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Old 11-13-2009, 10:35 AM   #1
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Zep's '72 Overlander

Not much new here, just a thread for my 'private' record of what the heck I've been doing on this one. And to provide any potential future PO with some idea of how the redesigned systems work.

History: Saw the Overlander in an RV storage area in Acton, CA, back in early 1999 and bought it a few months later. PO had just inherited a Sovereign from his folks and was moving up. For two years not much happened--the Caravel that fell into my hands soon after acquiring the Overlander was taking up most of my refurbishment efforts. But in 2002 a new job in Vegas popped up and I decided to make the Overlander the traveling, working, living Airstream.

The first job, in April 2002, was to convert it from a twin to a double and make provisions for a desk. A little more kitchen counter space was also high on the list. So the first big modification, done over a single weekend, was to cut the tub in half, move the bath and kitchen partitions aft about 14", install a double bed, and make a new countertop. Unbelievable, but I was back to work on Monday with a double Overlander.

The initial work was done at the Edwards AFB hobby shop. You can see someof the old bed components in front of the Overlander.

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The original interior was unremarkable, standard stuff. One of the interesting items was the cabinet over the toe end of the street side bed. It was matched by the oven over the toe end of the curb bed.

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Once I got going on Saturday morning, it became a complete trash pile. The tub was cut using a saber saw and a hand held hack saw blade for those corners where the saber saw didn't reach. It was extremely critical to get the edge exactly flat, since the seal to the new partion was going to be a simple butt joint using silicone. The side of the partition facing the tub was faced with FRP. I wish now I could have seen into the future and moved the Univolt. More on that later.

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The old overhead shelves are still in place as the rear partition goes in.

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The bed was designed with a vertical support the length of the bed, approximately 1/3 of the distance from the wall to the inner bed edge. This allowed for a nice long storage area that could be accessed from the outside through the access door that originally provided access to the Univolt. The inner part of the bed was supported with vertical dividers. These storage spaces are big enough for the large plastic bins that are widely available today. They were covered with 'doors' held on with velcro, so they can be completely removed for access.

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A new shelf over the bed provided headroom toward the head of the bed and additional storage space at the toe end.

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Final bed and shelf. The shelf was actually made some time after this frantic weekend. But all the bed and partition pieces were done in two days. Why can't I be that productive now? Oh, I know, I found the Forums and you know what that means....

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The bed components were later removed several times for varnishing, but that bath partition went in and was permanent from the git go.

Zep wait, wait, more coming...
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Old 11-13-2009, 10:44 AM   #2
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Looks super!
Thanks for sharing your expert craftsmanship
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Old 11-13-2009, 10:45 AM   #3
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The Desk

The next task, in May, was to get a desk and some 'office space.'

Once the twin bed was removed from the street side, shelves for printer and scanner, as well as a legal size drawer and pencil drawer were installed in a column next to the bath. The next section was the desk. These photos are 'cranked' a bit, as they are montages done before I knew a bit more about Photoshop.

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The installation of the partitions and shelves looked a little better. You can see that the original closet and bath cabinet are still installed. They come out soon enough.

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Here's a link to the final installation and notes on how the desk works. The ability to slide the desk in and out quickly makes it easy for others to move through the Overlander, without disturbing the work on the desk.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f38/...esk-21037.html

Zep wait, wait, more coming....
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Old 11-13-2009, 10:57 AM   #4
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Would love to see how you reworked the shelves around the fridge. That's my weekend task coming up.

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Old 11-13-2009, 11:03 AM   #5
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Copper Plumbing and Kitchen

The plumbing had been damaged (but not broken) by an earlier freeze, so it was totally replaced. Boy, was that fun getting the pipe runs under the tub! Nothing special about the pressure regulator, but it was an added function that the original didn't have.

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The next big task was to replace the old closet with a drawer stack and a 'cutting place' as an additional counter top prep area. A new drawer stack was also installed under the counter top on the curb side.

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The dish drawer, copied in the Caravel and Sovereign, is great for providing max storage and vibration protection in a small space, but you limit yourself to a specific selection of plates and cups. I think it's worth it. The Caravel design is a bit different--here's the comparison http://www.airforums.com/forums/f38/...ods-21431.html.

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Zep wait, wait, there's more...
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Old 11-13-2009, 11:09 AM   #6
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Vents and A/C

Somewhere in the early days I decided that the Fantastic Fan really was fantastic. With two of these installed in an Overlander, there really isn't a need for a third vent amidships, so out it went. I documented it all here
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f455...ent-23318.html

The one thing I didn't talk too much about in that thread was the difficulty in patching the shell and retaining the faired curve shape. In order to fix this, I used the shrinker to curve some 3/4" channel and use the existing rivet holes to install them. Even the tiny patch over the TV antenna mount required some curve help.

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Replacing the air conditioner was typical. Some are harder than others, depending on how the original A/C pan was installed on the roof.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...a-c-55715.html

Zep wait, yes, there's more
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Old 11-13-2009, 11:24 AM   #7
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PEX, axles, Zip-Dee, Vista Views, Wing Windows

Some of the big jobs were documented in other threads.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f443...ect-55710.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...ect-54805.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f442...ion-46267.html

This 7-pin is from the Sovereign, but it's identical to the Overlander job.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/...tor-48969.html

The vista view windows were removed on all my Airstreams.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f454...ews-32184.html

The wing windows have been replaced in both the Overlander and Safari.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f454...ent-57687.html

Zep jeez, am I not done yet?....
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Old 11-13-2009, 11:48 AM   #8
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Fridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan View Post
Would love to see how you reworked the shelves around the fridge...
Funny you should ask. I'm not sure if you mean the cabinet next to the fridge, or the fridge surround itself. I'm assuming the latter. You can see how I did the Sovereign all through the Sovereign thread, but here's the details on the Sovereign vent, for example http://www.airforums.com/forums/669830-post54.html

I didn't document the fridge partitions. Previously, all my partions had a kerf cut in the back edge so that they could accomodate the original metal channel that Airstream used against the curved wall. Now, with a shrinker, I can curve 3/4" "L" channel to match the wall, then screw the partions to that channel, with the flange on the less visible side of the partition. I no longer cut a kerf in the back edge.

The big issue is to get a 'perfect' seal all around the fridge and ensure a nice free-flowing chimney effect behind the fridge. When I took the vent cover down, I found a really crappy fit between the inner skin and the actual vent. Here's the fix.

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Fixing a cracked vent cover is not easy, which is why I replaced the Sovereign cover (link above). I didn't have the time on this one, plus it wasn't in terrible shape. But getting a good seal between the cover and the shelf above the fridge eluded me. The original design just didn't hack it. So I put a metal flange on the lower edge of the cover. It takes some magic measuring to get this channel on the cover in the exact right place. You have to install the whole surround, then cleco the cover in place, then draw a line. I didn't have any more sophisticated measuring capability than that. BTW, I used bucked rivets (actually, squeezed rivets) to attach the flange to the cover. Pop rivets might work, but I'm always concerned about cracking the plastic. With a rivet squeezer you can control the deformation of the rivet shank a little better.

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You can see in the installed photo that the flange continues left and right a bit, to help get a seal between the back edge of the shelf and the wall. You don't see the flange of the channel against the wall in this installation because these partitions were made several years ago and the flange is actually in the kerf at the back edge. I don't like it--it reduces the strenth of the partition attachment. But so far it has worked fine--no cracked edges.

Zep yes, still more....
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Old 11-13-2009, 12:18 PM   #9
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Electrical and lights

Not done yet on this stuff, but so far here's the scoop. One thing I've forgotten to mention is that in all the work on the inside, I removed all the cabinets in order to varnish them. Some of the inside skins came down, too, looking for a pesky smell (turned out to be a rubbed propane line that had developed a pinhole--six people never identified it as propane!). Anyway, I discovered that the ceiling skin was 24-1/2" wide, making it very expensive to replace! So I moved one of the ceiling rails up 5/8". This worked perfectly and is not noticeable.

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Remember the cut tub and the Univolt? The Univolt was installed on a makeshift tray that could be pulled out by removing one screw. Putting the Intellipower replacement converter in the same spot wasn't as big a deal, since I knew the fuse panel would be elsewhere. I've definitely got to get in there to secure and dress those wires. Damn, the list is now 57 items long.

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The fuse panel was a problem. I wanted to retain as much of the storage as possible, but also wanted good access to the fuses. I finally resolved this conflict by putting the fuse panel on a hinge and added a small clip that retains the fuse panel in an up position when access is not desired. This frees up the entire access door space. The reason the wires are run along the bottom of the panel is that when it swings up, it requires less twist on the wires and it was easier to install and then dress them.

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The lightining project is just getting started. There are three posts, starting here, about the electrical characteristics of the G4 replacement LEDs, and about the installation of this over door light and step light.

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OK, enough for now. I need to go see if I can have an epiphany about cabinet latches...and figure out what to do to replace the goucho that I tossed out two days ago. Did I mention 57 tasks? Well, here's the first 56 (and counting).

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Zep
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Old 11-13-2009, 01:51 PM   #10
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Pics don't do it justice.. it looks really slick inside! The woodwork is outstanding...
Great meeting you Zep!
Marc
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Old 11-13-2009, 01:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium View Post
Somewhere in the early days I decided that the Fantastic Fan really was fantastic.
Once again I am left awestruck by the Aluminum Guru. Your miscellaneous expertise shall never cease to amaze. I find myself chanting the mantra Zep El Linn Ahh Numb.

Any teachings on the advantages of Fantastic Fan over Maxx Fan/ Maxx Vent? I know Fantastic is cheaper and has great service, but I kind of like the Maxx Fan being able to be used in the rain.
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Old 11-13-2009, 02:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
...Any teachings on the advantages of Fantastic Fan over Maxx Fan/ Maxx Vent? I know Fantastic is cheaper and has great service, but I kind of like the Maxx Fan being able to be used in the rain.
I am not worthy, but thanks. We all bow to INSIDEOUT and AEROWOOD here in Colorado (not to mention many others, like Forrest and 47WeeWind--those guys know their stuff).

No opinion on Maxx Fan. I've always envied the rain deal, but they are too big on top.

Zep
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Old 11-13-2009, 02:41 PM   #13
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Zep...the quality of your work looks very good!
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:18 PM   #14
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Before you sign off for the day, I have a question about the walls you built. Give me a few minutes to figure out how to ask the question.....

Jim
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