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Old 11-11-2017, 06:48 PM   #29
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Holy Floor

My Overlander had a "fire safe" lock box under the street side twin bed. I'm planning on using this space for the water heater in an effort to move some weight forward.

So I removed the lock box which was mounted on a piece of aluminum sheeting. I wanted to get that aluminum up so I could inspect the subfloor under it.

I uncovered a big old hole. Moisture is the bane of Airstream subfloors. This hole will be a straight forward repair. It may have been caused by a leaky window frame, or may have been caused by a poor seal between the wheel well and the outrigger. See photo below.

Interestingly, the back side of the aluminum sheet under this lock box was a "Do Not Enter" road sign. The "Enter" has been cut off to get it to fit in this space. I'll keep it in my shop. There are many things I can put under the "Do Not" portion of this sign.

What might you suggest?

David
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Old 11-12-2017, 05:54 AM   #30
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David

Looks like your wheel wells are in very good shape. Some of mine had some very small rust holes. I thought about repairing them with fiberglass except that I had already painted them. In the end I just caulked over the holes and caulked the joint between the wheel well and the frame with Trempro 635.

I have part of an old highway “yield” sign that I can use if I need some heavy aluminum material to make stuff from. Must be a shortage of suppliers for this material. Somebody is missing an opportunity to make a bunch of money.

Dan
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Old 11-12-2017, 06:20 PM   #31
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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The wheel well parts are in pretty good shape for the age of the trailer. The outriggers seem solid. But it does not appear the seam between the outrigger and the wheel well housing was sealed on either street or curb side. Towing at 60 mph in a North Carolina downpour sprays that seam like a power washer might. I wonder if that contributed to the floor rot.

Like you, I will caulk this seam. I will also plug any mouse holes between body and wheel well, both sides.

David
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Old 11-15-2017, 03:48 PM   #32
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Bath Tub Removed

This is the last piece of "furniture" in the rear bath. I decided I had to remove the bath tub to gain access to plumbing and body bolts.

The removal job isn't too bad. The rear bath furniture in my trailer is really quite well designed, and fits together nicely. I removed the tub P-trap from underneath the trailer (the belly pan is down giving good access) and then it is just a matter of finding all the pop rivets. The metal drain piece was rusted and broke while loosening it. I had to destroy it getting it apart. I will replace it with a new one, $10.

I do not know if Airstream or some previous owner sprayed expanding foam all over under the tub. It stuck to the tub support and made removal a bit harder than expected. There was no damage to the plastic tub when I yanked it up.

So now I have access to the drain and vent plumbing. There are fully three 1 1/2" ABS pipes running to two roof vents curb side for the galley drain line and the shower drain line. I am unsure why? My 86 Limited has just one vent line out of the gray tank. I plan to vent the galley drain and the shower drain with just one pipe each.

David
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Old 11-18-2017, 06:24 PM   #33
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Fresh Water Plumbing Is Out

I have removed all the old copper fresh water plumbing lines. I blew out the plumbing lines and opened the low point drains before I started. I was quite surprised at how much water was still in the lines as I began taking them apart. Blowing out the lines until there is no more water out of the faucets is not an effective winterizing technique. Low point drains are only partially effective in removing water. I will always pump in RV antifreeze until I get red at each faucet. That technique works for me.

There were three spots where some previous owner had to repair the copper due to freeze bursts. A lot of the plumbing runs are not very accessible if a leak does develop.

I have all the plumbing out from the fresh tank pump inlet to the city water inlet. I will install a modern pressure comp water pump, a modern 6 gallon electronic ignition water heater with bypass, a modern city water inlet, new faucets and new toilet. The fresh water plumbing system in this trailer will be all new. I'm doing this as the water heater was full of crud, the faucets ran slow, the toilet wouldn't hold water. I might as well replace it all "while I'm at it."

By the way, taking the fresh water plumbing system out of the trailer is easy. Re-plumbing in PEX will take considerably more time. This will be my third Airstream re-plumbing job. I much prefer PEX over copper.

David
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Old 11-18-2017, 11:17 PM   #34
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It is your 6th plumbing job! Now I know who to ask for help if I need it We are going to start with that soon too.
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Old 11-19-2017, 05:18 AM   #35
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Makes perfect sense. Steps like these will save you work/headaches later.
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Old 11-19-2017, 06:14 PM   #36
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1986 34' Limited
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My goal is to make this our "family" Airstream. I kinda, sorta wish it was a Trade Wind 25' as it would be a bit lighter and easier to maneuver for the sons. We have a heavy duty pickup in the garage that will pull it safely. The sons will learn to like pull through spots, not tight back in spots.

The extra room in the front living area will be a bit nicer I supose. And this trailer does have considerably more storage room inside, but not outside.

The rear end separation repair, the increased capacity holding tanks, the plumbing upgrade, the new axles, and the new appliances will make a week long vacation more enjoyable. Have a good time hiking instead of troubleshooting the water heater.

I might even enjoy a vintage Airstream rally now and then. : )

David
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Old 11-19-2017, 06:51 PM   #37
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Ditto on the PEX. I will be interested to see what you do with the city water inlet. Hope you can post a couple pics.

Jim
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Old 11-20-2017, 06:34 PM   #38
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1986 34' Limited
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The 75 Overlander has the city water inlet mounted to the frame rail between the body and the bumper. It is 6" from the sewer connection, not good. And it is in the second dirtiest location on the trailer. I don't remember the dirtiest.

I just standard RV part for the city water inlet. It is a chromed plastic affair with a built in regulator and check valve. Good enough for me. I will mount it on the street side rear of the body where it is away from the sewer connection and out of the dirt.

Here is the one mounted on a previous trailer I had. It is below the electrical shore power connection.

David

https://www.vintagetrailersupply.com...-p/vts-621.htm
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:47 PM   #39
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my '72 Landyacht "city" water connection is next to the black/gray dump valve.. never considered it a problem. Are you thinking contaminated waste could splash onto the valve inlet or something ? and contaminate the fresh water tank ? Don't see how that could happen?
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Old 11-21-2017, 06:10 PM   #40
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Hi nickclifford: Very likely not a problem. I do sometimes rinse the sewer connection at the dump station. The city water inlet was just located in a dirty, unhandy place on my Overlander in my view. I will move it because I prefer to move it. It is not a compelling reason.

You can see how low and close the city water connection is to the sewer connection in the photo below.

David
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Old 11-28-2017, 06:27 PM   #41
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
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A Little Progress

I've been working on the Overlander but don't have much to show for it. I patched the floor rot behind the street side wheel well. I'm unsure if this rot happened due to water intrusion from the wheel well towing in the rain, or from the window which is just above the rot spot.

I plan on mounting my new Atwood 6 gallon water heater in this area under the twin bed. My 86 Limited has the factory water heater under the street side bed. We turn off the water heater at night like most folks. So I think it is a valid location. I don't like it mounted so far back in the bathroom closet as originally done.

By the way, the old 10 gallon water heater was steel and weighed about 40 pounds dry, over 100 pounds filled. The new 6 gallon one is aluminum and weighs 18 pounds dry, 65 pounds filled. Water heaters have water in them most of the time. It also has electronic ignition which is a plus for me.

I have drawn up and specified the new structural metals I need to repair the rear end separation. I have decided to use a piece of solid oak 3/4 x 10' to repair the rear floor rot. It is a Minnesota thing. The rear body attach will have a new body plate, new frame cross member, new interior skin and no hinge plate. There will be a 1" gap between the body and the bumper storage lid. I will flash the bottom of the body so water will drain into the bumper storage area, and then drain to the ground. I will maintain the holding tank drain manifold in the bumper storage area. Rain water won't hurt a thing.

I installed a new 115vAC outlet on the wall behind the cooktop. We needed one more outlet in the galley for the coffee maker and toaster. The original one is in the corner by the sink and oven. Not sure why that spot was chosen by Airstream. There is little counter space in that location.

I have ordered the new holding tanks from Inca Plastics and they might be here by Christmas. Thanks Santa. I have drawn up and specified the metals I need to mount the tanks in their new locations. The black is still under the toilet, but the gray tank will be one frame bay forward. I also have new dump valves on order.

I want to move the battery to the front of the trailer but don't have a good plan for that just yet. It is a very long run of battery cables. But I sure don't like that 50 pound lead acid battery mounted so far rearward. Maybe Airstream did that to lower tongue weights so you could have delusions of grandeur thinking about towing the trailer with your 75 Ford Galaxy without the front wheels off the ground.

David
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Old 12-03-2017, 09:40 AM   #42
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Frame Stress Evidence

I'm in the throws of repairing the rear end separation on my Overlander. The body plate, subfloor, body attachment bolts, and frame cross member were all rusted to failure.

I think because the body (shell) was no longer supporting the rear of the frame there might have been additional stress on the frame itself. The rear c channel was fractured at the body attach bolts on both sides. And I found a fractured cross member. See photos.

Lucky for me I have not found any cracks or buckling in the frame rails or axle plates themselves. There is frame rail sag of about 3/8" especially on the street side.

The mobile welder can repair the cross member fairly easily. The rear of the frame will get two extra cross members due to my gray water tank installation.

David
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