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Old 06-23-2015, 06:07 PM   #1
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1972 29' Ambassador
East Moriches , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 26
Smile Newbie - found a '72 Ambassador in great shape ...

Hello all :

We have been reading the forums for about a month now and decided it is time to join in. We purchased a 1972 Ambassador that was 8 hours away in upstate ny. We went up, stayed the night, and headed out in the morning, after stopping at tractor supply to make up wire harness (reverse = brakes ?). WE headed home and got all the way to about a few miles from GWB, when the brakes locked up. Had to cut them loose and headed home safe and slow. In all it was not a bad trip, towed great, had new tires, smooth.

Now its been a month or so, its in the driveway. This thing was a 1970's time capsule. my 19yr old son was in awe. He want to get the TV antenna to work with his digital equipment. I told him don't bother there will be no XBOX or TV in this camper. Its to escape all that and relax. We plan on keeping it like it is for the most part. Use it for a while and then maybe do more at a later date. For now this is what we are doing:

Primed and Painted walls
Removed goucho (it was in bad shape)
Removed carpet and vinyl flooring
Removed all screens and redoing them after stripping pain and repainting.
Added LED puck lights over berths and under control center
Removed old counter top (Had some rot), made a new one using old one as a template, covered it with sheet of stainless steel and made stainless back splash to go with it.
Installed new stereo, made lexan doors to replace tambour in front nose unit. looks good - photos to follow.
new faucet over galley sink.
Made new panels for over berths

Whats left ....
Going to refinish ABS plastic in bathroom with tough as tiles product.
install LONSEAL vinyl flooring (TEAK AND HOLLY)
Check all systems, waste, water, gas, electric etc ...

WE will take to a local RV repair place and have them go over it from top to bottom and make a punch list ...

We know the water pump works, the Fridge and freezer work great, the AC unit works (only turned on for a second), did not ad water to system yet.
May need to reseal toilet ? tanks etc ...

This unit sat for 30 plus years on a farm in upstate ny.
Floor is good and still has clear coat. In all I think it was a good deal.

Photos and more information to follow ...

Thanks ...

72TINCAN
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Old 06-25-2015, 06:56 AM   #2
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1972 29' Ambassador
East Moriches , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 26
Painted bathroom with tough as tiles ....

Last night we painted the bathroom plastics with tough as tiles product. It came out pretty nice, maybe not as smooth as I want, but i understand after it fully cures you can use automotive compound to polish it ? may try that in a small area.
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Old 06-25-2015, 06:59 AM   #3
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1972 29' Ambassador
East Moriches , New York
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Here are a few photos from the start ...

Here are some photos from when we purchased. And the start of clean out.
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Old 06-25-2015, 07:05 AM   #4
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1972 29' Ambassador
East Moriches , New York
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Galley redo ... stainless sheets new countertop

I made a new counter top with 3/4 plywood and covered with sheet of stainless steel i purchased from onlinemetals.com. Great company and service, was delivered from order to door in 2 days. They think of everything from how you want the grain to run, to excellent packaging, etc ... cut that out and glues it down with pl premium. Then got a nose edging from a place in brooklyn (NY metals) and finished the edge. Used a second sheet of steel for backsplash. made my own flat molding by painting plastic trim from home depot with aluminium metalic finish spray paint. Over all looks pretty good. Also got sheets to cover firdge and freezer doors, was EZ upgrade and cheap too ...
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Old 06-25-2015, 09:06 AM   #5
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1973 27' Overlander
Portsmouth , Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Looks like a nice rig. Have you assessed the condition of the frame and the subfloor, especially in the bathroom in the back? Generally these rigs have some amount of floor rot in the back that is hidden underneath all the fixtures. Water tends to leak and travels inside between the skins and then saturates the wood and over time the wood rots out.

Before you go too deep with the cosmetic work I would suggest you get underneath and pull down the belly pan and start looking at the frame and outriggers. Those axles are also original and should be replaced, otherwise when you drag it around some, it will start to pop rivets since the frame will take the brunt of it rather than the axles.
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Old 06-25-2015, 09:19 AM   #6
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1978 31' Sovereign
Hot Springs , Arkansas
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Nice find.
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Old 06-25-2015, 01:19 PM   #7
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1958 22' Caravanner
not shared , Nebraska
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 166
Tires - tires - tires Prior to 2000 tires had a 3 number date code so 249 is 24th week of 1999 ( or 1989 or 1979 ) so in 2000 DOT mandated 4 numbers thus 3408 is the 34th week of 2008. Don't bother to check. Chemical compounds in a tire keep it viable when used. Sounds like your tires just sat likely uncovered (more damage). Even Michelin says don't go past 6 years and if they are Generals or Firestones, would not trust them past 3 years. Do yourself a favor, buy 5 new tires!!!
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Old 06-25-2015, 06:03 PM   #8
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1975 27' Overlander
LaVale , Maryland
Join Date: Jun 2014
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Did I read that right that you haven't watered it yet? That could be a nasty surprise in store, we ended up replacing all the copper in our '75 RB Overlander. It has the same layout as yours and We had to pull out the bathroom to do the job? Good luck.
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Old 06-26-2015, 07:47 AM   #9
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1972 29' Ambassador
East Moriches , New York
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Posts: 26
Thanks for the advice ....

We did have new tires put on before we picked it up ...
But We will most likely change to aluminum wheels...
We do have original rims and HUB CAPS ...pretty cool looking (Will take a photo)

The floor is good and frame is good also. that is first thing we looked into before we purchased. The back area is amazingly in good condition, back bumper, rear compartment, floor under bathroom, etc ... I was happy to see that and surprised too.

I cut the supply lines to the galley faucet, then tried to find shark bite fitting to re supply new faucet ... the copper going to pump and tank is tubing not standard copper. So could not find fittings. Will have the RV repair shop fix that.

Also got the fridge working on electric, should work on gas.
Cleaned up old stove top, got it presentable and should work.

We had to clean the greasy slime on the walls ...it was worse than the backsplash and the worst greasy spoon dinner you might ever see. This thing must have gotten hotter than who knows what and any adhesives used ozed out and just covered all the surfaces. Then primed them and painted ...

We are taking it to an RV service place that is a mile or so from home. He will do a complete shake down on anything that I missed in my check list. Axels, Electric, Water, Gas, Structural, etc ...

When it comes back in two weeks or so, we will complete cosmetic work.
Then dive into little projects from, window latches to trim to logo plaque ....

AS for leak test ... its pretty good, front window seal needs re-do, antenna had a few drips, galley window may leak or the vent up top. other than that no issues... when we pulled up carpet and water stains on floor look like from sink or fridge spills, looked under twin beds, that was dry too.

Brakes locked up so - we will not be surprised if axel-brakes need replacement.

Did put in new stereo and speakers so that we would have music while doing all this ...LOL.

We will keep the updates coming ...

Thanks again ...
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Old 06-27-2015, 07:11 AM   #10
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1972 29' Ambassador
East Moriches , New York
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OK, here are before and after of bathroom. not complete but almost. now its putting back shower head, handles, caulking, side of tub and flooring.

Was looking for strips to put in the aluminum trim molding. Got some hard plastic and shaved it down and pray painted ... that did not work. It was too hard to bend to fit in after molding was installed.

Idea two ... and it worked great.... Got some vertical blinds from home depot. Aged Coffee colored I think it was called. Cut them to sizes needed very easily with snips. and they slid in or could bend in the middle when could not slide from the ends. Looks like distressed leather ... great look.

Did the trim around the front unit too.(stereo)
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:42 AM   #11
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1972 29' Ambassador
East Moriches , New York
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LEAK ? windows or from below ? or up top ? fridge ?

Don't know if I'm supposed to post a new thread, but here it all is ...
The photos im attaching are of some water that is showing up by the double windows on the port side. We are seeing old stains and now new ones ...
not sure if it is from Fridge, as there is allot of condensation going on ...
or because the trailer is sitting uneven at the moment ? and it could be running from a known leak to this area ? (such as front window).

As I said we are taking to to have Windows all checked, front a galley window we know need work. So those seals, caulking are bad.

Does water tun along the bottom and then form the stain in the lowest spot ?

Have others of you seen leaks in same places ? stain on floor. This is one of the reasons we wanted to take up carpet and vinyl to see if there were issues.

Could be leaving from roof vent tan then running along wall and forming stain in this area ? We also know roof vents/fans need attention ... replacing covers at RV place as I don't want to sit up on the roof and do not have proper way to get up there ...

any thoughts ?
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:59 AM   #12
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1972 27' Overlander
Woodburn , Oregon
Join Date: Apr 2015
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Edging ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by 72TINCAN View Post
I made a new counter top with 3/4 plywood and covered with sheet of stainless steel i purchased from onlinemetals.com. Great company and service, was delivered from order to door in 2 days. They think of everything from how you want the grain to run, to excellent packaging, etc ... cut that out and glues it down with pl premium. Then got a nose edging from a place in brooklyn (NY metals) and finished the edge. Used a second sheet of steel for backsplash. made my own flat molding by painting plastic trim from home depot with aluminium metalic finish spray paint. Over all looks pretty good. Also got sheets to cover firdge and freezer doors, was EZ upgrade and cheap too ...
Where did you get the metal edging for your counter top ? That is the type I want to purchase and use on my 1972 overlander
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Old 06-30-2015, 04:50 AM   #13
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1972 29' Ambassador
East Moriches , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
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Metal edge

I got it from New York metals . . . I think. I have their web site book marked at work,so I will confirm later.its called face nosing and can get it pre drilled every 8-10" or so, which looked better than I ought it would. There are places online but the shipping of a 12 foot length will kill you. So I found a place that was not far and was able to pick it up. $20 for 12foot length.

You can also Google bar stool trim, or vintage counter top trim, etc . . .
I found lots of options but this worked great for me.

The stainless I got from online metals . . . Their service was amazing !!! Awesome business ... The delivered it incredibly fast... And packed it in such an amazing way . . .i ordered it at 9 am got email 2 hours later that it was on its way.
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Old 06-30-2015, 07:02 AM   #14
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1973 27' Overlander
Portsmouth , Virginia
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All trailers leak. The stains you are seeing are probably coming from somewhere in the vicinity of the vista view windows down or they could be coming in as high as the roof vents or maybe an antenna mount or a seam or leaky rivet. The water will leak in from the outer shell and then start to run down the inner skin till it hits the c channel and then leaks and soaks the subfloor. It will take the shortest path so those leaks are most likely in the same section (front to back) where you see em.

Not to be a broken record, but how did you assess "The floor is good and frame is good also. that is first thing we looked into before we purchased. The back area is amazingly in good condition, back bumper, rear compartment, floor under bathroom, etc ... I was happy to see that and surprised too." ? Its a good amount of work to check out the undersides of these beasts since you have to remove aluminum sheeting from the undersides and pull down insulation. Did the PO do all that before?
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