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Old 02-26-2014, 09:13 PM   #1
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1960 Caravel
Palo Aloto , California
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Lifting Shell - remove inside skin first?

Hello, i have a 61 Caravel that's a mess! I need to lift the shell off the chassis so restore both. Any advice out there on what to look out for when doing this and specifically if I should remove the inner skin before or after lifting it off the frame?

Cheers, Chris.
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:29 PM   #2
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1973 21' Globetrotter
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You will have to remove at least the lower skins to access the bolts that go through the c-channels. My best advice for lifting the shell is to build a pair of gantries. Do a search for "gantry" and you will find a tried and true design that has been used by several of us here.
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:32 PM   #3
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http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/body-lift-question-115765.html

Above is a thread showing some shell lifts.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:05 PM   #4
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1989 34' Limited
long beach , Mississippi
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remove inner lower skin as mentioned before. I use 2x4 from side to side, screwed to the ribs with short knee braces. Usually one 2x4 every other frame. I tie all cross braces with 2x4 together along the long axis all the way to each end of the shell, as this helps later with tempting the floor. Its so you know exactly where the camper starts and where it ends. Take some measurements before you lift.
loosen your belly pan all the way around.Careful as there are some hidden rivets.
I use floor jacks to jack up the body front and back to add a 12ft 2x6 across and tied to the 2x4 on the inside. then continue lifting and add blocks or large jacks on the outside under the 2x6, until you are high enough to pull the frame out. As soon the frame is out, donít forget to lower your shell. I usually set mine down on furniture dollies.
hope that helps.

have a look at my build:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f59/...on-113774.html
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by submariner View Post
... As soon the frame is out, donít forget to lower your shell.
...
Very good advice.

Since Caravels/Bambis are so light, you have another option for liftoff. Instead of pulling our the frame from under our Caravel, we extended the bracing out below the shell and walked it off. We then piled lots of weight on those lift points to keep the shell from blowing away. There is a set of awful pictures out there from someone who didn't realize how easy it is for wind to get under an unattached shell.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:01 PM   #6
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Comb through all the threads thoroughly before you start gutting your trailer there's tons of info and pictures. Its a big job. But if you like that kind of challenge go for it .
good luck
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:08 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info everyone ... i'll post back once we've started.
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:51 AM   #8
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1963 19' Globetrotter
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Originally Posted by JCPOTTERF View Post
Comb through all the threads thoroughly before you start gutting your trailer there's tons of info and pictures. Its a big job. But if you like that kind of challenge go for it .
good luck
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Hi. I just joined this forum and saw your optimistic attitude which I like. However my first post from someone told me restoring my damaged airstream wasn't worth the effort. It has extensive damage to one side that was pushed in by a tree. It needs a total interior gutt as well and all new windows and a door. I'm a builder so have lots of trade resources and plan to do the electrical and plumbing myself. I was just curious what your opinion was of it. Can you see the photo I posted of it? I was trying to post more but couldn't figure out how.
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Old 04-28-2014, 02:31 PM   #9
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Tonianne, we've embarked on a massive restoration without any prior knowledge, and so far it's been great fun. Apart from the mouse nests in the insulation which are pretty disgusting. Check out the photos on the link below to see what you'd be getting yourself into. It's fun, but lots for work. Very rewarding. FYI, we're not going to be fitting it our as a camper, probably more like a mobile office space, so we're not doing the full plumbing, electrics etc.

here's our blog too: IDEO Airstream

all photos: 61 Caravel Photos by cglaister | Photobucket

Chris.
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Old 04-28-2014, 04:05 PM   #10
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Good pics.

I think you've set a new record for the largest number of helpers per foot of vintage Airstream!
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:53 PM   #11
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Leaving some of the skin on helps hold the shell in place which makes lining it back up to attach it back to the frame much easier. It doesn't shift as much.
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