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Old 10-15-2008, 06:49 AM   #1
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OHALE's '70 Tradewind floor job

Well, I guess, here we go on the floor. I was "Given" this 25' tradewind 2 weeks ago. It sat up for 20yrs. Interior has just withered away, spongy floor, bumper frame rusted in two, and tires dry rotted. I saw it like a "Lost Dog" with no food for a while. It only needed some LOVE. I got it home on a Saturday morning , and made a quick bumper frame grind and patch, and a minor door latch repair. I knew there was a lot of work ahead of me. I inspected the roof A/C and it will need a new one. It sat too long with no cover.
I commenced work on the front goucho section and floor to the door. Down to the frame, and delt with a little cancer, Rustolium and installed the floor to the door. All in the first week. I removed the kitchen sink, furnace, and dometic refrigerator yesterday, pulled the floor to expose the fresh water tank. I had no idea that is was that big. I have quite a bit of cancer there to tend to.
Question: 1. Will that tank come out from the top?
2. When I put it back in, do I need to put wood back in, can I fab a pan for it to set in just in case it leaks?
3. Is anyone interested in the Dometic Fridge and the Furnace for cheap?
I will be going back with a 110v Bar fridge, and looking for a small Deerborn gas heater.
4. I don't plan to remove the shell, so is it going to "drop" the 3/4" if I remove all the floor to the back, or do I do it a section at a time to prevent the drop?

I am adding some pics of my progress. By the way, thanks to all for your work, it is what is keeping me going knowing that I am not alone. The thought of "Giving it Back" has crossed my mind. I think I am past the point of "no return" now, and am excited about the finish.
Adam
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:45 AM   #2
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1970 25' Tradewind
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Removeing the Bathroom pieces

Is there a step by step way to remove the bathroom pieces without breaking them?
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Old 10-15-2008, 10:17 AM   #3
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Eliminator,

Congratulations on you new aquisition. I too have a 1970 Airstream which had been sitting outside unused for about 18 years before I bought it. Did a lot of work on it and still have lots to do, but we are using it in "less than perfect" condition while the kids are young and we can still enjoy it together. I will fix the non-critical items later.

I have not taken my bathroom out. although that will be done in the future. Mostly, it is an exercise in rivet removal. I think you should start where the plastic end cap meets the vinyl covered aluminum roof just inside the door, then progress rearward. There will be trim pieces that when removed reveal more rivets. Go slowly and methodically. You will be glad you did when you reverse the process to put it all back in. Let me know if you need me to go look at mine for reference. Good luck. Take lots of pictures and post your progress so that others can learn from your experiences.

Greg
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Old 10-15-2008, 10:27 AM   #4
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I have considered waiting on proceeding past the divider wall between the galley and rear sleeping area. The floor does not feel too bad there or in the bath. I do know that I need to open the belly under the bath for inspection. I need to replace some water pipe too. I would love to finish what I have started and then use it, but scared to "Not" complete the whole floor, and find out the hard way that I had some bad frame cancer in the back and create more problems. I have "Tent" camped all my life (Eagle Scout), so it's not a rush to get it out yet.
Adam
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:01 PM   #5
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Adam,
I think the worst you can expect is "rear end sag" which results from the shell separating from the floor and frame due to the design of the rear bath models allowing water to enter at the junction of the shell and floor. The wood rots, and the bolts holding everything together rust out. You can check for it by opening the rear access panel and using an ice pick to test the integrity of the wood at the rear edge. In extreme cases you will see the rot without difficulty and you may be able to jump on the bumper and see the gap between the bumper and the shell get larger. The repair involves removing the bathroom components, removing the rotten wood, and then replacing it and the rusted bolts joining floor and frame to the shell. Quite involved. I haven't done it yet due to lack of storage space for the things I take out and of course lack of time. There are several threads describing the process in detail.
Greg
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Old 10-16-2008, 06:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gparker View Post
Adam,
you may be able to jump on the bumper and see the gap

I'm not sure I want to jump on the bumper yet. You can see in the pics, I did a "Quick" bumper to frame patch repair. This was done just to get the bumper off of the ground. Although I don't see any seperation. I will continue to remove and replace the flooring up to the bath area. If I have to, I will venture to the RnR of the bath.
Thanks
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Old 10-16-2008, 06:10 AM   #7
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How about this fresh water tank, any secrets? Or will it come out from the inside?
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Old 10-16-2008, 07:53 AM   #8
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Thumbs up Windfall

Hey Eli-46,
You're way ahead of the game. I mean you got it for free, and that will sure help offset the cash you are gonna have to throw at it.

Your weld splice looks good to me. I would advise not to put too much faith in Rustoleum (just another paint with a good sounding name, but). But you must first "kill" the iron oxide (rust) with a converter...OSPHO (by Skyco) or Jasco (at Lowes about $6. a quart) ..GET SOME. There is much here on forum about OSPHO. Do a search.
If you got the money Por-15 with Por-15's converter first are prob. the primo avenue. But at the very least use one of the easy to use converters I mentioned above, then the Rustoleum is ok. Altho I prefer a zinc chromate or red oxide primer after the converter, then the top-coat.

Also you need a manual....unfortunately there is NO manual for your model year IIRC (if I recall correctly).
However the closest manual will probably be very helpful on many of the systems and layouts of your 70 mod. I think there was a 72 & 73 manual, I know there was a 74 and thereafter. The answer is somewhere on these forums but goodluck finding which year was the first manual.

Also you are fortunate as to the size of your trailer. I dare say that the 25' may be the ideal size, and the most sought after. I know its value (relative similar conditions) is higher than it's larger siblings.
One last caution and rule of thumb from the vast wisdom of Inland Andy, Be very cautious of removing too much skin (interior or exterior) or other monocoque structure without having the unit leveled and blocked well. Otherwise Inland Andy warns that you will play hell putting the stuff back in plumb as you surely want to.
Also you might want to make friends with the guy that owns the Ace Hardware store over in Crosby Tx., he is re-doing a 70's mod as well and posts here often, sorry I can't recall his forum name right now.
Oh what is OHale ? Is that you or is that the trailer's name ?
Or is that just a pc O'Hell !! ?

Best of luck
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:22 AM   #9
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With the amount of rust you are right to fix the frame before you do anything else. Some folks have used a flexible shaft mounted video camera to get a looksee without a major teardown. More often than not the outriggers rust out first. No sense in doing a bunch of work you have to do over when you find you have a bad frame. What do you know about the trailer's history? Did it live in a wet, humid area or worse next to the ocean. My Tradewind has a similar history but sat in New Mexico and has no signifficant rust at all.

The 25s are not nearly as prone to rear end separation as the longer traiilers.

Your photo shows you most probably also need new axles. Bad axles will destroy a weak frame very quickly.

I could use the fridge door if it is in good shape.
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Old 10-16-2008, 09:33 AM   #10
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1970 25' Tradewind
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Thanks for the response,
I have allready laid the front section of floor with only Rustoleum. Do you recommend I pull it back up and do a better treatment of that frame area? Personally, that area was mainly surface rust and would probably last another 20yrs like this. I do have some significant cancer in the area I'm currently working of the water tank/kitchen area. This AS sat up for over 15yrs. Lived mainly in the SE Tx area. Minimal salt, but humid.
Ohale is kinda a nickname for me. Similar to a politically correct O'Hell. Cattle brand "circle H".

Lumatic, you can have the fridge door, but must take the whole fridge. If I remove the door, the rest is trash I would think. Let me know.
Adam

I will take a picture soon and post it.
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Old 10-16-2008, 09:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
One last caution and rule of thumb from the vast wisdom of Inland Andy, Be very cautious of removing too much skin (interior or exterior) or other monocoque structure without having the unit leveled and blocked well.
When you say "blocked/level" do you mean jacked up of the ground, and blocked under the frame, or as I've seen in the forum with 2x6's stacked up under the wheels?

Also a drummer.
Adam
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Old 10-16-2008, 10:32 AM   #12
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Arrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eliminator46 View Post
When you say "blocked/level" do you mean jacked up off the ground, and blocked under the frame, or as I've seen in the forum with 2x6's stacked up under the wheels?
Adam
Adam,
Not up on the 2x6's which just serve as a makeshift ramp but blocked (frozen) in a level non-binding position, which will have to remain like that til you put what you remove back on. Otherwise the frame and skeleton would/could shift and your rivet holes and panel re-hangs would be off plumb from where you started. However I will let Inland Andy more specifically explain this. Just stand by and he will most likely respond within a few days or sooner. Trust him, he's been there / done that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eliminator46 View Post
Thanks for the response,
I have allready laid the front section of floor with only Rustoleum. Do you recommend I pull it back up and do a better treatment of that frame area? Personally, that area was mainly surface rust and would probably last another 20yrs like this. I do have some significant cancer in the area I'm currently working of the water tank/kitchen area. This AS sat up for over 15yrs. Lived mainly in the SE Tx area. Minimal salt, but humid.
No I would not go back since you say steel still looked thick and substantial. Plus you would not be able to get back at the rust under the paint. but don't paint another square inch without it. So go today to a paint store, hardware, or Lowes and get one of the above branded rust-convertors. You will use them for years on many things rusted as so much is in this part of Texas. I bought a gallon of OSPHO yesterday for $22 at an ACE in Cypress. Some ACE's don't stock it though. Maybe Tractor Supply has it ..not sure.
That was prob the 4th Gallon I have needed over many (too many) years.
Oh and when you use it you must wait til the next day ( or 12 hours or so) to prime and paint, or no prime and paint. So follow the real simple directions on the bottle.
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Old 10-16-2008, 11:05 AM   #13
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I appreciate the input. I do know the current area of operation will require better treatment. I will HEAD the warning.
Adam
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Old 10-16-2008, 01:47 PM   #14
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As far as unndoing what you already did I would take the lazy way out if the frame looked healthy. I see you are near Houston so I assume the humidity won't help the rust situation.

Is the fridge in operating condition? Does both the 110 and propane work? I would have to have you ship it to me. I don't know if you are willing to do that. The reason I asked about the door is mine flexes and does not seal as good as it should. My fridge is original it is about waist high. I think it is a RM62 model.
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