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Old 06-07-2011, 05:25 PM   #57
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Makes the grade

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Originally Posted by nick6930 View Post
I think I will start calling to see where I can get Marine Grade Plywood.
I'm a Marine and my regular plywood floor on the 58 makes the grade... so, Nick, is that Marine grade? lol
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Old 06-07-2011, 05:32 PM   #58
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I wanted allow to alter the Cruiser first also with 2 axles, I was afraid if a wheel bursts. However, with airstream4u one has advised me! Worse to maneuver, more weight etc. Now I mount TireMoni system to the wheels, supervise temperature and atmospheric pressure. Moreover: he was on the move already more than 50 years only with one axle...
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:13 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick6930 View Post
... Yes the 53 Cruiser was a single axle, but I like the idea of tandem axle. I have read that this was an optin from the factory back then and the rigs that went on the Capetown to Cairo had made this modification. It will add some weight but I think it will be safer in the long run, plus I like how the tandem looks. I could be wrong.
The first factory option for a tandem axle on a 26' Criuser/Overlander was 1955, although there is/was Matthew McConoughey's 1952 25' Cruiser tandem that was reportedly converted to a tandem very early in life, possibly by one of the Airstream factories.

I am unaware of any 26-footers (or any other length) that were converted to tandems for the 1959 Cape Town to Cairo caravan. That said, some 22-footers, most 26-footers and the one 30-footer on that caravan were factory original tandems. All Airstreams shorter than 22-foot, most 22-footers, and at least one 26-footer were "single axle" on that caravan.

Just trying to set the record straight. You are certainly entitled to do whatever you wish with your '53 Cruiser.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:04 AM   #60
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Thanks Joe for setting me straight. I tend to read and read and only remember things that I like or in this case create things that I lilke. Either way she is becoming a tandem because I like tandems and I am paying the bill.
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:36 PM   #61
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Of course, I can't prove that there were no tandem conversions among the Cape Town to Cairo Airstreams, but I have never heard any suggestion that there were any conversions, nor do I think it is likely that there were any.

But speaking of conversions, Airstream required all trailers on the 1963-64 Around the World caravan to be equipped with Duratorque torsion axles that had been standard equipment on Airstreams since 1961. Airstream was ready to convert earlier Airstreams to Duratorques at either factory prior to the ATW caravan if necessary, but it is currently unknown if any were converted. Most Airstreams on the ATW caravan were 1962 and 1963 models, but there were a few with 1959-61 wheel well shapes, so some might have been converted. To date, I have not identified any 1958 or prior Airstreams (that would have for sure been converted) on the ATW caravan.
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:49 PM   #62
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Had a good weekend, I was able to get the marine grade plywood cut and put West marine epoxy on both sides. I am just waiting for the wheel wells to be finished by the sheet metal guy in town. I place my order for Prodex reflective insulation today. There was a buy one get one free promotion going at insulation4less.com. I hope this stuff will work as good as it says it will. I like it better than the bubble wrap stuff because I am skeptical that the bubbles will last the long haul. I know the stuff on my pool only last a year, yes I know it is in the sun and the UV rays but still not convinced it would last 40 years.

I have priced out 5053 Aluminum .032 4'x8' sheets for the belly pan locally for $63 and hope to put the order in soon. However, is .032 too thick should I go with .027?

What is the thickness of the C channel .032 or .040?

Do I put the Marmoleum floor down before the C channel, like it was originally? Should I just use tile or full sheets. I like the idea of full sheets but not sure if there will be problems at the joints where the plywood meet.

Thanks again for any opinions
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:05 PM   #63
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No Marmoleum

Nick,

We (Zoe' and I) highly recommend against the Marmoleum. Not happy with it, it is cracking already, has spots in it that won't come out from "we have no idea"... doing it over, I'll go with a light CORK floor anyday!

Rob
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:41 AM   #64
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That is the exact info I need. I have read that the full sheets crack at the seams and tiles are a better choice. However, I was not certain if that was true because I thought from listening to thevap.com Colin used full sheets. I like cork, saw it in Franks trailer. I just wonder how it would hold up to 3 dogs and future puppies. The stuff Frank used seemed to be on the soft side with their nails. I wonder if there is any insulation factor to cork?
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:06 PM   #65
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cork is my choice. It just feels good under foot. I cannot testify about dog claws. I have installed marmoium click and saw the things Rob mentioned about scuffs also.
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:46 AM   #66
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I went with the .040.
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:56 PM   #67
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Well, after a very long break (not by choice), I am trying to get back into the grove. Our newly born son has taken up most of the summer. That and having a local place take 4 months to make wheel wells only to make them single tubs not tandem like the measurements said. So I bought aluminum racing tubs that I plan on cutting in half and buck rivet .040 aluminum in the middle to create the tandem wheel wells.

Since I do not have a metal brake, I have ordered a heavy duty piano hinge. I have 2" angle iron and will just make a brake that can do the job for the wells as well as the C channel. If all goes well the wells should be done in the next week or two and then my first dry fit of the shell. I cannot wait. I know the wife will be excited to get the frame out of the driveway and back in the barn.
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:55 PM   #68
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Wheel wells on and test fit

I had a great weekend. I finally got around to making the wheel wells. They turned out pretty good, though I think I would do things differently if I were to do it again. Instead of using buck rivets, I decided to use Olympic rivets. The primary reason was out of ease. I know how to use Olympic rivet.

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I put the rest of the flooring down and bolted most of it down. I still need to add a few more elevator bolts. I could not wait and this morning I cleaned out the barn and test fitted the frame to the shell.


QUESTION: The shell seems smaller than the floor. How much should this be forced into place?? I used the original floor front and rear to get the curves. So I am fairly certain that I have the correct size for the curves. I can get the one side on easy but the other side seems to be about 3"-4" too big. I did not have time to fuss with it before work. I may have been able to get it closer if I man handle it more. But I thought I would ask first.

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All comments and recommendations are welcome.

Next on the list finish installing the elvator bolts. Insulate the floor and start the belly pan (well my version, which will be more like a banana wrap.) i plan on putting a belly pan on the front and rear and only a wrap on the sides so the tank placement will be open.
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:20 PM   #69
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I am going to throw the quesiton out there again about fitting the shell back on. Are there any tricks to checking how tight is too tight? Since I have to put the belly pan on first before the final install of the shell, I will not be able to shave any of the floor after the belly pan and C Channel is installed.

Should the skin slip over the floor easily or be very snug?
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Old 10-19-2011, 06:51 PM   #70
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I wouldn't say my '63 was an easy fit...I did have to push in some spots and use a strap to get the front to line up centered. As long as it goes over the floor and doesn't expand the door opening I think you will be ok. I did some math to see theoretically how much the belly pan added to the perimeter...it was a very small amount.

I fit the shell with the sides of the belly pan wrapped up, shoved the end C channels into place and screwed them to the floor, then lifted the ends of the shell, one at a time, to wrap the belly ends into place.
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