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Old 10-05-2014, 11:23 PM   #1
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1976 25' Tradewind
Oswego , New York
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Born to lose

I'm probably the typical new to vintage AS owner, excited to make a neglected icon useful and whole again. Dents, I can deal with that, remove interior and inner skins to clean out mice damage ok, remove floor, I can do that. Rusty frame? Why is it so rusty I wonder and then remove the bottom skin and tanks. When I went to drill out the trim around the lower body and then the banana corners and other bent transition pieces I found that the bottom pieces overlap the upper exterior skin with no caulk. I was floored! No wonder the frame was so rusty, It got soaked every time it rained. Im fabricating 18 new outriggers and other replacement parts and moving on with the repairs, but I have to say I looked at a 60's Avion today and it was put together properly and ultimately an Avion is what I will end up with.
Anyone else notice this problem?
Mike
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:19 AM   #2
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1962 19' Globetrotter
Winchester , Ontario
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Hi Mike, and welcome!
Is it possible a previous owner (PO) did a frame-off and put it back together incorrectly? It is my understanding that usually the belly pan or banana wrap is underneath (ie: behind) the outer/upper skin, and then the rub rail is on top of that.
Verrrrry strange.
I am hoping that this is the only strange issue you find and the rest of your reno goes really smoothly.
POST PICS PLEASE! We ALL love pics.
Leonie
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:26 AM   #3
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Avion construction is different, I prefer it. But there are advantages to AS also. Sometimes it boils down to what us available at the time you want to buy. Jim
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:33 AM   #4
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That's not a previous owner mess up, they were originally built that way (and still are). Caulking the trim is super important.
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Old 10-07-2014, 09:11 AM   #5
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You're right HiHo, it can't any worse, and I'm in the position to make it better than new.
Thanks for the input.
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Old 10-07-2014, 11:39 AM   #6
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So, yes, that is how they were built in the 70's. You can correct it by gooping some vulkem in the joint when you put it back together again, and the bellypan will be a little less prone to collecting water.

I often wonder whether we, as Airstream owners, are not holding the product to an unrealistically high standard. I seriously doubt that when Wally was building trailers in the 1950's that he anticipated them still rolling around 60 years later. Likewise, I doubt you could take any automobile that was built in 1976, and spent most of its life parked in a field and not find that the chassis is rusting away beneath the body.

Some day (hopefully 30+ years from now) somebody will be refurbishing the trailer I am working on right now, and as they dissect it, they will comment on what a hack I must have been based on my design choices/workmanship. Makes me want to leave them a sarcastic note inside the wall.
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belegedhel View Post
So, yes, that is how they were built in the 70's. You can correct it by gooping some vulkem in the joint when you put it back together again, and the bellypan will be a little less prone to collecting water.

I often wonder whether we, as Airstream owners, are not holding the product to an unrealistically high standard. I seriously doubt that when Wally was building trailers in the 1950's that he anticipated them still rolling around 60 years later. Likewise, I doubt you could take any automobile that was built in 1976, and spent most of its life parked in a field and not find that the chassis is rusting away beneath the body.

Some day (hopefully 30+ years from now) somebody will be refurbishing the trailer I am working on right now, and as they dissect it, they will comment on what a hack I must have been based on my design choices/workmanship. Makes me want to leave them a sarcastic note inside the wall.
I agree. My '71 was made as described above, and the only rust evident was due to rear-end separation and the steps holding water and debris in the slots. The rest of the metal was solid, thankfully, despite the "under wrap".

Alan
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Old 10-07-2014, 04:17 PM   #8
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Here are the requested photos of the banana corner and the obvious lack of caulk and the subsequent staining of the interior aluminum. Also shown is the outriggers made out of 11 gauge, solid, no oval cut out.
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Old 10-07-2014, 04:38 PM   #9
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I just went through this process as well with my '78. I couldn't believe it! I mean I'm not an engineer and I don't even work in construction but I know how to lap things so they won't leak! I was beating my head against a wall trying to figure out why the floor was getting soaked. I had no idea that the "trim" wasn't really "trim" after all. I'm currently in the process of essentially removing all trim and everything riveted/bolted on and cleaning it and resealing it with caulk for winter rains. Tempro saves lives!
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Old 10-10-2014, 12:12 PM   #10
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1978 23' Safari
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With the exterior skin (buck) riveted to the aluminum channel at the bottom, there is really no practical way to insert the "banana" wrapper skin under the exterior skin. Caulking this joint would be important though. I'm thinking caulk on the banana skins at the time of pop riveting, and also caulk on the joint when installing the cover strip.
Tim
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Old 10-10-2014, 12:39 PM   #11
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Belegedhel....I love what you said here...Some day (hopefully 30+ years from now) somebody will be refurbishing the trailer I am working on right now, and as they dissect it, they will comment on what a hack I must have been based on my design choices/workmanship. Makes me want to leave them a sarcastic note inside the wall.
Do It!!!
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Old 10-10-2014, 02:33 PM   #12
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Actually, as I look at my work, I want to criticize myself! I suppose the old adage "you are your own worst critic" must be true. Or at least I hope it is!
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Old 10-10-2014, 06:32 PM   #13
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I'm helping a pal on his '75 and it's done exactly like yours. Tomorrow we are going to seal the belly pan to shell overlap PLUS the normal sealing of the trim band
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Old 10-10-2014, 07:02 PM   #14
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One thing to consider is that the Banana Wraps were a replaceable item.

Since they dent so easily front and rear,By the 1970s they made them easy to replace.

They do need to be sealed with vulkem and those are 4 more areas that need

to be attended to,just like roof vents etc.

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