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Old 11-26-2007, 09:24 AM   #1
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Real Wood Interiors - Years? Models??

Hi All...As I look at various For Sale ads for "used" ASs I am curious what years might have wood interiors...say like the current Classics?

Is there a resource that explains the difference by year/model...or by age "era?

Any guidance would be appreciated...Tom R

P.S. Does a 1968 Soverign (sp?) International 30' have real wood cabinets, etc. TMR
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:38 AM   #2
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Hello Tom -- Take a look at http://www.insideout-design.net/VintageAS-models.html
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Old 11-26-2007, 10:06 AM   #3
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Thanks Bob...that was very helpful...Tom R
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Old 11-26-2007, 12:42 PM   #4
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This reply is going to get me into trouble, but here goes since I cannot restrain myself.

I know what the question really is, but the designation "real wood" I always find interesting because of its assumptions. Particleboard, plywood, MDF, OSB, masonite, and solid wood are all made mostly of real wood, just processed differently. That processing does not necessarily diminish their utility or suitability. Nor does it always determine the beauty of the items made from them. We should remember that some of the finest and most expensive antique furniture is wood veneer over non-decorative, stacked, laminated wood.

Wood is a great material and it is good that it comes in various forms. For cabinets subject to the flexing and vibration of a moving trailer, plywood is an excellent material for the basic cabinet box. Frame and panel fronts (doors and such) of solid wood look very nice, but do have the disadvantage of greater weight.

Surface finishes on wood are almost always "plastic" of some sort. Varnishes and oil finishes polymerize and contains resins and much of their true difference from a vinyl overlay is in penetration, transparency, and uniformity.

I suspect that some of the vintage Airstreams with "wood" cabinets have plywood fronts with a decorative wood veneer. That surely does not make them less desirable.
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Old 11-26-2007, 01:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomR
...what years might have wood interiors...say like the current Classics?...
basically the solid OAK fronts (over plywood frames) started in the early/mid 80s...

solid hickory fronts were added as an option a few years later, and currently are the 'basic' classic trim.

the spray on wood finishes have varied over these years. some years it is just awful and right now it appears pretty nice (the 03-05 finish is TOO thin)

i really prefer the aluminum cabinetry from the 70s. light, durable, aircraft like and road worthy.

of course the choice of vinyl cladding in that era is an issue, but it has held up remarkably well.

i agree with timA's observations, except many rv wood/epoxy composites are HEAVIER than solid wood counterparts, and the current lighter stuff isn't very durable.

and the care/repairablity differs over time.

high grade tambour doors, lightweight composites with ultra durable laminates and the tasteful use of wood/metal accents and trim...

would be my ideal for a modern classic interior....

sure the old units used good plywood. those trees are gone now.

even the retro stuff used in the 75th limited dw unit has materials DOWNGRADED from the designers original specs...

and i recall reading that the ccd composites were also taken to a lower grade than the 'artist' intended.

cheers
2air'
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Old 11-26-2007, 01:26 PM   #6
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There are big differences between veneers today and what was used years ago. The veneers on a piece of high quality antique furniture were cut with a saw and were quite thick and usually laid over a less expensive solid wood like Poplar.The veneers on more modern furniture are either cut with a knife or rotary peeled and are only thousands of an inch thick and usually applied over the cheapest substrate the manufacturer can get away with. They take finishes differently and will hold up over the years differently. A good example is the mass produced furniture by Ikea. It looks good when you buy it (not) but doesn't age well at all. It's usually passed down to the land fill not your children. No offence to anyone owning the Safari line but if they come from the factory with the heat applied edge banding coming loose and screws pulling out what do you think they're going to look like in 10 or 15 years. It's not a better way to make cabinets, it's a cheaper way to make cabinets.
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Old 11-26-2007, 05:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim A.
I suspect that some of the vintage Airstreams with "wood" cabinets have plywood fronts with a decorative wood veneer. That surely does not make them less desirable.
The reference (Vintage Airstream Features) Bob gave is to my website. The information there has been gathered from many different resources and complied as a quick reference to help determine the basic differences in trailer years. Where I have stated "wood" in the description of cabinets it is more a reference in contrast to the plastic laminate or vinyl wrapped cabinets of the 70's or the metal cabinets of the 30-40's. It may be either laminated plywood/veneer (60's) or solid (50's) depending on the year.

As an example, my '64 has all 3/16" plywood with oak veneers on the face. They are not finished with a "sealed" lacquer or finish, it is more of a penetrating oil-type finish. My '56 has a combination of solid birch door & drawer cabinets and 3/16" bent plywood upper cabinets with the face veneer being birch to match. The end result of both is they are "wood" not plastic laminate or metal.

The intention is not to say one is better than the other...just to describe the differences and to give clues in trying to ID unknown vintage trailers.

Hope this clears things up...

Shari
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Old 11-26-2007, 06:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim A.
This reply is going to get me into trouble, but here goes since I cannot restrain myself.

I know what the question really is, but the designation "real wood" I always find interesting because of its assumptions. Particleboard, plywood, MDF, OSB, masonite, and solid wood are all made mostly of real wood, just processed differently. That processing does not necessarily diminish their utility or suitability. Nor does it always determine the beauty of the items made from them. We should remember that some of the finest and most expensive antique furniture is wood veneer over non-decorative, stacked, laminated wood.

Wood is a great material and it is good that it comes in various forms. For cabinets subject to the flexing and vibration of a moving trailer, plywood is an excellent material for the basic cabinet box. Frame and panel fronts (doors and such) of solid wood look very nice, but do have the disadvantage of greater weight.

Surface finishes on wood are almost always "plastic" of some sort. Varnishes and oil finishes polymerize and contains resins and much of their true difference from a vinyl overlay is in penetration, transparency, and uniformity.

I suspect that some of the vintage Airstreams with "wood" cabinets have plywood fronts with a decorative wood veneer. That surely does not make them less desirable.
Well said
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Old 11-26-2007, 06:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut
The reference (Vintage Airstream Features) Bob gave is to my website. The information there has been gathered from many different resources and complied as a quick reference to help determine the basic differences in trailer years. Where I have stated "wood" in the description of cabinets it is more a reference in contrast to the plastic laminate or vinyl wrapped cabinets of the 70's or the metal cabinets of the 30-40's. It may be either laminated plywood/veneer (60's) or solid (50's) depending on the year.

As an example, my '64 has all 3/16" plywood with oak veneers on the face. They are not finished with a "sealed" lacquer or finish, it is more of a penetrating oil-type finish. My '56 has a combination of solid birch door & drawer cabinets and 3/16" bent plywood upper cabinets with the face veneer being birch to match. The end result of both is they are "wood" not plastic laminate or metal.

The intention is not to say one is better than the other...just to describe the differences and to give clues in trying to ID unknown vintage trailers.

Hope this clears things up...

Shari
Also well said
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Old 11-26-2007, 06:30 PM   #10
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Wait a minute ,whats going on here , everyone is right on .
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Old 12-22-2007, 01:04 AM   #11
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Basically, "Wood" is either solid wood materials or engineered wood materials. The latter tends to be more stable, sometimes stronger (not always)depending upon the loading and construction of the material, and can be lighter than solid wood. Stablility and weight concerns are usually the main factors for using engineered wood materials. Veneered plywood is a good choice for cabinets. The manufacturer can also accomplish various appearance goals with veneers, such as grain matching, etc.

Of course, the above totally ignores any cost and/or environmental issues.

For me, I prefer "real wood", which to me means veneered plywood and solid wood construction.

Don't know what the finish is on my trailer, but I hope it's conversion varnish, not lacquer.
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Old 12-22-2007, 11:55 AM   #12
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Got Safari?

I can tell you the CCD laminates ARE heavier than the paper thin Safari ones. I've got warping on my closet door and the pantry door - probably because the inside of the closet and pantry aren't heated. I've taken both doors off, put them under my mattress and put a thin magazines under each end, then I sleep - letting my weight push the center of the warped panels back down. I figure a few days of this will straighten the panels enough to satisfy me.

Also I really want to replace my table. I've got a carpenter lined up who will do it for me. I'm assuming that a wood one should weigh less than the current slab of MDF, right?

Paula
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Old 12-22-2007, 12:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again
I can tell you the CCD laminates ARE heavier than the paper thin Safari ones. I've got warping on my closet door and the pantry door - probably because the inside of the closet and pantry aren't heated. I've taken both doors off, put them under my mattress and put a thin magazines under each end, then I sleep - letting my weight push the center of the warped panels back down. I figure a few days of this will straighten the panels enough to satisfy me.

Also I really want to replace my table. I've got a carpenter lined up who will do it for me. I'm assuming that a wood one should weigh less than the current slab of MDF, right?

Paula
Chances are good that your sleeping effort will not payoff for you, although a good try. Your warping may be due to an unbalanced application of veneers. The laminate is a veneer over a substrate. If a veneer (of any material, wood, laminate, etc.) is bonded to one side of a substrate (panel), then a similar material should be bonded to the other. This concept is lost sometimes, by manufacturers looking to change the look and don't go deep enough into the planning/engineering.

In other words, the plastic laminate is "pulling" or cupping or pushing (due to environment) more/less than the material on the other side of the panel. The reason that Safari laminates may not show the warping like the CCD is that they may be melamine laminates (only the top thin layers of typical plastic laminate) rather than standard or vertical grade plastic laminate.

Your doors that are warping may be because they are the largest ones and the warping becomes most evident. The "bend back" method of sleeping on them may work for a short time, but the doors will likely seek a natural structural place of rest....depending upon the environment.

Best bet is to bond something stronger than the forces on the panel to the back of the doors that is neutral to the effects of the environment. This would be something like a square steel or aluminum channel. A solid wood batten may work, but if you go this route use a strong straight grain hardwood (oak, walnut, maple) and seal all faces and edges of the batten BEFORE you attach it to the back of the problem door. Attach the batten(s) with screws and do not use glue or adhesive between the batten and the door. Ideally, prebore the screw holes in the batten a hair larger than the shank of the screw.

As for the solid wood table, I'd opt for a quality veneer over plywood. Again, it should be of balanced construction. The ply will likely be lighter than solid wood and be more stable.

Good luck.
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