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Old 04-28-2015, 08:33 AM   #761
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You folks have built a wonderful vintage Airstream. It looks great.

I must remember the piano hinge idea for attaching overhead cabinets. A great way to account for the odd angles of the curved side walls.

David
Thanks David.

Can't take credit for the piano hinge idea. That was something we learned here on the forums. Works very well on the overhead cabinets.

Chris
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Old 04-28-2015, 08:33 AM   #762
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I am always jealous of your woodworking skills. Looks great!
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Old 05-18-2015, 03:38 PM   #763
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Finally had time to build, finish, and install the doors on the cabinet over the bed.


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This completes all the cabinetry in Little Girl. Doesn't mean we're done, but the last cabinet is done. Our punch list is getting smaller, but there are still more than a dozen items on it. Maybe they'll all be crossed off by the time we retire...

Chris
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Old 05-18-2015, 07:04 PM   #764
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Looking great like all of little girl. She is a fantastic vintage Airstream. Having the knowledge and skills to build quality cabinetry is a real plus.

Now put your pjs and teddy bear in those new cabinets and take a trip!

David
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:30 AM   #765
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Little Girl Refurb

Chris and Kay as always fantastic woodwork along with all the updates and incredible work you all have done on your Airstream. I have followed your thread and have been able to solve many a problem with my 31'. Thanks so much. Jim
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Old 06-02-2015, 10:30 AM   #766
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Awesome

Someone commented that knowing how to build cabinets is a real plus. I am really impressed with your cabinetry skills. There is no way I could attempt to do that. But I love the overhead cabinets and love the window treatments.
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Old 06-26-2015, 09:07 AM   #767
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Chris, Since you have had your toilet installed for a while, have you developed any concerns about the ceramic weight? Do you have any issues with the brand regarding quality?

Since mine is a rear bath, I am struggling with putting in a toilet that weighs 37 lbs, as opposed to a 9LB plastic one. Ceramic is nice, but is it worth the weight trade-off?

thanks
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Old 06-27-2015, 11:28 AM   #768
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Hi Mike,

We have had zero issues with the ceramic toilet. She's been over some pretty rough roads in her travels with us, and no hint of any weight issues in the rear. We've even traveled with a partially full black water tank, which is much more added weight than the toilet.

Chris
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Old 06-27-2015, 08:18 PM   #769
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I opted for the plastic Dometic 310 instead of the ceramic. My 86 has had a plastic Thetford Aqua Magic for years and years. My bath sink is plastic. My shower pan is plastic. You don't want to scour the plastic with an abrasive. But I find both sink, shower and toilet rinse clean just fine.

I don't see the big advantage in a ceramic bowl. I think the marketing folks figured they could sell more at a higher price by advertising ceramic is "just like home".

By the way, the new Thetford Aqua Magic doesn't have a down pipe connecting the bowl to the black tank. It just drains the bowl into a lower section of the toilet and gravity and a funnel shape does the rest. Kinda like Grampa's outhouse. It's sealed up so it won't leak, but I don't get the idea of a little black tank on top of the big black tank. Must work better than it looks in the store.

My two cents...

David
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Old 07-19-2015, 04:47 PM   #770
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Nice simple project today. Figured it would take a couple of hours... Ha! Like everything else, this took a lot longer than we expected. The installation directions left something to be desired. So, more like 4 hours for the first one, but then only about an hour for the second one.

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Last weekend, we painted the banana wrap area aluminum color, and the belt trim the same Royal Blue we used on the rest of Little Girl. The blue trim that the wraps came with was the wrong shade.

We also replaced a pair of broken window guides this afternoon.

Two more things checked off the punch list!

Chris
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Old 07-22-2015, 06:10 PM   #771
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Little Girl looks great in her new "hockey mask". Those should keep her teeth in good order from errant stones thrown off by trucks.

I too have found simple projects take much longer than anticipated. Let me tell you about my slide in cook top. Naw, you'd get bored...

David
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Old 07-27-2015, 08:42 PM   #772
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Air Safe Hitch

Over the last year or so, we've read the threads on the Air Safe Hitch and then talked to a good friend that owns one. Last Spring, I talked with our hitch company, Crystal Welding, and they also spoke positively about it. They had installed it for a couple of commercial owners, and both of those owners praised it highly. Since we ran into a bit of extra money recently, we decided to bite the bullet, buy one, and have Crystal Welding install it for us.


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Here it is all set up. Our old Equalizer head was one of the original weld together ones, so we bought a new head to bolt onto the air safe hitch. We were able to re-use the old bars and "L" brackets on the trailer, so we saved a bit of money there.

We had it installed on Friday morning, and then drove up to the Airstream Park in Clear Lake for the weekend, which is just over an hour's drive. There's one section of US-10 that bounces us around quite a bit at 60 MPH, so I was really wondering if this set up would do as well as we hoped.

It exceeded our expectations! On that section of highway, we no longer felt the resonance we've felt in the past which made the truck a bucking bronco. Even on the short trip we took this weekend, we feel it was well worth the investment.

The only downside is the hitch head and air safe hitch combine together to weigh over 90 lbs. To help with that, I had them fabricate a handle, which is the aluminum upside-down "U" shaped bar fastened to the rear of the air safe box. He even made sure the handle was low enough to clear the tail gate when it's open.

Chris
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:08 PM   #773
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Nice looking setup Chris. I am contemplating an air ride type hitch and will be interested in your further evaluation.

Kevin
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Old 09-29-2016, 05:40 PM   #774
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Funny how life gets in the way sometimes. Things have been quite busy around here, so finding time to work on Little Girl and finish out the punch list has been hard to come by. However, we did get two things accomplished.


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Last spring, we installed a couple of shelves in the bottom of my closet for shoe storage.


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This week, I made and Kay finished, a board for the side of the dinette cushion. Now, it's a snug fit and the back cushion doesn't fall over all the time.

Doubt we'll get anything further on the punch list done this fall.

Chris
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Old 01-17-2017, 09:19 PM   #775
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Egads! What a thread!

I just power read through this whole thing over the last few days, I'm bummed I'm at the end. Well at least until spring, right? I've been, at times, a wee bit despondent about the amount of work ahead me on my '77 31' while reading this, but in the end, I am hopeful, encouraged and excited to get back to my project. My previous endeavor took 3 on and off years to rescue a Silver Streak into a studio, so no plumbing or gas, but I do have a great design office to work on concepts for the AS when I'm not on a bucket in the AS slack jawed at the task ahead.

A heart felt thank you Kay and Chris, you two, as well as Barry and countless others on this forum have reminded me that a journey can't go on without putting one foot in front of the other.

Sincerely,
Ian
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Old 01-19-2017, 09:15 AM   #776
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Thank-you Ian.

Good luck with your project! Would love to see pictures as you take it on.

Chris
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Old 01-19-2017, 09:23 AM   #777
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Nice looking setup Chris. I am contemplating an air ride type hitch and will be interested in your further evaluation.

Kevin
Hi Kevin,

I forgot you asked for an updated on the air-safe hitch. After using it for 1 1/2 seasons, we love it! The only big down side is that it's heavy. About 95 lbs. So, storing it in the pickup bed while camping is a bit of a pain. Also, Kay can't lift it, so on longer trips, we bring the old equalizer head so if something happens to me, she can still hitch up the trailer. Figure as long as we're prepared, we won't need it.

Another slight down side is that it does add about a foot to the total length of the rig. For backing in tight quarters that could be an issue, but so far it has not been. I think if we ever use a ferry that changes by the foot, we'll probably put the old head on and save ourselves a foot's worth of ferry fees.

Chris
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Old 01-24-2017, 02:07 PM   #778
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Chris,
While you have your Sovereign frame exposed you may want to add the "stiffiners" to the frame just aft of the wheel wells. This helps prevent the frame from sagging/drooping. You can make your own or buy the kit from the factory. You probably already know this but there's lots of info on this forum about this modification.
I absolutely recommend the same thing! I just tore out the floor and found both rails cracked (one previously repaired by PO but they didnt fix the sag

This sagging in turn (I think) pinched on the axle plates and made them wavy. It was either this or the wheels were that out of alignment to bend the plates. While you're there reinforcing is easy and saves the inevitable future.
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Old 01-26-2017, 01:43 PM   #779
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There is no greater reward than saving a foot's worth of ferry fees! That's better than free shipping, or a 25% off special at Rockler's.

I see Chris and Kay have inspired others to join them down the slippery slope of Airstream renovation. Does than make you a "dealer" of some sort? Your finished trailer is beautiful. Others see it and want the same thing. I'm guessing 1500 hours in the thing at least, and a big barrel of money (which most people don't have so the "Side by Side" song goes.)

I haven't done much Airstream hobby work this winter. I did drop the fresh water tank and re-plumb the trailer from the bath to the galley. And I "scabbed" a patch in a soft spot under the bed in the crummy OSB subfloor my trailer has. I think the leak was from the tail light assembly. I'll leak test it sooner or later. And I rebuilt the raised panel closet doors. They were falling apart. This work pales in comparison to what you folks do.

Hey, winter is half over. Yea!

David
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Old 01-31-2017, 11:01 AM   #780
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We have too many hours to count into the reno of our trailer, but we loved doing it, and love the trailer we now have. And we're still not quite done, but that's ok. We spent winters buying components we could install in the summer, to keep costs a little more palatable.
Our MN Unit tells new people to go see our trailer at rallies. We're the only ones in our unit, so far, who've done such an extensive reno. Most have newer trailers. But they're proud of ours!
I'm not sure about the "dealer" part: I'm not seeing any money from this, so far! It IS an addiction, though. Only way to beat it is to go with it.
If we can do it, so can others. We've always been DIY people with the reno of our 1940's house, so the trailer was just an extension of that.
Thank you for the kind words. Someday we'll make your area of Colorado so we can meet!

Kay
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