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Old 07-23-2007, 04:01 PM   #183
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New carpet

It took just an evening to lay the carpet squares and an hour the next morning to replace the credenza and writing table and clean up.

I put dowm all the full squares, then made cardboard templates to match the curved molding. I opened up the molding a bit by prying to make it easier to insert the new carpet, then hammered it back down with my dead-blow hammer.

At the molding, the backing of the carpet is cut back to prevent lumpiness and I used spray adhesive to attach the carpet to the tabs of the molding.

The carpet looks brown, but there is a green cast that nicely matches the valances. With use, the last traces of the square margins should disappear.

Why can't Airstream put a more practical carpet in the lounge area of trailers? There is no way the origina light-colored carpet can look nice after being trampled with roadside oils and dirt.
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Old 07-23-2007, 05:34 PM   #184
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Nice job, John.
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Old 07-25-2007, 03:20 PM   #185
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Cabinet front inserts

Some time ago, I removed all mirrors from my trailer except those in the bathroom. I replaced the mirrors with oak panels decorated with braid and with inserts that I cut from the backs of the impractical pillows that came with the trailer that matched my valences

At that time, I had no material to match the striped inserts in the valences. While at Perry, the Airstream Store had discontinued fabric for $4 per yard 60-" wide. Lo and behold, there was the fabric to match my valences. I bought 2 yards.

I just finished making inserts for the cabinet fronts for the bedroom. I also removed the original, faded inserts from the bedroom valences for recovering. The old inserts were of a slightly different fabric and had changed color badly. Airstream had replaced one valence under warrety and it was already fading slightly; the other valence was badly discolored. When I am finished, the bedroom will have all fresh, matching fabric.

The vertical photo shows a small part of the old, discolored fabric on the widow valence.
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:46 PM   #186
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More redecorating

The inserts on the valances in the bedroom matched nothing else in the trailer. One had already been replaced under warrenty because it had changed color to some crazy red and yellow color. I noticed that even the one that had been replaced was starting to change color and the original one on the street side was nearly as bad as the other one when it was replaced. Since I park under cover and both valences are inside the blinds and curtains, it wasn't sunlight doing the damage; instead, it looked like some sort of chemical change. The discoloration was worst on the edges, so it may have been caused by the glue in the plywood inserts.

Anyway, yesterday, I removed the valences and reupholstered the inserts in the new fabric so that now everything matches. here are some shots of the result.
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Old 08-02-2007, 03:19 PM   #187
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Belt Line

A long time ago, I had put an oak "chair rail" in the bedroom, similar to the trim on the Limiteds. At that time, I used a couple of sticks of oak that I had laying around. I was never wuite pleased with the result.

Sunday, I bought a couple of pieces of 2 1./2" x 1/2: red oak and went to work with the router to open a 1 1/2" x 1/4" channel down the center and round the corners. I cut a strip of 1/8" plywood to fit the channel, padded it with 1/8" foam, and covered it with the upholstery fabric that matches my valences. The padded fabric protrudes just slightly from the rail.

I installed the rails this afternoon and it really looks rich. 2 photos below.

I also installed a padded strip in the lounge to conceal the damage where I had removed the mirror over the credenza. I had covered the damage with a painting until now, but it never looked really right to me. The result is shown below.
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Old 08-02-2007, 04:43 PM   #188
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Nice job on the chair rail John. I'd love to see an overall shot of the interior.
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Old 08-02-2007, 05:06 PM   #189
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craftsman
Nice job on the chair rail John. I'd love to see an overall shot of the interior.
That's the worst problem in taking photos inside an Airstream. Even with my zoom, it's just about impossible to get a shot showing much more of the interior than in these shots.

Maybe I'll try using Photoshop to stitch several photos together in a panorama.
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:25 AM   #190
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Privacy addition

The day-night curtains do not follow the curve of the trailer side. If I do not pull the curtains after closing the blinds, there is a large gap between the two large windows where a passer-by can see a lot of the trailer interior. This has bugged me for a long time. The gap is quite obvious in the left-hand photo, below.

I bought a 3/4" x 3" x 36" piece of red oak and planed a curve in one edge to match the trailer curve. I installed this between the windows, using long screws, deeply countersunk into the oak (photo 1). I then cut a piece of 1/8" plywood about 5" wide, padded it with foam, and covered it with material from one of the pillows that matches the valence. Since the fabric was not as long as the wood, I put a band of valence fabric around it that lines up with the fabric band I showed a couple of posts above this one.

A couple of shots with my new battery brad nailer and the job was done (photo 2). We now have privacy from the blinds without fooling with the curtains. The appearance is greatly improved, as well.
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:39 PM   #191
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I like that modification John. I sometimes like to have most of the fabric off the windows and pulled to the sides but the space between the windows could look nicer, your mod takes care of that perfectly.
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:50 PM   #192
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Mirror replacement

One thing I like about my friend, Gayland Stephen's, 1982 Limited is the absence of mirrors. I see mirrors as a cheap way to build trailers and make them look larger on the sales lot.

Many of Gayland's cabinets are faced with cane, similar to chair seats, but a much finer weave. I searched in vain for a source of similar cane.

Yesterday, I found the answer. I was killing time in a Crate & Barrel when I found blonde bamboo strip window blinds 72" long at about $17. I bought one and today, I disassembled it and glued the blind material to the plywood mirror backing. I then reassembled the door and sprayed the blind material with many coats of semi-gloss clear paint. This will keep the thread stitching clean as well as protect against damage. I think the result looks great, though not the obvious quality of the caned cabinets.

I have never liked the mirror on my wife's larger wardrobe since it reflects part of the bathroom interior for folks sitting in the lounge. I'm going to buy another blind and do that wardrobe, except that I will keep the mirror, but on the inside. To use the mirror, simply open the door and that even turns on the light.

It was hard to get a photo that clearly shows the texture of the door coverings.
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Old 03-15-2008, 10:43 PM   #193
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More mirror replacement

I went back and bought another blind at Crate & Barrel and did the remaining wardrobe door. I am now down to exactly one mirror in the entire trailer; the one over the bathroom sink. IMHO, that is exactly the right number of mirrors in an Airstream.

As posted above, I considered remounting the mirrors on the inside of my wife's wardrobe door, but I ditched the idea. We don't have a full length mirror at home; why do we need one in the trailer?

Removing the mirrors saved a considerable amount of weight. They are heavier than I expected. The lighter panels will relieve a lot of impact load on the hinges when on the road.

The bathroom contents are no longer reflected to folks in the lounge.
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Old 03-25-2008, 05:49 PM   #194
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A;; Finished

I'm never one to stop halfway once I get the bit in my teeth. I bought another bamboo blind and did five panels today: 2 in the lounge, and 3 in the bedroom.

The trailer looks brighter and more consistent now. Removing the fabric shapes that I had mounted on the cabinet panels resulted in a simpler, less cluttered, look.

As with the bathroom panels, I masked the new panels and emptied a can of semi-gloss clear spray lacquer on them.
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Old 07-18-2008, 10:54 PM   #195
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Just a litttle dent

After what I thought was a flawless trip from Austin to Bozeman and return, I had just finished backing my trailer into the storage bay when I noticed a strange reflection on the curved curbside lower rear panel. Sure enough, there was a sizable dent there. The strangest thing was that there was no scrape or mark in the finish; it looked like something relatively soft had simply bumped against the panel. There is just a hint of a crease at the deepest part of the dent.

Looking back, I fugured out when it happened, but not precisely how. We were parked in a little country RV park near Lubbock one night. I was on the laptop and Kay was dozing in front of the TV. About 10:45, there was a loud bang and the trailer rocked slightly. I was barefoot, so I just looked out the door and saw nothing moving. We were parked close to a big 5th wheel, but no lights were on in that trailer. Kay thought that maybe a bird had flown into the trailer. The next morning, I did my usual walk around, but I was looking up at the awning wheel and hook, so I didn't ever look at the lower panel. We came on home, not knowing any damage existed.

I'm convinced that an animal, possibly an antelope, deer, or large dog crashed into the trailer. That is the only explanation that, to me, explains the height of the dent and the fact that there is no mark of any kind on the finish.

There is just enough creasing that just using a vacuum puller is impractical.

I spent some time today removing the T-strips and peeling back the fuzzy liner. The inner aluminum is under the upper sheet and the sheet in front, so it isn't practical to peel back the inner skin.

Tomorrow, I will cut an access hole in the inner skin and push out the dent from inside, using a thick rubber pad to spread the pressure. I will then pop-rivet a sheet of aluminum over the hole and seal it well with tape, just like the factory seams are sealed. I doubt whether the new sheet will be visible once everything is put back together.

I'll post some photos of the repair when I finish.
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:29 PM   #196
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The dent is (mostly) gone

I forgot to take the camera out to the trailer, so no photos of the repair after all. Perhaps the following explanation will aid someone who has to contend with a dent of this type.

I popped off the plastic trim strips peeled back the fuzzy inner liner. I placed a 1' x 18" sheet of aluminum against the wall opposite the dent and used a sharpie pen to trace around the sheet. I then drew another line about 1" in from the outline. I drilled 1/2" holes at the corners and used aircraft shears to cut out the inner panel.

I used a knife to cut the insulation so that I could remove a square without destroying it. The dent was now pretty obvious. One good push and there was a loud pop as much of the dent disappeared. That left mostly a shallow crease that I could easily feel with my hand. I used a dead-blow hammer and a well-padded wood block to gently attack the crease.

The skin crease did not come out perfectly because I'm sure that there was some stretching of the skin in that area. It was minimized, though. I don't think anyone would notice the remaining damage unless they look carefully.

I replaced the piece of insulation and added some from home. I rounded the corners of the aluminum sheet a bit and drilled one hole in a corner and into the wall.
I then put a bead of gutter sealent all around the back of the sheet. Once the pilot hole was pop-riveted, I drilled and riveted every 2" all around the sheet. The last step was to place masking tape over each edge and over the pop-rivet heads.

The fuzzy wall covering was reapplied after a good spraydown with 3M spray adhesive. The fuzzy liner will stretch when it is pulled off, so a bit of careful edge trimming was required. With the plastic T-strips back in place, there is no visual trace inside the trailer that a repair was ever made.
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