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Old 07-10-2006, 08:48 AM   #29
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Dasco Ultra Bar for Belly Pan Fold Over Removal!

Hi Everyone,

The biggest hurdle I crossed over this weekend was to unfold the belly pan where it wraps around the c-channel. I understand that not all eras use this method. It makes for a very strong bond between the bellypan and the c-channel and thus an excellent sandwich for the frame and the floor. It makes me wonder though how one could replace the floor in a trailer that has this wrap without doing a complete shell off. I guess one could do it by removing the lower row of inside skin and the rivets along a lower section of the body all around.

Anyway, it appeared daunting as the stuff is heavily coated in a black tar (is this vulkem or something else? I keep hearing about Vulkem but I'm not sure that I know exactly which of the adhesives I've found on my trailer if any are in fact Vulkem.) But I found this really excellent little tool on Saturday morning at the hardware store called the "Dasco Ultra Mini Bar". It's a tiny little pry bar that was perfect for the task. I just had to share it since it's one of those really satisfying little tools that seem perfectly suited to a particular task, are well made so it feels good in the hand, and comes in a most excellent shade of blue.

I pulled up a chair in the shade with my ultra mini bar and fell into a 3 hour zen-like trance as I slowly and methodically peeled all the belly pan edges off one little three inch section (it's broken up into little sections already) at a time. It seemed relaxing and satisfying and productive. All the best things I'm discovering about this restoration process.
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Old 07-10-2006, 08:49 AM   #30
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Wow, Steve.
It DOES look like it's been replaced. And, as you say, without having done it correctly. And it looks like the PO never actually solved the problem-- it continues to get wet.
The good news is that it will require removing fewer fasteners in the front....but the bad news (not the end of the world, really), is that you don't have a perfect template to use for your new flooring.
I had NO template (the front 12-30 inches of flooring was virtually dust, all the way across), and it all turned out fine. It just takes a bit longer.
-Chuck
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Old 07-10-2006, 11:36 AM   #31
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Newbie Question. Does anyone know what this is?

It came with my Safari. I can't figure out what it is or how one use it for what it's intended for.
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Old 07-10-2006, 12:30 PM   #32
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That's a harness for a portable (usually blue) waste tank... it hooks through the handle, under the tank....then you slip the loop over the ball on your hitch and drive to the dump station. Slooooowwwwwly.
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Old 07-10-2006, 06:48 PM   #33
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I thought your mystery tool was a tuning fork for an Angel's harp!
Don
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Old 07-10-2006, 07:19 PM   #34
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Where Angel's Fear to Tread!

Quote:
Originally Posted by funchucky1
That's a harness for a portable (usually blue) waste tank... it hooks through the handle, under the tank....then you slip the loop over the ball on your hitch and drive to the dump station. Slooooowwwwwly.
Since my wife says no way she's dealing with the portable waste tank maybe I'll repurpose it as a tuning fork for Angels or perhaps a pitch fork for devils.

Anyway, thanks for the explanation Chuck. I'm glad to know that I have one of those. I'm looking forward with trepidation to the first time I have to deal with waste tank dumping as I've never, ever, had any experience with this process.

Had I mentioned to you guys that in spite of the fact that I've undertaken an extremely time consuming and painstaking restoration of one of the TWO trailers that we now own, I've never even been camping? I'd never even had a yard until we began renting our place in Montauk two summers ago having always lived in an apartment building. First in Los Angeles, then in San Francisco, before finally landing in Manhattan 15 years ago. Call this a mid life crisis, or mid life awakening, or whatever, but I'm really looking forward to hitting the road in the Safari and trying this open air concept out for real.
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Old 07-11-2006, 08:17 AM   #35
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camping

Wow, have we had different experiences. I've been camping for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid our family use to spend 6 to 8 week in the Yosemite Valley. My Dad would commute to work to all the Nash dealers in the central Valley of Ca. While the rest of the family camped. I counted it up one time and figured I've spent 7 years total in Yosemite. That doesn't count all the other places we camped. What do you say to someone who had never experienced camping. It's a simpler live if you let it be. Take time to look, listen, smell, and feel. If you try camping at the same speed you live the rest of your life. I doubt you will enjoy the experience. Mother nature takes time with her works. I think someone said something like this, " slow down and smell the Roses".
Don
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Old 07-11-2006, 08:42 AM   #36
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I agree...camping can give you a chance to slow things down a bit. Go places you haven't been, or experience places you've been from a different angle. Yosemite is one of my favorite places to camp.

In fact, when I lived in San Francisco was when I started camping with a trailer. We used to make frequent trips to Lake Tahoe....and up and down the Northern CA coast. It's nice camping here on the East Coast, too...but it has a different feel.

-Chuck
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Old 07-11-2006, 10:33 AM   #37
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From Rats to Roses

Chuck, it sounds like we've been following each other coast to coast over the years, but operating in slightly different spheres. And Don, I did get taken to yosemite once by a friend's parents when I was a kid, but we stayed at the Ahwanee. I thought it was beautiful there and I took a class in photography at the Ansel Adams center and that was my first exposure to creativity which planted a seed for the rest of my life. My entire family is from Oregon and my sister's both went to the U of Oregon and majored in outdoor recreation and became very outdoorsey people and now both live in Washington state. I was born shortly after my family moved to LA and somehow wound up with a totally different trajectory. My dad, in the 11 years he was at home, never once picked up a hammer so I didn't learn how to fix anything or feel empowered to fix anything which is another reason why this Bambi restoration is kind of a harrowing yet amazingly empowering undertaking. I can honestly say that in addition to never camping, I've also never fixed anything in my life and I feel like I'm going to be learning how to fix everything!

What I did discover about 8 years ago was sailing and this has become a big part of my life. It was the first thing I ever discovered where I could simply shut off my mind and totally just focus on the present moment and tune myself in to the world around me in every way. I love being on the water and I loved the emerging sense of self-reliance and this self-reliance is what drew me to the trailer and led me to embark on this super high, unbelieveably immersive arc of learning.

When we rented the house in Montauk, right on the pond so I could sail every day, my wife and I, for the first time in our lives, began to just sit and watch. For the past three years we've watched the geese, the swans, families of deer, a muscrat, robins, countless rabbits, and a bunch of territorially fierce red winged black birds go through their annual cycles and I can honestly and un-cliche-edly say that it's changed my life and it's such a welcome respite from the kind of life I lead during the week in the city that I'm seriously considering and making efforts towards downsizing, simplifying, and moving towards a much slower pace. It may still be several years away, but the wheels are in motion and the trailer and the restoration are all small pieces in the puzzle of a new life for Jocelyn and me that's less city-fied and a lot simpler and no doubt will include an intimate knowledge of dump-station-ology.

A small price to pay for a better connection to our greatly endangered environment, which of course is the one thing currently troubling me with regards to the trailer and that is that every time I get in a car that's not the smallest, highest mileage vehicle, available I cringe and feel I'm sort of spitting on the earth and at the moment we have only a very old volvo 4 cylinder and a very small Land Rover Freelander, neither one of which can pull the Safari but I think the Freelander could quite handily pull the bambi when it's done.

The things I'm thinking about enviromentally regarding the trailer are as follows.

Vintage is good because it's lighter and can be pulled with a lot less vehicle and a lot more easily.

Vintage is good because it's a form of recycling.

Airline travel is REALLY bad for the environment so in that sense trailering is better.

While doing the restoration I'm trying to save and reuse everything I can.

While doing the restoration I'm trying to avoid buying tools and instead renting or borrowing whenever I can.

Maybe I'll start an environmental thread here on the forums. It might be nice to get people thinking about this stuff. After all the price of gas is a lot more than the price of gas. It's the air, and the climate, and all sorts of other things that we should all be thinking about a little (or maybe a lot)more.

Anyway, it's nice to share all these thoughts with you two who have led such different lives from me although they do seem always and enlighteningly to intersect in so many additional curious ways.

Thanks again for all the knowledge and encouragement!

Steve H.
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Old 07-12-2006, 12:39 AM   #38
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Sailing.... Ah, fair skies and strong breeze...

We love sailing! It is one of the joys of the West Coast! Sold our sailboat a few years ago.... had to give up some of the toys so we could retire. Sailing was the best thing our family ever did! The sailing taught our son awesome responsibility way before he ever was old enough to learn to drive... gave him a mature focus when he got behind the wheel of a car.

Not to mention sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge, watching dolphins, or our favorite (home port at the time) Monterey, California.

OOps, I forgot this is an Airstream forum.... maybe we can put pontoons on one??? or a mast!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 07-24-2006, 04:37 PM   #39
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Down to the Bare Frame

Well thanks to my friend's Bosch Angle Grinder (thanks for the suggestion NorCal Bambi Don) I'm down to a bare frame. I got all the obvious bolts around the perimeter and along the edges of the wheel wells with the grinder. There were two bolts directly in the middle of the floor which were holding the middle piece down and because that was the one part of the floor that wasn't rotted I had a really tough time getting the linoleum up to find them. Finally I pulled the belly pan down enough to see where one was and I deduced the location of the second one from that so all I had to chip out were two small areas in the middle before grinding away.

The belly pan came off mostly in 6 large pieces although there were a bunch of patches near the door where the step had been installed. I'm deducing that the fold down step was an add-on and the PO had cleverly welded a metal support and wedged in some wood to strengthen that area. It made things really, really difficult trying to get out that last piece of belly pan as there were many, many, extra and hidden rivets, patches over patches of belly pan, and the metal reinforcement which the belly pan was actually tucked under. There's a picture below of the step area and that last stubborn piece of belly pan. Notice how the reinforcement was threaded through the existing belly skin. It was annoying, but as I say pretty clever. I don't think I'll put the step back when I go to rebuild it.

I'm also wondering if my welded on rear levelers are worth it. They require a big gap in the belly pan and I think it was an invitation to rust. But perhaps if I seal it up well around them It wouldn't be so bad.

So I think now I'm officially DONE taking it apart. Now it's time to start putting her back together again! Thanks for the help and support this far.
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Old 07-24-2006, 04:46 PM   #40
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What exactly are "split rims"

I hear everybody talk about the old "split rims" and having to replace them and how nobody will work on them. Sadly, I don't know what they are and I'm wondering if you can tell by lookin' at em if I have them or not? Picture is attached.

Why are they so evil?
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Old 07-24-2006, 04:56 PM   #41
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That is not a split rim. A split rim has a seperate piece that holds the tire onto the rim. The problem is that they will sometimes let go. You do not want to be near one when this happens.
This is a split rim:
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Old 07-24-2006, 10:42 PM   #42
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Got it. Thanks AZFlycaster!

Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
That is not a split rim. A split rim has a seperate piece that holds the tire onto the rim. The problem is that they will sometimes let go. You do not want to be near one when this happens.
This is a split rim:
At least that's one thing I won't have to replace on the Bambi.

All the best!

Steve H.
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