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Old 07-24-2007, 10:36 PM   #15
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mclure , british columbia
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hi there fellow canuck,i have a 1970 ambasador,i can move my bumper up and down about half an inch.i am going to pull the bottom skin off to see what i'm up against to fix.i also have body sag,on the rh side i can see some wrinkles(waves) behind the rear axel about three feet up from bottom of body.when i reinforce the frame and floor will these wrinkles come out ?are you going to replace the floor with wood or another material?
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Old 07-29-2007, 08:54 AM   #16
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more pictures?

I am intrigued by the picture you have in post number nine, the one with the overhead racks. Are there more pictures available, or is there a website I could access to see more pictures? Thanks very much, I hope the work on your latest project is going well.
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Old 07-29-2007, 03:31 PM   #17
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separation

Quote:
Originally Posted by les palmer
hi there fellow canuck,i have a 1970 ambasador,i can move my bumper up and down about half an inch.i am going to pull the bottom skin off to see what i'm up against to fix.i also have body sag,on the rh side i can see some wrinkles(waves) behind the rear axel about three feet up from bottom of body.when i reinforce the frame and floor will these wrinkles come out ?are you going to replace the floor with wood or another material?
Yes it sounds like you have some separation going on there. You must determine whether your frame is sagging or has actually been bent or broken. The separation is caused by rotting rear sections of the plywood floor. Sagging will requires a frame stiffening kit, and the separation will require the bathroom floor to be replaced. This is best done by pulling out the bathroom cabinetry and furnishings. You will also need to get under the exterior skin at the points where the frame extends out towards the bumper. Some cut a small area and do the reattachment there. The patching done to cover these holes results in a effect some call elephant ears. If your rear steel c-channel or the aluminum wrap around channel are destroyed or rusted you will need to remove the exterior bottom 3 skins to do a proper repair. Removing the underskin skin will show you nothing more than the bottom of your holding tanks.

The wrinkles may come out when your frame is put back into place however the skin is not forgiving. If the skin is actually bent and not just waved it will likely have to be replaced or covered with a new piece of skin.

Hope that helps.
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Old 07-29-2007, 03:49 PM   #18
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Cool

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Originally Posted by Zeppelinium
First, let me say THANKS for documenting this project. I learn something from all these "maintenance" posts--it gives me the confidence to do some of the moderately extreme things I've been able to do so far.

Regarding the door--unless I had specifically contracted for a "perfect" job, I'm quite happy with competent workmanship. Having built a house and remodeled a number of Airstreams, I know that I take considerable care in my work and yet I still screw up. It makes me much more accepting of others' small errors. I don't think the door looks bad. What would be important to me is the door function, as in, does it shut smoothly and fit the trim line? Accepting good but not perfect work is a formula for great relations and a better overall project.

Hey, it's Vintage! I've got a few scars and wrinkles myself....

Zep
The door is quite interesting story. The entire door skin was replaced, and quite frankly I had not noticed the seams. I was just so pleased to see the new skin! Someone at the shop pointed it out and suggested that the work should be redone. I gulped at the thought of it, as I too have made lots on tiny mistakes and the thought of asking a really nice guy who does beautiful work to redo a door and waste material and labour for this reason seemed unfair. I was prepared to live with it. However, after careful examination of the original skin and some archival pics, I have discovered that the seam never met in the first place. In fact, the tech has to reuse all the original holes in the frame so there is little opportunity to do anything other than follow the original pattern.

And yes, I do have a few scars and wrinkles too. It is always easy to see the difference between people who actually use their trailers and those who do not.
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Old 07-29-2007, 03:53 PM   #19
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Simon,
We need an update and pics. This is very interesting.
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Old 07-29-2007, 04:13 PM   #20
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Factory Seam

I just noticed the same thing on my '73 Sovereign yesterday.
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Old 07-29-2007, 04:20 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maccamper
I am intrigued by the picture you have in post number nine, the one with the overhead racks. Are there more pictures available, or is there a website I could access to see more pictures? Thanks very much, I hope the work on your latest project is going well.
I have just posted a bunch of pictures for you. Just look under my username in the photo sections. There is another one of the overhead storage racks and a bunch of others of different aspects of the trailer. Enjoy
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Old 07-29-2007, 04:32 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by mello mike
Simon,
We need an update and pics. This is very interesting.
Sorry, Mike, not much to update at this part. I spent the whole day at the shop yesterday. Not much progress has been made this week. We are awaiting a new wrap around c-channel from the Airstream factory. This is needed to make a template for the new piece of floor that will replace the rotted section in the rear. I have also made the decision to put on a new frame stiffening kit as the exsiting one is aging and not doing as good a job as it could be.

I have however uploaded a bunch of interior pictures at the request of a member. These may be fun for you to look at.

I will hopefully have some new pictures of the work progression soon.

Here's a question. I want to put in an exterior h/c water outlet for outdoor showering (am planning on taking full advantage of the on demand water heater!). Any suggestions for a good place for it? I'd rather have it hidden than on the exterior of the trailer.

Oh by the way, I have added an nice looking bracklet to the exterior of my trailer for a 21" flat panel TV to sit on for outdoor movie viewing!!
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Old 07-29-2007, 08:31 PM   #23
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I had a guy at an Airstream repair shop tell me they take the rear storage door and reinstall it upside down to stop water leaks in that area.

On mine I just replaced the gasket to stop the leaking but may look into the upside down door if the gasket dosn't last.

Garry
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Old 07-29-2007, 09:05 PM   #24
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I don't get it. The usual source of floor rot in the rear is the rear end separation problem.
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Old 07-29-2007, 09:56 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mello mike
I don't get it. The usual source of floor rot in the rear is the rear end separation problem.
hmmmm...

Absolutely. Once a separartion occurs much more water can sneak its way in to the floor, but there seem to many other places that the water trickles in that causes the beginning of the rot. The rear window is one place, the rear light housings, the rear compartment door all have been accused of being one of the culprits. In fact, my rot did not reveal itself until after the separation happened.

In the 70's trailers the rear bathroom floor and main entrance door are both very common places for wood rot. Anyone know the source of the door leak?
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Old 07-29-2007, 11:54 PM   #26
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Thanks for the pics Simon! I'm curious, have you ever weighed your trailer? The only reason I ask is I'd too like to use the Ikea cabinets.

Looks beautiful in there!
Thanks!
Marc
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:42 PM   #27
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exterior water access

Simon, I will be adding an exterior water outlet, although I am still in the planning phase. Since I will me moving the battery forward under one of the twin beds, as I believe you have done, and replacing the original univolt with an inverter at the bottom of a wardrobe, that leaves the orignal battery compartment open.

It is right under the shower plumbing, so the water lines are already close. I happen to be doing a nearly-full monte of the bathroom anyway, so all the fixtures and furniture are out of the trailer, and plumbing lines are readily accessible.

This concept is much easier given the other work I am doing, and would not be for everyone, but it is one approach.

Laird
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Old 08-08-2007, 10:45 PM   #28
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We are waiting on 2 parts right now. The frame stiffening kit and the wrap around c-channel. No work has been done in the last week and a half.

I learnt that patience is an important part of this process

Cheers.
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