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Old 03-31-2011, 08:09 PM   #29
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Thanks Colin. That gives me more incentive to dig deeper. I really don't like it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed because I was really disappointed by the quality of that material and it's installation.
Tim
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:43 PM   #30
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I am very bummed. I pulled the fiberglass stuff from the roof area and there is insulation and behind that there is the outer skin. So at some point someone removed the entire interior or could this be the way airstream built it??? I am very sad. As I understand it, the inner skin is an equally important part of the structure. The fiberglass stuff is not even secured so it won't provide integrity and it looks bad in my opinion. I don't even want to think about how hard it would be to recreate the entire interior.
Sad in Utah.
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:53 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by timzog View Post
I am very bummed. I pulled the fiberglass stuff from the roof area and there is insulation and behind that there is the outer skin. So at some point someone removed the entire interior or could this be the way airstream built it??? I am very sad. As I understand it, the inner skin is an equally important part of the structure. The fiberglass stuff is not even secured so it won't provide integrity and it looks bad in my opinion. I don't even want to think about how hard it would be to recreate the entire interior.
Sad in Utah.
Yeah, I'd be bummed too, but I guess you've got to deal with it. Get some aluminum sheets & start fitting & you'll feel a lot better when it's done.
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:29 AM   #32
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So that's both a bummer, and an opportunity! You can buy a milled finish aluminum to replicate the aluminum interior of the modern Airstreams... while it will cost a bit, it will look great when done. Sadly, if ALL the interior is this plastic, you'll have to gut each area as you make new walls.

Not terribly hard, but it will be a learning experience. Seeling how it's only 20ft, I don't think the structure will be that affected by the lack of the interior. Also, if you wanted too, you could redo the inside with wood as well. Search Carlos Fergurson to see what a really great birch interior would look like. Also, PBear did some of his Flying Cloud in wood as well ("First she took a ride on a boat" is the name of his thread.. here's his blog... My 57 Airstream Caravanner

Wow, on edit, I looked at your posted pics... someone sure went to a LOT of trouble to put in that plastic. I'd go to an AS dealer and look at how the factory puts in the sheets... a couple of long rolls in 4ft widths would do the trick.. without all those vertical seams that are in it now. Take the time to seal the seams, and make sure there's new bolts and nuts on the door hinges while you're in there.

The PO sure hacked that trailer... yes, your water heater is missing (that's what's supposed to be in the access hole with door on the streetside rear). At least he used PEX to redo the plumbing, so it should be easy to put one in. Is there a waterpump? All that wiring mess too... is there really a converter/ charger in it? I'd be willing to bet that they used a cheap inverter to power the 12 v system. You need a 12v fuseblock and a powerconverter to charge your batteries and power the 12v system.

I basically rebuilt all my systems when I bought my Argosy.. and any trailer that vintage you'd probably be looking to replace all that stuff anyway, so don't get down if all this stuff seems overwhelming. You can use the fridge for awhile, just use ice while traveling, and plug in when at a campsite.. unless you want to boondocks off the grid. But an icechest would work in a pinch too.

You could do better than the PO by gutting the interior and starting over... also see Smokeless Joe and what he did with an Arogsy and Ikea cabinets.. looks great, and easy if you don't think you can build cabinets yourself.
Good luck, it'll all be ok.
Marc
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:25 PM   #33
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Hey Marc,
I have a complete woodshop and have a lot of experience with woodworking so I am not worried about that part although I've never fit a cabinet to a 3 dimensional curve before.
I am worried about the metal working, but I'll do it if I have to. I am excited about the possibility of the aluminum interior plus running new wiring and some cool lights.
Thanks for the encouraging words. I was feeling very despondent yesterday and am trying to look at the full glass today.
Thanks for all the advice.
Tim
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:21 AM   #34
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That's the spirit! A woodworker? Then you should be in great shape.. most people that build the cabinets use a stick frame construction with pocketscrews.. level the floor and go from there. Here's a little inspiration to you... search Uwe's blog archieves to see how he got to this... The Grand Reveal!

Also look at http://frankstrailerworksblog.blogspot.com/ for some additional tips on how to build things... and download TheVap podcast from iTunes... http://www.thevap.com

Enjoy! And update us as you go along..
Marc
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:39 AM   #35
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It's just more work, but like Marc said, you can do it in new aluminum or in wood or parts of both like I did.

Since you're going to have to gut it, really consider doing the subfloor as well. It's more work, but it is that solid foundation that the whole project needs. I did mine with the shell on and quite a few others have done it too. If you do the subfloor and whatever work the frame needs, then you'll have a trailer you can have total confidence in.

cheers,
steve
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:44 PM   #36
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When it rains, it drips.

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Originally Posted by pbearsailor View Post
It's just more work, but like Marc said, you can do it in new aluminum or in wood or parts of both like I did.

Since you're going to have to gut it, really consider doing the subfloor as well. It's more work, but it is that solid foundation that the whole project needs. I did mine with the shell on and quite a few others have done it too. If you do the subfloor and whatever work the frame needs, then you'll have a trailer you can have total confidence in.

cheers,
steve
Steve,
I read through your progress on your trailer and was overwhelmed by your work and also by the admirable way that you've dealt with your own personal struggles. I was also impressed by your birch front end cap- I would love to do something like that in mine, but need to think about the complex curves and how many 2D pieces of wood would be required to bend into that 3D space. I do wonder about the structural integrity of that solution if there was no fiberglass behind it. It can't be worse than what is there now.
I finally got my right side tire fixed today and was able to make a little more room in the driveway so my wife could park in the garage. When I got the trailer all leveled out, I measured ground clearance all around and it was barely 6 1/2". I also took the chance to spin the hub around a bit with the wheel off and it didn't sound or look very smooth or true.
I did have some good news. I found that there was still some vinyl covered aluminum behind the kitchen and the bath (only where the cabinets were). It gave me hope that there might be more Unfortunately, I also found nothing but the cheap stuff in the corners of the front end cap and pushing on the fiberglass stuff on the back above the sink, it seemed too squishy to be backed by aluminum.
We also had a big rain tonight so I grabbed a flashlight and my dog and went and sat in my airstream and watched. There is a significant leak coming from the top left of the center front window. It appears to come through the frame and then drip down. There is also a leak in the corner above and behind the range in the kitchen. I was looking at the vent for the cooktop the other day and it didn't look right to me, but I'll take some pics in the sun and see if anybody knows more. If there are leaks this big, then Steve may be right about the floor. I did get some good looks at the frame through some of the tears in the belly pan and what I can see looks really great. I am still holding out for the full inspection of the floor since I don't want to go that far, but I appear to be sliding down and down the slippery slope. After reading a bit on this site, I think I have excellent company on that journey.
Thanks!!
Tim
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:10 PM   #37
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Thanks Tim. I appreciate the kind words.

Marc mentioned Carlos Ferguson's thread earlier and it's here: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f321...ari-15592.html

You've got a pretty rare and really cool model of trailer with the light weight that the 50's trailers had, but much newer. A lot of work ahead of you for sure and no point in minimizing it, but you'll be happier in the end if you do the subfloor now. You've got 30 year old plywood that you know has been wet.

The ripping apart stage is tough and you just have to take it one step at a time. But, you do get through it and pretty soon you're into the fun stuff.

cheers,
steve
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:41 PM   #38
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Steve,
I read through your progress on your trailer and was overwhelmed by your work and also by the admirable way that you've dealt with your own personal struggles. I was also impressed by your birch front end cap- I would love to do something like that in mine, but need to think about the complex curves and how many 2D pieces of wood would be required to bend into that 3D space. I do wonder about the structural integrity of that solution if there was no fiberglass behind it. It can't be worse than what is there now.
I finally got my right side tire fixed today and was able to make a little more room in the driveway so my wife could park in the garage. When I got the trailer all leveled out, I measured ground clearance all around and it was barely 6 1/2". I also took the chance to spin the hub around a bit with the wheel off and it didn't sound or look very smooth or true.
I did have some good news. I found that there was still some vinyl covered aluminum behind the kitchen and the bath (only where the cabinets were). It gave me hope that there might be more Unfortunately, I also found nothing but the cheap stuff in the corners of the front end cap and pushing on the fiberglass stuff on the back above the sink, it seemed too squishy to be backed by aluminum.
We also had a big rain tonight so I grabbed a flashlight and my dog and went and sat in my airstream and watched. There is a significant leak coming from the top left of the center front window. It appears to come through the frame and then drip down. There is also a leak in the corner above and behind the range in the kitchen. I was looking at the vent for the cooktop the other day and it didn't look right to me, but I'll take some pics in the sun and see if anybody knows more. If there are leaks this big, then Steve may be right about the floor. I did get some good looks at the frame through some of the tears in the belly pan and what I can see looks really great. I am still holding out for the full inspection of the floor since I don't want to go that far, but I appear to be sliding down and down the slippery slope. After reading a bit on this site, I think I have excellent company on that journey.
Thanks!!
Tim
Tim, Bummer on the interior, you just never know what you will find until you dig into these trailers. When we first got ours I thought the floors were good, then found out the P.O. had put a second layer of 3/4" plywood in side the cabinets to cover up the non existent subfloor so off came the shell to install a new floor.
If you have the patience of a wood worker then you shouldn't have a problem with the metal!
Here is a link to my friend Brads trailer, he is another woodworker and doing a good job on the aluminum: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f97/...eak-62257.html
Just takes time.
Keep Stream'n
Doug
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:13 AM   #39
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Hi Tim,
You have a unique opportunity to build a small 80's era trailer with an Alclad skin along with the narrow body of the 13 panel trailers of the 50's. I'm looking at this as a "glass half full" rather than "half empty" type project. Just think how tough your decision would be if the interior was all there but in very poor condition.

As I've said for years, get back to the base & build from there. You'll be much happier in the end, you'll own a trailer that you know every bit of, plus you'll have an incredible amount of self satisfaction.

As far as the wood interior is concerned, there is a trailer on ebay at the moment that is advertised as a "wine tasting lounge" or something like that. It has some great photos of the custom built wood interior. I suspect that all of the wood has been screwed/rivetted to the existing interior skin which I think is the best solution as it doesn't compromise the structural integrity. If you decide to go this route, you won't have to be as picky with the metal fabrication finish details & you'll be able to fasten the wood on virtually anywhere you like, plus you'll get back to your love of woodworking.

It does of course make sense to start with the floor/frame issues & as this is going to be a custom build, you may want to wait a while before choosing the axle rating, as if done incorrectly, you could run the risk of damaging all your hard work.
I know this appears to be a daunting task, but if you approach it methodically, take your time to do it right & keep it fun, it'll be done before you know it.
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Old 04-03-2011, 05:17 PM   #40
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Thanks for the encouragement. My daughter and I were playing around with sketchup this morning and even though we are far from building anything, it is still fun to think about what could be. I posted some simple sketchup pics and some of our ideas in my blog. Airstream Forums - timzog
These ideas are very far from original but I think with the right materials and craftsmanship could still be quite nice.
Tim
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Old 04-03-2011, 05:22 PM   #41
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By the way, I really loved the propane fireplace idea that Steve http://www.airforums.com/forums/f99/...oat-48054.html used in his Caravanner. The Dickinson Newport heater is so cool. I would be so delighted to not have to run a fan and stay warm plus it just looks so cool! I am frankly scared of any nonvented appliance so this looks like the perfect solution. A bit pricey, but my wife loves fire and I really need to get her buy in on this. I had promised some camping in the trailer this summer, but that's just not gonna happen.
Thanks for all the inspiration. I am trying to buoy myself with the possibilities in order to get past the extra costs and work that are stacking up.
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Old 04-03-2011, 05:51 PM   #42
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By the way, I really loved the propane fireplace idea that Steve http://www.airforums.com/forums/f99/...oat-48054.html used in his Caravanner. The Dickinson Newport heater is so cool. I would be so delighted to not have to run a fan and stay warm plus it just looks so cool! I am frankly scared of any nonvented appliance so this looks like the perfect solution. A bit pricey, but my wife loves fire and I really need to get her buy in on this. I had promised some camping in the trailer this summer, but that's just not gonna happen.
Thanks for all the inspiration. I am trying to buoy myself with the possibilities in order to get past the extra costs and work that are stacking up.
I'm really happy with the heater. Pam and I just got back from the trailer and it was on, as usual, today. It really works well. Only problem is that it's too easy to flop down in the chair and zone out watching the fire instead of working on plumbing.

cheers,
steve
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