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Old 10-14-2008, 08:57 AM   #1
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Upperco , Maryland
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Some random questions

Since the micro-shop is moving along, I thought it might be time for some odd questions that having been rolling around in my noggin:

1. Replacing water lines: PEX or copper?

2. What is the "best" three-way refrigerator?

3. What is the best propane furnace? AC unit?

4. Wall insulation: pink or rigid? Add the foil bubble wrap or not?

5. Add a gray water tank, yes or no?

6. What is the "right" size for tanks?

7. Wheels: Aluminum or painted?

8. Converter: What is the best replacement for the old univolt?

9. Floors: Cork or floating?

10. Espresso machine... necessary or not?
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:04 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
Since the micro-shop is moving along, I thought it might be time for some odd questions that having been rolling around in my noggin:

1. Replacing water lines: PEX or copper?

2. What is the "best" three-way refrigerator?

3. What is the best propane furnace? AC unit?

4. Wall insulation: pink or rigid? Add the foil bubble wrap or not?

5. Add a gray water tank, yes or no?

6. What is the "right" size for tanks?

7. Wheels: Aluminum or painted?

8. Converter: What is the best replacement for the old univolt?

9. Floors: Cork or floating?

10. Espresso machine... necessary or not?
Random answers.

1. We prefer copper.

2. Dometic has the best reefers. I would suggest you stay with a 2 way, and save some money. The 3rd way is 12 volts. Usually you would hasve to add wiring of adequate size, or it won't work properly. The 12 volt feature, has far more problems than the LPG and 120 volts AC combined, times at least ten.

3. Best furnaces are Suburban.

4. Stay with fiberglass insulation only. No foam, no rigid, and "NO" paper or foil backing. The insulation must breathe.

5. Adding a gray tank? Yes and no. Proper design, proper installation, proper draining, proper venting, along with proper location so that the effect on the weight and balance of the trailer is minimal.

6. There is no "right" size for any tanks. The size depends on what you want to do, and where will the added weight be carried.

7. The kind of wheels you use doesn't matter as long as they are rated at 2600 pounds each, or better. Wheels have no effect on proper towing., but they do have an effect on your pocket book.

8. New style converters are for most part, solid state. They cannor be compared to the "old style", in the sam way that we cannor compare todays tow vehicles to those of 30 years ago.

9. Floors? Plywood works great with a good pad and carpeting. Keeps the noise down and acts as an insulator for heat and cold.

10. Expresso machine? They are ok, but expensive, and then there is the matter of where do you stow it and will it work when your self contained? Beer works better.

Questions for you.

1. What year and length trailer do you have?

2. What is the condition of all of the exterior gaskets? Sewer vent pipe gaskets?

3. Axle or axles condition?

4. Brake condition?

5. Tire age and condition?

6. Water leaks, internal or rain?

7. LPG pressuer and/or leaks?

8. Condition of water pump?

9. Frame rust or damage?

10. If you will be towing the trailer, what is the condition of all the exterior lights?

11. Brand and rating of your load equalizing hitch?

12. Type and rating of your tow vehicle?

13. Interior and exterior cosmetics? Light lenses, walls, carpeting, drapes, clearcoat, molding inserts?

Listing your trailer year and length, is always a huge help.

Using things different from what Airstream uses today, makes it very difficult to expect service from a dealer when your traveling.

Upgrades and customizing is always very nice, "until" you need service, and then what?

Airstreams? Questions? Those two go hand in hand, always.

Oops. Reference the airconditioner. Coleman had been the leader for many years with Airstream and it's owners. Then Airstream switched to Dometic.

But in the meantime, Carrier came out with a unit that beats them all.

Andy
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:23 AM   #3
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Some random questions

Greetings Hampstead!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
2. What is the "best" three-way refrigerator?
When it came time to purchase a new refrigerator for my '64 Overlander, I insisted upon the Dometic Americana 3-way RV refrigerator. The refrigerator has been in place for nearly a decade now, and I am absolutely thrilled with its performance. I always tow with the LP turned off, and the 12-volt has never failed to keep the refrigerator just as cold as the LP -- I do have three 12-volt deep cycle batteries and had heavy wiring added between electrical distribution box and the refrigerator. I also have a solar array on the roof (3 panels), but I don't think that it has a particular influence on my satisfaction with the refrigerator.

Dometic Americana Series

Quote:
Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
3. What is the best propane furnace? AC unit?
For my furnace, I went with a Suburban based upon the recommendation of my Airstream dealer. The furnace has been in place for twelve years, and it has been trouble-free. I believe that the furnace was an NT30, but I would have to check my records to be certain.

Suburban RV Furnaces

Based upon my Airstream dealer's recommendation, I went with Coleman Mach series air conditioners on both of my coaches. Airstream drain pans are not available for these units, but I have been well satisfied with the unit on my Overlander -- the one on my Argosy Minuet is fines so far as performance is concerned, but the condesate draining on the coach causes the rust stains. I have not had staining or spotting problems on my Overlander.

Coleman Mach III Air Condtioners

Quote:
Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
5. Add a gray water tank, yes or no?
This is a project that is still on my "to do" list, but it has moved very close to the top due to a recent encounter with a steet gutter that damaged my Overlander's dump valve assembly. I am planning to have the black tank repairs done along with the addition of a new gray water tank in the very near future. My biggest concern is that the few '60s era trailers that I have seen with this feature added have lost some ground clearance -- something that my coach cannot afford.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
7. Wheels: Aluminum or painted?
I am still mulling this decision, but it is one that I must make as the Overlander is due for new tires prior to the start of next season. I have been considering either of two options -- having my 14-year old wheels powder coated then add trim rings and center caps to match my tow vehicle's spinners with beauty rings -- going with new "chrome" finish aluminum wheels. The cost difference is less than $250.00 between the two options, and I am leaning toward the aluminum wheels at this point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
9. Floors: Cork or floating?
I have taken two different paths with my coaches. With the Overlander, I went with Congoleum sheet vinyl (seven years ago) and have been very satisfied with its appearance and performance. With the Minuet, I went with Armstrong laminate flooring with quiet step underlayment (five years ago), and have been very satisfied with its durability and performance.

Congoleum Ultima Sheet Vinyl Flooring
Armstrong Laminate Floor Covering
Quiet Step Underlayment

Good luck with your project!

Kevin
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:35 AM   #4
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# 1 Must disagree with Andy,pex is the best replacement,if you don`t get all water out with copper,you end up with a burst pipe.Pex on the other hand will expand and no damage done. Dave [plumbing contractor]
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Old 10-14-2008, 11:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
8. Converter: What is the best replacement for the old univolt?

9. Floors: Cork or floating?

10. Espresso machine... necessary or not?
Hampstead,
8. Talk to Randy at bestconverter.com - He is on the forum too. I put a 60 amp Progressive Dynamics Intelli-Power 9200 in our '87 with a charge wizard (free when you buy from Randy) and it has worked great since installation.

9. Personally I like and installed a laminate floating floor in our '87 and it has held up well to over 60 nights of camping this season.

10. I'm with Andy on this one - install a brewmeister.
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Old 10-14-2008, 03:38 PM   #6
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I installed floating laminate in my camper last winter. So far, so good. Very easy to clean with two small children.
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Old 10-14-2008, 03:40 PM   #7
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First, answers for Andy. We have a '67 Overlander, 26 feet long (as you might expect). All exterior gaskets will be replaced. The axles are shot and will be replaced (which should solve the brake issue providing the wiring works). The tires are shot and will be replaced. I am told all Airstreams leak... and ours is no exception. Fixing all leaks is a goal. The LPG pressure regulator is shot and will be replaced.

At this point, I am reminded of my grandfather who once said, "The best way to fix that truck is to unscrew the radiator cap and drive a new truck underneath it."

All of the copper LPG plant will be taken out and replaced. The water pump is untested but I'm guessing... it's shot and will be replaced. The frame has not been evaluated yet. The tin girl is getting towed south for a shell-off frame and floor restoration and replacement. If I had a "hanger," I would give this a spin, but I'm already trying my neighbor's patience. I plan to replace all exterior lights with LED. I have a Reese WD hitch that I am "refurbishing." (Note to self: Order the new "U" bolts.) I would need to check the rating on the hitch because it was not readily apparent when I towed the '67 20 miles home. My initial tow vehicle is a 2004 Nissan Titan. Before we go on "hiatus" and travel for a year, we may buy a new TV. With the kids gone, we don't need a crew cab and I'd like four-wheel drive for our run to Alaska and back.

The condition of the trailer is fairly well documented on my blog (see signature). I would guess it's about "average" for a mid to late 60s Airstream that was actively used until about six years ago.

As for the other comments, Dometic sounds good. I'm not sure we'd really use a "three-way." Shore power and propane are probably all we would ever need. My HVAC guy is trying to sell me a Carrier Infinity for our house. I asked if Infinity was how long it would take to pay for it. I don't know much about Carrier's RV line. Thanks for the lead on bestconvertor, sound like a winner. I'm leaning towards cork on the floor, but it can float pretty much like a laminate. Thanks for the recommendation on Suburban. As for wheels, someone is going to have to explain "spinners" to me. I feel asleep during "The Fast and Furious" when it played on cable.

While I appreciate the thoughts on beer (I lean towards "Bass"), I'm not sure it's "What's for breakfast," even when on hiatus. I like espresso better than coffee, but I can always use a standard burner and an "old fashioned" espresso machine... or just further enhance the coffers of Starbucks.
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Old 10-14-2008, 03:57 PM   #8
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Spinner Center Caps

Greetings Hamstead38!

The photo attached below is of a spinner center cap very similar to the ones that I have on my Cadillac, and that I am considering as possibilities for the Overlander:

Kevin
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:31 PM   #9
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info

Dometic AC's require a drain pan. Carrier AC's, do not. That saves you almost $100.00.

Reese bars are easily measured for ratings. Measure at the top of the bar as it enters the trunion.

1" = 550 pounds, 1 1/8 = 750 pounds and 1 1/4 " = 1000 pounds.

Your truck has a heavy duty ride. You should use 550 or 600 pound bars, as a maximum, for optimum performance. Should you change to a 4 wheel drive, it will through your hitch, cause even more problems for the trailer because of it's rigidity. A 4 wheel drive tow vehicle is not necessary to tow any size Airstream.

Anything heavier hitch bar rating than that, will cause any one or more of a number of damages to the trailer, the shell and the frame, and it's contents, including the interior metal and furniture.

When you replace the U-bolts, install 3 on each side. That will prevent movement of the sway control saddles.

All Airstreams, "do not" leak.

But many do leak because of improper or lack of PM. Proper replacement parts are not available at hardware stores or K-mart, as we are sure you understand and appreciate.

We carry more proper and/or upgraded parts for the vintage Airstreams, than any other dealer in the world. That amounts to over 3300 different parts, in stock.

Your reefer vent cover and stove exhaust cover were mode with plastic. If they have not been replaced, they should. Replacement reefer cover is metal and the stove exhaust cover is fiberglass.

Window and door gaskets have been upgrade by us, to a superior gasket, that performs better and will last langer than the original type gasket, which is still available.

The original glass windows have been obtained by us, through Airstream, to insure original compliance or better.

Andy
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:42 PM   #10
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Andy is right about the ac, it does require a pan and some work to retro; I'm glad we did
it. Ask Andy, you should be able to get "Airstream" covers.
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Old 10-15-2008, 12:30 PM   #11
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Upperco , Maryland
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I'm a native Montanan living in exile in Maryland. We have often pulled our camper/trailers up the mountain for hunting camps. Given the rutted, steep goat trail we travel, I can tell you that four-wheel drive is sometimes necessary. We even carry the heavy "v-bar" chains to chain all four when the snow gets deep. I'm not sure we'll do much hard winter camping in the Overlander, but it is an option.

As for the spinners... in the parlance of my daughters, I'm just not feeling them. I was thinking painted wheels, or maybe the old "moon" hubcaps... though I would probably have to buy them in bulk. I have lost a hubcap or two in my day.
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:48 PM   #12
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Coleman Mach AC install

Andy
Is ther a special drip pan or "curve assembly" for attaching this Air conditioner?
Coleman supplier put a bug in my ear about making sure there is a curve assebly for fitting the new air conditioner to the top location replacing the old factory air in our 1963 Globe Trotter.
Thanks,


Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Random answers.

1. We prefer copper.

2. Dometic has the best reefers. I would suggest you stay with a 2 way, and save some money. The 3rd way is 12 volts. Usually you would hasve to add wiring of adequate size, or it won't work properly. The 12 volt feature, has far more problems than the LPG and 120 volts AC combined, times at least ten.

3. Best furnaces are Suburban.

4. Stay with fiberglass insulation only. No foam, no rigid, and "NO" paper or foil backing. The insulation must breathe.

5. Adding a gray tank? Yes and no. Proper design, proper installation, proper draining, proper venting, along with proper location so that the effect on the weight and balance of the trailer is minimal.

6. There is no "right" size for any tanks. The size depends on what you want to do, and where will the added weight be carried.

7. The kind of wheels you use doesn't matter as long as they are rated at 2600 pounds each, or better. Wheels have no effect on proper towing., but they do have an effect on your pocket book.

8. New style converters are for most part, solid state. They cannor be compared to the "old style", in the sam way that we cannor compare todays tow vehicles to those of 30 years ago.

9. Floors? Plywood works great with a good pad and carpeting. Keeps the noise down and acts as an insulator for heat and cold.

10. Expresso machine? They are ok, but expensive, and then there is the matter of where do you stow it and will it work when your self contained? Beer works better.

Questions for you.

1. What year and length trailer do you have?

2. What is the condition of all of the exterior gaskets? Sewer vent pipe gaskets?

3. Axle or axles condition?

4. Brake condition?

5. Tire age and condition?

6. Water leaks, internal or rain?

7. LPG pressuer and/or leaks?

8. Condition of water pump?

9. Frame rust or damage?

10. If you will be towing the trailer, what is the condition of all the exterior lights?

11. Brand and rating of your load equalizing hitch?

12. Type and rating of your tow vehicle?

13. Interior and exterior cosmetics? Light lenses, walls, carpeting, drapes, clearcoat, molding inserts?

Listing your trailer year and length, is always a huge help.

Using things different from what Airstream uses today, makes it very difficult to expect service from a dealer when your traveling.

Upgrades and customizing is always very nice, "until" you need service, and then what?

Airstreams? Questions? Those two go hand in hand, always.

Oops. Reference the airconditioner. Coleman had been the leader for many years with Airstream and it's owners. Then Airstream switched to Dometic.

But in the meantime, Carrier came out with a unit that beats them all.

Andy
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Old 12-29-2008, 02:52 PM   #13
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Since the Airstream is far away awaiting frame restoration, I have time to think about random things like furnaces and air conditioners. First, Suburban seems the most popular choice for a furnace. As for AC, roof mount makes the most sense, but there's something deeply disturbing about a white/beige box on top of the big aluminum tube. We saw an Overlander under renovations with a white box on top and my reaction was... Why? Any thoughts on a silver/aluminum AC unit that would blend with the '67 Overlander aesthetic?

I've heard good things about Randy at bestconverter. We're going to put in some decent electronics so we'll want fairly clean power. An AC/DC LED television is a must. And I might have to make room for the Blu-Ray player.

I'm still thinking about flooring and floor plan design. I'm working on a mock up of a bed that I think might work. Rather than a traditional gaucho design, I'm thinking about a hinged platform. Rather than fold in the middle (lengthwise), I was thinking a hinge about "knee" level laterally. We'll see how the mock up goes.
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Old 12-29-2008, 03:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
Since the Airstream is far away awaiting frame restoration, I have time to think about random things like furnaces and air conditioners. First, Suburban seems the most popular choice for a furnace. As for AC, roof mount makes the most sense, but there's something deeply disturbing about a white/beige box on top of the big aluminum tube. We saw an Overlander under renovations with a white box on top and my reaction was... Why? Any thoughts on a silver/aluminum AC unit that would blend with the '67 Overlander aesthetic?

I've heard good things about Randy at bestconverter. We're going to put in some decent electronics so we'll want fairly clean power. An AC/DC LED television is a must. And I might have to make room for the Blu-Ray player.

I'm still thinking about flooring and floor plan design. I'm working on a mock up of a bed that I think might work. Rather than a traditional gaucho design, I'm thinking about a hinged platform. Rather than fold in the middle (lengthwise), I was thinking a hinge about "knee" level laterally. We'll see how the mock up goes.
The white AC shrouds are designed to minimize the amount of heat that might be absorb from the sun.

That dictates the useful life of the cover.

You can paint them any color you wish.

The only cover that lasts longer than the plastic white covers, is the fiberglass covers that we have for the older units.

A metal cover would more than likely cost far more than it's worth.

Then there must be a consideration of it's air foil shape, so that it offers minimum wind resistance which minimizes any vibration when the air hits it.

Andy
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