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Old 04-20-2018, 09:24 AM   #1
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1972 29' Ambassador
saint louis , Missouri
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72 Ambassador renovation

my wife and I recently bought a 1972 ambassador. she has been wanting an airstream for a long time. over the last 5 years she has been sending me classifieds for ones all over the country. there was no way I was going to drive a long distance to look at something that might not be able to be towed back home. finally I got one from her that was only about 100 miles away and the price was right. we drove out to look at it. it was towable and the outside was in decent shape. our plan was to totally gut it and start from scratch so were not that concerned about the condition of the interior. we made an offer and it was accepted so we hooked it up and towed it home. we put our vw Westphalia up for sale as this would be our budget for the rehab. it sold fast and now the fun begins. I have been using this forum as a resource for the rehab since I have never worked on or owned an airstream. it is such a great resource that I have become a member and will share my progress. I'm sure I will get some good feedback and advice as I go through the process
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Old 04-20-2018, 09:29 AM   #2
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1972 29' Ambassador
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interior

interior shots
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Old 04-20-2018, 09:32 AM   #3
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1972 29' Ambassador
saint louis , Missouri
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gutted

gutted
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Old 04-20-2018, 01:47 PM   #4
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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Welcome to the Forums! Looks like y'all are going full speed ahead!

good luck!
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Old 04-20-2018, 03:08 PM   #5
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1972 29' Ambassador
saint louis , Missouri
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totally gutted
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Old 04-21-2018, 07:57 AM   #6
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Springville , Alabama
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Your frame looks great! Doesn't seem like it needs repairs. A good sanding and a coat of paint, unless your changing the layout and adding tanks .....
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Old 04-21-2018, 08:18 AM   #7
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
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Welcome! It's a journey...
Looks like from the exterior pics that your clear coat is failing. We took ours off, and now people think we polished. Taking off the clear coat definitely improved the look of the trailer. It's a job, but not the worst that you will do. We did use aircraft stripper after trying all kinds of others with no results.
Good luck and keep us all posted!

Kay
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Old 04-21-2018, 07:11 PM   #8
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1963 26' Overlander
1961 26' Overlander
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Good luck and try not to get discouraged as you move forward. I've found the 'gutting' (I find that term distasteful since it invokes images of a crowbar, sledgehammer and sawzal) to be fast. Rebuilding can be rewarding if it's done in small project steps, like eating an elephant in measured bites. Research what others have done, 'I have a better idea' can go very, very wrong in some cases.
Ambassadors are cool sized trailers!
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Old 04-21-2018, 08:48 PM   #9
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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A lot of the interior cabinetry looks similar to my 75 Overlander. It must have been a bunch of work to remove the subfloor with the body still on. Replacing the subfloor with the body on is also a chore, but it can be done.

I would like to follow along with your project. You have a great start.

David
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Link to my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
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Old 04-22-2018, 05:33 AM   #10
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1956 22' Safari
Williston , Vermont
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Welcome to the forums. Besides being a historical resource for what's been done, it's a great place to ask questions and get answers from folks that have been through it already. They have helped me tremendously. My trailer looks a lot like your's, except my frame does need a bunch of work.

Mark
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Old 04-22-2018, 07:28 PM   #11
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1972 29' Ambassador
saint louis , Missouri
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cleaning up windows is a pain. I have some heavy pitting. started with a 600 wet sand then switched to 400. still have it and I don't want to go to crazy with the sand paper. what has worked best?
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Old 04-22-2018, 07:30 PM   #12
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1972 29' Ambassador
saint louis , Missouri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
A lot of the interior cabinetry looks similar to my 75 Overlander. It must have been a bunch of work to remove the subfloor with the body still on. Replacing the subfloor with the body on is also a chore, but it can be done.

I would like to follow along with your project. You have a great start.

David
it was so rotted it basically crumbled out.
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:49 PM   #13
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1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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I can imagine. The rear of my trailer was the same way. When the subfloor rots, the joint between the body and the frame gets real loose as you can imagine. As they say here, the body holds the frame up, and the frame holds the body up. The subfloor is that strength adding member between the two. You need all three for maximum strength.

I've had reasonable success with cast and extruded members with a soft wire brush, then polish with wet sandpaper. Scotchbrite is another effective way to get the dirt and oxide off. Not on the skins, but on the cast and extruded members like the door frame, door sill, window frames and the like.

David
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Old 04-25-2018, 07:32 AM   #14
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1972 29' Ambassador
saint louis , Missouri
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old gasket. what did they use at the butt joint?
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