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Old 09-25-2005, 02:02 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by uwe
Kind of like a hard sided tent. Better than no shelter at all, and it gives you some gratification for the alll the hard work you have done.
I think that's a great idea to stay motiveted and not burn out on the project.
Should have done this myself this summer. I am too much of a perfectionist though, dangit.
ha! something tells me staying in an un-insulated, single-skinned airstream with no AC in the summer wouldn't have had the same gratification as the fall. crap, i could barely stay in mine when i was re-attaching the shell!
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Old 09-25-2005, 02:58 PM   #114
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Its funny, I started this camper/trailer thing about 17 years ago - I bought a trailer to go camping - - - - - - -- now I've been on a two year rebuild project with this Airstream and not doing any camping - something is wrong with this picture....

Ken J.
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Old 09-25-2005, 03:02 PM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A-Merry-Can
ha! something tells me staying in an un-insulated, single-skinned airstream with no AC in the summer wouldn't have had the same gratification as the fall. crap, i could barely stay in mine when i was re-attaching the shell!
Who said anything about actually staying in it? Just drag it along for good measure and for good company. You can store your stuff in it during the day and while travelling.
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Old 09-25-2005, 03:05 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken J
now I've been on a two year rebuild project with this Airstream and not doing any camping - something is wrong with this picture....

Ken J.
Are you trying to tell me that you guys actually take these things out after they're finished? You'll get bugs on it and finger prints, dirty up the floor and fill the new tanks.....egads!
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Old 09-25-2005, 03:15 PM   #117
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Its funny you mention that - I've thought about that alot - but that is why we are doing this........

........ right?

I have been thinking that for the open house at the VAC rallies, just letting folks look in the doorway - I know thats against A/S culture - but I am concerned about gillions of folks in and out of that old trailer.... I'm not planning on rebuilding again.

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Old 09-25-2005, 03:58 PM   #118
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We're sliping off topic here....but,
Maybe one day there's cargo trailers big enough for Airstreams, then we could just put it inside the trailer and bring it out for a drive every now and then....without the damaging effects of sunlight and nature...
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Old 09-25-2005, 08:27 PM   #119
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quit yer belly-achin! i don't even have a barn for mine yet! the silver pickle is homeless! haha! i REALLY hope i can get this pickle back together for a cross-country trip next fall. i'll think of all the bugs and dirt as souvenirs (as i won't have room for much else than one of those pet rocks or bobble-head dolls in 18 feet.

nothing but class, baby!

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Old 09-25-2005, 09:13 PM   #120
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nothing but class, baby!

jp
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Old 10-06-2005, 05:06 PM   #121
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water n' wood

M-C,

I have been reading your posts and thought I would send some ideas - I am just a few days ahead of you on my trailer - I just finished leak-proofing and insulating, am getting ready to put in the interior.

Leak-proofing: when I finished the new skin parts and exterior/windows, I found I still had some leaks front and back. I considered doing what you are talking about, re-sealing the entire endcaps anew, and I do think it would be a good idea. I couldn't bring myself to do it though, It seemed like too much time... I was also worried about screwing up the joints between the endcap pieces, mine wasn't quite perfect from the factory and it looks like there could be trouble if I took it apart. Instead, I did a very careful job with alcoa aluminum seam sealer (airstream dreams) and a syringe. This does wick quite well, and leaks are now gone. I expect I will need to reseal every few years, but it was pretty quick and painless to do this seal-up, and all the leaks stopped when I was done.

Interior with wood: it's my sense that the structural importance of the interior aluminum skin is perhaps a little overstated - I do think it serves some function... but I am also pretty sure I could drive on down the road as my trailer currently sits - insulation and no inside skin... Certainly the fiberglass endpieces serve no structural function, they just hang by their edges, and are relatively heavy too. I plan to replace the inside skin with 1/8" baltic birch ply, 5'x5' sheets joined together to make longer pieces. I will increase the number of rivets to the shell too. The birch ply is pretty strong, I use it for lots of other things and I think it will have a good percentage of the strength of the aluminum that I am removing... It is also about 20% the cost of aluminum which is a bonus. More finishing though. Of course I could be wrong about all of this (and I know I am in the minority with this opinion about interior skins) but I promise to report to the list if my trailer falls in two pieces! Let us know what you decide to do with your interior wood.

Carlos Ferguson
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Old 10-07-2005, 10:29 AM   #122
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I have found on my 26 foot trailer that the interior skins play a big role. This past week I've been putting my skins back in and the amount of flex in the rear has decreased a lot. The concern I have about wood is the flexing that goes on will loosen up the screw holes as it goes down the road - I supposed if you could glue the wood on that would be better, however, if you ever need to get back behind the wall again...............

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Old 10-09-2005, 05:21 PM   #123
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i am changing my tune slightly on the interior wood panels. now i'm starting to think the laminate bonded to the aluminum might be the better way to go... certainly on teh end caps. this morning, i removed the interior end caps (mine has 7 panels riveted aluminum, no fiberglass), and the compound curve of that metal would be darn near impossible to duplicate out of bendi-ply. i'm not 100% certain i can even laminate a compound curve like that, but i think it's a sounder approach.

my NEW line of thinking is to get a maple laminate (that will match the floors), and laminate all the end cap pieces individually BEFORE i reassemble them, then pop-rivet them together and cover the lines of rivets with a solid wood trim piece, either riveted or even better, hex-head screwed to the panels. that would allow better access, should i need it (HEAVEN FORBID!!!)

i think laminating these pieces individually outside the trailer will ease the installation a bit. yes, i'm still concerned with the expansion rates of laminate vs aluminum, but i think with enough adhesive, it might be ok.

i'm still a ways away from that stage, so i've got plenty of noodling time left.

jordan
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Old 10-09-2005, 05:24 PM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcferguson
M-C,

I have been reading your posts and thought I would send some ideas - I am just a few days ahead of you on my trailer - I just finished leak-proofing and insulating, am getting ready to put in the interior....
hey carlos,

my tin can has a horrible leak on teh rear somewhere, and the front cap as well. did you determine if the leaks were coming from between the seams? i have looked very closely at my front cap, since taking off the interior panels, and don't think i can determine where the water is coming from. the back is bad, though... REALLY bad. it's definitely coming in from the rear window or above. everything below is really tight, and sealed well.

here's the best method i've come up with so far... (it's the quickest way i've found to lower your property value.)
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Old 10-09-2005, 05:38 PM   #125
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Unhappy progress report...

this is going a LOT slower than i thought! i had PLANNED on pulling both lower panels today, but one thing lead to another, and all i managed to get done was fitting the new panel. hopefully, if the rain doesn't come back, i'll have the streetside riveted in this week, and can start on the other side lower next weekend... then the panel above that both sides, and on to the door... it seems like it's never going to end! i've also got to track down these horrible leaks somewhere in there.

one thing that i had to do today was add belly pan extensions to the bottom, so i could continue the clean curve from the wheelwell right into the belly. the mill stuff i used wasn't large enough, and i didn't really want to polish it anyway, since i know it won't hold a shine long... so i took the long way around, and cut patches of 2024 025 to rivet between the skin and floor, and once riveted, will stretch these over the existing bellypan, and pop-rivet into place underneath. they are long enough to reach the main frame members. basically, the belly will have 2 layers of aluminum on the sides. i'm planning on running a small bead of vulkem along the front edge of the front piece, to inhibit water leaking in during transit, since the new arrangement leaves a leading edge.

this little roadblock, combined with the fact that the original 4X8 panels used for the sides were not completely square had lead to a less than anticipated productive day. not many pics this time, unfortunately...
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Old 10-13-2005, 07:54 PM   #126
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Quote:
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my tin can has a horrible leak on teh rear somewhere, and the front cap as well. did you determine if the leaks were coming from between the seams?
here's the best method i've come up with so far... (it's the quickest way i've found to lower your property value.)

Those are exactly the words I would have used to describe my condition pre-sealing. I think the water was entering the seams on the outside, probably wicking in all up and down the endcap seams, then running down the rivet lines between these end cap panels till it reached the window, then coming out behind the pieces of aluminum just above the window (on the inside). Then dripping in form of mini-river all over my nice new floor. I tried to seal it from the inside but had no luck. I used the alcoa gutterseal carefully on each seam (I cleaned them with steel wool and mek first) and the leaks disappeared completely. The alcoa stuff (airstream dreams has it) really wicks into the seams well. I wouldn't have believed it, but indeed it does. It doesn't take much if you can get a syringe with a big needle and grind the needle down to a nub, then just run that needle-nub along the seam and fill-er-up. Pretty much invisible and seems quite strong. Let me know if you want more details, I will post some pictures to my thread (1962 22' Safari) soon. I imagine taking the thing apart and vulkem-ing in there would be a very solid alternative and last as long as you would, but man, think of all that rivetting.

Re wood: I have the fiberglass endcaps and I think I am going to put them back in and rivet the wood to the fiberglass in that part. I agree it would be pretty tough to get the curves just right in there. I think the rivets look pretty good on the wood, so I won't cover them, aluminum and birch together.

Carlos
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