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Old 06-23-2017, 04:44 AM   #1
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1965 28' Ambassador
Soddy Daisy , Tennessee
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New member - 1965 Ambassador

Just bought a 1965 Ambassador in fairly rough shape. Don't plan on a full restoration, just here to find tips on getting the old girl back in shape enough to be usable. Some things I'll be looking for help with in the coming months include:

Rebuilding the rear bathroom. Previous owner removed all tanks and used it as a park model. Not sure if this model had a single tank or both grey and black, but I'll want it to have both. This will also involve repairing the floor.

Fixing the 12V system. The DC supply in it doesn't seem to work well. Turn on more than 4 lights and it pops it's built in breaker.

Fixing (or replacing) the broken light fixtures, cabinet doors, running lights, etc.

Fixing or replacing AC. Unit is not original and whoever replaced it did a bad job. It vibrates and is ugly, but at least it doesn't leak!

It's going to be quite the adventure!
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Old 06-23-2017, 08:27 AM   #2
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those had one tank, Black. You can always add the grey, many have. The 60s are the best to me. Mine is a 66.
You aren't a drummer are ya?
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Old 06-23-2017, 08:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALANSD View Post
those had one tank, Black. You can always add the grey, many have. The 60s are the best to me. Mine is a 66.
You aren't a drummer are ya?
Yeah two tanks will definitely be the way to go.

Not a drummer but did spend a couple of years singing in a band. Did not quit my day job, if you know what I mean.
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Old 06-23-2017, 09:09 PM   #4
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1962 22' Safari
1973 25' Tradewind
1968 30' Sovereign
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Would love to see photos!

Welcome to Airstreaming!

I recently bought a '62 Safari. Photos here: http://www.utahredrock.com/2017/05/a...mer-again.html
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Old 06-24-2017, 09:21 AM   #5
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Should get some up in the coming days. Have to upload them to my PC and reduce the size a bit.
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Old 06-24-2017, 05:53 PM   #6
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Welcome to the vintage Airstream hobby. The 65 model year was very good indeed. They have flat windows and good wood cabinetry. But the years take their toll.

I rebuilt the bathroom in my 66 Trade Wind. I believe your bath and mine were similar with a bifold door, a hidden console toilet, and a plastic sink over the fiberglass tub. Yours may have a wardrobe in the bathroom too. Mine did.

I tore it all out, replaced the rotten floor under the toilet, installed a proper black and gray tank, installed new 12v power supply, and on and on. It is indeed a slippery slope.

You will find a wealth of information here on Air Forums.

David
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Old 06-24-2017, 10:49 PM   #7
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1965 28' Ambassador
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Sweet! Not planning to go to that level, just get it to useable state. Pulled the sink and electrical panels and the water damaged part of the curbside wardrobe today. Hope to get the tub out intact but will cut off the toilet cover and frame around the missing bits. At least thats the eventual plan. Got to get the rotten floor cut out and tanks made before I can even think of putting it back together. That won't happen soon.
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaWorm View Post
Yeah two tanks will definitely be the way to go.

Not a drummer but did spend a couple of years singing in a band. Did not quit my day job, if you know what I mean.
Ok just wondered as my old bandmate and drummer had a really good friend who went by WORM...Thanks
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Old 06-25-2017, 02:35 PM   #9
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Hi, I purchased my tanks from Inca Plastics in California. I paid about $500 for the set shipped to my garage. Inca has been rotomolding RV tanks since shep was a pup. They have a wealth of shapes and sizes for almost any application.

You mentioned you were going to make your tanks. Some guys weld up ABS plastic tanks. I suppose a guy could weld up a stainless steel tank. But me, I'm lazy and went with store bought tanks instead.

Your waste water tank configuration is mainly dependent on your bath design and where the toilet will be. As you tear out things to get at rotten things, be thinking about your "renovated" Ambassador interior configuration.

David
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Old 06-25-2017, 08:58 PM   #10
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1965 28' Ambassador
Soddy Daisy , Tennessee
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Oh no, not building my own. Don't have that kind of skills.

Pulled out the entire bathroom this weekend and am worried about just how little volume there is in the back between the frame. We currently camp in a 2015 Puma 30RKSS and are always filling the grey water tanks. If I have to split the available area with a grey and black like in your pic, I'm afraid we'll have the same issue. How many gallons are each of those?

And do you need to raise the floor to hold them? I'm 6'2" and hit my head in the stock shower. Raising the floor would make that even worse. I'm considering putting grey between the frames and black above the floor with only the toilet raised.
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Old 06-27-2017, 02:45 PM   #11
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Hi DaWorm: The tanks I used are 26 gallons each. Small for a modern RV, but much better than no gray water tank at all. The original black water tank might have been 10 gallons, and only 3" high. Wholly inadequate. I had room for a bigger grey tank, but didn't do it. There is about 56" between the frame rails. Inca Plastics has many different configurations of tanks.

My son's Globetrotter has a "wet bath" with an above floor black tank under the toilet. I find this design not the greatest. The trouble is the bottom discharge port of the tank. We have a plastic sewer connection hanging about 4" below the belly pan at the rear of the trailer. It will get smashed as soon as we drag the trailer up some steep fuel station entryway.

Most new Airstreams have "mid baths" around or just behind the axles. There is more headroom here than in the rear of the trailer. If you keep the rear bath like I did, I would consider not having a shower at all. A "sponge" bath or a Navy shower is good enough while camping or traveling. Some campgrounds have nice showers, or you could take a dip in the lake. No shower, less gray water capacity needed.

My shower has a fiberglass shower pan with a drain connection. Then I have a P trap with a 1 1/2" drain pipe to the gray tank. So the shower pan is a couple of inches off the floor. No headroom for a man your size.

Vintage Airstreams are just smaller campers, no doubt about it. I think it's like camping in a business jet. Gotta duck to get around inside.

David
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Old 06-27-2017, 04:31 PM   #12
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Welcome, hope you have as much fun as I have rebuilding my 72 Sovereign, getting ready to start my other 71 Sovereign or my 67 22' Safari. Glad to see someone else in Soddy Daisy jumping in and redoing a Airstream.
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