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Old 08-27-2008, 11:27 PM   #1
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1972 25' Tradewind
Sandwich , New Hampshire
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HI All ! I am new here!

HI,
Last week I became the owner of a 1972 ,25 foot land yacht. I have plans for her [ new bathroom with a full shower , a queen size Murphy bed in the middle and all new cherry or walnut interior walls/ceilings .
I am sure that i will be looking for lots of help and suggestions soon and i hope I don't bore you with my little problems.

Hey , here is a question to start off with .
" Is there any reason why I can't install a regular toilet in my new and improved bathroom . It will no longer be only 24 inches wide but a spacious 36 inches wide Full 32 x32 shower stall and a small sink in the middle ...yes , it fits !! But I don't ever see "regular" toilets in campers and there must be a reason .
Any suggestions ?????
thanks
Michael.
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:32 PM   #2
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Welcome Michael, welcome to the forums. Your biggest consideration is going to be the weight and trailer balance implications of what you want to do. Will the existing structure support it and will you be able to tow it? Regular toilets require too much water for RV use. You'd fill your black tank with only a few flushes! Also they are heavy. Sealand makes nice porcelain RV toilets that you might consider.
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Old 08-28-2008, 07:16 AM   #3
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Hi Michael and Welcome to the forums. I second what Cameron said. There are some really nice RV specific toilets on the market that are quite stylish, easy to clean, and manufactured to hold up to the rigors of RV travel.
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Old 08-28-2008, 08:26 AM   #4
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Welcome from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

I also agree. A household toilet would not be very RV friendly. It's too heavy and uses too much water.

A household toilet would be OK if the Airstream was in a static situation like a permanent pool house.

Brian
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Old 08-28-2008, 08:43 AM   #5
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Michael, as you pursue your update I'd suggest that you thoroughly investigate what your frame is capable of, and what it's not. Airstreams are a true monocoque construction. That means that the frame is NOT self-supporting. If you could see the frame of a 31' or 34 Airstream without the body attached, it would "droop" at both ends. The frame only becomes roadworthy after the body is installed. That presents some interesting issues when suggestions such as yours come up. Cantilevered (unsupported) weight (such as a residential commode) at one end of the trailer will stress the entire structure in ways it wasn't designed to cope with. Beatrice Foods discovered this the hard way in the mid-'70s when they placed the waste tanks at the rear of the trailer under the bathrooms without adequate support. You'll see many trailers of that vintage with a re-inforcement repair commonly known as "elephant ears"; a patch outlined by rivets in the shape of elephant's ears on both sides of the rear of the trailers that helps hold the shell to the frame after the frame has separated from the shell because of the unsupported weight of the tanks.

These trailers are light and strong, but they have their engineering limits.

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Old 08-28-2008, 08:53 AM   #6
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If you go to "thetford.com, they have a line of toilets suitable for RV use.
A big advantage, is that they have a built-in macerator pump, so that the "pileing-up" of waste in holding tank is not an issue, and use very little water. Design is such that remote holding tank can be used, if needed, or desired.
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:57 AM   #7
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You didn't ask, but

Quote:
Originally Posted by watson007 View Post
HI,
Last week I became the owner of a 1972 ,25 foot land yacht. I have plans for her [ new bathroom with a full shower , a queen size Murphy bed in the middle and all new cherry or walnut interior walls/ceilings .
I am sure that i will be looking for lots of help and suggestions soon and i hope I don't bore you with my little problems.....

Michael.
A murphy bed may not be a great idea either. Two issues:
  1. weight
  2. Airstream's shape - the walls aren't straight (unless you bought a "squarestream")
The frame and springs that raise and lower a murphy bed are HEAVY - and you'll have a huge amount of wasted space behind it because the walls bow out. The placement of the wheel wells may also interfere with having adequate length.

Many folks use futons. use the search feature to also see "gaucho" - a couch that converts to a bed. There are several manufacturers of RV specific furniture that you may want to look at too. Again, to get an idea of where others have gone, there are many threads on remodeling or even "the full monte" a frame off rebuild that can include frame repair/replacement, new subflooring, new plumbing, wiring, insulation - with interior walls removed to take the shell off. And then there's what you find in the insulation - mouse corpses for starters.

Not only will you want to watch your total weight, you'll need to distribute it evenly from side to side, make sure you have enough tongue weight, and get the heaviest stuff as close to the axles as possible.

Read, learn and ENJOY. Many have travelled the road you are starting on, and you'll get great advice, save a lot of money and wasted effort and laugh until you cry at some of the misadventures of previous remodelers.

Welcome to the forums!

Paula
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Old 08-28-2008, 05:45 PM   #8
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Welcome!

We are also "redoing" a 72, tradewind. We are also going to do away with the wetbath and have a shower, but will be much smaller than the one you propose to do. We are going to work within the confines of the original floor plan. I told hubby " If you can design and tuck a shower into a boat you can surely do the same with the Airstream!" The shower will go where the closet and univolt are located, small round sink moved under the window and toilet remains where it's at. Does yours have twin beds or double with closet space across from it? Ours is the double pull out bed. Going to make changes in that too. I'm going to shorten the drapes above the bed, then make the back cushion on the foldout about 8 inches taller so we will gain another 8 inches in bed whith. Lighter than a murphy bed.

Since no one else has asked yet I'll be the first, They like pictures here
Have fun iwth your project. There is a lot of knowledge. ANd they are really nice too!

Annette
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Old 08-28-2008, 10:11 PM   #9
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1972 25' Tradewind
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A BIG thank you to all and a message to Annette,,,

Hi again ,
Thank you for your input .I am sure i will become a pain in the neck before long .
i think that one way for me to reduce the number of questions is to ask " Is there an owners manual for my particular model? That would help a great deal . Any idea where I can buy one [ I TOLD you I was a newbie !]
My Camper had twin beds on each side with the hall in the middle. The starboard bed is gone already and so will the port side soon .
The weight issue ,especially in the aft section is something I will watch carefullt .
All the walls i plan to cover or remove what is there already and replace with wood . This is wood veneer which is 1/8th of an inch thick and weighs next to nothing . I haven't decided yet on Cherry or Walnut but if i weighed the dollar bills to buy a 4'x8' sheet ,they would weigh just about the same ....$134.00 plus shipping...to do the entire front cabin and the bedroom will take 13-15 sheets . I also plan to replace all the insulation in the walls and ALL the wiring and all the copper propane lines .
It looks like a 4x8 sheet will reach from the midle of the roof inside all the way to each side and about 36-38 inches from the floor but that is just an estimate for now . the last few feet to reach the wall will be some wainscoting and eaither beadboard in pine or more than likely , 1/4 inch sheet rock . That will give it a real new england feel ...Not sure that the flat panel T.V. will enhance that N.E. feel or not but it sure will save a ton of space and weight ... Of course while the walls are out I will install speaker wire and cable t.v. as needed BOSE Speakers everywhere !
Oh ye,,,the most important part! A new rod holder for all my Fly rods !! prolly suspend from the ceiling in the bedroom .

Question::::: I want to take my 4 tires off and i would like to replace the rims with aluminum..my existing tires are 7.00 x 15 ...Is there a certain rim that I need to buy to go on my rig ? I imagine they used an available rim ,already in production when they designed these rigs ,,,Any help here ?? I can always simply have my dirt nasty old rims sand blasted and painted ,either kelly green to go with my interior or perhaps silver . I think Glossy black with moon hubcaps might look nice . Any advice here ??3

Annette, I plan to do the same as you in the bathroom . I would like a porcelan toilet and a matching color sink and shower , but the will depend on my local body shop and how much they want to paint them correctly .
I will get my "before" pictures within the next few days ..the "after" pic will prolly have to wait til early next spring !!
Thanks
Mike
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Old 08-28-2008, 10:36 PM   #10
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1972 Airstream Factory Service Manual - (eBay.ca item 260278869968 end time 31-Aug-08 10:03:17 EDT)

I bought my manuals from this seller. Very good to deal with. He sells Owner's Manuals as well as Service Manuals for most years. If the year you want isn't listed send him a private message and he'll list it for you.
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Old 08-28-2008, 10:40 PM   #11
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Keep in mind that the inner skin of aluminum is integral to the structure of the trailer. Remove it, and the unit will not fare well. I'd also rethink using drywall in a trailer. Drywall will fall apart from the movement of the trailer in fairly short order. I have aluminum rims on my '72. I believe they're by American Racing.
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Old 08-28-2008, 10:43 PM   #12
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Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you will be busy with your remodel. One word of caution though. The interior skin is also critical to the strength of the camper. Be carefull about removing interior aluminum panels and replacing with wood. Once again, Welcome
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:12 AM   #13
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1972 25' Tradewind
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Hi ,

This is the stuff i need to know ! Thank you.
As far as the interior skin, I was thinking of removing one or two pieces at a time,re-insulate with new insulation ,not the old junk , and while off,,,attach the new wood veneer to the panel and then re-attach one panel and then move on to the next one .I would only be removing 2 panels at a time. As the first is finished ,it would be reattached and only then would I remove skin #3 ,so I would have skin panel #2+3 off until I reattach panel #2 and then I would remove panel #4 and work on #3 etc..

I also failed to mention that this camper will most likely spend 2 years in a seasonal site and then move to a different campground for another 2,maybe 3 years and then move again ...it will be a home in the north maine woods as a fishing camp.
Within a 3 hour drive we have the best Brook trout fishing in the U.S.A. and also the finest Land Locked Salmon fishing in the U.S.A.
i will buy those books /manuals tomorrow !!
Thanks to all once again
Mike
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Old 08-29-2008, 06:56 AM   #14
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Mike,

When you really study how an airstream is built you will find that they build it from the bathroom forward. Meaning they installed the bathroom first and work their way to the front. We have almost totally gutted ours, We have removed everything but the upper skins. You will find that the lower skin from the front behind the goucho on the streetside that runs behind the sink ALSO runs into the bedroom so you must remove the wall the partition wall to remove that panel which is about 16 feet long.

We are also newbies and I don't know how to insert a link, but click on my name and find my posts I have posted pictures of our demolistion. We are gutting ours because we need to replace a front section and rear section of the floor and some fllOor stringer and outriggers.

Really listen to the advice that is given by the members here they are very knowledgeable, they aren't trying to rain on your parade they just want to try and keep you from making costly or time consuming mistakes. Something we have all done at one time or another. Keep us posted and POST SOME PICTURES!!!!

Annette

P.S. you also know that in 72 they didn't have any grey water tanks and you need to install one right? Unless you got lucky and PO installed one. Me I was so camping stupid I thought we didn't have black water tank until some kind members here told me where to look for it.
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