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Old 08-24-2009, 01:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerson77 View Post
My Grandfather purchased it new and it has always been garage kept. Everything from what I'm told works fine (AC, stove, refrig, etc). The last thing is price, I don't know what this trailer is worth, as it seams the prices on older Airstreams really vary.
Eric,

I could go on for DAYS about how nice your grandfather's trailer is....it really shows the benefit of TLC and being garage-kept!

You might consider taking it to a Camping World, if you have one nearby, and have them do their systems check, where they check the stove, refrigerator, heater, etc., just to make sure there are no gas leaks and things are adjusted correctly. We have a fairly new Airstream, and we do this every couple of years. There have been some recent refrigerator recalls, and maybe you could call Dometic (if that was who Airstream used in 1975) with your serial number to see if there have been any updates/recalls on yours.

I agree about replacing the carpet with flooring, like Pergo. With two little kids, it's just easier to keep clean. You can always buy some easy-to-shake-off, rubber-backed throw rugs, if you like the rug "feel."

One last thing....once you get your updates done, take Grandma camping, or at least offer, as I am sure she gave you a great deal on Grandpa's Airstream!

Cheers
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:08 PM   #16
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Congratulations, what a nice trailer. Yes the carpet is yuck but easy to replace. I know you'll be glad you worked this out for your family.

Carol
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:32 PM   #17
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Battery charger not working, doesn't look original

Hello all,

As I'm starting to go through our "new" AS to make it ready to take out camping, I've run into a problem with the battery charger. The charger is not returning any voltage to the battery. I've removed the charger and my father-in-law (who is an Electrician) and is going to tear it apart and see if he can fix it. I've attached a photo of the charger that was in the AS, it doesn't appear to me to be original. The charger has masking tape on the front with wording written in marker "General RV No Tag - Per Letter" that makes me think it was bought used, possibly after the original went bad.

Two questions for the folks here;

1) Is the charger in the photo an original part? Just curious.

2) If I do need to purchase a new charger, any suggestions on what brand/model or features I should look for.

Also my father-in-law had some concerns about the relatively small area where the charger sits with not really any airflow, and how the heat that it generates could affect the charger. Anyone else had similar concerns with the area in which the charger sits? I've also attached a photo of the area where the charger was removed from, which is in the curb side rear corner next to the rear bath. There is also a plywood cover that sits ~12" above the floor and covers almost the entire back corner inside the bathroom closet, I assume that plywood cover is from factory?

Thanks,
Eric
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:02 PM   #18
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BEAUTIFUL Airstream you have there! The outside is immaculate. Here's wishing you many happy memories in your AS. I hope you have pictures of your grandparents with the coach (or take a picture of grandma with you and your coach.) Your kids will get a kick out of having the same camper as Great-grandpa. I know I'd be tickled if it were me.

Have fun and post about your adventures
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Old 08-27-2009, 05:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerson77 View Post
Hello all,

As I'm starting to go through our "new" AS to make it ready to take out camping, I've run into a problem with the battery charger. The charger is not returning any voltage to the battery. I've removed the charger and my father-in-law (who is an Electrician) and is going to tear it apart and see if he can fix it. I've attached a photo of the charger that was in the AS, it doesn't appear to me to be original. The charger has masking tape on the front with wording written in marker "General RV No Tag - Per Letter" that makes me think it was bought used, possibly after the original went bad.

Two questions for the folks here;

1) Is the charger in the photo an original part? Just curious.

2) If I do need to purchase a new charger, any suggestions on what brand/model or features I should look for.

Also my father-in-law had some concerns about the relatively small area where the charger sits with not really any airflow, and how the heat that it generates could affect the charger. Anyone else had similar concerns with the area in which the charger sits? I've also attached a photo of the area where the charger was removed from, which is in the curb side rear corner next to the rear bath. There is also a plywood cover that sits ~12" above the floor and covers almost the entire back corner inside the bathroom closet, I assume that plywood cover is from factory?

Thanks,
Eric

Some will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think what you have there is the univolt, and yes I think it is original. The unvolt takes the 110 current and turns it into 12 volt to run your water pump, interior lights and anything else that is 12 volt. It also charges your battery.

We changed out our univolt with an intellipower 9200 converter, which was suggested by some folks here on the forum. It doesn't get hot, and it is QUIET! your univolt when running correctly will be very LOUD. For less than $200.00 it was the only way to go.

Annette
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:20 PM   #20
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Like Annette said, the Intellipower is a well-regarded unit. Even if you have an electrician in the family, I wouldn't try to fix the old converter. Update to the newer, lighter, quieter, less-battery-cooking stuff.

Got to say, one of the happiest discoveries when I picked up my new-to-me Argosy this week was seeing an Intellipower hooked up under the dinette bench...

Tom
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:27 PM   #21
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New converter on order, now new hot water heater possibly needed

Annette/Tom, thanks for the responses! I just ordered a Intellipower 9200 45 amp converter yesterday based on feedback here on the forums. Hopefully it stays cool enough to not require extra ventilation modifications to the storage area to prevent overheating like the other one.

Next up is probably a new hot water heater. I filled the fresh water tank, but before pumping water through the system I put some air pressure through the water lines to see if they held pressure. Unfortunatly as soon as I started to pressurize the lines (~30psi) I heard a slight bang and soon after I had water coming out of several spots under the trailer below where the sink is. None of my lines look to be the obvious cause, and the wood under there HWH and sink is all wet. I haven't had a chance to pull the HWH out yet to confirm, but based on age it is probably due for a new one anyway. If the HWH is indeed bad, I think I will put in an Atwood 6gal HWH with auto-reignite option. From Andy's comments on a few other threads it sounds like it will be a pretty straightforward replacement for this model. I may also start to replace the copper lines with pex.

I'm getting impatient as the trailer is in great shape and I really want to take a trip with our first AS!

-Eric
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:31 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Emerson77 View Post
Annette/Tom, thanks for the responses! I just ordered a Intellipower 9200 45 amp converter yesterday based on feedback here on the forums. Hopefully it stays cool enough to not require extra ventilation modifications to the storage area to prevent overheating like the other one.

Next up is probably a new hot water heater. I filled the fresh water tank, but before pumping water through the system I put some air pressure through the water lines to see if they held pressure. Unfortunatly as soon as I started to pressurize the lines (~30psi) I heard a slight bang and soon after I had water coming out of several spots under the trailer below where the sink is. None of my lines look to be the obvious cause, and the wood under there HWH and sink is all wet. I haven't had a chance to pull the HWH out yet to confirm, but based on age it is probably due for a new one anyway. If the HWH is indeed bad, I think I will put in an Atwood 6gal HWH with auto-reignite option. From Andy's comments on a few other threads it sounds like it will be a pretty straightforward replacement for this model. I may also start to replace the copper lines with pex.

I'm getting impatient as the trailer is in great shape and I really want to take a trip with our first AS!

-Eric
God I hope it's not your copper plumbing. We ended up replacing it all with pex, lot's of freeze breaks. Let us know what you find.

Annette
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:37 PM   #23
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That's actually what I thought at first, and told myself I guess rather that try and find all the leaks I may just opt to replace all with pex. However after looking closer it may just be the HWH, which in that case I may skip the pex for now. It raining like crazy here today, so as soon as the rain slows I will pull the HWH out and see what it looks like.
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Old 08-28-2009, 07:10 PM   #24
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Emerson, I have a few thoughts—

I think you are knowledgeable about trailers, so I may be stating the obvious.

It's good it is raining so you can check for leaks. Check the roof for places where water will soon get in and seal them now.

The converter should be replaced and get one with a three stage charger, good for the batteries. There seem to be water stains on the floor where the charger was—maybe it's the photo, but if it is not, check thoroughly for the source.

A new water heater is nice, but the wetness could be from a split water line spraying over it. If you do replace the water heater you can get Atwoods that run on either propane or 120 v. or propane only.

If you are eager to replace the water lines with pex, go for it. A 30 year old trailer with copper pipes may have leaks from an inadequately winterized trailer and you don't want to find that out while camping (or any other time).

Seals deteriorate over time, especially if not lubricated. I'm thinking of the toilet and water tanks, but there are others to such as the sink drains, shower, etc.

Replace the tires. Repack the bearings and check the brakes, or, better yet, buy new backing plates with the whole assembly and start anew. Axles—check them too.

Are you keeping your other trailer for the time being? It may be a good thing to do so you can go camping while you are fixing up the Airstream. I'm sure you really want to go camping with your very well preserved Airstream, but patience will result in checking everything carefully so you won't have any funny stories (they're funny later, not when they happen) about the things that went wrong the first time out.

I think you will find that although the trailer looks great, there's a lot to do—at least to make sure things are ok.

And you may want to add a new TV, sound system (keep the kids occupied). The mattress may need replacing…

Now that I've spent many thousands of your dollars, I hope you soon get to go camping in it and I know you'll enjoy it. A good decision, Emerson.

Gene
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:13 AM   #25
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I think you are knowledgeable about trailers, so I may be stating the obvious.
Well I'm not so sure about that, but I appreciate your assumption! This is our third camper in 7 years, but first AS. My first camper was an '86 17 footer that I purchased for $900. It certainly had plenty of opportunities for improvements and its fair share of problems, but I only had it for 2 years, then we had our second child and the camper was just too small. The second camper we bought brand new in '05, and that was nice because the last 4 years have been completely trouble and heachache free. Now comes the '75 AS, I think I will have a lot to learn, thank goodness for the forums!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
It's good it is raining so you can check for leaks. Check the roof for places where water will soon get in and seal them now.
So far things seem pretty good from what I can tell. There are a few minor leaks when the windows are open slightly and it is raining, but seems dry if things are closed up when raining. The rear bumper design leaves quite a bit to be desired when it comes to rain, so that area concerns me a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
A new water heater is nice, but the wetness could be from a split water line spraying over it.
See photos attached, pretty sure the HWH is bad!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
If you do replace the water heater you can get Atwoods that run on either propane or 120 v. or propane only.
Going to swap out the old 6 gal Bowens with an Atwood 6 gal with electronic ignition. I've never had one that ran off of 120 v, are there any major benefits over propane only models?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bullydogsmom View Post
God I hope it's not your copper plumbing. We ended up replacing it all with pex, lot's of freeze breaks. Let us know what you find.
Annette
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
If you are eager to replace the water lines with pex, go for it. A 30 year old trailer with copper pipes may have leaks from an inadequately winterized trailer
Again, from the attached pictures you can see after removing the HWH I've discovered enough evidence that now seems like the right time to just go ahead and replace the copper with pex. Just picked up $25 worth of 1/2" pex line (100'), and $140 worth of pex connectors to get me started.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
Replace the tires. Repack the bearings and check the brakes, or, better yet, buy new backing plates with the whole assembly and start anew. Axles—check them too.
All things on the to-do list. I need to do some more research on the forums to see how to tell if the axles need replaced. I'm thinking by evaluating the angle of the arms I can tell how much they've settled over the years. I also need to look at replacement costs, as the little bit I've read so far tells me there are 2 main manufactures of the necessary axles and there seems to be large cost differences from members that have replaced their axles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
Are you keeping your other trailer for the time being?
Yes and No...I still have it and won't try selling it until spring, however I've already winterized it and stored it. I did not want to purchase another weight distribution kit, and there is a large ride height difference between the two trailers, and I didn't want to have to keep adjusting back and forth. So I've decided to use the AS once functional, and then continue to make improvements as we go. Maybe not ideal, but trying to use 2 different campers just isn't practical for us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
I think you will find that although the trailer looks great, there's a lot to do—at least to make sure things are ok.
I'm quickly learning this, after only the first 2 weeks! Bad converter, bad HWH (caused substantial water leakage), corroded water pipes, small leaks on a few windows, window screens and arm "fuzzy" seals need replaced, carpeting needs replaced, propane bottles needed OPD valves installed after being manually emptied once realizing both tanks were dangerously over filled by several pounds each. Luckily none of these issues are major, but I do hope the list stops growing!
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Old 08-30-2009, 10:21 AM   #26
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You're approaching this in good humor and eyes open, so that's good.

In recent years (and maybe before) the more expensive Airstreams have a propane/120 v. option for the water heater. The advantage for dual fuel is that at electric sites you are saving your propane and using their electricity. I don't find the water heater uses a lot of propane as we leave it turned off most of the time—we turn it on for a while in the morning, the water stays hot for quite a while (partially dependent on outside temperatures), then in the evening for a while. Others like to leave it on all the time and the electric option seems useful for them if they camp with electric hookups a lot. I don't know the difference in price, so I don't know how long it would take to make up the difference in propane costs.

Gene
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Old 09-10-2009, 11:17 PM   #27
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Latest progress...

Well, I'm slowly making progress on the necessary fixes and updates that I've come across so far. Thought I would share some photos of my progress, with before and after photos. I've replaced the HWH with a new electronic ignition model, opted not to go with the propane/electric model as the price was an additional $50-60 and I was trying to keep the cost down. I ripped all the 35 year old copper plumbing out and I'm in the process of replacing it with Pex. I'm certainly no plumber, and working within such small spaces was way more challenging than I had anticipated. The cost of the Pex is turning out to be much higher than I anticipated, however I'm sure I'm not installing it in the most efficient manner either. So far the water pump, fresh water intake, kitchen sink, HWH, and release drain are all hooked up. I have pipes ran to the rear bath. I still have to plumb the rear bath, as well as the city water hookup.

Anyone have recommendations on whether I should use the original pressure valve (quite large and heavy, but in good shape) or replace with a new one?

I'm also shopping for new tires, WOW that is enough to make my head hurt!! Doesn't seem like getting new tires should be so exhausting. Apparently finding trailers tires that meet the following 2 requirements is nearly impossible;
1) Made in USA
2) Have a good reputation
Heck finding tires that meet even one of the those is difficult.

Cheers,
Eric
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Old 09-11-2009, 05:43 AM   #28
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Nice Airstream

Eric,
You have a very nice well preserved Airstream there and it shows that your grandfather took great care of it. It also looks like you are making some good progress on your plumbing. Hopefully you can get her on the road for some late season camping.

I can't tell from the pictures, but did you plumb in a water heater bypass? If you didn't you may want to look into doing it because you don't want to have to fill that six gallon tank with RV antifreeze when it comes time to winterize.
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