour chat with Dale we pulled away from a great new friend. We do not know what we would have done if he did not have a pole barn and a big ole wood stove! Not too mention doing all the stuff he did on the running gear while Peter worked at the same time on the electrical and hitch systems. Yep don't forget me too, working the Duck Tape system....

We were tired, hungry and FROZEN. The night was clear and we had half a notion to keep running up to Okemos or at least Elkhart but chose to run 20 more minutes to test the bearings and see what fell off the trailer. We were good to the I65 did the circle check and headed out onto the Interstate.Click image for larger version

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ID:	32832 It was not long before the lids got heavy and we pulled into the Comfort Inn at exit 255 with a Cracker Barrel too. I had eyed it on the way down and said to myself this is as far as we will get today - about 7 hours earlier.

Checked in and headed across the road with LadyBug in Tow. Had a great meal as close as we could to the big fire. Headed out at 11:00 pm right into a snow storm! (go figure in the middle of winter?) - good thing we were driving literally across the road. Woke up the next morning to 5 inches of snow and a continuing blizzard which was happening all around the bottom of Lake Huron - YIKES.

Now I know the trailer was important but there was a Rivette Rush happening that day and I was not missing it. "We can do this I65 to I80 toll road thing I know we can". It should be clear in about a couple of hours...We headed out onto the road like only true "North Americans" can, with brass balls in our pockets and the 4 wheel high in the ON position.

20 minutes down the road we both heard something but could not quite figure out what it was. I thought it sounded like aluminum/plastic and thought great the window job I did has gone. Peter thought it was some truck brakes. Everything was still on the trailer - so we thought. A few more miles up the road one of the arms to the front guard broke loose and started to bounce onto the trailer so we had to pull in and fix that. Circled around and found nothing else missing. The roads now just wet so back to 2 wheel drive.Click image for larger version

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5 hours later we pulled into Okemos ready for a big huge nap, instead we got pumped for the Rivette Rush. Rather than unhitching our new friends came to pick us up. And it was LadyBug's first tour (although she was not called LadyBug at the time) while we were waiting Peter stepped in to have a first look at her in the daylight. Put his hand up through the astrodome area thinking it was glass "Hey look there is nothing here". I looked down and said yep she has environmental issues there was 4 inches of snow on the wheels that were on the floor. There was a makeshift cover at one time and the original astrodome had long gone. That was the noise we heard, the aluminum cover had worked its way loose and flew off.

Off to the Party and great times with all - those Michiganites sure do know how to host a shin-dig. What a great Airstream Community this IS!! I just can not say enough about all the people we have met and chatted to here at the forums - what a thrill it is - and truly the only reason we venture out from our little spot of paradise....because we know if we are ever in a bind, or need a place to stop, or an excuse to have a party - there are many of us like minded people scattered throughout NorthAmerica.

A bit of that girl power goin on and the cool dudes in the back...Click image for larger version

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One more chapter and then we get to the fun stuff.

Everything will be alright in the end. If it is not alright now, then it is not the end.
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Old 02-21-2007, 07:04 PM   #17
Rivet Master
2005 22' International CCD
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Hey just realized Dale and Pete could pass as the McKennzie Brothers!!! I can honestly say that was one time a cold beer would have put us over the edge
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Old 02-22-2007, 07:52 AM   #18
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2005 22' International CCD
Buckhorn , Ontario
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Chapter Four - The Border Crossing

This version of the story has been shortened to protect the Innocent

This has turned into a Hobby of Travel Trailer imports with this one being 3rd time lucky. Getting them all decked out with the new gear each time does not help matters.

Peter has become invisible when it comes to crossing the border back into Canada. He hands over the driving, the identification and double checks his "story" a hundred times and starts to turn a peculiar shade of green.

Me - I am a Rock! When I have my story straight and Peter keeps his "Gob" shut - usually when he says anything it is opposite to what I am about to say......

So here we I said above the short version......about 25 questions later (3 of which asked us if we had or owned a gun!!! - 30 minutes of pure stress , 3 heart failures, a mini car search, grounds for divorce TWICE (yep Peter spoke) I had visions the whole time being dragged off to separate rooms and spending the rest of my life in Jail. NEVER AGAIN

We have settled with the idea that this little Globe Trotter will meet all our weekend and mini-vacation needs and the Overlander will meet our lengthy vacations and worldly retirement travel needs - that is it. There can not be any more Airstream Trailers out there that we could possibly need

We were safely on our way - into a very bad snow storm for the next half hour.

The cream on the trip....we were stopped on the 401 for not having a trailer plate - but he could not ticket us because he could not prove that we had to have one because of it just being imported and impossible to plate on either side of the border or even a trip permit issued (a whole other story).

But this young fellow was determined not to let us go until he found something....after 10 minutes of arguing with himself as we are polite citizens and just handed him the papers and repeated three times that these documents constitutes our "Plate and Permit" for this trailer.

He then asked for my license, Registration and Insurance.

The license was good - picture bad but in date

Registration - *&^% did i just not have a birthday recently??? Yep like on the 2nd and I wonder what distracted me to get that little thing done??? LadyBug and Snow Storms!!!

Oh and Peter was in it too - I had set out the insurance slips for all our toys for him he usually puts them all in the vehicles - they were still sitting on the kitchen counter.

So the young fellow fresh out of the academy was a happy fellow and was able to issue me a Non-Current Registration fine of $85 + the $25 standard "victims" charge - yep up here you have to pay for other criminals acts against innocent people!!

Well what about us - victim of circumstance - if he new his laws we would have been on our way and there would have been no discovery of the out of date registration.

You can not have cream without a cheri.....20 minutes later it was dusk time for the lights to go on - NO rear lights or interior lights!!! Have you heard that saying "I Told you So" - why don't you ever listen to me - what do you think I am stupid??" said with major attitude from a very long and stressful trip.

We ran the last 4 hours of the trip at 80klm with the 4 ways on.

It still is a mystery...both sets of fuses are fine - so how do you loose the interior dimmer and both tail lamps only all at once??? Can anyone venture a guess as to where to solve this one?

It truly was a "Flight of the LadyBug" they are clumbsy flyers at best - but they always manage to get themselves from A to B relatively

Here are your standard newbie photos. (But I guess we are not Newbies really)

Hey look there is an Airstream following us....
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wow check out the my little rig beside the big rigs....Just figured out why eveyone takes this shot - because it is the first time you get to stand back and take a look and the only place you can park is with the Transports
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It is all worth it when you wake up the next morning in your own bed - the sun shinning, and your first glance out the window is....
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Wow Honey it was not a dream! It really did happen

LadyBug is settling in just fine and talking to her new friends - she does talk you know - don't believe me - then who is Haily talking to???
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Stay Tunned for Chapter 5 - The Metemorphosis this will be the fun cops or border patrol to stress you out...
Everything will be alright in the end. If it is not alright now, then it is not the end.
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Old 02-24-2007, 05:27 PM   #19
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2005 22' International CCD
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Chapter 5 - The Metamorphosis

This thing is real nasty inside!!! Just a huge cry from MoonBeam - oh well just a bigger challenge that is all.

Had a chance to get about a foot layer of dirt of her but you would never know it. But I am excited honest well for now anyway.

So here is the plan ( although they could change from time to time). As this is a base model with not to much of anything being fancy I would like to update the functionality a bit.

Starting in the back....I like the toilet shower combo with a door. So we are going to refit the toilet and two closets similar to The sink and counter will stay where it is with a slight re-design on the sink.
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The old water heater (monster) will be replaced with a new unit placed up closer behind the wheel well. The old vent will stay for show but be completely closed off on the inside. A new heater vent will need to be cut out. We do not have the room to keep the WHT where it is right now.

A small but functional bathroom door - with one of the oval windows with frosted lexan will be installed to close off the toilet and shower area.

In place of the bath tub on the curb side will be a new closet/drawer/shelf combo - to compensate for the lose of closet space from the toilet shower. The upper closet door will also have an oval frosted window to match across the hall. We hope to have a small closet - the width of the new water heater that will act as the kitchen pantry beside the cooktop.

The wood in the cupboards and bulkheads is all restorable. We will change out the sliders for wood doors up top.

The kitchen will also under go some minor changes. Oven will be replaced with the Convection Microwave out of the Excella with the new Wedgwood 3 burner cook top.Click image for larger version

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There is not much of a cupboard under the existing stove so we may consider that for a cleaning materials organizer.

The sinks in both the bathroom and the kitchen are still in great shape although the SS trim rings are a bit rusty. They seem to clean up nice with 1000 wet/dry sand paper used with water. The cupboard under the kitchen sink will be a pull out pantry as in the new models - so you can access from both sides - this will be a great spot for the dishes with the fancy dish organizers available today.
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We will need a new fridge - either brand new, or a demo, dent and bash or if I can find an older dometic I have a guy who will do the cooling unit for them for around $250 on the small units. I am looking for a RM 40 or 35 or it's equivalent. Above the fridge I will ditch the drawer - as the drawers will be on the left of the cooktop. In place will be a large pull out cutting counter. I will miss the double counter space of the 69.

The furnace that is at the end of the counter will be removed and a cupboard to store the Marine style pole mount table will be built in its place.

The front goucho will be re-designed to an L-lounge with the suburban furnace under the seat beside the table storage cupboard so that we can still use the same outside furnace vent. We can run the ducting to the back and around the front to better heat the trailer. We do not intend on almost freezing to death in this one.
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Just a concept - not having a double pole table or the blue or the wood strip floor, however we are going with a distressed wood floor look.

We will be changing out the pressure water system for a surflow on demand pump system and a new fresh water tank in the same location. We will loose a drawer and a half with the L-shape seating but will sub in lift up storage instead.

The curbside goucho is not in very good condition so we will sub in the Flexsteel couch out of the Excella that fits perfect - saves me the cost on wood and foam - just have to send it out for re-covering. We will offset the couch an extra 6 inches to give a nice wide double bed and still leave enough room to squeeze by the glley to the bathroom.
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The astrodome - we are replacing with a non opening clear skylight dome. Putting in a FF in place of the old vent in the back - adding in a small vent for the toilet/shower room and adding a cooktop exhaust fan - this little AS has 6 large windows as well as a door in door and only 16' x7' inside so I don't think we will have an issue with not having the Astrodome opening for air movement.

We are looking at some neat accents with rivet seams in the fridge door as well as the front bulkhead sliders - to give the interior an aviator look.

We are a bit disappointed that the front and rear cones are fiberglass - did not realize 63 was the year they brought that in. So we have to rethink what to face the ceiling with. The zolatone is inconsistent although original. I like the stainless look of the CCD's and do not have too much wall space in the centre. So it will be nice to have a bit of aluminum showing. We have the aluminum wall fridge vent so that will be stripped and nice racks installed for the special Happy Hour glasses.

Incorporating some cool led lighting, LadyBug accents (chrome/ladybug switch/plug plates, ties for curtains will have Ladybug broaches - and if you look closely you may find a few Ladybugs on the walls. I am sticking with the original decor colour scheme with "Rosie" still being my inspiration along with an 'aviator' atmosphere.
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Now if I could just twinkle my nose and all that would be done in a week - that would just be the cats meow.

Now I have to put the work list together - that includes all the usual common sense stuff, like floor, frame, axle - changing out the plumbing and updating the power system. Adding a few courtesy lights and new stack vents. Re-sealing all the windows and sealing up the dried out seams. And that is just a short list....All this with no garage is going to be murder in itself - cold and then bugs then rain then sweltering heat and more bugs just let them all be LadyBugs....

So when you look at the pictures can you SEE IT????
Everything will be alright in the end. If it is not alright now, then it is not the end.
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Old 02-24-2007, 06:12 PM   #20
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1951 21' Flying Cloud
1960 24' Tradewind
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There's nothing like undertaking a new project to get the blood going. That's good and bad. You want to do lots, and it's exciting doing the planning and getting in and doing it, but the amount of work involved sure can be draining at times. You need a good coach at times when it becomes wearing and you've got a ton of us coaches on your team here . One nice thing is that you also incorporate things you learned from the last trailer (moonbeam), knowing what worked the best and what you would have changed had you needed to do that.

We'll be watching for update pics. It sounds as though you've thought this one through pretty well so it should be an excellent replacement when it's done. So, have at er as my uncle used to say as he left us to do the job he'd just committed us to, and headed off to the bar for a few beers (we were too young to join him, or to know better to go have a pop till he came back - oh well )

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Old 02-24-2007, 06:30 PM   #21
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Where the water tastes like wine , Michigan
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Thumbs up You've got it going on girl!!

Sharon you have a great eye! I love the combined colors/fabrics you put together! Can't wait to see how it comes together!!
Steph in MI Air# 6996-
I Hockeytown USA!!
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Old 02-24-2007, 08:50 PM   #22
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We'll all be watching for the sequel chapters.....Love your theme scheme!
Officer says ..."Step AWAY from the toaster Ma'am"
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Old 02-26-2007, 02:11 PM   #23
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...And so it begins.....female tinkering as I call it.

You ditch the rags, vacuum, sponges and cloths for some items that have a bit more substance to them like...a hammer, scrappers, screw driver (hey did you know that there is all sorts of difference screw drivers - but only ONE was used in these Airstreams)

SLOT SLOT SLOT FLAT FLAT FLAT - it is a wonder we see so many people take sledge hammers at the beginning of their restoration. What with 1000's of rivets and slot head screws that is enough to put anyone over the edge

I can just see how this project is going to go 4 screws to take out 3 fine and the last one "Honey are you doing anything right now??? uh I umm can't get this one screw out - it is RUSTED SOLID and it is one of those *&^% FLAT HEADS and I don't want to &^%$ it up for you " calmly expressed at the top of my voice for the entire wilderness to hear me....

A couple of hours later - oooohhhh Honeeeyyyyy.....

So what have I managed to do thus far.

Selected a wide range of tools from the garage and made up my own Woman tool box - with a note to the HD that says if you can not find something it is in the 63 - or I may have left it in the 61 or it could be in the house.

Can anyone guess what this is?Click image for larger version

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Look you can see straight through Click image for larger version

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ID:	33066 I bet you are saying how'd she do that - be inside the trailer taking a picture of her hand under the trailer through the pooper hole????

Good thing we did not have an emergency stop on the way home with this baby - could just imagine what would have been on the ticket

There is something missing here? Click image for larger version

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Oh look that is a great spot for that - maybe someone was hoping to fire up the 12 volt system on poop fumes Click image for larger version

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ID:	33067 I take it that this is the old thedford style that needs replacing.

Oh and that also could have been the noise we heard on the way home on I65. Another piece of aluminum fell off underneath - there was two when we started out but now there is none. Not sure if this would be original - two squares one under the tub and one under the toilet/black tank cut out with a panel slide in bracket???.

Started removing all the little window clips and springs and broken PLASTIC curtain rails what is left of them anyway.

Next was my pathetic attempt at removing the side goucho. That is where the story of the "screws" come in - it was actually real save the small point that Peter is at work and I can not yell that loud for him to come home and remove this one last screw so I could move onto finishing removing the tiles. I can not even budge the screws that go into the floor - and I am a strong woman!!! Any tricks someone would like to hint. besides cutting wheels. Don't tell me you have to drill all these suckers out??...and fellas here is my first casualty Click image for larger version

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ID:	33074 ouch I almost had to go to emerg and how many layers of skin did I go through?????

Okay so lets move onto something different that I can remove. Like the little medicine cabinet in the back - Wow that is original and Airstream got someone to make these exclusively for them - they saw that person coming...

Any Vintage Purists out there that would like to make me an offer for this little baby???Click image for larger version

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And this would not be your typical restoration thread without the picture of the "Found Items" So here is what we have found thus far.....Click image for larger version

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NOPE the baby moons are not up for grabs. They more than likely will be going back on the original wheels as the Overlander is missing two wheels right now

Has anyone tackled restoring the old shower faucets??
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And while on the subject of bathrooms - is there a trick to getting this drip rail off the back of the tub??? - Gosh that tub is awful looking - almost looks like Charles Manson has been in there
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Well that is it for now - I think I will get the measuring tape out and square pad to see how much weight I have to loose to fit into the new suggested "watercloset" - or see if we have the space for the Water Heater and the shower pan behind the wheel well.

LadyBug - signing off kissh kisshch.....
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Old 02-26-2007, 02:33 PM   #24
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2005 22' International CCD
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oh I forgot this beautiful find....
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You might find this on e-bay one day

Original "Aristream" Art starting bid $50.00 US
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Old 03-07-2007, 05:03 PM   #25
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1973 31' Sovereign
1963 19' Globetrotter
Graham , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 19
Hey Sharon , waiting for your next chapter I sure hope your not frozen.

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Old 05-27-2007, 07:04 AM   #26
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I have a few items that someone out there might be able to restore and use if you happen to be looking for these.

What a perfect pair Click image for larger version

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An Aquamagic III toilet

The hot water tank - No Vent we are keeping that to retrofit the new HWT. Have no idea if this old one still works - but it is too big and messin up my interior design idea - so out it goes. Heading to the dump unless someone would like me to put it aside as with these other items.

Have a Tapan Stove - there are some salvage parts on it - like the top grill plates, the centre knob only - Click image for larger version

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ID:	37983others carried off by the lady bugs I presume. If your door is crappy this one is good just needs the pull replaced or re-chromed.Click image for larger version

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ID:	37986Have several other parts that may or may not work but if you need something let me know and I will put it aside.

Lastly I have the fresh water tank with mounts and straps but no spout - with a matching pressure pump not sure if it works but good for parts.Click image for larger version

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Sorry not like others who list all at once. Just listing the parts we know we are not using or will be loaded for the dump run.

Let me know quick as the trailer is being loaded for tomorrow - and 1:00pm will be the deadline on the items above.

I know they look pretty hmmm toast but there are some parts that are good still.....

PS stay tuned for an update on the LadyBug.......
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Old 05-27-2007, 08:32 AM   #27
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2005 22' International CCD
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Lets see where did I leave off......"female tinkering" I think it was.

Tinker be not and honker down. Unlike some real lucky folk out there restoring their vintage beauties in beautiful weather and amazing garages rigged to the nines......we have come to the realization that we have way more challenges than just the Vintage trailer restoration

With a really really really long and cold back side of winter we lost over a month and a half in comparison to our last GT restoration.

Unfortunately I have a date with some pretty neat women and that date is coming far too quick. So I had to sit the Hubster down and do some serious prioriZing.

1. I need to get there - in any condition But first before anymore rivets sheer and the shell starts falling off down the road new running gear is in order. She came with a 3200# 12" hubs and brakes - which was a bit odd - we wanted the bigger brakes but that meant a special order - and of course we never have enough time. Knowing that we were adding a few extra items we decided another 600# capacity would do just fine. So we went with the 4000# It meant that the axle bar would be slightly bigger and have a higher mounting bracket.

The choices we had....

a) $1100 +shipping from you know where
b) $400 + $150 shipping & labour for the install - Shocks mounts incl as well as a 1600 mile round trip opposite direction
and then there was c) the route we chose....$337 for a complete torsion axle identical to the previous axle we had made for the 69. Tied in the pickup trip with some serious shopping at RVS and a micro Rivette Rush to pick up a bonus find here at the forums - a perfect 1993 Dometic Fridge I had shipped from California. Took 3 days $200 in gas - with over 1500.00 in parts coming back with us at a value of over $3000 - so our savings was huge and paid for our gas 4 times over - along with a real treat we got to travel with Happer Campers and if you think we can powershop you should see them!!!

So the axle story.....$160 for the old shocks to be cut off cleaned up and remounted onto the new axle by a local fellow who has been a welder for 30+ years with GM and now has is own business.

Small hiccup - it is known that most I repeat most vintage axles on the Aristreams have the mounting bracket facing forward and also a high profile - hmmm not the GT 63 - as it turns out she had the long portion facing to the front and her mounting bracket was flush with the bar. You can see the difference in the pictures below.

The good thing is that new holes had to be drilled anyway - and we were able to use the rear hole.

It did give Peter a bit of a start though as he placed the axle with the brackets facing they way they should - and then saw the problem - the wheel is way too far forward and the torsion arms are facing the wrong way!

Turned it around did a bit of cutting on the bar flange for the beafier axle to fit and we have a perfect fit.

She is riding about 3 inches higher than when we picked her up with a negative up angle. She should come down about an inch or so once all the interior is replaced.

all in all we are very please and can immediately tell the difference jumping around inside.
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ID:	38006 It has been a while but here is a pick of her profile when we picked her up - same wheels and tires......Click image for larger version

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2. I prefer not to have to sleep on the floor with an umberella! So the leaks have to get under control.
Someone cut us another break making the leak search pretty easy
.....Back window - ha no glass - big leak. With new gasket from VTS (what a breeze that stuff is for the windows what a perfect fit!!!!!) Why anyone would waist their time with silicone when a 5 minute job with brand new gasket would do the trick - is beyond me.

......Rear Vent - no fan and big source for roof leak - coming from a woman what a silly set up that is. Why they did not make a flange that sat on the roof line rather than between and fill a crack with vulkem - is hmm shall we say....okay lets not say.... Did the plant tour last week and picked up a new fantastic vent to replace leaky vent. I want to make a point that this company has customer service SECOND TO NONE!!!! Thanks for the tour guys and all the help and extra parts we came away with

......another no brainer with locating a leak new skylight to replace hmmm where the *&^% did the other one go, okay to fill a big fat gaping hole that had nothing there but open sky. I tossed this idea around a bit - replace with another fan, or the fancy replicas from VTS. But then I thought what do I like about camping if I can ever get there - star gazing - what do I like about a trailer - open and bright. Result - clear lexan fixed dome skylight flush mount to the roof and trimmed out to the ceiling. Will fab a fancy ceiling blind if it gets too hot - but the new FV should take care of that in a 15'X7' area real quick. There is lots of windows and the door has the cool screen door in door that will provide lots of air flow.

....and one last leak - that is coming from the drip cap above the front window presumably where the original window guard was mounted and re-mounted and mounted again and again. So that is a temporary fix with some parbon until I can get to that job of taking down and re-riveting a new guard on and sealing her up nicely.

3. Rotting wood smell and &^%$ awful walls.
......inspect the floor and replace rotted bits - all the while through late spring I have been keeping all fingers and toes crossed as to the level of floor rot. PS. for those not in the know - you will never know until you get the guts out and check the edges where the c-channel is - that is where the coach is tied together. This means taking some of the interior panels off where you have suspicion. A good test is to hack away at the floor with a screw driver and see if it goes through anywhere. If it does you can bet the carriage bolts will be rusted and that section needs replacing.

(Okay if I had bags of money oodles of time, car hoists up the ying yang and 3 husbands with a huge big heated shop I may have demanded a whole new floor ) But realistically she is good and solid 90% keeping in mind too that they only used 5/8's inch ply - someone in the Airstream God's palace was looking down on LadyBug! All of the oldies have issues, some worse than others. Her big sis next door will need at least 50% of her floor replaced BUT the LB is in need of a tuck in the front and a tuck in the back and a lift at the side. Windows being the culprit in the front and back and the fridge compartment door being the culprit at the side.

Will be treating the floor with a Rot Doctor equivilant to stiffen some of the top ply back up and seal her up as well as seal up the floor from the old tile residue that contains asbestos. I was lucky there too not too much work as most of the tiles were gone. Had some glue to heat gun off and the rest is good and stuck. Then new floor will be lap jointed and spliced for added strength. She will be ready for her new laminet flooring hopefully next week sometime.

......Walls are hmm after a wicked cleaning are just too messy and damaged to look real nice. I am not into the Zolatone re-do, but the existing paint will make for a great base. I have decided to go with a "Grass Cloth" paint technique - to give the interior some lines and stretch her out a bit.

Safety is the last bit I can manage to get done before the RSSR. So all new marker lights, breakaway switch and chains should compliment the new tires, wheels and axle just nicely.

The 63 GT is a very simple design for the plumbing, propane and electrics - with most of it running on the floor behind cabinets and closets, in the skirt of the tub etc. Should make for some easy lessons for me from the Hubster if he has any patience left by then

Stay tuned for the gallery of new parts.....almost like going to a fashion show
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Old 05-27-2007, 08:53 AM   #28
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....I know I know.....I was supose to be doing this all by myself.. I never said I would do ALL the physical work - that is why I got married

Sorry gals there is just some things we need brute strength for and doing that axle in the conditions we have here - I had to conceed.

Okay I confess he seriously helped with removing the bath tub, toilet and hot water tank. But I have certainly done my share of Slot Screw removal - another "Man Invention!!! "

I do not want to see another slot screw as long as I live! Philip and Robie must have been at the front of the line when they where handing out "Man Brain"

So between the two of us we have managed to get LadyBug to this stageClick image for larger version

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Here is one of the easier jobs I was able to manage - removing mac tac from the inside cupboards. Thank goodness they did not do the whole trailer with the stuff!Click image for larger version

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And here is one of Peter's easy jobs - okay not so easy and now he is resting from wresting the old axle off with the expression *&- (^%$- $## with a piece of glass Click image for larger version

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Okay so I gave him that one and proceeded to the house to get a nice cool beer for him

What was a huge bonus - we took it along with the new axle on Friday to the fellow down the road - expecting it to be ready next week - Peter is on Holidays this week. We got a call first thing Saturday that it was ready and by Sunday she was sporting her fancy NEW SHOES!

Big hugs and kisses to my guy.

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