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Old 06-20-2012, 08:19 AM   #99
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Michael,

IMHO....DST is temporary at best.

The concern I've had with the DST is the heat, on the inside, when the temp get's 90+ it gets soft and loosens. Get's plenty hot on the roof also, I wouldn't trust it without secondary fasteners.

The 3M brand has proven to be the strongest I've tried. Whatever brand you use, clean both surfaces well with alcohol.

You know that reefer access door that never stays open?....a small dot of silver velcro werks like majik.

Bob
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:26 AM   #100
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You can get 3M VHB tape at most automotive paint/body supply stores. Not at normal auto parts stores. I know that some solar installers use 3M VHB tape to permanently fasten solar panels to the roof of Airstreams and other RVs.
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:50 AM   #101
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I've been sitting here trying to think of things that Airstream could have done better in ours, and I'm not coming up with much. Not that the trailer is perfect, of course, but the problems it has are more related to being 17 years old and on its third owner, rather than issues from Airstream directly. (Although I do wish the vinyl roof covering had worked out better...sigh. But even that feels like a failure of the material, rather than a failure on the installation job done by Airstream, since the backing seems to be separating from the vinyl.)

That said, I've seen some sloppy caulk jobs both in the trailer and on the B190 that appear to be factory; sloppy installations of things like the Fantastic Fan where the housing was cracked; and stuff like that. These aren't huge problems, but they are sources of potential issues later on. There was an extremely sloppy wiring job done on the B190's foglights (fuse was after the switch, so when the switch shorted, it connected the deep cycle battery to ground), but for all I know that could have been done by a dealer...I can't imagine Airstream would've planned it that way.

I will say, every time I wrap my power cord around the annoying metal frame (it's a mid-90s trailer), I think to myself, "This is not one of Airstream's better designs." Doing it in the cold makes it even worse; as someone pointed out in another thread the cord isn't flexible in cold weather. The detachable cord really is the way to go, so I'm glad Airstream made that change.
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:27 AM   #102
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Friday, how cold - to cause that cracking??
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:00 PM   #103
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Friday, how cold - to cause that cracking??
I can't answer that, but from reading posts from the past few years, the sheet vinyl starts to develop humps when the temp goes below 0˚ F. The coldest I've seen it here is around -15˚, but it can get much colder in other parts of Colorado, other Rocky mountains states and Canada. Last winter was warmer than usual and it didn't go below zero often, but we had humps in the middle of the floor and under the table—these seem to be worse each year and it is possible the vinyl develops stressed areas that get worse each year.

I believe the metal body contracts faster than the vinyl and pushes at the vinyl. As the vinyl is stapled at the edges and then, more importantly, locked in place by the cabinets and partitions, it has to go somewhere, and that somewhere is upward causing the humps, and in Friday's case, can crack.*

$7,000 to replace the sheet vinyl is an absurd price. I suppose it means removing everything from the interior and putting down more sheet vinyl and then placing cabinets and partitions on top of the flooring. The same thing will happen again. If they use the same quality sheet vinyl the factory used in ours, it is the cheapest available. I installed planks and left spaces around cabinets and partitions, then hid them with quarter round or other trim. I used spar urethane on the subfloor (2 coats) to seal the top. The cost in materials was less than $300.

This suggestion has been made by me before (and by others on other threads): It is best to have any flooring installed with spaces at walls and cabinets to allow for expansion/contraction.

Gene

*I wonder if the plywood subfloor is stressed upward or downward by contraction by the body? Is there an expansion/contraction space there?
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:42 PM   #104
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Gene, the FaN has endured many days and nights at freezing or below w/o any interior heat. The linoleum is still smooth as glass. It can get very cold in the Quesnel area. Was wondering what the cracking point was for Friday's trailer.

I agree - $7,000 seems a bit steep. I hope Friday will elaborate; if the dealer removed all the interior fittings, I can see how it would add up in terms of labour cost.

I wonder how a replacement cork floor would hold up w/o removal of interior fittings (and was installed by the kind of flooring person who does houses vs. RVs?)
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:49 PM   #105
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I haven't seen the quality or grain of the plywood floor in my trailer, but when the vinyl fails or I get sick of it I may stain, seal and polyurethane the floor.

I would throw down a couple of small area rugs and call it good. Has anybody tried this? As I look at all of the negative outcomes of covering this wood floor this may be a good option. Just sayin......

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Old 06-20-2012, 02:02 PM   #106
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I haven't seen the quality or grain of the plywood floor in my trailer, but when the vinyl fails or I get sick of it I may stain, seal and polyurethane the floor.

I would throw down a couple of small area rugs and call it good. Has anybody tried this?

Dan
Dan, the quality of the top surface of the plywood is not stain grade. It also has bolts exposed without wood plugs and they are not sunk enough to accept plugs. They would collect dirt. I suppose Airstream could use plywood with a stain grade surface. Or you could use 1/4" plywood on top and use a waterproof glue that works through temp extremes and use that as a floor. But I think the glue might fail at the edges of the subfloor and without removing the subfloor, you couldn't really make it waterproof—then you could use something like Z-flashing.

Yes, some people have put throw rugs down on the bare subfloor. One posted it may not be really fancy, but is a lot more fancy than a tent.

I suppose Airstream could offer in their entry trailers a subfloor with a stain grade surface finished with spar urethane. The labor may be more than other options. The grain would run crosswise and that usually makes narrow spaces like hallways look chopped up.

There may be something to these ideas that can make a good suggestion, but I am not imaginative to come up with it.

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Old 06-20-2012, 02:18 PM   #107
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I'd love to see model that is specifically designed for boondocking and LESS dependent on batteries (and solar cells and generators). One of the hurdles would be components sourced from other places. Todays fridges draw a little current (even on gas). Forced air furnaces use fans; water pumps use electric pumps, etc.

Remember the old hand pressurized water tanks? While they had problems, having something like this as a back up available would be lovely. I can't tell you how many times I've been boondocking and the batteries have given out after a few days. I can cook on gas, light my trailer with candles, etc, but when the water pump won't work, I'm done.

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Old 06-20-2012, 04:04 PM   #108
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Janet, good idea.

Maybe a boondocking option or version would be a good idea.

Batteries are a problem that many of us solve in a couple of ways—bigger ones or solar.

Airstream installs Series 24 batteries, the smallest deep cycle battery. The battery boxes are too small for upgrades and need modifications. At the least, a big box would be a great help—big enough for golf cart batteries. And Series 27 batteries, at the least, as the OEM batteries; best would be golf cart. AGM's are, I am told, better for solar, so that's another possibility.

How about a small, quiet, propane fired, onboard generator for the boondocking version?

And a 3 stage charger in the converter would save a lot of batteries from being cooked.

The connections for battery cables and shore power in ours are located at the most difficult area under the bed to reach in a small compartment. If I ever have to work on that, I will assuredly be putting a curse on the factory.

When we are boondocking, we and many others find the grey tank fills too fast and the black tank would only fill in a cholera epidemic. We solve some of that by dumping dish water in the toilet, but that isn't any fun. Make the grey tank bigger and the black tank a bit smaller. Direct grey water from the bathroom sink into the black tank.

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Old 06-20-2012, 04:14 PM   #109
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I would like to see better rubber gaskets on the outside hatch doors. With my Airstream, I could see daylight around two of the hatches I could get to from inside. To solve this I added a layer of gasket material used to weather strip doors and windows. This has not been complete satisfactory, but it helps make them somewhat tighter.

Dennis
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:06 PM   #110
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I would like to see better rubber gaskets on the outside hatch doors. With my Airstream, I could see daylight around two of the hatches I could get to from inside. To solve this I added a layer of gasket material used to weather strip doors and windows. This has not been complete satisfactory, but it helps make them somewhat tighter.

Dennis
Hi, Dennis. This is how I cured my leaky / breezy storage compartment door. I ran two srtips of "D" shaped weather seal around the outer edge of the door. It now has a tight fit and no more air leaks under my bed.
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:00 PM   #111
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. . . Direct grey water from the bathroom sink into the black tank.

Gene
Gene, both our 2007 Safari and new Flying Cloud have this feature. Are you sure you don't?

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Old 06-20-2012, 06:10 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by danlehosky View Post
I haven't seen the quality or grain of the plywood floor in my trailer, but when the vinyl fails or I get sick of it I may stain, seal and polyurethane the floor.

I would throw down a couple of small area rugs and call it good. Has anybody tried this? As I look at all of the negative outcomes of covering this wood floor this may be a good option. Just sayin......

Dan
Dan, we bought some sturdy, stiff rugs with finished edges at Target to coordinate with interior colors, then trimmed them to fit around the cabinets and partitions. Look really good, protects vinyl, easy to remove and shake, vacuum, or wash.

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