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Old 07-25-2006, 02:33 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Suzanne, Museum of Family Camping

Hi Everyone!

My name is Suzanne Matson and I am the Volunteer Coordinator at the Museum of Family Camping located at the Bear Brook Museum Complex in Allenstown, NH.


We purchased a 1953 Airstream Travel Trailer, Silver, Serial #03068 a few years back. I don't have any information as to the condition when we received it, but it certainly can use some TLC. The Museum of Family Camping is run by volunteer hosts who would like to begin the restoration process. We have the will and the work ethic, but do not have the requiste knowledge. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Suzanne
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Old 07-25-2006, 02:48 PM   #2
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Welcome! You'd better get all the volunteers logged on so they can start reading!
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Old 07-25-2006, 03:05 PM   #3
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Pictures would help the experts on this forum identify the model of your piece of history. If you measure the length from bumper to the ball hitch you will get the approximate length of the trailer. In other words the A-frame is included in the length. I believe, due to the date of manufacture, your trailer was built in California before the purchase of the factory in Jackson Center, OH. That is about the extent of my ability to help you in identifying your trailer.
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Old 07-25-2006, 03:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMUSEUM
Hi Everyone!

The Museum of Family Camping is run by volunteer hosts who would like to begin the restoration process. We have the will and the work ethic, but do not have the requiste knowledge. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Suzanne
Suzanne,
I predict there will Airstream Forum members with the requisite knowledge, experience, and specialized equipment you seek who would travel to New Hampshire and stay for weeks at a time helping your volunteers. We are suckers for courtesy parking in a shady area with 30 amp hook-ups.

One word of advice, don't touch anything until the current condition is well documented and a deliberate plan of action developed with the help of these forums.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-25-2006, 04:04 PM   #5
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Hi Suzanne, welcome to the forums! From your serial number, it appears you have an Ohio built Flying Cloud. Click here for a link to a great site with lots of pictures - do any of these look like the trailer you have?
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Old 07-25-2006, 04:08 PM   #6
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Hi Suzanne, welcome to the forums! From your serial number, it appears you have an Ohio built Flying Cloud. Click here for a link to a great site with lots of pictures - do any of these look like the trailer you have?
I thought the Ohio plant was later in the '50's. Guess I was wrong.
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Old 07-25-2006, 04:18 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forums. What a great community project to undertake. You will find many helpful answers and a few others as well right here. Another good source is the Vintage Airstream Club which is part of the WBCCI, Wally Byam Caravan Club. See link below. http://www.airstream.net/index.html
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Old 07-25-2006, 04:58 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forums. What a great community project to undertake. You will find many helpful answers and a few others as well right here. Another good source is the Vintage Airstream Club which is part of the WBCCI, Wally Byam Caravan Club. See link below. http://www.airstream.net/index.html
...and rumor has it, the President of the VAC lives in NH....

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Old 07-25-2006, 08:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by CMUSEUM
Hi Everyone!

My name is Suzanne Matson and I am the Volunteer Coordinator at the Museum of Family Camping located at the Bear Brook Museum Complex in Allenstown, NH.
Hi Suzanne,

Welcome. Could you please tell us more about the Museum of Family Camping?

I'm the youngest of 6 kids in my family, and my first camping trip was at the age of 6 mo. old. We camped all over the western U.S. up till the time that I was in High School. I believe camping brings ,and keeps a family together. In fact we still get together every spring for the annual trip to Yosemite, next year will be the 13th consecutive year. Mom, siblings, in-laws, nieces & nephews etc.,etc.... We all love it.


Mark
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Old 07-25-2006, 08:56 PM   #10
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Welcome to the forum.

System wise (plumbing, heating, major electrical components, Reefers) are no different then anything of similar vintage.

Where the difference is an Airstream is built like an airplane and has a Monocoque structure. The body is as much of the strength as the frame.

The Achilles heel of the Airstreams is the floor. Its wood...it rots. Often minor leaks go unnoticed because the water will run between the inner and outer skins. Since the inner skin is aluminum you never get any indication there is a leak till you find the rot in the floor. SOB's (some other brand) you will see the water damage on the walls right away.

If the floor is damaged it weakens the whole trailer. The floor bolts to the frame the body bolts to floor.

Your Airstream start out life upside down. Understanding this will help you understand how to take it apart.


Assembly starts with the floor laying on a jig. Floor insulation batting is laid out. Then the frame is lowered on it and centered. The "U-Channel" is held up into place and bolted to the frame through the floor through the outriggers on the frame.

Plumbing drains are run and then the belly pan is installed. The pan is buck riveted in a few places to keep it in place till the body is attached. The suspension is then fitted and the whole assembly is flipped onto its wheels.

The main frame work of the body is built along side the frame. Its comprised of aluminum ribs and your vintage should be T2024 T3 Alcad aircraft grade aluminum sheet for the exterior. All the wiring is installed and run through the ceiling. The End caps are completed as well as the ceiling panels. The lowest exterior and interior side panels are left off till the body meets frame..

The body then is set onto the frame/floor assembly. The ribs are riveted to the U-Channel (this is the tricky part because you have to sheer the rivets from inside the coach to get the body off if you don't remove the lower exterior skin). Then the end caps are riveted along the lower lip to the U-Channel as well. The remaining exterior panels are then fitted and buck riveted to the ribs and U-Channel on the exterior.

The last of the interior panels are then installed with all the wiring in place to match the floor plan. The flooring is also installed at this point.

The interior cabinets are framed with 1x2 and then covered with a Luann Plywood. Several different types of wood veneerer were used, some are now considered exotic by todays standards. Hope your is oak as its the easiest to match.

A couple things to be aware of is the cabinetry is fixed to the floor and the top most part of its assembly. The rest of the cabinet is allowed to have some movement by only being in a slot along the walls.


Most of us find this site to be very helpful. They have a wonderful collection of photos of nearly every model for every year from the very beginning to the end of the 70's.

There are a LOT of great posts about floor repair here. Most of us are click happy with our camera's so you should be able to find a lot of visual aids as well. Since this is a museum I would think you would want to look for the "frame off" threads.


http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/

Welcome to the forums. PLEASE start a thread here to document the restoration of this coach. We love reading about them and seeing peoples progress.
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Old 07-26-2006, 05:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMUSEUM
Hi Everyone!

My name is Suzanne Matson and I am the Volunteer Coordinator at the Museum of Family Camping located at the Bear Brook Museum Complex in Allenstown, NH.


We purchased a 1953 Airstream Travel Trailer, Silver, Serial #03068 a few years back. I don't have any information as to the condition when we received it, but it certainly can use some TLC. The Museum of Family Camping is run by volunteer hosts who would like to begin the restoration process. We have the will and the work ethic, but do not have the requiste knowledge. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Suzanne
Hey! I'll be in the area next weekend, I'll try to stop by and check it out.
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Old 07-26-2006, 06:06 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by balrgn
Hey! I'll be in the area next weekend, I'll try to stop by and check it out.
Andre, let me know if I can help with this in any way. This would be a way cool project!
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