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Old 09-25-2009, 05:37 AM   #43
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Eric,
I like the lager too, but it is not as good as it was when they introduced it many years ago. We have been to the brewery many times as Pottsville is only 30 minutes north of us.

Have you ever made a half and half with Yeungling Porter and Chesterfield Ale? If you haven't, they are reallllly good.
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:06 PM   #44
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New axles installed!

Well, the past two weeks have been pretty exciting for me...the weekend before last I replaced my axles with new Dexters, last week my local RV dealer inspected the AS as well as pressure tested the gas lines, and this past weekend we took our AS out for our first camping trip with it. It was quite rewarding just getting it out of the driveway!

The Dexter axles turned out to be a little more effort to install than I had hoped, but I guess it was worth the savings versus the Henschens...I can say that a lot easier now that it is done! In addition to having to drill new mounting holes, I also had to grid my curb side axle mounting notches 1/8" rearward. I was apparently one of the "lucky" recipients of the "crown of the road alignment feature" found in the early to mid 70's AS models! Something that may be helpful to others, is how I went about measuring my axle alignment notches curb side versus street side. I purchased a $4 package of 25' picture hanging wire from Lowes. This galvanized wire is braided which makes it very pliable, yet resistant to stretching. I tied it around the leg of the tongue jack, and simply pulled it back tight to the front of the notches on both sides and marked each with a Sharpie marker, then measured the distance which equaled exactly 1/8" difference. There are probably better ways to accomplish this measurement, but this way worked well for me so I thought I would share.

I'm happy with the Dexters, although I think I would have preferred the 35º down angle I could have received with the Henschens for a slightly higher ride height/ground clearance, although the 22.5º down angle probably has a better appearance. I like some of the lower maintenance options (never lub hubs and self adjusting brakes) I got with the Dexters, as well as the cost especially when factoring in the fact I didn't have to pay shipping as I could pick up the Dexters in person. Unfortunately I don't think the mounting holes could have lined up any worse on the new Dexters, which made drilling new holes a little more challenging. Well at least it is done now and it is a big to-do item off my AS list.

The first camping trip went surprising well (with the exception of a minor wiring issue related to the new water heater I installed). The fridge (original), furnace (replaced in the early 90's), water heater (new), plumbing (new), and water pump (original) all worked great. We could not have asked for better fall weather, it was perfect, and the AS proved to be quite comfortable and cozy for the four of us (we left the dogs at home). I have to admit, the first time I setup the credenza table, I thought it had to be the biggest piece of crap I'd ever seen, but to my surprise it proved to work quite effectively. The kids took to it right away with their coloring books and crayons. On Saturday night we had my in-laws who were camping with us (separate SOB trailer) over to dinner and all six of us huddled around the table and were surprisingly comfortable! One of my biggest concerns with the conversion to the AS was the lack of outside storage, however it didn't seem to create a major obstacle, just a change in routine.

Note- the pics below don't show the final axle installation so don't be alarmed by anything that looks odd like old bolts, lack of lock/flat washers, etc.

Cheers,
Eric
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:38 PM   #45
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Pics of first trip

Well, since I mentioned making our first trip I thought I would share a few pics...

We also have trips planned for two of the next three weekends, which will take us to the beginning of November and the end of the Pennsylvania State Park camping season before we put the AS away for the winter.

-Eric
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:31 PM   #46
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Eric, the smiles on all your faces (especially the kids) makes all the work worthwhile! It's impressive that you are getting your trailer out on the road and into camping before winter hits. You can get all the kinks worked out, and you can spend your winter planning where to go next summer!

I am still in awe at how gorgeous your trailer is after almost 35 years!!!

Cheers
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Old 10-15-2009, 06:04 AM   #47
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Eric,
Good job on the axles and I am glad to hear you got the Airstream out before the season ends.

Your weekend pictures are nice too. The grins on the children and you are pricelss. I still grin like that when we are out camping.

I noticed that your lower blue rub rail has some breaks in it. That's another project to put on your list for this winter. I know that Out of Doors Mart and Inland RV carries what you'll need to replace it.

Search Results : ODMRV , Out-of-Doors Mart

Inland RV Center Inc.

On a totally unrelated subject...There is a WBCCI rally next year at the Pocono Raceway the end of August / begining of July. Take a look, it might be something that you could fit into your schedule.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f289...0-a-53763.html

I'm not much of a NASCAR fan, but I can't pass up an opportunity to camp in a big wagon wheel formation with a bunch of Airstreamers and reap some of the benefits of my WBCCI membership. If you aren't a member of WBCCI you will have to join to attend the rally, but as Leo says you will recover the cost of the WBCCI membership by attendting this rally.

We'll try to get together to do some state park camping next season and I hope to see you and your family up at Penn Wood next season.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:16 PM   #48
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Next item on the to-do list...address rear end/belly pan

Well, its been about 6 months away from the AS but its now back to work. Next on my list is removing the belly pan in the rear and inspect/re-enforce the frame. I also need to fix/seal the impressive 70's era rear trunk design as the rear floor gets wet every time it rains. I also have a dented/creased rear banana wrap that needs removed and fixed.

My trailer was kept immaculate and garage kept (by my late grandfather), but the 70's era trailer seem to have a lot of rear end separation issues from what I read. I figure I'd rather address the issue now before its a problem rather than later requiring a lot more work and headache. Plus I don't want to start doing more cosmetic things like replacing the carpet, before the more important, yet less rewarding things are done like plumbing, axles, and now frame.

I meant to start working on the AS over the winter after the holidays, but after getting buried with not one, but two 24"+ snow falls this winter my plans got delayed. I've been working on the AS for a few weeks now and I'm slowly making progress. I've got the rear trunk removed, the belly pan removed, the dented banana wrap removed and the dent/crease hammered out.

I was so impressed at how pristine the bottom of the trailer was, when I ripped out the pink insulation (which looked new as well) I couldn't believe it, I swear it looked new underneath. Well with the exception of the rear most section where the gray tank was, that clearly was exposed to moisture, especially since it is the low point of the pan along with the afore mentioned impressive 70's era trunk design

Anyhow, I'm fortunate enough to have a cousin in-law that is a welder (for Harley Davidson no less) that has been kind enough to assist me in welding (boxing) the rear frame, adding additional supports, making new gray tank supports, making/welding plates to the bottom of the rib supports for easier belly pan attachment, and making a new belly pan out of two new 4'x8' sheets of aluminum.

It will be a few weeks before we will be able to get the new metal welded in, but I will post additional pictures after its done. I had planned to POR15 (as other forum members have done/recommended) the frame, however after seeing how immaculate the condition was I believe I will just use some high gloss black automotive spray paint to give things a fresh coat. I'm not going to re-insulate, just leaving the belly pan empty. I also plan to use hex head screws with loc-tite to re-attach the new belly pan, for easier removal of the pan in the future. I know that may go against recommendations or "code", but removing all those rivets was a pain in the a**, and I don't want to do it again if I can avoid it.

I also purchased some rot doctor epoxy to coat as much of the rear exposed plywood as I can to protect it from water, especially due to the impressive 70's era rear trunk design . Can you tell what I think of the rear trunk design?

Hopefully I can get this project wrapped up over the next month or two so we can start camping. The last picture I posted (with the AS looking out at the sunshine) makes it hard to not just hook it up and take it out for a trip. We've only had our AS out camping three times, with all this work it would be nice to actually use it some!

Cheers,
Eric
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:39 AM   #49
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Good "Bones"

Eric,
Wow, you should be really pleased with what you found, or didn't find! So keeping them in the garage must help. Hopefully you will get her buttoned up and on the road for the beginning of the season.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:05 PM   #50
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Finally some improvements we can actually see!

Well, it's been quite awhile since I've visited the forums, so I thought I would stop back and provide a quick update. We recently replaced the original kitchen cabinet and FINALLY replaced the old brown carpet in our '75 Tradewind, so i thought I would share some pics.

The original cabinet had a damaged main tambour door when we took ownership, which continued to get worse with each use. It finally got to a point where we could no longer slide the door far enough to get at the hot water heater for winterization. We also had a kitchen faucet that leaked and an oven handle that was busted. So this past fall the cabinet and carpeting got tore out...

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Then this spring since all the old flooring was tore out, I choose to coat the entire exposed plywood floor with a good coat of Rot Doctor to help preserve it for hopefully many more years.

I then hired a retired woodworking hobbyist to build the new cabinet and countertop to my specs, to replace the old unit...

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We also replaced both faucets (kitchen and bath) with new ones as both the originals were leaking around their bases. I had a guy I work with fabricate a new oven handle as well (from a piece of scrap steel that I'm pretty sure was the arm of an old push mower!). While I had the front of the oven pulled apart to replace the handle, I had the same guy sand the back of the stainless steel oven front to a brushed appearance since the front was starting to really pit and rust. I went ahead and spray primed/painted the oven handle black and sprayed the oven front (previously the back) with a satin clear coat to prevent finger prints, both of which turned out pretty well.

After the new cabinet was in, then I put down laminate flooring...

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All in all, we're pretty happy with how things turned out, and we were able to keep the cost pretty low. The only downside is the late start we're getting this year, but we've got our first trip planned for next weekend (Promised Land SP in northeast PA). We're very excited that we will no longer have to look at that old brown carpet!
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Old 06-29-2012, 01:08 AM   #51
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Absolutely beautiful! I just started shopping for my first AS and will probably get a 60's - 70's vintage model that will need interior work, so what you have done with yours is quite inspiring for me to see.
Happy traveling!
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Old 06-29-2012, 03:25 AM   #52
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Cool!

Gene
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:11 PM   #53
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Your AS looks great! Nice work.
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:22 PM   #54
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Sure looks nice. Bet your grandfather would approve!

Carol
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