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Old 07-27-2010, 03:31 PM   #1
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Smile Hi to everyone..

Hi to everyone - I too have been reading and using this site for a while so I thought the right thing to do would be to join up! I recently retired after working fifty plus years. I live in Gainesville Ga. and do a good bit of camping mostly in the mountains of western N.C., my native home, We usually make a trip or two to Fla. every year but driving ten to twelve hours for a week at the beach is a little tiring.

I am very much interested in restoring a vintage camper and actually have found one that is in pretty fair condition. It's not an Airstream but a close kin. It's a 1969 Avion 18' SS. I have my work cut out for me I know but with all that i've read here, there seems to be an awful lot of good people and information available.

I plan to replace all the flooring and update appliances on an as needed basis. I would like to replace or restore the woodwork and cabinets. My one big concern is whether I should try and replace the interior panels which seems to be coated or painted aluminum panels. There must be several hundred rivets that would need to be drilled out. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. Can these panels be bought or would I have to have them made? There not that bad but there are a lot of cosmetic blemishes and holes. It appears that someone tried patching several areas and left it unfinished. If it's not too much to tackle I would like to replace them.

Thanks in advance for any information,

James
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:02 PM   #2
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Welcome James,

Congrats on the Avion. I believe the interior panels in a 69 were vinyl covered and as far as I know they aren't available, but you can use the old ones as templates if you want to cut new ones from aluminum stock. If the ones you have aren't in bad shape then you may want to consider the labor and material cost before proceeding though.

You can also visit SILVERAVION :: INDEX to learn more about the Avion brand. They have a good group that should be able to answer your questions. Several Avion owners are members here (self included) as well.

There are several upcoming rallies in the southeast area that you may want to consider attending if your schedule permits.

Airstream Forums - Tybee Island Convergence

Airstream Forums - Beachstream 2010

Airstream Forums - The Fall Vintage Rally

Airstream Forums - Dutchstream

Airstream Forums - FALLUMINUM in North Georgia

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:25 PM   #3
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Welcome to airforums.com, Jimmer.

is 1945 your year of birth, or the year of the trailer you found?

For drilling out rivets, there are tools to make it easier, neater, and safer. Have a look at this one.
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmer1945 View Post
Hi to everyone - I too have been reading and using this site for a while so I thought the right thing to do would be to join up! I recently retired after working fifty plus years. I live in Gainesville Ga. and do a good bit of camping mostly in the mountains of western N.C., my native home, We usually make a trip or two to Fla. every year but driving ten to twelve hours for a week at the beach is a little tiring.
James

Hi James,

Welcome! North Carolina is beautiful. I rode the Blue Ridge Parkway three times in the 90's. Camped in Asheville, played around at the Rider Rally in Cherokee. If West Virginia is almost heaven, then North Carolina is heaven.


Gary
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:36 PM   #5
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Hey that rivet tool is cheating
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:45 PM   #6
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Thanks Kevin for the info. I'm sure your right about the vinyl coated alum. panels. I am going to shop around and try and find some other type of panel to replace these and forget the aluminum. Your also right about the SilverAvion forum but I don't find a lot of info. there. Thanks for the list of rallies, the one in north Ga. is pretty close to Gainesville. I probably won't make it this year but next year for sure.
Thanks again,
James
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:48 PM   #7
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Emily, unfortunatley "1945" is my birth year. My camper is a 1969 Avion. Thanks for the tip on the rivet tool, I will check it out for sure.

James
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:57 PM   #8
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Hi James,

Welcome! North Carolina is beautiful. I rode the Blue Ridge Parkway three times in the 90's. Camped in Asheville, played around at the Rider Rally in Cherokee. If West Virginia is almost heaven, then North Carolina is heaven.


Gary
Hi Gary, Yes the parkway is a beautiful ride. I've rode parts of it several times. They also have some very nice campgrounds. I've also camped in Cherokee, the KOA there is very nice. The photo of the Sioux Riverfalls is beautiful. I've never been in that part of the country but would love to make a trip out that way sometime. Thanks for the info.

James
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:03 PM   #9
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James, congrats on signing up here....this is a great place to find out all kind of info that you will be needing. Also, if you are up in Asheville look up the campground Campfire lodgings...we stayed there in the early fall and the views were out of this world. Happy future camping!

P.S. this was a pic from our site there.
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Old 07-28-2010, 08:52 PM   #10
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...Your also right about the SilverAvion forum but I don't find a lot of info. there...
Hello James,

The Silveravion website contains limited information that is seldom updated. To get questions answered you would need to join their yahoo group. This group is fairly active and can address most any question you have. You could also contact the Cayo Repair Center in Michigan. As far as I know they're the only silver Avion service provider left in the county.

Their contact information:

Cayo Repair Service
(269) 463-5068
4835 North M-140
Watervliet, Michigan 49098

The Silveravion yahoo groups page can be reached at: avioncampingandrestoration : Avion Camping and Restoration - Repair,

Good Luck,

Kevin
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Old 07-29-2010, 07:13 PM   #11
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Hi Kevin, I will definitely join the Silveravion Yahoo group. And thanks for the Cayo contact. I have heard of this guy and will check it out.
I wanted to post some photos to give everyone a better idea of what I'm facing. I will do that in another post.

Thanks again,

James
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Old 07-29-2010, 10:07 PM   #12
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Interior photos of my 69 Avion

Hi All, Thanks for all the good info. I wanted to post some photos of my project. I will try and keep photos posted of my progress.

Thanks again,

James
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