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Old 09-26-2019, 10:27 AM   #1
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Renovation advice

We have removed all the cabinets and bed from our Ď72 globetrotter. Thoughts on kitchen cabinets? Would ikea be a good way to go? Itís only 21í and we arenít super handy. Itís our very first airstream. Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 09-26-2019, 11:09 AM   #2
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Keep your cabinets as light as possible. I used face frame construction with Dominoes for strength. Inside gables were made just long enough to provide support for drawer slides. No bottoms, if not needed, no backs; faceframe attached to counter top with back of counter top attaching to trailer side.

The lighter you make anything for your Airstream, the less it costs you in fuel pulling it down the road.

If you can't make a faceframe cabinet, I'd strongly suggest you get someone who knows how to do it.

Cheers
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Old 09-26-2019, 12:00 PM   #3
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Just to add:

There isn't a residential cabinet made that is strong enough to resist the jolts, twisting, and shocks that your rolling earthquake, (trailer), will hit it with. They will eventually fall apart.

My faceframe cabinets have had no issues at all. Solid wood frame with baltic birch gables.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony

PS Have a go at being inside your trailer while underway, and you'll see what I mean by rolling earthquake. Your trailer has no where near the same level of suspension of your TV.
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Old 09-26-2019, 12:00 PM   #4
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1970 Tradewind Renovation

This is my second camper renovation. The first was an Avion. The Avion only has ac electricity for store bought appliances and water heater. No 12 volt dc power.
The Airstream will have 12 volt dc and gas appliances as originally designed. There a lot more moving parts to consider. Glad to have taken the time to dismantle this Airstream. Amazed at the genius - light weight design/fabrication. A rebuild sequence is apparent and obvious. Will have intimate knowledge of this Tradewind when done. 😎
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Old 09-26-2019, 02:20 PM   #5
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I am pretty much the same point in my Globetrotter. I've come to the conclusion that an "off the shelf" cabinet is not to be found and that a custom made cabinet is about the only option.

The difficulty is that it really needs to be an exact height, depth, and width in order to optimize the tiny amount of storage space you have. Then you have a wheel well and under-sink plumbing to work around as well.

Will be building something from scratch...
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Old 09-27-2019, 03:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
Just to add:

There isn't a residential cabinet made that is strong enough to resist the jolts, twisting, and shocks that your rolling earthquake, (trailer), will hit it with. They will eventually fall apart.

My faceframe cabinets have had no issues at all. Solid wood frame with baltic birch gables.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony

PS Have a go at being inside your trailer while underway, and you'll see what I mean by rolling earthquake. Your trailer has no where near the same level of suspension of your TV.
What thickness timber do you recommend for the stiles and rails?
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Old 09-27-2019, 10:16 AM   #7
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What thickness timber do you recommend for the stiles and rails?
Our 50's trailer has very lightweight wood cabinets built with 1x2's & 1/4" & 3/8" plywood. It's held up very well, maximizes storage space and does not add the weight that IKEA cabinets would. You can see pictures in our restoration thread "It's a girl!!!" - especially in posts in the 321, 367 & 376 range.

Shari
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Old 09-27-2019, 12:36 PM   #8
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Stay away from box store cabinets made with particle board. They won't last and they are heavy. If you can find a place that makes cabinets with plywood sides that would be your best option if you don't feel up to making them yourself. The down side to buying cabinets is the will not fit up against the walls unless you cut them do the the curve of the Airstream walls.

I would suggest buying a Kreg pocket screw system and a chop saw then you can build you own cabinets.
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Old 09-28-2019, 05:00 PM   #9
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What thickness timber do you recommend for the stiles and rails?
I milled the face frame, door rails and styles to 7/8" thickness. I used a 1/4" thick Dominoe, set back 5/16" from the face for strength.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony
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Old 09-28-2019, 08:39 PM   #10
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Hi

Getting back to the OP's dilemma: Part of the issue (as stated) is "we aren't super handy". Making good, functional, sold, lightweight cabinets is not a trivial undertaking. Their best bet is probably to find a local pro who has room in his schedule to fit them in.

Bob
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Old 09-28-2019, 09:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by G-Ranch View Post
Glad to have taken the time to dismantle this Airstream. Amazed at the genius - light weight design/fabrication. A rebuild sequence is apparent and obvious. Will have intimate knowledge of this Tradewind when done. 😎
Speaking of genius. The aluminum framed cabinets in our Argosy are so light that you would never have dreamed they would last 46 years. Airstream used a 3/16Ē plywood throughout. The only place I have had to reinforce was under the cushions on the gaucho- you couldnít climb out of bed without cracking the wood
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Old 09-29-2019, 12:56 AM   #12
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to the op, the good thing about the GT is that is a small trailer. if you still have the cabinets; look for a local cabinet maker. his cost might not be to bad.also you can try your own hand at : it might not be as hard as it seems. good luck! kurt
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Old 09-30-2019, 01:28 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone for your comments. Iím going to look for a local cabinet maker and discuss what we need to do. One other question. For the cabinets attach to the side of the trailer or will they break away with movement?
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Old 09-30-2019, 02:53 PM   #14
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Did you save the old cabinets?

You could at least use them as templates.

You could also use the framing and/or doors. Perhaps spruce them up yo your liking.

It seems to me, that I have seen quite a few gutted trailers for sale. People don't realize how much work, and how much money it cost to renovate an RV.
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Old 10-01-2019, 09:30 AM   #15
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Thanks everyone for your comments. Iím going to look for a local cabinet maker and discuss what we need to do. One other question. For the cabinets attach to the side of the trailer or will they break away with movement?
Hi

It depends a lot on which cabinets. Overhead cabinets (obviously) have to attach to the wall. The simplest answer is to mount the new ones the same way the old ones were mounted.

Bob
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Old 10-01-2019, 09:42 AM   #16
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We used basswood (or, rather, Chris did. He builds, I varnish) for frames, and red alder for exterior as our light woods. The lower cabinets are fastened to the walls with screws and rivets. He used angle aluminum as fastening points. The upper cabinets are fastened at the top with piano hinges. He used Kreg fasteners to put cabinets together with glue added. We've had no cabinet failures. BUT, he's handy and experienced as a hobby woodworker. If you're not, probably a good cabinet maker is your best bet if you don't want to futz around with them for a long time.
Good luck!

Kay
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Old 10-01-2019, 11:54 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
Keep your cabinets as light as possible. I used face frame construction with Dominoes for strength. Inside gables were made just long enough to provide support for drawer slides. No bottoms, if not needed, no backs; faceframe attached to counter top with back of counter top attaching to trailer side.

The lighter you make anything for your Airstream, the less it costs you in fuel pulling it down the road.

If you can't make a faceframe cabinet, I'd strongly suggest you get someone who knows how to do it.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony
Fully agreed. And beautiful cabinets by the way.

I am not (at least was not) at all a skilled carpenter before restoring our Airstream. I made frame and panel cabinets using simple tongue and groove joinery, using a 100 dollar table saw or a pocket hole jig. Everything else was built using aluminium channel riveted to 1/4 plywood or by using 1/2 inch plywood. Having never built cabinet doors before, I brought a good wood working book and spent a weekend messing things up. This was about as long as it took before I could successfully build a door that looked good.

The end result was a trailer that is a couple of hundred pounds lighter than when it.came out of the Airstream factory.
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