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Old 10-09-2012, 08:35 AM   #41
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OK, where to start... After pricing a new grey tank, and being a cheap slob, I decided to try and weld the outlet neck of the grey tank. At some point in her past, one of Bertha's PO's had removed the front to back support from the grey tank, allowing the rear support to bend enough so that all of the grey tank weight was resting on the outlet neck, which I'm pretty sure was the cause of the crack. So, with huge soldering iron in one hand, old Tupperware lid in the other, and the grey tank standing on it's edge by my shop, I got to welding. The grey tank needs to be standing on it's edge, because as I found out, if there's ANY water at all in your weld, it will leave pinholes and leak just as bad as the crack you're trying to repair.... The resulting weld was not pretty, but held like a champ. I'll be making the belly pan with a removable section below the grey tank for if/when the repair fails. Just trying to save a few hundred here, and if it doesn't work, I'm just out a days labor, no big deal. Tank is back in now and holding a full tank of water with no drips. Will see after a few road trips.

Replaced the waste valves on both grey and blank tanks, as both of them allowed a pencil size stream of water to run continuously... 40 bucks and an hours worth of work, and no more stream. Not even a drip, which is a new thing for me and campers... one or the other HAS to drip a little.

Overlander63, I'm not sure if this is the original grey tank or not, but according to my measurements, it's roughly between 16 and 21 gallons. It's not a constant depth, so I'm guesstimating the volumeat approximately 2.5 to 3 cubic feet. It has, handwritten on it, "Grey tank, 75 Excella, 74 International". And if you think the grey tank looks nasty, you should have seen the black tank! I just threw up in my mouth a little thinking about it...

Could only find a glue-on inch and a half p-trap for shower locally, so I glued in a p-trap to replace the broken compression one. I'm wondering how many gallons of water were dumped into the belly pan over the years. The old p-trap wasn't even connected anymore.

Toilet is back in and flushing like a champ! Still looking for the right laminate for my countertop. Everything is brown locally, what's up with brown countertops? Still looking...

Replace the kitchen faucet with a new one. Lots of torching went on in this thing at some point in it's life, and just as a tip, if you're planning on leaving your copper lines in, and you have to solder a joint close to a faucet, REMOVE THE CARTRIDGE IN THE FAUCET BEFORE APPLYING HEAT!!! There's plastic and rubber parts in there that will melt... just another tip from your Uncle Red.

Have I mentioned I got the queen size in there? Fortunately, I know a bit of origami, and managed to get it through the door and onto the frame I built. Oh yeah, I got electric hooked back up also, so I got to do a lot of these repairs in air conditioned comfort with my antique Dometec keeping the Corona's cold... Sorry Overlander63, I started without you.

Shower is my next fix, then on to the front floor. Planning on making a new wall liner for the shower from plastic sheeting. Have to head up to Lowes and see what's available. Not thrilled with the way the shower tub is installed at the moment. I would think the wall material would overlap the inside of the shower tub, eliminating the need for so much caulking. Not sure if this is original, or a cheesey "repair". As I've said in a previous post, there are signs of RV Dealership all over this thing. Quick cheesey repairs (from a while back) to make things look better, but not function properly.

I'll be removing the front 9 feet of floor, and repairing some rusty frame after the "Battle of the Shower Tub" is over, and I'd appreciate a moment of silence from the forums in honor of all the fallen outriggers. All gave some, but some gave all. Rust in piece, oh faithful outriggers! You have served your Airstream well...

Last, a day off for a mud run! If you ever want to torture yourself for no good reason, I highly recommend the Gator Gauntlet. I'm the fat dude up front in the orange shirt and blue do-rag... I ran with a group of guys from my church as "The Excuse Buster". Hey, if a fat old dude like me can run it, what's your excuse?

Stream on, Brothers!
-Red
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Somebody ought to clean these windows. There is a tremendous buildup of gook all over them...
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:44 AM   #42
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1981 31' Excella II
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Good job on your rebuild. You are cruising through it at light speed. I am anxious to see how the bathroom turns out. My 81 has pretty much the same bathroom. It needs some renovating.

Perry
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:58 AM   #43
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Thanks Perry. I was originally going to gut the bathroom and go with either a more modern look, or go the other way and go '50's retro... but my wife did a lot of camping with her grandparents as a child in the 70's, and the look brings a lot of good memories, so I'm trying to stick with as much as I can, but lighten things up a bit. Matter of fact, I kind of enjoyed the 70's myself...
-Red
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:23 PM   #44
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Have you found a paint that will hold up to paint the plastic stuff?

Perry
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:36 PM   #45
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THAT'S THE SHOWER??!!?? Ummm, yeah, even I know it wasn't put in right. We used the plastic sheeting for our new shower from Menards (probably same as Lowes has) and it worked great - has actually held up through 1 whole weekend of showering so far! Can't obviously vouch for it's longevity but we think it will work well over the long haul. Otherwise it would NOT have gone into our trailer. Did the ceiling in it too. Only caveat on it is that you need to brace the ceiling for a little bit until the caulk "grabs" well enough. We also bought some plastic hammer-in holder thingys for the ceiling and walls. Helped to hold the panels in place until they set up.

You ARE cruising!

Kay
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:03 PM   #46
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Minno, do you have pics of the shower install. Went by Lowe's today (big box hardware similar to Home Depot) and they had some really nice textured white plastic sheets for about 25 bucks a 4x8 sheet. That'll be the route I'm taking. I'm thinking three sheets max to cover the entire shower. I'm probably going to rivet the panels in, and caulk only the rivets. Not sure on that yet, or what to do for the corner seams. Thinking now I'm going to put off the shower refurb until after the front floor is done. I've got the rest of the bathroom usable, except for the counter top, And I'm trying to get this thing to the beach by Thanksgiving... Yes, the end of October is right out.

Perry, I was going to try the "Whitecote" by Por15. If it's as good as their frame paint, my hands will be white for weeks, and hopefully the shower for longer...
-Red
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:18 AM   #47
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Yeah I have heard about that stuff. I like the POR 15. I assume it is the same moisture cured polyurathane as the regular POR-15.

Perry
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:39 PM   #48
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Minno, do you have pics of the shower install.
Check out our Little Girl Refurb thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f185...-50967-20.html

Shower starts at post 276. Then 279, 281, 285, 356, and 358.

Chris
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:53 PM   #49
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I just realized we don't have a beer emoticon on here. I'll see what I can dig up...
-Red
Let's see if this works:
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:16 PM   #50
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I am realy interested in reading about your project viewing the photos and keeping up with the true costs.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:36 PM   #51
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Hey guys and gals, hate to put this off, but I tore my shoulder up a week ago and have to have rotator cuff surgery, so Bertha goes on hold for a few months until I get use of my right arm back. Another tip from your Uncle Red, after the age of fifty, avoid skateboards like the plague, I don't care how awesome you were on them in your thirties... Yes friends, vert can hurt. Jeez I've never hit the ground so hard. Thanks for everything you guys have put into my refurb. It's going great, but now I'm shooting for New Mexico / Arizona trip by April. Nice thing is, I'll have enough stuck back for those new axles by then. Andy, I'll be calling, get a set for a 74 sov set back for me...
-Red
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:25 PM   #52
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Gee Red, there is a downside to getting old, huh? I've only been shut down for a month with eye surgery. Heal up fast!
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:02 PM   #53
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Yeah, I'm dying to get back on it, but I can't lift my right arm right now... as Mick Jagger said, "What a drag it is getting old..." Hope your eye is doing good. As my dad would say, "Keep your finger out of it!"
-Red
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:40 AM   #54
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Hi, Red, sorry to hear about your accident! I don't know how I missed this in your thread, I was having a great time reading it. I have rotator cuff problems with my right shoulder too, but I keep hoping it will go away on its own, but such does not seem to be the case. :/

I figured out what the difference is in your gray tank and the one that Terry (Overlander63) and I have. Our TTs are rear bath, so we got the 10 US gallon tanks. Yours is mid bath, so it appears they found more space for gray water. Lucky you!

Hope you still read here and will pick up your wonderful work on that '74 Sov soon!

All the best,
Aage
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:01 AM   #55
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Thanks Aage! Yeah, I'm still checking in here semi-regular. In physical therapy now. Had surgery back on November 2... still working to get where I can lift my arm over my head again. Doc said it will be a year until I'm 100%. Looks like the trip out west is going to be later in the year than I thought. Right now I'm just starting to piddle on the camper again. Little stuff like the kitchen sink drain I found dripping, probably will rebuild the bed frame for easier storage access now that I've slowed the build. Will finish tearing out the shower stall in the next month if everything continues on course with the shoulder.

My biggest concern with the injury was that I lead worship at church, and when your arm just hangs limp, it's hard to play guitar.... Doc cleared me to strum again about two months sooner than we originally thought, so things are going real well. Hoping the rest of it goes that nice.

Hope to meet ya'll all on the road real soon. I grin and wave like an idiot every time I see an AirStream on the road...
-Red
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:11 PM   #56
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In the words of Steven Tyler from way back in '76, "I'm back in the saddle again..." (ok, ok, I know Gene Autry beat him to it, but that was before my time...)

Got started back on the interior of Bertha last week. Shoulder holding up good, able to do small stuff, so I'm fixing a leaky sink drain, finishing bathroom, laying flooring up to the point where I'll tear out the front floor... stuff I can do until the shoulder is all the way back.

Will be posting back in here more as the progress continues. Will be looking for some advice on Zip Dee awnings in the near future, so study up...
-Red
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:04 PM   #57
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Was just rereading some subscribed threads and there you were Red! Glad to hear the shoulder is getting better. The doc is right , mine took a full year to feel good but it was useable sooner if you're careful. The aches can really keep you awake though. Sounds like you're back on the path to camping this year
keep up the good work, it motivates the rest of us
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:26 AM   #58
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Thanks Tim! The big beach trip this spring is going to be in a loaner Class A my Dad owns... It's a monster diesel pusher that makes you feel like a rock star. Comfortable, but I'd really rather be in The LoveStream, as the wife and I have taken to calling it... Hopefully that'll be coming this fall, as the arm progresses.
-Red
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:23 PM   #59
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Finally putting the bedroom floor back in Bertha! Also stripping out the silicone and resealing with Vulkem. I know, I know, silicone lasts longer... which is the problem I'm having right now. Just a tip for you, someday somebody else may own your Airstream. Don't do this to them... please!

The rear window awning rail was gooped up like the rest of the windows, except for the holes drilled just under it... go figure, it still leaked. This picture was after stripping out a ton of silicone, and riveting the rail back to the camper. Got a few more leaks to look at. Have some really nice weather in store... May have to loose the Springer for a ride.

On Panama Red's Budweiser Long Neck scale of difficulty, with One Long Neck being slightly harder than talking Bill Clinton into having sex with an intern, and Ten Long Necks being the equivalent of doing a Full Monty, this floor/frame refurb receives a "Seven Long Necks" rating....
A couple of questions as I have a '78 31' Sovereign and I am still on the edge about whether to do full monte or just replace parts of subfloor similar to what you did. How did you get the interior wall so clean and the wall cut exactly half way up? I have removed everything from the inside except a couple of interior walls and the bathroom. I removed interior walls from the front today and insulation. There is insulation goop all on the wall. What do you suggest cleaning it with? Thanks! I hope you don't mind me asking you questions periodically as I ATTEMPT to do the same thing without near the knowledge and confidence that you have! :-))
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:56 PM   #60
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I have enjoyed reading all your posts! You should write a book about it. I have laughed out loud so much! I am glad you well and back working on Big Bertha and I look forward to reading more posts.
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