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Old 03-25-2015, 09:04 PM   #15
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1968 24' Tradewind
Carlsbad , California
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David,

Several spots on the floor I could poke an ice pick through with little resistance, and all around the back end not a single rivet was left attached to the floor channel. It is in dire need of a frame off restore.

I called around to several metal fabricators in the San Diego area and no one wants to give it a try, they all said it requires special dies to do properly. Looks like I'll be using the cut/bend method with plenty of fasteners to keep it all tied in nice and tight.

The goal is to have the floor back in and shell on by April 11th. My biggest limiting factor will be getting the black and gray tanks delivered in time to hit the deadline. I will order them once I can get all of the proper measurements of frame clearances etc... I'd like to have 25 gal each, might be overkill but it should keep us set for a few days boondocking.

Cheers,
Steve
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:29 AM   #16
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
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Black and gray waste water holding tanks are a nuisance to install. I opted for the easiest way I could figure out. Inca Plastics in California has been making polyethylene tanks for the RV industry nearly forever. I have a huge on line catalog, although it is in the form of a huge pdf file.

I ordered these two 25 gallon tanks from them. Shipping was about a third of the cost of the tanks. I ordered rubber grommets from them that made pipe connection to the tanks easy. The tanks are mounted from angle irons in their molded shoulders. I also stuck Garnet See Level indicators on them which have worked well so far.

My tanks hang 5" below the frame rails. My tanks in my 86 Limited also hang below the frame rails. The same is true for new Airstreams. I made an aluminum tank cover and aluminum valve cover for the tanks. It is insulated, and the tank compartment is heated from the furnace. Many vintage Airstream enthusiasts do not want tanks below the belly pan surface. To each his own.

Wow, installing new tanks by April 11 is very ambitious. You work harder than I do!

Here is what I did...

David
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:07 AM   #17
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1968 24' Tradewind
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David,

Thanks for the pics and ideas. I can drive to Inca in about an hour from my place. It's in Ontario, which is also where Inland RV and Aircraft Spruce are located. I can hit up three places in one day and save on shipping. I picked up the new axles last month at Inland and put them in a few weeks ago.

I have a pretty flexible work schedule and a very understanding wife so working on the project late nights and weekends is not an issue.

My limiting factor time-wise will be waiting on parts to come in. My wife has already planned a family trip up the coast to Washington in July, so I have a hard deadline to meet.
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:16 AM   #18
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1968 24' Tradewind
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Apparently the Inca plant in Ontario has closed down and now their only plant is in the Victorville area. About another hour up the road. Lot's of vintage trailers in that area, I drive through a few times a year and always see several Airstreams, Avions and Silver Streaks for sale.
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:06 PM   #19
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
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Deadlines build stress! I'm retired and don't have deadlines anymore. Love it! You will retire some day too.

However I missed my April 1st deadline to be ready for our spring travel plan. I have my excuses, but the fact is I'm just not ready. A couple of more weeks I should be all set.

So don't work too hard. It is just a hobby.

Interesting you live pretty close to Inca Plastics. They are one of the original rotomolders from 50 years ago. I had good luck with my tank purchase from them.

David
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:19 PM   #20
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1968 24' Tradewind
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David,

I'm semi-retired now. Did 23 years in the Marines retired in 2006, I own a small defense contracting company now with about 60 employees. I'm one of those people that can't sit still though. I have several projects always going, and am very active in the community with various events. Plus I have a 9 year old that loves to camp, we've been doing the Indian Princess program for 5+ years camping once a month. She's looking forward to upgrading from a tent next year, but still loves tent camping.

She has been my assistant through the project so far. She's mastered riveting and helped do the axle swap. I think this project will teach her several valuable lessons as well as how to use basic hand tools--which I've seen is a vanishing skill.

We'll be tent camping this weekend so I will have to put the project on hold until next week.

Cheers,
Steve
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:42 AM   #21
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1966 24' Tradewind
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It is so neat your little princess is willing to spend time with Dad under that old Airstream. Some young folks are better at electronic devices than hand tools. You may have noticed in your business how some young folks aren't very well prepared for manufacturing careers. One question we ask during our interview process is "describe a project you completed working with your hands." We may favor candidates that have a "hands on" background. Your princess can say I helped my Dad rivet our old Globetrotter back together. Cool.

Okay, so I'm now convinced you will meet your schedule goal. Especially since you have a willing and able 9 year old helping out. Keep us posted as your Globetrotter emerges from old to new. Princess will have such fun having friends over for a Globetrotter camp out in the back yard when its done.

David
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:05 PM   #22
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This is so great to see! Nice work!!
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Old 03-28-2015, 06:13 PM   #23
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1986 34' Limited
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Why did I say Globetrotter? I should have said Trade Wind. Both you and I have the Trade Wind 24'. My son and Thumbelina have Globetrotter 20'. Actually so do a lot of other folks.

David - must be early onset dementia
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:13 PM   #24
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1968 24' Tradewind
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Go back to working on the Tradewind today and found some more evidence of poor quality control at the factory on this one. Here are three rivets that were bucked in at the rub rail/floor channel but never actually made it into the floor channel, there were no holes in the channel? First picture is a bit fuzzy and is from the inside, second is the floor channel at the corresponding location.


I had a similar one on the other side as well, same situation, never was drilled through into the floor channel (pictures 3 and 4)? I measured the distance from the wheel well to the rivet and placed a ruler on the floor channel to show where the rivet should have come through the channel.

On the 4th pic you can see where the spray foam insulation got up into the body area, I scraped some away so the rail would be more visible. Notice the absence of holes where rivets should be.
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:19 PM   #25
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1968 24' Tradewind
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I also noticed that the front panel was doubled up. Is this common? or a potential repair? There was one panel replaced and you can tell by the olympic rivets (which will all be replaced) but the front panel looks like factory work.

I took a picture with a plastic scraper in between the panels to show how they're layered. This is the panel below the front window and it would make sense to have reinforcement here since this is all riveted to the steel plate.
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Old 04-02-2015, 08:02 PM   #26
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Good question. Why are there two layers on the front hold down plate?
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Old 04-03-2015, 05:46 AM   #27
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
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My old 66 Trade Wind had a spare tire mounted to the front exterior panel. It has significant corrosion due to the steel, rusty tire mounted against the aluminum. It could be someone replaced this panel with a new piece over the old one for what ever the reason. But you would see evidence of this at the front window and side seams.

My guess is Airstream didn't build it this way.

David
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Old 04-05-2015, 02:48 PM   #28
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1968 24' Tradewind
Carlsbad , California
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Took a closer look at the doubled up front panel. Definitely a repair had been done. The rivets used were not olympics but appear to be a blind rivet that is shaved/polished to look like a bucked rivet. From the exterior you can't tell it's not "real". I am debating on replacing the panel with fresh 2024 since there is a nice dent/crease in the front that I won't be able to work out from the inside with the second panel on the inside.

I was also able to get half of the floor out yesterday, I would finish it up today if not for Easter and plans to go to a friends for the day. I will be working all next week to get the rest of the floor off and the frame painted and ready to reassemble with new belly skins, holding tanks and under-floor wiring.

If you haven't had the pleasure of doing a '68, the spray foam insulation is a joy to remove. Fortunately the foam on this one was put in on a Friday afternoon (guessing from the inconsistency in application). Most of it is coming out in large pieces, the rest will be scraped out and then wire brushed.

The second picture is the piece of flooring adjacent to the refrigerator floor vent. The insulation looks pretty bad here, not sure if that is due to the heat in that area, but the black stuff looks like bad mold. I was wearing a high quality 3M dust mask while removing the flooring. No telling what is in the dust/dirt after years in the Nevada desert.
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