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Old 10-09-2007, 12:11 AM   #1
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1961 24' Tradewind
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a 61 Tradewind joins the club

My first posting as an Airstream owner! I have actually owned the 61 Tradewind for over 10 years but never moved it. A friend was storing it at my place and decided to sell it. To make a long story short my wife made an offer and it was ours.

I have now decided to get it into running shape. Overall everything is working, (110 & 12 volt electric, stove, refrigerator, heater, airconditioner) except for the fresh water system. Somewhere along the way the pipes froze and now they leak.

I am planning on going with the PEX piping for the replacement but am not sure how much has to go. I can see that the hot water line is ruptured in one place and has expanded. The cold line looks good as do the vertical runs.

I may have a hotwater heater problem also. Do they get freeze damage?

Thank you in advance for your help.

David
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Old 10-09-2007, 06:07 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums. Those Tradewinds are great trailers. A nice size and easy to tow.

There is a plumbing low spot from the rear of the water heater that seems to easily freeze if not well winterized. I'm not certain about water heater damage from freezing. If it is an original water heater, one problem is the rusting through of the burner tube. Good luck on whipping your new coach into shape.
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Old 10-09-2007, 07:45 AM   #3
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Welcome to the FORUMS

Hi David, Sounds like you have a great trailer to begin with.

The water heater is not resistant to freeze damage. With the age of some older appliances, it is more cost effective to replace. Some of the propane operated appliances can have rusted out parts that can leak carbon monoxide into your trailer and KILL you. If you are not sure about bench testing these units outside the trailer, have an RV service tech check them for you.

Sometimes the plumbing can be patched up and PEX is a good water line to use. If there is a lot of damage, you might want to just replumb the whole trailer now and not wait for another problem to surface.
Best of luck with your refurbishing.
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Old 10-09-2007, 07:54 AM   #4
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Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us. It sounds like you have a great Airstream. Keep in mind that it is quickly closing in on 50 years old. As such, you should consider replacing all of the plumbing lines. It is just about as easy to replace all as some, and you will be avoiding problems. All of the gas run accessories should be VERY carefully checked, and repaired as necessary.
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:36 PM   #5
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1961 24' Tradewind
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Day two

Thank you for the welcome and suggestions. The carbon monoxide issue is a big one. I will need to test the appliances. Do the appliances have to be removed or can an RV tech do it in the trailer?

I am trying to decide if pulling out all the cabinets inside is the best way to do the plumbing. Any suggestions?
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:07 PM   #6
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An RV tech can test the appliances inside the trailer.
As far as plumbing, It was easier for me to remove all the copper from my Ambassador and replumb it with PEX. I chose to leave all cabinets in place, since I had no floor problems to repair.

Before testing any of the propane appliances, be sure to conduct a leak test on the propane lines.
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Old 10-09-2007, 03:47 PM   #7
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Right on another legacy trailer... that get karma automatically!!!

I plan to use copper to re-plumb Anna. In my part of the country copper is the premium system in house construction, it worked well when Anna was built and still works well today. I think PEX is much easier to run, but copper is just sexy. It is not that much harder to work and as long as you don't forget to drain the system before it freezes... If it worked for Wally, it will work for me.

Hope to see that 61 down the road...
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Old 10-09-2007, 05:41 PM   #8
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Hi Clad ~

Your first name wouldn't be Al would it? Just a little welcoming humor. Welcome to the forums. You're gonna love that TradeWind immensely. Is yours an Ohio or California built unit? Post some pictures when you can.

Since I've never worked with sweating copper or installing it for that matter, I chose to replumb the entire trailer with PEX. None of the cabinetry was removed when this was done over six years ago and I haven't had any issues or concerns. I also think that PEX is somewhat forgiving when it comes to light freezes as it is flexible.

Brad
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Old 10-09-2007, 06:08 PM   #9
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Sweating copper pipe and replacing a section or two aren't a big deal if you can get to them and they aren't to buried in flammables - I've done it (yes, me - not the Mr) in our '64 GT. If there are too many or the system is really compromised, it would be worth redoing the whole thing in PEX which is what we are doing in our '56 - but it's gutted.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do...sounds like you'll be ready to hit the road after 10 years! Time to enjoy it!!!

Shari
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Old 10-09-2007, 09:56 PM   #10
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1961 24' Tradewind
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Plumbing

I do not see any copper in my future only a lot of silver. I will go with the pex and leave the cabinets alone. With my luck and the age of the flooring using a tourch is a little high risk.

My Tradewind is a January of 61, California Land Yacht with a double bed. I am still trying to figure out what is original and what the previous owners upgraded!

David (Picked by my kids)
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Old 10-17-2007, 08:14 PM   #11
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1961 24' Tradewind
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Rivets

Are the internal wall rivets the same as the external? I have seen references to 1/8 amd 3/16 rivets in different places. Which is correct?

Thank you for the help.
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:07 PM   #12
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Based on what Vintage Trailer Suppy sells, 1/8 is for interior and 5/32 for exterior. I've used 5/32 for exterior repairs but have never riveted on the interior.
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Old 10-17-2007, 10:21 PM   #13
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1961 24' Tradewind
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Sugerfoot,

Thank you for the response. It seems even simple things take a bit of investigation.

This forum is a great help.
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Old 10-19-2007, 12:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverhobby
If there is a lot of damage, you might want to just replumb the whole trailer now and not wait for another problem to surface.
This is all to true! By the time I got my 68 Trade Wind, I can't imagine how many freeze cycles it had gone through. It was a rare stretch of pipe that went more than a few feet without some sort of repair. Failure of repairs and new failures in the plumbing were common. Nonetheless, I tried to keep up with it. Repairs were made more difficult by the swelling of the copper from the freezes. Finally, at some point last winter I concluded to replace everything with PEX. I have the majority of the work done now and I am glad. My advice: replumb the thing on the front end and save yourself the grief of trying to patch things on the road.
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