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Old 05-04-2012, 04:32 PM   #1
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Appleton , Wisconsin
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 5
kitchenette work

Time to rip and replace the kitchette in our 1979 International. It has pulled away from the wall and the oven no longer works (rusted out). Going to start tearing it out this weekend. Will try to post some pictures. Not exactly sure on the rebuild idea until I get it all out and see what I have to work with. I am open to suggestions
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Old 05-05-2012, 05:21 PM   #2
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
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kitchenette work

Greetings RichD!

Welcome to the Forums!

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Originally Posted by RichD View Post
Time to rip and replace the kitchette in our 1979 International. It has pulled away from the wall and the oven no longer works (rusted out). Going to start tearing it out this weekend. Will try to post some pictures. Not exactly sure on the rebuild idea until I get it all out and see what I have to work with. I am open to suggestions
Before installing anything new, I would suggest that you investigate why the cabinetry is pulling away from the wall. I suspect that something is going on that is causing the cabinets to pull away from the wall such as outrigger failure(s), rot in the subfloor, rust in frame rails or crossmembers, or possibly axle problems or wheel balance issues. Both of my coaches have traveled well over 100,000 miles in their lifetimes, and I haven't experienced any issues with cabinets pulling away from walls.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:24 PM   #3
Wisconsin Airstreamer
 
Appleton , Wisconsin
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@Kevin - I wish I could get someone to check those things out on my Airstream. Anytime I call a local RV place they all but hang up on me when I say I have an Airstream. Seems no one wants to dig into it. I have been doing all my own work. Only major system that worked was the furnace. Little by little I have been trying to get it in shape. Had a couple cabinets shift when I was on a trip from WI to VA. On the '79 there isn't more than 1/8" rivets holding things in place. I just figured enough road time will eventually do that to the cabinets. How would I even go about checking all that out?
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:27 PM   #4
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
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kitchenette work

Greetings RichD!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichD View Post
@Kevin - I wish I could get someone to check those things out on my Airstream. Anytime I call a local RV place they all but hang up on me when I say I have an Airstream. Seems no one wants to dig into it. I have been doing all my own work. Only major system that worked was the furnace. Little by little I have been trying to get it in shape. Had a couple cabinets shift when I was on a trip from WI to VA. On the '79 there isn't more than 1/8" rivets holding things in place. I just figured enough road time will eventually do that to the cabinets. How would I even go about checking all that out?
My first suggestion would be to consider joining the Wisconsin Unit of the WBCCI. I see by your profile that you are in the Appleton, Wisconsin area; and as a long-time member of the Wisconsin Unit, I can assure you that there are members in your area with a tremendous amount of Vintage Airstream experience who would quite likely be able to assist you in identifying if there are any issues causing your cabinets to pull away from their mountings.

Some of the things that I would suggest checking are as follows:
  • Check your axle to be certain that it isn't worn out. An axle that is worn out or has taken a set can cause a myraid of problems with the shell and components that attach to the shell. Inland RV has an excellent article on identifying worn axles at this link.
  • Problems with outriggers can someteimes be identified by slight tears in the banana wraps directly over the outrigger that is failing or has failed.
  • Problems with the frame or crossmembers is more difficult to diagnose without removing the bellypan. One way of identifying a frame that may have problems (and this is not a conclusive test) is to level the trailer (use the normal method leveling to the bottom of the refrigerator's freezer) then check the floor for level front-to-rear, and side-to-side . . . if there is a significan pitch to the floor in any direction it can point to a possible problem. Another indicator that can raise consern is if rust at the A-Frame hitch attachment points or the rear bumper attachment points is severe enough that it has thinned the metal.
  • Problems with floor rot can be identified with a sharp ice pick or awl. The idea is to work your way around the perimeter of the coach inserting the pick/awl every few inches to determine whether the subfloor is soft yielding little or no resistance to the pick/awl.
  • Overhitching (weight distribution bars that are too highly rated for the trailer/tow vehicle combination) can also play a role in creating a rough ride for the coach that can break rivets, and cause a wide variety of related problems. Often, with our Vintage coaches, the prior owners will include the hitch that they used with the trailer . . . this can often create an overhitching situation as when our coaches were new, they were often towed with the family car which was likely a full-sized sedan with boulevard ride suspension which required much heavier weight distribution bars than the typical pickup or SUV used for towing duties today.
Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin

P.S.: You might try contacting Ed Emerick. He is a member here on the Forums, and is a Past-President of both the Wisconsin Unit and of the Vintage Airstream Club. He is from the Appleton, WI area as well.
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Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:52 PM   #5
Wisconsin Airstreamer
 
Appleton , Wisconsin
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 5
Kevin - Thanks for the added input. I was planning on contacting Ed. I was a member of the WI WBCCI years ago and then life took over. Now I am getting the itch to get the Airstream fixed up some more and get back into the club. Met up with a recent past president of the WI chapter last summer on a camping trip and they said the group changed a bit and may be a better fit for us now.

Anyway - I did check the floor out thoroughly when I put the flooring in and there was only one spot that was soft (due to a leak) and I fixed both. I am setting my hitch up again because I just got a new truck and it is higher than my old one and has much heavier rear springs so I think I can take some tension off the torsion bars now. I had it setup per Equilzer's specs before.

There may be some issue with the axles and alignment. I use the scissor jack type wheel chokes that go in between my tires. I have noticed there is one side closer together than the other which tells me I have an alignment issue. Only way I heard to correct that is make a trip to Ohio.

Let me touch base with Ed and see if he has suggestions and maybe I can coax him over for a visit.
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:39 AM   #6
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Appleton , Wisconsin
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New counter top and sink basin on order. Have a new stove top (no oven this time around). Will start framing up the cabinet this weekend. I did touch base with Ed and he is planning to come down to take a look in the next couple weeks. Would be idea to have him take a look before building this back up but we have a Memorial weekend trip planned and I need to get a working kitchen back in there prior to that. Have a feeling it may be an axle alignment thing. Not that I am looking forward to that, but between dealing with that or gutting the trailer to deal with rotted cross pieces or framing, I guess it is the lesser of the evils.
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