Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-07-2010, 06:29 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
Tennille , Georgia
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 31
Hello- Utter newbie here

Hi! As the title says, I'm the new owner of a used Airstream. I'm also pretty clueless when it comes to said Airstream.

We (My family and I) bought 25 acres in the sticks of Georgia to Homestead, planning to build a small farm. I invited my folks to come down and stay, they brought their Airstream. After about 7 months, they decided this life was a little too hard on them (Generator power only, no utilities), and went back to the city. They left us their 70something Airstream Landyacht, to helps us get by while building a proper cabin. And this is where the fun begins!

The trailer was top of the line at one time, and had all the upgrades. Vista windows built in radio and 8 track, etc. But, being 30 some years old, it has been hacked and patched, so I can't be sure of how much still matches the manual. This really isn't too important, as I plan on gutting it, and turning it into a 50's style diner once the cabin is done. Until then, I'm just trying to keep the yacht from sinking

Where do I start? Winter is setting in, and the breeze blows through various openings. The heater is stubborn to start, and when it does, flares out like a flame thrower- I still smell burnt hair from starting it the night before last! The toilet pedal broke, so the flap only opens part way under best efforts... it's a good thing we have the outhouse! The awning is ripping free, and the support arms are broken. Other than that, it's not too shabby

So, I'll be here on a pretty regular basis, trying to figure out how to patch things up. Please understand, I have no idea of what is what, or even the proper names of various parts. Please, bear with me?
__________________

__________________
Capt Quirk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2010, 07:01 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
64airstream's Avatar

 
1964 22' Safari
1968 26' Overlander
Beaver County , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 585
Welcome to the forum, Capt. I'm confident you'll find answers to your many questions here. Photos are often a huge help, but most problems have been tackled before by someone willing to share their lessons learned.

With winter coming (depending on whether you get freezing conditions) you'll want to prevent freeze damage to the plumbing. I'm not sure if you have a catalytic heater or a furnace, but cleaning and repair is the first step. Given your comment about using a generator, an option that may keep the price reasonable would be a Big Buddy heater. We use one rigged with a quick disconnect, so it runs on the main propane tanks.

You can check with Andy at Inland RV or Vintage Trailer Supply for toilet parts or replacement units that will fit your model.

Good luck, and welcome.

Roy
__________________

__________________
64airstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2010, 07:19 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
BIGED52's Avatar
 
1967 22' Safari
MILAN , Illinois
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,889
Welcome!

Capt Quirk, Welcome to the forums! Glad you have joined the ranks! I guess the first thing you'll need to know about your new acquisition is exactly what you have for a model and serial number. So let's get started! Locate the mfg plate to the right of the entrance door just below the window. It will tell you the model name and have the serial number stamped into it. The length of the trailer and how it was originally built are in those numbers also, so it is important to know what they say. Get some pictures of the exterior and measuring it from bumper to tow ball receiver will also give a clue as to the model. The registration paperwork for the license plates will also contain some needed info if you have it? If not perhaps the folks can get it to you so you can transfer it to your name. This is important for future insurance and title requirements. So get your thinking cap on and get busy ID-ing your new baby. Keep us posted and do get pictures loaded here. Good Luck! Happy Trails, Ed
__________________
1967 Safari Twin "Landshark" w/International trim package
1999 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT
FORUMS MEMBER SINCE 12/16/2004AIR#7110
"My tire was thumping, I thought it was flat. When I looked at the tire, I noticed your CAT!" Burma Shave
BIGED52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2010, 07:28 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Melody Ranch's Avatar
 
1956 22' Flying Cloud
1953 32' Liner
1955 22' Safari
Valley View , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,960
Images: 78
Send a message via Skype™ to Melody Ranch
First, as in all Airstream resurrections....seal the seams. Keep the water outside and prevent further problems.
Next, take inventory of what works and how it works. Souns like the heater needs immediate help. Could be just cleaning. If you have a gen. already ...I'd get an electric or catalytic. Cheap and better in the long run....besides, you need heat now.
Keep the awning tightened up so as to prevent further damage...until you have things under control and can properly fix it.
If your under "boondock" conditions you need good batteries. (battery)
If you have an 8 track I'd imagine that the year is in the 70's? Check your heat and tank heat ducting or double check the plumbing winter protection...
__________________
"If it can't be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted
then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production."
Melody Ranch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2010, 08:14 AM   #5
2 Rivet Member
 
Tennille , Georgia
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 31
Wow! Fast replies

Thanks for the welcome. As for the actual specifics, it is a 31' Sovereign made in '77. The heater is a propane, push button igniter next to the door, mounted on the counter beside the sink. Sort of reminds me of a gas grill stuffed with fiberglass.

As far as pics, our camera died, so no pics will be coming for a while. Money is tight, so no extravagances... which is why we will have to suffer with what we have right now.

As for the awning, it was nice in the summer, it helped keep the sun off the side, helping cool it down. Now that winter is coming on, it is just an annoyance. When I get the motivation, I'll break out the tools and pull it off all together. Trying to repair it will just be too expensive, and I can sell the thing for scrap. Eventually, when I go to remodel, I think I'll put the guts and parts up for sale here. Let somebody who wants to restore their's have the stuff.

As far as batteries go, the trailer has a good deep cycle, and we have a bank of 8 more deep cycles. I need to upgrade those though, they just don't have the juice to do much.

I'm not going to bother registering the trailer, I won't/ can't pull it... not that we ever go anywhere. I'll just keep it as a place to hang out and eat, when we no longer need it for shelter. The thing is really too small for us, since there are 4 of us, a dog, and a bird. To me, it feels like I'm a child in an adult casket. Yeah, maybe I have a touch of claustrophobia?
__________________
Capt Quirk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2010, 09:39 AM   #6
Site Team
 
Aage's Avatar
 
1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 11,204
Images: 25
Howdy and welcome to airforums.com, Cat'n Quirk!

I have a question for you:

Why waste your time on the Airstream?

No matter what you do to it you will be durn cold unless you spend some interesting money on winterizing it, and anyways it sounds like you have no regard for keeping it what it is, a good travel trailer. You mention a tight budget, but you're going to spend some on the Airstream? Ut-uh...

Why not throw all your energy into getting roof and walls up on your cabin, so you can have the warmth of (at least) a fireplace? The batteries and generator you have will work just as well in a small lean-to outside your work-in-progress cabin, and if you put all your energy into the cabin rather than the AS, you will be a lot further to your goal, right?

All the water supply in the trailer is about to freeze if you don't do something about it. When it does get warm in the trailer, you'll find that the crust of ice created by the natural humidity two humans, a dog and a bird give off will make you miserable.

You're losing focus, IMHO. Get back to homesteading!
__________________
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
...John Wayne...........................
Aage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2010, 10:06 AM   #7
3 Rivet Member
 
1978 28' Ambassador
Savannah , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 237
Welcome to the Airstream community. Have to respond to the Buddy Heater suggestion. This is to be used outside and is not intended for indoor use. It gives off alot of heat and you can light a cigarette four inches above the heater's cage. Needless to say it also gives off alot of carbon monoxide! Danger! Warning Will Robinson!
__________________
Skamper1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2010, 12:17 PM   #8
2 Rivet Member
 
Tennille , Georgia
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 31
Aage, I am not wasting time on the Airstream. I am simple using it to the best of it's ability to shelter us. I am not looking to invest money into fixing all the problems, just keep it livable. Issues like the toilet for example, so that we don't have to go out in the cold, dark, night, just to pee. As far as a lean to, we spent part of last winter in tents, until it started dropping below 40 at night. We won't go back to renting another place, when we were given this one.

So, we are not losing focus at all. Our goals are just the same as before. Only now, my family can live out here with me, while I work on the cabin.
__________________
Capt Quirk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2010, 06:40 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
BIGED52's Avatar
 
1967 22' Safari
MILAN , Illinois
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,889
Keeping it real!

Capt Quirk, You will be hard pressed to keep the water system from freezing if it gets too cold. However, You can get it to work and stay working if the cold temps cooperate a little. Get some solid foam insulation and make some aluminum or plywood skirting with the foam glued to it that will just fit around the bottom of your trailer. That will help keep the under side of the trailer warmer and also keep the critters out from under there! First though you need to see if your trailer has a real furnace with a thermostat! If that is the case have it serviced by a propane dealers service technician to make sure it is clean and working properly. If your trailer has a furnace and not just an area heater it should have ducts under the subfloor that can keep your water system from freezing under moderately cold conditions. The heat ducts under the floor will also allow your waste (black water tank) to stay warm enough to function as a duct sends heat into the box around the black water tank by original design. Get the waste valve operating correctly so you can keep it flushed out and don't allow large amounts of material or water waste to stay in it too long in cold weather. The pedal will be an issue as that valve in the toilet keeps sewer smells from lingering in the trailer. Some DW40 applied several times may free it up if it is just sticking. You want to make sure it works and seals right. Hope this helps! Happy Trails, Ed
__________________
1967 Safari Twin "Landshark" w/International trim package
1999 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT
FORUMS MEMBER SINCE 12/16/2004AIR#7110
"My tire was thumping, I thought it was flat. When I looked at the tire, I noticed your CAT!" Burma Shave
BIGED52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2010, 07:06 PM   #10
2 Rivet Member
 
Tennille , Georgia
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 31
BigEd, the heater is just a propane heater, no thermostat. It says Thermx, and has 634 on the front. I see one vent, and it is on the side of the counter, directly under said heater. As far as the water goes, we truck in the water in 55 gallon drums, hooked up to an external water pump. It serves as our irrigation, camp water, as well as water for the Airstream. It should be ok.

As for the toilet, it is a Thetford. There are two pedals, one operates the flap, the other is the water jet. The water jet pedal broke loose, and is just laying limp on the floor. With the right pressure, the flap pedal will work, but only open half way. Is this fixable, or does the whole unit need to be replaced?
__________________
Capt Quirk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2010, 12:03 AM   #11
Rivet Master
 
BIGED52's Avatar
 
1967 22' Safari
MILAN , Illinois
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,889
I would replace it if it only opens half way. But first remove the pedestal from under the toilet and see if there is any way to get it working. New is always better on these old Thetfords but in some cases parts are still available. Ed
__________________
1967 Safari Twin "Landshark" w/International trim package
1999 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT
FORUMS MEMBER SINCE 12/16/2004AIR#7110
"My tire was thumping, I thought it was flat. When I looked at the tire, I noticed your CAT!" Burma Shave
BIGED52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2010, 12:08 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
BIGED52's Avatar
 
1967 22' Safari
MILAN , Illinois
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,889
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Quirk View Post
BigEd, the heater is just a propane heater, no thermostat. It says Thermx, and has 634 on the front. I see one vent, and it is on the side of the counter, directly under said heater. As far as the water goes, we truck in the water in 55 gallon drums, hooked up to an external water pump. It serves as our irrigation, camp water, as well as water for the Airstream. It should be ok.

As for the toilet, it is a Thetford. There are two pedals, one operates the flap, the other is the water jet. The water jet pedal broke loose, and is just laying limp on the floor. With the right pressure, the flap pedal will work, but only open half way. Is this fixable, or does the whole unit need to be replaced?
There should still be a furnace in the trailer from the factory. Look on the walls to see if you can locate a thermostat. The furnace should have an external vent out the side of the trailer. Check this out... it will be a double opening affair that is stacked one above the other. One opening for combustion chamber fresh air inlet and the other for exhaust gases. Ed
__________________
1967 Safari Twin "Landshark" w/International trim package
1999 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT
FORUMS MEMBER SINCE 12/16/2004AIR#7110
"My tire was thumping, I thought it was flat. When I looked at the tire, I noticed your CAT!" Burma Shave
BIGED52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2010, 08:07 AM   #13
2 Rivet Member
 
Tennille , Georgia
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 31
Talked to the folks yesterday, and the thermostat is dead.

As far as the toilet pedal, is this going to involve pulling the toilet? I really hate trying to fix little problems, as they tend to cascade into much bigger problems... no joke. We had a 89 Blazer, and I needed to replace the bearings in the front wheels- about $14 a side. A wheel lug broke taking the tire off. Then our two wheel drive SUV had four wheel drive hubs. That doubled the cost. But then, it turns out that 2 years had special hubs made in Canada, special order from the factory only at $300 a side.
__________________
Capt Quirk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2010, 08:25 AM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Mikethefixit's Avatar
 
1977 27' Overlander
Trotwood , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,153
Send a message via Yahoo to Mikethefixit
Word of WARNING WILL ROBINSON. That cat heater is burning propane ,anything that burns gives off CO. This is a VENTLESS heater so make sure the roof vents or a window is open. It also burns off all the oxygen and it hazardous to people and pets when sleeping.
Without pictures and having not seeing this trylor ,my personal opinion is that you may be sarficing a perfectly good trailer to make a 50's dinner that aint gonna work and once its done its done.
Being that it didnt cost ya nuffin I think you would be better off to rehab it and bring it back to original condition and then sell it. BUT thats me. You are gonna do what you will no matter what advise you get here. Most of us dont like to see these things destroyed. I think it would be worth more as a viable travel trailer.
__________________

__________________
Roger & MaryLou
___________________
F350 CREWCAB SW LONG BED
7.3 liter Power Stroke Diesel
1977 27ft OVERLANDER
KA8LMQ
AIR # 22336 TAC- OH-7
May your roads be straight and smooth and may you always have a tailwind!
Mikethefixit is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Newbie Drathaar Member Introductions 6 10-20-2008 08:09 PM
Another newbie! Klatawa Member Introductions 6 04-23-2007 12:11 AM
Newbie lazydays Member Introductions 2 04-05-2007 08:13 PM
Another newbie... jdb 2002 - 2005 International 1 09-19-2005 12:36 PM
Newbie Devoman Our Community 13 08-30-2005 05:34 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:36 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.